[Short Story #41] - Artemis' Hell
"The goddess Artemis is captured in a high-tech environment."
Provided by @tibra
Image courtesy of @rocking-dave
“Scram!” Artemis shouted at a curious dog, wandering the abandoned streets and checking every dark corner.
It was the year 2525 and Artemis was stuck in one of the biggest cities ever called Smart-Tech.
Initially built in 2050 as an experiment to find out how life would look like in a full high-tech environment, it quickly gained attention of many investors and soon developed into the biggest city on the planet with skyscrapers taller than Mount Everest and more drones than inhabitants, but no parks, plants, or even animals.
The idea the engineers had was to create a few such hyper cities throughout the planet and plant trees everywhere else to support the wildlife and sustain oxygen levels at optimal levels. Outside such cities there would be true wildlife with no humans to interact with it, while inside there would be no other species but humans.
The residents of Smart-Tech soon grew bored without their beloved pets, so the engineers quickly came up with a solution. Fully mechanic pets. Dogs and cats made of wires and steel, touch screens and voice recognition soon found their way to just about every person’s home and further decreased the resident’s need to socialize.
Everything was at hand’s reach.
No work needed be done as it was all taken care of by robots.
The roads were always empty and never littered, granting a splendid view of the streets from any floor of any building. There was no need to leave the house, everything was delivered straight to one’s doorstep.
If a person wished to talk, hug, or even have sex, there were robots available for such tasks as well.
Smart-Tech was a perfect world to many, but not all.
For Artemis – the goddess of wildlife and hunt – life in this high-tech city was nothing short of hell.
With artificial animals that did not live and could not die, and with plastic trees and no leafy greens, she found herself out of work.
There was nothing left for her to hunt – or protect.
She was made useless by the uprise of technology, and made prisoner by the tall wall surrounding Smart-Tech.
She roamed the streets at all times, but never met a human – they were too busy playing video games or browsing the so called social media. If anyone had seen her from their windows they probably thought she was crazy and took pictures of her to then share with their online friends.
Every now and then a stray mechanical animal – that either escaped the lab or got tossed out – would come around and try to make friends with her, but as much as she wanted to, she couldn’t. She couldn’t befriend something so artificial. So impure. So unnatural.
She had lately been hiding in one of the robot-only parts of the city, where all work was done, and no lights were ever needed to be turned on. All work had been done there, away from the humans, exclusively by robots.
She had tried everything she could to either escape Smart-Tech, but to no avail. If she ever got close to the top of the fence, the robots made sure she stayed inside the “safe-zone”, as they referred to it. They kept telling her it was dangerous outside.
The dog she had told to scram about five minutes ago had found its way back to her, and growled. Artemis, a huntress by nature, instinctively picked up her bow and nearly instantly fired an arrow right between his eyes.
The arrow, however, just bounced off its steel body and the dog continued growling and barking at her.
It was then that Artemis broke and lost all hope.
With her bow still in hand, she readied another arrow and turned it the other way around – the arrow pointed at her heart. With tears rolling down her cheeks she then taunted the dog to come at her and bite the bowstring.
The dog’s programmed instincts kicked in and it launched itself at the bowstring, pulling on it.
With a lot of tension already on the bowstring, the dog wanted to readjust its bite and so let go for a millisecond – just enough for the string to fly loose and propel the arrow straight into Artemis’ heart, killing her instantly.
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