Here’s a little something different. I don’t do too many Sci-Fi pieces. But I felt the need to do somehting a little fun, heart wrenching, and touching.
Orange colored foam surrounded Arrak. It lapped at his exhausted body in steady intervals. Motionless invertebrates slumped near him desperate to make their way back to the vast body of water. Their clear bodies glistened in his blurry eyesight.
The inner layer of Arrak’s optical receiver blinked, followed by his outer one.
His upper arms had been damaged by the liquid. Its high saline content seemed detrimental to his outer core, fatal to his inner workings. He brought a lower arm to seal the tiny breach. Blue sparks mingled with the orange waves and fizzled upon contact.
Arrak’s body integrity remained intact; no further damage had been sustained from impact.
A young primitive approached. Without the use of his advanced logic systems, his directories or any knowledge to where he had landed; he had no choice but to proceed with extreme caution.
The primitive was armed. In one of its two upper limbs it carried an excavation tool of some sort. In the other limb it carried a tool designed to carry objects. Preliminary scans matched material that lingered about him, buried in the land scape.
A scavenger, Arrak concluded.
The primitive hurried forward on uneasy legs. Its optical systems matched the rest of its primitive build. Reddened flesh denoted excessive exposure to the red star, fur limited to the area above the skull. Body coverings sat on the connecting points between its torso and its lower limbs and one that only covered select portions of the primitive’s chest. Arrak found that garment particularly pointless.
The primitive settled in front of him, and stooped over. It produced a middle pitched frequency by pursing its mouth. Arrak deemed it a signal of sorts, a potential warning to nearby primitives.
“This is so like… cool.” The primitive said in its native tongue. It reached out to touch Arrak with the tool and he rose to protect himself. His front upper arm reached out and lashed at the primitive. He easily caught its intruding hand.
The primitive’s eyes widened and let out a loud shrill noise. This time, its mouth went wide and was an appropriate octave to threaten the integrity of some flimsy materials. He shuffled to a stand as the primitive tried to escape, hindered by his grip.
Arrak took the opportunity to make a biopsy scan. Data buzzed into his thoughts, logistic scans identified it as a Human: female. Classifications identified her threat level as medium, conditional.
Arrak’s inner eye lenses blinked; then the outer. The female lacked the strength to free herself or do him harm. He picked up her abruptly discarded tool from the crystalline power covering the land. A san showed it too flimsy to be a proper scavenging tool, let alone a weapon.
His optic inputs focused on her. Humans only populated one place in abundance. Coordinates and trajectories allowed sufficient information. Information pointed to case data collected from stray communication signals.
“Whoa… like… I’m totally sorry for scaring you lady,” Arrak said.
The female’s sound, designated as a scream per local popular media, faded to a hush.
Arrak turned his head seven degrees to the right.
The female stared blankly at him. “You can…. Talk?”
“Uh huh,” Arrak said, his tone designation: mellow.
“Wooow….” The female pointed at herself. “My name’s Sherry. Are you like… an alien or something?”
Arrak considered. “Name’s Arrak. I’m a fake dude. I was totally built by aliens or something.”
The female gaped. Arrak released her hand. She drew closer to him and gave his body a gentle hit. Crystalized powder, designated sand, fell from his body.
He ignored her interference. Humans were only dangerous with proper tools and knowledge. This human was gauged as lower spectrum of intelligence. Local age determined: Eighteen Solar years.
“You’re made of metal?”
“High grade plastics,” Arrak moved her from him with his upper arms he held out the small tool. “What’s this thing do?”
Female, Sandy made a noise: designation laughter, sign of amusement. “That’s a shovel. I was going to build a sand castle.”
“Whoa…” Arrak held up the shovel to his optic sensors. Designation: recreational tool, constructed with low density plastics.
“So Arrak… why are you here?” Sandy said.
“Not sure.” Arrak said, releasing her. His orders log was empty.
“I wanted to surprise my nephew with an ocean view house. One just for him.” Sandy’s mouth turned up with a smile but her eyes contradicted the emotion.
“I see,” Arrak said, “I’ll help you. Least I can do since you filled me in.”
Sandy smiled. This one seemed genuine.
“How old is your nephew? Height? Mass? Spatial distortion rate?”
“Uh… he’s six. I don’t know any of that other stuff.” Sandy shrugged.
“It’s cool. I’ll just assume he’s normal for his age.” Arrak nodded and handed Sandy her shovel. “I won’t need this. “
Arrak turned and raised both sets of his arms. An array of lights shone from exposed lenses on his arms. Images flickered past of various structures, information acquired from stray transmissions. Arrak determined the most appropriate would be designation: beach house.
Sandy inhaled sharply. Designation: Gasp, denoting surprise.
The sand around Arrak erupted and clapped together in a crude lump. Sandy retreated a step from Arrak’s work. A stasis field held back the water as Arrak summoned a control panel. The delicate material required manual input.
The lenses on his lower arms worked as his upper arms designed. A basic infrastructure began to form. The base of the home carved from hyper condense glass began to take form, complete with a boardwalk. Arrak carefully crafted it to match ideal specs of a human child, six years of age.
‘A place just for him’ denoted a need for sustained living. Arrak pulled metal buried deep beneath his location. That metal served to craft key wiring for a refrigeration unit, heating and cooling, and a display screen for digital feeds. The information Arrak held regarding humans suggested a strong desire for amusement.
Sandy watched quietly as each device was formed and finished.
The remnants of the metal were cast aside in a hunk of molten slag. Only a few more pieces were confiscated for the creation of hinges and latches.
Walls, doors and a roof formed seamlessly. The dense glass gave the illusion of being crafted by one single piece. Arrak dismissed the panel, lowered his arms and regarded Sandy.
“Will this do?” He pointed back with his opposable digit, something he had seen many times in human media.
“It’s… amazing.” Sandy said.
The stasis field blinked out, and the waves of the rolling waters splashed against the surfaces of the carved boardwalk. Light of the red star glistened on the structure’s pristine surfaces.
Arrak stared skyward and waited. Without orders he had no direction. Without long term or short term memories, he stood stagnant. His memory was filled with pertinent data with no means to apply them.
“We need to go get him! He’ll be so excited.” Sandy tugged on Arrak’s right lower arm. He did not move.
“Are those friends? Or foes?” his voice turned serious.
Sandy looked up. A line of humans had lined up along the edge of the sand. Every one of them stared at Arrak. She turned up to look at him, an expression dotted her face. Designation: Confusion.
Arrak lowered his weight. Panels flipped open on his arms and a dull hum filled the air.
“Friends! Stop!” Sandy stepped in front of Arrak. Her arms waving.
Arrak stood, his panels snapped shut. He raised an upper hand, parted his smallest digit and his opposable thumb, and rocked it back and forth.
Sandy let out a small laugh, this time it held an unknown hesitance. “Wait here.”
“Affirmative.” Arrak watched the line of people as Sandy left his company. She hurried to the lines center where a human female was holding a small human male. The male fit the specs laid out by the habitat he crafted.
Arrak watched quietly. His optic sensors amplified and scanned the humans.
Expression, Designation: Concern.
Expression, Designation: Fear.
Expression, Designation: Doubt.
Expression, Designation: Suspicion.
The female the human designated as Sandy spoke held many of those.
Arrak looked up towards the sky. There were still no orders.
Sandy approached. The small human was in her arms. The other humans of a variety of ages and sex; merely watched from a distance. She ran across the sand leaving a telltale trail of footprints.
“This is Fredrick, my nephew.” Sandy said with a smile.
“Hello little dude.” Arrak said. “My name’s Arrak.”
“You can talk!” Fredrick’s little blue eyes lit up. Designation: Joy. A moment later, he began to cough violently.
“Easy… you know you’re not supposed to get…”
“F…forget that.” Fredrick winced. Pain lingered on the boy’s face. “He’s a robot… and he talks. I… I want to get excited.”
Fredrick curled against Sandy. He broke into another spasm of coughs.
Arrak raised a hand. A lens flipped open and cast blue light on the small male.
“Arrak… what are you?” Sandy stooped over and settled Fredrick to his feet.
“Diagnosis: Cancer of the Lungs. Stage 6 irregular cell growth detected. Immediate threat level: Critical.” Arrak turned his eyes to Sandy. His inner eyes blinked, then his outer ones. “Authorization to eradicate irregular cell growth?”
Sandy’s eyes widened, Designation: disblief. “You can do that?”
“No problemo.” Arrak aimed the blue beam at human, Fredrick. “Is that a yes?”
“It…It is!” Sandy said.
A spray of blood splattered on the sand behind Fredrick. The lump of cauterized flesh sat steaming amongst the sand. Sand melted into crude glass around it. Fredrick’s eyes dilated.
Designation: Shock from pain impulse. He slumped to the ground motionless.
Sandy’s hands went to her mouth. And expression came to her face. Designation: Fear.
Screams came from the distance. The line of humans wore various masks of emotions.
Expression, Designation: Rage.
Expression, Designation: Sorrow.
Expression, Designation: Frustration.
Arrak reached down with one of his lower arms. He righted Frederick and turned him towards the lines of humans. Their cries hushed.
Frederick staggered and stood on his own power. On his chest, a hole where Arrak’s surgical strike had made contact was highlighted with a small dark patch on his skin. Arrak moved his hand and let him stand on his own.
“Tough kid,” Arrak said. His inner eyes blinked, followed by his outer ones.
The other humans drew closer. Their parade led by the woman that held him. Image scan detected high probability of maternal designation: approximately 97%.
She reached out and touched Frederick, inspected the wound Arrak had inflicted.
“Baby? Are you ok?” She spoke, a tremolo in her voice.
“Mmm Hmmm Mama.” A smile came to Frederick’s face. “The robot fixed me. It hurt. But I’m ok!”
The woman turned her eyes up at Arrak. Her face lined with emotion, Designation: Appreciation.
Orders arrived in a flash of information. Determine worth of species human as food source.
Arrak looked up at the sky.
Humans: Dangerous. Adaptive. Willful. Distrusting. Easily swayed. Naïve. Resourceful. Violent. Flippant. Fragile.
Assessment: Terrible source of food.
Arrak’s interior eyes blinked, then his exterior ones. Energy left his body. His purpose fulfilled, his body fell slack and light left his eyes. A spark of heat flared at his center and began to consume him. The plastics in his body broke down and began to melt.
Frederick began to wail. Arrak’s vision had remained, only heat based. Swirling blobs of color denoting life sources. Sandy. Frederick. Human Female Mother.
He reached outward. Rerouting his auxiliary rotors. He fell forward and narrowly missed toppling on top of Frederick and his mother. His lower right hand closed around the lump of flesh left behind… traces of heat lingered. His lower arms disconnected and slumped to the ground.
His body disintegrated slowly. His data was being lost. His memories were being lost.
Arrak’s body stayed supported by his upper right arm. He left, summoned a flickering panel. Upper processes were eradicated. Local memory did the rest.
The plastics in his lower arm melted and twisted into a different form. It condensed and formed a mold of his base structure. The threat of oblivion loomed. A sensation appeared inside of Arrak, Designation: Fear. He hastened his work, formed joints, checked articulation, and confirmed bearings.
It was still skeletal, still incomplete. Two lumps of sand, the size of fists smashed together around the skeletal frame. Sand condensed into glass and shaped a facsimile of his former form. It glowed orange in the dwindling light of the red star.
He formed a small glass bead amongst its optic center. In its reflection the small lump of flesh sat as the core of his creation.
Arrak’s inner eye blinked a final time, then his other eye opened.