These are the in-game novels, the closest thing to the original text adventures that we saw in the first NieR. I’ve typed these out directly from the English version of the game, not easily copied and pasted from somewhere else. xD Praise me.
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
The information below may include end-game spoilers.
Read at your own discretion!!
Memories of a Songstress
The record of the singing machine lifeform that haunts the innermost depths of the amusement park. Her desire to be loved gave rise to a sense of beauty most unsightly
Look at me.
Oh please look at me.
I want your eyes to look upon me alone.
Have I not become beautiful?
Do these clothes make me look cute?
Would he like it if I walked like this?
I still don’t understand what it means to love someone.
But I’ve made up my mind.
I will do whatever it takes to capture his affection.
Long ago, an old machine lifeform told me something:
“Beauty is what wins love.”
But what is “beauty”?
After researching the old world, I finally learned the truth.
Beauty is pretty skin.
Beauty is stylish accessories.
Beauty is looking one’s best.
I will become beautiful. I will do it for him.
I once heard tell of a precious jewel far to the east.
It was said to be located on a terribly dangerous mountain.
But I did not care.
I slipped on cliffs. I feel onto rocks. But eventually I claimed the jewel.
Blue stone. Brilliant blue. So beautiful.
I lost many parts obtaining this jewel. I lost…myself.
But my wounds are badges.
There’s a rumor floating among the other machine lifeforms lately:
“Devour the body of an android to gain eternal beauty.”
It is physically impossible to obtain beauty by consuming an android.
But I tried anyway.
I would try anything.
I wanted to vomit, but I kept going.
It tasted like oil.
Not a moment passed where I didn’t strive to become more beautiful.
But he still won’t look my way.
I even tried to learn what is called a “song”.
Songs can make someone have feelings for you.
That’s what they say.
So I practiced every day.
But he still won’t look my way.
I ate more androids. I even ate machine lifeforms.
But he still won’t look my way.
He won’t look my way.
He won’t look my way.
He won’t look my way.
He won’t look my way.
He won’t look my way.
Won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way won’t look my way
He ? ? ? ? ?still? ? ? ? ? won’t? ? ? ? ?look? ? ? ? ?my? ? ? ? ? way.
That’s when I realized he cares not for jewels.
Or songs or beauty or appearance or anything else.
I cannot win his love.
Why have I done this to myself?
I gaze into the mirror. In it’s reflection, I see only my own meaningless. And so I scream.
someone please look my way
- The shared past of A2 and the Resistance is revealed by Anemone.
- It is the recored of a grueling battle fought by the Resistance alongside the first YoRHa squadron.
My name is Anemone, and I lead the android Resistance.
This is a record of the battles I’ve experienced–and my losses.
I leave it here as a warning to myself.
The machine lifeform attack lands far too close for comfort.
I smell an acrid odor and know that some of my hair has been singed off.
“Anemone! Retreat for now! That’s an order!”
That’s my captain, Rose. I obey her without hesitation, running from the front as soon as I take out a few nearby enemies. Feet flying beneath me, I leap into the hastly built trench where my Resistance comrades are gathered.
How many battles is this now?
The same sights and sounds. The same struggle of attrition.
My Resistance forces play the same war on repeat with no end in sight.
I don’t even remember?why we’re fighting anymore,
but I must continue regardless.
I must continue until one side or the other is dead.
“This looks bad, Shion. What should we do?”
“Calm down, Llily. We’ll find and opening somewhere.”
“You don’t search for an opening! You make?one!”
I grab Dahlia’s arm before she can flee the trench and turn to Rose.
She brought us here, after all–she must have a plan of some kind.
But as the enemy horde closes in, Rose simply squints off in the distance.
“There’s been a change in enemy movements,” she says finally.
“Someone just started fighting over there.”
“But that’s not possible,” stammers Margaret. “We’re…all here.”
Margaret’s right. There are only nine of us left capable of fighting the machines:
Captain Rose. Gerbera. Lilly. Sonia. Erica. Margaret. Shion. Dahlia…
And me. Anemone. We’re all that’s left of the eighth descent forces.
The one that took place roughly 200 years ago.
An uneasy Sonia pulls Shion close and chews on a loose strand of hair.
“I don’t like it,” she says. “What if it’s some kind of machine trap?”
I wait for a while, heart pounding, until I hear the enemy fire lessen.
“Okay,” I say, “this looks like our chance. Let’s pull back.”
“Someone’s fighting out there, Anemone!” cries Dahlia. “We can’t abandon them!”
“Oh, so you want to risk all of our lives for some stranger? Come on! We don’t even know if this mystery fighter is on our side or not.”
“That’s not what I said!”
“Enough, you two,” barks Shion. “The captain makes the final decision on this.”
After Shion speaks, all of us turn to Captain Rose. She looks us in the eyes and nods slowly before starting to speak.
“Gerbera? The enemy is heading toward the explosives we set up earlier, yes?”
Gerbera thinks for a moment. “Now that you mention it, yeah. They are.”
A slight smile crosses Rose’s face, yet she still seems perfectly composed.
“Good. Then if this goes well, we might be able to take them all out.”
“I want all of you to leave this trench and get to those explosives,” says Rose.
“We’ll let the blast take out most of them, then clean up the stragglers. Identifying our unknown mystery fighters can wait until we’re done.”
No one objects to the captain’s decision. The moment she issues the order, we all leap from the trench as one and reenter the fray.
When we reach the battle, we find what appears to be another set of androids dressed in strange black outfits. Before they even know what’s happening, we detonate the explosives, kill the remaining machines, and turn our guns in their direction.
“All right,” I say to the strangers. “Start talking.”
“Easy,” says one of the mystery androids. “We’re on your side. We’re new models rolled out as part of something called Project YoRHa.”
“Really?” I say. “We haven’t heard anything about new models.”
I probably speak with more bluster than necessary, but I have to make sure they’re actually on our side. I don’t think they’re lying, necessarily, but I can’t read their expressions thanks to the giant goggles they wear. And frankly, a little caution never goes amiss in the middle of a war.
We learn that the four androids refer to each other as Number 2, Number 4, Number 16, and Number 21. They also aren’t in a hurry to share much more.
“Our mission is top secret,” one of them says. “That’s why you haven’t heard about us yet.”
I slowly draw my knife in an attempt to gauge their reaction. “So in other words, no one will know any better if I kill you right now?”
“Stand down, Andemone,” says Rose softly.
“No!” cries Lilly. “She’s right! We’ve all seen how quickly the enemy is evolving. Who’s to say these four aren’t machines that just look human?”
My companions nod in agreement. This damn war has made us all suspicious.
One of the strangers–Number 16, I believe–draws a long knife from its sheath.
“If it’s a fight you want,” she says, “I’m happy to give it to you.”
Before I can respond, Dahlia leaps in front of me with her weapon at the ready.
This is it. We’re going to fight.
But just before the battle can erupt, the android called Number 2 steps forward.
“Wait,” she says.
“There used to be sixteen of us,” says Number 2, “but the others died during the descent. We’re isolated and alone out here. Reinforcements aren’t coming. And that means we have to finish this mission with the soldiers we have left. We don’t need more enemies right now. What we need…is allies.”
She finishes this speech with a soft sigh, as if trying and failing to hold her emotions in check.
I know that sort of voice.
It’s the voice of someone who still has hope, despite all the odds.
- The shared past of A2 and the Resistance is revealed by Anemone.
- The Resistance and YoRHa are slowly reaching a mutual understanding. However, one of the Resistance members has contracted a virus…
According to the YoRHa team, there’s an enemy server beneath Mt. Ka’ala.
If we can take it out, we might finally gain some ground in this endless war.
But in order for that to happen, we need to work together.
After a bit of thought, Rose decides to throw in with the new models.
It’s a relationship that changes as time goes on.
“Er, what are you doing, Dahlia?”
“Just…showing this idiot…how weak she is!” replies a winded Dahlia.
“Ha!” wheezes her opponent, Number 16. “You’re obviously…outmatched!”
The two of them are taking turns hitting each other.
It seems friendly enough…as those things go.
Plus, they’d been doing it for so long now that both of them are out of energy. They likely couldn’t punch through a piece of paper at this point.
The rest of the group stares at the combatants and tries not to grin.
Dahlia and Number 16 seem to butt heads over the smallest little things.
Maybe it’s because they’re so much alike.
It’s almost annoying how quickly muscleheads learn to like one another.
The rest of us converse as Dahlia and [Number] 16 continue to spar.
“We call each other by names that I gave us,” explains Rose.
“I see,” responds Number 4. “I thought it strange that you didn’t use code numbers.”
She nods while she speaks, as though this all makes perfect sense.
Suddenly Captain Rose breaks out into a wide grin. “You know what?” she says.
“I think we should give all of you names as well!”
“No,” says Number 2. “It would be a waste.”
Rose eyes her warily. “Er, a waste?”
“You can name me when the mission is over,” she replies as a blush rises in her cheeks. I could tell her words also served as a wish for success.
“All right,” responds Rose. “I’ll think of a name for you by then.”
She knows this is a fleeting promise, as most such things are. But it doesn’t matter–already I can see us growing closer to the YoRHa team.
Well, maybe friends are growing closer to them, at least.
“You’re all being careless,” I state, much louder than I intend.
Luckily, the others either don’t hear or decide to ignore it.
Don’t get me wrong–I’m not about to go against the captain’s judgment.
But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to just lie down and trust our new “friends”.
Ours is a solitary existence that has long since been abandoned by the moon. No matter how they cried, mourned, or struggled, the voices of our departed comrades went unanswered.
So how can you trust an entire squad of new models that you just met?
“What’s wrong, Anemone?”
I hear Lilly calling to me. She’s likely concerned about me being apart from the rest of the group.
“Nothing,” I begin “I’m fi–”
Before I can complete my thought, Lilly suddenly opens her mouth and emits a terrible scream.
Lilly’s scream echoes throughout the entire camp.
It’s heartbreaking. It’s agony. It’s…horrible.
“She’s infected!” screams Rose. “Lilly’s infected!”
We all draw weapons out of instinct as much as anything else, pointing them at our comrade as she continues to scream and scream and scream.
We all know what’s happening. We’ve seen it before. It’s a logic virus–a machine weapon that hijacks android systems and overwrites their data.
And since there’s no known cure…it’s also a death sentence.
I need to show her mercy. I need to set her free.
My finger rests on the trigger, yet I hesitate. And before I can make that final, fateful decision, I hear a voice rise up from somewhere behind me:
“Stop! You can’t do this! You can’t just let your friend DIE!”
It’s Number 21. The girl I’d thought to be cool and composed beyond all measure was no pleading with me to spare Lilly’s life.
What do I do? What the hell do I DO!?
“Lilly said you were like a family to her! You can’t abandon family, not before you exhaust every possibility!”
“What can you do, then?”
“I’ll use my power to erase the virus!”
Rose spat out what we were all thinking, but before we can act, Lilly starts to send nearby comrades flying with impossible strength. I’ve seen infected androids before–I know how much damage they can do once the virus turns off their limiters. They’ll fight and fight until they’re utterly destroyed.
Dahlia and Number 16 rush into the fray, trying to suppress their former friend, but she swats them away like flies.
How many of us have been infected now?
How many friends have I been forced to put down?
The heart I’m not supposed to have aches with the thought. It aches as I remember all of the identification numbers that have been retired.
When did I start giving them names?
When did I decide I simply couldn’t endure it any longer?
“Initiating reprogramming sequence!”
That voice. …Number 21? She’s screaming something about…reprogramming?
I don’t know what to do.
I am lost.
As my vision slowly clears, I see Number 21 inputting commands into her terminal while Number 2 and Number 4 hold her [Lilly] down. They hold her as she writhes and…
Rose stares at me with surprise. …Oh no. I’m not holding Lilly, too.
- The shared past of A2 and the Resistance is revealed by Anemone.
- During an attempt by the Resistance to destroy the machine lifeform server, many androids were slaughtered by a powerful enemy weapon. While letting her allies escape into an elevator, Anemone made up her mind.
Was there ever such furious gunfire? Such bombings that continued without pause?
Our target is the machine server under Mt. Ka’ala–and our situation is dire.
“We need reinforcement. Requesting deployment at once.”
Number 2 speaks quickly, yet calmly–which is all the more remarkable considering the hostile army closing in on our position. But the command center in the orbiting satellite informs us no reinforcements will be forthcoming.
We are abandoned. We are alone.
It’s so easy to do from up there. From the satellite. From the moon.
“I’ll do whatever is necessary,” says Lilly with a grim smile. Dahlia and Margaret quickly nod in agreement, as does Number 16. They decided to join the rearguard, staying behind to be our shield, even though it comes at the cost of their own lives. Regardless, they all agreed without hesitation. For we in the vanguard would be joining them in death soon enough. Without another word, we turn our backs on each other and take up positions.
We know this is the end.
Dahlia and the others will buy us time to reach the gate at Ka’ala’s peak.
Beyond that lies an elevator, and beyond that…is the server.
If we can destroy it, we’ll deal a devastating blow to machine lifeforms throughout the Pacific region.
But as I notice Number 21 scowling at the elevator, I start to have a bad feeling about the final stage of our mission.
“Go on,” she says. “I’ve got this.”
We crowd into the elevator as she begins hacking the terminal. She doesn7t need to tell us what’s happening–it’s clear that the elevator won’t descend all the way to the server unless someone stays behind to control it.
“Enemies incoming… They’re almost on us…”
As I speak, I suddenly find myself leaping from the elevator and taking up a position at Number 21’s side–almost as if my body is out of my control. Something is wrong. Something…
“I’ll back up Number 21!” I cry. “The rest of you take out that server!”
The doors close on my friends. The last thing I see is the face of my captain, Rose. She looks…concerned. But then the doors shut and she is no more.
That was the last time I ever saw them.
But it’s all right. I’m going to finish this, one way or the other.
The only sounds we hear are distant explosions and the rasp of Number 21’s breathing.
“Thank you,” she whispers, “for staying with me.”
I look at her eyes and see the telltale red of a logic-virus infection.
I was right after all.
I sigh softly as I draw my weapon.
I’ve seen comrades infected before.
That’s why I couldn’t leave her to die alone.
The vaccine she gave Lilly is already ineffective. The enemy has evolved.
They studied Number 21’s patterns and developed a new resistance.
No one can save her now.
“Wh-whn the elevator…reaches the server,” begins Number 21 weakly.
“Then I’ll give you peace,” I reply.
The elevator moves ever lower, creating a countdown on Number 21’s life.
How much time has passed? How much can possibly be left?
Too long to wait, yet not long enough for regret.
A massive explosion echoes in the distance as the hall slowly shakes.
It’s the final act of Lilly and the others in the rearguard.
They just overloaded their own fusion reactors.
The sound of our comrades’ demise slowly fades from our ears.
As it does, Number 21 reaches up and slowly removes her goggles.
“I’m…glad I got to meet you,” she says.
Her eyes are so red. But not completely. There’s still a little of herself left.
And while it is…
“Don’t worry,” I say. “I’ll be with you soon.”
She smiles as my words reach her ears.
As soon as the elevator touches down, I fire a bullet into Number 21’s brain.
I watch the thing that used to be her tumble to the ground.
I stare at the gun I hold in trembling hands.
I press it to my temple.
This will end it all.
The war. My meaningless existence. All of it.
It will finally be over.
Unforgiveable. Unforgiveable. Unforgiveable. Unforgiveable. Unforgiveable.
Your comrades sacrifice themselves and fight to the last breath.
They feel suffering. They feel sadness. They feel pain and terror.
And yet YOU would surrender now? Unforgiveable!
The voice is a battlefield curse, telling those who survive to see their mission through no matter what.
It is another me, crying out.
I scream at the top of my lungs and race down the hall.
I’ll show you. If you’re going to push me, I’ll show you.
You’ll only be satisfied if it ends with more killing.
I leap into the fray with weapons in both hands.
Here I am.
HERE I AM!
As I scream, an explosion suddenly rises up and sweeps everything away.
A soft wind touches my cheek. I smell fire. I smell ash.
The explosion in the server room was powerful enough to take out Mt. Ka’ala itself, reducing the once proud summit to a smoking crater.
The machines immediately drop to the ground and stop moving.
I look out over the scorched earth. LIlly? Number 16? Rose? Number 2? Are any of you…?
I am the only one left. The only one.
I was alive because I had been afraid to die.
I begin to giggle. It’s a mad thing, crazed, even to my own ears.
I’ll join you soon… You promised to join her soon!
How could I have said such vain, laughable words? Such lies?
I laugh. I stand in the smoke and the flame and laugh until I think my very throat will tear itself in two.
I blink. Daylight drifts through the smoke.
I’ve been standing here all night.
My laughter finally depleted, I force myself to my feet.
I’m the coward who stayed behind. The coward who lived.
Now it’s my job to carry on the will of those who fought at my side.
Since I can’t kill myself, I have to fight until someone does it for me.
I’ll endure every hardship. I’ll kill every machine I find.
This is my cross to bear.
I walk slowly into the west, dragging my broken body along.
- Following his fight to the death with A2, 9S’s vital functions start to shut down, and his memories begin to disappear. On the verge of death, however, 9S finds his resolve.
“My name is…”
“My name…is 9S.”
“A newly manufactured Scanner model.”
“January 30th, 11942.”
“Rolled out at 4:25 AM, Bunker time.”
“I will fight for humanity with all my strength.”
“The pleasure is mine, Commander.”
I lie collapsed in a space of blinding white.
The pain is…gone.
The light envelops me. It’s so?warm.
I was anxious.
A soldier from the moment I was born, thrown into the world alone.
Nothing to rely on.
No God to believe in.
I was alone.
Tasked with infiltrating enemy territory to gather intelligence.
In the fog.
In the flames.
“My name’s 9S. I’m here to provide support.”
2B came off as being rather aloof. Cold, even.
She must have wanted to distance herself from me.
I guess she didn’t want to be attached to someone she had to kill again and again and again.
“Scanners like me mostly work alone. Scouting out enemy lines and all that?”
“I don’t usually get a partner. It’s kind of fun!”
I was so happy to be with someone.
It was like I had a family.
My damage worsens.
I start to lose my memories.
The space fills up with pure white light.
It’s like being buried in snow.
It’s a little bit cold.
It’s a little bit frightening.
Will my soul…disappear?
A dark fog clouds my vision.
As it ebbs and flows in its slow, dreamlike way, it gradually takes human shape.
It’s the red girl.
She slowly begins to speak.
This tower is a colossal cannon built to destroy the human server.
Destroy the server…and rob the androids of their very foundation.
That was the plan devised by those girls.
But they changed their mind.
They saw us androids. They saw Adam. And Eve.
They saw how we lived, considered the meaning of existence, and came to a different conclusion.
This tower doesn’t fire artillery. It fires an?ark.
An ark containing memories of the foolish machine lifeforms.
An ark that sends those memories to a new world.
Perhaps they’ll never reach that world.
Perhaps they’ll simply wander an empty sky for eternity.
It’s all the same to the girls. For them, time is without end.
Adam and Eve are inside the ark.
Eve is asleep.
Adam holds him in a gentle embrace. He seems to be smiling at me.
I try to look up at him, but my body refuses to move.
Looks like the damage has spread to my motor functions as well.
“Will you come with us?” asks Adam.
The question was completely free of malice.
It seemed I no longer had a reason to hate machines.
Maybe I never had a reason in the first place.
What have I been fighting for?
Who have I been?living?for?
I don’t know anymore.
I try to speak my mind, but the words don’t come out right.
My thought routines are losing cohesion.
I don’t… I can’t remember my name.
Mustering all my strength, I force out the words…
? ? “I’ll go with you.
“I’ll go with you.”
“We YoRHa have no right to remain in this world.”
“I’ll go with you.
? ? ?“I’ll stay.”
“We YoRHa… We don’t deserve to be loved by this world…”
Devola & Popola’s Memories
- As members of the same model, all that was left to them was the stigma of being labeled “rampant androids”. Unable to endure further persecution, they began their long march to a city located a great distance away.
- Leaning upon each other.
- Burdened with an unforgivable sin.
A dusty wind kisses my cheeks.
Buried in sand, we press forward one step at a time.
We have nowhere else to go, after all.
Because our models–the Devola and Popola models–are defective.
When first we woke, there were still people.
They had flesh. Egos. Emotions. Souls. And they issued us a single order:
Function as observers of Project Gestalt.
This is the sole mission of the twin Devola and Popola models.
It is the only reason we exist at all.
We were the latest model, though many companions shared our appearance.
There was a sparkle in all of our eyes. A sense of pride at having been entrusted with humanity’s future.
And yes, there was anxiety as well.
But we existed as a pair. We shared destiny’s burden as a pair.
And because of that, all hesitation was swept away.
Each pair was given their own cities as observation areas.
We were ordered to guide the Replicants with our own hands.
All for the sake of the “promised time” that would one day arrive.
We were the only ones who could handle such a duty.
We were observers, after all.
Devola staggers and falls in the soft yet unforgiving sand.
I hurry to her side and sign with relief when I find she’s not seriously hurt.
“Are you all right?”
“Sorry, Sis. Guess I spaced out there for a bit.”
She smiles–the same wry smile I know so well–as she rubs absently at her leg.
It is wrapped in a white bandage.
“Your bandage is coming undone. Here, let me change it.”
“It’s all right, Popola. Come one–we have to go before we lose the light.”
“We won’t be going anywhere if sand gets into that thing.
Now quit whining and hold still. I’ll be quick.”
Devola grunts and turns away. I take it as consent.
Soon we are resting in the shade of a nearby rock as I pull the bandage free.
Artificial skin–torn and bloodied–peeks out from beneath the bandage.
Judging by Devola’s current lack of ambulatory control,
I imagine the circuitry underneath has been damaged as well.
Taking a deep breath, I…
? ??check the circuitry to see if it can be repaired.
replace the bandage and hope for the best.
As expected, wiring in the nerve circuitry has been damaged.
None of which is easy to find in a desert.
check the circuitry to see if it can be repaired.
? ? replace the bandage and hope for the best.
I want to repair this as soon as possible, but I have no tools or materials.
For now, the important thing is to make sure the wound doesn’t get worse.
“Sorry about this, Sis,” mutters Devola.
That wry smile again. It kills me every time.
“Don’t you dare apologize,” I respond. “You’ve done nothing wrong.”
I calmly change the bandage, trying not to let my worry show.
I make it as tight as possible so no sand can slip inside.
It’s all I can do until I get the proper materials.
But that’s going to be a tall order, considering our current condition.
“I’m sorry, Sister.”
“Okay, now YOU’RE apologizing!”
We both apologize while insisting the other’s apology isn’t necessary.
It’s kind of funny in a way. Such a trivial exchange under such circumstances.
We laugh together, the sound echoing out across the desert before being stolen by the cool evening wind.[Report Regarding the Increase in Relapses]
“There has to be some way to prevent relapses!”
Devola’s sharp voice echoes through our private quarters.
“You must be quiet, Sister. The Replicants will hear.”
“Pffft. They wouldn’t understand even if they did.”
“That might be true, but regardless…”
Annoyed at my hesitation, Devola crosses her legs and scowls.
“The Black Scrawl took another victim,” she says. “That’s three this month. It’s spreading way too fast.”
“Let’s wait and see what happens.”
“I’m tired of hearing you say that!”
Her shout makes me jump. Just a little–but enough for her to notice.
Seeing that, her eyes suddenly open wide.
“I’m sorry, Sis. It’s not your fault. I shouldn’t have lashed out like that.”
“It’s okay. I understand.”
“It’s all going wrong. You can feel it too, right?”
When I was first assigned to Project Gestalt, I was over the moon with pride.
But now, my chest hurts just to think about it. If it were to fail…
Before we knew it, the Replicants had gained a sense of self and the Black Scrawl started raging out of control.
It moved fast. So fast.
Like a wind.
Popola and I would go to the observation room and act like it was all okay.
We’d talk to the Replicants as if we didn’t have a care in the world.
But at night, we’d just hold each other and share the horror of it all.
“I’m glad you were with me,” murmurs Popola.
“I couldn’t have handled being an observer all alone.”
“We were able to endure because we had each other,” I reply softly.
Did the humans see this coming? Is that why they made a twin model?
Were they really so clever? …Were they really so cruel?
I couldn’t have done this by myself. I would have descended into madness.
I simply couldn’t bear such a burden all alone.
“When I get the chance, I’m going to try contacting another city,” she says.
Maybe these abnormalities are a localized phenomenon.”
“I pray that’s the case,” I reply. “Even if we’re of no use ourselves, things will still work out if the other observers can pull through.”
“Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.”
But it wasn’t okay. Nothing was okay.
All thanks to a pair of Devola and Popola models from another town.
The wind rubs my cheeks. The sand grazes my skin.
It’s grown cold out here.
We walk with renewed purpose, hoping to make up for lost time.
Devola loses her balance every now and then. IT gets bad after a while.
I slip myself under her arm so she won’t fall again and we press on.
“Is your leg all right?”
“Well, I doubt I’ll be dancing anytime soon, but yeah. It’s fine.”
She smiles as she says this, but I can tell she doesn’t have much left.
And yet, she continues to smile–all so I won’t worry.
I remember when our Resistance allies injured her leg.
I was furious. Beyond fury. I wanted to scream and cry and lose myself in it.
But then she smiled, and all of that rage just…drifted away.
To think we have the same face, yet such different smiles.
One day, I realized how she reminded me of the martyrs I’d seen in old records.
That was the day we decided to leave our town forever.
Our role as observers ended on the day Project Gestalt collapsed.
All due to the actions of Devola and Popola models from another town.
With the original Gestalt lost, humanity was doomed to an inevitable extinction.
Knowing this, we gathered what remaining Replicant data we could find and launched it to the surface of the moon.
And though success was as unlikely as finding a lost sand grain in the desert, we still had to accept it. We still had to try.
We were androids, you see. Protecting humanity was our instinct.
Other androids, beholden to that same instinct, began to direct their hate at the Devola and Popola models who’d snuffed out humanity.
It started small. A few off-hand remarks. The occasional glance.
But even the smallest things have weight, and with enough of them combined, that weight eventually becomes a boulder.
Emotions boiled over. Remarks became jeers. And soon enough,
my sister and I were the perfect target for persecution.
At first, we simply accepted the fact that our friends turned on us.
It was almost unavoidable, I suppose.
We were observers for Project Gestalt, after all.
And while we didn’t cause it to fail, the people who did…
Well, they looked just like us.
So we accepted it. We took the resentment and scorn. We endured.
Because as crazy as it sounds, I think we actually felt…responsible.
We moved from town to town in an effort to avoid persecution.
But in one such town, my seemingly infinite patience finally broke.
My sister, Devola, met with unprovoked violence at the hands of a Resistance member.
She said something in response to his taunts. Something quiet.
And though her words were ambiguous, he slashed her leg nearly in two.
My vision narrowed. Everything went red. And then…she smiled at me.
“It’s okay, Sis. There’s nothing we can do.”
But it was too late. My emotions were no longer in my control.
I’m simply not strong enough to stand aside and let the most important person in the world come to harm.
Devola and I left town that same day.
Violence like that wouldn’t stop. It was going to happen again.
And it wouldn’t be coming from just one person.
So rather than let them kill us, we ran.
I guess it was the greatest resistance I could muster.
We lose the sun as dark clouds gather overhead.
We continue our march.
A cold wind blasts us, stealing what little body heat we have left.
I smell rain in the air.
We continue our march.
Sometimes we hear animals howling in the distance.
It makes us flinch every time.
But we continue our march, because even this is better than suffering at the hands of our fellow androids.
Why must we suffer this persecution?
I know we’re the same model as the androids who doomed humanity, so I understand that part. At least a little, anyway.
But at the same time, we’re?not them. We’re?not the same.
We are who?we?are, and that Devola and Popola were who?they were.
That’s how I felt when I saw Devola being hurt.
I wanted to shout it at everyone. I wanted to scream.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one Devola. And for her, there’s only me.
No one can take the other’s place.
Rain falls from the sky.
It stimulates our sensation nerves like cold needles.
We need maintenance badly. But that’s a pipe dream, I suppose.
No android would dare help a pair of outcasts like us.
“Are you cold, Devola?”
“I’m all right as long as you’re with me, Sis.”
“I feel the same.”
We press our bodies together to try and retain heat.
It’s cold now. Much worse than the searing heat of midday.
But we just smile at each other and keep pressing on.
There’s another camp on the other side of the desert. A new camp.
If we can just get there, I can finally fix Devola’s leg.
And yet, I wonder if there’s anywhere on this planet that will take us.
“Hey. What’s wrong?”
“…It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
I do what I can to suppress the anxiety in my chest and keep walking.
The rain grows worse. It lashes at us without pause.
Is this our punishment?
I reach out and…
? ??touch Devola’s cheek.
support Devola’s body.
The rain flows down her cheeks like tears. I reach over and gently wipe it away.
“There’s no point in doing that, you know,” she whispers.
But there is.
touch Devola’s cheek.
? ? ?support Devola’s body.
As long as we have bodies to support one another…
Because I won’t ever stop protecting her.
I won’t stop.
No one stops.
For that is the fate we twin androids have been assigned.