Author: Bryan Pastor
“We should have listened to your father and stayed out of this place.”
“Nonsense… Woo what is that?”
Neil and Toby paused to examine their find. It stood twice as tall as than them, reminding Neil of the holoart of Michelangelo’s David, they had viewed in class last term. The form was manlike, an approximation of the skeletal form, without all the human flesh.
They stood marveling for a few minutes at what they had discovered, before Neil punched Toby in the arm.
“See this is the kind of stuff I told you we would find. Cool isn’t it?”
Neil moved forward into a shaft of light that streaked down through the broken roof above.
“Yeah cool, whatever it is.” Toby snarked.
“There looks to be some kind of controls on it. Maybe I should push the green button.”
Toby yelled, a carnal instinctual, that-is-a-bad-idea scream. The thing awoke instantly. Neil stepped back, when it began to jerk. There was a high-pitched whirring noise, but they couldn’t see any moving parts. It began to make different sounds, which could have been a foreign language.
“You get that?” Neil asked.
“Nothing I ever heard,” responded Toby.
This commotion continued on for a few minutes, then stopped. Whatever life the thing may have had, it looked like it was gone.
“Broken I guess.” Neil grimaced in disappointment. “Maybe there are some parts around here that fell off.”
“How would you know what they looked like from the trash?” Toby asked, stepping closer to inspect the mechanical giant.
An articulated arm shot out, wrapping its steely fingers easily around Toby’s waist. Hoisting him up, it began to examine Toby, rapidly twisting and turning him as it studied its catch from every angle. The movement stopped. With its free hand, it poked Toby’s chest once gently, before jabbing a metallic finger through the soft flesh. Digging around for a moment, it removed the android’s central processing core.
“Toby,” Neil screamed. Everything had happened so fast, he had no time to react.
“Run.” Toby hissed, its voices fading to a faint crackle.
The machine tossed Toby’s lifeless shell aside. It spent some time trying to interface with the powerful computer it had acquired. It was baffled by the lack of connectors or ports. When it finally became apparent that it couldn’t harness this processor, it went to the body where it did find a way to harvest the automaton’s power source.
Maybe if it caught the one that ran off, it would have a better chance of connecting to the processor it sensed in its head.