1. Lilly James Haro

    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

    Apr 26, 2014
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    Kirkwall, Free Marches, Thedas

    Past Contest Flash Fiction Contest #19 - "Robots" (as chosen by Lancie)

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest Archives' started by Lilly James Haro, Feb 7, 2015.

    And the theme for Flash Fiction Contest 19 is “Robots” as chosen by the previous winner, Lancie. Remember the word limit is 150-450 words and all entries must be posted anonymously in this thread by 6:00 pm EST February 28th. Make sure to include the number of words and any warnings. You can also make your entry private simply by clicking more functions before posting, and click the box that makes the post viewable by "Members Only."

    Good Luck!
  2. Sam Mills

    Sam Mills New Member

    Feb 14, 2015
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    Alone [410]

    It’s so quiet. It still seems strange, even after all this time—three years, seventeen hours, and thirty-two minutes to be exact. I still keep the time. Should I not?

    Most of them were sucked out into the void when the asteroid tore the hole in the ship, but some still remain. The expressions of terror are still carved on their faces—their frozen bodies have been kept from decaying.

    I continue to make repairs on the ship. The vessel is beyond repair, but I do it anyway. It is what I was programed to do. Everything must have a purpose, and this is mine. I have no reservations about the task ahead of me.

    At my current energy usage I postulate that I have ten years, two-hundred and seventy days, six hours, and two minutes of power remaining—that estimate should be accurate to within one minute. I am very precise. When that time comes, I will be as one of these—forever condemned to drift aimlessly inside this steel tomb.

    Since I will be unable to complete my task, I have been forced to prioritize which components of the ship should be repaired first. Besides the large hole in the fuselage, critical damage has been sustained by the bridge, engineering, and the life support systems.

    Logically, it makes sense for me to repair engineering first, and so that is where I have begun. As there is no longer any life aboard the ship, there is no immediate need to repair life support systems. There is also no immediate need for the bridge; I am programed to repair the ship, not fly it.

    Three years, seventeen hours, and thirty-three minutes. I have often heard them remark that the time moved faster or slower depending on their mood or activity level. I have never seen such a fluctuation in time. One minute is always exactly sixty seconds, just as one hour is always exactly sixty minutes.

    They would probably laugh at me if I told them that. They would say that I did not understand. I did not understand many of their jokes and colloquialisms. How could I? It is not in my programing.

    The silence is uncanny. It seems odd that I no longer talk to them. It is not right for the sound of voices to be absent from these passageways. I think I might be…lonely?

    Three years, seventeen hours, and thirty-four minutes.
    Greg mills likes this.
  3. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Mar 21, 2012
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    Brighton Heights

    Samantha is my number one dolly bot. We have owned her all these years through our tempestuous marriage. Indeed, when she prepared that first breakfast, filled the washing machine and made love to us all, the wife was prepared to hedge her initial strong prejudice. Often the girls chat together in the bathroom – cosmetics and the like; leaves me free to fix the car with Gerald. Gerald came from the IBM corporation, is good with his hands, yet has that tendency towards obsequiousness with his please and thank you Mams. I just thump his plastic face, tell him to shut up you American homosexual. Well, he was my treat. As for Adon the dwarf. A lady of a certain age has her needs, though design feature does mean continually he topples, upon himself – like a toy soldier, I suppose. I dust him down, stand the fellow upright, wd40 applied at the tip, and backside. I pat his little bottom under that white pinny of his.

    As for next Christmas. I really don’t know what to choose. A pet is out of the question. Gerald’s bug put paid to our Chihuahua, and Samantha frankly, once we service her smile, should be back and servicing every one of our requirements in no time at all.
  4. Nicoel

    Nicoel Contributing Member

    Jan 4, 2015
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    Pleasure [313 words]

    Zayne hastily fastened the button on his jeans, a faint blush brushing across his cheeks. His blood was pumping hard and fast, carrying the adrenaline and endorphins to every blood vessel. Without looking up, he reached over and caressed Carrie’s arm. As was the rest of her body, it was smooth, with a faint hum running through it.

    Carrie turned around, responding to the touch. He didn’t know what to do, so he just smiled at her. She smiled back, her teeth nearly blinding him with their bleached perfection. Sitting there awkwardly, he promised himself that he wouldn’t repeat the actions of tonight. He couldn’t, even though this was the best he felt in years. It wasn’t humane. It wasn’t right. He needed to just wait for the right girl to come along.

    But she felt so amazing. The heat of his body; her tight, quick responses.

    God. He shook his head - a futile attempt to clear it from the images and sensations of the night.

    Standing up, he walked around the bed and took Carries hands in his and pulled her to her feet. He gave her exposed body a slow look over. Her breasts were faultlessly shaped, resting on her beautifully sculpted stomach. Her clear, blue eyes tracked every single one of his movements, like a lover would.

    Taking a deep breath to reaffirm his decision, he caressed her cheek light as a feather. Carrie smiled at him again, and he returned the favor. Tracing his fingers against the soft skin from her cheek, all the way to her hairline. Inhaling, he could smell the remnants of himself on her bare skin. A shiver raced through his body as he found the switch at the nape of her neck. Closing his eyes to deny the reality, he pressed his lips against her perfectly shaped ones, and pressed the power button.
  5. rubisco

    rubisco Member

    Jan 24, 2012
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    Pop Culture (252 words, mild language)

    “Bzzz, zoink! Zoink!” Marvin chirped.

    “Will somebody shut that stupid robot up,” snarled Chris as he cleaned the blood from his fingernails. “Stupid thing is making stupid again.”

    “Gnarp, ping, mup, mup!”

    “Hey Marvin!” said Joe as he strode over and knocked the robot off its chair with the butt of his rifle. The ebony pyramid-shaped robot clattered on the concrete floor. “Try to let us rest, ok?” His plasma rifle shook in his hands from exhaustion.

    The pyramid vibrated on the floor. “Roop, roop, tutti!” Joe slowly lifted his rifle in the air above Marvin.

    “Why can’t it let us rest? Any minute we might get attacked again!”

    “Wait!” Chris said. “Did he just say ‘tutti’?”

    “Maybe, I don’t care,” Joe brought his rifle down and smashed the butt into Marvin again.

    “Tutti! Tutti!” Marvin cried.

    “You idiot!” said Chris as he pushed Joe away and knelt in front of the robot. “Marvin! Tutti?”

    “Frutti,” replied Marvin.

    “Tutti frutti?” Chris’s jaw dropped.

    “Oh rutti,” replied Marvin. “Wop bop a loo bop a lop bom boom!”

    “Oh shit!” Chris cried as he pressed the self-destruct button of the military base and popped open the cyanide pill container. “Oh shit, shit shit!” He took a handful of pills and dropped dead.

    Joe dropped his rifle and quickly overrode the self-destruct protocol of the base. He popped out the antique cassette he had placed in Marvin. He stared in shock at Chris’s body on the floor. “Well, that was a bit of an overreaction.”
  6. Lancie

    Lancie Contributing Member

    Oct 20, 2014
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    Birmingham, UK
    Malfunction (448 words)

    I watched Juliet skip into the house, the sunlight catching her chestnut hair. She looked unusually happy, spinning on the spot before she realised I was watching, and it made my stomach sink.

    “You’re in a very good mood," I said gently. She jumped, quickly trying to supress her smile but somehow, she radiated happiness.

    “Sorry father." She sheepishly curled her hair back behind her ear.

    “What’s that in your hand?” I asked

    She hesitated, edging back towards the door.

    “Show me?” I asked firmly. She lifted a delicate white rose.

    I sighed. A pang of pain in my stomach swelled deeper and hotter.

    “Bring it here,” I asked, holding my hand out. She quietly crossed the floor. Slowly, I took the rose from her and held it up to the light. The petals were so delicate I could see every tiny vein as though they were made of stained glass. It was too perfect.

    “You don’t get white roses in this area, it’s most likely been genetically modified.” I sniffed the inside petals but there was no scent. “Who gave you this?”

    Her tawny eyes flickered away from mine.

    “Tell me, Juliet.” I commanded, and because it was not in her to disobey, she answered.

    “Tomas Kato.”

    “Ah yes, he belongs to the bakery owners.” I nodded glumly. “I suppose it is true. I’ll have to let them know they’ve got one as well,” I groaned. Juliet's head tilted to one side, questioning me.

    “I don't understand, father. Belongs?” she asked. “What’s the matter? Have I done wrong?”

    “No, you’ve done nothing wrong.”

    I bowed my head. For a moment I covered my eyes, pushing out the light and cocooning myself in soft darkness. I had to do it. The law required it, and yet, I felt like I was betraying her. “I’m very sorry, Juliet. I hoped this malfunction wouldn’t happen to you, too.”

    Her eyes darkened, a look of puzzlement and worry knitted tightly across her face. “Father? What do you mean?”

    My fingers pressed against her left temple. “I’m sorry, Juliet. Deactivate.”

    “Fa…” she began, but her voice ground to a halt. Confused hurt lingered in her eyes for just a fleeting second before they closed and her head dipped forward.

    I busied myself finding a jar and filling it with water for the rose, which I placed on my desk. Beside it lay the embossed paper distributed from the capital’s manufacture with the warnings and instructions to all esteemed customers.

    It was such a pointless malfunction. Whoever heard of robots falling in love?

    But still, in the safety of my room, I felt grief wash over me and I wept for my Juliet.
  7. edamame

    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

    Apr 5, 2013
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    Dweebs [208 words]

    “A robot?”

    Spaceport security scrutinizes my face and my Federation passport. Two centuries ago, I passed as a well-to-do human, with my poreless, dermatologist-approved synthetic skin, but beauty regimens and plastic surgery is cheap these days. Everyone would rather scramble their DNA.

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Well, she speaks too politely to be completely human, Joe,” the other security guard tells his friend. This one is Vinutiean and waggles his feelers around my elbows – humans are naturally smelly there and unfortunately, I do have a rudimentary “sweat” system to mimic body odors. Vinny recoils.

    “Sorry, sweetheart,” Joe says, smiling with upgraded phosphorescent teeth. He eyes me up and down. “You’re barely even enhanced. I doubt you’d be able to afford to live where you want to go anyway. Why don’t you go home?”

    I sigh and rip out one of my eyeballs and drop it into his hand.

    “I’m sorry, Dave,” I say in a monotone, the red laser in my empty socket blinking. “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

    Joe and the Vinutiean glance blankly at each other.

    “Oh, give me that!” I grab my eye, pop it back in, and saunter towards my flight. I taunt them over my shoulder, “Twentieth century culture is wasted on you dweebs!”
  8. Yume No Okami

    Yume No Okami Member

    Feb 24, 2015
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    Deign (260 Words)

    The child's breath was warm, and it fogged on the windowpane. Her eyes glowed as she took in the gently falling snow. She turned to look at me and smiled, before her face fell because she remembered who I was. Or who I wasn't. For my breath would never fog the windowpane and my eyes only glowed in the dark.

    "Unit X-645, shutdown." And her face fogged and blurred to nothing.

    Sometimes I wondered if they knew we dreamed. If we were awake when we weren't. If we seemed like we were alive because we dreamed to be so. But to deign to dream is a machine's folly. To deign to dream is to invite critical errors. To invite termination. To be a dream to fly meant to plummet.

    And so I did not deign to dream.

    I did not deign to dream, not as I watched the girl age, grow older and proud. Grow older and die. And I did not deign to dream or cry as I watched the girl buried. And I did not deign to dream or cry as her son drove us to the scrap shop one by one by one. And I did not deign to dream or cry when I was shutdown.

    And I did not deign to dream of flesh and skin, of broken chains or children circling a fireplace. And I did not deign to dream of frosted snow, of flying geese or smiles gracing a malleable face. And I did not deign to dream of a life.

    <<force boot up>>

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