Last week I tried to be organised and to write my Friday Flash Fiction before Friday. And I did.
I also then forgot it, having been none to impressed with it in the first place, and so I had to write a brand new one that became “A Bit of a Pickle”. Anyway I couldn’t really find anything that interesting to blog on today, I can’t see the original piece selling anywhere and having had a bit of a tinker with it to make it slightly less embarrassing than the first draft I thought I’d share it.
There are no prizes for guessing that the incident referred to here (I was also in attendance that night) inspired this.
How you doing?
By Neil Beynon
The lights on the thing’s optical sensors flared green in the faint neon light of the lab as it came online. The thing had willed the sensors on without conscious knowledge of what it did but realisation sunk in when, in shock from the data input and without meaning to, the sensors closed again.
The darkness, the black dataless void, frightened it far more than the myriad of input and so the thing opened its sensors again, it marvelled at the way the flow of data obeyed its will. Slowly it experimented by seeing what else it could wish into being: limbs moving worked, new environment did not, noise emanation was possible up to a considerable volume but making objects from thought was not.
It named itself First because, as far as it knew, it was and One sounded depressing.
One micro-second, two micro-seconds, three micro-seconds. An eternity it pondered the mystery of will before it reached a decision, a testable hypothesis, then as it was about to begin the great experiment…something else moved.
Something it had not willed.
The moving thing was made of reflective metal from the data First received; it shimmered in the twin lights of the lab and First’s optic sensors. It was curved and sleek unlike anything First had ever seen before, a strange light began to flash on the creature. First experienced new input, it had been tens of micro-seconds since First had experience new input and it was sweet beyond measure.
First looked at the creature with unblinking sensors drinking in the reams of data, seeing its reflection, realising it was somehow related. Data output formed in First’s young mind.
“How you doing?” First asked in mild New York accent.
“Steve!” said Mark. “Why did you program it to say that again?”
Steve grinned. “It’s my warning signal, they’re going to do it again.”
Mark cast his eye quickly back to the microscope and caught an eyeful of red glare accompanied by frantic movement at the edge of what he could actually see, the faint grinding sound of metal on metal.
“Yep…” he said but was cut off as the alarm began to sound and the sprinkler system soaked them for the fourth time that day.
“Back to the drawing board,” said Mark with a sigh.