There was sand on the floor and the smell of heated steel in the air. There was steam and men and women in leather wearing black lensed goggles. The sparks glowed white then yellow then red and metal on metal rang out in the cavernous forging room. There were forms for casted parts, a thigh plate, toes, twelve different sections for the skulls, arms and hands. Steady hands poured yellow metal and it oozed into the moulds made of sand.
Body parts cooled, plunged into steaming water. They were stored on steel shelves for a short time then assembled with the rough scarred hands of children who never played and never sang. The sun arced across the sky from darkness to darkness before the children left their benches.
More small hands installed the electronic guts and then the assembled metal soldiers were briefly booted up to see if all the connections worked. Consciousness flickered for a few seconds, saw the room, did not know what it was, was frightened, but paralyzed by design, could not flee the assembly line. The soldiers were boxed and stored.
Before they were shipped, bombs shredded the forgery. Men and women and children burned, and so did the boxes. Many of the soldiers melted like tin toys, but two of the boxes fell from their shelf. The soldiers inside shorted and turned on. They saw the flames, the white light, and heard the screams and snapping of metal and wood. They had no orders, no knowledge of the world, just their initial programming that let them move their bodies. They saw each other, recognized the similarity in the other. The disorganized electronic chatter in their brains calmed, and for a moment, they each knew peace.
Then the flames reached them. They looked down to see their feet engulfed, and felt the heat, but they did not move. They looked again at each other's faces. The heat moved up, seeping through matrixed atoms, zigzagging, sagging, liquifying. their bodies shorted out and they fell, and returned to nothingness.