A Scientist hires two anarchists to destroy a robot but things go horribly wrong
I was probably eating warmed up ramen noodles for the second time that day when I got the call. It was from Ivone, a facility that had government funding, performed scientific studies, and produced groundbreaking technology for the government itself. But they were relatively unknown. I had never heard of it until my engineering professor held me back after class and in hushed voices gave me a slip of paper with their contact information. I applied half as a joke and after sending in my resume and going in for a short-lived interview I never heard from them again.
But months after I was left jobless and starving. So needless to say I took the job. But what they wanted me to work on, an I.V.Y which was a robotic soldier that would be more powerful than any human soldier, didn’t sit well with me. However, my empty stomach was louder than my conscious and I stayed.
But my conscious won out in the end. So after nearly 6 months of crawling through reddit threats and less than reputable websites I found and contacted an anarchist group to come and collect the I.V.Y as well as a man who made fake passports so Ivone couldn’t find me. That week was the last week of production and I volunteered to stay with the I.V.Y until it woke up that night.
As the night wore on I stared into my half empty cup of dark black coffee and I could faintly make out my reflection in the dark liquid. I down the rest of the coffee and groaned as I realized it was cold. I made my way down to the break room to get more — coffee was the only thing keeping me going these days.
As I entered the kitchen, I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflective, metal walls of the facility. Despite hurrying past it, I could tell that I looked tired from the large dark circles under my eyes. My hair was unbrushed and I couldn’t remember the last time I had shaved, or even showered.
I couldn’t linger on my starling reflection for long though. I had been given specific instructions to remain with the I.V.Y at all times.
I burst into the lab only to find the I.V.Y sitting up and looking around the bare lab with a confused and bewildered look on his face. It surprised me how human it looked. It looked like a half naked brown-haired man. If I saw him on the street I would never have guessed he was an AI.
“Hello,” I said in the most awake voice I could muster,
“H-hi,” the I.V.Y said, slowly.
“So, you’re an I.V.Y. I’m sure you’re aware.”
The I.V.Y nodded. I continued.
“Well. To put it in general terms, you’re basically a war robot. You’ll be deployed for the first test run tomorrow.”
The I.V.Y stared at me.
“Tomorrow?” it asked.
“Yes, tomorrow, you’ll be deployed at 6:30 sharp,” I answered.
The I.V.Y looked down at its hands. It blinked slowly as it appeared deep in thought. It nodded slowly. I didn’t want to interrupt the I.V.Y and decided to stay silent but after what seemed like the longest 10 minutes of the night I was about to say something but stopped as soon as I felt a slight vibration in my pocket. My heart dropped. I approached the I.V.Y quickly and pressed the power down button located slightly under his shoulder.
It immediately powered down and I ran down the hallway to greet the anarchists. I gestured into the darkness to two large darkened figures. They reluctantly ran into the dim light, careful to avoid the view of the security cameras. The figure on the left had broader shoulders than the figure on the right. But they both towered over me.
“Is it ready?” the one on the right said.
“Yes,” I replied.
I led them into the room and they studied the I.V.Y before wrapping it in a thick cotton blanket. The two men hoisted the I.V.Y up onto their muscular shoulder as I tailed behind. We kept close to the hallways to avoid the security cameras. I shivered: the offices were cold and the walls were like ice.
As we approached the car, the air felt frigid, the winds whipping my coat and hair. I rushed ahead of the two men to open the doors of the large van tucked away near a bush in the back of the parking lot.
As they got into the car, I turned towards the unconscious I.V.Y, it looked so peaceful with its eyes closed. To someone without knowledge it would look like it was asleep. It reminded me of how my brother looked when he was asleep. His brown hair slightly falling to the side and the peaceful look that appeared on his face as he slept.
As I turned around I heard the whining sound of metal flying through the air before feeling a searing pain in the back of my head. I fell to my knees as the pain spread throughout my body. A warm liquid dripped down the back of my head. I fell to the ground completely as I saw a bloody wrench fall beside me.
The world went black.
When I woke up, all I could feel was a dull ache in my head and a soreness that radiated from my head down to my shoulders. As soon as my eyes adjusted, I saw myself behind the two leather seats of the van. My head was pressed up against the floor and I could tell the van was moving. I groaned quietly, and as I turned my head and only ten inches from my face were the terrified eyes of the I.V.Y.
“Where are we?” it asked. Its voice was shaky, quivering. I saw the fear in its eyes. It spoke like a child would.
“We’re in a van,” I answered. “Don’t worry. I’ll get you out of this.”
I cringed. My head still throbbed with pain as I sat up. Noticing that the back door to the van was slightly unlocked, I tried standing up as a means to reach the door. Unfortunately, it quickly came to my realization that my hands were bound together.
I sighed. All I wanted to do was sleep — unfortunately, the throbbing in my head was like a drum, constantly pounding louder and louder. Despite my body facing the I.V.Y, I kept my head down, I could barely look it in the eye. I turned around slowly to undo the lock with my hands from behind. Just as I unlocked the door my body gave up on me and collapsed to the floor, returning to where I was 10 minutes ago.
I could hear the rumbling of the van under me and the whipping of the cold windy air despite the thick door. My breathing was unsteady and as my vision became blurrier, I knew I was about to pass out. However, I made eye contact with the I.V.Y and I saw the fear in its eyes. I mustered enough strength to inch my way closer to the door, reel my legs in and kick them open. The wind whipped in my ears and blew my hair back. The anarchists immediately noticed and turned to the back, yelling.
As I grabbed the I.V.Y toward the open door and kicked it out I saw a flash of peach as it landed on the side of the road. I watched the van travel farther and farther away from it and as I tried to get myself out of the van I felt it moving again. I felt another hot flash of pain in my head that overpowered the dull ache completely. I felt my body go limp and my eyes, although they were open, quickly lost vision. Before I knew anything else everything went black and I felt myself slip away…
“Last night, two men were convicted of robbing a government facility and murdering a staffer. They were seen exiting the building at 2:00 am on Monday, according to security camera footage. They were also seen carrying a large object over their shoulder and loading it into a gray van in the facility’s parking lot. When they were convicted, the resulting search found no stolen property, but the body of an unnamed and unidentified intern was found. The intern appears to have been either shot in the head or bludgeoned to death. The two men are facing a life sentence and the investigation is still ongoing…”
The test subject (I.V.Y) was found 2 miles outside the facility at 0500 hrs before deployment. Subject appeared to have been damaged but was swiftly repaired and deployed at 0600 hrs. Subject was given a uniform and firearm. Subject was uneasy about handling the given firearm and when told to open fire, the subject began to malfunction and quickly shut down. Repairs are currently underway and a second round of testing will begin next week.