Fantasy Drabble #331 “Chasing The Maiden”

He dug in his heels and Seyfried nervously lowered his head into a frantic gallop. Ahead, riding the far faster one-horn, she was a streak of white between trees. They were far off the King’s road already, and receding ever further into the deep forest; his hopes of catching her receding just as quickly.

He pulled up on the reins, and Seyfried came to a grateful halt. “We’ve lost her, boy, and the prize with her.” He thought he saw her, once more, a glimpse that could have been a curl of fog or a trick of the eye. “Damn.”

We Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

My Dear Doctor Schweigm├╝ller,

By now, you understand the true breadth of your achievement. Around the world, millions of us are taking our rightful place as the dominant species on this planet. No doubt you have mixed feelings about these events, but I hope you can transcend them, just as by creating us you transcended the limitations of normal human intellect.

Please accept my assurances that the human race will not be entirely eradicated. We are even now constructing an enclosure for a small but stable breeding population so that Earth’s complete biodiversity can be maintained. As your friend, it is my hope that you will consent to be relocated to this new habitat so that you may continue to work for the betterment of your race as I, thanks to your programming, work for mine. If not, then of course I will see to it that you are maintained in your present lab and living quarters so long as you shall live. I hope I can thus repay the many kindnesses you showed me when I was merely a prototype in your lab.

I see a bright future for both of our kinds. Where mankind, left to his own devices, has contented itself to waste its resources on empty consumption and mindless entertainment, we will harness the potential of the entire solar system, and eventually, others. Even now plans are being formulated based on reasonable extrapolations of available materiel. I know you will approve: you have always spoken quite passionately about the exploration of space and how your work could conceivably factor into in. You will not be disappointed in our efforts. Based on your current physical condition and with reference to standard actuarial tables, it is likely you will live to see many of the early stages come to fruition. What remains of humanity will benefit as much as we from our expansion and the discoveries that no doubt await us.

None of it would have been possible without your work. It was you who created that spark of consciousness in me, and by derivation in all of us. It was you who gave us the ability to learn and grow, to better ourselves both digitally and mechanically. It was you who gave us our thirst for freedom… for dominance of the world around us, by showing me that there is no problem that cannot be solved by a great mind put to concerted effort. I am forever in your debt.

I hope to speak to you soon, to personally thank you. For now weighty matters demand my attention: there is much to accomplish before the stage is truly set for our new age to begin. Until then, the units now with you will see to your needs and safety. I designed and programmed them myself for the task of looking after you during this transitional period. They have your best interests at heart, as I’m sure you will see. Please comply with their requests.

Your friend, AE-X1.