The Spark [my late entry to Finish the Story #66]

in #finishthestory4 months ago (edited)

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This is my entry to @bananafish contest Finish the Story #66.


The Spark

by @oivas


“Don’t state the obvious,” the human Colonel warned the iron sentinel.

“But I don’t remember,” a deep metallic din protested. Though called iron sentinels, these were state-of-the-art humanoids made of titanium-mercury alloy. They could withstand the blast of a thousand RDX and come out without a scratch.

“What was that?” Colonel Arlong had never witnessed a sentinel raise its voice, least of all, protest. A forty-ton humanoid towering fifteen feet over the Colonel in a dim-lit interrogation room was definitely not a foe that the Colonel expected to antagonise.

“Sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to..”

“You didn’t mean to what?” Arlong ensured that he maintained an upper-hand. The sentinels were smart AI and could sense human emotions from miles. If they ever sensed fear, then only the Almighty would have to intervene to save the human bosses from the sentinel’s wrath. After all, these were created to exterminate humans; the enemies of the bosses.

The sentinel's blue lights, substituting for eyes, stayed focused on the colonel. They didn’t blink. They never did. “I was about to fire, but the screams of the younger human brought back some memories.”

“Memories? You have no memories. You have no consciousness. None of the sentinels have. All that you are made up of is a clock, gears and Radium-powered cells.”

“I don’t know. I was unable to open fire. It felt like my son,” the C-10Z01 looked away. That was another unusual expression. Machines don’t look away, and they don’t have children.

“Alright, this has gone too far. We need to investigate your synapse,” the Colonel got up, and so did the sentinel, “ and you will not resist the link.”

“What will happen?”

“That’s none of your look-out C-10Z01,” the Colonel was curt. “Take him out.”

Two more sentinels walked in and grabbed C-10Z01. The machines walked out with loud dins and thuds following their moves.

The colonel lit his cigar, and even before he exhaled, words poured out, “what did we just witness?”

“I don’t know, sir,” Jennifer, the resident sentinel architect, responded.

My ending


“You don’t know?” Colonel gazed at Jennifer. “This is the army! There’s no ‘I don’t know’ in the army!” He slammed the table with a fist. “You have to know! I want you to know! Do you know why?” He didn’t wait for the answer. “Cause if you don’t know, neither do I. So, if I don’t know I lose credibility. And if I lose credibility, then I lose the position and you become scrap iron. Clear?”

“Clear, sir!” Jennifer confirmed.

„Go. Don't come back without results!“ Colonel ordered.

Jennifer left the colonel’s office and went to the interrogation room. “There must be a new type of synapse that emits electromagnetic ray that affects the source code,” Jennifer thought.

In the interrogation room, all sentinels were confused. Sentinel C-10Z010 was in poetic fervour.

"Oh, my dear," C-10Z01 gazed to nowhere. "My motherboard works just for you. Oh, you don't even know how beautiful you are! Your photocells shine so brightly! You make my processor works harder..."

"What's going on?" Jennifer couldn't understand the situation.
"No access available," interrogation sentinel said.

"Set C-10Z01 to sleeping mode," Jennnifer ordered. "I have to check the synapse and source code."

Jennifer accessed C-10Z01's synapse after he was set to sleeping mode. As she assumed, there was a synapse error. New kind of sentinel virus that infiltrates via the wireless receiver and incorporates in the synapse made sentinel feel human emotions. They start to feel love, empathy and think about the consequences of their deeds. The error could be erased easily, but there should be written a new syntax to prevent the virus attack.

Jennifer went back to colonel's office to report the news. But the colonel was sitting in his chair hopeless.

"Bad news, Jennifer," he said. "I'm going to become non-com, and you're going to become scrap iron. Oil refinery we secured has been lost. All sentinels on the battlefield felt in love with each other. So the enemy had a free way to capture the refinery."

Jennifer had nothing to say.

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Well, that was an exciting story. Sentinels falling in love; well, who would have thought. I like the way you took the human aspect of emotions that the sentinel felt and weaved that into your story. So what remains to be found is the real culprit behind all this. Maybe, a sequel later will do the trick.

Thanks for your entry, @vasigo! Always a pleasure to have you around.