Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Combat Robot Tale

Playing a computer game in which you can perform upgrades on space military hardware and fight other space empires with them--Galactic Civilizations, quite an old game--inspired a new story idea for me.

Imagine an old robot, designed for combat, intelligent, assigned the inglorious task of guarding the home planet--which feeling resonates with how I felt during Desert Storm, when I was an enlisted military medical technician in a hospital unit that essentially got held in reserve and did only a little to contribute to the war effort.  This imaginary robot would feel like I did, burning with a desire to contribute to the war, eager to show his worth.

The robot gets his chance when his model is discontinued.  Since spare parts will no longer kept for him...er, it...this robot will no longer be maintained for guard duty and instead is sent to the front lines to make room for newer models, with the expectation that even though this robot is too obsolete to contribute much, sending it to the front will be of somewhat more help in an ongoing interstellar war than the scrap heap would be.  Though the expectation of military command is that this decision basically amounts to the same thing as junking the robot...

But our protagonist finds something unique and unexpected about itself that allows it to thrive under horrible circumstances.  The robot is so successful, in fact, that its design type is reinstated and it goes on to win the satisfaction of a job well done and the approval of its fellow robots and its human designer.

This idea strikes me as potentially resonating with spiritual realities of redemption and worth, depending on how it would be approached.  The story concept specifically reminds me of Psalm 118:22-23 (KJV):  "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."

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