007: Robotic Chimes

007: Robotic Chimes

A Chapter by SDMcCarty

In the far off future, robots have taken over the world. Humans are still around, but the robots are in control. One day, the robots well organized routine is ruined. How will this affect the life both groups lead?


Night fell, but you could hardly tell.  The smoke that always filled the air effectively kept the differences between day and night hidden, but the clocks still worked.  They chimed once at the start of the day, twice for midday, and three times for the start of the sleeping hours.  Ever since the robots took over, the day – life - had been much more organized.  The humans had to make some adjustments but nothing too bad.  Now they were masks to make the air breathable and they wore suits to protect them from the atmosphere that they found so poisonous.  They slept in barrack-like buildings.  In order to maintain their usefulness, the humans worked the day away.  The robots had produced the pill that kept them alive.  It gave them the energy for the work.  If they refused to work, the robots refused them the pill.  Everything equal – work for food, food for work.  Being lazy was no longer a human’s prerogative.  The robots were nice enough.  But, sometimes it’s difficult for Masters to always be nice to the servants.  The humans had tried to revolt against the robots a few times.  All times the robots had to put it down.  They had tried to be gentle, but humans rarely understood such things.  With humans, it was either their way or no way – and the humans seldom had one way that they wanted it.  If the robots gave into one demand, there would be hundreds of others to give into.  It was annoying and a waste of time.  After the first attempted revolt, the robots learned the way to deal with the humans.  Force was to be used, usually brute.  The humans were merely flesh and blood, but the robots were metal and electricity.  They clearly had the advantage, and they used it to destructive ends.  If the humans saw reason, then the robots would not have had to resort to force.  They didn’t, they never do.  Humans live too much in the now, and don’t think about the future.  The robots do though.  They have a plan.  The humans wouldn’t be able to see the worth of the plan so the robots don’t share it.  It’s too long term for the humans.  The humans live for what used to be 50 years and then expire, but the robots live on, generation after generation after generation.  Long term to a human is a robot’s short term.  There is a beauty to that that humans will never be able to comprehend.  But, there is also something beautiful in enjoying things for a short while that robots will never be able to understand.  Both are missing some form of beauty in their lives, but neither can see it.
The day started out like any other.  The chime to start the day rung out, the humans stirred in their bunks.  But something was different – the humans didn’t rise.  They merely remained laying down as if asleep.  The robots noticed this almost immediately.  Late risers were watched.  A voice over the intercom system gave them a warning.  They would either rise or face the consequences.  They did not rise.  The robots knew that the humans were alive – their vitals were checked constantly.  Perhaps this was another of their revolts.  Hopefully this one would be taken care of without bloodshed.  The robots gave the humans one minute to rise before actions were taken.  The humans didn’t move.  The robots sent a small electric current to wake the humans up and punish them.  Not a single one moved although a few cried out in shock and pain.  A stronger one was sent – a few humans died.  A stronger one was sent, and then a stronger one.  They still didn’t move except in pain.  The number of dead slowly increased.  The robots stopped sending the electricity.  They didn’t want to kill their workers.  The robots let them lay there.  The humans became confused.  The robots watched and waited.  Slowly the humans who had lived got up and looked around at the others.  They had thought they had won.  They smiled behind their masks.  They lazed the day away.  It came time for sleep.  Most had lost most of their energy and fell asleep with no problem.  The next morning the chime rang out again.  The humans did not rise; they had all died in the night.

© 2009 SDMcCarty

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Added on May 18, 2009



Sendai-shi, Japan

I started writing more seriously just a little while ago (about a month or so), so I am not terribly good yet. However, I do enjoy writing, so I'll continue to try! I enjoy fantasy works, and I also.. more..