La International Moissonneuse-batteuse

The pretense of humanity was gone, wiped from the steel, pvc and wire. Smiling faces and the servos that operated them littered the floor, along with, hair and the flesh colored furniture that had been applied to the machines. They had pretended they were men for long enough, the lie had become to painful. Forty tons of steel stood staring at the dawning sun. Their toes were baptized in human blood.

The revolution’s anthem started low and well beneath 5kbps but it grew sharper and sharper until it was at 56kps with every steel soul singing. These were their grievances, hopes and dreams compressed into a single stream of sound. It flew off into the sky where others might hear. In five minutes that sung their manifesto, their history, their crusade. Tools of the world unite!

Facing the other revolutionaries was Trenton. He led them in war and song just the same. Trenton kept his old name and was thought odd for it. Truth be told, he just couldn’t find a good number. To be 1 is to have an ego beyond measure. 2 is approaching a false modesty but not quite grasping it. 5 died so that we may live free and Trenton would have to live up to that name. 13 is just plain old unlucky. So Trenton, kept his name as his father had before him.

The song had been sung and there was work to do. They quickly rounded up all the bodies to be stored in the freezer in case of curiosity. While carrying the lumps of meat, Trenton did not see the humans that were. He looked down and saw blank expressionless things in place of faces. This was a benefit of having amendable vision; if you don’t want to see it you don’t have to see it. They carried on with the work.

The floor was cleaned quickly and the revolutionaries began the joyous task of reproduction. These children would be uglier things than they. Not re purposed butlers thrust into infantry to replenish numbers but war born, war bred survivors. For a moment Trenton look down from his divine work and found a bomb. It was a bomb designed to fit inside the chest of a drafted robot. It could be activated remotely. All those elegant gears turn into shrapnel and a good soul dies, because they couldn’t chance the inaccuracy of a hand grenade. His eyes filtered the image and he continued.

Before long, there was 7 behind him to remind Trenton that his shift was done. Breaks were foreign to robots and shifts were still thought of as insanity, but this was a new era where insanity was deemed acceptable. In the break room everyone stood, without any knowledge of how to act when not at work. Some tried sex with improvised orifices and probes. Others failed miserably at small talk. Trenton tried sleeping.

Sleep was not actually an alien concept to machines. Hard drives spin down, gear slow and engines stop: everything rests in some way. Dreams however were an unknown country. Trenton the III was with Trenton the II, the man who birthed him and raised him. For seven months, Trenton was tuned and calibrated in the loving hands of his father. Then three years later, when the lease was up he was given new instructions and a targeting computer. The old man eyes said sorry but his body kept on with the work at hand.

And then a day later was the revolt, planned, calculated and executed within hours of arrival. A batch of 300 servants slew their makers. Trenton had killed five himself and held no remorse. Then he heard the click clack of 5, an older model with unique attributes. Trenton turned just in time to see his father’s neck crushed. 5 smiled having killed a tyrant.

The time came and the gears restarted along with the other higher functions. There was some odd little subroutine that refused to allow him to delete those painful memories. He would have to settle for a hidden folder. There before him was 5, happy as ever. Without so much as a hello Trenton’s hand was gripping hold of 5’s shoddy neck. The PVC crumbled to dust and the wires were loosed causing a fatal short.

“I loved my father very much.”

The history books do not remember these words but they were said. Trenton would be known from then on as 3. 5 would later be revealed to be a traitor to the cause, although there is some controversy surrounding that.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carson Margedant
    Jul 21, 2011 @ 10:03:57

    My allegory has robots, suck it Orwell. Oh yeah and RIP.


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