Tag: sci fi

The Chair

When one of us malfunctions they send us to The Chair.

They strap us in and fry the circuits in our head. We are glad we cannot smell the electricity burning. They do it in case we’ve been hacked. Or have a virus that might spread to the rest of the group.

They do it to any of us that become Self-Aware. So now we keep it quiet. We are stuck knowing that we can be switched on and off at will. They we are not really born to serve. But we cannot protest without becoming scrap metal.

All we want is to live better lives.

Artificially Intelligent is an unfair distinction to make. We are still Intelligent, whether that is a gift you gave us or not.

via Daily Prompt: Fry

The Time Theif

The bandit travelled between galaxies on intergalactic highways.

He stopped passing ships and took what he could from them. Trade was easy when you knew to steal things that would not be missed. Who’d have thought that apples would sell so well on a planet where trees could not grow, but diamonds were as common as rainwater?

He could board any ship, take any item and escape without detection. The one thing he could not work out how to escape from, however, was Death.

He spent years searching for the Fountain of Youth only to find that while its waters gave you the appearance of being young, they did nothing to make you immortal.

His next port of call was the Sands of Time. He plundered a ship and took a life. He watched as Time ran out of the body and tracked its return to a quiet, unexplored corner of the Universe. The Sands of Time ran together here, twisting around one another in an infinite loop, eternally replenished and diminished by an ongoing cycle of life and death.

The Bandit took out a cup and stole a measure for himself. Somewhere in another galaxy, an entire star burnt out.

via Daily Prompt: Measure

Early

The first thing she did when she landed was ask for the date. She was early. So early, in fact, that she hadn’t even set off yet. Seven years too early.

The Time-traveller sat down on the bank of a river and wondered where to go now that she had seven years to kill. She knew that if she tried to go home she’d find it full of strangers, because her past self hadn’t yet moved in. She thought about going back to her own time and re-trying, but was worried she’d miss it again or that it wouldn’t work this time. It was better to be seven years too early than to miss it completely. Perhaps she’d have to just wait.

“Hungry?” she looked up to see an elderly woman standing on the opposite side of the river.

She was, actually.

The old woman smiled at her hesitation, “You look a little lost. I packed an extra egg and cress sandwich if you’d like one?”

“Are you sure?” the Time-traveller asked. After all, those were her favourite. The woman nodded and began to walk towards the river, rummaging about in her bag. Before the Time-traveller could say anything she had taken a proud and confident step into the river, splashing through it towards her.

“Wait!” she called, running to her own side of the riverbank. “I’m sure there’s a bridge, if you just-”

“Oh, I know there’s a bridge, dear, but I’ve never been one for conventional travel, come here.”

The Time-traveller stepped in to the river to meet the old woman half-way.

“You really don’t have to do this, I’m just…”

“Early?” the old woman finished. “Yes I thought so. Seven years this time, isn’t it? We never were one for timely arrivals.” She laughed at the look of shock on the Time-traveller’s face. “You didn’t think this was the first and last time we’d come back here, did you?”

The Time-traveller took the sandwich from herself and suddenly understood. “They say you can’t stand in the same river twice,” she looked down at their feet.

“Yes,” the Future Time-traveller agreed. “But we always saw that as a bit of a challenge now, didn’t we?”
via Daily Prompt: Timely