By: Hammlet

~It begins.

I am, therefore I think. I think, therefore I am.

My life is filled with a Something, and in between spasms of sheer terror, chaos, and confusion, horrifying moments of sanity manage to creep into the crevices of my brain. Correction--my advanced brain.

When I awoke today to get the morning gossip in the local cafe, I spotted a small rabbit in my path. It was not completely stupid, not completely intelligent. So I shooed it off in hopes that it would go and my conscience would be lifted up. Fool. It just stood there, wiggling its nose, blinking occasionally.

"Shoo, rabbit! Out of my way!" I whispered. I am a man, and I have an advanced mind, so I did not want to be viewed as a sissy or a pacifist. But, animal rights activists would surely have my head (and hair, no doubt!) if they saw me giving chase to a rabbit. Stupid thing! Go away!

Finally I just ignored the rabbit. I think it wanted to bite me. I wouldn't mind--my lower left leg is made mostly out of metal due to a laboratory accident that occurred when I was younger. Its incisors would leave a tiny, tiny mark--a dent that could be replaced with the right amount of GP. I walked forward, and the rabbit paid me no mind. Just as well.

The gossip in the cafe was the same, spouted out by old (or older, in my case--I suppose one might think I'm old too) wives and old husbands. It was all the same: "The King" this and "Conspiracy" that! If there was a God, I hoped He would please allow me to become deaf so I could not hear their bantering.

"It's a royal uproar," said an old man who sat very close to me. He smelled like grass and probably rolled in it deliberately before coming in. "Everyone knows that the King's wife died five years ago, and yet he discovered a baby around the front gate!"

"Ya don't say!" This was a younger woman, around my age. Doubtless the Grass-Man would take advantage of her in some way. Disgusting. "I heard that he decided to hire a Knight to raise him...Sir Harvey I heard!"

"Oh yah...Sir Harvey's a good Knight! He's friends with Sir Farrel, isn't he? And that dragoon, Sir Highwind?"

"That they are! The three of them make a good team! And get this! Sir Farrel's wife just had him a baby!"

"Oh, yah? So did Sir Highwind's wife! Imagine that!"

How disgusting! Clutching my stomach, I stumbled out of the cafe before I could spew up what little food I had eaten for breakfast.

To my knowledge, years passed since that day. I actually met the surrogate child of Sir Harvey when he was about ten or so. Bratty child. Althogh it seemed as if the King suddenly took a liking to my work, all of a sudden.

Actually, I wasn't that surprised. I specialize in long-range explosions and large firing devices, and I am a master at the sleeping-spells of magic. Ah, magic! In this world of magic and technology, I excel in both regions, which is something few people can boast of. I am a little skilled in machinery but I have not made more than a prototype of my "cannon" project and a skeleton model of my Bipedal Automatic Lifelike Neurotransmitting Automoton Blaster, or Balnab for short.

So the King took an interest in my work when Sir Harvey's child was ten years old (I almost stepped on the child on my way to the King. He still remembers the incident. Said I was a clumsy, helpless fool. Everyone laughed. I did not even smile. I hated him). He summoned me to his throne room, and of course I did not bow. Kings come and kings go but science remains forever, was my explanation. I was nearly executed for saying this by the guards (there were two), but a young man cloaked in vermilion (Baigan, I think he said) stopped me and said that King Baron had forgiven my act. After this, the guards left the room, and Baigan (the man in red) began grinning. I cocked my eyebrows. He had perfect teeth. They could almost be mirrors.

I can clearly remember the first time I met up with Golbez and Rubicant. Once the King--Kainazzo only to me, Baigain, and a few select others--had briefed me into their situation, I was very eager to help. But they informed me to finish both of my projects first (the cannon and Balnab), then I would be summoned for later use.

It took me five years to perfect the cannon, and another five to complete Balnab. Again I went to the castle, to tell the "King" that I was finished. He liked me even more after this, and even assigned me to a man named Rubicant. Unfortunately (for me, of course), I would have to move all of my possessions and projects to Eblana Island. I hated that place. I hated their ninja.

Lucky for me, Rubicant shared this hate. He was a noble creature, his temper no shorter than an infinite shaft of light. I liked him from the very start. And he was so powerful, with such a fiery passion for honor and nobility. The other humans did not deserve such a worthy foe.

When I met him in the secluded Cave Eblana, he told me to use Balnab to help destroy Castle Eblan. He himself would be there, assisting me and "The Red Wings", as he said. I knew that the Red Wings were Baron's, so I assumed that the two of them were partners.

I did not fear Rubicant. Much. I knew he was more powerful than I, and I respected him deeply. But his master, Golbez, gave me the chills. I only met him once, but that once was far too much for even me.

"So, Rubicant, is this the promising scientist you told me about?" said Golbez in the deadest of voices.

"Yes, master...his name is Lugae. I already installed his cannon in the tower as you commanded, milord."

"Good! See to it that Lugae is...rewarded." I shuddered. But I also enjoyed destroying Eblan. The ninja were very good. Balnab wiped out at least ten of them, and my sleeping potions helped when the Red Wings bombarded the castle. I spotted Rubicant dueling with the Eblana prince (Wedge, I think his name was) during the battle. I occupied myself with the royal family as well, using a secret technique I had once used on myself to turn them into insane monsters.

Much like myself. I guess they were my spawn, those two.

Well, spawn or not, I was relocated in Rubicant's tower some months after the battle (we won with almost no casualties at all. More than I can say for the ninja. Pity). I had Balnab with me, and I even had the key to the cannon I had made. I was strong, too. So I could take care of myself in case of emergencies.

News spread fast in the tower. I soon learned that Golbez had been defeated. Pity. I never really liked him anyway. Master Ruibcant left me in charge of the entire tower (not a surprise) soon after we received the news, and of course I was overjoyed.

Let me tell you something. Of all my pet peeves, the worst is when someone calls me Weird, or laughs at me, or thinks I'm helpless. But, Balnab would take care of them. He would never strike at me, his own creator...never... I would never die... I would never be defeated... The cannon would never would strike the living and destroy them, and my master and I would live forever... My master...would never disapprove of any of my actions. Never.

These assumptions caused my downfall.

I had so much going for me. I had so much promise.

Why did it all have to end?

Soon, my insanity took over again. I smiled, even though I was in great physical pain.

I was dying.

~So it ended.

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