// war, death, abandonment, brainwashing, trauma
The last weapons fall quiet, leaving the battlefield silent aside from the birds wheeling overhead. The enemy column was forced to retreat, but as you look around, you realize you’re the only drone still operating from your unit. Just you, all alone.
Wrecked mechs and destroyed transports rise like monoliths from a near carpet of destroyed drones, the ground is sticky with fluids and the smell is bad enough that you turned those sensors off ages ago. Your commander is dead too, everyone is dead.
No allied units, no orders, it’s as if you’re the last consciousness in a vast and empty world, it gnaws at places in you that don’t exist anymore. Your weapon is heavy in your arms, but still you cradle it and begin the long lonely trudge back to base. Good little drone.
Hours march by as you place one foot in front of the other, climbing over the scattered remains of drones as you go. Drones aren’t collected after a battle, destroyed drones aren’t buried, they’re left to decay like any other broken tool. But you’re not broken, not yet anyway.
Dusk is falling when you see Her the first time, just a flicker on the edge of your vision. You whirl to face Her, raising your weapon and get a good long look. You hate what they did to Her. You don’t experience hate. You feel angry. You don’t get angry. Troublesome drone.
You unload your entire clip into the apparition, but of course there is no one there. She stares daggers at you. She isn’t real, they killed Her. They killed Her. They killed Her. You crumple to the bloodstained earth, fluid dripping from your optics.
You draw a rattling, unsteady breath as you try and stabilize your emotions. The ones you definitely don’t have. A keening moan escapes your speaker, the plea of the long dead, heard by no one. You curl up on yourself and sob. Bad drone.
Darkness falls and the air grows cold. Slowly, painfully, the overwhelming feelings which you don’t possess fade away, returning you to your place of isolated desolation. You miss your commander, he treated you well. You miss them all. You don’t miss anyone.
You climb tiredly back to your feet and continue your trek. Good drone, don’t think, just keep walking. You have many battles before you weep, and many miles before you sleep. So many lonely miles. Poor little drone.