Thursday, March 1, 2012

Timed Writing: 3/1/2012

Time: 10 minutes
Source Photo: [untitled] by Miri Berlin

"Last robot standing wins!" Karen shouted across the barren waste between us.

We had picked this place -- an abandoned gravel quarry, from what I could tell -- after monitoring it for a month with remote cameras that we'd set around the periphery. We had cams on other sites too and some of them had been even quieter (there had been two high fly-overs of this place by traffic cam-bots taking shortcuts), but here we had the advantage of the barriers -- the gravel piles. Fifty feet high or more, rocks, sand, crushed gravel in two parallel rows, half a mile long each, with no breaks. We were walled in on either side and anything that the robots fired or hurled at one another would have little chance of causing trouble. We were reckless, foolish kids, sure, but we weren't stupid. Quickest way to get ourselves shut down would be a stray bullet or a careening flywheel shattering somebody's window.

"Standing?" I yelled back. Then I remembered the headsets, pulled mine out of my back, and waved it over my head to remind her. I put it on and flicked the power. "It should be 'last robot moving autonomously,'" I said. "Three of mine are rollers." Anticipating plenty of flat terrain, I'd rigged half of my squad with wheels this round, two with steel treads, and the last one with my favorite hexepedal-plus-one walker assembly. The rollers had such wide, heavy wheel-bases, that regardless of how trashed they got, they weren't likely to be knocked over like the bipedal walkers we'd used at our last meet.

"OK. Whatever." Karen's voice crackled through my headset. This happened a lot -- we'd get excited and start shouting before we remembered that we didn't have to.

(about my timed writing exercises)

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