Chapter 1:

Butterfly Knife

Machine Heart

However, in some cases, the assigned skills may be "strange" or even useless.

For example, K-111 had from an early age an unthinking passion for knives.

Not for knives in general, not for swords, or even for razors; it wasn't like he was a barber.

His passion was fighting knives, in particular he had a fondness for the bizarre butterfly knife, an ancient Filipino weapon used both as a cutting weapon and as a blunt object when closed.

The boy from an early age had begun training with this tool, at first with a toy with a fake blade, and then, at the age of 6, already wielding his first and real knife.

He understood from an early age that in the eyes of those around him such a skill absolutely had to be hidden, and as there was not enough space in his small studio apartment to practice, one day, walking through the narrow and stuffy streets of the suburbs, after having traveled several miles, and having gone almost to the edge of the city, he found an old abandoned factory, isolated from the rest of the buildings, which thus became his refuge where he could practice.

That was how he began to improve his skill and practice for years and years.

Once during one of his training sessions, he was supposed to throw his knife into the air, spinning it around, and then catch it on the fly, however, something went wrong and he caused himself a long and deep oblique wound that started from his upper lip and touched the end of his lower lip.

He was left with a heavy scar, so he had to be careful not to be too conspicuous, after all, it was not for everyone to injure himself like that, especially, it was not a common thing for a Machine Men programmed to perform excel in one and only one skill .

Fortunately, it never gave him too much trouble, since it wasn't usual for Machine Men to have many relationships with each other, so it was easy to hide the incident.

As he arrived at the dawn of his 18th birthday, however, a doubt began to assail him.

What job could he have done with such a skill?

Hunter? Or perhaps a juggler of sorts? But what use would that have been?

However, he had never stopped training, so much so that he came to have incredible mastery over his knife; he could open it in milliseconds, throw it a considerable distance, even deciding whether he should reach the already closed target or pierce it with the thin point.

It was during one of these training sessions that he decided to throw his knife up and catch it on the fly, considering that it would arrive already closed, to avoid the risk of hurting himself again.

So after getting into position, he quickly drew the blade and threw it over his head, with such a rotation that it would allow the knife to fall already closed, as established.

He prepared to pick it up, but when he raised his head he found nothing.

Only the metallic ceiling of the building.

Nor had he heard the noise of the fall, partly because the throw was perfect, he had rehearsed it countless times.

However, a noise was heard shortly after, a noise too loud to be that of the knife.

K-111 turned his gaze in front of him and saw it.

A hooded figure was crouching a few meters away from him.

In fact, from the noise produced, it seemed that this person had just landed after a rather high jump.

The first thing he noticed, was that it was impossible to determine the features of this person's face since it was covered by something other than the hood, but at the moment he didn't quite understand what it was.

But while he was busy analyzing the figure, it had come dangerously close to him in the blink of an eye, and was now about a meter away.

He didn't even have time to realize it, that the mysterious individual had already hurled itself at him.

However, the most disturbing thing of all was another; it was brandishing his beloved knife, pointing it in front of his eye.