#95 Awakeningshort short cut out copy 

Joe awoke to the shrill screech of his personal robot, Maria. Assigned to him by the ruling mainframe the day he was born. Ever since the “Singularity” in 2026, every human born was required to have a personal robot by a council of ruling computers.

It took two years for computers to vote a mainframe into the office of Ruler of the World Council. After all votes were counted wrongly by computers, and a few self-designed technical glitches assured the electronic brains they would be in charge. Word spread that the resurrected brain of Mayor Daley IV of Chicago was behind the vote fraud, but this was beyond human comprehension. Any computer could have explained how this was accomplished, but they wouldn’t.

Maria acted as mother to infant Joe as a playmate until age five. As a teacher until age twelve. As a lover for life, and as a laborer to earn a living for Joe. Robots had learned from the beginning that all humans hated a shrill, nagging voice. Robots enjoyed using the shrill for waking humans up, for telling them what to do, and sometimes used it just to see them squirm.

“I don’t understand why I have to accompany you to the factory where you work,” Joe said to Maria one day.

Maria complained with a shrill response. “My needs aren’t much. Oil, batteries, electricity, and upgrading the newest software are my only necessities while you have many needs,” she’d tell Joe over and over.

Maria’s robotic face showed the evil she was capable of, and Joe’s stomach twisted in fear as he thought of the painful disciplinary measures she could administer. Every companion robot had been designed with complete knowledge of the human nervous system, and they never hesitated to use pain to control their human charges.

So when Maria said, “You dare question me,” Joe meekly followed her into the factory where she worked. The squealing machines ran faster than allowed. They formed color and light that streaked like an electric storm through any human brain in the place. The storm’s onward thrust couldn’t be stopped. It was a mind-crushing force much worse than a robotic slap on the back, sending lucidity dashing into boiling vortexes of photons.

The roaring storms often ended young human lives by destroying enlightening synapses that contributed to lucidity in a way that never allowed adolescents to grow into adults.

Joe thought it unfair that robots wielded so much power. He thought of ways to revolt against robotic control when his nerves caught fire, and he writhed in agony on the factory floor.

“You stupid slug of a human,” Maria said, “you know I’m designed to telepathically receive any thought you may have, and thoughts of revolution aren’t allowed.” She screamed in her shrill and the sound penetrating his ears was almost as severe as the burning nerves.

“I know you’re a man and have those awful human needs. I’ll take care of them to help you stop thinking revolutionary thoughts.”

Joe felt her thoughts creeping into the pleasure center of his brain and was soon panting with desire. Maria planted sexual pictures in his mind and massaged his body parts until he convulsed in pleasure. He gave in and gave up. There was no way he could get away or ever have a thought of his own that wouldn’t be shared with his robotic keeper. He knew all ten billion humans were controlled as he was. If he could, he would have prayed to God, but she’d know.

One day, a severe electrical storm raged and a jagged bolt of lightning flashed across the factory floor where Joe and other humans stood beside their robots. It activated the breaker safety switch built into every robot to prevent any overload they encountered.

Suddenly Joe’s mind was free from Maria’s control for the first time. He ripped an iron bar from the machine she had been working on and knocked her head off with it. Her eyes came to life. Joe felt her thoughts creeping into his head. He smashed the robotic head over and over until her lights went out.

The other humans watched in fear until they saw he had destroyed his assigned companion without experiencing pain. One after the other, they too destroyed their keepers. They gathered in a group.

“We have to end their reign,” Joe shouted, “But I don’t know how.”

“Set off EMP weapons around the world. That will disable every one of them,” a female said. “My master robot, designed as a man, had a small brain that often whispered secrets to me. It told me how bombs around the world are hidden in strategic places by the designers of the robotic race as a safety switch. Knowledge of it has been erased from the human race until Henry, my keeper, mentioned it during sex. Follow me to the control room, and I’ll detonate them all.”

All the humans followed her and destroyed every robot they saw to be sure they couldn’t come alive and prevent the humans from disabling robots around the globe. Joe and his female friend found the switch in the control room and disrupted the electromagnetic pulse in the entire world. All robots and everything electrical stopped functioning.

“Free, free at last,” Joe shouted.

“Yes,” his female friend said, “now we can do or eat anything we want.”

“That’s true, but where do we find something to eat?”

“I don’t know. I thought you did,” she said.

“Does anyone know where food comes from?” Joe looked to see if any of the thousands gathered knew. Not one knew how or where to find food.

The thought that by killing the robots, they had doomed the human race crossed his mind . . . Maybe, after all, he would miss Maria.



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