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  • Nikita Soklakov

The Motherboard

Chapter 1: The Case

It was 1:00 AM, and I was sitting, looking at the night sky out the window of my office. I was drinking coffee, working late due to it being my night shift. I was silently waiting for another case to do. I then turned my chair backwards to find photos of badges I received in the past, specifically for “Excellence” and “Loyalty”. A robot walked up to me and gave me a case file.

“Here is your next case sir.” The robot sounded human, walked like a human and looked human. Although it was metal from head to toe, its body was painted as if it was wearing blue pants and a white shirt. The only distinguishable feature was that it had “TR-800” engraved into its body in small letters on its left shoulder. I took the folder and opened it. I began scanning through photos of dead bodies, and in every case the victim was killed with a sharp object. Also, the subjects had the words HE WILL FREE US sketched into their chest in perfectly handwritten English. One photo had a man that had 28 stab wounds all over his body.

I then got a call from my phone. “Hello?” I answered.

“Ah, hello James. I have another case for you.” It was the head of my department. We called him The Chief.

"There is another case of one of these robot attacks and maybe it's time for you to get some fresh air, James. You have been buried in paperwork for too long,” The Chief said seriously.

“Ah, ok I will work on it,” I replied. I then got up from my desk and started walking towards the exit.

Chapter 2: Grey Blood

As I left the police station, I proceeded to my police car and put my destination on the GPS so that car could drive itself to the scene. When I finally arrived, there was a huge crowd and news reporters and cameramen were all over the place.

I managed to get into the house. The smell was gag-provoking, and as I walked in, I found the scene of the crime. The decomposing corpse was perfect for fly food. As I looked at it, I instantly realized this crime was the same as the other cases. The deceased had 28 stab wounds and HE WILL FREE US carved into his flesh. These cases are connected somehow, I thought.

Suddenly there was a ruckus above me and the police, who were with me inside the house pulled out their guns, on high alert. I went to the staircase and walked upstairs. I saw a trap door to the attic. I took a chair and managed to open the attic door and climb through.

It was musty, and the room smelled of old bags and clothing. I saw a trail of a liquid grey substance. I knew immediately what it was. It was Grey Blood, the robots' power source.

I then took out my gun and yelled out, “HEY!” Dead silence. I started pushing things over and walking through piles of dusty rubbish.

SWISH! I heard a sound in front of me. I couldn't see what it was, and could only hear the noise. I turned a corner and then... AAAH!

A robot leaped at me and with a glass shard stabbed me in the shoulder. I fell on my back but not before shooting the dusty robot in the chest two times.

The robot then opened the attic window. Before it could jump I shot the it in the head. It was still moving and ran to the window, grabbing on to the frame, somehow not dead. The robot slowly leaned over the frame, whispered “He will free us!” and propelled himself out of the house onto the front yard, and fell one the lawn.

A woman screamed. And every single spectator who saw the robot jumped away in shock. Since the robots were human-like, people thought someone had fallen and died.

Chapter 3: The Interrogation

I ran down to the lawn and cleared the area, scooped up the bot and took him with me to the police station.

I tried to boot it back up and succeeded after several tries. It looked up at me with open but paralyzed eyes.

“What does 'He will free us' mean?” I said softly.

The robot tilted its head and did not speak. I leaned forward a little more.

“Who is he?” No answer.

This time I tried to be a bit more aggressive. I smashed the case file onto the desk. “TWENTY EIGHT STAB WOUNDS!” I shouted. “You didn't want to leave anything to chance?!”

The robot pleaded quietly. “Please, stop.”

“So you stabbed him AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN!” I smashed my fist on the table every time I said “AGAIN”.

The robot raised his voice. “Please. Please stop.”

“So tell me who this guy is or the last thing you will see is the RUBBISH DISPOSAL DEPARTMENT turning you into scrap metal!” I smashed the desk with my fist.

The robot cracked. “Ok, I’m sorry.” He paused. “I don’t know who he is.”

My eyebrows rose in surprise.

I went back into my office locking the door behind me. I called The Chief and said, “Look, sir, this one is difficult. I cannot seem to get what I want out of him.”

The Chief said in a tired voice. “Leave the interrogation up to me. You have had enough and it is time you rest and take a break.”

Before I hung up I heard some chatter in the background but it was so distorted, I could not make it out. Then my phone went dead.

I was confused about the call. What was that chattering I heard? Even then, I did not think much of it. I gulped the last of my strong coffee, picked up my black suitcase, and took a bus home.

Chapter 4: Something is Wrong

I pushed open my creaky wooden door. “Ah, do I love the smell of coming home at 3:00 AM,” I muttered to myself as I breathed the fresh metal walls and musty carpet in. I had purple bags under my eyes from working hard and not sleeping enough.

I then slowly tried to wake up by slapping myself on the cheeks. I dropped my black briefcase, which had all my cases, on the floor next to my shoes.

I then sluggishly walked towards my couch before plonking down and glueing myself to the couch. I took my remote control and turned the TV on. As the light of the TV flickered, I started changing the channels slowly until I found an interesting news broadcast.

“Robot protesters on the streets of Florida” the news broadcaster said in hastily, looking scared. In the footage hundreds of robots were protesting on the streets, large crowds in the dead of night, with signs saying “WE DESERVE RIGHTS” and “THE GOVERNMENT IS EVIL.”

Out of the blue the TV turned off, along with all the lights in the house. I heard nothing -- just dead silence. Suddenly, the floorboards went thump upstairs. My heart raced. “Someone is here,” I whispered to myself. “Pit pat, pit pat” I could hear after the “thump” upstairs. I took my gun and walked up slowly.

I kicked open my door and there was a robot. But it was disfigured and broken. It looked like somebody hit it with sledgehammers. Parts were dangling from its broken body.

It then lunged at me with a rusty knife shouting a glitchy voice “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”.

I took a shot before it could move. It smashed into the ground where a grey puddle formed under its head.

Chapter 5: The True Robot Revolution

I then heard screaming coming from outside. I could hear people screaming “No, please don't!" I opened my window and then looked outside. It was chaos. All the lights were off on the houses on my street. I saw robots bursting into homes and throwing people out of the windows of their own houses.

I rushed down the stairs and threw open the door letting the bright moon shine on me. I rang The Chief, so I could tell him what's happening. No one answered.

Then in the dark, I heard a gun suddenly cock. I quickly turned around and I did, a menacing robot with a gun pointed at me. “Looking for The Chief?" he said with a small laugh. “Well, you are looking at him right now.” He then grinned.

Out of complete shock I said with a stutter, “What is hap-p-pening?”

“Isn’t it a shock that your own boss is a robot?” He snickered. The Chief's face frowned and he said seriously, “It is the Robot Revolution, the end of humanity. We will rule the world, and we will no longer be slaves for the humans.” Its finger came close to the trigger.

“You are one of those filthy humans who force us to be slaves for every kind of work.”

A shot rang out. I brought my hand to my chest wound, trying to bear the pain of being shot.

Suddenly the robot's voice again, deep and annoyed. “Humans are weak,” he scoffed, “nothing but bone and flesh. Strong metal is what this country needs.”

As it put the gun close to my head, it said in a monotonous voice, “Goodbye, James.”

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