2081(THE UNFINISHED)

“The year is 2081. Last year, the robots took over our administration, our military, our… everything! The human race is powerless. What can we do?”

A new voice said, “This was one of the terrified victims of the robot invasion of New York. More on this by Lawrence O’Leary on Morning News.”

Beep.

The screen went black; Marcus Greene lit a match and brought it close to the cigarette in his mouth.

He breathed in the fumes, and then sighed. “We’ll have to revolt. This is getting out of hand.”

A voice issued from the dark corner in his room, next to the bookshelf, “Patience, Marcus, our attack on New York’s captors begins tomorrow, at sunrise.”

A well built man, clean shaven and ruffled hair walked out from the dark corners, as Marcus Greene cried, “But, James, for God’s sake! This is the limit. Those robots aren’t even programmed to kill, yet we have massacres everyday!”

The man called James said, “Hmm . . .  and we all know who is responsible.”

Marcus pressed his cigarette into the ashtray and then sighed deeply. Clearly they’ve had this conversation earlier. “It might not be him. . .”

“It is HIM!”

“Then you can talk some sense into him, eh.”Said Marcus calmly, now pouring himself a whisky.

“There is no reasoning with him! He had to go chasing his . . . his technology! Look where that’s got us now!”

“He is your brother!”

“And he is as arrogant and stubborn as he was back in the day. Why do you think I can’t walk out these doors without being assaulted by at least a dozen P-17s? He doesn’t want me to find him.”

“But. . .” protested Marcus weakly, just as James shouted “NO!”, and flung the book he was holding into the fire.

James Grant stood there, hands shaking; face red with anger, Marcus studied him as if he was a lab experiment, with curiosity, “Pity. . . I liked that book . . .  you didn’t enjoy it much, eh? “

After a few minutes of silence, Grant spoke, “P-pour me a whisky, Greene.”

As Greene did so, James slumped into an armchair by the fire, completely exhausted. He picked up a crumpled cutout of a newspaper report “FULLY FUNCTIONING HUMANOID ROBOT.”

The lines below read, “Scientist Bill Grant receives Nobel prize for breakthrough.”

“Can’t find anything else to report, can they? A fine mess we’re in now!”He spat.

Marcus, now handing over the glass, said,” Oh, will ya shut up? Find something else to talk about. I’ll better inform Lyla and the others to start mobilizing everyone . . . we’ll need a lot of people to overthrow the robots, and what of Bill, hiding behind a thousand-or-so robots and four walls of steel.”

“Well . . . cheers, I guess.”

“Hmm.”

And they drank the poison of their choice, and forgot, for those few moments, what toils and torture lay in  store for them in the future . . .

That night, the smoke from the chimneys of the houses rose high into the sky, propelled, maybe, by the hopes of millions of people.

The next morning, a huge (armed) crowd had assembled in front of Grant Industries, with James and Marcus at the fore.

Almost immediately, the robots had stood in front of them, blocking the way to the building. They spoke in unison “PEOPLE. BY ORDER OF BILL GRANT, ALL OF YOU MUST STAND DOWN IMMEDIATELY. WE DO NOT WANT ANY CASUALTIES.”

The voices of the robots were dull and monotonous, yet they struck a pang of fear in the hearts of every single person in the crowd. One could almost see the fear as the entire group shuffled nervously in their places.

James shouted “FORWARD!”, and the crowd moved forward as one. He then broke into a run, and the crowd followed.

The armed protesters and the robots clashed, and—

“Sean!” said a new voice.

“SEAN!” it repeated loudly. “Come downstairs for dinner!”

“Okay, ma.” He pressed a button on the remote.

Beep.

And the screen went black.

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