The Big Blue Bin

by S. M. Murdock


Atop my fortress tower, I watched the twin Titans argue and scuffle as they made to depart. After a morning of endless siege and destruction, I silently waited, watching them cross the threshold of the Great White Barrier that separates the Domain from the rest of the world. It closes behind them. The two will be back for they are not finished toying with the Collection.

The Titans named me “Optimus” after something they called a Transformer that I resembled. An autobot creature they once enslaved whose end was to be banished to the Big Blue Bin. They took me, having found my disabled ship hidden in a nearby area they call the Park. My circuits were damaged during the crash landing. It rendered me immobile. The Titans captured me, but left my broken craft behind. The many times I was brought back to the Park, I scanned for my transport without detection.

I have lived with the Titans now for the last two Cycles, staying in the Domain for the most part. I have learned many things about them and their world since becoming an invalid. Unfortunately, I am still immobile, but my processing and scanning abilities are still functioning.

My fate is sealed. I use my stranded existence to futilely record data about the Titans, the Domain, and its inhabitants. The power reserves housed in me will drain eventually.

Standing still and stiff on the tower, I ignore my injured arm. It is still encased in the red, blue and metallic gray armor I arrived in. The colors match the tower’s flags that permanently wave, although there is no wind. The arm hangs limp, partially detached, and with no pain. A sound akin to a sigh of uselessness escapes my mouth. It will not be long before the Titans come back. They always come back.

The makeshift town below lies in shambles. Assorted vehicles: cars, trucks, horses, and powerless space transports are strewn across the road and bridge leading up to the fortress.

Bodies, broken and not, are mixed in with the modes of transportation. Some figures are lying across or inside the abused machinery. Thankfully, I see no life fluids staining the smooth terrain despite the mess.

Several of the merchant buildings are still standing, colorful and undamaged. They are structures made with stronger stuff than the temporary brown composite buildings erected by the Titans. The others hang together with flimsy adhesive; irreparable.

There is not much I can do to help. I am also not inclined to do so; every being for itself. I have learned that it is the gist of existence here. Once you have been included to the Collection, you are at the mercy of the Titans’ every whim. If you are new and adorned with the latest technology or weaponry, then you are cherished for a time; otherwise, you are near-future fodder for the Big Blue Bin.

The scene below is eerily quiet. From my vantage point, I soon hear rumblings beyond the town. The identical giants are making their way back. Their voices can be heard from behind the Great White Barrier.

High-pitched laughter erupts as the Titans throw open the door and scramble in. I see one pick up a sixteen-wheeler and begin pushing it toward a gas station. He makes vroom-vroom sounds as he pushes the truck along. The other starts to stomp his feet forward, with arms up, and hands formed into claws. Growls and roars come from his lips as he stomps on a sleek race car, then on top of a pile of green clad soldiers.

He comes closer to my fortress tower. A claw reaches out and picks me up by my injured arm. I am then twirled around in the air like a slingshot. A leg separates from my body and zooms off to hit the other Titan’s forehead. They both laugh as he pretends to be injured. Another twirl and my body detaches from my arm. I still feel no pain as the merciless giants continue their play.

What they help to build, they eventually end up destroying. It is a cycle of creation and destruction. I wait for the day that their imagination is satisfied and maturity leads to permanence, or for the disembodied voice beyond the Great White Barrier to shout, “Don’t touch that! That is not a toy to play with!” Now there is no need to wait.

With my body broken, I am destined now, like the original Optimus, for the Big Blue Bin marked “Recycle.” Maybe after recycling, there will be tranquility.


Copyright © 2007 by S. M. Murdock

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