The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

NaNoWriMo: Talos & Charlie

Posted by BigWords on November 1, 2009

Outside, in the open and far from the flaming ruins of the razed mansion, Talos looked for the nearest sign of habitation. The rush to flee from the men in black had overridden concerns about direction, and his GPS had been corrupted in the midst of his attack on the drones. Lost. The concept of being lost was not unknown, but it concerned Talos that he was not able to instantly identify his coordinates to the nearest meter.

Calculating, Talos worked out that the average speed he had maintained during the interval between leaving the estate and his current position was 22.06 meters per second, and he had been moving for at least an hou-

“Hey, robot-man.”
Talos turned to the voice.
“Are you lost or summit?” The boy was grubby and malnourished, though showed no fear.
“I am indeed lost.”
“Well, where are you goin’?”
“I am not bound for a specific destination.”
“My name is Charlie. What’s yours?”
The random nature of the questions took Talos a moment to comprehend, adjusting his responses to take into account the nature of his conversant’s age and background.
“I am Talos. Are you hungry?”
The boy fell silent, kicking the ground before him.
“Yeah. How comes you’re out here on your own anyway?”
“I… ran away from home.”
“No shit? Join the club.” Charlie thrust his hand out to the robot. “We’ll be best buds.”

####

Two Years Earlier…

Congressional Requesters:

The reports emerging of suspected outbreaks of artificial intelligence in Dartmouth Sentinel mk. II robotic assistants during April, while not confirmed as yet, has underscored the concerns that a potential threat could emerge that would cause widespread panic amongst the populace. U.S. security authorities have estimated that a virus similar to Arisa81 attack could threaten millions of people in the United States and potentially cause many deaths…

Senator Leukman folded the dossier closed, carefully weighing the political advantages and disadvantages that were laid out in the MacAllister report. The facts were submerged in the usual rhetoric of politically motivated, knee-jerk vitriol, though the problem of sentient robots was one which couldn’t be ignored – especially not by any politician aiming for the big seat.
Raised bottle firmly in hand, Leukman grinned, “The wheels of power need the right lubrication. Do we have any word on Mr. Kenway?”
“He’s under surveillance.”
“We’ll let him be for now. I’ll make sure the resolution is passed on one condition.”
“Sir?” Dray shifted uncomfortably.
“I want to be in charge of Project Bluegate. I’ll need the DCU’s services soon enough, and being in charge of both the political and practical aspects will smooth some of the foreseeable problems.”
“Indeed.”

####

“How many Dartmouth’s remain?” Leukman was pacing with the ferocity of a caged animal.
“Just the one that escaped from Kenway’s mansion.”
“Oybay, that mess. Has it reached the feeds yet?”
“Our people are keeping the feeds which mention the incident from being promoted.”
“See to it they are taken down as soon as possible.”
“Absolutely.”
“Col. Madison is still waiting to debrief you on last night’s… situation.”
“Let him stew in his own juices a bit.”
Dray shifted uneasily. “He lost a lot of people.”
Leukman swigged from his bottle. “Oodyblay armchay.”
“Oh, you also have a meeting with a representative from the Delos Corporation at three.”

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