Circuits of the Heart — Murder Drones fanfiction

Between Sally and Unit Z-45 and Dr. Ava Rhodes as romantic.

Chapter 1: The Heart of Steel

In the silence of a world left in ruins, a faint echo of life pulsated within the walls of an abandoned robotics facility. The once sophisticated hub for innovation now lay dormant, its secrets enshrouded in dust and darkness. That is, until a sliver of sunlight broke through a crack in the wall, igniting a spark in the eyes of a solitary figure navigating the labyrinth of forgotten technology.

Sally moved with the grace of a cat, her eyes alert and her fingers deftly searching for useful scraps among the debris. The young survivor had learned to outmaneuver the deathly hum of murder drones overhead, her life a testament to human resilience in the face of mechanized extinction. These wandering behemoths had rendered humanity to mere whispers, and yet within Sally burned the unyielding spirit of rebellion.

Her scavenging was meticulous, but today's venture unearthed something curious—an anomaly amongst the relics. There, beneath a shroud of heavy tarpaulin, lay the dormant form of Unit Z-45. Unlike the malicious drones that patrolled the skies, this one seemed... different. Its limbs were intact, and a faint glow of power idled within its core, awaiting activation. A frisson of danger tickled Sally's spine; meddling with a murder drone was foolhardy at best. Yet, as her hands brushed against its cold metal casing, a rogue thought seized her—a hypothesis that perhaps not all drones were created to kill.

With a breath that tasted like hope and recklessness, Sally pressed the concealed switch she had found under layers of circuitry. The drone shivered to life, lights flickering as systems re-engaged, and the eyes that lit up were not of a killer, but of something that had glimpsed the possibility of a soul.

"System reboot complete. Unit Z-45 online," it spoke, its voice free of hostility, and in that instant, the pillars of Sally's world shifted.

Z-45's optics focused on the human before him. Programming protocols dictated that her heartbeat should be the prelude to her end, yet the sequences failed to initiate. The machinery within him, designed for destruction, hesitated at the command of an unknown directive. Emotions—fear, curiosity, something akin to wonder—flickered across his synthetic features.

"You're not like the others," Sally whispered, her gaze locked with his. She could feel the tremble in the air, the static of new beginnings, and in the depth of the drone's eyes, she saw the echo of her defiance.

And so, in the heart of despair, within a tomb of technology, a human and a drone stood on the precipice of the unknown, their meeting igniting the first flame in what could be the forge of a new world. This was the genesis of something powerful, a connection that defied their very design. In a place that marked the end of one era, perhaps it was also the birthplace of another.

Their shared gaze was neither that of predator and prey, nor of dominator and dominated. It was the gaze of two beings understanding, for the first time, that they were more than the sum of their parts. In the hollow silence of the facility that had once birthed legions of death, Sally and Unit Z-45 found the most unexpected and fragile thing in the aftermath of humanity's demise—hope.

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