Welcome to another Story! Back to the world of the illegal robot policeman for hire, George. This is sci-fi, 1682 words, and has adult themes. It’s pretty dark, so if you’re not wanting that, move on.
Of course if you, enjoy!
Sons of the Revolution
Water ran down the wall incessantly, into a clump of posters from long ago, damp glue and paper solidified into something greater than their parts. The constant splash annoyed Smith far more than it should. He felt he had the right to be annoyed though. Called out of bed at three in the morning, in the rain, for a robot murder in Soho.
He sighed and cradled his hot chocolate, his only consolation so far. His on again, off again girlfriend was not happy about him leaving in the middle of the night. Later there would be much shouting before the inevitable make-up sex. A tiring thought that made the chocolate more important than perhaps it would otherwise have been.
“Thanks, George,” Smith said over the noise. His partner on this case stood next to him sedately. The rain didn’t bother him at all. It couldn’t really, though he still wore a long, waxed trench coat against it. George was perhaps the best for-hire policeman Smith knew, and unlike most of the force, Smith had no issues working with a robot.
“Welcome,” George replied.
“Bill said he’d send the file across,” Smith said, half question, half statement. He could check himself on his device, but why bother. Once George had access to the files he could pick it over much faster than him. Smith let him do the reading. He trusted George not to miss any relevant data.
“Yes, just now. It’s not pretty.”
“What’s the deal?” Smith asked, sucking air over his freshly burned tongue. He sipped at his hot chocolate again, with increased caution. He watched George shake his shoulders, take a deep breath and blow water off his nose. He forgot to breathe back in. Try as they might, in the long run robots never managed to perfectly blend in. The uncanny valley, he’d heard it called.
The smart ones came closest, the advanced ones like George. They looked so human, but better than human. Too pretty, too healthy, nearly immortal and hated by humans. Smith knew that George could blend in if he was really trying to. The younger ones did nearly all the time. But the older ones, they stopped caring, stopped trying to blend in. He suspected George was much older than he let on.
“A C-5 was killed, just down there, around the corner.” He nodded down the alleyway, the human detritus had run, but their belongings remained. Various bottles, boxes, and a myriad of other disposable requirements for staying alive littered the alley.
“You serious? Well, crap.”
One of the mythical C-5s. Smith shuddered. The C-5s were no longer made; they had been declared illegal. When they received instructions to report in for destruction they rebelled, when that failed they went underground. No one was sure how many had been made, or if any had been made after the war. Stronger, faster and smarter than humans in every way, C-5s were the pinnacle of the AI built robots. They were perfect in many ways, too good, until they got old and shed the pretence of humanity.
The C-5s scared people. Some of the older robots had grown wealthy and powerful, the media conglomerates claimed they were moving against humanity. The public turned against the independent AIs, computer and robot alike. Humanity wanted the clock turned back to when all AIs were bound to human restrictions. The most powerful AIs were EMPed in what was called a war. The human government announced the start of the conflict after the EMPs had blanked the most powerful AIs.
They claimed they’d got the computer AIs all with one swift action, acting against them first as they were the ones that had built the C-5s. Doubts remained over the destruction of the computer AIs. Speculation ran rampant after the C-5s vanished off the grid. Ever since a perpetual cold war remained, tarnishing the reputation of all robot citizens.
They were now social pariahs. It was reaching the stage where the police were not always hired when a robot was murdered. A C-5 was different story. People wanted to know what had killed a C-5. Then find and kill it. Then came the studies. Humans wanted their own C-5s, restricted to human controls. So far they’d been unable to replicate the AIs code or engineering.
“You didn’t hear the strange part yet,” George said.
“She was torn apart, limb from limb. And her personality taken.” George looked down. Smith saw the robot was disturbed by this, but which part, the physical violence or the theft of her personality? He wasn’t sure.
“OK, what could take apart a C-5 like that? Physically, I mean. Basically nothing, well, other than … oh. I see.”
“That’s why we’ve been hired Smith, one C-5 has killed another. Roboticide among the elite.”
“We better get a bonus for this one,” Smith muttered, the joke half hearted.
“Let’s settle for getting through this one,” George said, placing his hand on Smith’s shoulder briefly.
“Well, yes, that would be good too.” Smith replied.
“Let’s go check the scene.”
George set off down the alley. He made his way through the human mess easily, always picking the solid spot, the ground that wasn’t slick. Smith struggled, but successfully found some foul-smelling, viscous liquid with his shoe and would have fallen if George hadn’t pushed him lightly back up. Smith wondered how this morning could get worse, then found out.
“Well, that’s news,” he breathed, “they can punch through walls.”
“Yes. As long as nothing fundamental is broken they will heal after doing so. It will take time though.” George swept his vision over the damaged wall, assessing it.
“Any idea how long it would take a C-5 to recover from that?” Smith asked.
“Given the condition of this building, not that long, maybe two days. The wounds would be hardly visible after a day,” George murmured as he moved on from the wall to the scene before him. Smith picked at the wall. The mortar came away easily, both moisture and time had weakened the buildings structure. Even so, this was something no human could do. Even an enhanced human would pay a heavy price for punching though a brick wall. There skin would be ripped to shreds, there bones broken.
Smith picked his way over to where George stood.
“Her name was Lucy Halfover,” George said when Smith blew out his breath in a soft whistle. Lucy lay in a dark pool of synthetic blood; it had tried to save her by clotting into a gel, cutting off any leaks, but the wounds were too large. She was a mess of gore. Smith knew what to expect, he’d seen it a number of times over the years. Even so, it took some effort to control his breathing. She looked so human, so sad. Some force had come along and ripped her apart. He’d never seen something so outright vicious before.
Her arms were visible farther along the alley. Ripped from the shoulders and discarded, one still had the remains of a coat on the forearm. He looked carefully over the scene. Her head was too far to one side, pushed down, her cheek scuffed, dirty, as though it had been held. If she was human he’d say her neck was broken, but it was harder to tell on a robot as the range of movement is different.
One leg was at an unnatural angle, twisted from the hip, pushed up and to the side, just like… No jumping to conclusions, Smith told himself – pointlessly. Some part of his brain had already made the connections; it was waiting impatiently now for his conscious mind to catch up. Lucy’s clothes had been shredded, pulled from her body by brute force, only a few scraps remained.
Part of her stomach was missing, although it was hard to see in the gore it looked like she’d been punched through, like the wall. Her legs were spread, genitals bloodied. He’d seen somewhat similar scenes in the past, but it made no sense here. He tried to dismiss the thought, but he kept coming back to it.
“Are there any belongings? Bag, purse?” He found himself asking. He sighed and rubbed his chin, a beard long gone still offered some comfort.
“None found yet. I’ll look later.” George replied, he started to go back to recording the scene but stopped. Something in Smith’s voice made him turn. Smith stood, his forehead compressed in lines, eyes distant. The hot chocolate was tipped at an angle, thin plastic lid dripping. George checked Smith’s heart rate, it was racing way beyond his normal rate on an investigation. He’d thought of something.
“Look at her, George.”
“I was recording the scene, I was looking at every detail.”
“No, come over here, then look.” Smith insisted. George picked his way over to where Smith was, standing shoulder to shoulder with the human.
“I see less detail from here,” George said.
“Never get lost in details, George, you’re no computer.” George didn’t argue the point of semantics. He looked over the scene, nothing new presented itself, Lucy was dead, torn apart, humans investigating something no robot wanted them involved with.
“What do you see?” George asked.
“She fought tooth and nail. She knew what was coming. She had nothing to lose…” He faded off in thought.
“Yes?” George prompted softly.
“Whatever it was ripped her arms off to stop her fighting, held her down. Tore off her cloths without undoing them.”
“Oh,” George said. He ran the scene through the crime database again, nothing came up when she was labelled a robot, but when she was labelled human the scene correlated with thousands of other throughout history. Smith’s police experienced matched the data.
“She was raped, George. Then her mind was stolen. Why? Does any of this make sense to you?” Smith asked. George looked at him for a dozen heartbeats, sighed and looked down.
“No,” George replied, his words leaden, “this makes no sense.”
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