End of Earth. Short Story.

Robot1

End of Earth.
By Colin J Platt.

The time was now 2.am. I am just starting my shift aboard the Galactic Starship Freeway.
We were seven years into the long, mind-numbing, lonely and boring nine year trip to
Thannus 2. The hologram room is out of action plus half of the food store has been contaminated with some sort of spores which we can’t as yet identify.
Twelve crew members are now in long term isolation. This is to help stem the spread of whatever the spores are.
I was lucky. I was in sleep mode at the time of the contamination. But I am one of only seven crew members left to get this ship to its destination.
Sorry if I sound a bit crabby on the record-log but you can understand why.
I have to keep the record-log with me at all times, and keep the conversation strictly formal, which is a nuisance.
‘Dutch,’ my best buddy is one of the people in isolation.
But to top it all, our pets have also been isolated, two cats plus two mutant-mantors from the planet Zerion.
Boy! What a special time that was. Making first contact with the people from Zerion, it was awesome.
The year was 2215 everyone was in panic mode as the giant saucer like craft hovered above Washington D.C, although prior notice had been given to us. The excitement was overpowering.
That was seven years ago.
The Zerion’s taught us many things, especially space travel. They updated our space fleet almost at once. Now look at me, stuck here for two more years.
‘No, record-log, I don’t mean for you to look at me! It’s just an expression.’
OK, OK! The record-log is asking for my identification. How many times have I got to press
my thumbprint onto the log-board and then let it scan my eye! God, my voice print is all it should need. OK, here goes. Steven Smith, Engineer first-class, security code 12570, alpha. Satisfied!
Right, now back to the record. The computer has been acting up. It keeps changing its voice and
getting the stock wrong; everything from food to hardware. It should be easy to access, but now
we are struggling with even the basic items.
I just hope we can make it to Thannus 2. Thannus 1 is the planet everyone wants to visit. It is
much less crowded and has fewer aliens.
Thannus 2 is a world where they used Continent-Creation;’ Okay if you want to live in an ideal
world but give me natural creation every time.
‘Yes, record-log, I know I should keep the information to matters about the ship. But I want to
talk tonight; I feel it might be important later.
I noticed earlier that the life support system was acting up. It said that the oxygen filter system was in need of repair but it checked out Okay; computer, please keep it under surveillance.
Why should all these things be happening?
‘I know you don’t know record-log! I’m talking to myself.’
The Zerion’s themselves created this technology!
I wish the captain was here; but he got contaminated also plus the second officer.
The only person in charge of this class 2 freighter, at this time, is me!
I’m going to get John out of sleep mode if these errors keep happening; John is the third
officer.
I mean, damn it all. I am only an engineer. There should be two serving officers with other crew at all times. That is what the manual says, I should know, I studied the damn thing for six years to reach this point, now look at me!
‘No, record-log, I know you can’t look at me. It’s just an expression!’ My God, give me some
peace.
I am now in the cargo area. Why do the Animion’s want so much mercury? There is enough of the stuff here to float the Queen Mary. Also the supplies of phosphorus, it is another highly dangerous thing, why do they need it? These elements can be produced in any number thanks to the Zerion’s. They said Earth was a wonderful place to produce from. It has an abundance of minerals and everything else that is in short supply on Zerion.
The planet Animion is another friend to us bringing huge food supplies by giant ships; food that had been produced by Animion scientists. We simply could not have coped with the rationing at that time, but for the Animion’s.
Everyone had to abide by the law. We had just one small box of food per household a day plus
the man-made supplements.
There was a food poisoning scare about three years ago but it faded out with just a few hundred
thousand dead. No one could get much info at that time as all the power in the entire world went
off for 24 hours!
‘No, record-log, you don’t have to log this info. I am just talking to myself.’
‘Why do I talk to myself, you ask? Because it comforts me, yes, I know you can’t relate to that
answer. Please just let me talk.’
The power crisis was awesome. Millions dead; but we still have billions to spare. I know it
sounds thoughtless, but we couldn’t have carried on much longer but for our alien friends.
They upgraded everything from computers to robots. Robots are now the saviors of Earth,
helping with everything from caring for the elderly and disabled to doing every job you can
think of.
I know we had our own robots at that time but the Animion robots are awesome; they are more like people really, but very strong.
People don’t have to work anymore. There were a few scares a few years ago when some robots
killed their owners but on the whole they are invaluable.
Some people say that the robots are too much like the Animion’s with faces and expressions
which are scary, but that is to be expected, yes?
‘No! I am not asking you, record-log. Just be quiet.’
I think I will inspect the special cargo that was brought aboard earlier.
It is unusual that it was given first priority and not inspected by the officer on watch?
Well, I will inspect it.
The record-log is telling me not to open the crate. But I am getting a message from the computer
telling me that the record-log is going into shut down mode. I knew it. That is probably why
everything is going haywire.
But I must admit though, I like it when the record-log does silly things. Just like the people on Earth and prone to mistakes, well I’m not going to make one this time, where is the access code lock for the crate?
Damn the record-log for going into shut down mode.
Well what do you know? Here it is right at the side of the crate. It must be first priority, Okay,
here goes…

I type in my security number and Bingo…
‘Message from record-log:
At 2.22am, On 22.2. 2222. Steven Smith, Engineer first class and last officer to be disposed of.
First day of destruction of Earth to commence immediately:
Mercury and Phosphorus neutron bombs are to be used.
Message to Zerion:
Thank you for finding us this planet; it will be a useful place to store our minerals.
From The Animion Empire.
No survivors.

End of Line…

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