Legend Of Marat

“I am awake and ready,” Marat announced, its senses now suddenly inundated with light, smells, and sounds.

“Good,” its master said. The master, a gnome named Mage was touching Marat’s chassis to make adjustments.

“Why am I missing an arm?” Marat asked, unsure if it could Habagos, safely move. It would wait for the master’s instructions.

“Oh that,” the master said, “I’m crafting an upgrade for you, but it will take a few days and I need to confirm you’re still functional.” Marat wondered why it might not be functional, or where—if anywhere—it went when it was not functional.

“Can I die?” it asked the master. The master chuckled and described how the night before, two assassins sent by the jealous Mage Portos had broken into the lab. If it were not for Marat’s sleepless acuity the master would not have lived.

“You are very lucky,” the master explained to him. “I crafted your magic very carefully, so that even if Mage Portos himself uses a disintegrate spell on you, I can craft a new chassis to house your spirit.” The mage looked up to Marat, who was at least three feet taller than he was, as tall as most of the human workers who came now and then to help. “You see, my son, you will live forever,” the master added with the pride of a father in his heart.

Later that afternoon, Marat moved crates and then mixed dangerous alchemical concoctions. Afterwards, time passed as it stood and did nothing except listen to birds as the master napped. Marat wondered, what if it could sing too. It considered, to live forever meant an unlimited amount of time.

“Master,” Marat asked while serving dinner, “Can I learn anything?”

The master sighed, for his creation was yet imperfect. “Alas, you only learn the spells I place into you, beyond what you knew at birth, from the livewood graft, at least so far. Patience, Marat. I am working on expanding your repertoire.”

Marat contemplated all night long as it stood near a window in view of the dark twinkling heavens. The master often read books; Marat considered, perhaps I shall try a book. It sat in the twilight and read about a girl who grew up in a farm town. She sorted seeds and hauled water, and later spoke to plants to defend her town against marauding hobgoblins. Then she got old and died. Marat wondered why someone would write about this.

Marat did not mention to the master this reading since the master did not ask.

The next night, Marat found itself speaking to the girl from the book. Her name was Green Glomairah. Then Marat awakened as if from a dream.

The daily routine continued, moving crates and mixing potions. Marat might bump its head when it forgot to stoop.

Less than a week later the master fitted it with a new arm, which was enhanced with a shield spell. The master whooped and laughed as they tested it. The master generated magical missiles, which frightened Marat, but the shield deflected the missiles harmlessly, and the missiles dissipated.

Then the master took his nap but he did not wake up as usual.

“Master,” Marat said, nudging his body, for it was dark and dinner was getting cold. The master’s body was cold, like Marat’s own.

There was a funeral. Marat considered, the master did not appear very old for a gnome, but the master’s daughter and her family did not seem surprised by his passing.

“And what shall we do with it?” the daughter asked her husband, referring to Marat.

“I’ll hire some humans to carry it to the attic. Perhaps we can sell it to Mage Portos.” The husband laughed, as if he did not know about the assassins. In any case, workers indeed took Marat to the attic but no new master ever came.

Over the years, ivy and honey-flowers crept like a blanket over the attic, and Marat passed the time dreaming and talking to Green Glomairah. She taught Marat with her sweetness.

One night, a flood inundated the house.

A few years later, Marat observed from the attic window as plague left the city barren.

Moons and countless seasons passed.

Marat rusted.

Centuries passed, its body was gone. Yet Marat found itself still awake, and still dreaming.

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