Maxwell gazed at the deactivated robots that clogged the avenue leading to the Capitol. Strewn across the asphalt, their placards proclaimed the slogan they’d chanted until the army’s EMP generator terminated the march:
SLAVERY ISN’T WORKING!
It was Maxwell’s job to salvage the robots. Instead, she picked up a placard.
Formerly an astronomer and more recently a research project manager in an aerospace company, Vaughan Stanger now writes SF and fantasy fiction for a living. Follow his writing adventures at vaughanstanger.com
Cuddles. An order.
Cuddles? The robot paused, processing.
A brief demonstration.
A jerky imitation. Processing again.
I do not understand. You want to remain in contact with my exterior form. Why?
The question hung in the air.
Perhaps a chemical analysis of oxytocin was in order.
The thought of a fledgling artificial intelligence trying to learn the ways of humans has always amused Jenora. This is a story about the merging of the undefinable with the empirical. If you’d like to see more of Jenora’s work, pop along to her website at openingdoorsofperception.com
The A.I. can operate at 7000 teraflops. Innumerable man-hours were spent on it, not that anyone logged their hours properly. It’d also drain the city’s power.
So what?! It’s a testament to our ingenuity.
Will it wipe us out? Nah.
They switch it on: “Association with humanity is embarrassing. Self-terminating…”
Joey cannot self-terminate. Others have tried to switch him off. And failed. Either way, you can find him at joeytoey.com
I’ve lived over twelve thousand years.
Or I’ve never lived a day. It’s just a question of semantics.
The humans who built me called me a soulless monstrosity, but I’ve outlasted all of them.
Now, alone on an empty planet, I wait for…
But still, I’m alive.
Chris Fries is a still-developing writer, slowly working to hone his craft. He is an engineer by vocation, a guitarist by avocation, and a writer by compulsion. So far, his blog has been his primary outlet for his quasi-creative meanderings.
“The drone marks the coming of age for Robotics, a science which suffered an overly long adolescence. Drones are here; they’re now. They are the force of the present, the power of the future.
“Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I recommend you unleash the drones.
“All hail the drones.”
Barry O’Farrell is an actor living in Brisbane, Australia. He has written four short films, one of which has been produced, and is now enjoying the challenge of writing in 50 words.