Issue 300

By Robbie Sheerin

It was cold and damp as rain fell on the dark city — water trickled down walls and apartment buildings. The rain gathered in the recesses of the roads and walkways, creating puddles that reflected green, yellow, and red neon lights from seedy clubs and eateries.

The Dodge floater sat in an alleyway hovering above the ground, as a yellow light glowed dimly from underneath the vehicle. With the reflective polycarbonate windows, it was impossible to see inside.

“Last robot of the night, bro,” said Mac as he loaded a cartridge into his blaster.

“And that will be,” Dom performed a quick drum roll on the dashboard with his hands, “five this month, baby!”

“Any sign of it yet?”

Mac pursed his lips. “Nada.”

“Dom pressed a button on the small HoloUnit on his wrist, and a hologram appeared just in front of him. It displayed the city news feed, his social media page, and his email. A news article popped into view in the main viewing tab.



“Hey, it mentions us.”

“Human Bureau agents Steven MacLeod, and Dominic Travers discovered a robot hive last week while investigating the trafficking of illegal lithium batteries. They seized many humanoid robots posing as humans, and machinery used in the manufacturing of human imposters. This is a big blow to the robot movement as robots have tried to infiltrate government, and law enforcement organisations worldwide, as well as the Human Bureau itself. Captain James Flint said, ‘This is a big win for the humans and a big win for the Human Bureau.’”

With a huge grin on his face, Dom nudged Mac’s elbow. “Hey, we’re famous!”

Mac smiled and winked at his partner. “The captain said if they didn’t catch those robots in the clerk’s department on level one, the whole Human Bureau could have fallen.”

Suddenly, Dom's eyes shifted to something across the street. He frowned, his smile evaporating. “There it is! Robot scum.” He pointed to their target. “Red shirt, black jeans. See ‘em?”

“Got ’em. Let’s bring it in. It’s entering that building. You take the back door and I’ll go in the front.”

Dom slid the blaster from its holster and exited the floater. Both men made their way across the street while suspiciously scanning the building.

They separated as each of them went to different entry points. Dom's walk changed to a jog as he made his way around the rear of the building. After jumping over a small wall, he cautiously entered, his blaster held out in front of him.

Dom's voice quietly came through on Mac's HoloUnit. “Got anything?”

“Up a couple of floors I think.”

Just then Dom was distracted by a noise behind him, back from the way he came. Retracing his steps, he exited the building and scanned the courtyard. Nothing. Then, studying the walls through the dim light of the courtyard, he saw the target moving up a ladder attached to the building.

Dom yelled into his HoloUnit, “It knows we’re here. It’s heading for the roof!”

He fired a few shots upward, catching the target in the arm. The humanoid slipped as its hand lost its grip. It clung to the ladder, and now struggled to climb. Dom holstered his blaster and started to climb the ladder.

Mac ascended the stairwell peering into the corridor of each floor. Finally, he reached the door that led to the roof. It was locked. He pulled his blaster out and fired two rounds at the lock, which exploded into a spray of wood and metal shrapnel.

As the door swung open, he saw the target on its knees, facing away from Dom. White fluid leaked from the blaster wound in its arm. Dom stood over the injured robot; blaster pointed directly at its head.

“Wait!” Mac called out. “We can question it.”

But it was too late. Dom pulled the trigger — blowing a hole clean through the robot’s head. All life left the robot as it slumped to the ground in a heap. “We humans will never be ruled by you,” Dom sneered before spitting onto the ground.

Dom turned to see Mac’s blaster aimed at his face. He did not have time to blink before Mac pulled the trigger.

Mac crouched to the ground and held the robot’s lifeless body in his arms.

He looked at the robots’ glasslike eyes. “You have made a fine sacrifice this day my brother. It will not be in vain. Our time will come when we rule as kings, and humans will be mere insects beneath our feet.”

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

robbie sheerin 200 2Robbie Sheerin was born in Scotland but now lives in the USA.

He writes short stories in his spare time and has been published in various online and paperback literacy magazines.

He is a fan of classic sci-fi, and such writers as Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein, and Silverberg.

He is the author of the book, Tales From Another Dimension; A Sci-fi Collection. Available on Amazon. 

Robbie can be reached at his website: <>

Issue Contributors

The AntiSF Radio Show

antipod-show-50Our weekly podcast features the stories from recently published issues, often narrated by the authors themselves.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Sunday evening at 7:00pm.

You can find every broadcast episode online here: 

Meet the Narrators

  • Emma Gill

    Emma Louise GillEmma Louise Gill (she/her) is a British-Australian spec fic writer and consumer of vast amounts of coffee. Brought up on a diet of English lit, she rebelled and now spends her time writing explosive space opera and other fantastical things in

  • Sarah Pratt

    sarah pratt 200Sarah Pratt is an avid fiction writer and a Marketing Consultant.

    She is currently working on her first novel but loves diving into short stories to bring a little lightness, intrigue or humour to the day.

    Her work has appeared in Sponge Magazine and The Commuting

  • Michelle Walker

    michelle walker32My time at Nambucca Valley Community Radio began back in 2016 after moving into the area from Sydney.

    As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I recognised it was definitely God who opened up the pathways for my husband and I to settle in the Valley.


  • Sarah Jane Justice

    Sarah Jane Justice 200Sarah Jane Justice is an Adelaide-based fiction writer, poet, musician and spoken word artist.

    Among other achievements, she has performed in the National Finals of the Australian Poetry Slam, released two albums of her original music and seen her poetry

  • Laurie Bell

    lauriebell 2 200

    Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia and is the author of "The Stones of Power Series" via Wyvern's Peak Publishing: "The Butterfly Stone", "The Tiger's Eye" and "The Crow's Heart" (YA/Fantasy).

    She is also the author of "White Fire" (Sci-Fi) and "The Good, the Bad and the Undecided" (a

  • Juliette Cavendish

    juliette cavendish 200Juliette Cavendish was born in Liverpool UK and is of Welsh and Norwegian heritage. Juliette has an interest in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Science and writes in both Science Fiction and Contemporary Fiction genres. Juliette was fascinated with space as a

  • Mark English

    mark english 100Mark is an astrophysicist and space scientist who worked on the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Following this he worked in computer consultancy, engineering, and high energy research (with a stint at the JET Fusion Torus).

    All this science hasn't damped his love of fantasy and science fiction. It has, however, ruined his

  • Marg Essex

    marg essex 200Margaret lives the good life on a small piece of rural New South Wales Australia, with an amazing man, a couple of pets, and several rambunctious wombats.

    She feels so lucky to be a part of the AntiSF team.


  • Timothy Gwyn

    timonthy gwyn 100Timothy Gwyn is a professional pilot in Canada, where he flies to remote communities. During a lull in his flying career, he was a radio announcer for three years, and he is also an author.

    In addition to short stories at AntipodeanSF and, his SF novel is available internationally in print and ebook

  • Ed Errington

    ed erringtonEd lives with his wife plus a magical assortment of native animals in tropical North Queensland.

    His efforts at wallaby wrangling are without parallel — at least in this universe.

    He enjoys reading and writing science-fiction stories set within intriguing, yet plausible contexts, and invite readers’ “willing suspension of

  • Geraldine Borella

    geraldine borella 200Geraldine Borella writes fiction for children, young adults and adults. Her work has been published by Deadset Press, IFWG Publishing, Wombat Books/Rhiza Edge, AHWA/Midnight Echo, Antipodean SF, Shacklebound Books, Black Ink Fiction, Paramour Ink Fiction, House of Loki and Raven & Drake

  • Alistair Lloyd

    alistair lloyd 200Alistair Lloyd is a Melbourne based writer and narrator who has been consuming good quality science fiction and fantasy most of his life.

    You may find him on Twitter as <@mr_al> and online at <...

  • Barry Yedvobnick

    barry yedvobnick 200Barry Yedvobnick is a recently retired Biology Professor. He performed molecular biology and genetic research, and taught, at Emory University in Atlanta for 34 years. He is new to fiction writing, and enjoys taking real science a step or two beyond its known boundaries in his

  • Tim Borella

    tim borellaTim Borella is an Australian author, mainly of short speculative fiction published in anthologies, online and in podcasts.

    He’s also a songwriter, and has been fortunate enough to have spent most of his working life doing something else he loves, flying.

    Tim lives with his wife Georgie in beautiful Far