"Jerry, you know we're not allowed to be out here. The whole base is on lockdown until they neutralize the rogue mech. That thing is nearly indestructible. Even missiles couldn't keep it from extracting the brains of thirty-five soldiers."
"You're ruining the mood Kim." Jerry got on one knee. "Kim, will you…"
"I was hoping for a yes."
Huge metallic hands lifted Jerry off the ground.
"Please don't hurt her!"
The unit glanced at Kim and made a noise. "Do not resist." Impassive robotic eyes focused deeply on Jerry. "Please, do not resist."
Comprehension soothed Jerry's maddening panic. The metal creature recognized itself as an abomination. It wanted a mind, a soul. The previous uploads had all failed because the victims had resisted. Jerry relaxed and the pain receded.
Unit J3R3 stood in the shadows of the trees. A young man and woman walked by hand in hand.
"They say it's been five years since the mysterious attacks ended."
"I don't want to talk about it."
"I'm so sorry. I forgot he was one of them."
"The last one before they destroyed it.
The army had lied but she didn't need to know that. Kim felt safe and finally moved on with her life. It was a much better monument than a cold stone in a manicured cemetery.