Six Strings

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Six Strings

At Midnight

Her name is Jammer. At first glance she looked like a human Short, lithe, skinny hips and almost flat-chested. She sported ragged jeans and a brown coat, and her head was topped with a shock of black hair. A purple streak fired down the side of her head like a messy highlight. That's when the average person notices her all-black eyes with brightly-burning purple dots in the center. Her right arm was a rusted, bare-bones construction that looks almost skeletal. Each movement she makes echoes with a squeak, whir or buzz.

Tonight, she's got a song to play.

She pushed open the dusty doors to Abandon Manor. Cobwebs and the misty remains of ancient history wafted through the air as the massive doors creaked open loudly. Her optical lights glowed brightly in the contrast of the darkness filling the entrance, the little dots leaving trails in the inky black as her gaze zipped side to side. Clutched at her side was an old electric axe, six strings tuned to perfection on an old instrument as beaten and worn as the gynoid holding it. A few charms hung off a chain wrapped around the exposed parts in her metal arm and rattled quietly as she made her way into the depths.

The doors slammed shut behind her, leaving her in unbearable umbra. She grit her jaws in frustration as emotional programming started to boot that told her she was terrified. When you're an android there's no such thing as conditioning yourself to dull your emotions. If you have emotion programming, it comes up -every time-. Fortunately for Jammer, she knew her own programming inside and out. She simulated a few deep breaths and clutched the charms around her wrist. After a few moments the programmed response left her just as she knew it would. Still shaking lightly, she continued through the darkness.

Jammer hadn't gotten a good look at the foyer before it went pitch black but she knew after ten minutes of uninterrupted walking that she'd gone much farther than should have been possible. At times a stabbing, chill wind blew past her, and if her sensors weren't glitching it seemed to blow straight through her as if she didn't exist. Again, fear protocols loaded, and again she had to take a moment to calm herself. There was no going back, nowhere to flee, and she was keenly aware of this. There was no escape. If she wasn't good enough this was her end.

Suddenly she became aware of something other than dark and coldness. A hazy green fog had started to fill the world of blackness around her. The mist rolled around her in a lazy whirlpool, swirling around her feet and rising slowly. She could almost see faces in the miasma taunting her, teeth gnashing and aching gazes filled with hunger. It was to Jammer's benefit that her protocols has no programmed fear response to specters but pushing past the fog seemed to be impossible. As she quickened her step, so too did the mist keep up to swirl and play around her body. Jammer almost thought that this was it. She'd be trapped in here with the horrible faces forever...

A horrific, striking chord exploded through the all-consuming shadow. The sound rattled Jammer's frame so loudly that her chassis shuddered audibly. The fog blasted away from her body in a massive, cackling cloud of twisted visages. The fog seemed to roll over once-unseen furniture, the green mist giving form to walls of what was apparently a grand theater. She was standing in the center aisle, flanked by flickering green seats and watching as a flaming carpet of fog rolled towards the ethereal stage. The wispy curtains on the stage rushed apart with another reverberating tone.

Atop the stage, illuminated by a bright, sickly-green column of light, sat a grand piano. The instrument's lid pulsed with rigid green lines intersecting and twisting into one another, meeting in the center to create the image of a skull struck through the back with a music note. The keys started to play of their own accord; a hauntingly slow melody with deep, vibrating tones held for several long moments. Each time a note played the skull on the piano's lid throbbed with green light. With a sudden, room-shaking chord, the fog collected off the seats, walls, carpeting and even the stage itself, causing everything to return to darkness. The rolling clouds formed up in front of the piano, rolling over themselves and piling up to make a vaguely humanoid shape. An arm thrust out of the fog with another striking chord, then again. The skeletal hands belonging to the suit-sleeve clad arms crooked their fingers with intent, then slammed down on the keys of the piano. With the cacophony of ancient piano notes blaring through the air, the fog was blown away once again and filled then room with definition.

Standing in its place was what looked like a spirit of someone long passed. A black suit, untouched by time, hugged its body. A skeletal head sported flowing black hair and a top hat with a green band around the base. A great, green, flaming mustache flared under where the skulls' nose would have been. Around its neck hung a thin gold necklace. Adorning the necklace was a simple circular mirror with a gold frame. It turned its burning gaze towards Jammer and pointed a bony finger at her.

“Machine, you defile the sanctuary of Death with your presence. Whatever business you have here will go unfulfilled and your remains will join the darkness for eternity.”

Jammer experienced something just then, while looking into the eyes of Death and having her end proclaimed. It was quite obviously fear, but it came unbidden by protocol. No program behind this consuming experience. She just rooted in the spot, lips parted and purple eyes trapped by the gaze of Death. But she knew she couldn't let something like this stop her. A moment of hesitation and she'd lose everything she came for. She'd lose him forever.

“No,” came her crackling, static-laced voice. “You took him from me. I am here to take him back.”

Death's mustache curled and smoked as the flames grew outwards and curled into themselves. “I take everyone from everyone. Since the dawn of mortal fear I have not relinquished a single soul. You have come here only to meet your end, machine. Now... I will play your empty shell into the arms of oblivion!” His hands struck the piano's keys light lightning and with a swipe of his withered fingers a green bolt of electricity fired from under the lid of the piano. It arched through the air and pierced Jammer through the chest. She was knocked off her feet as the bolt went straight through her, leaving a quarter-sized hole in her body. The hole sizzled and the lights in her eyes dimmed into nothingness as she hit the ground.

Outclassed. That was the word branded into her logic processes at the moment. She had come here because to not even try was worse than to exist and never know but it was at this moment, her back against the shadowy floor and her damage systems displaying errors and warnings, that she realized that compared to death she was less than a mote. His eternity of power against her speck of time participating in reality. She almost felt tempted to simply lay there and succumb to Death's second note just to get this farce over with. But that was when she remembered his face. The day he died. The promise she made.

And it was then that she got back to her feet.

Jammer slung the six-sting axe off her shoulder. Purple sparks danced in the hole within her body and she glared at her foe, a few rugged bangs falling into her eyes. “You promised me a song of oblivion... but here I stand.” She snapped her fingers and with a flicker of light a guitar chip was in her hand. “Now I make you a promise. I will play a song of hope. I will get what I came for. Tonight, for one night... Death will be humble.” She graced her six strings with the touch of her pick and the axe exploded with light. Purple streaks snaked a trail through the air and struck with the sudden ferocity of a viper, scorching towards the eternal pianist with intent. However, the purple energy glanced off some unseen force shrouding Death's figure. He remained unfazed.

“I promised you a song of oblivion... and what you heard was one note. Prepare yourself, machine! The Dirge begins!” He breathed out a green haze from the hole where nose would have been. His mustache intensified and continued to grow and coil. Death cracked his knuckles... and once again struck the keys. He played like a natural disaster. It was terrifying, destructive, but somehow perfect in function. His unstoppable onslaught of pitch and notes was accompanied by a magic onslaught of lightning. The glowing bolts erupted from his piano in an unfathomably endless storm of power and rage. All the power of a hurricane, directed at one single being.

Jammer saw the maelstrom and experienced that unknowable terror once more as it collected and swirled around her. A thousand times a thousand times more intense than the fog that traveled with her when she first came, she saw the collective souls of the dead screaming for her end. Her joints locked up, the hole in her chest stopped sparking, the lights in her eyes began to dim. She'd simply be willed out of existence at this point, her body subtly fading into the abyss of black under her feet. The pick she held in her hand fell against the six strings again, producing a sound drowned out by the horror around her.

“Do it again. I have... to do it again. I cannot stop.”

Then she struck another note. It too was swallowed by the cacophony of the storm. She clutched the pick in her fingers as if grasping a weapon. Her brows furrowed... then with a mighty whir from her joints she struck once more. This time the faintest note overcame the avalanche of fear and hate enveloping her. Again and again she made those strings sing her song, and the tone started to grow, and build... the storm's rage was joined by a new sound. Clutching the neck of her axe, her pick fluttered along the six strings. Soon even Death at his piano of souls could hear the music coming from the swirling mass he'd enveloped the android in.

“I. Cannot. Stop.”

It was not a roar of defiance but a statement of fact, of infallible truth that would not yield to what threatened to swallow her. Even as she experienced every fear she was capable of, her axe sung and her pick danced across the six stings. The maelstrom of souls began to retreat away from her. Her faded existence in this reality found new strength as oblivion was warded away by the song of hope echoing through these umbral halls. With a reverberating slash, her six stings sung out in unison and the maelstrom was blown away into nothingness.

Death stood from his seat as the android was revealed. Her body was ravaged by the negative powers that thretaened to tear her asunder. Her knees sparked and shivered. Her jacked was shredded and left her in body-wrapping that she'd sued to loosely cover open panels and rusted parts. Above her breasts was the smoking hole blown through her body. But despite all this she stood. She stood and she played her axe.

“You can't withstand oblivion! Not a soulless thing like you!”

At that, she simply smiled. “I have no soul, but you have no heart. I told you I will play the song of hope, and tonight you will be a humble fucker.”

She took a step forward, axe resting against her hip while her metal fingers played. Hot purple energy ran off of her six strings like smoke and rising heat. The fire of her music steamrolled towards death. His empty eyes were overcome with the green smoke running from his body and with the speed of an eternity of practice he countered. From his piano he summoned every fear, every destruction and death at his disposal. Their music filled the dark reality they were in with pounding, overwhelming force. Hope and despair clashed as physical forces in this land, purple energy and green lightning crashing into one another, both unstoppable forces in a duel that would spill out for what seemed like miles of void around them.

Death howled as he played like a thousand demons. Jammer was as quiet as a saint, her eyes on her six strings. System errors appeared in her HUD, advising her that her joints were overheating. White steam rolled off her arms and up from the tears in her exposed body. She knew that soon her music would cease, that her old, worn parts couldn't keep this up forever... there was a sudden crack of glass as her right eye blew out in a flare of purple light. “S-systems unstable. Unit function will be compromised. Overload... i-imminent.”

Death bellowed when he heard this, his snaking tongue lapping his teeth with glee. “Your song and your heart are strong, but your body is weak! My only regret is that In cannot drink your soul when I end you.”

She fell to a knee as the sides of her leg blew out and sent parts scattering off into nothingness. Her music faltered for a single note and Death's dirge tore holes through her body. Both arms were stripped to the metal now, the right side of her face exposed to show the rusted metal and badly-kept wiring underneath. She picked up her notes again but they came slower, rang sloppily. She couldn't keep his music from tearing her to scrap for much longer...

She bowed her head and looked towards the hand she used to play. Resting the neck on her knee, she reached into the exposed parts of her arm. “I told you, you piece of junk. Don't stop playing.” Tearing wiring loose from her side, she started to jury rig her arm as it continued to play. With each connected wire she could feel cooling systems and circuitry in her body cease function. But as she replaced wires in her arms, her fingers became stronger. They played faster. The encroaching wall that threatened to consume her was being beaten back once more. With a final wire plugged in, her fingers played with strength again. She had to gut herself but she was back in the concert.

Death's frustration showed in his song. The tones of his dirge stopped sounding like royally-rolling echoes and more like feral, grating twangs. He was desperate to end her and finish his music, but soon Death would be forced into his own hardware dilemma. Those dark keys were starting to crack. The piano groaned, the strings within squeaked. The intertwining light on the lid started to pulse like a dying heart. Overcome by rage, Death backhanded his keys and with that the piano's music guttered. It was only a moment of weakness, the most brief reprieve from Death's overwhelming strength but that was all it took.

The song of hope broke through Death's encroaching oblivion like a sunrise dissolving a thunderstorm. Death had only a brief moment to cry out in fear and agony as hope washed over his spectral form. He dissolved rapidly and his piano collapsed in on itself. Strings broke, keys went flying and the lid slammed shut hard enough that it cracked in two. The darkness shriveled away, peeling back from the foyer of Abandon Manor like old wallpaper. All that remained was the mirror Death wore around his neck.

Jammer stood to her good foot and hobbled over to the mirror. She dropped her six string axe to the ground and purple smoke rose off the metal strings. Falling to her hands and knees, she plunged her metallic hand through the mirror and it sunk in as easily as if she'd reached into a hole.

“C... come back... please...”

She could feel a warm hand grasp her palm. She pulled with what might remained in her limbs and fell backwards as she watched a figure rise from the mirror. Even though she could only barely see the outline of his body, a smile still spread across her lips.

“Your stupid song worked. It worked... It... sy-system failure imminent. Unit shut-shutting down.” With that, she fell forward as sparks raced along he3r figure and her eyes went dark. She was unaware of being caught before she hit the ground and hugged tightly. Later she would be repaired... but for now, she rested.

Rest in the Beat

The neon lights of Skull City filtered in through the barred windows standing between the old robotics workshop and the harsh night beyond. Shadows stretched out from every object in the ruined room, repelled away from a burning candle sitting atop an old stool. The only area the candle's light seemed to touch was the splintering wooden table and atop that rested Jammer's naked, ruined body. A pair of boxers gave her the bare minimum of decency, but her exposed figure was on full display. Her right and left arms were weathered to the metal frame and wiring. A hole blown through her cleavage allowed a view of her antique internal systems. Loose bandaging around her midsection was clearly holding back circuitry and wiring from simply spilling out. Her open eyes stared towards the dark ceiling; the violet glow that would indicate that she was on absent within them.

Sitting next to the candle and clutching a pair of tools in either hand was a man in a dusty brown leather biker's coat. Jeans hugged his hip and short brown hair hung in his blue eyes. The tips of his tools danced through her broken parts, occasionally eliciting a purple electrical discharge when he reconnected a wire or inserted a circuit into place. His fingers were covered in small singes he'd received from working for what seemed like days. Weary from no sleep, he slipped a circuit into place inside of an open panel in the android's chest. With a sudden spark her metal parts twitched and flicked, buzzing sharply as her eyes came on in a sudden flare of purple.

“Unit online. Identification: Jammer. Series unknown. Booting personality programs and operating protocols.”

Her voice was still scratchy and static buzzed through slightly, but she -was- speaking, and slowly sitting up as well. Her back joints whirred dully as she moved into a sitting position, the purple glow in her eyes flickering rapidly every moment or so. The man at her side let out a slow breath and fell forward, his head slipping into her lap as his arms closed around her bandaged waist. This prompted Jammer to look down towards the sudden source of warmth resting against her. The moment she saw who it was, a smile crawled across her lips and she slipped a rusty metal palm through his short, scruffy hair.

“Encore... you really ARE alive.”

The young man responded to the sound of his name with a sleepy nod. Eyes still closed and arms around her waist, he responded in a sleepy tone. “Thanks to you. You stupid, stubborn machine.”

Jammer half-smiled at that. “If I weren't so stupid and stubborn you'd still be trapped in Death's mirror.”

Encore let out a sleepy yawn and pushed his face deeper into Jammer's thighs. Thankfully the synthetic flesh there was still warm and inviting, unlike much of her torso. “I told you only humans can play the song of hope. Your body was almost torn apart just trying to do it.”

Looking down at herself and tilting her head, Jammer raised a thin eyebrow. “You trying to say I'm a piece of junk?” Encore finally managed to find the strength to sit back up and with a cocky grin he responded.

“No. You're a bunch of pieces of junk, and they're all held together by duct tape and happy thoughts. And that was before you went to Abandon and decided to challenge one of the overlords of Skull City.”

Jammer turned herself to face Encore. The rickety old table under her creaked in protest as she moved herself forward slowly; servos keening in the dark workshop as her lithe body straddled his lap. “Just a pile of spare parts and well wishes, am I?” She slowly wrapped her arms around his shoulders and rolled her hips so he could feel the heat in between her legs grind against him. Encore's hands slipped around her bandaged sides and made their way down to rest on her pert backside.

“Jammer...”

The android quieted him with a kiss. Her eyes closed as she pressed in close, small breasts meshing against his chest as systems inside of her ruined body hummed alive. “Hush, babe. I saved the day... now let me get the boy.” Encore couldn't argue back. He wasn't able to speak while his lips were locked, unlike Jammer. As they kissed, Jammer gripped his jacket and started to pull it off of him. Encore's breathing deepened as he slipped one arm loose, then the other. A moment later his hands were gripping at the boxers covering Jammer's hips. Her hip servos sounded out noisily as she rose up to allow him to slide them off of her.

Breaking the kiss, she slipped off of his lap, depriving him of her warmth and exposing the tent that had started to stir up in his jeans. She gripped his waistline and with a single yank, deprived him of his shorts and pants. By now, he was panting slightly, his eyes on the junkyard android undressing him.

He took in a sharp breath, then he spoke. “Geez Jams, you're eager...”

“Fuck right I am... you were lost for three years. Why aren't you MORE eager?”

“I am! Shit, I've been working for thirty hours just to get you back online.”

The sudden feeling of synthetic lips wrapping around his shaft forced some energy into Encore's aching body. Jammer's purple eye-lights were on his as she bobbed up and down on his cock. He listened to the even rhythm her servos made and rested a hand on her head as she pleasured him, her tongue lapping from the base to the tip, swirling in a lazy sidewinder motion along his undershaft. Fighting back a stiff moan, he curled his toes and watched her work, hungry for her body.

Again and again, her head bobbed while Encore rested a hand atop it. His member slid down her tight, deep throat-sleeve, heat and the vibration of inteernal parts washing over his cock in waves. The delicate sensors in her tongue could detect his pulse quickening, feel his shaft's muscles tighten as he got ready to cum... at the last moment she pulled off his cock, leaving him slick, throbbing and aching. Encore swore under his breath as she climbed atop him again, spreading her legs as she lowered her slit atop his rock-hard shaft.

He could hear every part of her mechanical body working as he sunk into her. The heat coming from inside her artificial pussy elicited a gasp from him and as his hips reflexively bucked to push deeper into her. Jammer smirked as she detected her body reacting, pussy clenching him, tight and ready. The lubricated sleeve milked his dick with steady squeezes that were timed perfectly with her sultry cadence. Her lips parted as a soft groan played from her throat.

The two of them ground into one another as a cacophony of pleasured sighs and mechanical parts working all joining in unison filled the workshop and echoed off the walls. As she sped up, the slick sound of lube running from her sex and coating his cock could be heard. A brief spark from the hole in her chest lit up the dark around them in a flash of purple. She grit her teeth and buried her head in his neck as smoke gently wafted off her back. Overwhelmed by the feeling of her breasts pressed in against his chest and the tight, inviting feeling of Jammer's pussy milking his shaft, Encore lost himself in her, cumming powerfully and clutching himself close to her as he climaxed. Jammer leaned tightly into him as she hit her peak as well, her sensors detecting his climax and initiating her own in response.

Afterwards, the two of them held one another tightly. Her rusted metal arms clung to his shoulders and Encore's were wrapped around the android's waist. He could feel various spots on her body had warmed oddly... various parts that had grown uncomfortably hot due to the exertion of sex on her old systems. Thankfully, the smoke died off after a few minutes of resting. After a long moment of silence, Encore finally spoke.

“Jams... thanks for... you know.”

“Doing everything told told me to never do, in explicit terms?”

“...I changed my mind. You're a terrible android.”

She kissed his forehead. “Love you too, you stubborn dick.”


.....


.....


In Manor Abandon, three figures stalked towards a golden mirror on a chain that rested on the dusty, rotting carpet of the foyer. Silhouetted by the shadows, a lithe, feminine figure reached through the glass delicately. She winced, her arm suddenly quaking as if something powerful had taken hold of it. When she withdrew her hand from the mirror she was clutching a flame that was roaring green and flickered erratically in her palm. Within it, hundreds of tormented faces swirled into a vortex until they became one.

“THAT INSOLENT MECHANICAL WHORE!” As the flame... Death... spoke, the walls of the manor quaked powerfully enough that boards came loose and dust shuddered off the walls. The feminine umbra holding the fire shook her head and waved a finger to admonish the powerful being.

“Dearest brother, do mind the tone of your voice around your siblings.”

The flame erupted off of the woman's hand and coalesced into the form of Death. His blazing fire enveloped his body and lit the room in a green glow, illuminating the other three figures briefly.

A woman in whitest robes, wearing a necklace of skulls.

A suit of red armor with black ichor dripping from the seams.

A dapper gentleman with a long face and a bowler hat, clutching a silver scale.

“Rest assured, brother Death. The Horsemen will not tolerate this insurrection.”


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