As the Clock Strikes Twelve

By , Roslyn, NY
Pug got out of bed, remembering that today was the last day of the century. He got dressed, wondering how the new century would differ from the old.
As he walked downstairs, he shouted for some toast with butter, which then was handed to him by his robot; a short, stubby thing with wheels. It then told him the news, in a mechanical voice,
“Date, December 31, 2199. News for Pugnator Ille Rebeles. One message from Malum Mechanicis”. He then tried to imagine the world without robot servants… but he couldn’t.
Ever since robotic servants could be cheaply made by other machines, every person had been issued one. These robots were designed to help their owners by doing mundane activities such as cooking, cleaning, and transporting. However, because of the power of these machines, the government, under the order of Mayor Stulti Principes, declared that it was law punishable by death to learn and use the power and inner-workings of machines. However, both Pug and Malum decided that they would learn about the machines, in the hopes that they could eventually start making them to sell, or to reprogram broken ones.
As Pug left his home, he listened to the message from his friend, Malum Mechanicis, who told him to meet at their usual spot in an excited voice, and then abruptly hung up.

Weird, thought Pug. But he didn’t think much of it, as Malum was a pretty manic guy.
When Pug got to their secret spot in the woods, Pug couldn’t see Malum, and he wondered where he had gone.

Maybe he’s using the bathroom? Pug pondered the possibility of this when he heard a stomping noise crashing through the trees. He focused on the sound, which seemed to be getting closer, as each stomp became louder, and he saw metal in between the trees. The trees ahead of him were blown to the side, and there, in the clearing, was a robotic being, with long, thin arms, some ending in claws, others with spikes or guns; huge thick legs ending with treaded wheels that were 10 feet long. The glass capsule on the top opened, revealing Malum as the operator of the being.

“Tremble beneath my EVA.” Malum shouted. “With my Evolving Violent Automaton, I shall rule the world.”

“When did you build this?” Pug exclaimed “I was always here with you.”

“Remember back when we discovered this place? When we found the abandoned robots sitting in heaps, wasting away? It was then I decided that I needed to stand up for the rights of the robots. Every time you left, I would stay here and work on EVA. Then when she was finished, I decided to do practice runs with her, waiting until this day to reveal her and take over the world for the robots.”

“But, but how?” Pug stammered, in awe “We were never even able to fully fix up any of these,” pointing towards the collections of parts and electronics. “So how were you able to build and program this huge sentient machine all by yourself?”

“My dear Pugnator, you were never able to fix or build anything. I have known for a long time how to.”

At this, Pug charges EVA, but Malum launches EVA up and away, leaving a bize behind in its wake. Pug stumbled around, blinded and deafened from the blast, when he tripped over a root, and was knocked unconscious.





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