Tempus Automata – five

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The rough edge of a large cardboard box pressed against the back of my skull, but that wasn’t quite right.  It was more a perception of sensory input from the mix of plastics and metal that formed our… my outer shell.  The caress of hands brushed against the edge of the cavity in my chest and each time a connection was made, it sent a shock through me.

My eyes blinked open and I could make out curly gray hair thinly scattered on the head of the inventor, my creator.  I looked on in wonder but the colors looked muted, separated by a thin tracking line that was constantly moving across my vision, “I… I see you.”

“And I see you, my friend,” he replied jovially.  “Bear with me just a little longer.  I am almost done getting this contraption plugged into you.”

I was conscious of his fingers as they rummaged around the inside of my chassis until there was a final satisfying click.  My systems struggled to process everything as new strings of data filled the passageways of my mind.  Strange new vistas opened up before my mechanical eyes.  Overlaying what was solidly in front of me were ghostly lines that segued into multiple directions forward but only a single glowing line behind.

“Power read outs are stable.”  The corners of my creator’s eyes crinkled, “It’s amazing what a bit of plutonium can do, isn’t it?  Now, hopefully no one will ever question how we got our hands on it.”

“What is… this?” I asked in wonder.

The inventor chuckled dryly, “Now that, my friend, is a mighty good question. “

He stared at something below my field of vision for a moment before he grabbed a dusty tome from inside the box that had held the mechanism; the mechanism that was now inside me.

“Excellent! This is a log of… oh my.”  Bemusement colored his words, “Well, it looks like we’ve experimented with this device numerous times before and many of those have ended in failure.”

But I ignored him.  I stared in wonder at the flickering lines that hovered in my vision.  Slowly, my hand extended out to touch them, but the ones that splintered outward wavered away from my fingertips.  When I brought my hand down in consternation, the long single one that continued behind me slid into my grasp.  As I reached out and held onto my creator, my fingers slid down the ghostly line just shy of where the branches split outward and I plucked.

Author: jongraylang

Novel Writer, Screenwriter, Filmmaker & occasionally an Actor. Handy with a Sword, Ukulele and Skis. Author of Nun With a Gun: The Town with No Name and the Matilda. Writer of the upcoming Sci-Fi sequel, Twistin' Matilda.

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