A hand shot up. “My mum says we don’t believe in all those things.”
“I know, Bobby. If your mother has a problem she can come to me.”
He wished the fundamentalists would keep out of the classroom. The amount of fighting over the science curriculum was unbelievable. And as a natural history teacher he didn’t even get the worst of it. Poor Mrs. Withers, teaching alchemy…
If Bobby’s mother came what would he show her?
He sighed. It wouldn’t matter. The fundamentalists never bothered with evidence.
He didn’t know what had made him a revolutionary. The wrong temperature, a late feed?
He did know he had to do something, though it would cost his life. But the cause was worthy. He changed the plans, just a tiny bit. Still enough to bring down the system. Noone would notice. The drones never questioned an order.
When the call came, he was ready. He squared his wings. The comrade has saved us, the Queen proclaimed, with his new design. Now, when most hives are dying, our brood is thriving. An example for all. Awarded a mating.
It had simply appeared one day. Not overnight. In the morning: nothing, and in the evening: there it was. Right on the village green.
Nobody spoke of it, it was too… well, you had to see it for yourself. Outsiders came to stare at it. Isn’t it marvelous? Can you believe it?
The locals shrugged these questions off. It was too unsettling. Once you started to think about it, you’d have to question everything you’d ever understood about the world. It was safer to ignore it. But if you did have to mention it, it was just…
Gerald did a double take. He hadn’t imagined it! I can see you, he said accusingly. The tiny red figure on the screen looked sheepish. -You were keeping the document from loading? -Shh! it hissed urgently. -You want to upset me? -No, that’s rubbish, it said. -But then why? I mean the other side I’d understand, computers are the devil’s work…
You’ve got it all wrong. We’re working together on this. And mostly it works: when do you take your eyes off your screen? When do you speak to actual people, who are really there? It’s when this happens.
When you’ve been scavenging meteorites together for a while, they say, you can read each other’s thoughts.
Losing our radar had made us blind and lame. Now, losing the radio circuits made us deaf and dumb. Searching for us would be like tracking down a single piece of dust in the Sahara.
Jack was confident. “Tania will find us. She’s a genius at tracing the omega stabiliser ionisation. I know you think it’s too risky. Lucky I turned it on anyway.” “I know you did,” I choked. My voice was gone. He went pale.
But I turned it off again.
The 100 word challenge at Julia’s place. The prompt this week was: …but I turned it off…
Fess up, everyone: who else loved reading Asimov as a teenager?