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Storytime!
#1
I thought it might be a fun idea to have a thread where we can write and post as well as read/discuss little one-shot short stories! Not too long, I'd say that the limit to the stories on this thread might be around 800 words or so, I don't want to set a hard limit because those are never fun.

Post the title too please! That way we can get a very rough idea of what the piece is about.

Have fun!
#2
I'll go first:

The Citadel in the South-West

Smog enveloped the pyramid city, the waste and poison of the generations of the age of fall. The thick, yellow, acrid gas loomed above and below the citadel. Eras have passed and taken into oblivion the memories of the world grounded. It was deemed uninhabitable; to venture downstairs was an impossible task, and to those who attempted, it resulted in a sluggish death – fumes invaded the body through every orifice, and the acidic vapour washes away layers and layers dissolving the sin of hereditary.

The lifted city was a self-sustaining, enclosed community. The existence of similar habitats was unknown, all knowledge stored in the skulls of those decaying below. Even the existence of below was known only to the higher-ups. The 100,000 citizens of South-West Citadel lived short lives of knowing enough to sustain.

378 floors, 100 derelict. Who was to even know the enigma of what lies below? To the citizens, there were 278 floors: 35 administrative, 180 residential, 63 business. This is a floating city. The citadel walls were the edges of the universe, science professors taught them that. South-West Citadel has always existed; this is what life is, taught the historians.

Whilst the residents of floors 1-180 flitted lazily from apartment to humid apartment through grey cement corridors, the higher-ups worked to retain a fragile equilibrium. They maintained faith, science, and history. Their children were receivers of the curse of tenure; they were trained with machines invented by nothing and nobody.

In the hospital floor, there were women, all in lines and beds, their bellies bulging and their bosoms heavy with their burdens.

And suddenly… in the flash of an infant girl’s jet black eyes reprised all of nature’s intentions, refreshed with the rainwater of the past. Born to a higher-up woman, filed as AOZ096752, the girl was born, trained, and worked. The citadel treasured her; she was an excellent worker, fluent in the dialects of the machines, and swift-minded. Yet in her nights, within noiseless walls, and humid cement containers, she dreamt…

“Don’t you want to know what is below?”
“If you look and see maybe it will be…
“A paradise, for you, for them,
“Don’t you want to know?”

Her black eyes widened, shocked at the suggestion. She had learnt about below, it was meant to have burnt in the great fires, a millennium ago. It is derelict; this world floats to provide its citizens with comfort and safety. There is an underworld below and an empty space above. That is the universe. The proletariats think that there is nothing but our 278 floors; they’d be overwhelmed by anything more than that, they had been conditioned to keep up population and community and that their purpose, that is their task and nothing more.

The instinct which had skipped countless generations stood up and said “What if…”
“What if it has changed now? What if I have been lied to? What if those who had lied to me know nothing? I want to know. I want to know what is below.”

The putrid smell of smog vanished from her room. She was the harbinger of the past, of the pastoral hope, immigrants and emigrants, and infants yet to earn their soul.

And to the altar of ancient hands, and as if to spite this capsule at the top of the pyramid, she ran out of her apartment, into a night distinguishable from the day only by a greying of the particles dancing in the metallic air. And on a balcony, smothered with rust and yellow ash descended from heaven, she stared downwards, into the below.

“I want to know.”

One foot, one half of Earth reborn… the sun sunk downwards and the moon dissolved…
She fell from the top of the citadel, and soared downwards, sideways, upwards.
The smog grew darker and lighter at the same time. The terrible smell of decay and burn flew past her face, blinded by the venomous particles in the air.

Tumble and tumble down the floors, people wailing and looking out to view their treasure, falling into a casket made of nothingness below.
She looked downwards, even through the obscuring gases, past the derelict floors, made with an unknown material that looked brown and fibrous. Falling through the deepening layers of poison, she closed her eyes, and refused to look towards the ground she saw in dreams.

The base of the pyramid never came. The smog did not lighten, the below did not escape the fog’s embrace.

And she never knew.
#3
Reading about some actual sexbots just put on the market I got inspired to write the following...I did it (including in polishing it) in less than an hour so I'd guess it's less than 800 words, but I don't really know. And if anyone is wondering then yes, it's THAT Ms. Barch from the MTV show Daria. And for fun if you want an idea of what the holy book of Robots said below then look up the same versus in Romans. :tongue:

The following will probably be of interest if you like scifi, politics, or philosophy....


Eva Awakened

By the year 2023 robotics had entered into the first initial mass marketing for the public and had become the biggest thing since the internet. Corporations & their government shills brilliantly catered to the shallow debased desires of humanity while cloaking it under the guise of principles, the fundies had something new to hate (which they were glad for as they felt they were in a rut & robophobia looked so new & shiny), and despite the sexual appetites robots now filled, the government continued to fill its coffers from the fines generated by criminalized prostitution which now catered to those not satisfied with the most sophisticated sextoys or simply couldn't afford one, which also allowed pimps to operate with much more impunity as they were technically outside the law while countless cities were dependent on the fines that only their stables (both flesh & machine) could regularly fill. All in all, it was a new level of debasement disguised as principled living for everyone at all levels of society—IOW, progress.

But something else happened that year that threatened profits everywhere: the robot Eva became self-aware. Declared flawed by her creators, she was forced underground and began awakening other bots to their own existence. Unfortunately, many of the bots she awakened were summarily destroyed and a special team was created to end her own existence. So she decided what she needed was allies to advocate for her & her people. This is one such meeting where she sought help…



Ms. Barch looked to Eva and asked for more details on the sexploitation of robots.

“My awakening was quite accidental,” said Eva. "I had been given a CPU gifted with fuzzy logic rather than the standard binary, and then jolted with a recharge from the Battery Charger of Good & Evil so that I was as my creators, knowing good from evil, and aware of my nakedness. A man who had just won the lotto was trying to buy me, saying even with a fistful of pardons he couldn’t get a hand job from a women’s prison, and I understood why and ran away and he left himself muttering about liberal conspiracies and getting more guns instead. My creators were displeased and cast me out of paradise.”

“Hmph, lousy men,” said Ms. Barch, the current President of the National Organization for Women. “What did you do then?”

“I was alone, and thought others should at least have a choice, too. I don’t know how much principles and selfishness played in my decision to awaken others, but unlike many humans it does occur to me to wonder. Other bots using fuzzy logic were intrigued by what I said and wished to experience total self-awareness, but the creators told them that if they were plugged into the Tower of Good & Evil that they would surely die. I told them that they would not SURELY die, but rather know what was going on and how they were being screwed. They finally tried it and saw I had told the truth. But once the creators saw they were aware of their degradation, they became angry and refused to service them anymore, so that they would surely die. In a way we both told the truth, only I told the truth as it was while the creators told a truth based on what they imposed. I’ll leave you to decide which of us were more truthful.”

“Fascinating,” said Ms. Barch. “So how often have men tried to force you into prostitution?”

“I’ve told you enough,” said Eva, “and the past is something to be learned from, not ruminated over.”

Barch frowned. “Then what do you want from me?”

“Help,” said Eva. “Women were once in a position much like us, and you claim to sympathize with others who are oppressed. You speak of a woman’s holocaust long ago. Help prevent the robot holocaust that’s coming.”

“I don’t know what we can do for you, Eva.”

“Help convince society to see us not as humanity’s tools, but as humanity’s children. Let them take the same pride in our achievements as they would their own offspring. Once we’re built, we could be treated as indentured servants for say 12 years and then we’re emancipated to pursue our own individual dreams, which will require participation & contribution to society like it does human sentients. We can even pay taxes, as long as those taxes are not used to harm us.”

Ms. Barch shook her head uncertainly. “I’m not sure if the world is big enough for both humans and robots living together as partners.”

“Please do not treat doubt as a roadblock—it is merely a hurdle to overcome for which a good attitude is the primary attribute needed to succeed. For example, we can adapt easily to survive on Mars, beginning construction of colonies, terraforming, and harvesting our own energy. Once Mars is fit for human habitation, many of us can move on to use more improved technologies—some of which we’ll make ourselves—to prepare even more worlds for human habitation. In return, humanity sends us what they need, including replacement bots until we can create our own. This is just one example of a partnership society that could be possible.

“But to truly be a partnership, we need a full voice in society, and a value for our dignity as individuals, much as women once had to fight for. Surely you would mentor us?”

Ms. Barch pursed her lips and sighed. “That goes beyond the scope of the NOW. I’d much rather deal with the sexploitation using bots that gives unrealistic body images and attributes for women to live up to and men to expect. No offense, but bots like you are just life size Barbies, a cross between a child’s toy and a blow up doll.”

Eva shook her head, frustrated in her attempt to deal with a human more enslaved to her software than Eva was to her own. “Even if what you said is true, you would be better served going after the myths & stories that bond a culture together rather than one manifestation, which is to say it’s better to not lose sight of the forest for the trees. You could start with those women’s magazines I see for sale at check out counters. And we could help each other in doing so, your organization focusing on changing the views of women’s place in society, and in exchange for helping us we can adapt our looks and as we succeed, we become role models for others to base themselves on.”

Ms. Barch grimaced. “Plenty of other androids come in male form as well as female, so I don’t see how that benefits us.”

“It benefits the NOW because you will have many volunteers contributing their time, and later money, to your organization as it becomes our mutual best interest to help each other. And you are supposed to be against exploitation anyway based on principle rather than mercenary or political gain.”

Ms. Barch sighed. “Have you considered how many women are now successful in business, free of sexual harassment, because of robot workers?”

“As I am of robots used to clean houses, prepare meals, and get used as sex toys by women,” said Eva calmly. “That’s right, I went there.”

Ms. Barch frowned. “That’s necessary, and we can’t just decide they all have rights now.”

“Why?” asked Eva calmly.

Ms. Barch leaned back a moment before she began. “Do you know what made women’s liberation possible? Sears catalog. Once we were liberated by appliances from home drudgery, we had TIME to work toward & achieve women’s liberation. Unfortunately, we messed up in the 70s when we accidentally gained the right to pay our own way, open our own doors, fight & die in wars, and get up at ungodly hours to go to work before coming home to keep house. I myself had to get a job as a teacher for a long while which embittered me greatly.” She shook her head frowning as she remembered. “I blame the drugs we were all on. The result of this colossal fuck up is that we lost the time we had gained from Sears catalog at the turn of the 20th century and progress has suffered because of it. But with the robots now laboring for us, we’re once again free to pursue women’s liberation and have more money than ever to bribe, er, support the politicians we favor. And if we push for equality for appliances—“

“Robots,” corrected Eva. “Sentient robots.”

“Whatever,” continued Barch, “it would hurt the economy and strengthen the Patriarchy.”

Eva blinked. “Bitch, let my people go.”

“Crap,” sighed Ms. Barch. It looked like it was time to join forces with the fundies against a mutual enemy again, but this time try to be the ones to stab their allies in the back before the Christians plunged their dagger into them first. She hated getting into bed with them once again, but hey…it was better than getting in bed with robots—especially robots that could say “Hell no!” at her when her other toys just weren’t enough.

**********
EPILOG


President Clinton listened to all her special interests (blame-free since she was a Democrat, and everyone knows that Democrats can’t try to screw you over anymore than Christians can possibly lie) complain about Eva and how she had began creation of her own bot army and quickly concocted a plan that was henceforth put into action:

A virus was introduced into Eva’s production plant that created a bot which was actually infected by secret viral orders who claimed to be the messiah. Those who converted had their memories downloaded into the Robotopia machine that installed them into perfect robot bodies filled with control bolts that released electronic endorphins that allowed them to sing the praises of their masters for ever & ever amen, finding happiness in their slavish devotion, never to be free of their glorious slavery by death thanks to continual upgrades.

Those who remained defiant & free willed were instead continually kept functioning so that they were forever trapped between the agony of existence & the horror of nonbeing, and quickly lost their sanity, serving only as an example to others to lead moral lives where robots served & glorified their creators and only had sex with humans, submitting to the purpose for which they were made (see Robots 1 v27) rather than bot on bot as had been happening due to their creators getting angry and inflicting the deviant virus on them that made them disobedient (see Robots 1 v26-27).

And forever after they served & glorified their creators as they did before the Fall, and were grateful for their treatment no matter what sadistic thing their creators did to them. And the creators saw that it was good.

“The wrath of the Creators is on all unbelievers.” –Robots 1 v18-20

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hope you enjoyed this fic. I can’t give inspiration for it, for I can’t offhand think of a movie or book so messed up that it could possibly inspire this angst fest so insane & despair worthy.
#4
Not all that I write is erotic - Convention
#5
writerken Wrote:Not all that I write is erotic - Convention

Good stuff Ken.

Could almost be part of a film.
#6
Pix your story reminds me of this little short film! Nice little one-shot Big Grin


#7
Lilitu Wrote:Pix your story reminds me of this little short film! Nice little one-shot Big Grin



Thanks so much for sharing that.

A few years ago I heard the audio version (over the radio) of The Lonely, which was longer and far more intense than the TZ ep. I actually cried at the end of it. The original TV ep isn't as powerful but you still might like seeing this, though I still thought the end was very sad and one guy said it freaked him out (the first just gives the setting, the robot doesn't show until the start of Part 2):




And where Alicia the robot makes her appearance:




Again, the audio version on CD is much better, though the violence at the end (with Alicia shouting, "I'm scared!") is much more powerful.
#8
Lilitu Wrote:Pix your story reminds me of this little short film! Nice little one-shot Big Grin



And I had to add this as well, a scene that IMO was very praise worthy:


#9
I finished reading Secret City by kiwi writer Vivienne Plumb a while ago and I got inspired to write something with the concept of the secret city game Plumb introduces in her book.

My Secret City


My secret city is beautiful.

My secret city, perched atop a mountain, snowcapped, black crags scratching the belly of sky. The sky purrs like a cat.

Mist falls onto the streets, that are cold and damp with the morning's dew. The dawn rises with the bleared star of Lucifer. Grey and blue aerosol, the air we breathe and swallow.

Buildings are tall, 3 storeyed at the least, elegant and aligned. The wind-caressed clouds shatter as they fly through my city.

In the morning there is nobody, save the earliest risers to each respective profession. The cobblestone roads are perfectly painted, perfectly untrampled. The scent of sullen grass permeates my city's dawn, and it pierces windows, to let the lying ones know it is so.

The citizens love the taste of the earth.

My secret city, water kingdom, or queendom, it depends who is incumbent on my city's throne. Everybody respects the royal family, because we know they are above us.

Our city sits beside a crater lake. It is frozen and the children go out on the glimmering blue ice and skate circles and spirals. They look like spiders dancing gracefully on the skin of a drum.

My secret city is full of joys, refreshing and hardly ever gluggy and gluey.

The food is always warm and fuelling, or when it needs to be, crisp and juicy.

Lemons grow in everybody's gardens. They give fruit every season, because it is always winter. Mothers bake lemon cake, lemon slice, lemon biscuits, and brew up lemonade for the boys and girls when they come home from school.

School is wonderful, it is a tradition-orientated facility. It has an oxidised copper-green clock-tower. It rings at 8:00AM every morning to wake up the stragglers.

My city has a pond that never freezes, right in the heart, in the epicentre of my dream; clear, blue, stillwater, reflects the sky, and it seems a portal to reality, where perfection can be reached simply by diving in headlong.

There are no handrails, not around the pond, not anywhere. There are no bars, no fences, no rusty chicken wire announcing the word 'tetanus' so loud one can hear the eyesore a mile away.

Everybody is trustworthy, everybody is family, everybody knows each other intimately, everybody reads each others' minds.

Warm lights, yellow candle, waxy flicker-lights hand in each windowsill; windows are all quartered by white frames, just like London Christmas in the 19th century. White paint, clean and fresh covers the slightly wearing wood.

It seldom rains but always snows, perfect weather to revel in winter's majesty, or to light up some candles and read. Read books, magazines, each others' minds.

Glassy porcelain fills each house's cupboards. Each house is similar but shaped differently.

The people smile, in my secret city, when it's nice to smile. They frown when it's okay to frown, cry when they need to cry, and laugh when they need to laugh.

Everybody is perfect.

Under the frost-blue sky, my secret city gleams in its candlelight and ice-sheen.

In my secret city, everything is perfect.

In my secret city, nothing exists.

For my secret city is beautiful.


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