Laying down with 4 wounds screaming at me while I recover laying in a collapsed position not real condusive to being comfortable, but it felt good to lay there. Then I hear a softer version of Toby's voice near me, "Mother?"
"Yes?" I gently replied noting his different tone.
"Is it okay if I .... change... I think I can help you better. This one wants to help mother better"
I couldn't help but smile in my pain, my heart full that my friend is there with me while so much is going on outside my quarters. I didn't care. Things seemed grim, I was tired, bleeding, and part of me wanted to give up. The death pansie in my mind would be a relief.
"Yes, I would like that Toby, but you have to promise me something."
"Promises, I like to make them to you. I think I understand this biological thing of love a little, because I think of your needs, your wants, and your life all the time mother. And I think I understand why parts of me where taken out. I'm not like other robots am I Mother?"
"No, you are better than robots and biologicals, you are a true mix of both and that can be scary for biologicals because we fear what we don't understand... stupidly. Robots don't feel or fear at all. They might have identity, but they can't go beyond their programming and hardware. You have the strengths of both and no weaknesses of both from what I can tell and have observed. You can grow and I promise you somehow in some way, I will see that you get your potential, in this life or the next. I think that is why parts of you are missing. People feared you because they felt inferior due to ego, rather than try and understand you and love you."
"What is the promise you would like me to keep Mother?"
"That if you ever want to leave my side, that you will just ask with no hesitation. And if my body ceases to function, that you will plug in this headpiece into the ship, so that I can still live in some way through the ship. Though, I don't think this ship is as alive as it once was.. over time it seems to be dying but I'm not sure why. Maybe because no one tries to understand it. I know when people stopped trying to understand me, a part of me started dying too. I will leave that to your discretion though. If worse comes to worse, plug me into you, and I promise I will not harm you. I will just find a place to sit inside and let you live your life. If this head piece works like it's supposed to you should be able to plug it in anywhere and live within it in some way. But you know me pretty well now, you would know if I would wish to live in something or not. Promise me to never give up on me like others have you."
"I cannot give up on you mother, so it's an easy promise to make"
Reaching over with my hand, I softly rub Toby's head near the penecle of his pansie pot and UV lights. Chuckling inside. I can't help but think of the code word "death pansie". Suddenly, Toby changes from the unsuspecting looking wheeled bot form rising up to his tall full assasin form. He didn't look menacing to me, but it certainly was intimidating to everyone else. he didn't take a fighting stance like he normally does, he moved and seemed like someone normal.
"Your voice was different that time mother, are you okay?"
"Wait, you heard me? I just thought it"
"I don't know mother, I heard you but it sounded different"
Looking at him, I thought "What was it you wanted to do to help me now that you have changed?"
Toby retracts his blades and slides out a less menacing more blunt object that eventually splits into fingers. I watched in amazement and can't help but smile at discovering yet more about this new but old friend. As he pulls down the sheet and slides his hands and arms under my body and lifts me like I was crystal, I think to myself, "I can't help but wonder who made you"
"I don't know mother and I can't remember that earlier time before you saved me" he replies as he straightens my body out and properly lays me down on my bed.
Startled at the reply not used to the fact he can hear my thoughts. "you are going to get tired of hearing me now that you can hear my thoughts."
"No, I cannot get tired and I can only hear you, why is that?"
I don't know, how long have you been having this happen?"
"It started a few minutes ago"
"Then how do you know you can't hear others' thoughts?"
"Because I can hear the doc talking outside the doors at the med bay but I can't hear his thoughts, only you mother. But something interesting as you say happened too. Something brought my attention to one of the parts inside me when we were talking. It's very small, but I was listening to you and it seemed to start adjusting and working. I think it helped me listen with parts I don't see, feel, or understand yet. Someone made me with great precision mother."
"They certainly did my dear friend."
I watched Toby turn and go to my desk picking up my journal and pen. "But don't worry mother, I won't do everything you think without confirming. Biologicals have a lot of thoughts they don't really mean"
"Wise and definitely true words. Now we don't need the code name to change now do we. So if you hear it, make sure it's a trusted person with intentions you think I would want if I am not around or can't hear my thoughts. It may or may not last, but I have a feeling it will."
"Me too mother, would you like a distraction now?" as he extends the journal and pen toward me. "And you need water, I will get you some."
Reaching out to take the journal chuckling I say to him, "Yes, I would. I can't tell if this is an inconvenience or a gift this new ability you have tuned into."
As he walks toward the door, he tries to chuckle for the first time, "you will get used to it, don't fear mother, it's a weakness remember"
I burst into a full laugh with groans mixed in due to the wounds. And in peace I begin writing about what just happened.
"Things just got weirder than I ever thought possible and our trials are just beginning my dear friend." I thought.
As I begin to write, my eyes jolt wide as I hear a faint, "yes mother, I think you are correct" Shaking my head, I begin my entry,
"Somehow after I used the dimensional walk for the ship we ended up in some sort of dead space pocket. I guess I shouldn't have used the crystal. The amplification was too much. Lesson learned and it will be productive for the future strategies if we live though this. With 64 more crew members on board, food is going to run out fast. At least we could save that many from that horrible wreck of the ship with those damn seekers shooting at us. The ship is hurting bad and......
The pen starts sliding across the paper like a rebellious child sneaking off as I find sleep.