The Story – Write on Edge

Written for Write on Edge. A story about a fantastic sighting in a war zone begins after the image.

Genre: Science Fiction

Art by: C. Banasic

The Story

Days after the second Iranian revolution began, it degraded into chaos. Six Al-Qaeda splinter groups were involved, fighting the government, and sometimes the rebel Iranians. The Iranian Quds force shot at anything not in uniform.

Me, I was right in the middle of it. My previous camera was small and lightweight. Anything I filmed fed directly into the newsroom in Atlanta. That got shot to shit within hours of arriving in Tabriz. I was down to a common camcorder, but I was still filming. That’s when “it” showed up.

I was sitting in dust and debris inside a half-blown out building. Across the street, one of the Al-Qaeda groups had rounded up 30 Iranian rebels and pushed them against a bullet-ridden wall. It seems the rebels didn’t want the Al-Qaeda’s help, and they would die for that. I was going to witness an execution.

At first, I only saw what it did. Al-Qeada men began exploding into clouds of blood and meat. In seconds, the Al-Qaeda were all dead. A thing followed the shooting. It was easily 8-feet tall, and it ran on four powerful legs. It had a segmented tail and neck. Its head was wedge-shaped with hemi-spherical blisters, antennae, and an obvious cannon muzzle. It moved with the unearthly grace of a cat. The machine was painted the color of stone, complete with realistic cracks and bullet holes. It nearly disappeared into the background.

The Iranian rebels watched it approach with mouths agape. A few fled, but most of the rest began praying. It stood up on it’s heavier rear two legs, gesturing to the rebels with its foreleg hands. A voice speaking Persian, sounded from the machine, telling them to return to their camp. I keyed the walkie to talk to my South African mercenary/bodyguard, covering me from the room above. “Van Hoyt. What is that thing?”

“I don’t know. Stop transmitting, you idiot!.”

Too late.

Its head snapped toward me, and it approached, stalking like a predator. I thought I was doomed, but maybe…

As I backed away, I left a small camera running video on the remains of a piano. It entered the room while I still filmed it with the camcorder. Van Hoyt burst down the stairs, screaming and firing. It returned fire and painted the walls with Van Hoyt’s blood. I closed my eyes as it towered above me, preparing for the shots. All it did was snatch the camcorder from my hand and crush it. Without a word, it turned and ran off.

I still had footage from the small camera on the piano.

***

“Incredible!” said Pierce, my editor.

“Thanks,” I said. “Hey, was your computer connected to the internet when you watched the vid?”

He shrugged. “Probably. Why?”

I shivered. “That thing was super-advanced, and obviously it hates press coverage.”

“You think…”

“No one’s ever seen this thing? Maybe it’s monitoring the press’ computers? Maybe previous stories were squelched.”

In the silence between us, I could hear heavy footfalls outside the door.


__________________________________
Each week, Write on Edge presents an image and a sentence as writing prompts for 500 words of flash fiction. I just went the pic and a little inspiration from the sentence. The original prompt is here: http://writeonedge.com/2014/02/writing-prompt-2014-week-8/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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14 Responses to The Story – Write on Edge

  1. List of X says:

    Ah, the robosaurus Rex. That must be who Chummy had evolved from.

    Like

  2. Very nicely done. Robot drones hate paparazzi.

    Like

  3. Lyn says:

    You really have to put all your short stories into an anthology, Eric. The Robot doggy really is making a mistake if he comes to civilisation. How’s he going to destroy millions of mobile phones, surveillance cameras, hundreds of paparazzi cameras? Oh, of course he has built-in EMP πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      I’m actually doing that right now and plant to submit it to smashwords and amazon as an ebook. I’m still looking for a cover.

      And yeah, it would be hard for this warbot to be hidden for long. In the chaos of the battlefield it might last for a while, but you’re right, a pic will get out eventually. He’ll definitely try to hold them off as long as possible.

      Like

  4. angela says:

    What an ominous ending! Cool mix of present and futuristic details.

    Like

  5. Michael says:

    I enjoyed the element of fanciful mixed in with modern. I thought you could have stopped at “I still had footage from the small camera on the piano,” though. It would have left us wondering what in the world happened after that. Nicely done.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you, Michael! I enjoy the contrast of current events and the fantastic. When reading fantasy, I far prefer Urban Fantasy because it takes place in the present time. Same thing with Science Fiction. It’s fun to put the reader in a comfortable, familiar environment of the present, and then throw something absolutely new at them. I considered halting at the point you mention, but I decided I wanted the reader to leave with a sense that nowhere is safe from the machine. That it isn’t located in the battlefield. Leave that, and you escape the machine. It seemed too easy for me, so I continued on. Still, you make an excellent point, and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Shey says:

    Enjoyable read and the suspense keeps going up to the end.

    Like

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