“Where Are You, Papi?”
(An excerpt from the personal diary of Ermelinda Jung)
Finally. Everything is back in its place, just as it was a few days ago. Still, the wind hasn’t yet managed to blow away the already-annoying smell of burnt wires. We returned to the starting point and bought ourselves some time to prepare for another stupid invasion. If there is one, of course. The situation is complicated. On the one hand, we have the Alliance, with its maniacal desire to “solve” a problem that they created themselves. And on the other hand, we have my father, who, with stoic patience, has been forced to respond to their aggression over and over again.
But he wasn't around for this battle, and that couldn’t have been an accident. A person who always plans their moves several steps ahead of the game, like a good chess player, would surely have known about the upcoming attack. Nevertheless, the Alliance couldn't have known that he was away, unless their dogs were somehow involved in it. And given their ridiculous attempt to assault our fortifications once again, I refuse to believe that they are capable of something like this.
But if my father knew they were coming and left me to defend our land, what was it? A test? Why? To make sure he had trained a worthy replacement? I’ve never given him any reason to doubt my skills, and dad would not have left when there was so much work to do. No, no, it can't be. It’s only natural that I fought off the Harriers so elegantly. We’ve been improving our defense systems around the clock, gaining knowledge, building algorithms and developing methods of counteraction. A victory was the only possible outcome. Then again, we had Villanelle against us (I finally learned her name), and as far as I know, she is the only one of these bloated Alliance officers who could ever get my father to talk. Personally. Face to face. So there's no way they could have known he wasn't here.
Thankfully, no one will ever read this diary of mine. I wouldn’t want anyone to find out how inferior my analytical skills are to my technical talent. The odds are definitely on my side. Even if the Harriers do return, it won’t be for a long time. So I have more important things to worry about. My father is still missing. If this was a test, he would have already scolded me for making such a mess (underlined, with a note in the margin: "Convert one of the Sentinel platoons into ARVs") and praised me for my skills.
Where are you? The Alliance (rightly) considers me a force to be reckoned with, but you’re the only one who knows how hard it is for me to be alone. Without your support. Without the "Why are the wrenches scattered all over the garage?" I'm not a warrior, and you never raised me to be one. However, when I look back at the fury that overcame me when I destroyed those attackers invading my... OUR home, I see that there are two completely different people living within me. And I don't know which Ermelinda you would prefer to have on your team.
It has been a long time since I let myself vent like this. And that's because the worst thing a person can do is lose control of a situation. Still, I fear that I have. And it's all because of these demons of doubt that have been attacking me for the past several days.
Focus. Enough distractions. I think I should switch gears and just enjoy the moment. After all, my steel friends are still crushing the Alliance, yet I’ve somehow forgotten to enjoy the nice taste of... revenge? I'll make you proud, Papi, I promise. Just come back soon.
Coffee. I need another mug.