Fragments of Mind: Excerpt from ‘These Tattered Dreams’

~These Tattered Dreams~

 The house was dark inside, devoid of movement or sound. As quietly as he could, Marky stepped into the entry room of the house. Opposite the door was a wide, ornate staircase that led up to the second floor. He barely even had time to take note of it before a long, metal pole smashed against the back of his head. Marky fell heavily to the ground. A surge of warnings spread throughout the network of wires and cables in his body, awakening systems that had lain dormant for days.

A rush of air behind him. Marky rolled to one side and the pole struck the floor, crushing the ancient wood as if it were nothing more than paper. The pole rose, then fell again. This time, he reached out and stopped it in midair. His assailant struggled to get the pole free, but Marky’s grip was an unyielding vice. He pushed the pole up into the air, knocking his assailant off-balance. With a quick twist, he pulled the metal pole away and tossed it aside.

Marky leapt to his feet and backed away. His assailant stood in the shadows to one side of the door. It was impossible, even for him, to pierce that inky veil.

“I won’t hurt you,” Marky said.

“Who are you?” his assailant asked. The voice was feminine and light, unafraid.

“I am Prometheus Corporation synthetic humanoid XV-1, Mark-4 model. Everyone called me…Marky, because they said the ‘4’ looked a lot like a ‘Y.’ And you?”

“Jupiter Bio-Engineering synthetic humanoid LDNH-23, A5 model.” Then a pause. “I’ve been called many names, but none that lasted very long. If you must call me something, then ‘Abby’ will suffice.”

Marky suspected that the name hadn’t been picked on a whim, but did not press her for answers. A suitable time for that would certainly come later. Abby stepped out of the shadows then and he got his first good look at her.

She was a more advanced model than he, by at least a generation. However, her design had been more oriented towards her looks and her intelligence, to the point where she almost seemed human. Strength had not factored into her design nearly as much. Nevertheless, he had noticed she possessed a level of skill that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Her attire consisted of long, brown pants, a sleeveless shirt, and black boots. Her hair was auburn and closely cropped so that it came down just below the bottoms of her ears. Her eyes were a deeper green than Marky had seen in a long time.

“I only want to stay here until morning,” Marky said, “then I’ll be on my way again. Is this acceptable?”

A brief pause. “You can stay. For now.”

———————————————–

A really like the way this turned out: the story of two individuals connecting after the end of the world, with the twist being that both are robots who no longer have a purpose now that all the humans are gone. The advantage here of the short story format is that I don’t feel the need to delve too much into the nature of the world or how it got that way. This isn’t the full picture, merely a brief glance through the window into a strange, new world. More than anything else, it’s the two characters and their plight that are what’s truly important.

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1 Comment

Filed under Fragments of Mind, Science Fiction, Short Story, Writing

One response to “Fragments of Mind: Excerpt from ‘These Tattered Dreams’

  1. This sounds quite interesting. I will be waiting to see the full story.
    I used to read Science Fiction, years ago.

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