Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write for the FANTASY and/or SCI FI Genre (10/16/14)
TITLE: Bad Questions
By JK Stenger
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Andreas sat up and rolled his eyes. “Why?”
The robot at Andreas’ bedside pushed him down with one of his iron claws.
"…Beep…beep…Nothing to worry about. Simple surgery.”
But Andreas did worry. Malinsky Hospital was no ordinary hospital and to Andreas it was nothing more than a polished hell, that was run by these horrible robots.
The robot turned to a cabinet and poured some green liquid into a glass.
"What’s this?” Andreas sniffed the foul-smelling liquid.
But Andreas wasn’t about to cooperate and let the glass slip out of his hand. It dropped to the floor with a crash, spilling out the liquid.
"Stupid human…beep…beep.” A light flashed; a tube emerged from the robot’s metallic belly and sucked up the liquid.
It had been two years since robots had taken over the world. Since that fateful day when world leaders began the ROBO project, nothing had ever been the same.
“ROBO.” Andreas snorted and shook his head. The robotic research program that had gone awry. It all started when Malvado Malinsky became its president. Evil Malvado Malinsky. True, he was a genius, but his heart was as black as hell. He had hacked the system and reprogrammed everything. Now he stood at the head of a worldwide government, ruled by ROBO. Robots made the laws and decided what was right and wrong. Everyone had to swear allegiance to Malvado Malinsky. Humans were placed in camps where they were used to perform robotic maintenance and to serve as guinea pigs in scientific experiments. Andreas joined the resistance, but so far, they were fighting a losing battle.
And now he was stuck here, in Malinsky Hospital, awaiting surgery. He didn’t need surgery. He was fine, but that morning he had been selected for use as a guinea pig in one of Malinsky’s experiments.
“Will get new medicine…beep.” The robot left.
The silence of the ward was only broken by an emergency bell somewhere down the hall.
God in Heaven. I need to get out of here.
Of course religion had been outlawed. Malinsky had decreed that only he should be worshipped, but Andreas refused to conform. God had always been his strength and comfort. Never would he deny his faith.
Witness to the robot. Andreas heard the words loud and clear in his mind.
Witness to a robot? That’s ridiculous.
The robot rolled in with another cup of green liquid.
Andreas read the robot’s name tag. His name was Willy.
"Where is God?”
The robot’s mainframe shook. “No God…No God…Beep…Bad question.”
Andreas wasn’t sure what to say next, so he prayed for guidance.
"Willy, who made you?”
“Malvado Malinsky…beep…Great Father of all. Blessed be his name.”
"And who made Malinsky?”
“Malinsky. Who made him?”
Willy’s computer system rattled and zoomed in desperate search for an answer. “Nobody did. Molecules…beep…Dust and dirt.”
"And who made the dust and dirt, Willy?”
Willy’s hard drive was working overtime. He almost dropped the cup; the green liquid sloshed over the edge, dripping onto Willy’s claw.
"What is love, Willy? Why do humans need it?”
“Beep…” Willy’s fan was roaring loudly, and red lights blinked all over his metal frame.
“Come on, Willy, answer me.” Andreas gazed in amazement at the struggling robot. Little drops of oil and grease oozed out of tiny holes all over his frame. The robot was breaking down.
“Beep…beep…Chemical reactions…chemical rea…” Bang! All of Willy’s lights went out, and he dropped to the floor with a crash.
Andreas stared in amazement at the heap of metal covered in green liquid.
These robots are not programmed to withstand the truth. Thank you, God.
In the hallway, Andreas heard the clickety-clack of other robots. Of course they had seen everything on the security cameras.
Leo! I gotta call Leo. Where’s a phone?
There on the floor, was Willy’s phone. Andreas jumped out of bed, grabbed it, and punched Leo’s number.
“Leo, it’s Andreas. I’ve got the answer. I’ve no time to explain, but tell everyone to witness. Tell the truth. Shout if from the rooftops; let the whole world know…
Andreas was gone.
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