Her Guardian Angel
Written by Bennet so
Her Guardian Angel let George’s limp body fall from its grasp. George’s body collapsed onto the apartment’s marble tiling like a pile of grimy clothes. Blood spilled from the hole in his head to create a crimson red puddle that spread across the apartment floor, eventually covering even Olivia’s feet, who stood in shock only a meter away from what used to be her betrothed.
Even now, even in death, he had a single eyebrow raised, seemingly incredulous at his fate. His jaw had broken upon impact with the floor, and yet his ubiquitous sneer never faded. He looked as if he could fling his abuse, both physical and verbal, at Olivia like he did so many times when he was alive, he would do so.
The robot turned and walked towards Olivia, stopping only a few centimeters in front of her. It towered over her, standing at nearly 7 feet tall and weighing nearly 300 pounds of gleaming steel. It had a stoic, irreproachable, perhaps even virtuous aura around it. To Olivia, the Guardian Angel looked almost like a knight in shining armor.
- A fool, Jim! An absolute idiot!
Olivia startled, snapping out of her trance. She turned and faced the television screen that was broadcasting a live debate between the conflicting sides of the United World Council’s Guardian Angel initiative.
- For what, Paul? For wanting seclusion – for wanting privacy in my own home? These are my human rights! Tell me, what difference is this from a totalitarian regime? Like North Korea was under four years ago?
Olivia moved to sit on the velvet leather couch in front of the television screen, still moving almost in a trance, resembling a sleepwalker. She reached for the remote on the arm of the couch and switched on the news channel that George always loved watching.
- The difference is, Jim, that we chose this. Not me, not you, not the President! The whole damned world chose this. We chose an end to crime, an end to violence. A guarantee to a better future.
- I sure as hell didn’t choose this; according to this survey I have in my hand, over 40% of the public doesn’t agree with it now. These iron monsters are the answer to mankind’s problems? Having a government machine watch over us every second of every minute of the day?
- Then both you and 40% of the public are idiots. We ‘re nipping the problem in the bud by doing this. Dragging out the roots of evil before it can take place on a larger scale.
- And if you can’t pull out the roots, you burn the whole forest down, huh?
- Crime is down 96% worldwide since last year. Violent crime anywhere is pretty much non-existent by now. Property crime has been eradicated. Major organized crimes will be gone soon enough. AND YOU WANT US TO GO BACK TO WHAT WE WERE?
- You want stats? I’ll give you stats. 13%.
- That’s the percentage of the world’s population who have died – sorry – been killed by your “Guardian Angels” in the last four months since the initiative has been implemented.
Olivia looked over at the Guardian Angel, who remained motionless behind her, awaiting her next command.
- Criminals, Jim.
- Are you telling me they all deserved to die? To be slaughtered by your legion of iron soldiers?
- They’re not soldiers. They’re Guardians. Their first course of action is to reprimand, not murder.
- And if the criminals don’t comply?
- Then...they deserve what’s coming to them.
“You tell him, Paul,” Olivia said to the screen, leaning closer. She was trembling, clutching hard onto the remote control in her right hand.
- Which is?
- Tell me, Jim. What if it was your family? Your daughter who was beaten by her boyfriend, or your son was mugged in the streets, or your wife who was assaulted in a dark alley somewhere? Wouldn’t you want them protected? Wouldn’t you want them to have a guardian angel?
“You TELL HIM, PAUL!” Olivia roared, rising to her feet. The remote control splintered into shards of plastic and drew blood from her palm, but she could feel no pain, she was so engrossed in the battle on screen.
- And so you’d rather we literally put the government’s eyes and ears in our homes, Paul? Have our every move be tracked and fed into some interface accessible at any time for examination? Our ancestors fought for our right to protection from public scrutiny. They fought for our freedom, and I intend to wield it.
- I’d rather my children grow up in a world where they can stroll down the street like we used to be able to, Jim.
- I’d rather my children grow up in a world that still belongs to a world of men, Paul.
Then there was a knock on the door and Olivia turned, walking slowly to the door with the splintered remains of the remote held up in her bloodied hand like a dagger, as the blood from her palm left a trail of crimson red behind her.
Her Guardian Angel followed, watching her back as they moved towards the door.