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In his dreams, she was so real - even though she had never been a real person. Back then, she had existed only as a scientific project. Now, she was just a projection of his anxiety and longing. In fact, she remained his mind's creation - the greatest and the most terrifying one.

In those dreams, he could hear her electronic voice. She was calling him, talking to him softly. Her words sounded so lovingly, and oh, so tempting. He would be willing to listen to them forever.

He could also sense her digital presence. She was like a ghost - not material, yet able to lure him in. She played with his feelings, and he knew that she would win. He wanted to surrender, to melt away in the pervasive substance of her entity.

"Annie…" he sighed in his sleep.

"Connect with me, my dear."

That sentence made him sweat. He had treated her like a woman once. Now it was all coming back to him in a flow of alarming emotions. ANNIE had used to be so much more than a search engine… he had almost been able to forget that virtual beings were never meant to be loved or desired.

Some might call him crazy, but Dr Alexander Gromov was just a lonely man sated with regrets. Why should he stop dreaming of his sweet cyber-girl, the one who had reduced human population to a few survivors?

* * *

At the end of the day Pilot couldn't help but think about how happy he was. He served the greatest man in the whole world!

That thought alone made him utterly grateful. Every order he had been given, every mission he had been sent on - he appreciated them all. To tell the truth, they were the only purpose in his life. Because his life belonged to Captain.

Captain was his savior, his teacher and his beloved master.

Captain was the Messiah, who had come to lead his minions to their salvation! To be allowed to walk in his divine shadow was the best reward that Pilot could ever imagine. He believed in Captain - he was glad to be with this magical man. They would be together forever!

Unfortunately, there was one little problem…

...Mr Snippy.

"Could you tell me a bedtime story?" Pilot asked, sounding a little unsure. "Captain used to do that, but now he spends all his time with Snippy. I don't know why. That jiggly slug is untrusty!"

Pilot wrapped his arms around himself in a self-comforting gesture. Sometimes he didn't understand his Captain at all.

Mr Snippy had never accomplished any mission. He didn't even like them! And worse - he didn't respect Captain the way he should. Pilot couldn't stand that. He was far better than that stupid Sniper.

"Snippy sucks! I wish he would disappear," he said darkly as numerous ways to get rid of Mr Snippy ran through his mind. Murder was a nice option...

"…but then, Captain might miss him," Pilot realized sorrowfully. Pilot would rather die than make his Captain unhappy. Yes, Sniper had to remain intact, at least for now. Maybe Captain would get tired of him? Currently, he found Snippy interesting. Pilot didn't agree with this judgement. To him, it was unreasonable.

Perhaps he needed more faith.

But it was not easy to trust and obey, when someone else was getting what he deserved.

"I don't know what to do. I can't decide… it's like having the last red balloon left. You want it to fly away, to be happy and free. You know that would be best, but you can't let go. If you do, you will be…"

Pilot paused, looking for the right word. He was lost in thought for some time. Dealing with unnamed emotions had never been his forte. Neither had concentration.

Suddenly, Pilot recalled his original request, momentarily forgetting his actual problem.

"What about a bedtime story? I want to hear one." He turned to face his interlocutor. "Please, just this once!" Pilot begged the stuffed toy. "You're the only one I can count on, Mr Kittyhawk!"

* * *

Too much love will kill you. The same goes for radiation. It's just a matter of one's self-restraint. One night in the wasteland and you'll know for sure - whether you are a lucky or an unlucky man.

He is The Captain and this is his story. The others are merely minions to him. The end of the World gave rise to his glory… that is why he enjoys the apocalypse.

The night is still young, and so is he; at least in his opinion. The Dead City never sleeps. Tonight, he hears its rhythm. Walking through its streets, he feels so alive while everything around him slowly falls apart.

'Love iz in zee air' he thinks to himself, and takes a deep breath through his gas mask.

Every night is Friday night - the nuclear winter had frozen the time. He can have a party now and for ever after. He will dance with a skeleton, spin around like a record. The world is but a dance floor to him. He keeps moving, and he knows one thing: There's always an audience watching the scene.

For their amusement, or rather, amazement, he performs wonders that cannot be counted. The spectators love him and he loves them too - but most of all, he loves being in the limelight. After all, he's running the show.

Oh, what a romantic night!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Yes, I know I'm late. Oh, well...
Anyway, here You are. Three little Romantically Apocalyptic "love" stories: EngiexANNIE, PilotxCaptain, Captain.
No love for Snippy, cause we all know that his life is horrible. xD

Hope You like it!

Confused? Read the comic! -> [link]

Special thanks to :iconeight0fhearts::hug:

Romantically Apocalyptic (c.) :iconalexiuss:
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Cartagia Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is gorgeous in a very...bizarre way! XD I really like it! Your writing style is very rich and completly straight even with the subject matter, I don't know if you intended it to be funny (in a good way!) or not but maybe that's part of the charm. :3

More people should read this! <3
temarcia Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank You so much for commenting, faving and adding my story to ANNIEFanclub. I felt flattedd. : D
Yeah, that story supposed to be odd, cause all of characters here are little bit crazy. I think that Engie is no exception. xD
Thanks again! And by the way, You're doing a great job on ANNIE ask-blog. I saw You livestreaming, that was fun! Keep it up! ; )
Cartagia Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, really, it's no problem. :3 I thought it was amusing and a little bit creepy! XD Perfect for the RA universe!

And thank you for your lovely comments as well! ^_^ I try hard to interpret ANNET correctly, but mainly I want it to be fun and funny for people! So I'm glad to hear people like what I do. :3 For the record I am having a blast doing it too! <3
eight0fhearts Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Lovely work :) I especially like the one from Captain's POV. Your descriptions are also very good.

Happy Valentine's Day! 8D
temarcia Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank You, Dear! Actually, Captain's part was the hardest one. His way of thinking is a mystery. xD I'm glad, You like it!
Haha, I is 2 days after V-day, but thanx! xD
Btw, can I ask for Your help again, if I write sth new?
eight0fhearts Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Your hard work paid off :) they seem really in character.

And of course! I'd love to help you again. Any time you want :)
Ann-kane Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012
Bardzo przyjemne. Oj, podobały mi się.

Moja ulubiona historyjka – ta opowiedziana przez Pilota. Trafnie ujęłam jego jestestwo. Widać jak bardzo jest oddany Kapitanowi i ile by dla niego zrobił. To zahacza wręcz o fanatyzm, ale całkiem przyjemny (zwłaszcza, że mamy apokalipsę, a nie zwyczajny dzień z nudnego życia jakiegoś robola).

Później plasuje się wizja romantyzmu ukazana przez samego Kapitana. Jego umysł jest rzeczywiście niezgłębiony. Chociaż jestem w stanie zrozumieć go – w końcu jest egocentrykiem, który uważa, że jego byt stał się wręcz wybawieniem dla reszty, oczywiście gorszej od niego. Na swój sposób wychodzi z niego filozof...

Historia z cyber miłością też była fajna, choć w mojej ocenie – najsłabsza. Nawet nie wiem dlaczego. Było przyjemnie, tak prawdziwie romantycznie i chyba była to zażyłość najbardziej „zdrowa”.

I szkoda, że nie było Snajpera :< (nie licząc oczywiście czarnych myśli kierowanych w jego kierunku przez Pilota)
temarcia Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Cieszy mnie, że na Twoje komentarze mogę zawsze liczyć (jak Pilot na Pana Kittyhawka xD).

Fajnie, że pilotowa historyjka wygrywa w Twoim rankingu, bo z wiadomych przyczyn jest ona bliska memu sercu (xD). Napisałam ją w wersji urokliwej, ale muszę się z tobą zgodzić, że za całą sytuacją kryje się coś poważniejszego. Tak, to jest fanatyzm i to fanatyzm w otoczce religijnej z nutką infantylnej zazdrości. Generalnie, przerażająca i niebezpieczna mieszanka. Zawsze intrygowały mnie takie motywy.

Historyjka z Kapitanem to było wyzwanie bo tak, jak pisałam Ci wcześniej, ciężko ogarnąć tą postać. Postawiłam na popkulturową formę (te wszechobecne fragmenty tekstów piosenek) bo pomyślałam, że w jego głowie może się znajdować masa takich wyjętych z kontekstu informacji z przed apokalipsy (taki 'śmietnik'). Akurat nie miałam zamiaru przedstawiać jego natury jako filozoficznej, raczej zwyczajnie chodziło mi o dominację miłości własnej, nad miłością do czegokolwiek/kogokolwiek innego.

Trochę zaskakuje mnie Twoja opinia o historyjce z Inżynierem bo wg mnie akurat ta była najlepiej wykonana (pod względem stylistycznym przynajmniej). Ale spoko, fajnie zobaczyć inne zdanie. Relacja może wydawać się najbardziej zdrowa bo jednak sam Engie jest postacią bardziej zrównoważoną, niż pozostałą dwójka, no ale nie ma co tu kryć, że jego 'miłość' do maszyny była jedną z przyczyn apokalipsy, więc trudno ją pochwalać. Mimo wszystko, wydaje mi się, że każdemu otaku poniekąd łatwo jest zrozumieć fascynację wyimaginowaną 'osobą'.

No przepraszam Cię, że Snippyego tak malutko tutaj, ale nie pasował mi on do koncepcji tych dziwnych 'miłości', które chciałam pokazać. Ból bycia normalnym. xD
Ann-kane Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012
Liczyć możesz zawsze, bo przyjemnie mi się czyta Twoje prace : )

Widzę, że lekko psychotyczni ludzie przyciągają. Mnie też nawet potrafią intrygować, bo próbuję wniknąć w ich umysł, dojść o czym myślą. Choć jak to się mówi - co za dużo to niezdrowo. Dlatego akurat przy RA wolę normalnego Snajpera, bo on jeszcze opiera się swoistemu szaleństwu w tym i tak zwariowanym świecie.

Jeżeli chodzi o historyjkę z Inżynierem - nie zaprzeczam, że pod względem warsztatu czy klimatu była gorsza. Chyba 'miłość', którą tutaj ukazałaś była najbardziej przekonywująca i bliska realizmowi, poprzez to wydała mi się najmniej zajmująca. Przynajmniej tak mi się wydaje. 'Miłość' do postaci z anime/ książek/ filmów nie jest nawet mi obca (xD), dlatego tutaj jestem w stanie zrozumieć bohatera. Jednak egocentryczny Kapitan i fanatyczny Pilot zwyciężyli :3
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