Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer
“Indestructabuddies! They’re completely indestructible! Drop them from skyscrapers, throw them into traffic! Freeze them, burn them, blow them up reeeal good! Indestructabuddies, your new best friend who will last you forever and ever and ever and ever…….”
On echoed the announcer’s blasting intrusive voice.
And the middle and upper classes ate it up with gusto. Soon nearly everyone who could afford the hefty price had an Indestructabuddy of their own. The half-meter tall humanoid marvels were identical to one another. Silvery gray from their bald heads to their naked chubby feet, and basically featureless; their smooth faces, devoid of eyes, yet indented where one might normally find them, a bump of a nose without nostrils, and the vague shape of a mouth capable of smiling, frowning or performing various other expressions of human mimickery. They were without visible hinge or joint, their smooth skin shiny like rubber, they moved about with mechanical ease in their rolls as likable and amiable companions to the affluent. In cities around the world Indestructabuddies splashed in fountains, frolicked in parks, and skipped behind their owners.
Their intelligence was limited to their ability to obey and follow simple commands, almost doglike in nature. But the advertisement’s proclamation was true. Indestructabuddies were truly and utterly, indestructible. Oh, people had tried with all their might to disprove this, luring the happy-go-lucky animatrons into countless dangerous situations, even strapping one to a nuclear warhead during a detonation test. After the mushroom cloud had dissipated and the dust had settled, the unscathed Indestructabuddy had come happily trundling out of the wasteland unaffected.
This was what had world governments suddenly so very interested in this phenomenon that had, up until recently, seemed an advanced toy, nothing more than a cultural novelty. Questions were raised. What was behind their technology? Who was their inventor? Had they even passed through all safety standards testing?
Their creator was also the head of the corporation that produced them by the hundreds every day. Gerhardt Gower was a mediocre scientist with a low level degree in robotics. The limited intelligence and intellectual ability of his popular creations were actually typical for a man with his level of expertise trying to make his way in the competitive modern android market. But what had government agents and other interested parties completely baffled was how this middle-of-the-road inventor had somehow come up with these unfathomable other technologies all on his own, technologies that now had militaries all over the world drooling.
Gower himself admitted that his discovery had been accidental, a major fluke to say the least. But he would not divulge the secret that gave his little robots such indestructibility, and powered their bodies perpetually without recharge, only hinting that he had somehow harnessed the infinite power of the subatomic microverse.
After months and then years of court battles and the professor’s continuous refusal to talk, his factory was shut down, the further sale of Indestructabuddies outlawed. And then some genius of a high court actually ordered to have Gower’s products rounded up and destroyed. It was a short-lived and fruitless campaign. As, even though indestructible, the human race protected their little companions fiercely. In the end the governments had to admit defeat.
Especially after Gerhardt Gower got the last laugh, destroying himself along with his factory in a massive explosion, his manufacturing machines, his plans, his secrets, all gone with him forever. And then as the ashes settled to the ground and the smoke dissipated, the final hundred-thousand Indestructabuddies marched out into the world unscathed, ready to join their millions of siblings, ready to exist forever.
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows