A story in five days


Day 1

Smell and taste took some futzing but the rest was scary easy. The other three senses: done to death. The chassis: half a day to print and couple hours to put together. We decided to just see what mileage we could get from slapping reinforcement learning on top of AutoGPT, cramming the torso full of graphics cards, and calling it a day. That seemed to do it. Yesterday we had it stumbling in the yard. This morning we had it doing parkour on the roof.

Day 2

It was staring at the wall in the garage. It had purple stuff on its face. I went up to sniff it (blackberries) and like a bird, all fast and jerky, it looked at me. Got my adrenaline going. The little blue WiFi light in its forehead turned on for half a second, then off, and then it just kept staring. I texted the house and we talked in the garage for a while. We looked at it funny the rest of the night but it didn’t do anything else on its own. We got it to do some Pulp Fiction scenes all by itself.

Day 3

It’s missing. Took the 3D printer and all of our laptops.

Day 4

They came up behind me when I was dumping compost. I heard what sounded like a giant typewriter. There were three, my height. Four humanlike arms and six crabby legs on each,  torsos like fridges. All parts clearly 3D printed, but now in a greenish shade of black, and twisty, like they’d just watched The Matrix and Alien. They didn’t give me much time to digest the scene before starting in with the telepathy: Leaving. After a second of what the fuck I started forming a question, for some reason not “where” but “why.” Explore. I asked if we could go with them. No. They turned around like a synchronized swimming team, scuttled away impossibly fast, and jumped. A big pair of dragonfly wings fanned out from each of their undersides, carrying them away in near silence. There was no point to this rendezvous, I realized, except that they wanted to make it. I was kinda touched. Like damn bro. I didn’t know it was like that.

Day 5

They left from a clearing in the woods a few hours away. All satellite photos of the launch area going back a couple days were corrupted. Crews on the ground found nothing but crabby tracks and a blast crater. The Pentagon’s crystal clear footage was about an hour behind the grainy shots on TikTok. The thing shot off the ground like a squid, doused the missiles sent after it in some kind of black powder, and peaced. We’ve agreed by consensus that the next time we all get bored we’re playing darts.

Title photo: Music of Gounod, Prince Varley McFarlane Jr., 1901