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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