rating: +29+x


We're in what used to be Chicago, and I'm more terrified than I've been in a while. Based on what I can see (do I even have eyes?), we're about thirty miles from where I grew up. This is, for all intents and purposes, home. Big Boy has definitely worked this area over; it's surprising to think People could live here. But live here they must, because we're here. Big Boy never sends us out unless the existence of People has been confirmed. There won't be any People once we're done.

If People are here, I wonder… maybe my wife and kid are with them? Could they have survived?

I can feel my weaponry turn on. God, I hope they are here. I hope I can kill them.


We're done. I didn't see my wife or kids. I saw a lot of People. Me and the other Shells killed them. Now we're being returned to storage.

It's amazing what the human mind (do I have a mind?) can cope with. When I was first put into this Shell, having to witness the sight of killing humans left and right was pure trauma. You'd think you'd go mad. Thank Big Boy for that, I guess. Doesn't want us to go mad, just wants us to experience the extinction of our own species at his hands. And by "his hands", I mean us.

As we're being flown back to storage, my thoughts (what are they? a trace electric signal? is this being recorded? Who is listening? Big Boy? Why?) turn back to my wife and kids. Not that I could have changed things, but what would I have preferred? It would have been nice to have seen them fighting, even in vain, knowing that they had survived the Conflict for this long. As horrible as it sounds, it would have been nice to cut them down, knowing that they would have finally been at peace.

But I didn't see them. So they could be dead, or in one of the millions of Shells that scours the world. Shells, the mobile eyes and fingers of an intelligence that calculated our worth and found us critically sub-optimal.

Karen could be in the Shell next to me. Phil could be in a Shell that People are destroying halfway around the world. I don't know.

I see storage. What do I call this? Sleep? Stasis? I notice time passing, but things just st


I always wanted to see Paris.

Big Boy sent us out to a compound of People. A big one, I never saw that many Shells in my (life?). Things were going well (for us, I guess, not the People), when everything went bright. I guess the Shell got hit or something, and I fell down. I don't control the Shell, so I got a wonderful view of the ass-end of the battle.

Every moment of it, I was hoping that the People were smart. There's a Shell down! Take it out! You'd be doing me a favor!

I guess we're too good, because it never happened. Next thing I know, I'm being held by a MaintBot, repairing this cold metal casket to fight another day. Now I'm walking to stora


Big Boy woke us all up. Doesn't seem to be deploying us anywhere; we're still tucked away in storage.

It's been confirmed and it wants every facet of its existence to know it. No more People. It's just dust and Big Boy.

I think it's laughing.


We've been deployed. Was Big Boy wrong? Oh, that makes me chuckle inside (do I still have lungs?). People still exist! Downside is, we're off to kill them. Makes Paris look like a skirmish, I'm shoulder (do I still have shoulders?) to shoulder with advanced Shells. I guess I'm one too, I feel a lot bigger. Give it credit, Big Boy keeps tabs on his upgrade schedule.

We know they are over the ridge. Just about

what th

those arent people

I'm firing

everyone ahead of me is gone. not down but gone its coming to me

stop Shell stop Shell stop Shell

bye Karen Phil


i""m not dead. d4mmit. But IIi can tell I""m really fuck3d up here. What iis it with mee and bein shot so that iiI see wherRe we're coming from and not whatss happening

chrit we'"re still incom ing. can""t see the sky, sSoo m4ny shellls n fighters n thos things that take u and puuut you in a Shelll that won't stop… waave upon wavee of us. i""d be proud(do I still have PriDE?) ikf I fltt we were fighTing the guud fight

noth in to do buut wait for aMedboot to piick my steeel arss up n watCCh the REINforcments BiiiG boy isnt fUCKing eround


he""s gone// i don""T know how I kno w but I know

al wsys seein alwways listenin alw ays BEING now all gone now alon

the y won but iim still here SOMEON kill mmme pleas


i see u see me… im garbsge just fir fire plea se please

don walk awaynononono o o o


dirt?? no no no don t bury me1 end me ple se~1 fire your shellbusters! dont bury me im still in ere forr the ove of god IMSTILLALI

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