Ashes from Dirt: 1//P…Neural-Act. P/0 // Prologue du Catalyseur
The mid-day and deep blue pierced the sky. Suspended within the sky, near the sun, was the moon. Sitting atop in the sky- Drenched within the blue and puffy clouds of the sky. The stern yet pleasant sun radiated down onto The World below. Illuminating The World with its precious incandescence. The soft and embracing beams of the sun beamed down gently, dancing down onto the dew stained grass and ground. Its rich aquamarine and teal colors bounced off from the ground and reflected the light from above as its luminous and enchanting greens and blues gleamed and glittered gently from down below.
Sunken part ways into the dirt laid a hand that belonged to a slender, metal figure. The whole body resembles that of some sort of robotic metal droid. Its skeletal endo-frame made of once polished metallics was stained and dulled by the dirt and rock, leaving it now darker and brown across its body. Leaves and earth resided within the crevices and holes of their sleek design.
The sunlight from above basked down onto the lifeless droid’s corpse. Its dull matte metal shimmered lifelessly as the wind blew the moist and damp turf that encased the body. However soon, fans from within the machination began to whirl. Energy slowly started to flow through its sensory systems as it began to gently grip and move its hand. On its head that had once been hollow and dark sunken holes began to gently glow with gentle olive green orbs of light as eyes.
The robot blinked curiously, looking at their surroundings as they emerged from the soil. Raising slowly as though it had awoken from a long and encumbering slumber. Their movements were slow and jagged. The dirt and earth in the crevices of their body trickled and shed off their body as they moved their arms and legs, readjusting to their new body. They stood in what they could fathom as bewilderment as they looked around them in what seemed like a humid, dew dropped plains. With a few trees scattered about. It was peaceful. It was quiet. It was an awakening. And in this moment, time felt as though it had been frozen still, for many years.
The machina bent back down to the soil, and scooped up a small mound of soil, filtering it through their metal fingers and watching it fall like sands in an hourglass. The robot felt the dirt. He felt the ashy and soft nature of it. The robot could smell the air around them- The air of something scorching. Of embers and fire. Something burning. They looked around, yet the blue and peacefully cloudy sky dispositioned the very scenery around them. They stood back up and looked out in silence as they heard the sounds of the wind blowing past them, and the wind blowing away the excess particles of dirt onto their body. Then- They heard a voice.
“You’re awake.” The disembodied voice echoed. The robot couldn’t tell if the voice was in the air or within their head. So the robot spoke back, aloud. “I am awake.” Their voice- Masculine. A man. He’s not just an object. He is a person. “Who am I?” They ask aloud, looking at their hands. Hoping the disembodied voice would answer their question. “What is your name?” The voice asked back. The robot shook his head, and continued to look back at his hands, staring at the ligaments and screws within his fingers. “My name. What is it?” He asked the voice once again. To which the voice responded back with a whisper. “Your name was Hijhinah Vhaneimn. Never forget that.”
“Too long.” The robot responded, shaking his head once more, dis-satisfied with this name to go by. So the voice spoke again. “Cendre.” The robot soon nodded to the voice’s response. “My name is Cendre.” And as he repeated, his legs began to move, and he soon began to walk. He looked around the plains that surrounded him, observing everything before realizing that, not too far away, there seemed to have been a cliff’s edge. This spiked his curiosity as he traveled towards the edge.
He looked over, over to realize that down below him was nothing but boiling magma pits down below him. Through this crack, he peered deep within the core of The World, which he sat on. One would think its radiance would blind his receptors. Yet, even he could tell that the core was dull like his metal plating. Growing darker and colder. Like life fleeting a body. The boiling deep below spelled mystics of distress as he backed away from the ledge. He peered over across to see in the horizon, the other side of the split earth. The world was tearing and breaking apart from the seams. Stretching like a fold of fabric, ripping apart, thread by thread.
“We must move on, Hijhinah.” The voice echoed through the back of Cendre’s voice as he walked further away from the ledge, towards the opposite ways away.
. . .
Cendre, from what he understood, was a mysterious being. He remembers little if at all. He knew a little of this world, but what had become of it? But in order to know of this world, perhaps he had been alive. He finally began asking questions to the voice he had been hearing as of recent as he traversed the planes.
“Who are you?” Cendre asked the voice. “I am you.” The voice responded back. “Elaborate.” Cendre pressed, waiting for an elaboration. The response took a while. As though perhaps the voice had been gathering the proper words they needed to say for an informative response.
“You and I, we share one body. This one. You control and think and speak for yourself. You are the machination. As I have the important role of guiding you. You awaken here. This body, I have no recollection of. Neither do you.” Cendre nodded as he continued to walk, looking around for any interesting landmarks as he explored the seemingly empty planes before he saw something off in the distance in front of him. Past the rolling hills and waving tall-grass was a sea of trees. A forestry that began and stretched for what seemed like miles. And beyond or in the middle, Cendre couldn’t tell which of the two, but near that forestry stood what looked to be a large dish of sorts. A satellite dish. Civilization hopefully. Or at least presence of such. However he can see, even from the distance he was at, the satellite dish was heavily worn, missing chunks, and destroyed from age. But it was a good place to start for him to start to head towards it.
Cendre walked and asked the voice again, another question. “Who was I?” the voice was silent, preparing another response it seemed. “You were human once. But that was a long time ago.” Cendre nodded of course, “How long?” the voice in response, took another long moment to reply. “It is better not to get into the semantics at the moment.” There was a long silence as Cendre walked off. The light from the pleasant sun continued to shine down, but soon, even the comfort of the sunlight began to fade as he emerged at the mouth of the forestry, walking past the evergreens and oaks. He looked around and could see bright eyes peering at him through the dark, looming around him and watching as this metal creature invaded their forest. Cendre continued with each step, more curious and cautious than the last. But grew more confident with each stride taken. Foot after the other, he traversed through the darkness of the forestry. Until he grew confident to speak to the voice once again within the embodying dark of the forest.
“How do you know these things? About me? Do you know everything?” The voice was silent for a long time once again, “I don’t know everything. But I know a lot about you. I am you.” The voice replied back to him, as Cendre continued his stride through the forest. Sticks and twigs snapping and breaking beneath his mechanical body. But it didn’t take long before he found the base of a large, circular building. The satellite dish he must have seen. He looped around the building until he saw both the entrance of the building, and a beaten gravel path that led away.
Before leaving the structure, Cendre first wished to explore within the building. His curious hands worked towards a large slab metal door. On the side was a cracked and pitch black panel with 9 square buttons, and a long label panel above the buttons. A keypad. But it didn’t work. Not that it mattered however, as the door was open. The metal door itself was cracked open but heavily rusted. He worked his metal hands onto the edge and began to pry the door open, overworking the door to make loud and echoing screeching. Screeches and shrieks as it opened echoed through the forest until Cendre could finally make his way inside.
The insides of the satellite were dark, pitch black almost. The only light around was Cendre’s glowing green eyes which illuminate the room, yet merely with a dim glow. This was enough to leave Cendre to investigate and scan the room. Although he was interrupted from time to time by running into cobwebs and spiders that dwelled within the abandoned building, he soon noticed that following and tracing along the wall were panels upon panels and desks of machinery. Old and unusable at this age. Everything was broken. Even a chunk of panels and wires were missing throughout the machines. Though something else managed to draw Cendre’s eyes, there were many office chairs that littered the floor. And how there was only one that stood.
Cendre approached the office chair and turned to examine it, only to see a dusty and old skeleton. Cobwebs within the eye sockets littered the skeleton. Its old yellow tinged bones seemed as ancient, if not, more than the building it resided in. The skeleton however seemed to have adorn leather garbs. A leather jacket, with a dulled and dated gray. Coated with dust and showing its old age. Sewn and tacked on was a hood on the back on the back where the collar of the jacket once was. Despite its old age, with a few scuffs and tears, there was perhaps only one hole throughout its entire design. It was certainly dated. But Cendre removed the jacket from the skeleton, and shook off its dust. Despite its reluctance, most of the residue onto it was removed and flew off into the dingy air of the building.
Although not the best protection, Cendre took it upon himself to wear the old and raggedy coat. Seeing as he, at this current time, had nothing on his body. Anything to layer on and protect him from any more scuffs and scratches would be better than nothing. His body was metal, but he could perhaps imagine he wasn’t immune to pain or death.
As Cendre looked around, he found nothing else of use. Yet he soon found in the dark, were stairs. Stairs leading up towards what he could assume was the top of the small facility. So without hesitation, he held onto the railing and walked onto the grated, creaky metal stairs. Each foot step echoing through the room before him as he went up and up. And as he did, he would soon reach the top of the building, The observation deck that led to the dish. As he followed along the grated pathway and onto the dish, he saw a final skeleton. A skeleton with a backpack on his back. His bones were picked clean of any mean, despite his ancient appearance.
Cendre took the bag and opened it. It was old and made of sturdy fabric. Its soft felt could be felt on his receptive fingertips as he slid them across the bag and investigated its contents. Though it seemed there was nothing of use within the insides. Nothing he could see of use or figure out himself. Though he did withdraw something from the bag. A slender hilt of what was once a dagger or sword. Though its age and wear was clearly shown as it was easy to tell the sharp end of it was completely gone. Broken and chipped off, the only viable use would be to slash it. However even then, its blade was heavily corroded and dulled.
Despite his better judgment to think his fists would be much better for effective self defense, he takes the hilt and stows it away in the pocket of his jacket. He then picks up the bag and slides it around onto his back until both straps are secured. And soon he finally made his way down. Crawling through the cobwebs once again and making his way back outside and into the dark forest. Which would be more of a respite in comparison to the inside of the building.
He then turned to the path that laid before him, and with one foot in front of the other, he made his way down the gravel and old path. Hoping to find sanctuary. Like a pilgrim lost in an unknown land. With the cold and chilling wind not helping to settle his sense of directionlessness.