Author: J Frank Wright

Clank. Clank. Clank.

The little silver pyramid hovered to the kitchen sink. Two metal arms emerged and started doing the dishes.

Clank. Clank. Clank.

Dan thought that something must have broken when it crashed in the backyard. He didn’t think something this advanced shouldn’t be making that sound. That was over three weeks ago.

“They are coming. I am here to help,” it had said in its robot voice. It continued in what sounded like Spanish, then French, German, and some Asian language he wasn’t sure of. Maybe Russian. It finished with a couple he didn’t recognize at all. He guessed it was repeating the same message but couldn’t be sure. He didn’t speak any other languages. He only knew what the first few sounded like from movies.

It followed him into the house, making a little whirring noise as it hovered. He checked it for a phone number, email address, or anything that would indicate what to do with it, or who to contact if found, but there was nothing. Other than a weird port on one of the sides that was pulsing with a red light, it was completely smooth, shiny, and silver. There were no doors. He still hadn’t figured out how the arms came out. He tried connecting his phone and his laptop to the port, but he didn’t recognize the connection type.

He heard it speak the first time while he was inspecting it, and tried to get it to repeat itself, but it wouldn’t. He tried to get it to answer questions, but it wouldn’t. All it would do was hover and flash that damn light.

He sat down, opened a beer, and contemplated what he was going to do with it. He was just finishing his first when he heard it again.

“They are coming. I am here to help.”

“Who?” he asked. “Who’s coming? I don’t know what that means.” Finally, frustrated he said, “If you really want to help, why don’t you vacuum the floor, because I don’t know what to do with you.” Then the little silver pyramid lowered itself to the carpet. The whirring became louder, and it began vacuuming the floor.

Dan began testing more commands and commanding more complex tasks. He had to teach it to do the dishes, but once he did, it remembered every time. It would even blow them dry.

No one ever came for it, and he never heard anything about it on television or the internet. He knew somebody would eventually come looking for it, but until then, the little silver pyramid would do the cleaning, cook dinner, go clank clank clank, and every 48 minutes would repeat its message.

This is how it went for almost a month. On the 23rd day, the whirring stop. The little silver pyramid was sitting on the ground, no longer hovering. The red light had also gone out.

“Clean the dishes,” he told it, but it continued to sit motionless on the floor. Then he heard a faint ticking noise from inside the pyramid. It only lasted a few seconds, and then the whirring noise fired up again. The light around the port came back on, now a steady green glow. The little silver pyramid spoke again, this time with a new message.

“They are here. Deploy the weapon.”

Sirens began wailing in the distance.