Thursday, April 19, 2012

4/19/12

House of the Gods
By Michael S. Collins


The road was carved into the mountainside, by the original mission. The dark landscape contorted upwards, and a deep mist smothered all, so that you couldn’t see more than a foot ahead. Desolate was the word, and the house which stood carved into the side of the mountain, fifty feet up from the valley floor, was as aloof from society as you could get. Nobody came to this part of a forgotten planet in an insignificant system. The doctor looked at his view, then realised there wasn’t one. Shame, but you couldn’t just drop the human issues all at once. The mist hadn’t been there when he arrived, he’d created it, it was an air-belt. It blocked the amazing sights of the planet, for those interested in rocks, but allowed him to breathe, and get on with his work. Seemed like a fair trade off. He had no interest in sight seeing anyhow.
He turned to the creation.

“Move your left hand” he ordered. It did so.
“Move your right leg” he ordered. Again, it did so.
“Speak” he ordered.
“Hi”, the creation said. “Can you stop telling me to move about? I’ve just come to life, its going to take time to get used to movement.”
“You can talk!” said the Doctor.
“Yes, you did programme me to. What’s my name? Do I have a name yet?”
“Robot, I created you!”
“Robot? That’s not much of a name is it? No creativity at all. Like you didn't even care. What’s my name, dad?”
“Do you have to call me Dad?” said the Doctor.
“Yes!”
“Well, how about...Friend. That’s a nice name, isn’t it?”
“Friend. Friend.” He let the words echo. “Yes, I like it. Dad, I am your Friend.”

The Doctor grimaced at the words and began to loosen the cords binding the creature to the bed. It stood up, checked its balance and smiled.

“Standing! Dad! Friend is standing!”
The Doctor nodded.
The creature took one step forward.
“Dad! Friend is walking!”

The Doctor affirmed, and looked over his notes as the creature took more steps forward. Before he knew it, the creature was standing over him. It smiled at him, so he exchanged one back, which swiftly turned into a shocked look of horror as the creatures grip focused on his neck. He was dead before he could say a word.
“Dad! Friend can kill!”
Friend looked at his handiwork, and liked it. He registered that he was alone on the planet. Walking about, he discovered the oxygen mist that enveloped the planet, and turned it off. The dark night shined in the cleared air.

“Friend is alone!”

He needed friends, and the urge to kill was too strong to ignore. He did what he was programmed to do. He activated his SOS signal.


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Known for rarely shutting up about any given subject, Michael S. Collins is the pet of two gerbils who live in the South of Glasgow. Michael has written over sixty short stories to date, including many found on the Short Humour Site, and has recently finished a book, which he hopes to get published sometime in the next century or two.


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