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The Mortal Machine

by GrinningMan

My father was a man of technology; he was always so engrossed in his work that I never got to see him much as a child. A few fond memories comes back to me…

“Janice,” he said, “the world knows no bounds to what us humans can accomplish. Machines can be told what to do, but we have the right to freedoms that they do not.” He always liked being philosophical in his own way. When I was little, all I could see of him were his hands, the rest was the toolsuit and helmet that protected his body.

“Janice,” he said solemnly, “Machines live longer than us. What do you suppose happens when the original owner dies?” I never understood the implication of those words at that young of an age, or perhaps I was too fascinated at the utopia he had built.

“My creations, they are much like humans, no?” Yes, father, they were. Emotions bled from the speakers that served to produce a voice, each one unique, crisp, and clearly articulate. They spoke like how we’d have a high intelligence, confusing me at every other sentence.

“Your mother is taking you to Eshwencice, across the seas,” he handed me a keycard with a necklace attached to it, patting my head, “I… I must remain here. Who else will show Jadic how stubborn we are?”

And the memories of him stop there. The rest were bland in comparison, going to a relatively low tech level city, who still used transportation that ran on wheels. It never felt right here, and the only solace I found was the keycard. Months passed, and afterwards a few years blended together. Before I knew it, I was old enough to be considered independent back on the home continent.

My mother was reluctant to let me go, but my natural intuition told me I needed to go back. I was smart enough to know that my father gave me this keycard for a reason, and I must simply know. The Utopia flickered through my mind on the voyage back, but it was crushed the moment I saw the shoreline.

High walls of steel, searchlights, automated blimps… They didn’t care much about incoming refugees. I showed the man at the checkpoint my original passport, denoting my previous status of being a citizen. It checked out and I was let through. I didn’t want to look back as he refused many of the others.

Finding transport, I made my way inland, but over the months I couldn’t place where that Utopia was. Instead I found a broken down automaton of my Father’s making. It was large and bulky, overgrown with ivy but it didn’t suffer any structural damage.

I couldn’t say the same for the Jadic Empire’s forces all around it.

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11 Reviews

Points: 248
Reviews: 11

Thu May 31, 2018 10:01 pm
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GrayButterfly wrote a review...

This is quite unique, and I enjoy your story so far. Not that I'm a super experienced writer, but my advice for furthering the story would be to plot main points that you want to make. Do you want this story to be purely for entertainment or have buried messages throughout? I always seem to put this decision making to the side when I begin writing, thinking that I'll figure it out later, but I never do. Also, one thing that I always want to figure out when writing with others is the meaning of why we are writing. A lot of the time, they just want to further their skills, but I feel like this could be considered a cop-out. Writing literature can be so much fun when you have the right mindset. So don't give up! Keep writing! And as you develop big ideas, your writing skills will follow suit. That's just my experience. Anyways, have a nice day!

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8 Reviews

Points: 75
Reviews: 8

Tue May 29, 2018 5:54 pm
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LivitheWriter4 wrote a review...

This is a stunning and beautiful, yet dangerous and mysterious story. You should certainly turn this into a long-term project or even a novel! I just have a couple of things to make better. The story feels choppy and uneven. You could probably put in words to make it flow better. I don't know much about the character's past or description of her(him?)self or her(his?) parents. Don't forget to find spaces to add in descriptions, like "I saw my long, black hair and pale features on the reflective side of an automated blimp. I hope you continue to write this story. It will be great!

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables