Lizzie,

I'm sorry.

I know I said it before, but, I feel as if I can't say it enough. You're gone, and it's my fault.

After I found your basement, I found the Machine that was tormenting you. There were scratch marks all over the floor. It knew you were there and it knew it had infinite patience.

The nuclear strike was called off. They were minutes away and then turned back. I watched them fly to the city's edge, watched them fly to the middle until they were little more than dots on the horizon. Then, I watched them come back. They flew over my head and disappeared again.

I thought about going into the city, back to Gray's lab. I thought maybe Morris would be there, perhaps had escaped.

Gray too.

Even if Morris was there, what would I tell him? That I was the one who directed the Machines? That I all but killed you myself? I can barely look myself in the mirror.

I'm so sorry Lizzie.

You're gone and I'm not.

Maybe that's the point. I get to live with what I did. I don't get the easy way out.

Lizzie, I know you wouldn't ever be able to begin to forgive me.

All my love,
Henrietta x

Dear Lizzie,

I feel as if I shouldn't be allowed to call you that.

I've been holed up in the basement, I see what you meant about supplies. There's more than enough to keep anyone going for weeks. I have a bag with me, I can't get the thought out of my head that I should go back to the lab.

I know you'll never see these letters, but writing them makes me feel better. As if you're still here. Anything to assuage my guilty conscience.

Do you think they meant to do it? The Machines, I mean? That it was planned and had been for a while. Do you think they saw themselves as slaves to us? And this was the only way to escape?

I don't know.

I'm trying to distract myself, keep the thought at bay about going back.

Maybe there's something there. Maybe there's someone there.

Is it worth the risk?

You always knew what to do, how to calm my nerves and distract me.

I wish you were here.

All my love, and so much more,
Henrietta x

Dear Lizzie,

This may be a suicide mission, this may end up in my death too. I can't help it. I need to go back.

There has to be something in the lab to stop them. There has to be something remaining of Morris's work. He worked with them for so long, coded their neural patterns, designed them from scratch. Until Gray stuck his big size twelves in and insisted he knew best.

Typical Gray.

As much as I miss him, I blame him as much as myself. He created the damn free will chip, he wanted it installed before it had been properly tested. The prototype, Patient Zero, as it were, immediately attacked.

You didn't know about that, did you?

Gray pushed for it, his life's work he called it. He'd always been that little bit jealous of Morris, that he had the superior job and had built such a strong bond with Patient Zero. Gray on the other hand, he treated them as they were, machines. Unthinking, unfeeling, there to be ordered around. You always wondered what I saw in Gray that made me marry him, now I'm wondering too.

Morris fought with Gray over the head of it. Gray waited till he was gone and sneaked in. He brought me as his watch. As much as I disagreed and tried to stop him, it wasn't enough. Then afterward, well. We both know what happened there.

Gray sneaked in, sneaked into Patient Zero's containment room and sedated it. Once asleep, he installed the free will chip. He started Zero up again, and Zero woke up. Zero clamped his hand around Gray's throat, suffocating him.

I tried to get Zero off of him.

Didn't try hard enough, clearly.

The alarms had already gone off, I daresay Morris had an inkling about what kind of trouble awaited him.

Zero turned to me, dropped Gray. "Creator?"

I shook my head. "He's not here."

"Where?"

"Home."

Zero left.

I guess it encountered Morris on its way out. Gray had turned blue at this point, I didn't know what to do. I heard a scream from somewhere, the security guard had met Zero.

I ran.

I ran fast and far, my only concern my own safety and escape.

Selfish bitch.

I heard Morris shouting, he stayed behind to try and reason with Zero. That's all I remember hearing.

Oh Lizzie

I hate myself for bringing this down upon you.