Many centuries ago…
“How do I look?”
“Hey! Are you listening to me? Look!”
“Pfft, is that really the uniform?”
She had pulled herself away from her computer screen to look to her twin sister eagerly posing in an all black uniform. A gold WL crest gleamed on her chest and a gold bar was displayed proudly on her shoulder. Only two ribbons were pinned to her chest, but they were both sure that would change in a year.
“Oh c’mon, I think it looks pretty clean.” The woman turns to look in the mirror again, turning to get every angle of the uniform. The woman on the computer is dressed in grey business attire.
“And you’re sure you want to do this?” She looks at her sister with concerns for her safety.
She shows the slightest annoyance on her face knowing well her sister doesn’t approve of her choice to enlist into the Warlord Army. “For the millionth time, yes! You’ve seen the news. So many families have been destroyed because of this war-“
“I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to run dad’s company with me! We’re still the leading company in robotics so I’d imagine my sister, like me, would want to use her years of college in engineering to maintain our position.” She takes a look back to her computer screen. She’s working on a new project she believe will solidify her name in the company. A large mechanized robot to be piloted by one person.
“Dad wanted robotics for medical use not war.”
“Yes, and he perfected that. The Warlords have even placed a large order for his machines just recently… Listen.” She sighs and stands up to walk over to her twin. “I’m proud of you. You’re doing something I could never see myself doing, and you’ve always been braver than me… I just worry for you. After mom and dad you’re all I have now, and I want memories of you. Not a flag.”
They both smile and bring each other into a hug. “I know. I’ll be safe, I promise… Besides, I still have to beat you in one of our sparring sessions.”
She pulls away from the hug and raises a brow. “I’d be surprised if they taught you anything new from what uncle Le taught us… Where are they sending you anyways?” She turns to the kitchen counter to retrieve her coffee now.
The one in uniform begins to walk towards her bags by the door. “Up north to Alaska. I’m being attached to an arctic regiment.”
The one still in the kitchen looks at the time while taking sip of her already cold coffee. “Crap! I need to get to the lab!” She throws her cup into the sink and runs to grab her laptop.
“Uh oh, you’re going to be late… Well at least they won’t haze you for being late. You own the company after all.” She starts picking up her bags as well. “Oi! My taxi is here!”
“Okay, I’m right here.” She says calmly as she grabs her jacket and slips her laptop into a bag. “So you’re leaving me by myself in this giant house for almost a year?”
“Oh shut up, you have the butlers and maids. Maybe you can make some friends?” She gives her sister another big hug and stays for a second. “I’ll miss you.”
“You better write to me whenever you get the chance.”
“I will… Alright. Goodbye! I love you!”
“Bye, love you too!”
Eleven months later…
She sits quietly in her lab typing away on her computer until she’s disturbed by a knock on the door. “Come in!” Her train of thought has been interrupted but she hasn’t moved her eyes from the screen just yet.
A familiar voice chimes from the door causing the scientist to whip around in her chair and see if the voice matches who she thinks it is. “Oh my gosh!” Is the only thing she can scream out as she jumps out of the chair and sprints to her sister. “You’re home!” The twins reunite in a tight hug. The one in the lab coat was the first to start crying. The one in uniform didn’t last much longer after that as she started to cry as well.
They stayed like this for a few moments. Just enjoying the moment they both came back together. “I’m so glad you’re here.” She finally pulls away from her sister she wipes her own tears off.
“There was no way I was going to miss our birthday again! We have to go to that diner again, I’ve been dying for that pasta again.” She lets out a short laugh while clearing off her face as well.
“I know, you’ve only mention it in every other letter! Oh, but first come down to the hangar with me. I can’t wait any longer to give you your present, I think you’ll love it!” She says as she eagerly begins to leave the lab with her sister in tow.
“Okay, okay! You don’t have to pull so hard.” She follows her sister to the elevator where they then make their down to the lower floors.
“Hey, you’re evacuating aren’t you? With the rest of the town?”
“Of course I am.” She leans on the rail in the elevator. “Most of the staff has already been transferred to our facilities deeper in our territory. I just need to finish a few more things here and grab a few more drives then I’ll be out of here.”
“You need to leave as soon as I go back to the Warlords.”
She gives a faint smile. “Look who’s worried now.”
“I’m serious… Something isn’t right about this war…” She casts a worried look at her sister.
“I know, I know… Did you know the general that was killed?”
“Let’s not talk about that.”
“R-Right, I’m sorry.”
The doors open to a large hanger with several moving boxes placed everywhere. The scientist leaves first and begins leading her sister towards a large capsule. “C’mon I still a lot to show you.” She felt a little uncomfortable now. She never saw her sister show that kind of fear before, but she wanted to press on it either.
The other looks around with amazement for her sister’s work. “You’ve been busy in here…”
“Well I’ve been working on Atlas, but I’ve come to a stop.” She says as she goes to the controls to open up the capsule.
“Atlas?” She asks with curiosity.
“Yea, the robot. I named it Atlas.” The pod begins to open and she stands next to it. “But I’ll show you that in a bit. First I’d like to present to you my version of the Warlord armor.” The pod opens to reveal a fully armored suit from head to toe. “Fully armored, no blind spots, and I’ve been working on a warning system for incoming attacks.”
It was beautiful really. She had outdone herself. There was something strange though. “Hey-“
“And I built blades into the top of the wrist that can retract on command.”
“The flight capabilities are a little experimental, but I’m working on that too.”
“A-And the armor is made out of three different medals.” She sniffs as she fights back tears as she crosses over and picks up war fans. “I made these for… Well you can use them…” She turns away from her sister and throws the fans on the floor. “It’s not enough, is it…? I don’t have access to supernatural materials-“
“No, you’re not-“
“Yes, really, I’m okay-“
“Damn it don’t lie to me!” She turns back to face her sister. “I saw those… Things rip your arm clean off! It’s a miracle they got it back on you, but what if it was something else? What if it was your head or-or your lower half…? I talked with one of the head scientists for the Warlords and he had no idea what he was doing. He just said, ‘Oh, Mister Ortega has everything under control, he’s the weapons expert.’ ”
“I know you’re scared, but-“ She tries to approach her sister with open arms but she backs away.
“I’m fucking terrified of losing you. Please, you’re all I have. When I saw that news feed… And I saw you… I didn’t have a heart until I heard from you again.”
“Can I talk now?” The scientist nods to her sister.
“I’m fucking terrified too. I’ve lost some good friends out there, and there will never be a day where I don’t miss them. I wish they got the opportunity I had not too long ago… I like to think they did it for those that went home, and for those back home. So others, myself included, could have those moments of joy… And if that’s true, it’s pretty damn disrespectful to say you don’t have a heart to experience that joy.”
“That’s not fair.”
“Well.” She steps closer to her sister and puts an arm around her shoulder while smiling. “War isn’t fair. Now I’m not going to spend another moment discussing this, because I’m home and it’s our birthdays in a few days. So you’re going to show me this giant robot you called Atlas, we’re going to go out drinking, and then we are going on a run in the morning so you can regain the honor you lost while feeling bad on my vacation.”
She finally cracks another smile and starts walking towards the hanger with Atlas. “You’re not going to get me running. You can try fighting me over it.”
“That’s fair… So tell me what was wrong with Atlas again?”
“Well, I can’t get enough charge in the core. I can get it moving but only for an hour…”