Next Tiara on Me
They required no rest, but they’d been hunting all day, and the maintenance schedule dictated down time to complete uploads and run general diagnostics.
They’d sussed out a small group of humans lurking in the rocky caves outside Idaho Springs, Colorado. Recon knew they’d been malingering in the area for years, but the difficult terrain allowed only drone attacks.
Now, the new droid-designed cave breakers could navigate the formidable obstacles of mountain terrain and offered hope of finally extinguishing the human race.
Today they’d exterminated the group of “germs” with their newest robots. One aggressive droid snatched a sparkling plastic tiara from a germ of about seven years old prior to gassing her.
“We will forward this to the museum as a reminder of the first day the germs and their spawn could no longer escape us,” said the robot.
New era bots didn’t physically laugh (as they found it impeded data flow), but still a general sense of amusement rolled through the small band of rock climbing robots’ neural networks at the sparkling diadem sitting awkwardly on its captor. The latest system-wide updates continued to include the hilarity codes created by the final human programmers. They’d hoped the newly sentient machinery would be more relatable with a sense of humor, and now those droids maintained the code as a whimsical nod to their depraved forefathers.
“I like your hat,” the mainframe said to the hunter foolishly sporting the tiara on a contraption humans might have called its head. The other droids in the decon chamber examined their compatriot and its new jewelry.
“Thanks,” he said in machine language. “I’m headed back into delousing for updates, so I can’t continue to model it for all of you, but the next tiara I find, it’s for you, on me.”
From July 13, 2022 NYTXW https://uncommittee.com/crossword/july-13-2022-nytxw/