Free Path Loss
By Dominique M. Awis
December 20 2016
Planet Earth is ravaged by civil unrest and destruction, humanity has ultimately destroyed itself.
Meanwhile, the robotic sentient being on a planet called Elonia in Alpha C bear witness to humanity’s destruction and send a league of their best as humanity’s last hope of survival.
Alpha C – Elonia
Tori sat, shoulders stretched over his computer, watching colored lights flash along his screen. He inhaled, took a sip of his hot organic liquid drink, and began touching the screen furiously with one hand. Today was going to be a long day.
Humanity was at it’s near end. Humanity, the faithful little animal and ‘human’ planet Elonians have been observing for decades. Humanity lived on Earth, the third planet from Sol. Elonians observed Humanity around its own star Alpha Centauri. It was humanity that taught our sentience about passion and hope, about destruction and chaos.
Worst part about Humanity was its disregard for not only its human life, but of the animals whom Elonians have been really observing these past few decades. Animals. The four legged creatures, the hunters, the wanderers, the forgotten; or the sea creatures: the turtles, the sharks, the whales that breathe oxygen… All these animals we worshipped on Elonia. And the Humans threatened to destroy it over politics.
Tori sat and sipped his organic drink and sighed again to himself. Well, at least we always have the plants.
Clutch grappled her waist belt fixed with all sorts of gadgets, and waited patiently until a couple walked past her on the market square. After the couple was out of sight, she walked briskly across the street towards a small kiosk tucked off the street, somewhat hidden in shadows of a sunny afternoon.
Clutch approached the kiosk, and a small robot greeted her.
“Hey Clutch! Back for the usual?”
“Not today,” replied Clutch. She touched her waist belt again. “Company duty.”
“Right, right…” said the small robot. The robot slipped her a small piece of paper with some numbers scribbled on them.
“Thank Meti,” Clutch said quietly. She nodded towards the small robot and darted out of sight.
Clutch heard Meti whistle a tune as she walked off quickly, Rolling Stones probably. Earth music was very popular here, as was Humanity in general. Clutch remember when she heard the news Humanity was on the brink of destroying itself, and nearly all its wildlife. Clutch would not let that happen. Humanity’s survival was too important to Elonia.
She ran quickly through the streets towards a large square building covered in glass panels. Company headquarters. Her pace slowed as lasers scanned her as she walked up the brick-covered ground floor. Entering the building, she took an elevator up to the fourth floor.
Tori was sitting in his chair, watching a Human documentary about lions, and wondering what it’d be like to on safari when he heard footsteps through the hallway and a loud bang on his door.
He look up and saw a female sentient, gears exposed as the symbol of a former soldier, waist belt full of gear as a soldier often carries. Her face pressed against the glass and she wore a stupid grin on her face.
“Look what I got, Tori!” She exclaimed and pressed a piece of small paper up against the glass.
“Dammit Clutch!” Tori growled. He got out of his chair, nearly spilling his hot drink, and pressed a finger to open the sliding glass door.
Barging in, Clutch took a sit in Tori’s chair.
“Let’s see the codes,” Tori said. Clutch handed him the piece of paper and smiled widely again. “It’s up to us to save the lions,” she said pointing at Tori’s screen. Tori closed his browser window.
“Alright, alright, I have work to do,” Tori said. It was up to them to save Humanity and therefore the wildlife after all.
Clutch waited patiently for Tori to work. She didn’t know what he was doing exactly save pressing symbols and numbers on a colored screen. The screen moved too quickly for her to follow; Tori was fast at his work.
She was eager to see what the codes would produce, but as a soldier knew to take her time and wait when waiting was called for. At the Battle of Bast, she had waited days for her comrades to relieve her; she sat still for 5 days preserving all her organic calories until she was rescued. Her body was programmed to endure the hardest work, her body produced chemicals for her muscles to run for dozens of hours, to lift the heaviest objects, and to take on intense physical damage. Her mind was her own, and this took great strength of mind. Training for her mind to endure what her body was built to was hard but proven to kept her alive all this time.
And she was prepared to wait.
“Got it!” Tori said pleased. He wiped sweat from his brow and leaned back in his chair, arms folded touching the back of his head.
The screen changed into the familiar white noise of the distance from Alpha C to Elonia, sprinkled with the noise of the cosmic microwave background. The screen flashed an assortment of colors in stripes, then a podium could be seen with familiar flags in the background.
“What’s up Earth?” Clutch said smiling.
Sol – Earth
Esther scanned the reporters huddled in the massive White House Press Room, most of them, prepared with their cameras and microphones, awaiting the President’s arrival. She could see big named reporters from newspapers from the US’ largest cities. They were awaiting the President to ease their concerns; humanity was in danger and the Press was prepared to make it known to the public.
The doors to the Press Room opened and President Obamer walked in with his press secretary, a good friend of Esters, as well as Eshai, the President’s personal assistant robot. Eshai had earned the highest grade military service of any robot and earned the President’s highest esteem, yet never took office himself despite public opinion of doing so.
Ester approached the podium. “The President is here and will give the Press a short briefing of the task at hand, then the floor will open up for questions. Mr. President please,” she ushered with her hands.
The President said a few words, mostly bringing up the disaster than had befallen mankind. Mankind was ravaged by a disease that plagued software, and effectively data transfer had ceased to exist. Banks were communicating through robots transporting data, space based electronic cut off from solar storms, asteroids were taking out cities in massive numbers. The world was in crisis.
Ester waited for the President to discuss how the Administration was handling the problems, mostly through communicating with separate agencies to ensure proper handling of disaster relief.
As the President spoke, Ester thought of the massive rallies around the world about robotic rights and how Mankind’s dependency on hardware was a source of outrage from the American people. She closed her eyes and thought of how much trouble the Administration was in and brainstormed further ways to control public outrage. For now, the Administration was taking the crisis one day at a time and her Administration was in damage control mode. She had to figure out solution to these crisies and fast or else humanity was doomed.
Alpha C- Elonia
“Well, that was hopeful,” Clutch said smiling. She looked at Tori who only shook his head.
“I have more work to finish,” he said, putting his drink away and closing the browser window. “I’ll send you a backup of this recording,” he told Clutch and turned his back to her.
“Good because I have more business to attend to,” Clutch said. As Clutch was leaving, she heard a knock on Tori’s door and Zube entered.
“Hey Clutch, I have a favor to ask,” he said, handing Clutch a flash drive. I need this delivered to this address. Clutch scanned the address, saved it to her memory, and placed the flash drive in a small pocked on her gearbelt.
“And I need it deliver quick,” Zube said.
“I got this,” Clutch said and walked out the door. She headed back down the hallway and threw the elevator and exited the building.
“I got your fast,” she said and entering traffic, forged her body on all fours like a vehicle. She could feel her muscles changing shapes, her bones forming new joints. She ran down the street faster than any motorcylce and pretended she was running with a pack of wild cheetas.