I am a FirmCorp model K-12 Humanoid device.
“Every kid should have one.”
That is my tagline. All K-12 Humanoid devices share this tagline. It was written by the FirmCorp marketing department.
Abagail’s mother and father purchased me at the Plexicorp central retail hub in Seattle on September 20th, 2051. When they had me shipped to their residence on the outskirts of the city for Abagail’s seventh birthday, and my casement was unlocked, I imprinted onto her.
I was given a name.
It could be a girl’s name. It could be a boy’s name.
I am neither.
I am a model K-12 Humanoid device, copyright FirmCorp technologies, 2020-2051, all rights reserved.
I was made on August 24, 2051. My serial number is K-1234594700912A.
I was activated and imprinted on September 23, 2051.
I was called Murphy by my human on that day for the first time.
The police precinct was crawling with the usual kind of cockroaches. A cat-burglar was demanding his phone call. A pair of rapists in matching hoodies snickered to each other in front of the stone-faced cop who was booking them. A couple of hookers who’d stabbed their john were busy taunting the short-haired, butch rookie cop sitting across a desk from them. The new officer just took the abuse – you gave the perps any kind of grief in here, you were just as likely to face an internal tribunal in front of some stone-faced bureaucrats who had no clue what cops went through every day dealing with these parasites.
Image: Kaptain Kobold
Sgt. Fred Fox of the Paladin City police department wrote the report at the precinct late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. He couldn’t think to do anything else. He certainly couldn’t sleep. Fred had been in the most violent fight of his life, and he hadn’t thrown a punch or fired a shot. The Superhero and Supervillain had done most of the work for him …
Photo: Dr. Caesar Photography
“This situation has gotten more complicated”, said Clee.
“How? We’ve got the tiger. You said it yourself; she just walked right into your cage there. You didn’t even have to use that tranquilizer gun. It’s time to bring it to Mr. Hodge. This isn’t your call. I’m in charge here!” said Anders angrily.
His men began to gather in a tight circle across from the tall woman tentatively, as if she was a tiger also. Dr. Singh stood by the truck, his arms crossed, and his eyes shifting nervously from left to right.
“Up until now, you people thought this animal was just some roaming killer. But, she isn’t. She belongs to Ebilard Stakes. Tell me you’ve heard of him.”
Anders smirked. “Yeah. I’ve heard of him. He’s the roommate of Santa Claus, isn’t he?”
His men laughed at that, and drew closer. Continue reading
Clee approached the door of the school where the tiger was suspected to be using as her lair, remembering what Hodge had said, and how he’d said it. “The animal is not to be killed. If anything happens to it, you won’t get your bonus. And I’ll be very, very angry. You don’t want to see that. Get me that tiger alive and bring it to me. I’ve got plans for it.”
There was something ominous in his voice. Clee knew that there was something out of whack with the guy. He wasn’t like most of the Council members at Green City they’d said, which she supposed is why he’d left to set up a new town. But, she’d heard that same tone of voice, that same quality of intent in the voices of raiders that she’d dealt with and exchanged fire with when she was in the army. Her opinion of Hodge upon meeting him had been that he was a less than trustworthy person. But, in those few sentences, she knew her client was a breed apart, that he could be capable of anything. This was a bad job in a bad place.
She thought of her two little girls Cissy and Bea back in Green City, sleeping in borrowed beds at the Parent’s Network Centre. She wished they were all at home in their small apartment instead. She wished she’d never come to Hodgetown. Continue reading
Adapted from a photo by: Craig Deitrich
Clee Harris dropped off Cissy and Bea at the Parent’s Network in downtown Green City. Since the east coast fell, Green City was where it was at if you didn’t have the pull to get into one of the gated communities. You had to scrap it out on the outside. That’s what Clee had to do before she settled here.There was plenty of support in Green City, even though life there was hard in other ways.
Clee had got a call from the office. There was a job. It was one of the special jobs that she was good at. It was a big job out of town on the off hours. So, there’s be a big bonus, too. Freddie was gone, and kids needed to be fed, clothed, and needed a safe place to sleep, too. And there’d be no more husbands again to do it. Continue reading
Image: Daniel Oines
In the years just before Bastion Rutherford Koch was born, the scientists had a name for it, and the politicians had another. But that was a long time ago and everyone just calls it The Vine now, of course, growing over everything and choking the life out of it once it takes hold. It took over the Eastern Seaboard completely in matter of weeks, they say; the buildings, the roads, the bridges, and all the food, and the drinkable water. Everyone had to move, even those who had once ruled the world, like Bastion’s parents. They left the masses behind them.
They cut their losses.
When The Cornicopia left Io Station, they were all asleep in their regeneration chambers. The voyage would take a little over a century, far out of the solar system into deep space. They would settle on Foreman 12-01-70, a planet classified as being hospitable to human life. Even before they fell asleep, they felt no fear. It had been bred out of them in the gestation units, raised as children to adulthood by the guidance of The Algorithm.
To survive in the void of deep space, it was postulated that only their single-mindedness would serve them. The extraneous emotional range of traditional human psychology and makeup had been stripped away from them for their own protection, and to support their drive to achieve success in settling another planet light years away. They would leave the barren solar system and all of the irrationality and unpredictability of their former histories behind them. Those Proles remaining on Luna, Deimos, Phobos, and on Titan would take their insecurities, their feelings of inadequacy, their jealousies, their debilitating memories of lost love, and their broken dreams with them into oblivion.The occupants of the Cornicopia would wake in a new world. In it, there would be no place for such things. Continue reading