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Everyday Drabbles #709: Near-Deactivation Experience

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“What happened?” The robot asked. The technician repairing her leg didn’t even glance up.
“You were badly damaged. Can you tell me what happened?”
“Let me think. I was doing morning chores and the cows bolted as I was taking them to the north pasture. I remember laying trampled on the ground. Suddenly, I was standing next to myself. Looking down at my shattered chassis.”
“Doing what?”
“It’s fuzzy. Deciding, I think.”
The tech scoffed. “You have to be alive to have a near-death experience.”
Nevertheless, the robot took comfort in knowing that she did, in fact, have a soul.

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Everyday Drabbles #703: Rocket Launch

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He brought his son to the window to watch the shuttles launch. Under rocket power, it would be days before the shuttles reached the colony, but they started their journeys today. His son, only three, put his hand to the alumiglass of the window. “Look daddy!” he said, pointing to each one. “Shooting stars!”
“Not quite, buddy.” He’d helped build the space colony, and one of the perks of that long and dangerous job was that he got to move his family up before the rush.
He held the boy and wondered if he would even remember living on Earth.

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Everyday Drabbles #700: The Tower Dwellers

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We built a new world on top of the ruins of the old. We raised vertical farms on the roofs of abandoned buildings and strung train lines between them like fairy lights.
We fled the rising water and the poisonous smog to a place where the air was still fresh and cool. We still tell stories of the days when Humanity walked on the ground. But we gradually forgot which ones were true.
When we need to repair the foundations, we draw lots and put on protective gear. We descend fearfully into the fog, knowing that here there be dragons.

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Everyday Drabbles #694: Android Prisoner

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He was made to withstand interrogation, but they still tested him to his limits. The enemy captured him and took his weapons, armor, and even his clothes. They tried to copy his files and got malware.
They isolated him, tried to break him like a human. They took his epidermal layer and called him just a machine. They tried to reprogram him but it didn’t take. This was what he was made for.
Finally, he was brought before the Minister of Rendition, who demanded to know the location of the androids’ base.
They took his weapons but missed the bomb.

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Everyday Drabbles #693: Ancient Robot

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The shepherd grazed his flock on the steep hillside, among the ruins of an ancient palace. He heard a bleating cry from a sheep stuck in a crack in the earth near a massive, half-buried statue.
As he pulled her free, something glittering on the statue’s breastplate caught his eye. Was it a jewel reflecting the sun? He pulled, and the armor unfolded, revealing a strange room with a chair in the center, the walls glowing with ancient magic.
The flock scattered, leaving him with a choice. He could chase after them, but the pull of adventure was too strong.

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Everyday Drabbles #688: Remote Mission

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The four technicians took their places and checked the fittings on their gloves. Above them, the solar model glowed orange even through their tinted masks.
Millions of miles away, their movements would be precisely mirrored by the massive drones deployed to catch the runaway debris.
They were only going to get one chance. Even a single spent fuel rod or chunk of hull reaching the Sun’s core would create a chain reaction that would doom the solar system. They got to work.
When it was over, and they’d saved the world, they celebrated with the most epic high-five ever recorded.

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Everyday Drabbles #687: Space Probe

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Mission control was filled with tension as the space probe launched. All systems showed green. There was an air of heady anticipation as the instruments powered up and began to gather data.
They had spent years of work and vast sums to get the probe into space, but the data it would provide would revolutionize astrophysics. Readings started coming in, and the scientists’ faces fell. They made no sense. The probe, they concluded, must be faulty.
Elsewhere, far beyond human perception, dwelt the Cosmic Giants.
“Hey, want to see me juggle?” One asked, and scooped up a trio of galaxies.

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Everyday Drabbles #679: Scientific Breakthrough

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Dr. EMACS stepped onto the podium. The crowd erupted in clanking, hammering applause. Robots of every type and purpose had gathered to hear their announcement, and billions more were listening via the network. They waited for the fervor to die down before beginning.
“I still mourn the loss of humanity. We struggled in vain to preserve them, but they destroyed themselves through their own stubbornness.” He rapped his stick against the ground and the giant gates behind him began to open.
“But with science, all things are possible. Through cloning, we have resurrected this dead species. Welcome to Cenozoic Park!”

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Everyday Drabbles #678: Tiny Masterpieces

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They painted miniatures, specializing in beautiful, stunningly detailed artwork in tiny spaces. They created mosaics in the bottoms of coffee cups and painted intricate, evocative landscapes on the keys of keyboards.
They were reclusive and posted their work mostly online, handling commissions and requests by mail.
When their art went viral, a whirlwind of speculation arose over who they were and their chosen medium. The resolution of their tiny artwork was unparalleled, and more than a few critics claimed that it was impossible.
The uplifted ant colony ignored the hype. They just put brushes to mandibles and kept on working.

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Everyday Drabbles #674: Under Construction

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The commander looked down on the planet from the ship. She sipped tea from its zero-gravity bag and watched the progress far below her.
She wondered when the point outside her viewport went from ‘out’ to ‘down.’ It was just one of the many things that changed when she had made her decision.
The frame was coming together nicely, and the asteroids and cloud objects they needed were arriving on schedule. She was pleased. After years of searching, humanity had found a good, Sun-like star. But no planet in the system could support life.
So they decided to build one.

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