After the downfall

The end of an era, the downfall of technology, energy sources and materials are almost depleted. A time when human civilisation had reached its lowest point. Almost all remaining materials and goods were hoarded by the wealthy. 

What were once villages, towns and cities had been reduced to ruins, rubble, skeletons of buildings and mountains of scrap were all that remained. Mountains of rusted junk were piled around the city. Day after day, people spent hours desperately foraging through the scrap hoping to find anything salvageable; machine mechanisms, electronics, precious metals, anything that could be sold or used. These people are called foragers. 

Everyday, Evona, a young forager climbed the mountanous scrap heaps fighting the thick dust and blazing sunlight. Her small stature allowed her to search through parts of the mountains that other foragers could not reach. However, one day she ventured a little too far and fell through a pit on the mountain. This was one of the many risks foragers faced on a daily basis, Evona was not the first to fall into the depths of the scrap heaps. However she could not afford to die, her little brothers still needed her. As if to guide her, a single ray of light penetrated the darkness surrounding her. Evona knew where there was light, there was a way out. The young forager slowly travelled towards the light, conserving her energy for the climb back to the surface. However, when she stood under the spotlight peeking through a gap in the scrap heap, she discovered more precious than just an exit, something that would change her entire world. 

Evona discovered a relic from the past, from before The Downfall. The robotic arm was unlike anything she had ever seen before, they looked ageless, not a spec of rust to be seen on them. As she tried to dig the arm out from under the dirt and junk, Evona hit against something hard. It wasn’t just an arm, hidden beneath the dirt and scrap was a full robotic body. 

Knowing she would never find anything as unique and amazing again, Evona carefully packed the loose robotic limbs into her rucksack. As a forager, Evona was used to carrying heavy loads but she couldn’t believe how light the metal parts were, they were almost weightless. As she climbed out of the pit, Evona wondered if today was her lucky day? 

The sun had already descended from the sky by the time Evona climbed back down the mountain of scrap. She was wary while walking home; even before appraising them, Evona knew the value of her discovery and wanted to avoid being targeted by other foragers. 

Evona and her younger brothers, Jeremy and Ash were separated from their parents during The Downfall eight years ago. The three of them managed to survive by supporting each other and making use of their skills. While Evona made use of her stamina and flexible body to forage, Jeremy and Ash used their knowledge of mechanics and engineering they learned as kids from helping their father in his workshop, to appraise, fix and build the scrap she brought back. This was how they survived, by rebuilding and selling salvaged parts in the street markets. They never made much, but they made enough to survive. 

Only this time Evona salvaged something other than rusting scrap metal. Jeremy and Ash were speechless when they laid their eyes on the treasure their older sister displayed on their old wooden table. Even covered in dirt, Jeremy could tell the robotic body was something special. 

While Evona collapsed into her bunk and surrendered herself to sleep, Jeremy and Ash were like two kids on Christmas morning in awe of their new toy. They wanted to kn ow more about the robotic body; where did it come from? What was it used for? Does it still work? They tossed countless questions back and forth, excited to find out the answers. 

Jeremy and Ash were polar opposites, even after The Downfall Jeremy remained a clean-freak. He was the type of person who carefully considered every option before making a decision. On the other hand, Ash was much more out-going, he dived into everything head-first, never afraid to fail. He loved getting his hands dirty, dismantling machines and discovering the role of each individual component. While Jeremy was passionate more passionate about software, the mathematics, technology and the mind of machines.

While they may be opposites their combined knowledge in mechanics, engineering and software design was what kept the siblings alive. Evona foraged through the mountainous scrap heaps while Jeremy and Ash used their skills and some tinkering to create trinkets, tools and machines to sell at the street markets.

Evona, Jeremy and Ash did what they had to to survive in the dying world. But for the first time in a long time, they felt excited. Excited to uncover the mysteries of the robotic body. 

With third-rate equipment and a limited power supply, it took a long time for the brothers to understand and reconstruct the perplexing robot. Jeremy and Ash spent months studying the impressive robotic limbs. They carefully cleaned the body, dismantled the limbs, sketched, took notes, decoded the complex software and AI system and put it all back together again. Evona couldn’t remember the last time she saw her younger brothers smile so much. The fire in their eyes was alight once again. 

After eight long months, they were ready to bring the artificial being back to life. Under the cover of night, Evona, Jeremy and Ash gathered together in their small, draft workshop. Charged with both anxiety and excitement, Jeremy entered the activation sequence to wake the dormant machine. 

It took several weeks for the machine to fully revive, a process which would have only taken seconds before The Downfall. 

— To be continued

The story to come:

  • The robot “wakes up” and introduces itself.
  • The robots internal memory data seems to be corrupted as it appears to have “amnesia”. The robot has no recolection of its past or purpose.
  • Evona, Jeremy and Ash decide to keep the robot – hidden in their home to avoid conflict with the forager gangs. They didn’t want to toss it out on its own in the new, unforgiving world.
  • The robot is highly intelligent and adapts fast. It works as an assistant in the family workshop.
  • After adjusting to its new surrounding, the robot overly curious about every little thing.
  • The siblings discover the robot has a mysterious talent for fixing things thought impossible to repair. The robot itself didn’t understand how it was capable of doing it.
  • Shortly, the robot picks up dozens of skills and abilities simply by observing the siblings.