Tag Archives: robots

202. Drone 682 to spaceport twelve

“Drone 682 to spaceport twelve.”

In the giant hangar the drone came to life. It had been slumbering in a forgotten corner for years, hidden between bigger robots, never being called upon to do the task it was purpose-built for. But with those five words its boosters charged, the red lights that dotted its spherical body lit up and with a mighty buzz it lifted itself from the floor.

The path to spaceport twelve was not something that was hard-wired into the drone’s circuits. It had to rely on the digital pings that were being beamed through cyberspace once every second. Ping, turn left. Ping, straight ahead. Ping.

In the enormous hallways, the drone passed several robots – cleaning machines, sometimes repair-drones – but no humans. Had the drone been capable of artificial intelligence, it would have found this puzzling. Andromeda-7 was an exoworld after all, constructed to house the billions who excavated the precious ores in the nebula.

The pings came faster now, so drone 682 could safely navigate its way past the scattered debris of the exploded spaceport eighty-one. Its destination was  now directly in front of it: spaceport twelve, one of the oldest of the lot, but still brimming with ships waiting to travel to Earth through the wormhole at its centre.

Ships, not man-made, but alien.

Drone 682 positioned itself in the middle of the port and though it was attacked immediately by the alien vessels, it did not budge and – as planned – opened its belly, releasing the fission bomb into the wormhole.

The surviving alien ships, their envious eyes still bent towards Earth, turned towards the next wormhole.

Through the speakers in the hangar, a message echoed.

“Drone 683 to spaceport 541.”

The drone came to life.

 

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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

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95. The difference in appearance was so striking

The difference in appearance was so striking that Zhi-yi had always assumed she wasn’t blood-related to her siblings. She had wanted to ask her parents if she was adopted for a long time but it took her sixteenth birthday to actually bring up the nerve.

“I’m adopted, aren’t I?” she blurted out after the first bite of the cake.

Her parents exchanged glances. They had seen this coming.

“We love you just as much as Han and Jun-Hui,” her dad said.

“I never suggested anything else,” Zhi-yi replied. “But I have none of your DNA?”

Her mom shook her head.

“We should have told you earlier. You have a right to know.”

“Did you know my real parents?”

“That’s  not a straightforward question to answer.”

“Did you ever meet them face-to-face? Do you know where they live?”

“No.”

“What if I wanted to meet them? Could I call an agency? I assume you worked with an agency…”

“Strict anonymity was a condition.”

“So I will never know my real parents?”

We are your real parents,” her mother pleaded, crying.

Zhi-yi realised she had been insensitive. They were her real parents: kind, loving, respectful, warm, supportive. Anything she could wish for. She put the cake to the side and gave them both a big hug. She didn’t cry. In her whole life she never had.

An hour later, when Zhi-yi had gone over to her boyfriend’s house, her parents debated the issue.

“Do you think she’ll keep asking questions?”

“She won’t. They told us this might happen and we followed their manual to the T.”

“But what if she does?”

“Then we’ll return her to the factory. Technology has come a long way in the past fourteen years. Apparently they can safely reboot now.”

 

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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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56. The cog-men admired the craftsmanship

The cog-men admired the craftsmanship that had gone into the machine. The boring thing wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing apparatus, sure, but boy did every part of it work gangbusters. The devil was in the details because behind some seemingly imperfect components true miracles of science and mechanics were hidden.

 

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Read the rest of the tale and 100 more stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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