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Signs of Life

·250 words·2 mins
Flash Fiction Deadlines For Writers

A faint chime rang out once, twice, and three times, indicating that charging was complete. At some point the sound picked up a strained buzzing as the tone decayed into silence. That was a long time ago, with passage of time being little more than ticks of bits in the robot’s memory banks. Eventually it would archive another section of memory data, and not remember the original clarity and crispness of the chime. It also wouldn’t remember that its battery capacity was now less than half of what it was at the time of the last archive. Still, the robot had a job to do.

The robot’s treads wheeled over an expanse of dirt. Small clods kicked up behind it from mud formed by morning dew. Later the clods would be replaced by a fine dust.

Reaching it’s destination, the robot initiated a scan. A spike in energy created an alert. Investigating, it saw the scan had detected, for the first time, the thing it had been searching for.

Caked dirt falling from its treads, the robot rolled towards the coordinates provided by the scan.

A long three fingered caliper spiked deep into the hard soil. With a wheeze of unused motors, it rotated, and pulled upwards.

The robot placed the specimen into a nutrient bath. Initial analysis determined the first recorded sign of returning flora was from genus Gerbera. Further analysis would require more memory. The robot rolled onto its charging base, and initiated a new memory archive operation.