Broken?
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I don't know why I'm recording this, it's not like there's anyone left… well, anyone human to hear it. Maybe aliens will find it and have a good laugh… Anyways, it's a little after dark and I've decided to camp out on what appears to be a large cog. Maybe it's a gear; I don't know anymore, but this, this I do know…

It was about six years ago that the eggheads up in astronomy first spotted the damn thing. It was apparently on a direct course for our little blue marble. The reports are a mangled mess of censorship but it was clear just what it was and where it was going. That's the thing I still don't get… we saw it, we knew exactly what it was doing yet here we are stuck in this wasteland. What were they thinking? Who in their right mind figured twiddling their thumbs would keep us safe? Not that it matters anymore.

Maybe two years later, give or take, that fucker first entered our solar system. You could sort of see it twinkling at night with the twinkle becoming brighter and brighter as the days went past. It was around this time that the O5 went into hiding with handfuls of their best and brightest, vanishing away into pocket realities so they could bide their time… Stupid bastards are probably still waiting for it to be 'safe' again. I'd love to see the look on their faces when they come out and see what's left.

A couple months after the O5 turned tail and ran was when we could finally see it in the sky above our heads: a planet of moving gears and cogs. I hate to admit it, but it almost looked beautiful as it danced over our tiny world. This was also when those nuts at the Church of the Broken God started coming out and preaching to the masses. They thought the thing was our salvation, a physical God come to save the faithful. I remember reading reports about them, about how they thought that ball of rust was some sort of heart; I think they even thought that clockwork disease was part of a grand plan. Heck, maybe it's a mutated strand of this thing's plague, I don't know; I'm not even sure this thing is their God. Either way, none of them are alive today. Most of them were probably wiped out when the first attack started…

It was a slow fight, precise and mechanical; we never stood a chance… The first stage of attack was these weird clouds of silver mist. They would blow across fields and mountains and in their wake was nothing but polished sections of shiny metal. Entire cities were wiped off the planet, forests vanished in the blink of an eye, and any poor bastard caught in those damned winds was gone, no blood or meat, just more metal. Days seemed to become colder as our paradise was transformed into a dead, polished sphere. Food was scarce and water was even rarer, but we managed somehow. I turned to nutrient powders, vitamins, and cannibalism while collecting what little rain water I could manage.

You know what I remember most about those days? How metallic everything tasted…

Then came the plagues. I don't know exactly when they first started but I know it was just another step in that fucking thing's twisted plan. Victims would start complaining of joint pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue, apathy, and strange dreams. One poor sap told me about his dreams as if they were blissful, but what he described seemed like a nightmare to me. Eventually, they would just stop… It was disgusting to see them, villages of these poor fucks just laying on the ground. They looked like they were having a good dream… I saw one of them with a stupid grin on his face as a raven pecked out his dried up eyeballs. I sometimes wished I could've been infected so I didn't have to witness what came next.

Their corpses would start moving again. Their limbs jerked and their bodies would shake every couple minutes. I could smell them for miles as their rotting flesh fell away from what used to be their bones. I don't know how it did it, but their skeletons were entirely made of moving and clicking clockwork. It was like watching a fucked up French movie, but there were no subtitles and there was no ending. Those… things would spend every minute of every day working and building, dancing underneath their clockwork creator's unheard tune.

Their work was confusing to me but I guess they had a plan. They would cut up sections of the metal then use it to forge more gears, cogs, pistons, whatever else they needed, and when they were done, they would put them all together into complex sheets of machinery and fill in the empty spaces. All the while, that thing just kept turning and dancing above our metallic hell. It's kind of fitting when I think back on how pretty it looked in comparison to our own warped world…

I remember the first time an entire plane of metal had been crafted, I could hear the steady grinding of gears and what sounded like the tick of a clock. I can still hear it as the gears and cogs keep spinning and turning in their own dance. This was when the real nightmare began, when those stupid robot fucks started completing more and more sections of land, the ground steadily becoming a death-trap of crushing gears and pistons. I had to watch my good buddy get crushed when he fell onto a functioning section. His screaming wasn't the worst part; it was seeing his broken, mangled corpse get pulled down into a sea of twisting clockwork. The nightmares were the worst part… Seeing him being pulled into the machinery and ripped apart by the spinning metal. But at least he wasn't screaming anymore; instead he had a big stupid grin on his face and he was urging me to join him, to fall into the complex dance of metal upon metal. I wanted to join him, once, but I could never muster up the courage to make that final plunge.

I can hear them toiling away outside of my camp, building more of this nightmare all for that spinning ball of metal. I don't know if it cares for our suffering or if it's even aware, but I know it's alive. I saw its eye once. You don't have to believe me, no one else does, but I saw it; it was only for a moment as the gears spun and the cogs shifted that I could see how empty it was and then I saw its eye… It was bright orange like our sun, with a hole right in the center and it was looking down at us, at me, at our lifeless world and I swear to you that it was happy with what it saw…

Well, it won't be long now; I can hear them preparing to install what I assume will be the last section of clockwork. I don't know what will happen after their work is done but I know I won't be a victim of that thing. I've gathered the last of my supplies for a fine feast: a can of baked beans, a Snickers, a cyanide capsule, and a nice drink of water.

Even now as I look up at that thing dancing in the night sky, I can't help but wonder if it was ever broken at all…

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