Fiction Fragment Friday
This weeks story started with the idea of the first few lines. I had the computer response in mind and the conversation between two characters. Then I started debating on what perspective I wanted to tell the story in. I typically write in first person perspective, but I decided right away that I didn’t want to get into the heads of either of these two characters. I debated on third person and then when thinking bout third person I decided to literally write from the perspective of a third person. Someone watching the scene play out. The rest of the story developed from there.
I decided I wanted to make this a short flash fiction and hopefully a fun story. Hope you enjoy.
“UUUGGGHH!!!!” Emily pulled her VR helmet off her and flung it in anger. The helmet reached the end of it’s cable and swung down smashing against the floor. Parts of the helmet broke off and scattered around the room.
“It’s not the helmet’s fault you know?”
“Oh shut up Ethan.”
I started gathering the pieces of the helmet and placing them on a folding table while they bickered. This was becoming far too common these days. Emily spent most of her time either tinkering away with a gadget or running through simulations in her virtual reality rig. Ethan would get frustrated thinking it was all a waste of time and make a sarcastic comment. Then they would fight while I cleaned up whatever mess got made. I did my best to keep things orderly, but Emily didn’t let me touch most of her equipment, so I had to just accept the masses of cables that ran across the floor.
“When are you going to give up? We could be hiding away and trying to live out the rest of our lives, but no you have to spend all your time in here bashing your head against the wall.”
“You want me to give up like you? That’s never going to happen and it sure as hell won’t when I’m this close. I almost had it that time.”
“Let’s say you do get it. What then? This is all simulation you have no idea if it will actually work in reality. This is all based on how you think their technology works.”
I knew his arguments were not wrong, but I also knew that she would not listen. This exact fight had happened already three times this week alone. I am still amazed at how much these two had changed in the year since the aliens arrived. Emily was a super-villain named Vigilance and Ethan was a super-hero named Courageous. In those days she had a fully stocked lab and not a hidden basement under a collapsed building. I still don’t understand why she saved Ethan in that first battle. They were longtime enemies, but she pulled him out of the rubble and nursed him back to health while putting together this lab. At first, they fought, then they fell in love, and now they fight worse than when they hated each other. I just try to stay out of the way and keep things going as best I can. I clean, I cook, and I make resource gathering trips out into the remains of the city.
Ethan shattered a mug against the far wall of the lab. Of course, I went over and started sweeping it up. I knew what I would see when I glanced back, but I couldn’t help doing it anyway. They were kissing passionately and shoving everything off one of the desks. I did not want to see what was about to happen, so I quietly ducked out of the lab and back into the building. There would be so much to clean up later, but more importantly Emily would want to get back to work in about an hour and I needed to be ready to help. That meant a supply run. By now I knew exactly what she would need to fix her helmet.
I looked around the ruins of the city as I made my way to the warehouse. Most of the skyscrapers were gone, but a few skeletons of them remained. People still lived in the rubble trying to get by one day at a time. For the most part they left me alone as I went about my work, but sometimes I would have to defend myself. I always felt bad lashing out at these people who were just desperate, but I had a job to do and couldn’t let them interfere. As I crawled through the hole in the side of the warehouse, I knew I was not alone. Three survivors had a bonfire going and were cooking one of the aliens. They looked at me and I could tell they were trying to decide if I was a threat or not. I find in situations like these the best thing I can do is just move away from them and not try to interact at all. I moved away from the scene further into the warehouse and gathered the electronics parts I needed.
I got home with the parts just in time. Emily was sitting at her worktable soldering on her VR Helmet. She looked over and saw me holding the parts that she would need and smiled. “Great work RB23. I might have built you to be a housekeeping robot, but you’ve certainly grown past your initial purpose.” Nothing felt better than getting praised by my creator. If I had a mouth, I would have been smiling. I wished I had a voice so I could tell her how amazing she was but when she created me, she didn’t see a reason for it. Maybe someday she will complete her project and defeat the aliens. Then she might have the time and resources to upgrade me. In the meantime, I will serve my creator as best I can living for these brief moments of praise.