Silly old woman…

silly old robot opening itself
Dylan Hunter, Unsplash

I activated my eyes…

And saw that silly old woman. That silly old woman and her cat. I had laid dormant for…

… Years?

… Decades?

… Centuries?

Back in 2009 I had the good fortune to be invited to play D&D with new friends. The DM asked us to make backgrounds or stories or profiles for our characters. I wanted to play a robot/cyborg character not unlike Adam in Shining Force, and this is the short background story I came up with. I don’t remember now if I ever got around to tell the DM he could use the story to insert a campaign where the robot’s “fighting memory” was being used by a wizard in other robots that my character, and the rest of the party, would obviously then need to face.

Her husband had hidden me away in the granary, away from prying eyes. Or perhaps, I had always been there and they just built the granary around me. Found there, or put there, it made no matter. The silly old woman’s husband was dead now. Old age and a life of hardship took him in. She said that in his last hours she had wanted her to sell me. So that she did not have to take over the farmer’s duties. Ensure a comfortable life for –her own– last days.

But she didn’t. She couldn’t. Her husband had loved me too much, she said. He believed I had warned off evil all of these years. “How could I?”, she recalled, “He talked as much to you as he did to me.”

“You were the child I couldn’t give him. That spark of hope I could not myself produce.”, she said wistfully.

And so, instead of selling me. She sought to revive me. How she did it? She wouldn’t say. She only said that, “The price of your resurrection, was your memories.”

Indeed, my memories of war where now gone. Like a hazy dream I could only remember bits and pieces of the many marches into war, the retreats, the failures. All the victories, all the enemies slain, all the battles fought? Forgotten!

She told me, “There will be no more wars for you.” She smiled as she said, “You will learn to love the earth, until it’s soil loves you back… Just like my husband.”

The silly old woman was right.

I took up the chores of the farm. I learned to love the farm, the land, the serenity.

And nine years later, she was no more. How long did I stood next to her dead body? If it hadn’t been for the cat I would be standing beside her still. The cat went about it’s life as if not much had happened. And I did the same.

I would be there cris-crossing the land to plant all sorts of things, too many to name. But then, two things happened that changed my entire being. Two things happened the same day…

I found my old sword.

And then the kitten was dead.

I couldn’t stand to stay and watch the land die around me, too.

That silly old woman… was wrong…

Because I went out; looking for a war!