Two

   “I don’t like this” One of Two said. “I don’t like this at all” Other nodded in agreement, holding the rope tightly. Not worried about the grip but if the rope would even hold Ones weight. One seemed worried as he looked over the side. The ridge were high but there was no choice. “Why does it always have to be us? Why not any of the others?” One complained waiving his arms. Other looked back and studied the building behind them. The ridge didn’t scare him. If a mistake was made there, they’d only fall. If someone looked out a window, they’d surely be seen. Something that would be worse by far.

   Moments later, One had developed enough gut to start the descent. Other braced against his weight. Hearing the echo of Ones complains as he got further away. This was one of his favourite moments. No one else knew that they did this and this very moment he didn’t have to stand Ones constant complaints. Silence. He could here the wind singing down the ridge. He would’ve smiled if he had a face. He had never been couragous enough to check if he did. One had let go of the rope down below, no weight to brace against.

   “What are you doing here?” A voice from behind made him turn around quickly. Other wasn’t supposed to be out there. “What’s this rope for?” Third of Eight asked with a stern voice. ‘Climbing’ Other tried to explain. “Trying to be smart now? Looks more like holding to me. Who’s climbing?” The others of Eight laughed as they watched. They always laughed. No matter when they found them. of Two was a joke to everyone else. “Answer me!” Third pushed Other towards the ridge. ‘One! One climbing’ He still held the rope hard. “One of Two climbing the fall?” Third walked up to the ridge and looked down. “Whos orders?” Third couldn’t see One. ‘Commander’ Other lied. He didn’t like lying. He was bad at it, starting to breath, not able to fix his eyes at one point. Knowing the faults just made them worse. Third wasn’t like Other though. None of the others was like One or Other. They didn’t know of lies. “Commander?” Third questioned, hard of faith. ‘Third of Eight does not go against Commander orders’ Other tried bluffing, scared that the truth would come out. Third stood silent and watched a long while, as if contemplating. The others of Eight stood silent aside waiting for orders. Third left Other and took of Eight with him.

   One pulled the rope twice and Other answered the pulls and helped him up from the ridge. Other quickly explained what had happened to One. One nodded then gave Other one of the small chips. “Don’t worry, they will forget soon. We won’t, with this, we won’t” A small spare part that will save them when the Commander wants his minions to remain unknowing of what happens around them. of Two acted to stay safe. They knew, they remembered and they will remember.

—–

   Guard duty. Other loved guard duty. With all other tasks the two of them would always be watched by the High Ones. Supervised, so that everything ends up in their right place. Not that this was a big problem as the supervisors usually sat in their corner and played cards. They weren’t allowed to play cards. Mostly because they shouldn’t be ABLE to play cards.
   Though this wasn’t a problem for the other groups, the of Two had the drawback of being sentiant. Which were both a curse and a blessing. They understood their own worth. Which, in this company, was about as much as the common chair. Something to do what it’s built for and nothing more. That’s why he loved guard duty. No one would watch the watchers. If there were a problem somewhere that wasn’t reported in time it would, well, be noticed anyway. Which sort of forced them to do their job good.
   Still, that were more free in a way. One and Other could actually talk with each other. No one else knew that they had become more than drones. That was the way they wanted, though. If someone else ever knew the both of them would be in big trouble.
   Here, they could discuss here and plan ahead. Being sentiant allowed them to lie, none of the High Ones expected them to lie. Which were the only reason that they still lived. They could lie.
   One had a plan once. He suggested an escape. Well, it wouldn’t be much of an escape, really, more like just walking out telling the others of their kind that of Two had a mission somewhere. Other thought the plan would work. The problem would be two-fold, however. The High Ones would surely know that there was no mission and would come for them and outside they would have no idea where to head next.
   Having the High Ones after them would almost certainly make them dead if they were not protected by someone. The only others they knew off outside would, to be honest, kill them on sight. As they did all of their kind. The High Ones could have the fortune of taking a word with the Outsiders.
   Being off the none-sentiant race were a problem for the sentiant. They lived in a constant lifethreatening situation. If someone were to suspect them, they would die. If someone attacked what they guarded, they would die. If they tried to escape, they would die. One was depressed about that. Other was real glad. Atleast they weren’t drones like the others.
   Sometimes, on guard duty, they would talk of what they would’ve done if they were free to do what they wished. One always said he wanted to travel. “Beyond the danger of the city lies the peaceful forest” he used to say. Explaining of the animals and the peace and the distance to everything built. One didn’t like what was built. It used to be built by man, but it had changed. Now it was just built. Something that, when you actually thought about it, included him. Other never told him that but suspected he knew anyway.
   Other, in contrast with One, wanted to draw. He didn’t care what, just to draw. Make something that people would react on, something people would finally stand still, look at and go “Hey, he actually thought up that painting on his own accord” and it looked simple enough. He had seen some of the High Ones draw maps, they did so with quite ease. Impressing him.
   What did make Other sad on the other hand, was when the guard duty ended and they had to return to the minial tasks. Or sleep.

—–

   They were walking along the outer wall of the compound. The of Two was sent to check up on a faulty camera in the outskirts. Nervous about what might have caused it to start glitching, One and Other moved slowly forward. Weapons raised and aiming towards the small hill outside the wall. The summer heat made the hill fade and move slightly in the warmth leaving the ground. They crept up in the construct that kept the camera up and, with One keeping lookout, Other looked up towards the camera.
   Tiny beings seemed to fly around it. A gentle nudge on his friend and they both looked. “Bees?” One asked and Other just shrugged. “Well, get them off” ‘Me?’ One kept pushing him on and he sighed as he put down his weapon. It wasn’t hard to climb, though Other didn’t like being in such a visible view. As he came closer, the bees started to land on him. Glad he was made of metal he kept going. The nest was build just behind the camera and the bees used it as one of the entrances. He simply stretched out and ripped the nest of its place.
   The bees attacked, at first fruitlessly as Other started to open the camera husk and check its insides, but then one found its way in under his armour. Screaming and flaying, he fell to the ground next to One.Who’s first reaction were to get the rifle up towards the hill but as Other kept rolling and waving, he realised something else might be wrong. The bees started after him as well, and seeing what it did to Other, One set of running. Trying to save his own hide.
   Thinking himself abandoned, Other successfully got to his feet and set of running after One. The bees in tight pursuit, until they arrived at the first corner where a strong stream of water suddenly splashed into Other. One stood with a garden hose and tried to flush the bees away.Successfully so.
   Later, in a report. “Bees in camera. Has been removed”

Story is © Peter A Svensson 2010
All characters are coyright respective owners.