(Vintage) Robot Summer

[I seem to have done a good amount of science fiction writing around this time period. Here’s “Robot Summer,” a short story that deals with… erm… robots and summer.]

Robot Summer

2/12/2003

Kenneth Burchfiel

“Come on! Come on! Go, go, go!”

The squadron rushed down the passageway, laser guns in hand. Turning the corner of the fort, they saw a group of robots. Without instructions from the lead soldier, the squadron opened fire. However, they did not notice the advancing group of robots coming from behind, and the soldiers soon found themselves surrounded by the robots. They opened fire, but the laser beams glanced off the robot’s shields, and they came closer and closer, until they took out their guns and finished the job…

“#$%$ it, that’s not how you advance on the groups!” The captain shouted furiously at the soldier, who was pulling off his virtual reality suit. “We pay good money for this material, and I don’t want to see any soldier waste it by acting like a $%&@*$% idiot out there!”

“I was trying the best I could, sir,” protested the soldier. He pulled off his helmet, and entered the battle results on the computer.

“That was the best you could do!?” raged the captain, whose face was as red as a tomato. “I’ve seen better work from a three-year-old! You don’t ever keep your squadron facing one way- that’s automatic suicide when you face robots. They don’t have brains; all they need are heat sensors, and a gun with heat-seeking bullets. If you’re going to destroy them, think like a robot! I mean, you should be able to triumph over the brainless troops- even though you’ve only got half of one.”

The captain stormed out of the virtual reality room, his face still seething with anger.

The soldier sulked and walked down the hall, keeping far away from the captain. He entered the elevator and pressed the button for the top floor. As the door slid shut, a soldier he didn’t know saw his anger through his clenched jaws and tight fists.

“Tough day at the virtual reality room, huh? That captain’s such a raging idiot. If he ever dared to step into one of those imaginary battlefields, a robot would blow his virtual head off.”

The soldier, whose name was Rick, smiled. “Does he have to yell every time we lose? He acts as if the robots are flowers and all you have to do is step on them, and they’ll be dead and lifeless. I can’t believe I have to pass his class to get into the tenth level.”

“It’s easy enough. I passed it well enough, but, without him noticing, I programmed the computer for me to shoot him down, instead of the robots. His fat body didn’t stand a chance against my troops.”

Rick laughed and stepped out of the elevator, which had reached the top while the two were talking. He went down a gray, cold corridor into his dormitory. Opening his door, he saw a multitude of streamers and balloons flying across the room, and a paper streamer whizzed by his face.

‘Hello, Scott,” he muttered.

Scott ran up to him, his mouth blowing a streamer and his head adorned with a bright purple party hat. He spit out the streamer, and Rick wiped it off his face.

“GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS!” screamed Scott, blowing a streamer as Rick stood, not moving an inch, his gray uniform contrasting with the rainbows of streamers.

“It’s your birthday,” Rick muttered, his voice barely audible over the loud music and laughter of the guests, as they ate a giant spherical cake with ‘happy birthday, Scott’ written in green icing.

“I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” yelled Scott, but Rick brushed by him and went to his bed. However, as he saw that it had a huge cooler and a punch bowl placed on top of it, he walked back out the door. “I’ll be in the library studying,” he said to Scott, but he was too busy talking to a group of people to notice.

Rick went down the elevator and into the library, a large room with enough books to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. He went down a large isle of books, and he stopped to pull out a large, dusty book entitled The History of Forricia: Complete and Unabridged. Finding an empty table to sit on, he opened the book and started reading.

‘Chapter seven: Earth-fact or fairy tale?

Over the years, many have enjoyed reading countless fairy tales about a land Called Earth. While many believed that Earth, indeed, existed with human life, scientists have dropped the matter, saying it is unreasonable and impossible. After all, the large puddles on Earth’s surface known as ‘oceans’ would evaporate before they could come to their impossible depths. Also, the talk of a star called the ‘Sun’ would never be able to make the sky blue and blot out all other stars. Scientists also have decided that humans living on Earth could never have the intellectual ability to send humans to this land of Forricia. While Earth might remain as one of the best-known fairy tales on Forricia, the talk of there actually being a planet that fit Earth’s descriptions is, by all means, is nothing but lies.’

Rick closed the book and tucked it under his shoulder. After checking it out, he walked out of the library and stood against the hallway, not knowing what to do next. After a minute or so, he spotted one of his friends coming out of the elevator, and they talked about the exams coming up in one day. After a minute or so, they stopped talking, and Rick stepped into the elevator. He got out on the top floor, and went to his room. Luckily, the party was done, and Scott was nowhere to be seen. After he pushed the punch bowl and cooler off his bed, he changed into his nightshirt, and got into bed. Turning off the lamp on the bedside table, he thought about earth. It seemed so real, and no matter what the scientists said, he wondered if there was a possibility of an Earth in real life, with humans coming to Forricia on some kind of rocket. However, he did not have time to answer his own question, for before he knew it, his mind was blank and he was asleep.

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