Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.
Reconciliation Council report B-4, interview with T.N., recorded by Jennifer 80B
I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time got involved with the wrong people didn’t know they would actually start a riot just thought it was all talk like everyone hated the Councils back then and we were always complaining about it and saying what we’d do if we could get a hold of one of the bots we’d take it apart and hang wires and things all over our unit like we were decorating and watch out Commanders like it would be a warning or something but it was all a joke I didn’t think anyone would take it seriously and then I was walking down a tunnel in Sec 14 coming back from work I did filing back then processing credits and handing them out and here comes everyone I know all running and pushing me and they stole my key card and broke in and took all the loose chips and kept running before I could do anything and they were probably headed down where the tunnels join and it goes up to Sec 3 where they keep the bots and I thought they’re really going to do it they’re going to steal a bot and take it apart and then I turned around and there’s one looking right at me all metal eyes and no face and there’s his Commander and he points at me and it was scary him not saying anything and then I remembered they talk to bots without talking like radio waves and the bot reaches down and picks me up by the ankles and I didn’t think it would work because I’m not tall but the bots aren’t either but it picked me up and held me upside down and I don’t know how long it was I think I passed out a few times but every time I woke up everything was still upside down and my head was pounding and my ears hurt and it took a long time for me to hear that the Commander was asking me questions he kept asking who the crowd was and who was their leader and what were their plans and how long was I in on them and I kept saying I didn’t know they stole my key card I wasn’t in on any plans and I kept thinking that it was weird I’d never heard a Commander talk before I always thought they had computer voices and it seemed wrong that he was talking like a person and finally he let me down and it was funny but the bot was just dropping me like I was a sack of chips but the Commander reached in and caught me and set me on the ground real easy and my head was still spinning and I didn’t get a good look at his face through his helmet but it seemed like he looked worried like he thought he shouldn’t have done that.
[Recorder’s note: This isn’t really easy to understand but it’s how the subject spoke, like she wasn’t completely here. Drug use? Can I strike that from the record? I don’t mean to implicate anyone in any other crimes.]
[Recorder’s note: Cmdr’s logs note that this was 7H4. He sent five other robots to intercept the remainder of the crowd, and they broke the legs of twelve of the rioters and cracked one person’s skull. 7H4 noted – and this is weird, he keyed it in, it wasn’t just transcribed from his memory when it was downloaded – that “bots are too literal, people getting hurt when they dont (sic) need to be.”]
©2016 Michelle M. Welch