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Robots of the World! Arise!   By:

Robots of the World! Arise! by Mari Wolf

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from If Worlds of Science Fiction July 1952. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

[Illustration: " After all aren't we genuine 'made in Americans'? "]



By Mari Wolf

What would you do if your best robots children of your own brain walked up and said "We want union scale"?

The telephone wouldn't stop ringing. Over and over it buzzed into my sleep fogged brain, and I couldn't shut it out. Finally, in self defense I woke up, my hand groping for the receiver.

"Hello. Who is it?"

"It's me, Don. Jack Anderson, over at the factory. Can you come down right away?"

His voice was breathless, as if he'd been running hard. "What's the matter now?" Why, I wondered, couldn't the plant get along one morning without me? Seven o'clock what a time to get up. Especially when I hadn't been to bed until four.

"We got grief," Jack moaned. "None of the robots showed up, that's what! Three hundred androids on special assembly this week and not one of them here!"

By then I was awake, all right. With a government contract due on Saturday we needed a full shift. The Army wouldn't wait for its uranium; it wouldn't take excuses. But if something had happened to the androids....

"Have you called Control yet?"

"Yeah. But they don't know what's happened. They don't know where the androids are. Nobody does. Three hundred Grade A, lead shielded pile workers missing!"

"I'll be right down."

I hung up on Jack and looked around for my clothes. Funny, they weren't laid out on the bed as usual. It wasn't a bit like Rob O to be careless, either. He had always been an ideal valet, the best household model I'd ever owned.

"Rob!" I called, but he didn't answer.

By rummaging through the closet I found a clean shirt and a pair of pants. I had to give up on the socks; apparently they were tucked away in the back of some drawer. As for where Rob kept the rest of my clothes, I'd never bothered to ask. He had his own housekeeping system and had always worked very well without human interference. That's the best thing about these new household robots, I thought. They're efficient, hard working, trustworthy

Trustworthy? Rob O was certainly not on duty. I pulled a shoe on over my bare foot and scowled. Rob was gone. And the androids at the factory were gone too....

My head was pounding, so I took the time out to brew a pot of coffee while I finished dressing at least the coffee can was in plain view in the kitchen. The brew was black and hot and I suppose not very well made, but after two cups I felt better. The throb in my head settled down into a dull ache, and I felt a little more capable of thinking. Though I didn't have any bright ideas on what had happened not yet.

My breakfast drunk, I went up on the roof and opened the garage doors. The Copter was waiting for me, sleek and new; the latest model. I climbed in and took off, heading west toward the factory, ten minutes flight time away.

It was a small plant, but it was all mine. It had been my baby right along the Don Morrison Fissionables Inc. I'd designed the androids myself, plotted out the pile locations, set up the simplified reactors. And now it was making money. For men to work in a uranium plant you need yards of shielding, triple checking, long cooling off periods for some of the hotter products. But with lead bodied, radio remote controlled androids, it's easier. And with androids like the new Morrison 5's, that can reason at least along atomic lines well, I guess I was on my way to becoming a millionaire.

But this morning the plant was shut down... Continue reading book >>

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