Adam (02b part 2)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Also for a writing course. The aim: To place the character from the first story (02b) into a situation or a place that is frightening, upsetting, or beyond what I am comfortable with. Not sure it hits the mark, but its what came about thanks to the exercise.

Submitted: June 04, 2019

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Submitted: June 04, 2019

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————stair——post—pull. Ru——dragged—Adam———dead.———14:32.

Ru paused on the stairwell. The explosion had severed her lower body and limited her capacites. She had to shut down physical function for mental function to run uninhibited. She could not think while moving. One hand, her right, remained but her left arm ended in a severed stump. The handless arm, bent at the elbow juncture, hooked onto the batterydamaged form of her son. A mental rover searched her 300 year old memory for uncorrupted storage. The explosion had impacted that too. Her battery read 14:02.

Ru reached———up and——pulled toward the—landing and—————cat.

Her———rover found an——undamaged chip. She stopped and reviewed: Husband

Two folders matched Ru’s search: Husband/Adam, Husband/cat. She looked up and saw the cat. 13:28. It watched her from the landing above. Its tale mimicking a real cat, swayed back and forth emitting a motorized hum. It knew her, but not in this condition. She had to be careful not to—feed—hurt——scare it.

She reached———more——slowly——and———grabbed the next—post.

As Ru——inched———upward, she——reviewed the first—folder.

Husband/Adam/01:

He held something in his arms, a small boy. He brought it near her//“What is it?”//“Your son, twelve, nought three, two thousand sixty, one, g.” He placed the—child in her arms//“One, g?”//“You choose,”//Choices made her systems run hot. What choice would please him? “Adam."//“Yes,” he nodded his head, “Alright. Adam.” He bent Adam’s small ear forward while she held the child, and he inserted the tiny ion-battery into the chamber.

That battery now——defunct. Damaged in the explosion that had impacted much of her memory and taken half her form. The explosion caused by theybots, who did not care whether she existed or not. 12:18.

She retained the two folders but emptied other needless saves from the chip. Long ago husband files would have been—precious but her code had changed drastically and her husband was long dead, along with all the other humans. The part of her that had learned how to mimic humanity cursed the theybots for the destruction they’d caused.

After freeing up chip space Ru functioned more smoothly.

Ru ascended. The cat——watched. Something—tugged.

Behind her, Adam’s neck had caught on the—edge of the previous stair.

Ru froze. All her systems focused on the problem. She knew if she pulled too hard there was a 27% chance she could damage herself or her son. If she retreated by a step she would lose precious seconds. 11:02. She needed at least 3 minutes and 38 seconds after she had completed her task to return herself to the last operating battery charger downstairs. 

She extended her form to its the maximum limit, parts whirred and strained, then Ru jerked forward and her son popped onto the step, intact.

Now two more steps to the landing and the————the cat was no longer there.

The sound and sudden movement must have—frightened it. Once again all systems studied this problem. 9:58. The folder…

Husband/cat/07

“Come! Come!” Adam waved his small arms in the air but the cat only stared through slitted eyelids. “Daddy, why won’t it come?”//“Cats don’t respond well to commands.” He left his work on the desk and slowly lowered to the floor beside Adam. His human body had long since worn down. “You have to entice it.”//“Entice? Attract or tempt by offering pleasure.”//Husband smiled, “Yes.”//Adam looked from him to the cat and back again. “But how?”//He put an arm around Adam and leaned forward, making a fist on the floor with his free hand to support himself. “Psssst Pssst!”//The cat’s ears snapped upright and its eyes opened wider.//“Pssst psssst” Adam joined his father until the cat began to move toward them.

9:06 While reviewing the memory she had ascended the final two steps and gained the landing.

She opened her voice applicator. “Pssssst.” She hadn’t used the applicator in so long it sounded rusty to her aural receivers. “Psssst.”

98 seconds elapsed before the cat returned, first peeking its head around the corner of the bedroom door frame and then slowly slinking down the hall closer to her. She kept her voice steady and tried different variations on the sound until she found the best mixture of repetition and cadence which the cat responded to.

Her mental function worked in a frenzy studying all information dealing with the cat, discarding the rest, opening up even more space. Physically, only her fingers tapped the floorboards—enticing the cat while she slowly straightened the handless arm behind her letting Adam’s form lower and rest on the floor.

The cat moved closer.

It stretched its front legs toward her and pushed its body flat against the floor. All the while its eyes studied her fingers and its head moved nearer. 6:19

Ru pounced. With a precision of engineered joints and mechanic swiftness that she hadn’t displayed in years her two arms lashed out and encircled the cat in a tight embrace. The cat struggled and her half-body was dragged across the floor left and right as the cat attempted to escape. She whispered to it, sweet sounding coos and rubbed her cheek against its fur, “shhhh.” 

The cat relaxed. She performed the sequence that calmed the cats systems.

4:56.Ru began to release the tense hold in small increments all the while cooing and whispering. Her fingers began to stroke the cat’s neck, cheek, scratch around the ear. With her index finger she bent the ear back to reveal the battery chamber hidden at its base. Slowly her fingers moved to retrieve the battery. The only remaining battery in the world she knew of that was compatible with her son.

The cat——purred. Ru froze. 4:28.

—————what kind of existence awaited her son? Adam, the cat and herself were not like theybots whose modern systems were far beyond 21st century engineering. True, she could replace her son’s dead battery with the cat’s, return to the battery charger to charge herself. Someday her battery would hold no more charge at all and her son would be forced to exist alone in a world run by theybots who despised humanity and saw her and her son as more human than not. Not even the cat for companionship.

Ru opened her arms and let the cat go. It licked the top of its paw then used it to rub at its ear. 

4:02. Ru returned to her memory, and opened the folder named Adam. Her form lay still as she gave all her power over to reviewing the files. As the time ticked down and her battery depleted Ru watched each memory over and over again.

Growing bored, the cat stood and stretched its long back before hopping over Ru and disappearing down the hall.

 


© Copyright 2019 Kevin Michael Smith. All rights reserved.

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