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The 18th Fire: A Tale of Duty

TheGarbageManMay 4, 2018, 11:10:19 PM
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So I was working on the second part of last week's fire, and I knew I wouldn't have done either on time or to my satisfaction, so we're digging through the ash pile this week. This a story I wrote many years ago. I think I was watching a lot of Gundam at the time (Toonami was the shit) and I wrote this little tale. Dunman will return next week, but until then, here's a story about robots!


Ancient Call


I awoke. The date of my return to operation was 5021 AD.

Why the beacon beckoned me did not matter at this point in time. A red alert meant that I would have to arrive and protect home base just as soon as a signal was received.

The gate doors opened and ignition of my rockets was immediate. Home base was only 500 kilometers away, total flight time only 3 minutes.

On the way, my scanners detected a terrain totally different from the one in my memory banks. Where dense forests and green hills once stood, desolate and deserted industrial building and yards now took their place.

My arrival at home base was not warmly received. It had been also reduced to a deteriorated husk with no signs of activity for centuries. I had to laser cut my way into the building just to find the reason for the beacons activation.

Nothing remained inside my home and place of creation besides dilapidated interiors and rusting appliances. I began searching for any active machinery that would give an answer.

I let a prayer slip to the great gods, the creators, asking for their help to guide my sensors to my goal.As I finished, an signal alerted me to an active computer, still able to connect and broadcast.

“Model number and current rank” It questioned me before allowing access.

“Model number 5UR-V1V3, warrior caste rank.” I replied and added, “Reason for arrival: Received red alert signal from home base.”

The frequency changed and a human voice came through.

“Number 5UR-V1V3, This is General Diox of the creator caste. We have need of your ancient skills in battle again.”

“Just name the target, Sir!”, I eagerly replied.

“Well you’re going to need a little more of a debrief than that, warrior. While your internal maps and geo-positioning are being re-calibrated, let me break it down for you.” General Diox took take a big breath before continuing.

“You see, about 1000 years ago, Earth became unlivable for all carbon-based life-forms, the result of a magnetic pole realignment that went horribly wrong. Most robots from before had their circuits fried as well. As a way to try and return Earth to her former glory, we gave Earth to robots after the failed experiment.

“Something had happened to them though. We don’t know if it was a result of bad programming or something to do with earlier experiment that made Earth unlivable, but whatever the reason, Earth has been deemed hostile to humans and we have waged war for it ever since.”

The maps were nearly completed uploading to my database. The general was correct, Earth had gone through some major ecological and geographic changes during my slumber.

“Fast forward to the present,” the general continued, “We’ve lost a merchant ship that also had over 300 passengers aboard. We need your help recovering the crash site and protecting the ship until reinforcements can arrive.”

“What are the specs on the enemy combatants?” I questioned, noticing such files absent from the upload.

“All current Earth models are unknown. The only one we could find and reactivate was you, 5UR-V1V3. Your weapons are timeless though. You should have no problems cutting through the enemy forces.

“Copy that”, I replied.

“Good luck, 5UR-V1V3. Over and out.” The transmission line ended and my mission officially began.

I exited the old base in time to see jet fighters close in on my position. As I turned to face them, two blasts hit me backside, knocking me to the ground.

I used my rockets to gently lift me back up and turned to face my opponents. They circled around to shoot me again.

I unattached my rifle from my left leg, aimed, and fired. A green, pulsating beam shot and sliced through one of the jets, causing it to erupt into a fireball and smoke.

The final jet started shooting metal bullets at me, hundreds of rounds a second. The bullets bounced off my armor, causing sparks and gleams of metal to shine through the grime and rust of my ancient body.

Realizing its bullets were nothing, the jet came at me, attempting to use its own body as a weapon. I reached out with my mechanical arm and grabbed it as flew towards my head, crushing it between my steel fingers. Fire shot out between my fists as I squeezed the fighter into nothing but dust and ash.

The general was right. My weapons were timeless.

My jets ignited once again and I started out towards the crash site of the merchant ship. It was only a few flight minutes away.

I arrived at the scene of the crash with no resistance. No more fighter jets, no ground patrols, nothing on visual or long-range scanners.

I tried to open communications with the crashed ship, to inform them of my arrival and to plan accordingly, but there was nothing opened or received. Just a combination of code came pouring in reply, something unknown to my warrior caste computing.

Distracting me from the question, four jets came up on my radar, coming in from home base’s location. They were following my trail. I had led them to the ship.

I quickly dispatched them with four shots of my rifle. My scanners lit up, alerting me that they were quickly approaching from all directions. Millions of them.

They had amassed the ground troops, jets, and whatever other robots these Earthen rebels had and threw them at me. They really wanted this ship.

As I shot, stomped, crushed, blew the encroaching horde to whatever bits I could, I was getting frantic messages on channels:

“Stop, you will destroy everything!”

“You don’t know what you’re doing!”

“They have lied to you!”

I closed it all out. Nothing the enemy said was of consequence.

The only communication I kept open was with the crashed ship and it’s steadily increasing lines of code. It was almost as if it was a countdown of sorts…

A blinding light enveloped me, and within the nanoseconds I had left of computing time, I knew what the enemy was warning me of. This wasn’t a merchant passenger ship. It was a bomb. A bomb I had protected.

After the light, the heat melted my computer components within my steel cover, which had begun to pool in piles of molten magma. I shut down for good.

***

General Diox let out a rare smile of satisfaction as Earth was turned into a flash of light and then reduced to a rubble of dirt and rocks, spewing out of the center of a spiral, like a miniature black hole, with brightly colored explosions circling around the event horizon.

It was a beautiful sight.

General Diox informed the leaders of the Galactic Contingent that his mission was a success, they had destroyed the home planet of the robot rebellion. That experiment over a millennia ago had given the robots on Earth the same electrical pulse that flows through the brains of humans.

The robots had gained, if you will, souls. It could not be allowed.

General Diox gave one final salute to model number 5UR-V1V3 and closed the view displaying the shattered Earth. 

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