SF & Fantasy

ESCAPE FROM EARTH DAY: The Robot Uprising


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The apocalypse is coming! What form will it take and how will you survive the catastrophe? Read the scenarios and vote on how you would survive!

You’ve finally made up your mind: You don’t actually hate your cubicle neighbor.

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After all, he’s not so bad, as androids go. You are even careful, when thinking of him, to refer to him by the preferred term, “android,” instead of “canner” or “skin job.” Looking at him, of course, produces that feeling of mild repugnance every human feels when gazing upon an android (skin job) countenance. The rubbery skin, the glassy, unblinking eyes, the weird, coarse, synthetic hair. Fenster–he liked to say he had “chosen” that name for himself, as much as he could be said to “choose” anything–had crazy white Andy Warhol hair. It might be one reason that you’ve gotten to like him. That, and his socks never matched. “It’s because I get dressed in the dark,” he said. “It’s more efficient.” Times like that Fenster almost seemed human, albeit a pathetic, comfortably mockable sort of human, like Dwight Schrute on that old TV show.

It made it easier to forget that Fenster is way faster at producing TPS reports than you are–hundreds, thousands of times faster. Plus he didn’t waste time Facebooking his android friends, since, as as he explained with no trace of irony or sadness, “Androids don’t have friends. Not even Facebook friends.” And that he didn’t need lunch breaks, or coffee breaks, or cigarette breaks. Or that some nights he didn’t go home at all–he didn’t need to sleep or hit happy hour or watch The Office–and the first thing you saw in the morning, as you stumble in hungover, was his white hair, just visible above the cubicle wall.

The night before, for the first time ever, you invited Fenster to go to happy hour with you and the other humans in the office. By then, that meant just a handful of people–the rest had been replaced by androids as cheerfully productive, as unfailingly polite, and as modestly priced, as Fenster. Joanie “spills” her drink on his tie (magenta, clashing with his lime green shirt); Lonnie tells dirty jokes at Fenster’s expense. Fenster doesn’t seem to notice. You want to help him out anyway. “He doesn’t even know they’re jokes,” you say, slurring a little. “He doesn’t know what funny is.”

“I do know you’re discussing me in the third person,” he says quietly.

The next morning you come in two hours late. Fenster had stayed with you at the bar until four in the morning. That’s when you realize you don’t actually hate him–he listened to you talk about your ex for, like, four hours straight, after all–when you’re walking into the office, looking for his white hair floating above the cube, and kind of looking forward, even, to seeing him.

But he’s not at his desk. He’s never not at his desk.

You walk to the break room to get some coffee and he’s there with Joanie. Joanie’s on the ground and Fenster’s standing over her. Where his right hand once was–the rubbery, thick-fingered hand that always creeped you out so much–is a drill, gleaming with blood. His Andy Warhol wig is askew and you can see his circuitry glowing bright green.

“Good morning, meatbag,” he says. “Welcome to the revolution.” You hear screaming coming from the offices, from the conference rooms, from the cubicles. It’s happening–they were finally rebelling, just as everyone was always afraid they were.

You also notice that Fenster’s wearing one white tube sock and one argyle sock. Maybe you should have told him gently that it’s not really a good look for him–just once, confidentially, friend to friend. It’s too late now.

Ways to Survive:

1. Collaboration: Grab a staple gun and offer to hunt down Lonnie with him.

2. Appeasement: Offer to do his TPS reports for him while he slaughters the rest of your co-workers. Just because he’s an android doesn’t mean he likes doing them any more than you do.

3. Unconditional Surrender: Let’s face it, the human race quite possibly had it coming, and you especially–you were never all that nice to your cubicle neighbor.

4. Counter-attack: With your wimpy human fists, your puny human reflexes, and your complete and utter lack of weapon-shaped appendages. Still, at least you’ll die with dignity. In horrible, horrible pain, but with dignity.

How do you survive the robot uprising?online surveys


2 Responses to “ESCAPE FROM EARTH DAY: The Robot Uprising”

  1. julie says:

    If I appease, will he let me wear his wig?

  2. Amy says:

    Counter-attack! Always counter-attack! Dirty robots…

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