Guardians (Cyberpunk Flashfic)


Fourteen-foot tall killer robots are placed throughout the world, called Guardians, as a way to control the population. In this potential future, everyone is watched and controlled by these artificially intelligent bots, as well as the humans and computers who created them.

I heard a song I hadn’t heard since the Guardians made mass shootings impossible.

“I want to kill you,

I want to kill you,

I wan to kill you,

Nigga, I hate these fools,

but I want to kill you,

Can only kill myself,

but I want to kill you,” it said.

The song spoke about the torment of desiring suicide, when in actuality the singer would rather kill those around her than herself. I’d felt along to those lyrics before, but not today. I felt a whole new self. I didn’t feel like a slave anymore. I felt like I could do anything, and that made me feel like living. I realized that I didn’t appreciate my freedom when I had it, a long time ago.

The neon glow of the glossy bar made me feel alive. Nostalgia for a nightlife I had never experienced first-hand grew inside me. Jacketed twenty-something year olds were talking politics near me, and it excited me. What a time to be alive, I thought.

“Yeah, I wish I’d seen one tear someone up,” one of the young men said.

“Me too, actually,” the young girl said. She giggled, and the men laughed. It was cute and charming, her tomboyish attitude. Her carnal desire for violence was on display tonight.

“There’s only one on Thomas Street anymore. Must’ve cleaned out all the rubbish there. Fuck yeah, haha,” one of the guys said.

“Oh yeah, my mom lives near there,” one of the more subdued males said.

“That’s sweet,” the girl said.

“I’d like to live where there’s two or three of them. See some shit go down,” the bawdy guy said, and laughed as the girl hit him playfully.

I felt paralyzed with fear, listening to them. I didn’t really know why. I didn’t want to join in their conversation at all. I felt frightened just listening to them. I wondered if they understood what they were talking about, when they said those words, ‘clean out the rubbish.’ I wondered if they ever knew someone who was considered rubbish. In the world we live in, we meet so few people in person. Our sphere of understanding becomes so limited, sometimes. I guessed I could understand their callousness. Plus, there was another reason for it.

I always felt like I was the only one who paid attention in history class. After leaving school, no one else seemed to remember anything. How only fifty years ago, a war was fought to free the world from a dictator that sought to rule it. Born from a country famous for it’s engineering, he would have hammered and cranked the world into a machine that pleased his sensibilities. The entire world nearly destroyed itself, going to the brink of physical and mental breakdown, to cut ties with this abusive paternal force. The world has been through a lot since then. Technology has advanced, growing like flowering vines across human civilization. Now, the Guardians have developed. Machines that cast their shadows across the whole world, with one idea of perfection in mind.

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