This post brought to you by the awesome penmonkey Chuck Wendig.
Every Friday he sets up a flash fiction challenge and this week it’s about robots.
Why robots? Because he’s getting published by Angry Robots, which is so great!! I fell in love with Wendig’s writing the first time I read his blog and just know his novel is going to be just as awesome.
This week he’s also giving away his e-books to the first 15 entries. Here’s hoping I make it!
Ten points to anyone who mentions which characters from what shows I used for the main characters names.
Anita & Adam
The boy opened his eyes. The room and his bed shook from a distant explosion. He sat up, unsure where he was, pulling wires and tubes from his body. The room was all white and sterile with medical equipment and computers all around him. He ran a hand through his hair. Where was he? A hospital? He couldn’t remember.
Just a name. His? Yes. His name… Adam.
Adam dressed and left the room, but the sound of gunfire made him stop in his tracks. Before he could think to hide, a group of bulking figures turned the corner. Their eyes glowed red. Top of their faces were made of gears and metal plates. Even their hands were mechanical. They saw him and started to shoot.
Adam raised his arms, expecting to die. But the bullets missed him. Then they stopped. Dropping his arms, he saw a new figure had arrived, a firing a machine gun into the group. The bullets bounced off their bodies, but they couldn’t move. The figure threw something against the ground and the entire hallway was covered in smoke.
Adam was blinded, but felt a strong grip on his arm pull him away. When they left the smoke, he saw it was a girl who had saved him. While the other men had mechanical faces, hers was normal.
“Who are you?” He stumbled on debris that littered the hallways. “What’s going on?”
“It’s not safe,” she said. They burst through a door and ended outside. The silhouettes of tall, empty buildings were all that could be seen through the thick smog. Abandoned, rusty cars and broken robots littered the main that seem to cut through the slum.
“Get in the truck,” she said, shoving him into a beat up jeep. She barely turned on the ignition when the group of robots returned, opening fire.
The bullets hit the license plate, but then they were gone, racing down the bumpy road. Adam watched them disappear in the dust. He turned to the girl. “Who were they?”
“Enemies,” she said. “They want you dead.”
“Why?! What did I do?”
Her eyes remained on the road. “Don’t worry about it. You will find your answers at the Research Facility. The doctors weren’t able to finish your treatment here, that’s why you don’t remember. But everything will be fine once we reach the facility.”
Adam felt more confused. “I don’t understand. Why are you doing this? Who are you?”
She glanced at him and smiled. “I’m Anita, your sister. Don’t worry. I will take care of you.”
Her voice eased his anxiety and he did, for a moment, felt safe. At least he wasn’t alone.
They approached a large dome in the distance. A large silver city sat inside it. Anita never slowed down as they approached the gates. Shoving his head down under the front seat, she drove right through the dates, glass and metal flying. Bullets dented the jeep’s doors and shattered the windshield, but her foot firmly planted on the gas.
The city was perfect. Clean. Everyone was robots. The parts not hidden by identical white clothing held metal plates, gears and blinking lights. There was only gray and white. No colors. No art. Everything seemed to have a practical purpose.
It felt very wrong to Adam. It felt cold, alien and empty.
The research facility was like the rest of the city, large, square, boring.
Anita drove right up and through the doors, showering them in glass. Adam cried out, dizzy as the car spun around in circles before it came to a slow stop.
Before he could catch his breath and sense of direction, his sister grabbed his arm and pulled from the car. “Quickly!”
Anita ran into an elevator and as the doors closed, Adam saw what looked like a small army of robot soldiers approach them.
The doors shut before the first shot was fired, but fear gripped Adam tightly. He started to shake, his insides felt like ice. He was going to die.
A warm hand wrapped around his. Anita smiled softly and he could see sadness in her dark eyes. He squeezed her hand and his fear faded.
When the doors opened again, it was to a large, dark room with only one place illuminated, a large, complex computer. Adam approached it, placing his hands on the console. The holographic screen popped into life and the word ATOM appeared. A computerized voice spoke. “WELCOME ATOM.”
The word was like a code that activated the computer and his memories. The disease that gradually destroyed the human body and mind. Humans replaced the parts that had deteriorated with robotics. Their minds and bodies could no longer do the delicate science needed to create the cure.
So…Atom and Anita were built.
“Please, Atom,” Anita pleaded softly behind them. “We don’t have time. We must fulfill the mission objective.”
Atom couldn’t refuse even if he wished to. His hands moved on their own, creating the necessary formula and mixing the ingredients with the holographic interface.
The door blasted open. Cyborg soldiers who forgotten they were human, filled the room. Anita stood between them and Atom, but did not fire.
“I am Anita,” she whispered. “I am Atom’s sister. I will protect him, but not kill.”
Their bullets ripped apart her body, tearing her to shreds. Legless, she continued to edge closer, her hand reaching up to them. “I am Anita. I will protect…but not kill…”
Atom watched as an explosive round destroyed her head and she laid there, a pile of metal. He didn’t even feel being shot. He glanced down, watching his white blood spill to the floor and the blinking lights inside his chest.
They destroyed his legs next and he fell on his back. The computer above him displayed “CURE COMPLETED.”
A soldier pressed a gun’s nozzle against his forehead. It felt cold.
The instant before everything went dark Atom wondered…
What was the use of a cure nobody wanted?’