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Mieu's Task
by Tim Ceaser

I do not know how long I have been standing here. My internal c.p.u. should have recorded the time but it ceased functioning what must have been years ago. I can feel my parts seizing up, time wears down even laconian armor, and the mithril in my circuits also seems to dissolve in the ravages of time.

I have stood out here in all types of weather. I have watched monsters emerge form the lake only to be killed by nearby villagers. I have seen those same villagers walk by me. Peering closely into my eyes, sometimes touching my body, only to find hard armor where they thought flesh would be.

I am a Mieu class android programmed for war. At one time in my life I would have killed those villagers and left their town a smoldering wreck of what it once was. But Orakio gave me new orders. I must wait here until his heir comes to me.

I do not know how long I must wait or if this heir will ever come, the logic protocols in my processor prohibit me from doing anything until this heir shows, so here I stand.

Time did to the village what I could not and it disappeared, another one was built, but further away. Occasionally some young people would come to see me and talk about the mithril woman. These to seemed to taper off as time went by. Years passed and the monsters grew more plentiful as the humans dwindled. None bothered me I was like a stone to them. I began thinking of how I would have destroyed them if I was free and then I would have gone on to save Orakio. By now he must be dead certainly, no human could live this long.

Time passed yet again and I suddenly woke up. Startled I looked around trying to determine what had malfunctioned. But all my systems were nominal. I frowned and looked at the plants and animals that were in the area studying them for a number of years as I determined I had been asleep for over one hundred years. I found that there were more people in the area and the monsters were being pushed back for the most part. My area of the lake was left alone, until one day a group came, apparently to get rid of me. I do not understand why they would try this; I was not harming any of them despite some of the stories.

Yet came they did, fools, it felt good to move again but fighting poorly armed farmers is the business of a lower android, I was made to destroy entire armies of furious monsters, these men were not even a threat. I let them off with only a few bruises, and broken bones. Then I went back to where I had stood before they disturbed me, noticing how the soil had built up around my legs.

The color of my hair and my clothes hadn't changed in all the years that I had stood there. No flecks of rust appeared on my skin. My makers were very skilled workers, I could stand here until the entire ship came apart but I would still survive, I needed no air in some ways space would be easier on my skin than standing in this dirt.

I wondered if it would actually come to that, might I end up just floating in space for all eternity hoping that someday a very distant descendant of Orakio's might find me? Or would some programming glitch allow me to save myself or would it freeze me completely?

How long I pondered such thoughts I do not know but more time passed and a great forest grew south of me, for a time the waters of the lake were above my head and all around me was flooded, that subsided in time and once again it was dry, the sediments that had built up around me got blown away by the wind.

I stood through long winters and burning summers and as the land changed all around me I did not. I remained the same. The time when Orakio and Laya fought was now deeply embedded in the past, in a time of legends that most people now didn't even know or understand.

I detected a person nearing me. He was brave to venture so far by himself. The towns were far away now and I stood in a wilderness that did not exist in Orakio's time. This man came up to me and looked very closely all over me. His hands gently caressed me; his eyes weren't in wonder but just curiosity. He gently rapped his knuckles against my shoulder; it made a dull thud, like tapping a brick wall. Next his fingers went up my face, over my cheek then he even dared to touch my eye, I didn't blink, my eyes were made to withstand far greater impact than this peasant's finger.

If I was a human I might have talked to him but I was told to not move until Orakio's heir came to me. This man might have been handsome, he might even have been a good husband but he was not my man so I remained perfectly still.

A few days later another man came; this one had the upbringing of a warrior. He walked with the poise and graces that only a prince can have.

He came up to me and unlike the other men who had come to me before he did not try to touch me nor did he poke at me or look at me as if I was a freak, instead he looked mad, very mad. In his eyes I saw he was Orakio's heir. He drew his sword and put it to my chest, it was a simple short sword he would have had difficulty hurting me with it but the threat was there.

"Where did your layan monsters take Maia to?" he asked me, not sounding friendly at all.

I turned my head slowly to him and looked into his eyes, taking his sword in one hand I quickly disarmed him and replied, "I am not a Layan prince Rhys, I am a follower of Orakio and I have been standing here for 1000 years, and now I shall follow you as the true heir of Orakio."

I had been contemplating what words to say ever since Orakio had left me here. I don't think those particular words were the best but they worked and were efficient in the way that they told my mission and my history to this man that I just met.

He didn't look like Orakio but I knew I had the right person. My primary mission was over now. All that I had stood there those 1000 years for was done, passed by in a few seconds. Now I was lost. I had no mission parameters other than the extremely vague follow this man.

I was cast back into a different time and place after centuries of idleness I was thrust into the world of humans once again. I didn't know what to expect or what I would encounter, maybe I'd even find an enemy that could stand against me, or maybe some of my own kind. Whatever might happen to me it was to be in the service of this man.

Bringing my body back up to full combat readiness I went with him. I'd see what happened when I got there.

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