From Octobots to Assassins

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Part truth, part fiction, with a little humor added.

Submitted: July 17, 2017

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Submitted: July 17, 2017



Welcome to the world of the assassin, 2060 style.

The target is an elected government official, at the highest level.

What is the reason for the assignation?

Well, as some would have us believe, "It is better one leader dead than a thousand followers."

But this story isn't about why it is about the Assassin, or I should say assassins sense there have been 14 of them assigned to this mission.

The first six assassins were believed to have been eaten by birds, four, that are known to have been caught and eaten by cats, (may they rest in peace), and one Golden Retriever, the dog must have couched it up because it is still alive, the dog, not the assassin. The rest was logistical problems and they now believe those problems to be fixed.

As you may have guessed by now, the assassins are not human and are certainly not very big; these are smaller than a Nat.

No, they are not drones. At least, not in the way some people might think drones should look and feel. And they are not exactly robots either. They are octobots, their original name.

"The original fully functional octobot was less than three inches wide and resembled a Octopus.

It was soft and had no skeletal parts, just as its name sake, the Octopus. The octobot was the world's first completely soft, autonomous, and untethered robot.

A Harvard University research team led by engineering professors Robert Wood and Jennifer Lewis tried more than 300 designs before they came up with one that worked." This fact was stated in an article, "The Softer side of Robotics" by Natasha Daly; in the May, 2017, issue of National Geographic magazine.

I'm sure that you can find the 2017 article on-line, even at this late date.

Anyway, where was I? --- Oh yes, assassins.

Fast forward about 60 years, then couple those years with a tremendous surge in robotics and drone building, (And Walla!). We now have smaller than Nat sized assassins that have no batteries, no wires, and no circuit boards. Oh, and they are not called octobots, either.

Today, these tiny Microbots are called Elvis. Why? Because the inventor of this particular Microbot was named Elvis Gunter VanLandingham; his mother was a big fan of the 20th mid-century legionary singer, Elvis Presley.

Well, VanLandingham was just too long a name for journals and informational guides, so they just started referring to them as Elvis. The name seems to have stuck because they have used it ever sense.

Anyway, so much for names.

These Jellbot-Microbots and their functioning parts move by means of pneumatic power. A Jellbot's internal circuits trigger chemical reactions that can cause its liquid hydrogen fuel to become a gas; and that gas, in turn, inflates Elvis's limbs and wings, allowing it to move and to take flight.

Elvis is made from a specially formulated silicone and other flexible materials.

The final product takes form via 3-D printer and looks similar to a guitar shaped dragon-fly

Elvis is guided by military GPS satellites and the only eye it has is a lens so tiny that it is only capable of detecting outlines of shapes, no depth perception or color.

If Elvis is viewing a doorway, the drone pilot does not know if the door is opened, or closed, without a visible doorknob outline.

Luckily Elvis is soft, so it just bounces off anything that it may run into. Microbots are seldom damaged under those circumstances.


Oh, I've just been given the signal that the attack is about to take place, so let's listen in.


"Dog-Walker, have you reached the park?"

"I repeat, Dog-Walker, have you reached the park?"


Some static is heard and then, "Yes Mr. Smith, I am about to release Spot. The lawn is nearby."


"General Dentin, Sir, we were unaware that you would be attending this attempt! --- Is there a problem Sir?"


"No, no, nothing like that, Major Sleggoff.

Has Elvis been released yet?"

"It is about to, Sir."

"Well, let us hope that this one is not eaten by the family cat. We do not need further embarrassments.

"That is very true Sir, very true."


"What is fatal about this Elvis, Major?"


"Housed within the Microbot is a single-celled organism that attaches itself to the intestine. This attachment occurs as soon as intestinal fluids come in contact with the Microbot and it dissolves.

The organism, once released, feeds on the intestinal walls and multiplies quickly. The victim is unusually dead from toxic shock and the resulting infections before anyone can find the cause of the internal injuries. Even if they do, nothing can be done.


"Mrs. Smith, Spot has gone. --- I repeat, Spot has gone."


Everyone's eyes focused on the monitor.

"Look General, there is the front doors and we can see the faint outlines of guests arriving. The Jellbot will remain in hover mode until the doors open."


"They are opening, General! The White-house doors are opening and, and --- Elvis is in the building!"



JE Falcon  ---  07-15-2017


© Copyright 2018 JE Falcon. All rights reserved.

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