So, our flash fiction challenge at Terrible Minds this week has to involve one or many robots, 1000 words. I love robots–they creep the hell out of me. I LOVE the movie I-Robot, too. Enjoy.
Thirty Million is Not Worth It
I didn’t know that while I slept, they drugged me and inserted a GPS chip in the fatty tissue of my ass. Yeah, that’s right, my ass. Why? Because that was the least likely place I’d notice it. In the movies, they do it in your wrist, or your neck. Well, no, this was right in my ass.
When I felt this pain in my ass, I figured I just sat wrong on something. After all, with all those little fucking metal creatures zipping around here, it was only a matter of time before I’d sit on one of them. And I’d thought I must have, though I didn’t remember it.
My name’s Drew, plain enough, nothing special. I’m just an ordinary guy. Maybe too ordinary. That’s why the government chose me to be their guinea pig. They paid me thirty million dollars to live with the robots for a month. The catch: the robots were completely unsupervised.
No one was on the other end of those video camera transmissions, watching their movements, because they did not want to have any influence on the actions of the robots. Instead, I was to write an hourly log—short, a few sentences at the most—about what they had been doing.
I must have been on crack when I took that money. But who would pass up thirty million bucks? Come on, I’m not fucking stupid. I work as a mechanic, for Christ’s sake. Yeah, I work with machinery, but not electronics. So I wasn’t able to manipulate them like I’d thought I would.
What were the robots supposed to do? Make my life easier. Ha. If you don’t note the sarcasm there, I feel sorry for you, because you’re likely the next moron on the government’s radar.
They were supposed to do all the things I normally do: make coffee, vacuum (when I get a chance), clean the bathroom (uh… I remember doing this last year), make the bed (oh, wait, I’ve never done that), cut the grass, etcetera. I said, “I get paid to allow maids into my house? Did I win the lottery or something?”
But we’re a week into the experiment, and I feel like I’ve been sent to hell.
Yeah, the robots work fine. In fact, they work too fine. They’re actually learning from my behaviour, and they’re learning things that I didn’t teach them. Like possessiveness.
The government assures me that there’s no one behind the controls.
I prayed that they were. At least it would explain why the robots planted a locator chip in my ass.
They’re small, the robots, about the size of a Beagle dog. They’re all shiny metal, legs, pokey things, prodding things, little whirring sounds emitting from them every few seconds. They can grow, though, simply by joining together, like stacking pieces of Lego. That’s how they do the jobs that require height, like vacuuming and cutting grass.
They can also jump like motherfuckers, too. It’s creepy as hell. One jumped onto my kitchen counter from the living room the first day. It nearly gave me a goddamned heart attack. The coffee fell out of my hand, the mug shattered, and four of the little fuckers whizzed in there to clean up the mess.
They watch me when I sleep. All ten of them. Some sit on the end of the bed, some on the dresser, some on the night table. A few on the floor. They sit there and move up and down so quietly, slowly, like they’re breathing.
They have capabilities the government didn’t explain to me. Like the ability to stab me with a needle while I slept so that they could drug me to plant a GPS chip in my ass.
Or the ability to reason. I asked one of them to bring me my shoes. It looked plainly into my eyes and said in its robotic voice, “Get your own shoes.”
That was three days in.
Now, we’re seven days into the experiment.
Last night, they turned me into a homing beacon. This morning, I pretended to know nothing about it. I mean, if I hadn’t accidentally checked myself out in the mirror before my shower and seen the incision mark, and then the faint red glow, I’d never have known. But now I do.
I found them standing in a circle when I left the bathroom, breathing how they do. They weren’t making noise, but rather communicating with wireless technology.
I’m not allowed to leave the house. I had to quit my job, but considering the government paid me thirty million dollars, I figured I could afford it.
You’re wondering: What about cutting the grass? Someone would see the robots!
To this, I say, they’re like Transformers, but rather than mutate into sweet-ass vehicles, they are able to project an image around themselves that appears human. Like a hologram, the government said, but not transparent. I can’t remember the name for it.
Wow, now that I’m looking back at this, I see how all over the place I am.
The point is, they’ve got me cornered in my bathroom with my laptop. I’ve locked the door and wedged the linen closet door handle beneath the bathroom door handle.
But those capabilities the government didn’ttell me about?
Yeah, they have buzz saw attachments.
And they’re cutting through the door.
They’ve already cut into my leg, which is copiously bleeding. I can’t stop it. I’ve got the supplies that I need in here, had the wound been superficial. But they cut into the bone in my calf before I even realized what was happening. My laptop happened to be in here—before you think some freaky shit—because I was watching a movie while having a bath. Okay, maybe a little freaky.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure they’re going to kill me.
I’m sending this as an email. Share it with everyone you know.
And I’m begging you: don’t let the government do this to you.
© Lindsay Mawson 2011