Soe twirls a knife between her fingers.
“Soe? Can you come here for a sec?” Airin calls out from the other room. Soe glances distractedly towards the living room door that links to the kitchen.
Soe looks up from the newscast on the television. She frowns. She hesitates in leaving the television, but there’s nothing new. Hundreds of deaths are nothing new. Right.
In the kitchen, Soe finds Airin tinkering with the cooking bot. The sleek, long arms usually attach to the ceiling, but one of the arms lays on the floor, on top a sheet to prevent scratching the floor. The white “skin” cover has been removed to reveal the gleaming metal within.
Meticulously clean, both inside and out. Airin wouldn’t have it any other way.
Airin sits with the arm, eyes reading the hologram sigils. A matching hologram keyboard hovers underneath and Airin adjusts some of the runes.
The arm thrashes around. Hits the table and knocks two cups over, spilling their contents.
It jerks up as if to hit Airin in the face, before Soe lashes out with her knife. The white fingers tremble around the knife pinning it down and make horrible clicking noises.
Soe and Airin stare at the mechanical arm flails around, but the hand stays pinned down. The knife must be at least a few inches into the floor.
“You’ve gotten better with that…” Airin comments distantly, her face blank. “But that’s… uh…”
It’s an overreaction.
Soe’s lowers her extended hand as it hits her that she just damaged the machine Airin had been working on.
“Oh, shit- … sorry, “she apologizes. Soe walks up and crouches next to the arm, but doesn’t touch the machine. “I should-... I guess I could-? Should I remove the knife?” Soe fumbles, unsure and not willing to look up. Would Airin be be mad about this? Shit, maybe?.
Airin sighs, and Soe feels a lot more guilty. That’s not an angry sigh.
Airin comes join Soe next to the arm. She crouches, too, and together they watch it continue to flail for a few silent moments.
“You had that knife in your hand before you walked in, “Airin comments idly, voice carefully maintained on a neutral tone.
She wishes Airin had been mad instead. Soe glances to her left, at Airin, and quickly looks away. But that wouldn’t be like Airin.
“Did something make you feel threatened?” Airin asks, but she could probably guess. Soe can bet on that.
It wouldn’t be the first time.
“So many people are dying, Airin, “Soe murmurs. She feels a surge of self consciousness. Was she being too sensitive? No one else seemed overly bothered by all the deaths that were happening.
No one besides the new stations, but they got paid for that kind of shit.
Airin shifts from her crouch to her knees and turns towards Soe. Her arms out in silent invitation. Soe falls to her knees as well and accepts the hug.
“It will be okay, “Airin whispers into her ear, “It will end soon.”
Soe buries her face into Airin’s shoulder.
She just wished it ended faster.