Conversations with the Grand Fiend: The Problem with Robots

Contributor: Miles Gough

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For a change of scenery, the Grand Fiend took me to an abandoned hunting lodge. We sat well above the city, that was now engulfed in flames. From our vantage point, it was hard to determine who were the humans and who were the marauding monsters. “Conflagrations are so beautiful to gaze upon and consider the joy of it all, don’t you think.”

I was just happy to not be in chaos below so I had to agree. We watched for several minutes and I asked, “Do you know what the monsters are?”

“I am sad to admit that I am not quite certain, though really, I think they are doing a fine job, a little on the grandiose side, but isn’t that anyone's prerogative? Monsters can interpret the job anyway they so desire.”

Watching further, I began to see glints of light reflecting off some of the marauders. “Look at that, I think those monsters are metallic. Its possible that what we are watching is a robot attack.”

“Robots,” the Grand Fiend pronounced the word slowly, as if testing it on his tongue. “That is slightly disappointing. Shouldn’t this be a job for living monsters? Another instance of automation taking over jobs.”

“I’m confused, what is your opinion on robots? Do you feel they are monsters or are they not to be considered one of your ilk?”

“Now that is an interesting debate and a divisive one in the extreme. Most monsters look at them with disdain. I think it is because they are created and originally maintained by humans. Its like food that create their own assistants. Imagine if you will, a hamburger who decides that being a hamburger is too difficult a task and needs to create a metallic semi sentient hamburger to help them in being hamburgers. Its absurd. We monsters are own creatures, we do not conform to the whims of our food supply.”

“But,” I interjected, “don’t vampires and werewolves come from humans as well? They were men and now they eat men.”

“And that’s why the issue of robots is so problematic. Yes, the similarities between vampires, zombies and lycanmorphs and the robot horde you see below you are evident. Perhaps the difference is that robots were created to be subservient to humans, while we nether creatures were never anyone’s beasts of burden.”

I cleared my throat, “I hate to be contrary, but wouldn’t being forced to be the servant to humans give robots a better reason to hate and attack them?”

“If I must consider that, I would say that you are correct. But we are monsters, we are fiends, we have the right to be discriminatory. I am a master of fear and attack. I am the beast you wake up screaming about, and I do not want to be compared to a toaster with a foul disposition.”
I opened my mouth to add one more thing, the Grand Fiend gave me a shake of his giant head and I knew to remain silent. “Let us not worry about who is doing the killing. Let us just celebrate that killing. They are proving themselves worthy by deeds. Let’s just revel in the sheer artistry of this messy anarchy.”

From our vantage point, the smoke was almost complete, though when the wind was favorable, we were still allowed to hear the faint screams of the survivors. The Grand Fiend smiled and quietly said, “Robots.”

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