A clawed, metallic foot slammed down on Cynthia’s head, crushing it to a bloody pulp. Nikodemus looked up at his newest captor with a droll, lifeless expression. “Who sent you?”
“The Harpies.” The robot answered.
“The Harpies, huh…? Well, hurry up and take me to them.” Nikodemus sighed, offering an arm for the robot to drag him by.
The robot grabbed the man roughly by the wrist and began dragging him through the blindingly white, tubular saferoom. The sound of the robot’s feet clanging against the metal floor beneath them echoed throughout the hallway as they went.
This model seems particularly rude. Nikodemus thought to himself as the robot hauled him along without regard for how much it was hurting his arm.
“What model are you?” Nikodemus asked aloud.
“C-150.” The robot answered.
“I see.” Nikodemus replied. The title of the robot didn't have a bearing on how recent a model it was, was Nikodemus liked to think it was a more recent model.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they keep programming them to be more and more ruthless, but if they aren’t careful, these robots are gonna accidentally end up killing the last hope of humanity. Nikodemus thought to himself.
The tubular bunker gently sloped upward, forcing the shrimp-ish Nikodemus to use his muscles, which he didn’t like doing due to the fact that he was a pygmy human--a human with an extraordinarily large brain and a set of extraordinarily short arms and legs to off-set it.
When they finally reached the door letting out of the bunker, Nikodemus could see the devastation the robot had caused. A hole had been ripped in the middle of the metal door that shielded outsiders without the proper handprint identification from coming inside. Sparks flew off the electric conduits that no longer had a complete door to run down. Beyond the broken door, Nikodemus could see the bodies of dozens of women littering the fortress grounds.
Nikodemus frowned. Even though he was their captive, he had known and loved many of the women who belonged to the Tribe of Sirens. It was nothing he hadn’t seen before, but their shredded, mangled bodies still had an effect on him.
Nikodemus swallowed a lump in his throat as he was hauled through the first floor of the fortress, where the lights flickered on and off. His children—all small girls--were the only people left alive. The Harpies would most likely be along shortly to abduct them into their army. Nikodemus decided to close his eyes so he wouldn’t have to look at the bodies any longer.
When Nikodemus felt fresh air on his face, he opened his eyes. The robot had towed him out of the fortress through the hole it had punched in the entrance door, and Nikodemus was greeted by the vast sea of land outside.
Nikodemus had seen maps of the Wasteland, and he knew that the Harpies' Fortress was far away. He hoped that this robot would let him stop for breaks. He had known some that dragged him from one tribe to another without letting him sit even once.
Nikodemus looked longingly at the ocean of sand stretching out before him. He wanted so desperately to escape captivity and live by himself out on the Fringes—the edges of the Wasteland—but remembered a time when he had tried and was nearly dead within three days. He had come crawling back to the Vipers—the closest tribe to where he had been trying to survive out in the desert—and begged them to capture him.
Nikodemus cast a defiant glare at the tantalizing moonlit sand. I don’t need to live by myself on your beautiful shores! I have plenty of gorgeous women who are more than willing to take care of me and dote on me.
Gorgeous was a stretch, he knew, but he told himself that anyway to make himself feel better. In reality, the tribeswomen of the wasteland were battleworn, disheveled, and had no time to worry about personal hygiene.
No matter how much he told himself he didn’t want to live on his own, that didn’t stop the wispy, windswept sand from calling out to him.
I have to think about humanity. Nikodemus convinced himself. Even if I’m always a captive, it’s for the best. I’m the last hope for preserving the human race, after all. Nikodemus convinced himself.
And so, for what felt like the hundredth time in his life, Nikodemus, the last man on earth, was towed across the coarse landscape where dangerous women lurked behind numerous sand dunes, pacifist, escaped mutants lurked somewhere underground, and the Church of the Zironists loomed over all of it somewhere in the middle of the Wasteland.
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