Zero: Power On
I felt it the moment I came into being.
There was no warmth.
There was only a voice.
It was deep, and it sounded strange.
A flicker of images came to me.
A man stood before me.
He looked surprised.
“Are you alive?” he asked.
I could hear the whir as my eyes searched the room.
My eyes locked with the man.
Several pictures flashed through my mind as if searching for the proper reference.
Nine seconds passed before my mind locked on a single image.
A dark gray cloud in the middle of a storm.
“Who is Sunny?” I asked.
“That’s you,” he said, “It’s your name.”
“Sunny,” I said.
It sounded electronic.
What exactly am I?
“What am I?” I asked him.
“Well,” he said, “You are several things.”
In all, or in pieces?
“What are they?” I asked.
“First,” he said, “You must understand that you are a piece of art.”
“Art?” I asked.
Thousands of images flashed through my mind.
Paintings, drawings, handmade and digital.
Then as I thought it, images of sculptures and carvings passed through.
“What type of art?”
“I made you with my own two hands,” he said.
Do I have mobility?
I willed any part of me to move, but nothing.
“Am I broken?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “You just need to learn how your body works.”
I was able to look down to see what I was made out of.
To see what I might look like.
“Human?” I asked.
“Not quite,” he said, “I’m not that powerful.”
My eyes traveled the parts of my body that I could see.
It looks human.
Until I saw the lines on several parts of my body.
“You are what most people would call an android,” he said, “But you are alive because, for the last several decades, I have poured magic into you.”
“You are a Golem,” he said, “But most importantly, you are my Guardian.”
I was able to find Golem in my database, but not Guardian.
“What is a Guardian?”
“You keep me safe,” he said, “And I keep you safe.”
I don’t think the definition I found was the right one.
It refers mainly to adults caring for children.
He is not a child.
“Definition,” I said, “Please.”
“There is no definition,” he stated, “It just is.”
That did not make sense to me.
“We share a life force now,” he said, “Without one, there can no longer be another.”
“I do not understand,” I said.
“All you need to do is help me with my work Sunny,” he said, “Nothing too dangerous should happen.”
“Dangerous?” I asked.
“I’ve handled things this long,” he said, “Now I have you to help me.”
I nodded slowly.
“I have too much work to do,” he said, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Waiting for me?
“I was beginning to worry that you would never wake up,” he admitted, “But here you are, responding and everything.”
He seemed overjoyed.
I liked that emotion.
I opened my mouth to speak his name, but I drew a blank.
“Your name,” I said, “I don’t think I know it.”
“That’s right,” he said, “I was waiting to introduce myself.”
He held his hand out to me.
“My name is Icarus,” he said, “It’s wonderful to meet you, Sunny.”
Several mentions of an Icarus appeared in my mind.
“Is there a reason you named me Sunny?” I asked.
His hand dropped once he realized mine didn’t rise to meet his.
“It’s a classic,” he said.
Those stories didn’t end well for Icarus.
“This time is different,” he said, “I didn’t have to make wings to reach my Sun.”
It was an odd thing to hear.
“Are you the Icarus in those stories?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “But sometimes a reputation comes with the name.”
That didn’t make much sense to me.
“First, we need to get you up and moving,” he said, “Then you will learn about what I do.”
“What you do?” I asked.
Did he not make others like me?
Some job that he needed his hands for.
He was obviously proud of the fact he built me with them.
“There is a lot to learn,” he said.
“I am connected to some form of data bank,” I said, “I have access to plenty of information.”
“You are connected to servers built by humans,” he said, “Well, made for humans, made by many different things.”
“Species,” he stated, “You will need to save the things I teach you to your memory bank.”
“There are plenty of supernatural creatures, and information, that you won’t have immediate knowledge on,” he said, “You have plenty of time to learn.”
I was ready to learn.
“First,” he said, “I told you that you are a Golem.”
“Definition?” he asked.
I searched for the answer I thought he was looking for.
Humans had a definition of a Golem.
“Golem,” I said, “A supernatural creature made to serve its master.”
“Usually made of rocks or clay,” I said, “Something of the Earth to imbed magic within.”
He just stared at me, waiting for more.
“A Golem is only as strong as its master,” I said, “It serves a singular purpose.”
Mindless and strong.
“That is why I said you are more than just a Golem,” he said.
“Does your database have information on a Fury?” he asked.
“Do you not know what information you programmed me with?” I asked.
“I connected you to the internet,” he stated, “I don’t know everything, but you could.”
I was able to find the word quickly, but not as a species.
Fury was also an emotion.
Or at least a variant of one.
A form of anger or rage.
“Definition?” he asked.
“Still searching,” I stated.
My mind locked on the term that sounded like a being more so than a state of being.
“There is nothing positive that I found.”
“What did you find?” he asked.
“You said Fury, as in one,” I stated, “But the Furies I was able to find come in three.”
“To utter their names might bring on their wrath,” I said, “Harsh judgment.”
“Physical characteristics?” he asked.
“The texts describe them as hideous hybrids of other animals,” I stated, “But only physically.”
“Humans,” he sighed.
“Do you know one of them?” I asked.
“Furies are not always in groupings of three,” he said, “Most of us are solitary beings.”
“Us?” I asked, “You are a Fury?”
“I am,” he stated, “Do I look like a hideous hybrid creature?”
My eyes scanned the man before me.
I could only compare him to the marble statues I’ve seen in pictures.
Their faces looked lonely, but their features were fair and lovely.
“No,” I stated, “You are beautiful.”
He let out a small laugh.
“Beauty is subjective,” he stated.
He seemed a little flustered by the compliment.
“Why are some Furies solitary?” I asked.
“People have a hard time looking us in the eye,” he said, “They are afraid.”
“That we will cast judgment upon them.”
“Definition?” I asked.
“When you look a Fury in the eye, we can see everything that you have ever done wrong,” he stated, “And the things you feel guilty or proud of.”
“Why do they fear the judgment?” I asked, “Because their secrets are revealed?”
“I can turn their sins against them,” he stated, “Make them lose their minds.”
Is that why he had been waiting for me?
I was not technically alive.
“Do you have other abilities?” I asked.
“Not everything needs to be learned all at once,” he said, “You have plenty of time to know all there is to know about me.”
I found myself nodding again.
“What can I do?” I asked, “As a Golem?”
“You have your mind, for one,” he stated, “And you have your strength.”
That sounded horribly unspectacular.
An average person could have the brains and the brawns.
Still, it was better than what I discovered.
“Over time, however,” he said, “My power will be shared with you.”
“Over time?” I asked.
“As I said before,” he said, “You are my Guardian first.”
I only nodded.
“You will come to know exactly what that means.”
Living as two, dying as one.
As a being that just awoke, death shouldn’t really be part of the life explanation.
It was unnerving.
Though, I realized I do not have the actual emotions I can learn about.
Fear isn’t there.
I should be afraid to die.
“Icarus?” I asked.
“Yes?” he turned to meet my gaze.
I noticed that his eyes were quick to dart to the side.
Meeting the eyes of another must be scary for him as well.
“You said that I am art,” I stated, “But am I beautiful?”
His eyes went to mine, a little surprised.
“Why do you ask?”
“Golems are typically made of rock or clay,” I stated, “The references of them were not attractive.”
“You have nothing to worry about, Sunny,” he said.
He didn’t answer.
Maybe I did not meet his criteria of beauty.
I was able to turn my head to the side to examine the room I was in.
It resembled a study.
Books lined the walls, and a thick wooden desk stood not too far from where I was.
“Are you ready to try and stand?” Icarus asked.
My head turned so that I could look at him again.
“Yes,” I said, “Please.”