Skip to main content

Robot Chronicle I

The Hero
                Squalls of water fell upon the rain stricken window as the small red car slid helpless toward an out of control creek bed. The metal barrier emplaced to halt such incidents barely slowed the turbulent vehicle, only causing it to flip side over side and disappear into the torrential flood that was overtaking the once small creek. Yet, even though the car had stopped its chaotic journey, the young, blonde woman inside was still in great danger.
                She flicked and poked every button she could think of to try and help her escape this stormy nightmare but nothing would alleviate the stress or muddy water. It was spewing in from every crevice of the car, through the door seams, the trunk, and even the venting. She had to think fast if she wanted to salvage at least her life. Before she could manage another move though, the car jolted hard and slammed her head into the steering wheel. She slowly lost consciousness, even though she was screaming and fighting from inside her own head. Then, all went black. No more cold water, no more panic, and no more pain.
                The blonde, petite woman exploded awake as the cold and reality shocked her back to life. She was blinded by rain, and a very bright light. An unnaturally familiar voice startled her as her eyes tried to adjust. A firm, strong hand gripped her arm and lifted her up as if she weighed nothing, even in her drenched clothes. Emergency lights and sirens distracted her as her rescuer carried her to the ambulance. As she slid onto the stretcher, she strained  all her being to catch a glimpse of just who had saved her from that watery grave.
                He stood before her, the blue and red emergency lights bouncing around his perfectly built body. She recognized him now, knowing now why she thought the voice familiar. He was a H.E.R.O., a Human Emergency Response Operative robot. Built to be quick, strong, and more efficient than any normal human could ever be. He had proved his name this evening, saving another innocent from an untimely and excruciating death. Tonight, he was her hero.
                "Great job tonight, H!" a man in a police uniform exclaimed to the robotic hero as he passed by. But, H did not feel like a hero. H felt more like a tool. He quickly engaged his built in thrusters and took off into the stormy sky, knowing all in that area were no longer in need of his services. His services, a demeaning word to explain his purpose and existence. H was built to save people from disasters, death, and despair but that was a luxury now. Now, thanks to all of the other H.E.R.O. bots, the world was rarely in peril. No more war, no more fighting, which in turn meant no more H.
                He landed on the edge of a building with a light thud, adjusting his leg and feet sensors to balance him on the narrow ledge. H stared out at the city, scanning it for anything exciting and amazing. He found nothing more than a cat stuck in a tree and an old lady who had spilt her groceries while slipping in a puddle. H simulated what it would be like if those elements were magnified, events more suiting of his abilities, of his services. The cat in the tree would be an escaped lion from the zoo that was on a rampage, maiming and killing abroad with no stop in sight. H would fly down and do battle with the no free imprisoned beast, perhaps even taking battle damage himself in the mayhem. In the end, only one of them would walk away with all their circuits intact. As for the puddle, it could be a sinkhole out of control! Swallowing everything in sight! H would have to devise an elaborate plan to rescue all the people in its path all the while trying to ascertain how to slow the expansive crag. He would have to fly down into the planet and blast underground pathways that would fill the hole with lava, where upon he would find a water tower and dump it on the magma pool, creating new earth and saving everyone in turn!
                A man screamed out as H broke the man's gun wielding arm during his mesmerizing day dream. H quickly scanned the man and his damaged limb then punched a hole in the face of the building, pulling a piece of rebar from it. H then tore the man's shirt and made a temporary splint for the arm. H then grabbed the deranged man and leaned in close to his face.  "REMEMBER, CITIZEN. IT IS BETTER TO BE DAMAGED THAN TO BE DEAD. NEXT TIME YOU THREATEN TO SHOOT YOURSELF ON A LEDGE, I MAY NOT ARRIVE IN TIME TO STOP YOU."
                H took the suicidal gun jumper to the street level and secured his apprehension. His praise was less this time, however. This time, the paramedics stared at H with questioning glances, whispering about the treatment H had placed upon this man. H took note but was too preoccupied with his next mission. This crisis, as many like it before, were merely a job for the lazy creators that gave birth to H. This H.E.R.O. model was destined for great things, to overshadow all of the other units built like him. H flew off from the gathered crowd of police and pedestrians, ignoring their calls for reprogramming and repair. H was off to find his destiny, as the humans called it, and nothing was going to stop him.
                H rocketed through the night sky as the storms raged on, hurling bolts of lightning down up the world. H simulated a bolt of lightning coming into to contact with munitions factory. That simulation was quickly put on pause as an incoming video message filled his visor screen. It was a warning that a rogue H.E.R.O. unit was causing accidents and carnage, and that all Operatives were to engage and apprehend the malfunctioning bot. H processed the message and was elated. FINALLY! Finally, H would have his challenge. He would face this rogue Operative and dismantle it! He would destroy its erroneous adventure, in turn becoming a true hero!
                H stopped his simulations due to an incoming airplane, one of the computer piloted versions. Without hesitation, H bolted over to the large craft, landing on the nose of the aircraft. "WHAT. IS. YOUR. PURPOSE?" the piloting interface messaging H asked. "I AM HERE TO PROTECT YOU. THERE IS A ROGUE OPERATIVE. YOU ARE A PRIME TARGET FOR ATTACK SHOULD IT BE IN THE AREA."  The plane only responded with silence. H computed this as a sign of compliance as he walked along the top of the craft. "UNIT 747 ALERTED US TO YOUR LOCATION, OPERATIVE  H-7."  a familiar voice announced on H's visor.
                H had been too occupied with simulations to notice the approaching Operatives as they landed on automated air bus. "MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!" H exclaimed excitedly. "HAVE YOU COME TO INTERCEPT THE ROGUE OPERATIVE TOO?" The other Operatives delayed in their response but then began to approach H quickly. "YOU ARE THE ROGUE, H-7" the middle one stated as the three rocket leapt upon H, pinning him to the roof. H was confused. He processed the variables and deduced the correct answer quite quickly. There was more than one rogue Operative! Of course! Perhaps some kind of virus or manufacturing error in the newer units. H's simulation was coming true! He would have his excursion and become a champion.
                H flattened himself against the surface of the plane and, using the rain as a natural lubricant, slide his feet up under the middle Operative. With his foot boosters at maximum, H burned the tainted robot in half, his circuits charging and exciting as the others fried and deteriorated. With his feet free and the boosters at maximum, H carried the other two impostors into the tail of the plane, knocking them loose of his arms. Before H could compute his next move, one of the corrupt Operatives slammed into him, careening them both on top of the left wing of the plane.
                The robot was wrapped around H from behind making it hard for H to gain an advantage on it. His boosters were running low and they were still very high in the air, he would need them should they come loose of the plane. The rogue bot was trying to overextend his limb capacities, crippling H if it succeeded. H chose to preserve himself at all costs, regardless if the plane or people suffered. If this virus was serious, then they would need him to save them.
                H's arms were being pulled back, so he would have to use his feet first. H reared back and kicked hard into the top of the wet wing, knocking a small hole into it. The virus driven villain switched its tactics and began attack H's legs. With his hands free, H thrust down and tore a piece of steel, crushing it in both hands so it would resemble a spike. Then, he jabbed backwards. He needed only do this once since the face visor of the evil robot shattered in the first stab. Now offline, the unresponsive Operative  slide off the wing, catching in the engine and exploding as its energy cells burst open.
                "IT APPEARS THESE PEOPLE NEED A H.E.R.O." the last Operative messaged H as he boosted into view. H was narrowly hanging on the edge of the now destroyed wing by his left arm, his right arm unit damaged from the explosion, as was his visor cracked. H tracked the traitor as it flew beneath the plane and began to correct the unstable aircrafts trajectory. H knew this was a trick. This unit was merely altering the course so that it would hit a school or an endangered zoo, or worse! This unit would "save" these people and take the glory, condemning H and causing him to seem the perpetrator.
                H would rather these people die than be pawns it a rogue Operatives evil scheme. Using the small amount of boosters he had left, H let go of the wing and checked the malicious machine from its position. The hit used the last amount of his fuel but it was enough. He had stuck his fist straight through the visor of the other unit, shutting it down in an instance. Now, he was freefalling. He was spinning out of control, with each glimpse being either the ground below or the doomed plane above. He deduced it was best to use the other Operative as a cushion, absorbing some of the shock in the process. This would increase his survival chances to fifteen percent, should he hit ground.
                Even through the damaged visor, H could measure the distance to the earth below. The intervals were longer because of his out of control rotations but he could still adjust to it. Impact would be in TEN...EIGHT...SIX...FOUR...TWO....