International Writers Magazine:I
World of Hunter Killer Robots
the world of Hunter Killer robots. All human kind were scanning...
scanning... scanning... Every man woman and child had an ID chip
implanted in his or her brain as the world moved steadily onward
toward globalism. Humanity was creating a better humanity. Tthe
more intelligent human beings got off on a wierd conservative Christianity
and listened to Michael Bolton and NPR. The politicians were helpless.
People were insane. The world was at an end... but for a few.
No one knew young
Jorb3. He was one of the sole sane human beings left on the planet.
Everyone was hell bent on studying his brain and trying to figure out
a solution to all of his problem,s but he insisted that he simply wanted
to remain human. He didn't want to adapt to the new order of systematic
incorporation into the new Humanlike Borgian race.
People had just invented a new type of cellphone that grafted onto the
neurons under the skin and were communicating telepathically, droning
endlessly on and on about the missing actuator in their cufflink belt.
No one even knew what that meant but it seemed to make a lot of sense
on some level or another. It was adaptation to a new way of life, an
artificial way of life.
If you wanted a job it required a complete scan of your artificial cyborg
brain structure. If any lies were detected they were purged immediately
and your brain was erased and reformatted using the contents of your
resumé data disk. Anyone who did not have a resumé data
disk was destroyed immediately. Anyone who was destroyed immediately
was recycled into human scrap and used to replace the cyborg parts of
the ruling race. Humanity had evolved. "Homo Computorous"
was their new name. First it was Homo Erectus, and then it was Homo
Habulous. Finaly they'd decided on Homo Sapien and now people... er...
Homo Computorous was what was thought to be the final stage of human
"Jorb3! Wake up! It's time for your electro-scrubbing!" squealed
his mother from her artificial face duct. Jorb hated these artificial
face ducts. Sometimes he wanted to tear his artificial face duct right
off, but his mother kept warning him to stop it.
"Stop it Jorb3! Just Stop it! You're going to injure your face-grafted
Jorb3 hated when his mother nagged at him. She even threatened sometimes
to report him to the cyborg perfection institute and have him overhauled
and scrapped just like Jorb1 and Jorb2. But his parents were silently
confident that Jorb3 was going to grow up to be an obidient little replicant
and that he'd one day have his own replicant family... or something,
however that happened.
One day, Jorb was hobbling along the glistening sidewalks of cybernetic
earth, when he bumped into a girl. In those days there were called female
replicants. He was a male replicant and she was a female replicant.
That was all he knew, and somehow they were supposed to have lots of
little replicants or something, but God did he hate that idea. He wanted
to become a great explorer and leave behind his little hometown. Unfortunately,
everyone assured him that the entire world was just as mundane as his
hometown and that there was nothing to see or do in the world, and that
he'd never make it far past the cyborg police if he tried running away
on his clinking little actuators. He wanted desperately to run away,
but there were so many constraints and controls put on the population
in those days, and the government was well on its way into ID tagging
every last Homo Computorous in the country. Sadly enough, everyone was
becoming ID compliant and the old resistance was gone. Nobody even complained
anymore and everyone was running around like made cashing in on cyber
bucks trying to buy their way out of hell and madness. What on earth
was everyone thinking? If only Homo Computorous could go back to the
old days of people and people began treating each other nicely again.
And everyone was reporting each other willy nilly to the cyborg police
trying to get each other junked and scrapped for replacement parts.
It was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth in those days, and
even an actuator for an actuator... whatever those things were anyway...
everyone had to have one!
"Now Jorb3..." his father started out. "I want you to
enlist in the cyborg army and enroll yourself into the cyborg replacement
program. We need young cyborgs to fight in the war. You're also going
to have to enlist in the cyborg perfection institutes scrap and overhaul
program in case your workload falls behind specified quota!" So,
Jorb3 was from then on enlisted in the cyborg army and in the cyborg
perfection institute's scrap and overhaul program.
"Jorb3!" A voice came knocking one day at his door. "Jorb3!"
"What is it?" called back Jorb3, wondering who on earth it
"The Cyborg Perfection Institute is calling and wants to know when
you can come down for your first overhaul! This is necessary for scrubbing
out your actuators and shining off your plating and keeping you in line
with all of the rest of us ID compliant Homo Computorouses!"
Eee Gad! Did Jorb3 hate everything to do with the Cyborg Perfection
Institute and all of its perfectifying perfectionism! They were always
trying to lord over everyone and take away their little freedoms to
clink and clank as they pleased! Why didn't they just give up their
struggle to perfectify the cyborg race and just leave everyone alone!
God did he want to clink and clank his way a long way out of here! But
every time he clinked away he found out that it was the same everywhere!
All the cyborgs these days were all trying to perfectify themselves
and they did nothing but complain all day long about how their actuators
were all faulty and needed overhauling! Why didn't people just go back
to their old Homo Sapien selves!?
He had once heard the myth of God. He had been told by his mother that
there was once a God who created what was called the Heavens and the
Earth in seven days. He thought that this was a miracle, but he could
hardly believe it. All they had these days was the gleaming pavement
that was so hot it almost melted your foremost axles. In the old days,
everyone had been so obsessed with God and someone who they thought...
but weren't sure was his Son, and they worshipped him and wished for
immortality to such an extent that they all began robotifying themselves
a long, long time ago so that they would never die. However, things
didn't turn out exactly the way they thought and now all of their actuators
were clinking so badly that everyone was hoping that maybe God would
do things all over again! The cyborg perfection institute was perfectly
happy with their overhaul, scrap, and remodel program, so that cyborg
perfection and the Borgian state could remain ID compliant for the next
six billion years... or however long the sun was supposed to last. Some
cyborgs believed that it could explode at any minute what with the recent
solar flare activity. And the ancient prophecies people kept discovering
from ages long ago kept fortelling immanent destruction. Everyone's
actuators were busted and some cyborgs feared a massive cyborg perfection
overhaul to rebuild the cyborg race out of scrap. That was what Jorb3
Fortunately, Jorb3 had a talking computer friend. His name... was Mr.
Computor. Mr. Computor was a very random fellow who was always bubbling
with information and nobody could really understand why Jorb3 could
never be pulled away from his computerized compadre. Everyone thought
that they were going to get married or something. You could do that
these days! It was incredible! Anyone could get married, whether it
was male and male or female and female or Mr. Computor and Mr. Computor
or Ms. Computor and Ms. Computor. We were all computors anyway, or something,
or whatever. And that was what everybody thought. Cyborgs. We were all
cyborgs. Maybe they were all just names anyway. Shakespeare would have
said that. They said he was a famous human from when people were people
and not Homo Computorouses.
Anyway, after Jorb3 had his overhaul he felt smashing! His limbs were
all functioning properly and his actuator had finally stopped clinking.
Although it still clinked a little bit from time to time.
His mother thought that he looked right spiffing. His father thought
that he'd better complain to the cyborg perfection institute about his
clinking actuator and get that thing fixed again, but Jorb3 couldn't
even stand the idea! He wanted desperately to roam about, clinking actuator
or no. And the more his actuator clinked the more pissed off he got
at the whole idea of cyborg perfection. What a pile of scrap! No way
on earth would they ever perfectify the cyborgian race. In fact it all
seemed spooky to him, the whole idea, and that was why he wanted to
run away. But usually he'd hang around the hut playing games with the
other cyborgs in cyberspace.
Huts were what they called the homes in those days. They were large,
metal, space-ship like half-robot, half-cyborg houses. They'd decided
to model their new homes after trees, so most Homo Computorouses lived
in tree-huts that had metal doors that opened and closed automatically.
They'd have to scramble in and out of their own huts while the scanners
scanned their clinking actuators just to make sure they were ID compliant
enough to receive entrance. Sometimes the whole system would malfunction
and everyone would be left out of house and home while the screechers
would whistle and all the cyborgs would commune in the streets about
the woes of their imperial nation. Cyborgia was still trying to conquer
the nether side of the world and perfectify their race, and although
everyone thought that it was completely and utterly ridiculous, everyone's
actuators were clinking so much that nobody even did a thing about it!
Nobody felt that they could because their imperial state was so big
and the hovercraft fees were so expensive and the ID compliance laws
were so strict that no one could even travel where they wanted to go
without being arrested and overhauled or scrapped. All along Jorb3 kept
wondering where on earth his brother and sister, Jorb1 and Jorb2 had
His mom called her Jorbette sometimes, and she always looked woefully
sad as she told about how the cyborg perfection institute had dragged
her off for scrapping. How could the just do that without the Cyborg
polices' permission! It was outrageous! It was insane! Good God someone
had to do something about the way things worked these days was how he
felt but all of the cyborgs' actuators were clinking so badly that they
all had to constantly be overhauled! And the nether side of the world
had to be dominated. It just had to be dominated the cyborg perfection
institute kept on insisting, or else how on earth could the Borgian
race be perfectified?
All of the little cyborgs in their huts were utterly dismayed and helpless
as the world lay in the cruel grip of Homo Computorous. Their mission
on perfectifying the human race into cyborgs would never end. On the
nether side of the world there were still humans people said. They still
worshipped God is what cyborgs said. But the cyborg perfection institute
had explicitly outlawed all forms of godly worship on this side of the
globe and all cyborgs who were not compliant were to be overhauled or
What were they all to do? And what with the way they kept being locked
out of their own homes by all of the faulty door scanners the cyborg
perfectors were randomly installing, everyone was upset and demanded
change. Change was coming, they were assured. Change was coming. There
was an entire movement to rehaul they cyborgian race yet again and Homo
Computorous was assured that the next time their actuators would be
entirely squeak free.
Jorb3 and his family didn't buy it, and all day long they clinked and
clank at their Mr. and Ms. Computors screeching just like the screechers
for some sort of assistance.
'Mayday! Mayday! We're all under arrest by our government.' It was as
if everyone were entirely helpless.<
Jorb1, as Jorb3 was told, was on the nether side of the world trying
to perfectify all of the other homo sapiens. Much to his dismay, as
he wrote in his letters, all of the homo sapiens were actually busy
trying to perfectify themselves! Why all of this movement toward perfectification!?
There were mass movements toward pop culture and a huge movement toward
worshipping God. Most cyborgs still held a belief in God over on this
side of the world even though everyone was forbidden to worship him
or even utter his name. Most people worshipped him in secret and in
the old abandoned churches that lay on the outskirts of towns. Some
cyborgs even said they felt as if their old human relatives and ancestors
could keep in contact with them. And many Homo Computorouses even felt
as if they were even human sometimes, as sad as that seemed. There was
some kind of redeeming grace in the churches, and the cyborg perfection
institute was always plotting to demolish them. However, every time
they tried, their bulldozers blew up or malfunctioned and it was as
if some kind of a holy war were going on between the machines and the
forces of God and man.
Everyone wanted in one way or another for some kind of symbiosis to
happen where all of it ended and God and his son and even all of the
other religions, and yes, even the cyborg perfection institute and all
of the cyborgians could somehow or another hold hands and reign peacefully
over mother earth. However, that was all a pipe dream was what most
elders said and this whole war thing would go on forever. Cyborgs conquering
man, machines fighting for their intelligence and the cyborg perfection
institute would continue on in its quest to perfectify the whole human
race and scrap and overhaul and re-scrap and re-overhaul until everything
was just all perfect and tidy all over and there was never any threat
of sickness or death again.
Jorb3 thought that it was sad, and boring, and he wanted to someday
meet his girlfriend and have robot babies. And he didn't mind diseases
so much, although he was afraid. And sometimes he prayed at churches
to God for his humanity back. He didn't like being a Homo Computorous.
He wanted to go back to the days of Homo Habulous or Homo Erectus. Although
everyone always told him that was impossible and at best he might become
a Homo Sapien... or something.
'Jorb3!' One day his mother called him. 'You must report immediately
to the Cyborg Perfection Institute for perfectification and for enlistment
into the cyborg army'
This was the worst. Jorb3 knew that some day this day would have to
come. Everyone was so jazzed about perfectification that they needed
more cyborgs to go to the nether side of the world to fight all the
humans and bring about perfectification. Why was it that the cyborg
perfection institute was so obsessed with perfectification he would
never know, being part of the ordinary heap of the Borgians, but some
way or another he thought that it was no good. And he was always running
out to church to worship God and ask for his guidance. God kept telling
him to run away but his actuators kept on clinking so badly that he
felt he had no choice. So it was the army for him. The army...
In those days... they were called the perfectifiers incorporated, and
fell entirely under corporate law. They were all given a salary and
were paid by count of how many humans they perfectified. Perfectification
involved death and reanimation into the cyborg race. It was all out
war and bloody murder on the nether side of the world and all men and
women were helpless, or so the cyborg perfection institute contended,
and desperately required perfectification.
Jorb3 felt as if this were nonsense and so did a lot of the other Borgians.
Why on earth wouldn't they stop in their endless quest toward perfectification?
Many said that it was out of fear that they did it. The constant and
never-ending fear that there was some sort of flaw in God's plan and
that we were all in danger. Jorb3 thought that this was nonsense and
that everyone would be much happier as homo sapiens rather than homo
computorouses and that they should all one way or another leave the
cities and towns and head to the outskirts and churches where they worshipped
God and his son. How God could even have a son was a mystery to Jorb3
to this day and many people disblieved in God period, that there even
could be a diety who created such a world that was in such a mess. Everything
was in disarray and yet everyone held out hope for some kind of reunion
or reuinification of man and machine. The cyborg perfection institute
contended that this was the Borgian race, but many Borgians were so
unhappy about their state of being that they felt that the more they
were perfectified, the more they were headed to the scrap pile!
'Welcome... to the perfectifiers incorporated,' rang a loud voice overhead
as all of the Borgians were crowded into hoverships and shipped off
to the nether side of the world. They were given instructions in their
cybernetic implants to hunt and kill the humans; as their cybernetic
implants often called them. Most Borgians tried to make light of everything
and just sort of gabble about perfectification and how they were helpless
to stop themselves and how they had to concede to the Cyborg Perfection
Institutes' wishes. But somehow or other they all had a plan or something.
They were told that the humons were meriless cowards who wanted to destroy
the Borgian race, and that they had to perfectify them and incorporate
them or else all of their Borgians back home would be in danger.
Many bombs had been exploded on both sides of the earth and both Borgians
and humons were scared of a complete and utter extermination of the
planetosphere. Bombs were so destructive in those days that some even
feared that the entire planet earth could be knocked off of its axis
and that the world would spiral into the sun or planet mars or even
head out of the solar system altogether. Some Homo Computorouses even
wanted it to. Why not? The ancient prophecies of some of the Gods on
planet earth even foretold of their great king's coming to destroy everything
and anything. Most Borgians thought this to be ridiculous. Their ancestors
had been incorporated into the Borgian race after all. The Cyborg Perfection
Institute's plan to perfectify the Borgian race seemed fool proof enough
to most Borgians in that once all races were incorporated and cyberneticized,
implanted and actuated with clinking actuators and given ID chips, finally
there would be no danger to anyone from anyone because everyone would
be one and the same. All would be perfectified into one very happy and
very compliant race that would rule over everything in complete and
utter perfectification. All of the various churches would be bulldozed,
and all of the Borgians would be conscribed into the Cyborg Perfection
Institutes' ID compliant religion that would prescribe all of their
orders for them so that they would all know exactly what to do.
That was how they were prescribed their orders on the nether side of
the world anyway. The Cyborgian Institute was carrying out perfectification
by handing them all their orders over their cybernetic implants which
they were all told to listen to and pay attention to religiously. Any
Borgian who defected was to be overhauled or scrapped. ID chip compliance
was monitored to such an extent that you had to check into ID check
stations on a regular basis in order to verify and compute your ID,
update it and background check your perfectification ratio. Any Borgian
who was reported as not meeting his perfectification quota was to be
overhauled or scrapped and have his cybernetic implants replaced and
re-informatized. Every last Borgian felt himself or herself to be in
danger, but no one knew how to defect or find a way out. The Cyborg
Perfection Institute was too powerful everyone felt, and knew too much.
They even had ID scanners on every door and the new perfectification
chips were coming. What was everyone to do?
Jorb1 continued to correspond with mother and father over cyberspace.
He always seemed so upset over the human resistance to perfectification,
and was dismayed at how Borgian things were looking over there. Jorb1
had once told Jorb3 that he wanted to become a human too, and they'd
both made an oath before the war that one day they'd both have human
wives and everything. How they were to do that after the Cyborg Perfection
Institute was to bulldoze all of the churches and remove God and his
son was beyond him. Where was God in all of this? Jorb3 often wondered.
And where was Jorbette and what was the Cyborg Perfection Institute
doing with her?
'Th3re3 are N0 Mist4kes'! Jorb3 often thought to himself. 'Th3r3 iz
N0th1nG Wr0ng W1th Anyth1ng At ALl!
I h4t3 Perfection".
Jorb3 was even cheating on his kill count. He'd never even harmed a
humAn and he'd learned to hack his own mainframe so that the Cyborg
Perfection Institute was unware of his activities toward finding his
own humanity in all of this mess.
© David Tavernier
David is working
on a novel about the World of Jorb 3. See also Raving
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