The Drive - Snippet

The Drive - Snippet

A Story by Meeks
"

Nothing can go on forever. Even electric cars have their limits.

"

We had to stop about halfway there. The edge of the residential zone was maybe two more miles out, we were really close to leaving the city. I’ve never really had any reason to send robots out this far, usually the few crimes that took place were in the more densely populated areas. And needless to say, I didn't particular enjoy being this far away from any decent form of civilization. We were going to be off the map, figuratively and literally. I started downloading GPS pictures of the road ahead to not get lost.

Two hours on the road. An entire two hours. And we were only halfway there, the whole trip would take around four. And then another four back, so about eight hours. I looked at Abia, who was vigilantly watching the passenger window as if he wanted to suck up everything he could and imprint it into his memory. Or maybe he was just powered down? Could biological humans power down?

I turned back to the road to catch a little flashlight battery symbol. The car wouldn't make it, we had to recharge. I decided not to bother asking Abia, and instead directed the car towards the nearest charging station. After all, that's what robots were for, right? To do the boring stuff without bothering people about it. I looked at the boy, his face pressed against the glass. It wasn't particularly fair, but I kind of understood the logic in the system. Humans were weaker, and you can't make a thousand per day in a factory.

The car bounced a slight bit as it drove up a bump in the asphalt, and I manually directed it to one of the recharge stations. There were six, surrounded by a peaceful parking lot type of area, and a small store off to one side.

I got out, and walked up the the booth-like station. I grabbed the transfer nozzle, and stuck it into the battery recharge opening in the car, pressing several buttons and waited for the familiar hum of electricity racing through the wires to sound.

The problem was that it didn't.

I tapped the area where the computer system should have been. Was it broken? I doubted that, the casing looked a bit old but otherwise in good condition. Yet it obstinately refused to charge, so something had to be wrong. I glanced at the monitor, built into the station’s hulk. Two words flashed across the screen, Service Denied.

“Hey!” A man practically fell out from the store’s entrance, jogging towards me and waving his arms in a threatening way. “What do you think you're doing?”

I looked at the monitor, then at the man. I was just trying to charge a car, was that wrong? There are robots charging cars all the time in the city. Was he a lunatic?

“Don't you know that… wait.” He stopped, his eyes growing wide. He glanced at my body again, then covered his face with one hand. “Oh god, a police.”

“I’m sorry, did I do something wrong?” I ask. He would surely know why the recharge station decided it wouldn't work today. Maybe he would help too, that would be nice.

The man stood straighter, his intricate metal plates tightening against themselves. “Trying to steal electricity, are we?”

“My apologies, I didn't know,” I said, clueless as to how I was stealing anything.

“Don't f*****g sweet talk me!” He kicked my leg with his, promptly losing balance himself and falling over onto the asphalt.

I quickly grabbed his hand before he could hit the ground. “Sir, maybe we should-”

“Shut up!” He quickly popped up, grabbing my chest and pushing me against the car. “Do you know when this shows up?” He pointed his metal finger at the monitor, which was still flashing ‘Service Denied’.

“No, I don't.”

“When someone wants electricity without paying for it first! That's when!”

“Sir, I can assure you that I wasn't -”

“Don't try to sweet talk me!” He pushed me against the car one last time before backing away. “And a police too, I’m going to report you! You’ll be taken apart, melted into thumbtacks! Do you understand?”

Abia rolled down the window, sticking his head between me and the owner, and it quickly became the man’s turn to be surprised.

The owner must have never seen a biological human in his life, because how could he? A pet lion could've hopped out that window for the effect it had on the man. He stood, his pistons visibly tense as if waiting for Abia to break out the window and attack him with a hammer or something. I smiled, kind of sympathetic of the man.

“Is there a problem?” Abia asked in an almost bored gesture. The man looked at me, then at the kid, and finally back at me. I could only imagine what was going through his mind at that point.

“No. I mean, yes. I mean, there is a problem, I just thought that, erh,” he mumbled, probably forgetting what he was so angry about before. “Your robot was trying to steal power,” he decided finally.

“I don't think he would do that,” Abia glanced at me, trying to suppress a smile. “We aren't from around here, so he might not be familiar with, eh, protocol as to refueling.”

“I understand,” the man said, inching behind one of the charging booths.

“Could you refuel the car and give him an update?”

“Of course,” the man decided, obviously not really wanting to do either. Abia graced him with another half smile before rolling up the window and disappearing behind its blackened glass.

The man looked at me, kind of unsurely, then glanced at the window where Abia sat. His outline was barely visible behind the dark glass. “Is that thing real?”

“As real as it gets,” I replied.

“And you're from animal control?”

“Police bots don't work for animal control. I’m just… escorting.” I shrug, and the man nods with understanding. He grabs the nozzle of the charging stations and waves it at me. “I usually don't give my services to the police, nor to any other infernal bots if they aren't accompanied by a half-decent human being.”

“I understand sir. However, I-”

“Shut up. Debit or credit card?”


© 2016 Meeks



Author's Note

Meeks
Anything, really. If you stopped reading, please tell me where so I can fix it.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Critique: (I got out, and walked up the the booth-like station) to the?
(I glanced at the monitor, built into the station’s hulk) hulk? Not sure what you mean here.
(“Oh god, a police.”) police what?

Review: I find this intriguing, the interplay between character has nice flow and very engaging and I love the humorous ending. Well done Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!




Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Meeks

1 Year Ago

Hulk as in, oh wait. Google defines it as a derelict ship. Wierd, I was using that word for a while .. read more



Reviews

This is good, Though, confused where the A.I. is lurking? Is it in a physical robot? must be.
same as the robot in the other chapter where the human Abia is taken to that apartment?
if not, be a great prologue to it!

Posted 1 Year Ago


The third to the last paragraph: unsurely, I think the sentence structure would go better without kind of, the hesitated thought perhaps change it to unsure for the flow. I don't know. And the first paragraph, particular I think is the word, should also be corrected for structure.
I like this story and the characters. I especially like the owner of the store. Just had to wonder: is he a man, an android, or did he just have metal parts?? And I'm with bear for the rest. Great write all in all

Posted 1 Year Ago


Love the originality. Great concept and very good story overall. I like it alot. TY for sharing..

Posted 1 Year Ago


Fascinating world you created, no doubt.

The first two paragraphs, however, need a bit more spark. It took me actually several tries to get past them, they are far too vague. From the third paragraph on it's fine, but ideally your first sentence should be an irresistible hook, at least the first paragraph should intriguing enough to give your reader no other choice than to read on.

It's also a bit counter-intuitive that man/robot (he was an artificial life form too, right?) at the recharge station would think a police robot would steal electricity, so if there's a story behind that prejudice - perhaps give the reader a glimpse at that.

Nevertheless, it's very imaginative and the idea's intriguing.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Meeks

1 Year Ago

I don't really think it's the vagueness but simply a more concentrated pacing problem, so I'm actual.. read more
Kaliope

1 Year Ago

Ah, yes, since the man was a cyborg his prejudice against robots makes a lot more sense. If you'd cl.. read more
Meeks

1 Year Ago

Interesting. Vagueness probably is a big part of the problem but then again. The one person who regu.. read more
I don't see anything particularly wrong with it, but it seems like you gave up on the 'robot-like' writing style. And that's what made this story special for me. Now, just as it is, if I hadn't read the previous ones, this wouldn't really interest me. It's not bad, as I said, I liked the dialogue between the robot and the petrol station owner, it's not dry or anything. I just think that you shouldn't abandon that 'artificial' writing for this story.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Yay!
It took me a little bit to get into this piece (maybe think about condensing the first two paragraphs into one) but as soon as I got into the flashlight/battery symbol, I was hooked.

I'm curious to know more about the world that they live in. Not necessarily in this story, as I think too much description would slow it down, but through more of your stories.

My only big critique is that if you have dialogue, and then description, and then dialogue from another person, then the other person's dialogue gets it's own paragraph. This is mostly important in your last couple paragraphs. As it reads now, the robot is the one who says the last line "Shut up. Debit or credit card?" which caught me up until I realized that it was the station man who said it.

A couple things to think about: would there be debit/credit cards in the world you've created? How about referring to the station person as a man, since he seems to be a robot?

Great job, though!

Posted 1 Year Ago


Meeks

1 Year Ago

Hmm, other people were telling me I need to amp up descrpitions. I think what we're all looking for .. read more
In my opinion, the theme you chose for the story is actually a good one. Your dialogues support the theme perfectly, there are slight humour sometimes creating good contrast. The begining, middle parts, the ending everything is thoughtfully constructed.

" Abia graced him with another half smile before rolling up the window and disappearing behind its blackened glass"- I could visualize the cold(or warm?) smile while reading, this line is amazing, may be for the characterization.

I think you should create more connection between the character and atmosphere to make the story lively, like what the robot saw outside while driving, how the station looked like, if there was a metallic sound when the robot got hit. Adding a little bit description might make the story more beautiful.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Meeks

1 Year Ago

Thanks for the tips. I usually shy away from descriptions, partly because I don't want them to be in.. read more
Rafy T.Nyx

1 Year Ago

Meeks, I remember reading your story 'Little red riding hood' and the story has great description. Y.. read more
This was different. Something to ponder about. Liked the theme and imagery you used here. The conversations between the characters has a nice flow as well. The humorous elements were exciting. Loved them too. :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


Meeks

1 Year Ago

Thanks for helping me out. This is the first time I'm consciously adding humor, so I really apprecia.. read more
Blackheart

1 Year Ago

Well, you're always welcome mate.

And yes, I have been writing but I haven't sent any.. read more
Critique: (I got out, and walked up the the booth-like station) to the?
(I glanced at the monitor, built into the station’s hulk) hulk? Not sure what you mean here.
(“Oh god, a police.”) police what?

Review: I find this intriguing, the interplay between character has nice flow and very engaging and I love the humorous ending. Well done Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!




Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Meeks

1 Year Ago

Hulk as in, oh wait. Google defines it as a derelict ship. Wierd, I was using that word for a while .. read more

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

399 Views
9 Reviews
Rating
Added on February 12, 2016
Last Updated on February 12, 2016
Tags: science, fiction, adventure, robot, meaningful, racism, slavery

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
Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Meeks


There Was There Was

A Book by Meeks



Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..