Perceive, Progress By David S. Golding

May 12, 2016 Comments Off on Perceive, Progress By David S. Golding

A robot floated across a vast extra-stellar construct.

Red rectangles jutted towards the stars and stretched a ways ahead, rows of smaller green squares to the right. The flat surface that connected it all was a single unerring gray. Its perfection concealing any indication of age or material.

At either side of a tapered torso, arms threaded with oily tubes and tangled wires dangled, energy indicator light blinking steadily as the robot hovered past a matrix of purple triangles, through which, a line of tall red columns were visible.

After a short time, it was undeniable: The layout of this station or vessel was meticulous. The groups of shapes, the juxtaposition of colors, and the carefully planned openings between them all indicated that some project had reached its inevitable manifestation. The vacuum of indefinite space above was witness to its completion.

The robot pivoted its head downwards slowly to minimize friction. Joints trembled with wear. These arms, these articulated extremities . . . something was wrong. Its neck jerked back to focus its lens on a short passageway of tapering yellow walls. To the right, two dark trapezoids stood guard.

Energy swiveled the robot slightly higher off the surface. It darted, frantically, past irregular grids of prisms, through arches in open space, over spherical mounds that encapsulated nothing. As the robot searched faster, its energy light blinked dimmer, but the blur of variations in the architecture began to suggest logic.

The robot dropped to the gray surface and tumbled. Arm tubes tightened for control but snapped. Its torn body was the only aberration amidst the expanse of motionless forms.

© 2016 David S. Golding

David S. Golding teaches peace studies and international development in Sri Lanka. After teaching, he takes a crowded night train out to the coastal fishing village where he lives.

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