If you want to build a ship, don’t gather people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
— Saint Exupéry (via youmightfindyourself)
My Dream About Singing to Robots at the End of the World That Has Not One, But Two Twist Endings and is Suitable for the Halloween Season
I find myself in the middle of a horrific zombie apocalypse. The zombies are the fast-running kind, so avoiding them and finding suitable shelter is harder than you’d think. After many minutes of careening around street corners and breathless near misses, I spot a free-standing public bathroom that could serve as secure hiding place. You’d think that such an edifice would be crawling with zombies, but remarkably, it is empty. OR IS IT?
More and more people join me there, mostly friends and family, conveniently. After a number of fascinating events, including the arrival of a strange woman with no legs and psychic powers, things suddenly get very loud outside. Gunfire, bombs, zombie noises. Eventually the noises come to a halt. We faintly hear the cries of people outside. “It’s over, it’s over! We won!” I poke my head out the door. The zombies have been vanquished and the general feeling is one of celebration.
Then something awful happens. No sooner has humanity rid ourselves of the last of the undead than the alien robot invasion begins. These are old-timey robots, slightly larger than an average-sized human. Blue and red metal bodies with a sort of glass dome where their heads should be and a lot of wires and electrical nonsense beneath the domes. The robots immediately begin decimating what is left of civilization with laser beams and stuff.
It all seems so confusing, I think. What is causing all this? Zombies, then robots? It makes no sense. Is this just a freak coincidence? Are the events related? Have the robots somehow planned this whole thing, infecting a portion of humankind with a zombie virus from afar, then occupying our planet while are at our weakest? Probably that’s what happened.
There is no time to consider the issue further, though. The legless psychic, who in this light actually looks kind of pretty, is tugging on my sleeve, telling me that the only way to kill the robots is to sing to them in a low, low voice.
"I can sing in a very low voice," I say to her. It seems like a crazy plan, but I have to try.
I am humanity’s last hope.
Turning, I spot a blue and red robot laser-beaming some cars twenty yards away. I know what to do. Without hesitation, and in my deepest bass, I launch into the song "Blue Shadows (On the Trail)" from the Three Amigos! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
"Arizona moon keep shining
From the desert sky above
You know pretty soon
That big yellow moon
Will light the way back to the one you love…”
The robot slowly turns to face us, rapt with wonder at my melody. After a moment of stillness, its arms begin to frantically wave about as its dome-head emits cascades of sparks and then explodes violently.
The low singing works.
"Keep singing! Go, go, go!" shouts the legless psychic. I run through the city, dodging laser beams, singing to every robot I encounter.
"Blue shadows on the trail…little cowboy, close your eyes and dream," I croon to an especially large invader, slaying him in spectacular fashion.
"All of the doggies are in the corral, all of your work is done," I intone, destroying a dozen of the horrible automatons at once. Crowds of survivors gather and cheer me on throughout the city as hundreds of the alien machines fall to sound of my voice.
At last, it seems my work is finished. All of the robots have been demolished.
All but one.
The last remaining robot looms menacingly in the center of a large plaza, its laser arm leveled at me. Fearless, I approach.
"Just close your eyes, and dream, little pal.
Dream of someone
Doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo…”
Nothing. The robot stands motionless. No sparks, no explosion. Frantically, I begin my song again, singing louder, more forcefully.
"ARIZONA MOON, KEEP SHINING
FROM THE DESERT SKY ABOVE…”
With a jolt, the robot raises its arms, violently twisting the dome head from its body. The sparks and smoke clear to reveal a human inside.
It’s the legless psychic.
"I don’t…how…?" I start.
But my voice is cut off by one much louder, blasting through a giant loudspeaker.
"CUT! GREAT WORK, EVERYONE. LET’S RESET AND GO AGAIN."