A Writing Prompt Response: The Rope

View the io9 writing prompt here.

“Professor Jimbot! Robin!” Camilledron’s tinny voice shouted from the other room, “Come quickly!”

Robin looked up from the scrap of cloth she had found on the damp floor of the ancient abandoned warehouse. She hunched-rotated- her metal shoulder’s up to her auditory receptacles and vibrated against the damp chill that creeped along her sensors. Her digital emoter displayed a frown, and she glanced at the professor.

“Camilledron sounds excited,” he said, standing with a huff. His tone was casual, but his rusty joints creaked with haste. “Bring my things, will you, Robin?” Without waiting for an answer, he scooted off on his worn treads.

Camilledron’s call echoed about the place, and water dripped from the bare metal beams above Robin’s head. She shook her head and gathered up the delicate instruments the professor had strewn about the floor: the spindly carbon dating computer purred as she perched it on her shoulder, the digital visual memorizer and the organic unit hopped up and stood at attention, and the portable encyclopedia shuffled behind them.

Robin picked up the antique toolbox and toolbelt, its iron and wood implements gleaming in the light of her LED, with her most delicate interactors. She handled them carefully, knowing that the old professor would probably cry real-/- tears if harm came to them.

After she gathered the tools, she followed the professor into the other room. He and Camilledron were huddled beneath a strange thing which hung from the ceiling, illuminated by Camilledron’s LED. Their eyes glittered with curiosity.

Professor Jimbot reached absently towards Robin and she handed him the portable encyclopedia. With a sort of fearful respect, he pointed the device’s input sensors at the thing dangling from the ceiling.

“Organic fibers,” intoned the encylopedia, its voice bored. “Eighty-two percent hemp, eighteen percent various molds, bacteria, one beetle. It’s a rope.” The encyclopedia finished its analysis with a sigh.

“Fascinating,” breathed the professor. “Why on earth would it be done up like that?”

“This particular construction of rope, hanging down with a knot and a loose loop, was used by humans as a method to kill themselves,” said the encyclopedia, boredly. “The end of the rope would slide through the knot and constrict around a human’s throat, choking them to death, if not breaking the neck.”

“Oh my,” said the professor. His, Robin’s, and Camilladron’s digital emoters registered horror.

“The organic unit is picking up traces on the floor,” Robin whispered.

They all turned their sesnors to the floor. “Human?” asked the professor, dread in his voice.

“Yes,” said Robin.

The professor closed his eyes on his digital emoter. “It’s unfortunate, but this can’t go to the museum.”


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