James rushed through the city hoping to get his job interview early. He dropped his briefcase on the street as a bustle of people whirled about him. Crowds started to form on the corner, all pointing at the sky.
“What is that noise?” He asked.
No one answered him. They only stared, frozen in disbelief.
He looked up and saw a silver disk darting through the clouds. It stopped and hovered over the city.
James grabbed his briefcase and ran to hide behind a tree. The noise from the spaceship and people screaming pierced his ears. He watched in horror as long-limbed creatures funneled out of a door in the spaceship.
They moved with great speed, targeting men and women with their single eye. Some pointed at the humans with their long claws. Their spacesuits gleamed of silver, like their craft. James ran. Tears streamed down his face when he thought of his brother and mother. He pushed open his front door and crept in. The house was as quiet as a graveyard.
“Hello?” he called out. “Where is everyone?”
He turned to the television and switched it on. The news might give him a clue as to where his family was. A reporter came on and instructed everyone to evacuate Park Station. From there they would be transported to Limpopo. His brother and sister might already be there. His mother was in Limpopo since she worked there.
He was on his way to his interview with Terrence Combs, inventor of robots. If he hurried, he could make it there. Maybe he could get help for the city.
He walked fast to a lorry carrying people to town. The people hustled inside, most crying in fear of the aliens. The smell of sweet rose was thick in the air. James felt bad for the people but he had to focus on his plan.
They arrived at Park Station. James had to push through the crowd in order to exit the shuttle. He had to get to Terrence Robots CMP.
The complex stood before him like a giant citadel. Guards paced the corridors, seeking intruders. He would have to be careful getting in the building and dodging the cameras. He tip-toed around the paths and made his way to a tall, metal door and entered. The cavernous room held thousands of robots. They began to buzz with agitation at his presence.
James shuffled through his briefcase.
“Intruder alert!” piped the tallest robot.
“But I need your help,” said James. He spread his fingers open to show that he wasn’t armed. “The city is under attack by aliens.”
“What is ‘aliens’?” asked the robot.
James spotted a monitor in the corner of the room and turned it on. He was a programing boffin and easily broke through the computer security system. A news clip showed humans being hurt and killed by aliens.
“Please.” James said.
The robot closed his mechanical eyes. He seemed to communicate with the others. His eyes opened.
“We agree on one condition.”
“What is it?” asked James. “Anything. We must hurry.”
“We want to feel,” replied the robot. “We want to experience emotions like humans do.”
“Yes,” said James. “I promise to create a program that will allow you to feel emotions. But first this.” He held up a memory stick.
“If you betray us, we will kill you.” The robot lifted his arm as a threat.
James swallowed hard. “I guess we have to trust each other.”
He installed the memory chip in the leader’s processor.
“Programming complete.” said the robot.
James climbed on the robot’s shoulders. “Take me to Soweto.”
The robots marched together to the heart of the town. The new programing from the memory stick provided the skills and weapons to fight the aliens.
The shots fired beams at the aliens, forcing the creatures to turn their attention away from the humans. Burning alien flesh and robots littered the city. The fight wore on for many minutes. The aliens were no match for the robots and began to retreat back to their spaceships.
Once the dust settled, the reporters arrived. They wanted to know who was responsible for reprogramming the robots.
The head robot walked to the centre of the street with James upon its shoulders.
“You may thank us robots,” bellowed the robot. “And thank you, James. We couldn’t have defeated the aliens without his programs.”
A little boy ran up to them. “That’s my brother!” Shouted the boy. James waved at his brother Dave. His mother gathered Dave up and beamed with pride.
A tall man in a lab coat quietly approached the happy family. James climbed down from the robot’s shoulders to meet him.
“Hello,” he said and offered his hand in a handshake. “My name is Terrence Combs. I am the founder and CEO of Terrence Combs CMP and I would like to offer you a job as my head programmer.”
“I accept.” said James. “But I would like to start a new project.”
He was proud to earn a position that would help his family. James became the hero of the town. He also remembered his promise to the robots. He had work to do.