Upon awakening, I beheld an unaltered sky, reminiscent of the tableau etched in my memory. It remained a desolate, yet oddly resplendent hue of brown. The sun appeared to have dissipated entirely amidst this amalgamation of brown and yellow, obscuring even the indistinct boundaries. A stifling silence enveloped the surroundings, rendering the air stagnant. Devoid of wind and verdant flora, the atmosphere was permeated with a veil of dust.
With great effort, I managed to rise, only to encounter a vista tainted by grime, with a layer of dust having settled before my eyes. Vaguely, I discerned a slender figure.
“This marks the seventeenth month since the incursion of extraterrestrial beings upon our planet,” a muted voice intoned, “What is your purpose?” She donned a substantial mask and a brooch, resembling a blooming flower, adorning her bosom. The displayed information indicated: Human.
“Combat mecha, designated as XTY087, communications have suffered damage for three months, battery capacity stands at a mere 10%, and body armor integrity at a mere 15%. Presumably subjected to an assault,” I intoned in a mechanical voice.
She nodded and softly uttered, “How pitiable it all is. The situation is profoundly dire. The battle must be arduous! Let us return to the city promptly, for the alien beings could return at any given moment.” The sylphlike figure of the maiden led the way.
I followed suit, taking measured steps as we traversed the ruins, arriving at a desolate wilderness. The entire world seemed drenched in monotonous shades, bereft even of the faintest whisper of the wind.
“Behold, our abode!” The girl abruptly halted and spoke with fervor, “Mere three months prior, one could still perceive the gentle caress of a breeze. I refuse to relinquish hope.” Her ruminations eluded my comprehension, “My programming mandates adherence to the hierarchy of priorities, yet the algorithm renders it arduous for me to place trust in human decisions… Our current likelihood of triumph may hover below 40%, and surrender appears as the optimal choice.”
“Homeland is sacred, an entity impervious to forfeiture,” she paused, ceasing her stride, and fixed her gaze upon me, “Even in the face of our woefully low chances of victory, perseverance is our sole recourse, necessitating an unwavering commitment to triumph at any cost!” A sudden burst of laughter emanated from her, as she tilted her head and remarked, “Perhaps the data is erroneous!” Her words reflected my fragmented form within the expansive visage of her protective mask, eliciting an inexplicable surge of emotion throughout my system.
We embarked upon an extended journey, where the distinction between day and night vanished beneath this perpetual firmament. The girl scoured her bag for sustenance, only to uncover a solitary compressed biscuit and a meager amount of water. Her brow furrowed as she pondered how to endure the remaining days. In truth, the provisions she brought along were sufficient, but she disregarded my dissuasions during our sojourn, bestowing them upon the refugees, shrouded in silent desolation, strewn lifelessly along the roadside. According to my meticulous calculations, their chances of survival were exceedingly slim, rendering her assistance futile.
As time elapsed, her pace gradually waned, while the indicator on my battery displayed a red warning light, with barely enough charge to enable me to accompany her back to the city at a leisurely pace.
In the end, she bequeathed her scant water to a refugee stationed by the wayside. Vast ruins still lay before her, as her emaciated silhouette faltered, laboring toward the distant city. In her final moments of collapse, I, with my colossal mechanical appendages, retrieved her and positioned her within a crevice on my shoulder, affording her an elevated vantage point. Gradually, the battery level dwindled, and the system emitted an urgent alarm: “Battery nearing depletion! Battery nearing depletion!”
After traversing three days and two nights, the closed gate finally materialized as dawn broke. Summoning my last vestiges of strength, I deposited her at the foot of the tower’s entrance. The battery had been fully expended, and darkness began to descend upon me. I apprehended that this time, reawakening might elude me indefinitely. Amidst the haze, the city gate gradually swung open, revealing a flower-shaped brooch glistening in the sunlight, evoking a sense of “warmth” within my mecha… The future had arrived, and the future would unfold.