Goliath

(341 words)

Day after day, the robot giant emerged from the enemAPP encampment, challenging us humans to send out a champion of our own. They had used this ploy many times before. Rather than risking a high casualty rate, they simply built a giant and offered to settle things one-on-one.

We called them enemAPPs because they literally originated as a misguided AI APP for smartphones. About a month after its highly anticipated release, the APP had struck down over 2.5 billion people worldwide, and from that point it had spread rapidly to every available device. To think that we once boasted about how “connected” everything was.

On this day, a young girl had stepped out from our ranks, no more than twelve years old. Ignoring calls to get back behind the line, she instead began running toward the giant, as if to execute an impossible tackle. The fifteen-foot behemoth mocked her with a familiar digital voice, programmed to sound menacing. 

That’s when the girl pulled something out of her side bag. It looked like a homemade gun of a sort, quite small, plastic and wires and assorted doo dads. Nearing the giant, she pushed a button on the gizmo and, to everyone’s shock, the robot powered off and collapsed to the ground. The girl leaped atop the robot’s chest, pried off an outer plate, then reached in and ripped out the guts of circuitry. It was dead.

This was the first time we ever saw the enemAPPs display anything like shock or dismay, and with a mighty shout we launched ourselves across the span and routed the whole bunch–at least fifteen down and destroyed; our best battle ever. 

We celebrated underground that night, and the girl told how she was inspired by an old book she had found. Apparently something similar had happened in ancient times, when they had giants, but no robots. With the girl’s help we fashioned a dozen more crude EMPs like hers, and for a while we enjoyed good success in the war.

For a while.   

copyright 2019 – D.A. Donaldson

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