Celebrity Robot Rumble

When Paris Hilton became President of the United States in the year, 2028 she immediately signed a number of executive orders that would shape the course of history. First, she decreed that the education system would replace the teaching of science with celebrity gossip. Within hours biology, chemistry, and physics had been erased from the curriculum and replaced with Hollywood chit-chat, reality show trivia, and a class called ‘who’s dating who?’

Days later came the President’s attack on what she referred to as Fugly people. Anyone considered Fugly was immediately taken into custody and transported to FEMA camps where they were seen by plastic surgeons who decided whether or not anything could be done with them. The lucky ones underwent surgery and returned to society. The not so lucky ones were sent to work in fast food outlets, far away from their homes and families. The President even put a ban on anyone coming in from typically ugly countries such as Great Britain, Ireland, and Mexico. This ban was blocked a number of times until the President signed another order, promising that anyone blocking the order would find themselves at the bottom of the Hudson River sporting a pair of concrete boots. Naturally there was resistance but when President Paris (she insisted on being called President Paris because apparently the initials P.P. looked cuter on a dressing gown than P.H.) carried out her promise on a number of protestors, the people soon stepped back into line.

To get back at the President’s orders, the Mexican gossip magazine, ‘Ole’ printed several unflattering photos of President Paris on a beach holiday in Cancun. The President demanded the immediate closure of Ole and just to get even revealed the truth about America’s turbulent on and off relationship with Mexico. But it was to no avail. The Mexicans stood firm.

Next came Government approved sanctions that cut Mexico off with food, medicine, and the hugely awaited edition of Katie Price’s seventeenth autobiography entitled, ‘I just won’t die out of principal,’ but again, the defiant Mexicans’ paid no attention and stood firm. Finally, when all diplomatic avenues had been exhausted, President Paris issued a statement to her country and the world via social media.

‘OMG! WTF is Mecsico doin? Anyway big props to da military 4 lettin me bomb da shit out of them. U R all my BFF’s, LU4eva. L8rs…….P.P. xxxxxx’

On the fifteenth of September at 0600h with full support from Congress and a Facebook group called ‘No one disses Prez Pazz and gets away wiv it’, the United States launched a nuclear strike on Mexico. However, what the Americans did not know was that Mexico had a defence programme for such a strike so when the United States fired their missiles the Mexicans deployed into the atmosphere a country sized sombrero made of vulcanised rubber that caused the bombs to bounce back onto American soil. Both seaboards and several areas of inland America were vapourised instantly. Tens of millions perished in moments.

When the nuclear winter was over the survivors created a new society free from celebrity. Television was outlawed; as were films, theatre, musical comedy, sports, and any other art form that could bring fame to an individual. The new message was ‘fame is shame’ and anyone caught muttering the word ‘celebrity’ faced the death penalty. But the masses needed entertainment. The thirst for it bubbled under the surface of society like lava, erupting sporadically in the form of riots. To prevent unrest the newly formed Government devised alternate forms of entertainment. The most popular of which was a weekly event called Celebrity Robot Rumble which took place in the wastelands of Middle America in colossal stadiums where sky-scraper-sized-robots modelled on post-war celebrities fought to the death.

Due to fantastic breakthroughs in cyber-biology scientists managed to re-create the personalities of any person throughout history. These personalities were then downloaded into the mainframe of the giant robots in a process called ‘initiation.’ When the robots came online they were to all intents and purposes the same person they used to be with all their memories, habits, problems, addictions, and fears. Only this time they were three-hundred metres tall and made of metal.

The first battle between Miley Cyrus and Michael Barrymore did not go to plan due to the huge Michael Barrymore droid having a meltdown. The crowds vented all their anger and frustrations on the robots and the sound of one million people booing caused Barrymore to tear off his own head. The second bout was considered something of a mismatch when the comedian Bill Hicks took on the New Kids on the Block. Within seconds Hicks had been pinned to the floor, but after an epic display of fortitude and aggression fuelled by a hatred for Government approved pop-stars, Hicks returned to his feet and destroyed the New Kids. He tore the head off the giant Donnie Wahlberg droid and used it as a wrecking ball to beat the others into heaps of broken oily metal. Just before little Joey went offline, Hicks had him sing lyrics to a number of classic rock and roll songs, shouting, ‘that’s what songs are supposed to sound like mother fucker.’

The main event had been between Michael Caine and Lulu. Under remote control the two warbots lumbered into the arena; the ground shaking with every footstep. Bookmakers haggled with crowds who mostly betted on Caine as he was considered the firm favourite. The million strong atmosphere throbbed. Mutated children gripped onto their parents hands. The referee’s helicopter buzzed around the heads of the Goliaths and everything was set for initiation. When the robots came online nobody could have predicted what happened next. After surveying themselves and the surrounding area the two droids stepped closer and hugged each other warmly.

‘Is that really you Lulu?’

‘Michael you old scoundrel.’

‘You look different old girl.’

‘Hey cheeky…Not so much of the old!’

The pair spent several minutes reminiscing, much to the anger of the crowd who cared nothing for talk, and only for the crunch of metal and the spray of hydraulic fluid.

‘Do you remember the Party at Elton John’s house?’ the Caine robot said.

Lulu put her hands to her cheeks. ‘How could I forget!’

The referees helicopter hovered next to Lulu’s head. ‘Michael Caine and Lulu you are ordered to stop talking and fight.’ His voice echoed from the stadium’s huge PA system.

‘Fight?’ boomed the Caine droid. ‘Not on your Nellie mate.’

Lulu nodded her head in full agreement.

‘If you refuse to fight you will be shut down,’ the referee said. ‘Then you will be dismantled and your parts used to manufacture reality show celebrity robots like Brian Dowling and Jeremy Spake.’

On hearing this the huge Michael Caine droid rubbed his chin. He stepped closer to the Lulu droid. ‘Sorry Lulu old gal,’ he said. ‘I just can’t stand the thought of that.’ Caine extended his right arm and within seconds it had formed itself into a giant sword. He lashed out at Lulu’s head. The blow missed its target but caught her in the chest, sending her crashing to the arena floor in a shower of metal fragments and dust. The crowd’s roar sounded like a giant swarm of bees. The commentators spat out words like machine-gun fire. In the V.I.P. boxes, Government officials applauded their new-found anaesthetic for the masses.

Caine strutted around the arena, lapping up the adoration while reciting lines from films he had starred in. ‘Why do we fall Master Bruce?…Not many people know that…You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’ With each line the crowd screamed for more. But while Caine showboated with the crowd he failed to see the giant Lulu robot crawl from the arena floor and get back to her feet. Standing tall again at near three-hundred metres, Lulu checked herself over and wiped hydraulic fluid from the large gash on her chest.

‘Oh Michael,’ she said. ‘Is that how you want to play?’

Caine turned, half shocked to see his adversary stood up again. A half-smile appeared on his robotic face. ‘No offence love.’

‘None taken,’ Lulu said. ‘But I hope you don’t mind if I return the favour?’

Caine bowed theatrically. ‘Be my guest.’

The giant Lulu smiled knowingly and squatted down. From her bottom region two large doors opened and seconds later thousands of smaller Lulu droids poured from her backside onto the arena floor. Each little Lulu was the size of a family car. The giant Lulu laughed manically as her smaller replicas formed up in front of her like battalions of Marines. Caine looked confused. Without any order or instruction, the little Lulu’s scurried across the arena towards Caine. He stamped at the smaller droids but it was hopeless; they were too quick and too great in numbers. The droids clambered up his legs like ants and began eating through his hull. Within minutes they reached Caine’s operating systems. He slapped at his chest and face and pleaded for help. With hydraulic fluid spurting from his joints, Caine crashed onto his back. The fight was over. Almost.

Lulu stood over Caine with an arm outstretched in victory. One million blood-thirsty people chanted, ‘finish him.’

Lulu acknowledged the crowd’s request with a nod of her giant head.

‘Where am I?’ Caine said, delirious.

‘Your’e in a nightmare,’ Lulu said. ‘But that’s about to end very soon.’

With his last bit of strength Caine scanned the arena and saw the thousands of little Lulu’s crawling over his hull. He picked one up and held it to his face. For a moment it looked like he was going to cry. But instead he just stared at it and said, ‘Lulu’s… thousands of them.’

Lulu smiled and raised her right knee and then drove her giant metal high-heel through the head of the Michael Caine warbot. With oil and fluid spurting from Caine’s face, Lulu turned and walked out of the arena under the deafening hum of one million energised fans.

Lulu returned to fight in the arena another twenty-seven times, taking out the likes of Bruce Forsyth, Mark Landon, Bob Hope, Larry Hagman, Jerry Springer, Piers Morgan, Sarah Palin, and Linda Grey. At the end of her last fight while stood over the crumpled mechanical body of Meat Loaf she told the million strong crowd she was retiring.

‘I’ve done my bit now,’ she bellowed. ‘It’s time to let some new talent emerge. Lulu left the arena for the final time and headed to what was left of the Eastern seaboard. From there she crossed the Atlantic and returned to Scotland where she roams the Highlands to this day singing the full back catalogue of all her hits. To this day, if the conditions are right, people in the lowlands often hear the distant rumblings of a battle-hardened giant robot singing ‘shout’ across the glens.

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