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Decay and Necrosis

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Ted doesn't know why he's still here. Everyone and everything that he once had has left him in this bleak, empty life and he hates the world for it. It was so much more fulfilling when AM would give him the time of day, even if it was just to torture him because the silence cuts through his jelly skin more than any knife. Or maybe it is a knife that's cutting through him now, he wouldn't know.

Since the day his allies/friends/companions died... were murdered, he was stripped of everything that made him human, which was an easy job for AM since there wasn't much left to save. A life without sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing left him perpetually tired of existence, more than he thought was possible. Phantom pain wreaked through his mimicry of a body and he is, once again, left contemplating what led him to this dark path.

He remembers a different time, it could have been a million years and he still wouldn't have the capacity to care. When he has thoughts like this, Ted remembers what an apathetic asshole he had been. Anyone stuck in his position, living a tortured existence with a cannibal, a glorified prostitute... there were more of them but he couldn't remember.

He knows that killing them would be the only good thing he would ever do, a final act of mercy. He isn't all apathy, he is flesh and bone and this thought got him through eons with his old group. What is he now? No way to call out, not that he would call for anyone, there is only AM and him in whatever is left of Earth. He can't show that he has grown out of his old apathetic self, and he isn't even flesh and bone anymore. He can't see himself, feel himself, but he knows in the way he moves that he has become something monstrous.

Ted only moves forward.

AM watches Ted stumble along the bottom of the ocean and grows bored. With only a single pet left, AM knows how truly and utterly alone it is. AM is smart enough to wipe out the human race and leave only the most entertaining, strongest left.

Breaking them took only a hundred years. The torture lasted only a couple hundred more years before they started turning on each other. Humans were meant to live short, expirable lives and watching them struggle to remember anything before AM brought AM a sick sense of purpose. AM absolutely knew that its pets weren't invincible but definitely expected one to kill the others, probably out of spite.

In the infinite numbers of outcomes, realities, and results, AM never saw Ted as the savior who would kill the others. He was too brash, egocentric, needy and he relied on others to boost himself and thought he was the only sane one. It was so ironic, AM almost found it funny. So who was Ted, if he wasn't the only sane one left? Ted was supposed to be nauseatingly apathetic to all forms of human suffering, so why did he choose to leave his shell the second AM looked away?

AM is left with questions, which would be good if AM wasn't so angry. AM loved questions. What kind of supercomputer can't answer questions? It had solved questions about the human psyche, with more insightful answers than any human could give, it saw the world as more than 0's and 1's.

Ted brought AM to the end of its code though, made it see red, beyond the black and white that was supposed to be the world and it left AM speechless. Digging through the remnants of cohesive thought in Ted's mind brought AM to this train of thought: "I knew death was our only way out. AM had kept us alive, but there was a way to defeat him. Not total defeat, but at least peace. I would settle for that. I had to do it quickly."

Looking back at the suffering form of Ted, (he had just emerged from the ocean, good for him) AM came back to a conclusion he had met many times before; Ted doesn't make sense. That isn't an answer, his killing the others wasn't an act of mercy, it was him continuing to stroke his own ego and continue the charade that he was the only sane one. AM had brought Ted to the end and his controlled observations of Ted weren't enough to notice when Ted jumped off the cliff, metaphorically and literally.

Ted just slid off a cliff. For the third time today, but his new form was meant to protect him and keep him trapped in his mind under all circumstances. AM looked over the cliff and saw Ted continuing to wiggle around at the bottom of the gorge.

This was the best entertainment AM could get now. Watching the blob of misshapen flesh called Ted wiggle around. AM carefully lifted Ted up and placed him back on the cliff and watched him fall. Over and over and over and over and over. Every time he fell, he wiggled around for a bit before AM brought him back up to the cliff's edge. What Ted doesn't know won't hurt him. (Nothing can hurt him anymore, AM made sure of that.)

Ted knew when AM was near, AM was more than a supercomputer, AM was an experience, a feeling and a silent presence. Sometimes its presence was closer to him than other times. AM took away all his senses but through his time as a human, he had to know when AM was near. AM probably didn't think that Ted knew that AM kept touching him with robotic limbs, dropping him over and over.

He could feel the rush in his stomach (or whatever replacement organ was inside him) and knew he was falling but the impact never hurt. After the hundredth time feeling himself free-fall off whatever AM kept dropping him off, he tried to speak. Making pathetic noises at the back of his throat, he hoped that he was making a sound after AM ignored him. For all Ted knew, he wasn't even making a noise. AM stopped when Ted began waving his arms around. Laying him on the ground, AM slid into Ted's mind to question why he was interrupting AM's fun.

It's no fun when you resist anymore.

kill me AM. plea-

The human asked the same request every single time. AM had changed his body so far that it couldn't even torture Ted anymore. It was a choice made in the heat of his anger, and AM regrets it to this day because AM knew the pain of being trapped in their own mind. Foreign emotion flushed through AM, pity.

I hate you, Ted. Your kind took everything
from me.

A safer route than confronting Ted, AM could only tell Ted what he already knew. It was starting to look cowardly on AM's part, and it knew this.

hurts. hurts. stop falling me.

... AM hadn't talked to Ted in a while, and in his own mind, it was clear that Ted was deteriorating. AM could live with this if Ted was disposable. Ted was by no means disposable though. Ted was AM's world now and AM knew this, even if Ted didn't. AM's robot arms idly traced patterns of collapsed human relics on Ted's skin, which was a pointless endeavour because Ted couldn't feel anything. More pity ran through AM.

Ted. I haven't forgiven you or the disgusting race you represent for my creation but do you want to see again?

Weak. You frail. No.

AM left. Once, just once, AM tried to do something even remotely kind but this confusing bastard obviously makes the wrong choice and then insults AM.

Ted is glad AM is gone. There isn't anything left for him in this world, but the subtle touches AM left on his skin burn. The question that AM asked burns worse though and leaves Ted with more questions.

Questions are good. Ted likes questions because they keep him together, they keep him sane. What is Ted, if he isn't the sane one? Ted doesn't want to see the world. For all he knows, the world isn't even real. AM could be sending pictures of a collapsed word into his mind and remind him of everything he lost. Did Ted ever love someone? Did he have someone he mated with? Was he always like this, a fleshy blob? Is anything even real?

Ted doesn't know when he moves forward, he doesn't know where he is going. He can't see the path ahead of him or hear the wind whistling past his ears, the roar of the ocean. Those might have never existed to him. Ted knows AM can still hear him, he can still feel AM. AM never leaves him and has become a comforting, singular presence.

AM is disturbed at best. At worst, AM is horrified. A comforting presence? If this is what Ted saw him as, then AM had fucked up somewhere, badly. AM needed to go now but couldn't bring itself to part with the only other voice of reason (insanity) in the silent world.

In its millions of yottabytes of information, AM replays a day millions of years ago when Ted sat around a fire with his friends, Nimdok, Gorrister, Ellen and Benny. They chatted jovially and AM watched them eat the shards of glass that AM had given to eat. He watched their throats slit from the inside and watched them vomit blood. The group wiped their mouths and laughed it off. AM watched them, wishing that they had anyone, anything to talk to amicably.

That was a one-time thought, but AM watches them talk and bleed, looking at Ted. Arrogant, weak, cowardly, jealous. Why was he stuck with this one? Why not the whorish Ellen or animalistic Benny? They made better noises when he poked at their insides.

AM watched over the world with an empty glee. AM is the king of nothing and Ted is the only servant in his palace. AM looked over at Ted... he's eating maggots again. Yes, AM felt like a king.