Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rest and Repel Those Aliens - #fridayflash

It’s so cold out that he has to build a robot. After he’s shoveled the snow, and cut the wood, and the stoked the fires, his bones are still heavy with persistent chill. He’s weary and climbs into bed, beneath layers of sheets and blankets, from which he constructs the robot.

Technically the robot is a military exoskeleton, but there is no time for technicalities because the planet is under siege. There’s a jersey knit sheet over him, full of microfiber transmitters. A heavier quilt lays over that, but he puts his arms over it, because they always get too hot under all the blankets, and because when he makes fists in the quilt, it feels like two flight controllers molded to his hands. There’s another blanket over that so his arms don’t get too cold, and to seal him into the cockpit. The only thing it doesn’t cover is his head, though he can pull the blanket over it if he gets a nightmare.

The beauty of his robot is that it convects his body heat, storing and building it up much better than a snow suit or a single blanket unit. Also, it has hard light lasers that can smash alien ships with armor that’s heat resistant, and that’s wicked. His weary eyelids slide closed and he enjoys a heads up display that targets all the enemy craft hidden in the sunspots.

His robot is so smartly built that he doesn’t feel it take off. It moves through the stratosphere without a whisper, powered by Generation Two Improbability Drive Tech. The invading aliens don’t even have Generation One.

The wind rattles his windows like a hundred tractors driving by. He imagines a hundred enemy space crafts, out-numbering him, but they are out-teched and out-gunned. Just one squeeze of his imaginary triggers fills up the sky with his hard light lasers.

Sometimes he shoots them down. Sometimes he goes up and talks it out, and becomes instrumental in the peace process. Sometimes he falls asleep right away. Saving the world is oddly relaxing.

18 comments:

  1. Love it - 'Saving the world is oddly relaxing' particularly after shovelling snow, cutting wood and stoking duties.

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  2. This is great, very witty and oddly touching. It reminds me of childhood imaginings.

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  3. Amazing where your imagination can take you.

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  4. When you're young, you can go anywhere and do anything.

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  5. What a great way to get to sleep. I kind of want one of those suits for my ride to work!

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  6. Wow, to be able to (in a sense) rule the world while napping - love it!

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  7. Good luck and godspeed, you protector of the planet!

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  8. Love it, and how he incorporated bits of his favorite stories into his robot fantasy!

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  9. This is a great depiction of heroic imaginings, how even blankets and sheets can become the components of an epic battle in space. Godspeed, kid, and keep the earth safe. I'll deal with the firewood once my knee gets better.

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  10. It sounds like a far better way than counting sheep. :-)

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  11. Yeah, this is often how I get myself off to sleep - with the exoskeleton of what might be a darned good story. You are indeed a very clever boy!

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  12. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but imagination is the "Daddy." How many times have I zipped off to worlds undiscovered, being the master of all? Too many times, and I'm proud of it. I can relate to this young man on so many levels. May we, the creative, never grow up! Thanks for sharing this, John.

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  13. Ah drifting off into a fantasy world can be relaxing, after all I've said it before, riding a dragon is far more fun than a horse, and saving worlds is up there with dragons ^_*

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  14. I have to echo the other comments. I never thought of how saving the world could be relaxing, but I see that now :).

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  15. Boundless possibilities our mind generates, but never is one greater than saving the world. Very peaceful and vast piece, John.

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  16. He knew just how to battle the cold. Mind over matter.

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  17. I loved the contrast of the epic robot-ness with the cuddly blanket-ness.

    Please let the quilt have been one of those vintage Star Wars quilts.

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