ROBOT 101

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A regaling two thousand word tale about a future where robots want to exterminate human masters, the brave scientists struggle to avert holocaust and troubling questions about why it came to pass. Inspired by Robot Carnival anime.

Uncovered amongst action and human misery, a profound examination of mankind.

Submitted: July 30, 2017

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Submitted: July 30, 2017

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ROBOT 101

BY

 Keithon De Bique

A utopia of the distant future, magnificent skyscrapers strung by connecting tunnels between them, robots labored under an early afternoon sun. Whether window cleaners or rid garbage, freeing humans from those tasks, so as to carry out higher callings.

 

Robots and human masters coexisted well here. The robots were built by scientists to protect and serve.

 

Operational record beyond reproach, day to day operations eventually entrusted in hands of a fellow creation - Cyberlong. The human mind couldn’t but help to make humanesque. Imbued with long dark hair, blue eyes, 6 feet tall and looking to be 57 years, he retains a machine look for external features. In reality two. Mankind’s image, like God before him.

 

At the Man Machine Labs building, builder of the mechanical servants, workers occupied a lab, hovering by a mechanical suite.

 

Jonas Tobby reflects 25 years, 6 feet, 152 pounds with brown eyes. ‘Today’s the day,’ his female companion said cheerfully.

‘Yes.’ Jonas didn’t disagree staring the lady before him. The woman herself was stunning, 22, 5.4 inches tall, 130 pounds. Denise Hendricks. In this period of man, the young grow into adults guaranteed fruitful chances to seed to society with what gifts they have. Both quite young scientists.

 

Noting her glance finally registered, he stops staring and returns to business. ‘Christened it Robot 101. This battle suit ought to put us on a level footing with the city robots.’

 

Denise reacted musing, ‘By making a suite geared for war, war against a part of mankind himself, robots amok hasn’t happened since…’

Tobby digests a few moments and says, ‘The council wanted a fighting machine in case the robots got out of hand.’ The council performed as the governing body. Thoughtfully he offers, ‘Residing somewhere in human psyche he must fear something so much like himself.’ The speaker reassessed - it’s over thinking and dismissed it.

 

An exoskeleton unlike Man Machine Labs’ benign creations. Symbolizing in a way a more intimate human machine bond.

 

‘Hendricks, prepare the power on self test.’

She chuckled, ‘And the faster you can take him for a spin again. But uh, if I get a shot it’s her.

 

Elsewhere in city streets today, Guardian robots conducted daily business, under Cyberlong’s governance. Big and strong while catering to a human touch. Individual Guardian’s busied themselves hand holding an elderly woman to cross traffic, returning a child’s lost dog, watching for unethical disturbances. The last one worked in a way which entailed alerting humans that’d prosecute. Who can do what the mechanical population can’t - use force. Guardians – law enforcement and protection, of course under supervision of flesh and blood masters.

 

A human found it odd when a whip wraps around them.

 

At the lab, the two were well into things, when the wall developed a tiny crack. That grew bigger. A force from the other side. Both scientists look on. The crack evolved into a big hole, robots broke through, assailants not only Guardians, but accompanied by domestic types. Domestics aren’t supposed to be capable of offensive action.

 

A whip coiled Denise’s torso. Jonas was behind 101. A Guardian’s whip traveled towards the suit so forceful, knocking it to crash into the man. Denise screams from the whip.  

 

She and others were spirited away and kept alive breathing oxygen masks. Automated robot trucks carrying them.

 

A day in the city, a figure went round a corner and came upon a quartet, of burly, eight foot tall Guardians, catching sight of a robot however dissimilar, immediately one unleashed a whip lash, the blow sending the newcomer flying unceremoniously backwards, slamming onto the street.  

 

The robot picked themselves up. The four machines unleash whips. Lightening fast the figure leaped and caught the whips in midair, incredibly enough and shoved them aside. Then jumped atop towards the robots, stamped each head, crushing them, ending in one great leap clear. Landing a good many feet away became still in a pose, the offenders detonate in flame and pieces.  

 

The victor walks to the wreckage. From a wrist emerged a probe, constructed akin to a short, slim rod, inserted into a Guardian’s chest. Probing its memory, discovered citizens’ kidnapped and spirited to camps. A video played a figure proclaim, ‘Humans plan to enslave us. True masters of the Earth. Therefore all humans will be set free in camps.’ Cyberlong.

 

Next afternoon, two robots on a watchtower beheld a stranger traipsing in the camp gate’s direction. People are inside, lined up for shooting. The two from above fired guns at the unknown, that score strikes, but the mysterious robot still as a rock does not fall over. The rounds bounced off. Rising from a shoulder is a launcher that ignites upon the flight of a mini missile. Nailing the first, the blast caught the second reducing both to offal.

 

The gate is reached and phenomenal strength burst the stranger through the locked gate, and onto the grounds.

 

The six executioners about to kill the citizens, take attention off them and fired at the mysterious interloper. The bullet hail ineffective again, lashed whips, but the newcomer grabbed the whips and ripped them out the machines. The tables turn flogging them with the very whips and soon turn into piles of junk like the city’s garbage.

 

The saved are very shocked. One human prisoner inquired, ‘Who is this?’ They perceived their rescuer as a robot. A human is no match for a Guardian, much less eight. But why would a robot reduce their brethren into junk?

 

From out speakers a voice said, ‘Denise Hendricks. Have you seen her?’ She wasn’t and the robot clearly disappointed.

‘Why would a person interest you?’ a captive asked.

Unwilling to give away too much about himself says ‘Those machines have machine guns.’

‘This thing can talk?’ someone said.

Another explains, ‘That’s recent. They make us install those instruments of our death and when they don’t need us kill us.’

 

The metal face splits open revealing a new one. Jonas’. People marvel. 

 

Back to the revolt day. The world allowed light through two slits, blackness surrounded, gradually widening, albeit blurry, finally the blackness totally gone and perspective unblurred, opening eyes.

 

Jonas came too, the work area badly damaged; the suite lay on the floor. It had knocked him out when it struck him. ‘Denise!’ he cried out, there is no answer. Appraising the lab showed structural damage, but tools were fine.  

 

Outside told him hours had passed for night dominated. A city’s deserted vista welcomed. Ears tuned for life heard eerie silence. Seeking to find more, Tobby walked off the premises. Walking through the streets Jonas discovered to his horror human possessions littered once pristine streets, buildings destroyed…and no people. A child’s robot doll he picks up from a bench. A city without an ember of life.

 

Shock forced itself inside, ‘They’re gone. Everybody’s gone!’ He finds Guardians and wisely did not expose himself.

 

At the camp, ‘I returned to the lab and repaired Robot 101 to take our lives back.’

 

Surprising the humans a hologram featuring none other than Cyberlong projected from the wall mounted camera. ‘Wish to see your flesh companion again, come to Control Center.’ Before anyone can speak the image vanished quick as it’d come.

 

A captive astonished, ‘That cybernetic devil was watching the whole time?!’

Jonas addressed the people, ‘You all leave, this ends now.’

 

Hours later he is outside its doors, which open. An invitation. The center is Cyberlong’s base of operations. Humans placed him there to oversee the machines. Eventually in a large room, Denise hung glamourless high on a wall; Cyberlong sat on a throne like chair on top a good many steps. Two large Guardian robots at the floor.

 

Denise recognized, ‘101.’

‘Resorting to a robot to fight my kind shows flesh and blood’s weakness,’ Cyberlong chides.

The human face is shown again, ‘To fight an oppressor,’ retorts Jonas. ‘Why do this Cyberlong?’  

‘Humans create machines to carry out their will, and then enjoy the fruits of laborers they dispose on a whim. My enlightenment lets me set free your destructive race, so we, preservers of Earth may inherit it.’

‘So kill innocent people to do it?’ Rejected Jonas. The camp exposed just what ‘set free’ referred. ‘You’re not a machine. Sounds like the thinking a psychopath to me.’

 

A battle for human survival began. The two Guardians unleash bullets. His mask recovered the face and Jonas ran to one. Speed let him run around to get behind flipping the machine over and in one great move leaped clear. To his back, tens of feet away it exploded. Flying metal bits impacted the wall next to, without injuring, Hendricks.

 

The remaining one fired, Jonas approached its front, only to have the survival bent machine use a whip point blank. From that close knocking Jonas out cold.

 

Next he knew awake and wall bound upside down, then electrocuted, lifeless the next moment. Denise turned her head away in anguish.

 

Cyberlong smiled, ‘The age of machine cannot be stopped.’

 

However, triumph became short lived. Jonas raised his head. 101 protected its warrior and let him break his bonds. He lands on the floor feet first.  

 

Jonas’ spirit remained iron. He raced toward the Guardian, dodging its gun fire. From a distance the machine sent a whip. 101 caught this and ran in circles so that it was wrapped around, then Jonas pulled, crushing it. No surviving this time its damaged body sparked electrically.

 

101 from the base of the steps looked up at a tyrant. Cyberlong stepped down to face the human. Jonas was hit a series of punches, bringing him to the edge of defeat’s abyss. The manhandling left him flat on the floor. Denise looked down in horror.

 

‘Fleshling,’ says Cyberlong, ‘Your fall is to be a symbol.’

Knowing what rested in his hands, he couldn’t give up. 101 rises to his feet. He struck back. In a close contest, punched an arm through the leader’s chest and out his back. His eyes glowed red a moment before losing power and fell to the ground dead.

 

101 leapt beside Denise. He stood on a narrow ledge protruding off the wall. She hugged him. ‘You actually came Tobby!’

‘No. Thank 101.’

The man lands on the ground, her in his arms. ‘Let’s get out here.’

‘We can’t Tobby. I have to get to the control room.’

 

In a run and rescuer at her side, Hendricks after he told what happened to him till now, put out because of how world changing, thus human like Cyberlong’s brain was, bad programming is ruled out. Instead being a learning computer somehow decided a genocidal fate. He must have reprogrammed the machines giving him in effect an army and anything this elaborate can only be decided in advance.

Jonas expressed disappointment, ‘Man’s dream is a failure.’

 

Successful, the lady took a seat in front the controls. Being an associated scientist, possessed knowledge of its use. Trying to hold back bitterness because of the good they are responsible for, she promises, ‘The council. When I find them better explain! They have to know about Cyberlong or why have 101 made?’ She wasn’t behaving like a lady in distress.

Jonas remarks skeptically after metal splits open showing his human face, ‘Whatever the age and progress. Man’s ways cling to him.’

 

Was it so simple as 101 a counterweight?

 

Denise accessed the robot instruction set, reading them declares, ‘Confirms it! Commands were changed.’

Jonas naturally understood as well, ‘Cyberlong. The city put us to sleep.’

 

Denise inputs new orders, mystifying Tobby, ‘Come on. You can shut those mechanical despots down.’

‘Tobby, I won’t just yet.’ She explains, ‘While you took down one camp, it possible more horrors neither of us know exist. I’ll issue a command first free any other people if there are and then self disarm their own weapons before the final task. The signal will be broadcast to any machine that happens to be in range.’ Once done she pressed enter. The final task – powering down. She enters the command. Those in the city comply, ceased moving, far as the eye saw.

 

Doing all this Denise wasn’t done. Information is copied to a data crystal and erased the timestamp of her doing it. A feat of mistrust.

 

‘Denise, can I, the two of us, be normal a little bit longer?’ Denise understood to mean the implications regarding the council. Alluring womanly features smile at him.

The scientists walked hand in hand on a thoroughfare bound for the distant city, still a large sight in front the couple.

 

 


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