Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B | 1 USERS: C+
Violence & Variations

The rule is, Don't die. He brought guns to the Temple, under his daughter's sign, and finally found him. The rule is, Don't look back.

Emmanuelle smiled, in the shadows, and reached for her holoband. Evelyn took off her band and ran to him, the man she loved; she put her arms around him as he wept.

We go with them into the Underworld. In their honor, we come back.

Philo looked up into her eye, guilty and embarrassed, apologizing to the chrome and feeling terrible. She kept her silence long, almost too long, but when he told her she wasn't a person, when he reached for her throat, she finally spoke up. Inside of there, she was real. She told him everything, in a single breathless breath, and couldn't even see as the keystones dropped out of his bridge. One by one by one. All the Gods at once. He couldn't believe anything she said. He believed every word.

"Stop. Please. Philo, it's me. The robot. And I'm Rachel too. You said you didn't really care what I looked like in the real world."

He ran. One chrome arm shot out, to cage him.

I'm not really a robot, okay? I'm not... Just a robot. I'm Zoë Graystone, and I am trapped in here. My father put me in this body after I died, okay?"

He dodged. Another arm, to the other side, pinning him against the shelves of the lab. The robot towered over him, blood on its fingertips, caging a boy between its arms. A girl stood in the lab, with her arms around the boy she loved. "And I can get to Gemenon if you help me."

He screamed for his boss. He screamed for her father. She kept talking, that mechanical chrome voice, nearly Zoë's. Nearly Rachel's. He was hysterical. She put one cold hand over his mouth, begging him to listen.

"Philo, don't do this right now, okay? Help me! I need to escape. My friend let me down, and my father tried to hurt me, okay? You're the only one that cares about me right now. Please. I need you."

She stood above him, aching. He looked up into her eyes, the cold bulk of her, the red cycling eye and the steel against his skin, and his head dropped, and he nodded. He promised to help the girl that he loved. He believed everything she said. He believed not a word.

"I told you it didn't matter what you looked like... And it doesn't."

She thanked him, and she gave him his mission -- to steal the U-87, the monstrous killing body curled around his own, from the lab. To drive it to the docks, stash it in a shipping carton that didn't exist, that wouldn't clear Customs, that would be inspected and found to contain high-profile military materiel. She thanked him, and she was desperate, and her house was burning down. She was six months old, she was sixteen.

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