Lazarus [Short Story]
Lazarus looked up and howled into the bleeding sky night, burnt red umber sky, his howl ringing throughout the ancient plane of Jurassic Earth he ran upon, his metallic paws crashing against the earth, crashing though the vines, his enhanced sight zooming ahead to the mysterious object floating, burning bright blue and blaring out a message he was attempting to decode into his machine-wolf tongue. ‘What is the meaning of intruding on my masters territory?’ thought Lazarus instinctively, conscious of the humankind he was programmed to protect by mission directive 1.
‘Best decode it myself then’ thought Lazarus , booting to primary subroutine 1 – investigate and if necessary engage in combat.
‘Unidentified object, please identify yourself, or I will be forced to consider you hostile’ – the sphere merely starts blinking, it’s light turning on and off at a faster rate aggressively. Lazarus considers his options for a few split seconds, his CPU weighing up the risks to himself, his humankind masters and his dutiful responsibility to life. No question, he rapidly mutates his form, transforming into a cybernetic war machine, his true self externalised – the 24th century creature of violence.
Deploying his cannon and firing, the impacting Neon energy beam brutally hitting the blue sphere, which finally falling fast from the blood red sky emits a final blinking blue light before, making a final pathetic electronic squeal, dead in the moss. ‘Ha no match for a wolf-machine like me’ thinks Lazarus, in the closest thing to a moment of bliss a machine bred for war and slaughter can experience – victory.
Meaning though purpose, destruction and protection. Primary directives, he stops for a moment then howls with pleasure from the bottom of his cybernetic heart, beating under his organic, and gene-spliced fur.
‘The primary directive must always take precedence’ he thinks again, but then it suddenly it happens – explosions of light piece the peace of post-victorious bliss, the familiars sounds of screaming and shouting, the breaking of bone, burning, humankind voices in the distance writhing in pain, several explosions to the south, the camp!
Lazarus runs rapidly back to retreat to his humankind masters, and is confronted with the true horror of the scene, a cyber-mutant attack! Probably using some new technology from those half deranged Neo-Scientists of the Ubertech! The sphere must have been a decoy! A momentary mental distraction, and then realising he’d been duped, Lazarus quickly switches his mode to stealth, HUD eyesight changing to a infrared display, enhancing his visual spectrum in case those degenerate mutant bastards had more technology to taunt him with and worse.
His mind works overdrive, pelt and metal bone would be worth much more than a fair price at market, his processed brain, a treasure for some unscrupulous Neo-Scientist to dribble over. No fate for this wolf-machine, not like this, ‘if I am to go I must take these cyber-fucks with me’ he thought, steadying his mechanical breathing so as to steady his electronic nerves, wrapped over shell of writhing, living cyborg flesh.
Then suddenly as if from beyond, something strikes hard and fast, the blow is heavy and brutal, almost certainly knocking out critical functions, the pain overpowering, but Lazarus is strong, built for pain such as this, and looking up at the burning sun, burning redder than the depths of some endless desert vista or the eyes of some ancient Mayan Blood God, he grins in defeat, setting prime directive to 10, closing his eyes to sleep forever, safe in the knowledge that he now laughs both loudest and last.
Hours later on some computer system in Ubertech:
“ahh what I find, the others shall be in awe of my techno-magikal mastery won’t they Egor??? hahaha, my lucky …. day, wait what is that??? Egor maximise the HUD display, machine side on the monitor!!” the wolf’s final message flashes up in neon blue text, finite and poetic in it’s justice:
Self Destruct in t-minus 1:00, I burnt brightly, but you shall burn even brighter, motherfucker!”