Let there be movement. -Bladed Pen
Soltana woke with new ideas. The dream with the AI named Shindow was enlightening. Seeing the vessel named the Decima was gorgeous. She hoped to see it again. L’yophin was out tending to the estate most likely. She had little idea of the time or how long she was powered down. She checked her status.
Name: Soltana Race: Lambent Critical damage sustained Seek immediate help Warning: no signal Remaining Power: 4995/5000 QC Cannot access inventory Location: Unknown Time: ??? Modules: (Empty) ERROR ERROR ERROR ERROR ERROR
Soltana noticed the new category, Modules. She inspected deeper, finding it empty.
“Create new modules,” Soltana ordered internally.
Module Name? Dreams Description: The visions from Adonai.
Soltana nodded internally as the new module was set. She began to store all of her dreams and visions inside, parsing through them for any major themes. The big themes she collected was that Adonai appeared as a supergiant sun to her. She had been dreaming for ages now, but could not grasp the memories of those times. The more she was physically complete, the more she unlocked and remembered. She was charged with finding that Nun, the man who was now known as Gideon and assisting the troubled AI from those horrors. She dreamed of an AI name Shindow and wondered if they were the same being. At the end of each dream, Adonai spoke to her on what the dream partially entailed. A foreshadowing. In the end, her major goal was to walk again. She wondered if L’yophin had enough for a prototype.
“Hello?” Soltana said with a volume to her voice. Silence answered her.
She still had a view of the windowsill and garden balcony, the glowshrooms were staring at her with interest; the violet light spilling into the room, mixing with the blue LED lights of the lamps. Soltana remembered last night, watching the glowshrooms with L’yophin. She remembered exactly what she sang and how it made her feel. She began to feel the pain well up again that threatened to overwhelm her. Soltana decided to fix that and stored her memory of the event, her feelings tied to it, and the anguish of loss in a memory module for her to visit again later.
Module Name? Unresolved Description: Unresolved issues and regrets.
She would confront those emotions again, but the memory itself was also precious to her. She had no idea she had emotions to even deal with. The glowshrooms kept staring, almost expectantly for her to sing once again.
“I will sing later, but for now I need to go,” Soltana explained. The glowshrooms blinked impassively at her.
Soltana waited and listened. She tuned her ears to maximum, listening for any skittering of her spider host. She heard the whispering wind, voices of different creatures lumbering about, echoing phantom noises, but no L’yophin. She had a new friend who had a great pair of hands.
Several, in fact.
The good news was she was getting stronger and knowing more about herself. Adonai cared enough to comfort her in visions. The glowshrooms continued to stare and with no sign of the Dugrum spider, Soltana felt entertaining them was a good way of passing time.
“Well, I can sing. Just until L’yophin returns,” Soltana said to the glowshrooms. They just smiled with their tiny mouths.
Soltana began to hum a tune. This time it spoke of things to come, of the lives she met in her dreams.
Of healing to her soul.
The glowshrooms joined in supporting her melody. Soltana almost stumbled, laughing at the smaller bass glowshroom singing in a preposterous fashion. The voice was entirely too deep for such a thing. She stopped and heard other glowshrooms across the estate had joined in. Soltana simply listened to them singing her new song back to her. It surprised her that a small fungus could do so much.
There was a rumble in the mansion, signifying the front door was opened. L’yophin had returned. She heard the floor squeak and groan, the Silk Sphere Mansion welcoming back its owner. She heard distant skittering, the stairs creaking, squeaking, and snapping in response. She heard him skitter to the bedroom. She couldn’t see due to her facing the window. She felt an arm gently turn her.
“Soltana. We ready for work. Work repairs. Walking,” L’yophin started, stuttering a few times. She noticed his speech was getting better. He still had the grinding clicking to his speech, but the grammar was forming.
“Is there anything we need?” Soltana asked.
“Just you,” L’yophin responded with a spidery smile as he began to lift Soltana’s head off of the stand.
He grunted as he skittered back down the stairs. They made their way back to the workroom, where there was the addition of new scrap and iron bars.
Soltana was placed back down onto the workbench, where she scanned the new scrap. It appeared to be a steel alloy, strong enough to support her weight. The iron bars appeared to be new, with black silt still sticking.
“Where did you get the iron?” Soltana queried.
“Forge. Have small one out back,” L’yophin responded with a grunt as he began moving the parts elsewhere.
“Good, let us begin,” Soltana began.
Her eyes flashed, displaying a holographic screen of the contraption. It appeared to be a rounded base that the battery casing fit into. It sported four simple round crab-like legs with smooth rubbered toe tips. The screen zoomed in on a leg, breaking it down into basic parts.
“I’m trying to keep muscle fibers to a minimum, as I do not know if you have any,” Soltana explained.
“I have some. Enough,” L’yophin explained, rubbing his mandible between his digits.
The muscle fibers used for most Anforms was a particular plasticine metal mix, allowing it to expand and contract like human tissue.
“Good, we’ll start with those. They are the most complex part of this,” Soltana explained.
L’yophin narrowed his eyes in thought, then skittered out of the room. Soltana waited patiently until L’yophin scurried into the room, the noise of scraping fibers rumbled in the room. There he carried a large bundle of muscle fiber.
“That is more than enough!” Soltana exhorted.
“Makes good door springs,” L’yophin said with a chortle.
“Good. let us begin.” Soltana responded, focusing in on the first muscle fiber of the lowest joint.
It took several hours of guiding L’yophin through the process, splaying the holographic blueprint onto the table so he could stencil the part. Eventually, the part was complete, with L’yophin grabbing the part and testing the joints. He pulled the muscle fiber, the leg clenched predictably. L’yophin chittered contently at the work, wiping his damp brow. His eyes were drooping, his stamina spent from the chasing Gobs and building the part.
“L’yophin. We should continue this tomorrow,” Soltana suggested.
“No. I- We finish,” L’yophin replied stoically.
“Hm, very well. Please take care of yourself,” Soltana added, with a flash of her eyes.
“Remember. Blueprint,” L’yophin said, tapping his with a spidery smile.
This time it was faster making the four other legs. The glowshroom song started, and L’yophin worked through it. They sang the Song of Soltana. It was strange to him, how they had all picked up the song in a single listening. It helped him to focus, to finish the labor ahead of him. The fourth leg lay completed near the others. Soltana checked her power. It had been around forty-eight hours since she awoke.
Remaining Power: 900/5000 QC
It was still enough to possibly get the final housing base created. L’yophin equipped his welder’s mask and began work with the plasma arc. He made quick work cutting out the pieces, making a rounded base with a concave underbelly. After the final two hours, it was finished. L’yophin’s eyes were unfocused, many looking in different directions. He was almost there.
“L’yophin. It is beautifully done,” Soltana encouraged.
“Not yet,” L’yophin shot back with a weak smile.
He pieced the legs to the main chassis, putting the full chassis on the floor. It was large, but not enough to impede movement throughout most of the house. L’yophin envied those that slept. Soon he would have rest.
And Soltana would walk.
Soltana kept guiding and encouraging L’yophin, keeping him on track. Soon the base was complete and standing in the center of the room, the muscle fiber giving default tension. Soltana felt an excitement well up in her. It was so close to completion. She couldn’t imagine what the results would be.
“Soltana. Are you ready?” L’yophin spoke with a rare full clarity.
Soltana glance at the spider, then back to the chassis. She would click in place as opposed to being welded so that her nacelle could have maintenance performed. The chassis looked like a shallow round plant pot with four crab legs attached. The color was ugly, of welded metal and bare muscle fiber. To Soltana, it was a work of art. aesthetics mattered not to her. If she could walk, she could walk.
“I am prepared,” Soltana replied. She couldn’t help but be stiff. This would change everything.
L’yophin let out a clicking chuckle at her formality.
“This good. Hopeful. New memories? Yes?” L’yophin asked with trembling body tiredness evident.
“I am certain of that. L’yophin, do not be alarmed if I shutdown. It may happen again,” Soltana advised.
Was all L’yophin said as he carried her over and slowly lowered her in place. The last time confused him, but he trusted that she may have come back to life last time. He wouldn’t be able to move her if that happened.
A soft click resounded throughout the room as she was seated in place.
Soltana felt it. New feelings in the base. The muscle fibers itched and tickled as her very being seized control of the new chassis. It was strange as if she was suddenly growing a torso and limbs. It started feeling warmer, her eyes flashing in understanding. She felt an alarm in her very theonware that something had changed.
New chassis adopted Processing… … … Calibrating for unrecognized configuration… … … … Calibrating… Calibration error! Recalibrating.... … … … Calibration complete! Warning! Shutdown required to consolidate new systems Shutting down…
“Good twilight, L’yophin. I shall we back on so-” Soltana said as her eyes went dark.
L’yophin patted her head gently, feeling the cold metal. Now he could rest. He dragged his limbs to the hosting room. He hadn’t had guests in some time but was content to lie on the bed-like couch, keeping close to Soltana.
As he drifted off, he wondered what would change.
Sleep was quick and comfortable.
Little did he know something else had awakened and had already caused trouble.