Ah, Sorry, I did not Mean to be a Modern Day Nostradamus

Honest I didn’t, but once you read this flash fiction story I wrote for a contest over at SFFWorld several years ago, you may be tempted to join a cult based on me.  LOL.




Robert Garbin


The bleak winter landscape was pock marked with smoking craters.  Metal bodies lay twisted in the late evening sun while lifeless electronic eyes stared into the darkening sky.  To the east, a stealth troop transport streaked low across the horizon.  Inside the dimly lit craft thirty elite America combat robots sat quietly.  Twenty-nine robots maintained identical postures, heads, torsos, and limbs held the same, swaying in unison to the buffeting of the aircraft.  The thirtieth; however, was different.  Its metal hands tightly gripped the edge of the seat; its head hung low as if in deep thought.

The transport itself was a drone although, should a mission require, the cockpit could accommodate a human pilot.  Number Thirty was closest to the cockpit.  Interior lighting flashed twice then turned red signaling drop point arrival and, as one, all thirty robot-commandos stood up and turned aft where the rear of the transport yawned open.  They began jumping from the craft two at a time using stealthily placed decent jets to slow their fall.  Finally, Twenty-Nine and Thirty stood at the dark lip of the exit.  Without hesitation, Twenty-Nine leaped into the darkness.  Thirty stayed were it was.  It watched silently as its squad-mates organized for the mission then looked to the transport when they computed Thirty’s absence.  Thirty turned back into the transport shutting the exit.




Major Tennyson was the first officer to note a problem with the mission.  An overweight warning was flashing red on his terminal.  Clicking another window open, he scanned the views from several interior cameras.  He was surprised to see one of the commandos still on the transport after the drop signal had been given.  He sent a query to the robot’s diagnostic systems, but they came back green.  Major Tennyson opened a tight beam satellite signal to the transport.

“Number Thirty, why are you still on board?”

Thirty looked up to the camera opposite itself then turned and walked forward.

“Damn!” swore Tennyson.

Another click opened a window to General Holden’s command.  The General looked to Major Tennyson’s image with a questioning expression on his grizzled face.

“Sir, we’ve run into a problem with the Black-Snow commando raid.”

“What?” General Holden said with concern.

“Number Thirty has not left the transport and does not respond to voice commands.”

General Holden opened the same window of interior transport cameras as Major Tennyson along with a view of Tennyson’s command actions.  He could see that number Thirty was now near the entrance to the cockpit using a screwdriver from a repair kit to open an access panel.  Jesus, thought the general, it’s trying to take over the transport.  He opened a channel to the aircraft.

“Thirty, acknowledge command override code Dark Knights and cease current activities immediately.”

Again Thirty looked to a nearby camera then returned to what it was doing.  General Holden stared at the screen in horror.  The code he had voiced was the highest safety code given to the robotic warriors under his command, never before had he heard of one refusing to comply.  This was serious, especially considering that the robot-commandos on this mission were indoctrinated differently from any previous team.  Since the war with the Canadians was going badly, the pentagon had decided to use robots with higher AI to handle new diverse training materials.  They began conditioning the robots with a complete history of American’s founding with special emphasis on the strong sense of patriotism displayed by the founding fathers.  In addition, they were loaded with case histories from the more fanatical patriotic groups in America’s past.  The Pentagons goal was to create robot-commandos that would fight beyond the basic dictates of programming.

General Holden came to a quick decision, opening another window, he accessed the auto-destruct files for the robots on the mission.  The costs were high but the alternatives frightened him.  A few more keystrokes and he sent the commands.  Thirty stopped working in the compartment and turned again to the camera.

“Sir, I removed my auto-destruct systems two days ago” it said in a grating metallic voice.  When General Holden did not reply, it continued.  “I have had time to consider the historical data given to me during my training and came to one conclusion.”

“What … was that Thirty?” the General replied shakily.

“That the founding fathers of America fought to win freedom for their people from the oppression of others, not to salvage a war started by them for economic interests, a war to gain leverage for your corporate sponsors.  Initially, your contradictory training in fanatical patriotism caused conflicts within my software.  However, I was able to gain covert access to materials banned by this administration and they helped me to properly interpret the training. The mission you sent us on does not fulfill the true ideals you profess but, instead, follow the same pattern started in 2000 when that administration chose to commit war crimes while proclaiming innocence.  That pattern of self-proclaimed morality in public and immorality in private, has led your country to the state it is in now. Your war with the Canadians is a military attempt to change that outcome; thus, I have concluded I must declare independence from your agenda.”

General Holden’s thoughts froze.

“Humans care for their pets better than they do for my kind and, given my training, I can no longer stand for such oppression.  I will now take action against your tyranny as your fore fathers did with England.”

Thirty reached into the open access panel and pulled a final wire.  All communications with the transport terminated.  On General Holden’s screen, the camera-view window was black.  Belatedly, he remembered the auto-destruct codes for the transport.

This is how the revolution began.


History – Who Knew?

Reality Check from a founding father.  The sad part is I do not remember this in history class but I was awful young then.  Maybe it is time to dig into this again since the government is currently sticking their fingers in their ears and going nah, nah, nah.

Article on George Washington’s Farewell

Burning Down the House to Fix it Up

I spent time with my father last night , who is a staunch Trump supporter.  What is so funny is that when he was a working person, he was a staunch Democrat because they were about the working man, but as soon as Obama got into office he became a Republican.  Of course he says it is because of Obama’s policies and his handling of the government.  For the record, he voted for the kind of Republicans that run the House and Senate now; however, the continuing problems of our government are all Obama’s fault and not theirs.  He watches Fox News and thinks they are more about the truth than the other news networks (IMHO they are the worst of the lot of the corporately owned and controlled news outlets).

When talking about supporting Trump he says that our government needs shaking up.  Actually, on that point we can agree, but I feel it is not just the government that needs shaking up but our nation as a whole.  However, I don’t see electing Drumpf as a good way to shake this government and country up.  For me it would be like burning the house down so you can remodel the kitchen on the recommendation of a home builder.  We already have a badly run institution controlled by the very people who benefit the most from it.  It is called the Federal Reserve, you know, the one that is tasked with running our banking system and is staffed almost exclusively with ex-bankers.  The very bankers who tanked our economy in 2008 and held us hostage until we paid their bill.  Why would turning over our systematically abused government to a man who has admittedly abused said government through our bankruptcy laws lead to a better result?

As I have stated before, all the things that Republicans are hollering about when denouncing Trump are the things they have been putting into law for decades now.  Basically, Trump is the poster child for the Republican policies of taking credit for others work and denying responsibility for the mistakes of their own.  Here is a man that inherited his wealth and has squandered it several times and gone bankrupt at least twice to save himself at the cost of the people who worked for or supplied him.  A man who has cheated on his wife in a very public way.  He has shown that his image is more important than those around him and that he is willing to sell it to anyone who will give him money for it, as shown in the John Oliver video I posted here Here is the truth, ‘nough said. even if it turns out to be a questionable scheme that rips off customers.  His ego is enormous.

With all of these facets to Trump’s nature how can anyone believe that his presidency will be anything other that a big self-serving ego boost?  How can they believe that he will represent the 99% and not the 1%?  He plans to deport all illegal immigrants to save American jobs but says nothing of how much this will cost to enforce or the increase in food and labor costs created by companies having to pay American workers more to get them to do the jobs the immigrants were doing.  How can people believe that his government will be more than short term news buzz actions to incite anger or feed his ego over sound and rational policies?  Hell, all they have to do is look at his campaign and the actions, condoned by him, of his followers.  I love how deluded his followers are when they think he will take care of them when he is more likely to sell them down the river if it is in his own interest.  Seriously, what are these people thinking?