150-word Fiction Friday: “Head in the Clouds”

Head in the Clouds

AX2 hung in the alien blue of Wa11-2’s upper-atmosphere, kept a dreamy glass eye on the barren and frosty landscape below. There, inside the drifting cloudshadows, a spread of wheeled-robots held a tired, fading conversation about minerals and ice.

“Okay Ax2, your assignment for the day: take a look for interesting stuff in rock formation 33° 56′ N 118° 24′ W,” said GB-ROV 3A, though in it’s own particular language. GB-ROV 3A: the largest and smartest of the rovers, the exhausted schoolmarm facing the year’s lethargic finale. Attention spans dwindling. Joints jittering, drills dulling, wheels rusty, some not spinning. Sluggishness. For 34 years now GB-ROV 3A had orchestrated the survey, kept the others organized and safe and productive, made the lesson plans while the blimps and the diggers, fresh and sparkly, did their work and came back for more. The deluge of data beamed across the relays back to Earth: of useful quality.

But the robot armada had completed its primary mission ten years earlier, was now in the bonus, and starting, finally, to smell vacation.

This time, Ax2 took a long while to respond, a whole three seconds; it’d been caught daydreaming.  “Actually, I don’t think so,” said Ax2, though in its own particular language. “I think I’m ready for break.” Something in the blimp’s weathered under-machinery clicked once, then again.

AX2 headed off now, away from the rest of them, resigned to phone it in the rest of the way.


[I realize, now, that this story may be a bit too sci-fi/nerdy for some readers. If you are in the dark as to what I was getting at, please check out this article.]


This has been part of Madison Woods’ flash fiction Fridays. Check out her take on the same image-prompt: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/vertigo/

For more sky-theme practically serious flash fiction, check out this story!

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12 Responses to 150-word Fiction Friday: “Head in the Clouds”

  1. Kwadwo says:

    There’s a lot of technical stuff in the story which makes it real sci-fi. I had some trouble following, but it’s a good take on the prompt.

    Mine’s here: http://logo-ligi.com/2012/06/08/radiant-flight/

  2. V.L. Gregory says:

    Liked the tech-y sound to this even though I’m not much of a sci-fi person. It was well done and kept my interest.

    mine: http://www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com/blog.html

  3. JKBradley says:

    I enjoyed this. The more “intelligent” machines begin to disagree, that’s just an interesting thing to ponder. And the machine, AX2, saying something ‘sucks’ is funny, because you would anticipate more analytical language.


  4. Never too nerdy! The article was a nice bonus though, having seen Wall-E, I was in it from the start. :). Thanks for stopping by earlier.


  5. Madison Woods says:

    When Lindaura makes her way over here, she’ll really like the scifi/non-human characters (were the blimps themselves doing this speaking or am I mistaking my impression?). What your story reminded me of, though, are the ‘eye-in-the-sky’ blimps used for surveillance over places like Kandahar. Interesting. I like having some scifi in our mix. We used to have a lot of horror and zombies but they’ve been slacking lately…I liked that too.

    • Bill Carson says:

      thanks a lot. Yeah, the blimps were communicating with the ground-based rovers as part of a “network” of explorer robots. I definitely like playing around with different genres every once in a while!

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