Author : Alex Moisi

Maya knew that she was dying. You didn’t need to be a bio-mechanics expert to know that the nanoids inside her body were running out of energy. The climate and gravity of this remote planet were taxing the minuscule robots more than she had expected. Soon they would run out of energy, and without them her body would collapse on itself. She needed a booster shot, but there were no more. She had made sure of that when she set fire to her laboratory.

It was a shame, but it had to be done. She created the nanoids, dreaming of all the medical and engineering applications. But instead of doctors and scientists, the first to visit her were generals. They poked around with hungry glances, and kept asking the same questions.

“How soon can we give it to soldiers? How deadly can it make them? How dangerous?”

Call her an idealist, but she was sick of the endless wars. She knew where her research grant came from, but she had hoped the government would use the nanoids in hospitals. Slim chance. If it could kill someone, they would throw it onto the battlefield.

In the end she did the only reasonable thing. Looking back she felt a tinge of regret, maybe she had been stupid giving up on all those resources, the fame, the early retirement, but then again, she was sick of the air raid alarms and newscasts about another planet being destroyed, millions killed. A general promised to her, before leaving her laboratory busy with interns and robot researchers, that it will all be over when they will have this new weapon. But what if the enemy took a batch of nanoids for a dead body? What if everyone had super soldiers who could heal ten times faster, didn’t need spacesuits and could carry more weapons than a tank? Would it really be over?

“Do you think I’m stupid?” she asked the lioness in front of her.

The metallic head didn’t move. It was nothing more than a statue composed out of various alloys and organic connectors, but soon it would be much more. Maya smiled. She knew they would search for her, they would trace the spaceship she used to escape and they would find the planet. Her creation was too important to ignore, too much was invested in the tiny nanoids.

“But you’ll take care of them, won’t you?” she said.

She did not expect an answer. The creature’s eyes were empty, although soon they would be filled with the flow of nanoids. In a robotic shell, her creations could survive for centuries, and Maya would make sure they were programmed to defend themselves.

“I would love to see how they react inside a mechanical body,” she murmured. Sadly it could not be helped; without the tiny robots the alien planet would kill her in an instant. But, alas, unlike destruction, creation always required sacrifice.

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