Le Monarque

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"Wings flutter. Beauty distracts. Poison injects. The butterfly's curse extends to your enemies. A short life, shortened further by your hand." —Ada-1

We sit together and stare out into the distance, at the mountains that stretch toward the heavens. There are still vibrant parts of the world, and we must not forget them. To fill her mind with them is to make her human. To connect her to the world before.

Nearby, a flutter of butterflies seek their next batch of sustenance, knowing not what the world around them has become.

She watches them. They are new to her. A wayward butterfly from the flutter lands on her arm. She looks at it, and then to me. "Le Monarque," she says. I nod and attempt a smile. I watch her. Somehow she reminds me of it. Beautiful and dangerous all at once.

Sadness washes over me. I reach out and rub her back, a fleeting moment of comfort for us both, as the feel of her cold body against my hand causes me to pull away. For a moment, I forgot what she was.

There's an awkward silence. I steal another glance at her, simultaneously frightened of and in awe of who and what she is.

A product of my own twisted ambition and desperation.

The monarch flies away, unlikely to be seen again.