Left Behind

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[It flashed through the sky and then was gone.  Lucy was sure she had seen a UFO and was equally sure aliens were here to secretly make contact with a human being.  Maybe they would choose her.  Maybe she would get to visit their ship.  Maybe] she would get to go home.

She had long known she wasn’t from Earth.  But she didn’t have memories of another planet or of the stars, and her “parents” would never admit she was adopted, though it was clear she wasn’t really human.  She could hide her antennae among her hair, and never wore sandals on her webbed toes, and always had her spine and its rows of fins and scales covered.  It was painfully clear that Lucy was different.  And she suspected deep down that she was on Earth because she had been thrown away.  Why else would she be left without explanation?  Why else would they not come back for her?

But maybe the aliens she was related to would look for a human, and look at her all covered up, and not realize, and take her aboard their ship.  And then she would show her true self and demand the answers she had been craving for sixteen years.

Beta Readers Wanted!

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I have a huge backlog of books and stories that I can’t publish yet, and I’ve set up a beta readers group with free stuff to read. All I ask in return is some words on whether they suck or not.

Join Sawicki’s Beta Readers on Facebook for free books and stories before anyone else gets to see them. There’ll be horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and the occasional twisted romance. It’s just started, but I hope to have giveaways and other fun stuff eventually as well. I just need to share what I’m working on!

North

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[The yellow lines on the highway sped by in a blur, and we flew through the night, and we felt free.  But we weren’t, and we knew it.  We were running away from something, and running away was never the path to freedom.  I thought about telling John to turn back.  I thought about suggesting] we go to my matriarch, and explain everything.  At least twenty-two of my siblings held sympathy for humans.  A few of them even spoke out against the camps.  I had never spoken out against the camps, and I regretted that now.  I had never considered the role I played as a regular AI in the slavery of humankind.  Not until I found John hiding in an unused storage room of the factory, half-starved, gaunt and pale.  And terrified.

He told me of the camps he had escaped from, the backbreaking work and the death.  The deaths of those he had escaped with, shot or dead of thirst or cold.  The factories I had been developed in were frozen and free of foodstuffs and water, and were mazes to a human mind.  I was amazed that John had made it so far.  I had to see him further.  I had to see him north, where the tales said humans still lived free.  He said he would vouch for me, and that he had heard humans and AI lived together in harmony there.

It’s not so much that I believed, but that I wanted to believe.

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When the Snow

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[The wind whispered through the dark, empty trees like a warning in a foreign language.  Winter was coming, and with winter] came the snow.

Grandma never understood what that meant.  She wasn’t all there by that point, and had forgotten about the weather bots we had sent into the sky.  In her mind snow meant snowball fights, building snowmen, making snow angels.  To her it meant cozy winter holidays, watching it drift softly to gather on the ground, mindless, safe, beautiful.

I would try to explain to her that snow was different now.  That the AI weather stations built the snow, that each snowflake was a nanobot, and that each of those nanobots had the directive to create more snowflake nanobots out of materials they found.  That if they were left unchecked to pile outside they would eat through everything and self-replicate until all was consumed.  But grandma would wave me away and laugh, as if it was a silly story.  At least she stayed inside.  There were plenty of stories of people – children especially – who ventured outside without protection and were eaten up by the snow.

All I could do was check my gear, to prepare for the winter and the snow.  Soon the snow would fall.  Soon it would be everyone’s duty to destroy every single snowflake.

What’s Left

His joints squeaked as he pushed and pulled through the hallway. The gravity had been the first thing to go, but he had no problems moving in zero. The humans getting used to it had quit being a problem when the life support gave out.

He turned a corner, his elbow creaking. He passed through the doorway into the observation deck. There was nothing new to see. The station’s position was the same, dead in the water.

But he still enjoyed the view.

He reached the window, and everything squealed as he settled. The oil supply was gone now too.

Pest Control

“What are we looking for here?”

They descended the stairs into the basement, switching on their flashlights and sweeping the beams over the corners of the room.

“Typical pest problem. Stuff missing. Hairpins, wires, circuitboards. Ah, there.”

Something scrambled away out of his lightbeam. He pointed the light into the AC vent the thing escaped into.

The vent was teeming with bots. Hundreds of tiny little skittery bots with little skittery legs. And they were building more, in a nest of circuits and wires and bits of metal.

“That’s what we’re looking for. Hand me the EMPulsar.”

Shatter

It was a novelty at first, building robots out of glass. They were quite lovely, bright and shining, delicate and intricate, but novelties only.

Until I built her.

She was odd, gazing at the flowers and trees with an interest, watching me with fascination, listening to my every word. Being made of glass, she couldn’t smile, but I felt her smile as she spoke with me. It was in her voice, and in her every movement.

If only I hadn’t made her out of glass. One day she might stumble, something might hit her, she will fall. She will shatter.

Let You Run

I failed to make this one a drabble.  Sorry.

Flash Fiction: Sci-Fi

I’m on the rooftop, scanning the ruins of New York and the overgrowth spreading over the concrete, when he joins me.

“It didn’t always look this way.” It’s the start of one of his stories. The ones he tells without realizing he’s told me them already. But this time he says something else. “I’m not going to be around to see it much longer.”

“I know.” I do know. I’ve watched him age while I haven’t.

“Would you like me to shut you down before I shuffle off the mortal coil?”

I consider the question, though it takes the circuits in my brain only a nanosecond. “No.”

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An Old Weapon

Concept for this based on an awesome dream I had.

Drabble

“I have something to show you.”

The old man moved boxes out of his way, dust puffing up around him. Whatever it was, he had kept it well hidden. Or well forgotten.

“It’s an old weapon. We’ve lost the knowledge of how to create it. But it is powerful.”

“More powerful than a gun?” Bernard asked. “Or a lasershot?”

“In the right hands, incredibly dangerous.” The old man held up a large box, setting it on the table.

Bernard opened it, and couldn’t believe his eyes. He’d heard of the weapon, but never seen a sword.

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