Report A07 - Operation 022

Report A07 - Operation 022

A Chapter by Meeks
"

The drive a certain place

"

We drive in silence. I’ve turned off the autopilot and handled the car myself to save battery, driving past the empty roads with one hand on the small wheel. The kid stared out the window, looking at the glass and steel houses, empty and dark. Not a movement could be seen outside, any civilians that lived here already got the message and were in their homes.

All the cars were driven off the road, probably because they were ordered to return home once the blackout was noticed by their passengers. The going was smooth, the streets straight, and I relaxed into standby mode, watching the road and keeping my foot pressed on the pedal.

Until a blinking light on the dashboard caught my attention.

I woke instantly, and slowed the car down to a full stop, only a few meters away from the next powered down set of lights. I felt the pressure as the deceleration pushed me forward, but the seatbelt held me tight and I didn't even move my pistons until the car settled in motionlessness.. The kid’s head popped up, looking behind the car, and finally stared at me with a twisted face. “What’s happening?”

“The car’s battery is at fifty percent. If we want to get back, we should turn around now,” I tell him. He looks out the window again, this time at a particularly nice estate. There was a little pond lined with rocks and concrete, surrounded by fake grass, throwing green into your face.

“How much further to the field?” he asked, his face pressed against the window.

I shrug, looking at the road in front of us. We’ve already been driving for 252 minutes, but we were making good time because of the lack of cars and red lights. We’ve been averaging 58.3 miles an hour, so it would be… “Another half hour, maybe less,” I say, and look at his face for a response.

His nose is clearly outlined by the sun, now about halfway up the sky. I can see the reddish glow coming from his skin, the curve of his lips and flickering of his eyebrows. It seems… vaguely familiar. I saw him like this before several hours ago, when he was sitting in the apartment. I take a picture to compare later.

“Let's go on. We're already almost there,” he shrugs, and I look back at the road.

“We might not be able to drive back,” I remind him. “We’ll be stranded.”

He looks at me, his eyebrows furrowing. Thinking. No, not thinking, he was just looking at me. My eyes flash and illuminate his face for a short second. “So you want to give up when we're only half an hour away?” his voice is sharp.

“Yes.”

He wiggles in the seat, which is probably too big for him and uncomfortably shaped. “Let's just get there. Cmon,  you promised.”

“I wasn't expecting you to ask for this. Do you have any idea what it's like to be outside in the streets in the middle of nowhere?” I ask. He looks at me sideways, and I remember that he was doing just that until I found him. Probably a wrong example.

“Doesn't change a thing. You still promised me,” he decides, and presses his cheek against the glass again. I look at the road, then back at him. There was little hope that Abia would change his mind, but my cameras watched for a short second before finally giving up.

“Fine,” I say, and start the car again. I hear the electrical motor hum beneath me, though the sound was so quiet I am sure Abia didn't hear. My foot slowly depresses the gas pedal, and we lurch on down the street.

We continue in silence. Abia was constantly looking out the window, watching as we passed building after building, crossroad after crossroad, city after city. My peripheral vision keeps watching him, but he remains motionless with his face glued to the glass. I observe the minutes passing, but it’s like he’s just powered down. Or went to sleep, how humans call it. Or maybe just a vegetative standby state?

He moves slightly at around the 23 minutes mark. He breathes deeply, his hands shifting and he adjusts his position on the seat, but remains watching. The scenery has changed now, we were speeding past shut down factories and large smokestacks, empty of billowing black clouds.

The freeway quickly becomes narrower, until it becomes just a regular, two lane road, still wonderfully devoid of cars and wonderfully straight, like roads are supposed to be. The factories disappear, and we go through a mile or two of forest before we reach our final destination. I stop the car almost at the edge of the woods, it’s curved hood gliding gracefully along the asphalt before finally stopping.

“We’re here,” Abia said, still looking out the window. I saw his lips curve, pulling back into a poor imitation of a smile.

“So we are. 37% battery left,” I check the flashing number. Abia looked unphased at my warning, and I turn the electric motor off. “Why did we come here?”

“Look,” he said, pointing forward at the road. My head followed; there was a long, straight road that stretched through fields of grain all the way to the horizon. Abia opened the door and got out, not bothering to close it afterwards.

He asked me to come here, almost immediately after I found him again. Well, not exactly here, just to find a nearby field where there weren't any people. Why? What was I even supposed to see? I lean back into my chair, staring out the front windshield and trying to understand why we drove four hours just to see this.

I check my own battery, trying to determine how long I’ll last. 42%, so maybe another seven, possibly eight hours. My pistons relax to conserve power, and I look at Abia. He’s stretching himself in the field, the wheat stalks reaching up to his waist as he moves his arms around freely. The sun is high in the sky by now, not quite at its noon position but hovering in front of us, and he seems to enjoy the light and heat that it gives off.

Humans are idiots.

“Hey robot. Don't you want to come outside?” he says, his face twisting in yet another way as he looks behind him at the car. His voice is perfectly audible through the open door.

“No, I don't,” I reply, and settle into the car seat. I need to save battery power, the plan just might work. If I power down before that, I might lose him, and I can't allow that.

“You can't just sit for the whole ride here, and then back. That’s like eight hours.”

“Why not?” I reply. His face changes again as he processes the question, and he turns back around to look at the sun without answering.

And then it starts. I feel a slight connection, that slight vibration of my receiver caused by radio waves, and I immediately sit up. A connection. To the network. Which can mean only one thing.

I try to respond, sending out requests to the empty space around me. Nothing. No, I definitely felt it, I was connected for a short second. Where was the connection?

I decipher the message I received. It was supposed to be a command, but it didn't have the end tags, which led me to believe that it was cut short. There was no sender specified, it was just a command, stopped about halfway.

I open my door, and jump out onto the concrete. Still no connection. The kid looks at me, probably surprised I got out of the car. “Hey, I knew it!” he exclaims, but I ignore him.

I need to get up higher, the broadcast might not be reaching me in this place. But how? We were on top of a hill anyway, shouldn't I be connected anyway? I wasn't built to climb trees, even though we were right next to the forest.

I place my foot on the hood on the car, my pistons hissing as I pull my heavy bulk onto the thin metal. The kid looks at me with one eyebrow raised, still kind of smiling. I wasn't high enough, still no coverage. I jump onto the car’s roof, denting it slightly, and send connection requests toward where I think the nearest tower is. No reply.

“What are you doing?” the kid asks me. My faceplates frown, and I cautiously jump down onto the black asphalt. “Nothing.”

“Come over here, you can get the best view,” his arms waves towards me, and I slowly walk up the the ridge on which he is standing on. If I humor him, we might be able to get back sooner.

It was an endless expanse of a warm, yellow field, the grain waving and whispering in the wind, and beyond it more yellow hills, and then sky. A beautiful blue sky, with a white and gray cloud approaching from the left. The sun was almost at the perfect position now, giving every color a deeper radiant vibe. There was a small red shed visible in the distance, its metal roof glinting light and blinding in a seemingly enjoyable way. And best of all was the breeze, visibly bending stalks as it slowly climbed up the hill until it washed over them, and Abia’s hair fluttered in the steady gust.

And I noticed none of it, because exactly at that moment I received that command that I so much hoped for.

> PROGRAM command: Unit CR 047 complete override by PROGRAM.





© 2015 Meeks



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Whoa... You're good. This is just awesome. Though, I must say I haven't read the previous chapters, I'll try to read them later on. At first, I couldn't say if the person driving the car was even a robot until you mentioned the battery level. It left me wondering what this is all about and the command at the end as well.

Also, the tenses in your story shifts from past tense to present tense. However, I still enjoyed it. :)
Waiting for the next chapter. :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


Meeks

1 Year Ago

At about this point, I started rethinking the entire story. Especially the beginning, I don't think .. read more
TheMalady

1 Year Ago

You're very welcome. Oh, I see. Then, you've shown me some great developments from the story. Well, .. read more
Great twist, I like his conflict, the dual point of view is a great feat. Great write

Posted 1 Year Ago



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Added on December 24, 2015
Last Updated on December 24, 2015
Tags: science, fiction, adventure, mystery, robot, human


Author

Meeks
Meeks

Poland



About
Hey guys! I'm a sixteen year old writer trying desperately to make something publish-worthy. In the meantime, I hand out useful critiques and comments. Currently trying to work on something diffe.. more..

Writing
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A Chapter by Meeks


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