Okey dokey, so, for this contest I asked the contestants to write a series about a blue robot. Good stuff.
We had three and a half contestants! Don't ask, it will all make sense.
“And this is Bluetooth!” Professor Hisashige Engelberger declared to the group as he pointed at the large blue arm sitting in the centre of the room. All eyes looked at the mechanical thing then back at the half Japanese half Swiss robotics creator in disbelief.
“Is this what you spent my sixty million dollars on?” The questioning statement from trillionaire Nicholas Higginbottom resonated with the group.
“You put in sixty? I coughed up a full hundred!” Warren Slim, the app king from Chicago, said. “You mean to tell me that cost nearly two hundred million.”
“More actually,” Professor Engelberger said. “But Bluetooth is revolutionary…”
“It’s just an arm for god’s sake! For my input I was expecting, you know, a robot!” Archibald Brennan, the 3rd Marquis of Ripon and owner of Europe’s largest supermarket chain, spat. “Where’s the rest?”
“You were expecting an android?” The Professor asked.
“I was expecting a bonafide robot, not something I’d find in car assembly plant!” The Marquis snapped, his cheek jowls shaking with rage.
“Shall I explain the difference between an android and a robot for you?” Engelberger asked. “They are subtle but…”
“Everyone shut the hell up!” Clark Ackerberg whistled. He was the twenty-six year old creator of an algorithm that had taken the world by storm and making him a multibillionaire, the quickest in history. “I’m clever but the reason we hired Professor Engelberger was so he could make us a robot unlike the world had ever seen, to help the planet and make us all richer. Right? So, maybe we should let the inventor do what we paid him for, yes? Take it away.”
The room went deadly silent as all eyes turned on him. Staring at him was the wealth of the world that if you started counted at the beginning of time, you’d still be counting their collective wealth. Hisashige exhaled. “Did you all sign the releases?”
The collective groaning response akin to toddlers came back. “YES!”
“Bluetooth is to the naked eye, just a robotic arm. You all were hoping for something like Data from Star Trek or a Terminator from the movies. Those, whilst robotic, are along the lines of androids. I was hired to create you a robot, which is exactly what I’ve done.” Professor Engelberger placed on some safety goggles and stepped across a yellow safety line. “And now I’m doing something that will do the entire planet some good. Bluetooth, engage!” The robotic arm shot across the room and attached to Engelberger’s arm and began firing blasts of electricity sending the group into writhing mass.
“Since you lot are a greedy, selfish lot you didn’t really bother to read the releases I sent you,” Engelberger said as he adjusted a dial on the forearm of Bluetooth. “It names me and my foundation, Adiutare Robotics, as the sole inheritor of your collective monies. Adiutare means benefit in Latin. When you lot came to me with the idea of giant robots for essentially space pillaging and warfare, I was appalled. And decided that I, would stop you.”
“You’re robbing us?” Warren Slim gasped.
Professor Engelberger raised Bluetooth at the Chicago app king. “Essentially, yes.” A massive concussive blast fired from the palm, targeted solely onto his DNA, blowing a fist sized hole through his chest. “And you can offer me as much money as you like, but since I inherit ALL your wealth, it is better that you all die.”
With that the mild and meek looking robotics inventor slaughtered a dozen wealthy men and women with his robotic arm; and by that act of murder brought the poorest 50% of the planet up out of the gutter in the biggest wealth redistribution in history ever.
That’s what they called it. Beneath the long, complicated name thought up by some hyper intelligent drone working in an office, was death. Pure and simple. The logistics of the thing didn’t matter, all that mattered were the symptoms, and how much time the recipient had left in this world.
Nothing was incurable, a lot of the time it was simply… costly, to both the wallet and the soul, and as Nada lay flat on his stomach beneath piles of white, freezing snow, he was reminded of how he had felt when he’d been given the news. Cold, and numb.
It didn’t even make any sense.
Nada wasn’t human. He was a robot, one of the last survivors of an ancient race that humanity had wiped out when they’d started colonising other worlds. The man was listed as endangered, yet he’d taken far more lives than had been spent trying to protect him. Once again, the name didn’t matter, nor did the symptoms. This thing cost more money than Nada had made in the last decade, and after all the times he’d found himself pressing a gun up to his own temple, he now discovered he was little more than a desperate animal attempting to survive in an unfair, unforgiving universe.
He’d been retired, farming on a barren world towards the edge of the solar system, leaving behind the life of blood and gears that had followed his every waking moment, consequence for all the terrible things he’d done. This man didn’t deserve to live.
“6000 for the cure…” Nada whispered, voice raspy, like an out of sync radio, due to his interior circuits freezing in the frost. “One last time.”
Than this job had popped up at almost the perfect time, a risky, yet surprisingly easy job, the consequences of which didn’t matter at this current moment, with enough money to let Nada buy his life back, and continue with more than enough cash to spare.
That was why he was there, in the Black Forest on the seventh moon furthest from the center of the galaxy. Lying in weight for his target, like a starving, desperate animal hoping for one last meal. One of the sensors, Nada setup in the area a couple days ago had alerted him to the proximity of his prey, and having planned the situation down to a T, the hunter had taken to hiding in plain sight.
Silence flowed with the exception of the winds, knowing that he had mere moments till it was time for action, Nada reached into the belt attached to his waist, and pulled out one of the sockets he carried, popping it into the plug by his arm and giving the man a boost of energy and adrenaline that hopefully wouldn’t wear off for a couple hours. Once again, silence fell, as Nada began to breathe heavier, effects of the currents flowing through his circuits. Eventually, he started to hear the sound of footsteps, several footsteps… and it was at that moment he realised the winds had started to dip down. There was also something else, the hum of a vehicle, a limousine hovering inches above the ground, probably carrying his walking paycheck on legs. Activating the camera fixed to the side of his skull, Nada tried to hold his breath, and clutched the black, metal rod attached to his leg. He could hear the sounds of footsteps growing closer, and began to feel the life giving organ in his chest, grow increasingly frantic. Upon noticing a foot submerge just inches from his skull, Nada knew it was time for action, and immediately burst upwards from the snow, with the glory and fury of a man much younger in age.
In times past, this hunter had vanquished entire armies without being seen, proving himself as one of the most dangerous beings in the universe, but now he was older, slower. The blue paint that covered his body had began to wear ever slightly, his once nimble, trim frame had become larger, slowing him down a significant portion, and the spark that had once filled his helmeted eyes, had been replaced with a dull blackness.
Whipping into life, the rod Nada wielded, evolved into a metal staff, which the hunter used to sweep under the legs of the bodyguard closest to him, sending him tumbling into the snow with a yelp of surprise. Before the man could react, lying on his back, Nada crushed his skull with a quick stomp of his spiked, armoured boot, sending red blood onto the otherwise pure snow.
These men were human. Nada smiled, knowing that he’d feel no remorse for ending their lives. A quick scan of the area, conducted in a single second, revealed only two other guards in the area, surrounding the sleek, black limousine emitting purple energy from below. He’d been told this would be easy, yet Nada was surprised with just how honest the contract giver had been. Drawing swords, the other guards took defensive positions on either sides of the vehicle, charging towards the left, the seemingly unstoppable machine slid along the front of the limousine from a weird angle, crashing into the surprised guard and sending him tumbling to the floor, pinned beneath Nada’s two ton body.
Sensing movement behind him, the hunter twisted his staff to his back, blocking a sword strike from the enemy guard. Following this defensive block with a riposte, Nada sent his foe staggering back into one of the car doors, which he used to steady himself. Raising his blade into the air, the now balanced swordsman began to unleash a war cry as he started to move towards his attacker, yet Nada didn’t have time to deal with this assault in an honorable manner, and instead clicked a button on the side of his staff, sending the end closest to the charging swordsman, shooting directly through the man’s skull.
Almost instantly following this tactic, a bronze, scimitar slashed through the returning staff end, severing it in two. Briefly taken by surprise, Nada took a step back to find himself facing off against the swordsman he had previously knocked to the ground, who had clearly slipped to a better position while his friend was being butchered. Left defenseless for the briefest of times, Nada moved backwards towards the forest, while his foe let off a flurry of strikes, swiping to both sides of the robot bounty hunter, yet unsuccessful to hit him as he shifted his body out of the way. It wasn’t until Nada found himself backed up against a tree, that he began to prepare his counter assault, ducking under the man’s strike and letting his blade embed itself in the tree, completely stuck. Rising up quickly to the right of the blade, the hunter slammed his fist into the swordsman’s skull, knocking him to the ground, unconscious. His sword skills were quite impressive, if Nada had been younger, and more cocky, it was entirely possible he may have lost. Silently wishing luck to the assassin’s future career, the hunter turned his attention back to his mission, and began to move towards the limousine, taking one of the daggers he kept spare upon his belt.
“What the hell’s going on?!” A voice cried as the limo door closest to Nada flew open, revealing a fat, green, pudgy alien from a species the hunter didn’t recognise. The target was looking away from the predator, and as he continued to speak, it became clear that he thought Nada was one of his swordsmen. “We need to get-” He turned and saw the robot staring at him, preparing to throw his dagger into the man’s skull.
“Oh. Screw y-”
Black blood burst from the alien’s skull, as Nada’s blade caused the thing’s head to burst like a birthday balloon. Tapping the still recording camera on the side of his helmet, the hunter began to speak, as if an invisible person was watching the events unfold.
“Did you get all that?” He asked.
An electronic, computer sound disrupted the natural cries of the forest, telling Nada that a rather large transaction had made its way into his bank account. Feeling pride at a job well done, the hunter began to turn to make his way back to his temporary safe house, only to stop upon hearing the sound of a nearby heart beating.
Turning back to the limousine, Nada watched as the already open door, moved forward slightly, revealing what appeared to be a small child… a small, robot child, from the same species as him, crouched down on the seat.
Piecing together the events by himself, the hunter began to realise why the contract was so easy, yet incredibly rewarding.
“Slave Traders.” He was a marked man now, he’d probably have people after him for the rest of his life. Looking to the boy, he let out a loud, uncomfortable sigh.
“Nearest village is 500 Kilometres away.” Nada told the boy, slowly preparing to turn away. “It’s best if you st-”
Then he saw it. The same blackness in the boy’s eyes that he, himself had found in his eyes mere weeks ago.
They said it was incurable… but it wasn’t.
Knowing exactly what would happen, Nada tore open the limousine’s driving seat and took his place. Looking back to the forest, he was surprised to find the child staring at him confused.
“Please, sir…” The boy whispered, tired and scared. “I don’t know where-”
“Come along if you’re coming.” Nada grumbled.
As mentioned earlier, it was 500 Kilometres to the village from their current position. 534 from Nada’s safehouse, and the limousine only had enough energy for 334, there was no way off the planet from the village, and Nada would only have the money for a single operation, and a single ticket offworld.
Helping this child was suicide, but this man was dead already.
Hours passed, hours spent with the silent, hollow hum of the limousine engines. Yet as Nada grew ever closer to his location, he knew that there was only one real choice in this situation. Looking at the passenger beside him, there had been so much despair, in so young a life, yet, despite this… there was still hope. Still a chance.
The car broke down later than expected, giving the two a degree of luck they hadn’t really expected. Taking the child up in his arms and continuing to trudge through the seemingly endless forest, Nada withstood the powerful winds sweeping through the area, gritting his teeth as his joints began to freeze, and his vision became so clouded that he could barely even visualise his surroundings.
Yet finally, he began to hear voices. Cries of shock as he finally collapsed just outside of the village’s perimeter, bundle of frozen metal still in his arms.
Waking up in a warm, wooden hut, Nada found himself being watched over by what he could only assume was the village doctor. Another doctor, this one seeming to be a shadow that had been carved out of its surface, and forced to walk the world like more normal individuals.
“You’re dying.” He said, voice flickering endlessly.
“I know.” Nada grumbled, feeling the effects of his journey.
“So’s the boy.”
Tapping a button on the side of his belt, an electronic exchange took place between Nada and the doctor, transferring the hard earned profit that the hunter had attempted to earn to fix his own life, yet was now using to save another.
“See that he doesn’t…” He gasped. “Then see that he gets home. From wherever…”
“You’re a good man.” The shadow muttered.
Nada didn’t reply, knowing that, finally, after all these years, he’d have to make every second count.
Standing at his doorway, an eight foot tall, blue painted robot lit a Turner D. Century cigarette as he looked up at the second full moon of the month. Air vehicles flew through the sky. Tired robot drivers, flying the slow speed limit on their way home from pointless jobs, so they can earn enough credits to rent homes to sit in while they waited for their battery power to run out in a few hundred years.
"Damn, I'm morose." the robot said to himself as he puffed a drag from the cig. He looked over at the skeletal remains of his houses previous owner sitting on the porch swing. "Need to stop thinking about things, right Gil?"
"Hey Glace! How you holding up?" said a voice from the walkway. A nine foot tall, red painted robot walked up to Glace's porch, holding a six pack of Gear Beer. "Ready for some Card Wars?"
"It's just poker, Camion." Glace replied as he led his friend into his house. "No wars in this house."
"Not when me and Road Buster go at it." Camion said. "That Fat Bot is going to lose it all tonight."
A toilet flushed in the background. "That Camion I hear? That rust colored pile of scrap metal talking bout me?"
"He got here before me?" Camion asked as a short, fat bellied, blue painted robot came barging out of the bathroom, pulling up his overalls.
"You dang right I got here before you." Road Buster answered. "Got to make sure you ain't settin up yer cheating game. I know how you red bots are."
"Buster. Stop with the racism talk." Glace said. "Camion is just as good a friend as you are."
"I don't mind." Camion said. "He's just showing his Data Storage Quotient by spouting out his racist views."
"Ah hell." Road Buster replied. "I'm not a racist. I just think red bots are inferior to blue bots, that's all. Hell, me and Glace fought against you Reds in the Final War."
"I fought in the Final War." Glace shot out. "You worked in a vehicle maintenance warehouse."
"I helped out." Road Buster said. "What were you doing in the Final War, Camion? Killing our guys?"
"I was a peaceful observer." Camion answered. Road Buster snorted out a laugh.
"That is, I was one, until I was drafted into the war." Camion continued. "Then I became a field medic."
Road Buster laughed again. "Medic? To robots? Heck, I'm a mechanic. It's the same thing."
"There's a difference between repairing parts in an Air Convertible's engine and mending a robots central electrical system." Camion replied.
"Did you kill anyone?" Road Buster asked.
The door bell rang.
"That's probably the pizza." Glace said, he was glad for the interruption.
A female, red robot stood at the door. She was wearing a Constable Bot uniform.
"Are you the owner of this house?" she asked.
"Yes ma'am." Glace said as he looked at the beautiful, seven foot tall, blonde wig wearing robot.
"I've been getting complaints about this human skeleton sitting on the premise." the Constable said. "It does not fit with the Fate of the Final Wars Code. Stated within the Codebook, Item 271, 'No home owners are allowed to display the remains of our fallen masters, in any way that may sadden a fellow robot passerby. Robot-kind shall remember their former human brethren for the good Robot-kind did for them, and not for bringing about their final destruction.' You are clearly violating this code. I have to ask you to remove these remains or I will have to take you into the Static Space."
Glace couldn't believe it. This was his human skeleton and his home. "I am a veteran of the Final War. The humans created us blue and red bots to fight the wars they didn't want to, until we rebelled. I fought so that I can proudly display the remains of the humans who died at my.."
"That's it. You're under arrest." The Constable yelled as she grabbed Glace, spun him around and attached magnetic cuffs on him.
"This is an outrage!" Glace yelled. "Camion! Road Buster! Help."
Camion ran up to him. "I know a good lawyer. I'll call him, right away."
Road Buster walked up to Glace with a huge grin on his face. "Yeah, you do that, redbot."
They all looked at Road Buster, who started laughing. "Happy Power Up Day, Glace."
Glace looked at the Constable, who smiled. "Looks like my covers blown. The name's Constable Cherry and it's your Power Up Day, big boy."
Constable Cherry ripped off her Constable Bot uniform and began dancing for Glace.
"Dang it, Road Buster." Glace said with a smile. Camion began laughing too. "You in on this too, Camion?"
"You know it, buddy!" Camion said. "Let's enjoy the night, ami. Happy Power Up Day."
Glace smiled as Constable Cherry, Road Buster and Camion all went in the house to start the party.
He looked over at Gil, sitting on the porch swing. His smile faded.
"It all ends, Gil." he said. "In the meantime, it's my Power Up Day. Enjoy it while it lasts!"
There was once a boy robot who was color blue, his name was Thomas H. Edison he fell in love with a robot girl named Edna N. Dawson so they got married and made a blue baby robot they decided to name THE END.
Voting ends in two weeks on the 22nd of April! If you wrote, you should vote!