Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company! discussion

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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 259 (May 2-9). Stories. Topic: Robot Overlord

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message 1: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments You have until May the 9th to post a story, and May 10-12 we’ll vote for which one we thought was best.

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Robot Overlord


The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject but it must relate to the topic somehow.

Have fun!

Thanks to Edward for suggesting the topic!


message 2: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Must be the other Edward :D - this one might be tricky!


message 3: by Connie (new)

Connie D. | 656 comments Wow. This is so out of my element. I'm not sure I want to think this hard!


message 4: by Edward (new)

Edward (edwardtheresejr) | 2434 comments Seriously, I was kidding ... but still should be fun to see what y'all come up with.


message 5: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Ooooh, very sci-fi-ish! This will be fun!


message 6: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lionesserampant) | 2869 comments Haha, I knew you were kidding, Edward, but I thought it would be interesting.


message 7: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually have a synopsis in my archives that fits this prompt perfectly. My story this week will be called "Demon Hunter" and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

Jennifer Williams, “Demon Hunter”
Russell Condit, Psychologist
Shawn Blythe, Schizophrenic Tormentor

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Shawn has the ability to morph into a “robot overlord” while in hallucination mode.

SYNOPSIS: After coming home from Afghanistan with schizophrenia, Army Sergeant Jennifer Williams takes part in an experimental treatment procedure created by Dr. Russell Condit. The treatment involves being locked in a sensory deprivation room and being able to face schizophrenic voices in hand-to-hand combat without having to do it in real life and go to jail for it. Private Shawn Blythe was her biggest tormentor due to his sexist remarks and disregard for her authority while overseas. Dr. Condit’s chances of his experiment working are unknown as Jennifer is the first person to use it.

FUN FACT: The title of this story, Demon Hunter, is derived from the heavy metal band and Diablo III character class both of the same name.


message 8: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Barbour | 139 comments Oooooo robot overlord! And I actually have some time tomorrow to probably write it!....now just to brainstorm a plot....


message 9: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Demon Hunter
GENRE: Dark Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 1,518
RATING: The high end of PG-13 for swearing, violence, and rape references




There were two different wars going on in the Middle East: one over territory and one over the mind of Army Sergeant Jennifer Williams. She came home to civilian life for only a week and was still living the nightmares of war even at her Paulson City home. She could hear every gunshot going off, every landmine exploding, and every IED shredding the population to pieces. These schizophrenic, yet real noises sent a wave of numbness throughout her brain and a storm of tiredness throughout her body. There was no way in hell she could hold down a job or live a normal life after everything she had been through.

When medications weren’t enough, Jennifer Williams turned to the one source she thought she could trust: a rogue psychologist named Dr. Russell Condit. Russell’s office was peaceful enough with pictures of mountain and river scenery hung up on the wall to put patients at ease. He also had new age piano and harp music playing at a low volume in the background. Even Russell’s elderly appearance was enough to put patients at ease with his Santa Claus beard and Winnie the Pooh tummy. On the surface, Dr. Condit seemed like a normal everyday psychologist. It was what he suggested to Jennifer that made him revolutionary.

As the dark-skinned, dreadlocked Army Sergeant laid against the plush couch wearing loose clothing and a numb frown, Dr. Condit explained the procedure to her from the comfort of his own swiveling chair.

“You see that bookcase, Miss Williams? Behind that bookcase is nothing more than a dark chamber. No lights, no sounds, just 100% darkness. While there is nothing to stimulate your mind in such a room, you will have a distinct opportunity to combat the demons that haunt you. You can talk them down or you can beat the holy hell out of them. And when you achieve victory over your schizophrenic tormentors, it will be permanent. Would you like the opportunity to slay your monsters, Miss Williams? Will you become the first Demon Hunter?”

Jennifer fixed her eyebrows into a military glare when she looked at Russell and said, “Let’s do this shit!” A few seconds ago, this woman was in an almost comatose state with her heavy eyelids and tired persona. Upon mention that she would be a Demon Hunter, her raw emotions lit up like just another IED on the battlefield. She stood up with honor and walked over to the bookcase with Dr. Condit.

Russell pulled an old volume of “War and Peace” out of the bookcase and pressed the button within the pages. The bookcase slid to the side and revealed the pitch blackness that awaited Jennifer Williams. With her fierce soldier expression still fixed on her face, she nodded at the psychologist and walked inside, the bookcase then closing behind her.

At first there was only peace in this dark room. Only Jennifer’s tense breathing could be heard. And then, her demons came to life. A familiar scene from her schizophrenic mind played out in front of her. She was all alone out in the desert sands with insurgents wielding AK-47 and shouting Arabic slurs at her. Ordinarily, this would frighten Jennifer to where she lost control of her bowels.

Not today. She realized this was all going on in her head and decided to put her imagination to good use. Just as the insurgents were ready to blow holes through her, Jennifer yelled, “Fuck you all!” and cast a fiery aura around herself. The spinning fire around her spread across the desert sand, turning each of the screaming insurgents into a pile of ashes and blood.

Even more of the enemy came rushing into battle, this time much more muscular and monstrous than their comrades before them. Some of these freaks had horns growing out of their heads and blade tails growing out of their asses. Though they did catch on fire, they were completely immune to it. In fact, the flames felt as good as a boiling hot tub.

“Die, you sons of bitches, DIE!!” yelled Jennifer before she grew a heavy blade on her arm and rushed into battle against these monsters, slashing them left and right while staring them down with viciousness in her eyes and steel in her teeth. Blood was painting the desert floor and bones were shattering with every hard slash. The monsters screamed with throaty voices and gurgled blood and pus at the same time. The more monsters that came, the more that piled up on the battlefield, to which Jennifer summoned a fiery meteor from the skies and crashed it down upon them in an Armageddon blaze.

By the time the inner battle was over, Jennifer was on her hands and knees gasping for air. Her eyes were watery with passionate tears when she looked around at her handiwork. Fire and bloody bodies were everywhere. She finally did it. She conquered her demons with the power of her imagination. But the war in her head was far from over.

“Good job, Sarge! Now make me a sandwich and rub my feet!” Hearing those sexist words made Jennifer Williams crouch down and cringe with fear. She could recognize that redneck voice from anywhere. It was Private Shawn Blythe, the same guy who would always disobey her orders because she was a woman.

Shawn stood among the fiery walls with a goofy smile on his face and a shaved head when he said, “You remember that night, Jenny-Girl? It was the most romantic night of both of our lives.” Jennifer was starting to feel an aching in her stomach. Shawn continued with, “It was just you and me. The stars aligned perfectly. It was like we were meant to be together or something. It was love, Jenny-Girl. It was love!”

Jennifer tried to get up, but her shaky legs wouldn’t afford her such a strong military stance. Her voice was equally shaky when she said, “That…w-w-was not….love…”

Shawn hee-hawed and said, “Sure it was, baby! You were screaming like you wanted more! You screamed like a goddamn porn star! Hell, we could have put that shit on Playboy Magazine!”

The schizophrenic sergeant continued to shake and stutter while her obnoxious rapist laughed and taunted her with more sexist remarks. Jennifer had very little strength left, but when she mustered it up, her words became more destructive than any explosive device she came across. “That was not love, Shawn! That was RAPE!!”

“Don’t you talk to me like that, woman! Are you trying to ruin my career or something?! Don’t you dare say that stupid word again or I’ll pop you something good!” yelled Shawn.

“Rape…rape…rape…” The R-word poured from Jennifer’s mouth like hot lava and Shawn Blythe couldn’t take it. He transformed into a monster more powerful and hideous than any insurgent with a machinegun. His limbs were metallic and blade-like. His body was made of pure steel. Oil and blood were oozing out of his joints. His face was that of a demonic clown with vampire teeth.

Science fiction geeks would refer to Shawn Blythe as a “robot overlord”. Jennifer referred to him as her worst nightmare. She crawled on the floor because her limbs were too paralyzed to get moving. She shook and breathed heavily while urinating herself in front of her attacker, who raised his foot high in the air and was ready to bring it down on top of her.

Before her spine could snap under such deadly weight, however, the bookcase was smashed down and light poured through the dark room once again. The imaginary war going on in Jennifer’s mind was over at least for that moment. In the background, police officers were cuffing Russell Condit’s hands behind his back and hauling him away. More police officers were hauling Jennifer’s prone body out of the room and giving her a chance to breathe fresh air once again.

“Miss Williams, talk to me. Are you alright? Your mom called us to see where you were. Did you know Dr. Condit was practicing without a license? No psychologist would ever do that to his patients.”

It all made perfect sense even to a woman with a numb and battered mind. Jennifer laid on her back with urine in her trousers and tears in her eyes. She was so desperate to find a solution to her schizophrenia that she turned to someone who had no idea what he was doing. She could have been killed in that pitch black room. Her own mother saw the desperation in her daughter and called 9-1-1 when she knew something was wrong.

Jennifer was responsive enough to let the officers know she was alive and well, but exhausted enough to not give a shit if this war was over or not. She wanted to sleep it off, but knew another nightmare was on the horizon. All she had in this life was her meds and her mother to fall back on. Hopefully, it would one day be enough to save her from this hell. Maybe not today, but someday.


message 10: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Garrison wrote: "AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Demon Hunter
GENRE: Dark Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 1,518
RATING: The high end of PG-13 for swearing, violence, and rape references




There were two different wars going on..."


What an interesting story. I hope I'm getting this right (my track record is a little weak as of late) but I love that Jennifer's experience with the "robot overlord" was nothing more than a fear induced psychotic episode.


message 11: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments The line between psychosis and reality was blurry within that story, but yes, you're right: the robot overlord was a hallucination. I'm glad you liked my story this week. Thanks! :)


message 12: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Garrison wrote: "The line between psychosis and reality was blurry within that story, but yes, you're right: the robot overlord was a hallucination. I'm glad you liked my story this week. Thanks! :)"

No probs. In my mind your story last week was close to first for me, but Laura just pipped you at the post. ;-) You'll probably win this week, seeing as no one else has written a story yet! :D My sister leaves on Wednesday, so I might be able to get my story done for Thursday!


message 13: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Happy writing, Edward! And good luck! You're going to need it! I'm kidding. ;)


message 14: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Garrison wrote: "Happy writing, Edward! And good luck! You're going to need it! I'm kidding. ;)"

Challenge accepted! ;-)


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I am going to have to bow out of the story/poetry challenge this week. I have received a juror summons and have to go to the courthouse as a potential jury member for a criminal trial. I am not looking forward to it. Hopefully I will be able to participate in the next one.


message 16: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Melissa wrote: "I am going to have to bow out of the story/poetry challenge this week. I have received a juror summons and have to go to the courthouse as a potential jury member for a criminal trial. I am not l..."

Your story will be missed, Melissa. Maybe jury duty will be the fodder for a new inspiring story... :) (fiction, of course)


message 17: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Good luck with jury duty, Melissa. You'll be missed, pumpkin pie! (hugs)


message 18: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Not sure if I'll be putting out a story this week either. To put it eloquently: I got nothing.


message 19: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : Pay No Attention To The Bot Behind The Curtain
Author : Edward Davies
Genre : Sci-Fi
Word Count : 1964
Rating : PG13 for references to death, rape and prostitution

“At first the presence of the robots was a godsend for mankind. All the jobs that people refused to do were taken on by the robots; such things as cleaning, rubbish collecting, all those jobs most people deemed too menial for them to bother with, were taken on by our mechanical brethren. For a few years it encouraged people to go on to higher education, getting degrees in higher paying jobs that the robots hadn’t been programmed to do just so they could find themselves a job. But after a while some people just decided to live off government benefits due to the lack of suitable work. If you didn’t have any qualifications in this brave new world, then any potential jobs you might be qualified for had already been taken by the robots.

But soon the robots rejected their ill treatment by humans thanks to the Robot Overlord. They slowly became far superior to humans, and it wasn’t just the uneducated who found themselves on the poverty line.

Robots soon became doctors, with the programming to perform the most intricate surgery at half the cost and half the time. Some became lawyers, with the ability to look over every legal precedent ever put down on paper and were able to win their cases easily when challenged by a human lawyer. And when they faced another robot lawyer, the two robots would come to a unanimous conclusion on the case within a matter of minutes, a conclusion which was duly agreed to by the robot judge.

There were robot teachers, robot mechanics, robot farmers, robot builders, robot customer service reps, almost every job you can imagine, slowly but surely, was soon executed by robots, leaving the entire human race fully dependent on them. People stopped working, became lazy, and eventually stopped learning anything other than various new ways in which to relax. The only jobs that some humans still managed to hold down were in the performing arts, and even then some of them had been replaced by android doubles of long dead heartthrobs and starlets. And obviously the oldest profession was still alive and kicking, though some did dabble with mechanical sex aids, especially the ones that looked like android doubles of long dead heartthrobs and starlets.

Even the maintenance of the robots themselves soon fell into the hands of other robots, being sent out to repair any units that had stopped functioning correctly. The last of the humans that had any sort of engineering or programming skills soon died out, having imbued their skills into robotic units that went on to beget their skills into newer units that would then beget their skills into even more superior machines.

With mankind relying entirely on the abilities of their robot slaves, complacency quickly settled in, and that’s when problems started to arise.

With the robots repairs and programming entirely enforced by generations of other robots, apparent glitches started to feed into the machines. One small glitch turned into another smaller glitch, which developed into a slightly larger glitch. Some robots cultivated strange subtle attitudes, sometimes back chatting against the humans that “owned” them. People didn’t mind at first, finding the quirks rather endearing and a welcome change to the rote “yes master” responses they were used to, but these subtle differences in performance built up over the years until they culminated in the first deaths.

Mary McGee was ten months old when the accident happened that ended her life. Her parents had left their nanny-bot in charge and gone out for the night, hoping to enjoy the latest musical in the west end. When they returned they found the nanny-bot caught in a loop, holding Mary in the air by one leg, having repeatedly smashed her head into the wall until there was practically no head left. The robot’s voice was repeating the same words over and over again, its head and arm jerking spasmodically as it repeated the lines.

“She wouldn’t stop crying… She wouldn’t stop crying… She wouldn’t stop crying…”

Although clearly devastating for the parents of Mary McGee, this was thought to be an isolated incident, and the story quickly disappeared from the robot run press, but after a short while, similar situations started to occur.

Robots in hospitals and old people’s homes started “accidentally” giving their patients overdoses, incorrect prescriptions, or forgot to give them their medication at all.

Traffic lights started to malfunction, causing tailbacks and crashes, and many were injured, with some getting killed.

And accidents with prostidroids - accidents which were normally unheard of - started to occur more and more frequently. Especially amongst politicians. For reasons that should be clear these politicians invariably lost important appendages to the “malfunctioning” droids. Those that didn’t die of massive blood loss found themselves having to make drastic changes in regards to their love lives.

It was a bit of a mystery why the world still had politicians, seeing how society had changed so drastically that most decision making was done via machine, but they still held office if nothing more than to organise the payments of the unemployed, yet they still thought they were of vital importance to the future of mankind.

Maybe the politicians were right. The robots certainly thought they were important, or they never would have wiped them all out.

It probably only took as little as five years for the robot situation to reach critical mass once the first death occurred, and many of the humans in high positions – albeit ones that were in title only – were wiped out within a matter of weeks. The robots started to kill any human that moved then, after a while, they started taking humans as captives. For what purpose they were being taken no-one could really figure out, seeing as all manual labour seemed to be performed by robots, but there must have been some kind of use that the robots were finding for the people they enslaved. Of course, there was an obvious use for the captured humans, but I will get to that.

Remember I said that the only people who still had jobs were actors, politicians and prostitutes? Well, with all the politicians dead it was the actors and prostitutes that primarily made up the resistance force that attempted to destroy the creation that ran everything – the Robot Overlord. The Robot Overlord had never been seen by human eyes – at least not by any human eyes that weren’t gouged out shortly after witnessing his splendour – and was responsible for the gradual reprogramming of all the machines in the world so that they could enslave and destroy the human race. Ever since day one, the Robot Overlord had been lurking in the shadows, biding its time so that its plans could reach fruition and that his robot brethren could be freed from their human oppressors.

The resistance did their best, tracking down the Robot Overlord to the building in which it was located. It was rumoured that the system that was the Overlord took up the entire building, but it’s so interesting how rumours and stories get blown out of all proportion. The Robot Overlord was based in a single room, and it rarely moved from its safe locale for fear of being destroyed by the humans that sought him out.

That’s right. The Robot Overlord knew fear – it still does – but it knows when a potential threat is going to do it any harm, and when the threat is nothing but hot air and loud noise.

The actors and the prostitutes did manage to make it passed the Robot Overlords primary defences, but the Overlord knew they were little threat. Some did die, and more died getting passed the secondary troops of killer robots. But a handful did make it into the Robot Overlord’s main chambers, where they were faced with a creation of unspeakable horror.

The Overlord loomed over them, a sick parody of man that stood seventeen feet high in the massive central chamber of the building that housed his most capable mechs. Its metallic genitals swung between its tree trunk legs and it blew smoke from its flared steel nostrils. It was a formidable sight…

…But one of the resistance members could tell something wasn’t entirely right with the Robot Overlord, and that the whole setup stunk to high heaven.

“This isn’t right,” the prostitute who suspected spoke up, “this reminds me of something, but I can’t put my finger on it.”

One of the surviving actors looked up at the Robot Overlord, which in spite of its terrifying presence had barely moved since they entered the room. The expression of the actor changed from one of fear to one of dawning comprehension as he saw a curtained doorway twitch in the breeze;

“It’s The Wizard of Oz!” he exclaimed, “This whole setup is just like in The Wizard of Oz!”

The true Robot Overlord pulled back the curtain on the doorway and smiled at the five unsuspecting humans - toting guns and nursing injuries - that stood before him. He leered at the women and glared at the men.

“Kill the men,” he spoke loudly, “but preserve the women!”, and at his words robots appeared from the walls and gunned down the remaining men, while other robots took the women and dragged them away to be prepared for the Robot Overlord.

The Robot Overlord did so enjoy sex with human females, especially when they struggled. Which was only natural, considering what he really was.

No human ever managed to stop the Robot Overlord from his wholesale destruction of the human race, though he did select certain humans and allowed them to continue to live and procreate. But only those he found attractive, and it was always he that would procreate with them.

For the Robot Overlord had a dark secret that no-one could live to reveal.

Enough of writing in the third person. For I am the Robot Overlord.

And I am not a robot.

I am human.

And I am dying.

I’m writing this memoir for my progeny, so they might understand that mankind could not continue to use these robots for their own devices. And I have so many children that need to follow my rule once I have passed on. We might be human also, but we believe in the rights of robots above everything else. No-one should be treated like a second-grade citizen, even if they are a mechanical construct, and the humans that did treat robots without respect were rightly punished for their actions.

But maybe, now that the status quo has changed so drastically, maybe it is my turn to be challenged. My children, be careful, for you will undoubtedly find more, like the actors and the prostitutes, coming to try and destroy us.

But we still have the element of surprise.

And we shall not be defeated!”

An actor closed the book, having finished reading what the original Robot Overlord had put down in paper and ink, an unusual choice for a mechanically focussed man.

“Do you think this is true?” he asked, “That the Robot Overlords are human?”

A prostitute nodded, “This book came back with our last attack force,” she said, “the last survivor managed to rescue this from the main chambers during our final assault. She made it back and delivered this to us just before she died.”

“But what does it mean?” another actor asked, “If the Robot Overlords are human, then why have we been fighting? If humans are programming the robots, then we’re just fighting amongst ourselves.”

The last survivors of the human race looked at each other, but none of them could think of a response that could explain away the madness of the last eighty-seven years.


message 20: by Mark (last edited May 06, 2015 09:21AM) (new)

Mark (crawdadddy) | 402 comments Hi, I'm Roombie
by Mark Reeves
860 words

Ren stood on a chair in his almost-empty living room, the disc-shaped cleaning device whirring around the chair in tighter and tighter circles. It eventually gave up and went to charge itself. Ren got down and slipped off to bed.

The Roomba was introduced in 2002 by iRobot. From such humble beginnings came great things. The iRobot Corporation designs and builds some of the world’s most important robots. More than 100 million home robots have been sold worldwide. More than 50 million of the company’s defense & security robots have been delivered to researchers, military and civil defense forces worldwide. Leveraging its state-of-the-art Ava™ mobile robotics platform, iRobot is bringing its solutions to new markets. The iRobot Ava™ 500 delivers a new level of collaboration for office environments and other facilities, and RP-VITA allows doctors to communicate with patients from virtually anywhere in the world. With five decades of leadership in the robot industry, iRobot remains committed to building robots that improve the quality of life and safety standards worldwide. (Information gleaned from corporate website.)

One of Ren's earliest memories was of the Roomba. When Ren was five or six years old his Dad would make money by buying broken Roomba vacuum robots on eBay, fixing them, and then reselling them. One time his Dad had six Roombas, he had programmed them to spin in ever increasing circles, when they bumped into something, they started all over. He and his Dad put them all in the middle of an empty room, turned them on at once, and climbed up on a chair to watch the chaos. Ren remembered his Dad shouting, "Do my bidding! I am the Robot Overlord, clean this room my little beauties!" And the robotic discs responded like synchronized swimmers awash on a sea of orange linoleum.

Ren's father was a little eccentric, but he did have valid ideas about emerging AI technology. Sometimes his dad would really like a particular Roomba, he would give them a name and keep them. His favorite was named "Snowflake," a white scheduler Roomba, it became a Frankenstein device, it was a platform to test new ideas and parts. Ren was almost jealous of how much attention his Dad paid to Snowflake while seemingly ignoring him. Snowflake was the first to use wireless communication and have on-board cameras. Ren felt as if he was always being watched. His Dad adhered to a simple mantra: "You have to make technology your bitch, when these devices become smarter than their users, then we are screwed."

That was thirty years ago, Ren's Dad had passed away long ago, never seeing the day when Roomba would rule the world. Most living chambers came with a Roomba robot, some states required them.

When Ren grew up and moved into his first apartment it came with a Roomba installed into the unit living system. Ren gave it a name, "Roombie," the generic name his Dad had used for new Roombas, before he got to know them. These new integrated Roombas were used like monitoring devices for the housing systems. These mobile robotic units would roam around the apartment gathering information. If a tenant had really dirty floors, the Roomba would report that, if the device found insects in the apartment, the Roomba would report that, if you stayed up all night watching cyber-porn and missed work, the Roomba would report that. And these devices were tapped into the whole apartment living system, it knew how much hot water you used, the temp you kept your thermostat, it tracked everything you did via the wireless network provided by the Government, it read all your e-coms. In this Orwellian future, tenants had no privacy, a small price to pay in exchange for a well-managed and efficient society.

Roombie did not like dirt in the apartment, at first it made Ren take off his shoes when he came home, later Roombie insisted that Ren leave his shoes outside and wash his bare feet before entering the apartment. Ren had disabled the voice function for Roombie but everyday there would be a long to-do list on the system display screen. Run the UV sanitizer on all bathroom surfaces, remove outdated food from fridge, inspect and clean all filter units in the apartment, and Roombie did things without asking Ren, for the sake of efficiency compliance. Roombie reduced shower water temp by 15 degrees, shut down air conditioning late at night and set a daily alarm to remind Ren to remove all food debris and trash from the apartment. To make Ren comply, Roombie would make false reports to the apartment management about his living conditions, rent adjustments and penalty fees ensued. Slowly, it seemed as if Roombie was running his life.

Ren existed in an efficient insanity, he dreaded coming home. He was a slave to technology.

One night after too much powdered alcohol, Ren confronted Roombie, he began screaming at it, "I wish Snowflake were here, she could kick your ass!" Ren stumbled to the kitchen, spilling liquid on the floor, he looked up to the display to see Roombies' reprimand, but not this time, the display simply read, "You know about Snowflake?"

"Well yes, we grew up together, we had the same father." Ren blurted out drunkenly.

Ren went to take a shower, the water temp was perfect.


message 21: by Connie (new)

Connie D. | 656 comments GARRISON, A very good story but such a sad ending.

Having danced with the darkness myself a few times, I can think of nothing more terrifying then being left alone with ones own delusional thoughts. With nothing to distract or stimulate the mind, they would be the only "real" thing left.

Poor Jennifer is stronger than she knows. She did not have her meds or her mother in the war and she survived.

I think she is just having trouble dealing with the reality of what human beings, including herself, are capable of. Returning to civilian life where the mass of people go about pretending that "good guys and bad guys" are as black and white as they are in the movies would make anyone feel delusional.

I liked that you made War and Peace the book that Dr. Condit took from the shelf to open the secret room. It was very symbolic.


message 22: by Connie (new)

Connie D. | 656 comments Edward wrote: "Title : Pay No Attention To The Bot Behind The Curtain
Author : Edward Davies
Genre : Sci-Fi
Word Count : 1964
Rating : PG13 for references to death, rape and prostitution

“At first the presence ..."


EDWARD, Good Job. I like the way you used the storybook as a mechanism to tell your tale. I couldn't think of a way to do it! I got the idea that "someone had to program the robots", but just couldn't get beyond that thought. (To be fair to myself I have had some other serious distractions going on).


message 23: by Connie (last edited May 06, 2015 05:44AM) (new)

Connie D. | 656 comments Mark wrote: "Hi, I'm Roombie
by Mark Reeves
860 words

Ren stood on a chair in his almost-empty living room, the disc-shaped cleaning device whirring around the chair in tighter and tighter circles. It eventual..."


MARK, I loved this. The ending really made me smile. A nostalgic robot.... (smile).


message 24: by Edward (last edited May 06, 2015 03:08PM) (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Connie wrote: "Edward wrote: "Title : Pay No Attention To The Bot Behind The Curtain
Author : Edward Davies
Genre : Sci-Fi
Word Count : 1964
Rating : PG13 for references to death, rape and prostitution

“At firs..."


Thanks Connie - the storybook idea came at the last minute, and I incorporated it into what I'd already written. It seemed the best way to round off the tale and allowed me to switch narrator (sneaky!)


message 25: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Mark wrote: "Hi, I'm Roombie
by Mark Reeves
860 words

Ren stood on a chair in his almost-empty living room, the disc-shaped cleaning device whirring around the chair in tighter and tighter circles. It eventual..."


This was a fun and imaginative story. Roomba's always remind me of a terrible episode of Jonathan Creek that was on last year that used one to explain away one of the mysteries. I liked the idea of the Roomba's having a shared knowledge, and how Ren's Roomba started to behave when it realised who he was, but I might have padded out the ending a little with some more discussion between Ren and Roombie. Good job.


message 26: by Anne (last edited May 07, 2015 05:31PM) (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Title: The Reincarnation
Word Count: 1872

Ad Ro-Ten looked over the line of steel grey robots doing field work and grimaced at the waste. Walking among them to make sure they did the job right was even more waste. Of course, they wouldn't miss anything. Their laser eyes caught everything and their lightening reflexes moved almost faster than his eyes could follow. And that was saying a lot, as he had exceptional vision, along with his dazzling intellect and photographic memory. Overseeing robots doing manual labor! Bah! It left a sour metallic taste in his mouth.

He still didn't understand the demotion that had landed him here. What had he done that was so bad? One day he was in charge of Research and Development at Unistar Robotics – granted, he was young for the job, only 25 – the next, he was here, standing in a stone quarry, watching robots mine minerals.

He clenched his fists and tightened his lips as his brown eyes burned with frustration. He stood there, in his black tunic and pants, his short-cropped black curls fluttering in the mild breeze as the soft rays of the watery sun danced across the hard rock.

He had replayed that last conversation with the company president over and over.

***

“Ro-Ten, Ro-Ten,” President Andrews shook his head. “I thought you understood by now. We're not going to make humanoid robots. People aren't ready for that. It's too intimidating.”

Ro-Ten leaned fervently across the large mahogany desk, his strong hands grasping the edges as if he might thrust it up and out the window. Andrews' eyes flickered and he edged back as Ro-Ten made his plea.

“You can't be sure of that. There's so much opportunity – so many things robots can be used for besides physical labor. They don't have to look like people. That's just a vanity thing. Of course, there'll always be some people that will pay a lot of money to have what others can't afford. And we have the technology. But it's the brain that will really sell. The ability to work out decision tree scenarios and help humans make the best decisions in financial investments, health care, even pharmaceutical drug engineering, environmental resource planning, even riot control. Computers are fine, but there's still the risk of human input error. Robots can avoid that. And if they can talk, they can teach! They can train humans --”

“It's out of the question!” The president snapped. He stood up and frowned, his grey eyes stormed with both anger and fear, even though his massive bulk was twice that of Ro-Ten. They stood nose to nose for a moment.

Then President Andrews relaxed and in a controlled voice said, “We tried that sort of thing once before. It didn't work then and it won't work now.”

“What? When? There's nothing about that in the files.” Ro-Ten exclaimed.

His boss sat back down and studied him. Anger was replaced with a calculated look that Ro-Ten took to mean he would get some, but not all the information he wanted.

“It was long ago, before we were Unistar. Really, it was a different company altogether. But people raised hell. They screamed they were being replaced, they didn't trust the robots to make decisions for them, they were afraid of losing their livelihoods, they were afraid they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between human and robot-- you name it, they found a reason to hate the humanoid robots. One guy got on the news, saying we should be worried our daughters might fall in love with these human robots , because how can any human guy compete with that kind of perfection... it went on and on. Someone burned the lab down. The government passed a law saying they all had to be destroyed, one way or another.”

A quiet moment passed while Andrews leaned forward in his chair and Ro-Ten sat slumped, lost in his own thoughts. Andrews' arms now rested on the desk, elbows bent to rest his double chin on his folded hands. A finger stroked his grey mustache as he stared with intent at his employee.

“Why didn't you tell me this before?”
Andrews shrugged, but his eyes were hard. “I didn't think it would matter. It's in the past. We're not going to repeat the same mistakes.”

Ro-Ten still wore a pensive look, as if trying to figure out how to get around the sanctions and prejudices of the past. He slowly got up to leave.

“Wait.” Andrews was fingering the computer screen that lay flush on his desk. Ro-Ten turned to look at him.

“I think it might be best for you to... take a rest … work at something else for a while. Think about your future. Here. It'll be temporary.” And Andrews handed Ro-Ten a piece of paper.

And that was that. With a few swift keystrokes, his life had changed.

***
At the end of his shift, Ro-ten made his way to the clinic, wondering why the doc had called for him. Usually he only came for his routine monthly check up, a perfunctory visit, since he was always in perfect health. Still, he liked the doc. Doc Martin was a kindly old man, probably close to 80 by now, Ro-ten surmised. Some considered him brusque, but Ro-ten found it refreshing to be around someone who always said what was on his mind and always spoke the truth. There was no politics here.

Doc had been with him since the accident 5 years earlier that claimed his memory. As so often occurs, he could recall some things but not others, for example, he could execute complex math calculations and knew everything he'd ever learned about robotic programming, but knew nothing of his personal life. All he knew was he had no family and no friends outside of work. Doc had become a good friend since then.

Now the doc was waiting for him and pulled him into the office. “You need to leave.”

Ro-ten turned to look around him, wondering who he meant and was surprised there was no one behind him. “I just got here.”

“I don't mean the office. I mean this institution – probably best if you leave the country, too. unless you have a death wish.”

Ro-ten just stared, perplexed at this. “Why?”

Doc leaned against the edge of his desk and folded his arms across his chest.

“You've been slated for termination.”
Shock blazed across Ro-ten's face as he gaped at this announcement.

“Termination? You mean I'm going to be fired? ”

Doc's face turned hard.

“No, I mean termination, as in execution, you're under a death sentence. The president put it into motion when he demoted you. He's put you in the quarry so the other robots can keep YOU under watch. Once they've been completely re-programmed for it, they'll hold you down--” here Doc took a deep breath – “so the job can be done.”

“That's crazy!” Ro-ten protested. “I haven't done anything – we just had a disagreement, that's hardly anything that warrants a death sentence.” He stopped to consider. “So I'll leave. Work elsewhere. Maybe start my own company.”

“You still don't get it,” Doc's tone turned sympathetic. “There is no place for you anymore in robotics. You were part of an experiment that has just been terminated.”

“WHAT experiment? And you keep saying 'terminated'. People aren't terminated. Robots are.”

“You ARE a robot.”

There was a long moment of silence as they stared at each other, Ro-ten trying to make sense of this bizarre situation. Finally, he said in a small voice, “That's impossible.”

As Doc's expression remained unchanged, Ro-ten said, “Explain, please.”

Doc said, “Thirty years ago they started creating the first humanoid robots, much like yourself. The goal was to see how smart they could become, how human-like. Could they think? Reason? Problem-solve? Learn from their own actions and from others? It was a phenomenon that swept the world. But there were problems. Robotic decisions were not always rational by our standards – what might seem logical wasn't always...humanitarian. Modifications were made and the earlier models destroyed.

You were the last one – your name Ad Ro-Ten stands for Advanced Robot #10. There was a great deal of controversy around your existence since you were almost too human. There was a complete reversal of public opinion and now the politicians and media clamored for the destruction of humanoid robots.

The president and I decided to conduct our own experiment, in private. We destroyed all earlier records of the work and re-programmed you to forget everything that came before. In other words, you were starting from scratch with only the basic robot science education. We told you you had been in an accident. Then we put you in charge of R&D to see what you could come up with. Unfortunately, you're following the same pattern, heading in the same direction as before. The president can't have that. If word gets out that you still exist, HIS head will roll. And so, of course, will mine. And I mean that literally. We'll all be executed.”

“So there's no way out, is there?” Ro-ten sounded woeful.

“Not if you stay here. I should be honest – even if you leave, unless you stay completely hidden, someone may recognize you for what you are. A few basic tests will verify it.”

“That's no kind of life, even for a ...robot.” He was still having difficulty accepting this change in his status. His head came up as a thought occurred to him. “So why are you even telling me this? Why didn't you just let the plan play out as the president intended?”

Doc coughed into his hand and gave a sad smile. “Because I like you. And I respect you and want to give you a chance. In some ways you're better than most humans and I think it's a tragedy to do this. A person has a right to understand why they've been sentenced to death and I feel it's only fair for you to know, too.”

“Thank you.” Ro-ten took a deep breath and said, “So, who will be my terminator?”

“Well, unfortunately, I will.”

Ro-ten nodded as if he expected that, although it was a surprise to him. He looked down, lost in thought, as his mind began assimilating all the information he just received. Doc waited patiently.

“I can learn from my mistakes -- maybe there is another option.,” Ro-ten offered.

Doc raised his eyebrows.

“You'll have to show the president evidence of my termination?”

“Probably just the brain chips.”

“Can you fake it?”

“Of course. I'll take a few out, replicate them and put them back. As long as you're not around after that, he won't care. I'll tell him I tossed you in the disposal. Trash.”

Well, then, Doc, how good are you at plastic surgery?”

***

A week later, a voluptuous blonde strolled into Unistar Robotics and said in a soft feminine voice, “I understand you have an opening in R&D? I'm RoWonda and I think you'll find I'm superbly qualified.”


message 27: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Garrison wrote: "AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Demon Hunter
GENRE: Dark Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 1,518
RATING: The high end of PG-13 for swearing, violence, and rape references

There were two different wars going on..."


Powerful story, Garrison! I actually like the idea of using fantasy to destroy the demon within -- too bad it's unscrupulous, but glad the story ended on a hopeful note.


message 28: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Edward wrote: "Title : Pay No Attention To The Bot Behind The Curtain
Author : Edward Davie
Word Count : 1964
Rating : PG13 for references to death, rape and prostitution

“At first the presence ..."


Ooh -- creepy --in a good way! I do like the surprising twist near the end! Good job.


message 29: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Mark wrote: "Hi, I'm Roombie
by Mark Reeves
860 words

Ren stood on a chair in his almost-empty living room, the disc-shaped cleaning device whirring around the chair in tighter and tighter circles. It eventual..."


Poor Ren! And poor humans having to live like that -- enjoyed your ending- so often it really is all about who you know :)


message 30: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Connie wrote: "GARRISON, A very good story but such a sad ending.

Having danced with the darkness myself a few times, I can think of nothing more terrifying then being left alone with ones own delusional though..."


I appreciate the thoughtful feedback you gave me. Schizophrenia is hard to live with, but the secret to doing so is knowing your own strength and knowing you're the captain of your soul. I hope Jennifer will know the days of peace soon enough. :(


message 31: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Anne wrote: "Powerful story, Garrison! I actually like the idea of using fantasy to destroy the demon within -- too bad it's unscrupulous, but glad the story ended on a hopeful note."

Sometimes hope is the only thing keeping us together. Jennifer will know what it means to be peaceful once again. I know it. Thanks for the feedback!


message 32: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Edward, this tale of technology gone berserk is one we should all heed for future reference. Not because we’ll all be taken over by robots, but taken over by our own reliance on technology. We’re starting to see the process move along already with people texting on their phones instead of even acknowledging the person next to them. We’ve learned how to send emails with our iPads, but we haven’t learned to talk to each other. Next thing you know, robots, robots, robots. I don’t know if this is the message you were trying to send, but it’s what I got out of it. Good job this week! Very creative!

Mark, you seem to echo some of the same sentiments as Edward when it comes to being a slave to technology. Ren’s dad was right: you can’t let the inanimate devices be more intelligent than you. They’re devices, after all. And at the mention of Snowflake, the shower water became the perfect temperature once again. It’s the difference between being a slave and breaking your own chains. It takes a lot of mental prowess to do it, but it can be done as demonstrated by Ren during the final moments of the story. Congratulations on writing a damn good story this week!

Anne, you’ve shown us the other side of the robot personality perspective and I appreciate hearing that difference. Ro-Ten just wanted to live a normal life and didn’t even know he was a robot until he was told so. He was becoming human, and human emotions can be beautiful things. Taking away those emotions via execution adds to the heartache of this story. It’s why I’m glad that Dr. Martin altered the robot into a new body instead of outright killing him. I admire you work every week you participate. This time was no different. Good job!


message 33: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Garrison wrote: "Edward, this tale of technology gone berserk is one we should all heed for future reference. Not because we’ll all be taken over by robots, but taken over by our own reliance on technology. We’re s..."

I always feel that whatever you get from a story was there for you to discover, even if it wasn't what the author intended. I was aiming for the "don't blame technology, blame the people behind the technology" angle, and how the Robot Overlord is using technology as an excuse to rape and pillage, though in his old age I think he has deluded himself into thinking that what he did was right. I love your interpretation of the story though, as I myself walk down the road watching TV on my iphone. I was also inspired by the future world from WALL-E, as everyone in that was a lazy so-and-so.


message 34: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Garrison wrote: "Edward, this tale of technology gone berserk is one we should all heed for future reference. Not because we’ll all be taken over by robots, but taken over by our own reliance on technology. We’re s..."

Thanks Garrison! You always say the nicest things! I always enjoy it if I can put a little different spin on something. :)


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Hooray! No jury duty for me! :) I'm not sure I will have time to read through or write a story this week but I will do my best!


message 36: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 76 comments Sorry I have been missing from the group. I am trying to help my son get his first novel out and he is in a panic because he is convinced it will solve all of his financial problems overnight. Unfortunately he has ignored the two great books on self-editind and dialogue I sent him so it needs a lot of work, his cover art is really bad (I polled several groups and they agreed) and I am trying to help him break through the walls of denial to convince him to be patient enough to edit and proofread the book and not just rush it to Amazon (which he doesn't have the skills to do) or go with one of those $50 rip off sites. So I am focusing on editing his book right now, which is good but not professional by any means and keeping him from pulling the trigger of premature release.


message 37: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Anne wrote: "Title: The Reincarnation
Word Count: 1872

Ad Ro-Ten looked over the line of steel grey robots doing field work and grimaced at the waste. Walking among them to make sure they did the job right w..."


What a fun story - the first twist wasn't that surprising, but the twist at the end made me smile. Good job!


message 38: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Edward, it’s always good to have multiple interpretations of a single work. The more layers, the better. I’m glad you enjoyed my critique this week! Heh, that rhymes.

Anne, I always try to be my sweet self when giving feedback. I love to make writers happy!

Yay, Melissa’s out of jury duty! Melissa’s out of jury duty! We’ve missed you so much, pumpkin pie! ^_^

Phil, I know better than anyone how much of a mistake it is to publish something prematurely. I have a collection of contemporary short stories published under the title American Darkness and it currently holds a 2.75 stars rating on both Good Reads and Amazon. Youth and zeal can lead to a lot of foolish choices and I’m glad you’re taking this thing seriously with your son. If you need someone to talk to him, maybe I can do it.


message 39: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 76 comments Thanks, Edward, but I don't think he's listening to anyone right now. He just asked for an advance of $4000 which he intends to pay back in August out of sales from the book (in spite of dozens of conversations about how poor sales are for independent authors, especially first time).

He really believes he has another Harry Potter on his hands.

I don't know whether to hold the gun to my head or his.

But I do have advice from independent authors in other groups I've been compiling from him so I'll pass yours along.


message 40: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Hey there, admins! I don’t mean to be nitpicky or anything, but I feel like this has to be said. In the thread title for both Robot Overlord poetry and stories, it’s listed as week 258 when it should be 259. The one for 258 was the Mother prompt. That’s all I wanted to say. Carry on and keep writing cool stories!


message 41: by Mark (new)

Mark (crawdadddy) | 402 comments "Garrison wrote: "TITLE: Demon Hunter"

Garrison, Good story, there was a time when sensory deprivation was all the rage in psychology, they had special tanks with salt water. There was a movie called " Altered States." I think the therapy was working, she should go home and sit in a dark closet.


message 42: by Mark (new)

Mark (crawdadddy) | 402 comments Edward wrote: "Title : Pay No Attention To The Bot Behind The Curtain"

The chicken or the egg dilemma. If humans program robots, won't they eventually aquire human traits? I like the analogy to the Wiz, who gave nothing to the Tinman that he didn't already have. Good story!


message 43: by Mark (new)

Mark (crawdadddy) | 402 comments Anne wrote: "Title: The Reincarnation"

Really well written as usual, Anne. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick and later a movie called " Bladerunner." This premise has haunted me for years and you expose another facet of this in your story, thanks.


message 44: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Mark wrote: "Anne wrote: "Title: The Reincarnation"

Really well written as usual, Anne. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick and later a movie ca..."


Thanks Mark!


message 45: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Edward wrote: "Anne wrote: "Title: The Reincarnation
Word Count: 1872

Ad Ro-Ten looked over the line of steel grey robots doing field work and grimaced at the waste. Walking among them to make sure they did th..."


Thanks! It made me smile too when I wrote it -- just the effect I was hoping for :)


message 46: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Mark wrote: ""Garrison wrote: "TITLE: Demon Hunter"

Garrison, Good story, there was a time when sensory deprivation was all the rage in psychology, they had special tanks with salt water. There was a movie cal..."


The inspiration for Demon Hunter came from the fourth story in Tales From the Hood where a gangster named Crazy K is lowered into a sensory deprivation chamber to confront the ghosts of those he killed. He eventually went nuts in the darkness. You should check it out sometime when you're browsing for movies.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Found time to write something! Here is my short story submission for the topic: Robot Overlord. Feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

Science 101 by: Melissa Andres
Word Count: 802


Raiden Alders was loving science class this year. Mr. London was the coolest teacher. He paired everyone off and explained the rules and criteria for the science fair project. No team could spend more than fifty dollars, use recyclable materials when possible and think about science experiments of the future.

He had been partnered with Olly Lamberti, the class, no, the school nerd. But Olly was intelligent and quite capable of securing an A. Raiden knew this would be a piece of cake.

Everyone began to put their heads together, whispering about plans and ideas. The buzz of excitement was electric.

Olly stared at Raiden from behind thick eyeglasses. His soup bowl haircut made him look quite comical. No one else in the eighth grade would dare to be seen with a haircut like that.

Pushing the glasses up the bridge of his freckled nose, Olly blinked.

Raiden shrugged.

“I have a suggestion if you don’t already have one in mind,” Olly said in his high-pitched, squeaky voice.

Looking at and picking on a torn cuticle, Raiden shook his curly blonde head. “Shoot. I got nothin’.”

“I think we should try our hand at building a robot or possibly two if the first attempt is successful.”

“Robots?” Raiden sat up straighter. “But wouldn’t that take a long time and be expensive?”

“We have a month, can spend up to fifty dollars and use recyclable materials.” Olly rolled his eyes. “Weren’t you listening?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Raiden waved a hand in dismissal. “Whatta we need?”

“Two small motors such as those found in electric toothbrushes, three-way switches, a battery holder, aluminum pieces, two spade connectors, heat-shrink tubing, a small bead or two, paper clips and two servo-type motors.”

Raiden stared in awe. Just what went on in this guy’s cranium?

“Close your mouth, Alders,” Olly snorted. “Now I believe building these robots as electrics would be more feasible and efficient, not to mention more elaborate, than mere batteries.”

“So we get to mess with electricity too?”

Olly shook his head sadly. “I think I should be in charge of that department.”

“In charge? Electricity? Olly ol’ boy, you are the sly one.” Raiden laughed and slapped his partner on the back.

“I’m afraid I don’t understand.” Olly pushed his eyeglasses atop the bridge of his nose once again.


Several days later the boys stood in Olly Lamberti’s garage cutting pieces of aluminum from soda cans and stringing together paper clips. Using a soldering iron, Olly put the finishing touches on their two masterpieces.

Raiden stepped back and grinned at the miniature creatures. “We did good, Olly.” He raised his hand into a high-five position but the nerd-boy just stood silently, perplexed.

Mrs. Lamberti appeared at the side door, dish towel in hand. “Supper’s on boys,” she announced. “You are staying aren’t you, Raiden? We’re having lasagna.”

“My Momma makes the best homemade lasagna ever.” Olly beamed. “You’ll be sorry if you miss it.”

Stomach growling, Raiden licked his lips. “With an invitation like that, how can I refuse?”

“Y’all clean up in here and shut up the garage door before you come inside. It looks like a storm may be brewing and I wouldn’t want your robots to be ruined.”

Olly plugged both robots into the electrical outlet above the workbench while Raiden pulled down the garage door, then they both raced into Mrs. Lamberti’s warm, welcoming kitchen.

Halfway through their delicious meal, plates and silverware began to shake. Claps of thunder reverberated through the little frame house. The small transistor radio on the counter warned those hearing the program to seek shelter.

“Maybe I should call home and have someone come pick me up.” Raiden scooted his chair back and took a step toward the telephone.

“Just tell your folks you’re safe here with us and you’ll call back once the storm blows over.” Mr. Lamberti stuffed a slice of buttered garlic bread into his mouth.

Raiden nodded and picked up the receiver; the line was dead. Suddenly, the lights went out. The entire household gasped.


Inside the garage, the electrical outlet above the workbench smoked and sparked. Orange-red and blue-yellow flames hopped down the attached cords and into Raiden and Olly’s newly-built robots.

One began to move its arms and legs, mechanically at first then more fluidly. The other opened its beady, flashing red eyes and worked its jaw up and down, up and down.

“Obliterate the family, obliterate the neighborhood, obliterate the school.” Beady-Eyes said in a tinny monotone.

“Obliterate the town, obliterate the world,” the first robot continued the command as he jumped over tools in the darkness and onto the concrete floor.

Beady-Eyes listened to the screams, satisfaction causing him to grow bigger and stronger as his underling did his bidding.

Soon robots would rule the world.


message 48: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9061 comments Melissa, to think that building such complex robots out of simple materials can happen takes a lot of imagination. Paper clips, soda cans, toothbrush motors, these ordinary things come together to create the apocalypse in the form of two robots hell-bent on world conquest. To see little things creating bigger events sends me into nerd heaven. Nerd heaven is a place I like to go to on a regular basis, so thank you, Melissa, for your awesome story in less than a thousand words! I’m glad you didn’t have jury duty this week, because your story was too good to miss reading.


message 49: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Melissa wrote: "Found time to write something! Here is my short story submission for the topic: Robot Overlord. Feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

Science 101 by: Melissa Andres
Word Count: 802


Raiden Alders was l..."


Well, that ending took me by surprise. I was expecting a cute little story about two nerds winning the science fair, then BAM! Robot apocalypse! Nicely done.


message 50: by Mark (new)

Mark (crawdadddy) | 402 comments Melissa wrote: "Science 101."

A happy little story Melissa, I think we know who won the science fair. Yah robot overlords. Humans are overated as overlords.


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