Recycling Unit

By Shane Griffin

sfgenreThe recycling unit came out of the alley and rolled into the busy street. It was 7:42 am. Abundant humans scuttled along the street in their variable ways. Seconds later, the nearest humans noticed the unit. They responded with a typical fear response that spread and multiplied to become a crowd in panic.

The rate of progress of the spreading panic was predictable and could reduce the probability of the recycler catching its target.

However, based on all of the pre-transmitted mission data, pattern analysis of its target's behaviour revealed that this day and time had the lowest probability of deviation from routine.

The recycling unit stopped briefly to engage all sensors and devote its computing power to analyse incoming data. Even with its quantum-computing circuitry the data soon overloaded its processing speed, and information began to buffer. It if had been more than an inanimate machine, it might have been annoyed by this. It wasn’t. The recycler chugged on for several agonising milliseconds before locating its target — a briefcase-carrying male of mixed ethnicity dressed in a business suit. The recycling unit analysed the probability that the target had a concealed weapon inside the case, but the result came back negligible. It accelerated relentlessly towards him.

The other humans were not yet aware which of them was the recycling unit's target, so they scattered. The man ran along the street towards a bus stop where a bus had just pulled up.

The recycling unit assessed that the target may be attempting to escape via the bus. It initiated a security override on the vehicle, rendering it temporarily immobile. Based on the rate of gain on the target, the recycling unit predicted it could intercept the human before it reached the bus, but its internal programming protocols dictated it disable any possible escape routes as a precaution.

As calculated, the recycler caught and restrained its target well before the bus-terminal. The captured man struggled and screamed as the machine took a DNA sample to validate his identity.

The recycling unit was programmed to ignore all human responses until the DNA analysis finished. It soon had the target’s identity — confirmed.

“Citizen Daniel Perera, you have been selected for recycling in accordance with the Population Cull and Control Act 2046. If you believe you have been incorrectly identified please provide evidence now.”

“Please...I have a son!” pleaded Daniel.

The recycling unit recorded the target’s response, including the desperation in Daniel’s voice, but it did not fit any of the predefined criteria for further investigation. The unit pithed the human through the base of its skull and into its brain for an instant kill.

With the target neutralised, the recycling unit stowed the corpse in the cold storage module on its back and calculated the most efficient route to the nearest recycling plant.

As the recycler began to leave the now empty street, a projectile impacted its left side. The recycling unit stopped. It assessed all systems for damage and moved into defensive mode.

The projectile was a baseball. Trajectory analysis tracked its launch to a young human male standing behind the immobilised bus. The recycling unit assessed the young male. It wore a baseball uniform and carried a baseball bat.

The bat was a potential weapon, but the recycling unit calculated a low threat rating for the boy, so it began moving away again.

The recycler took another hit in the side. It spun towards its attacker. The boy gave the bat numerous wild swings.

The unit restrained the young male with non-lethal force. It applied a non-lethal electrocution to the young male’s right arm until released the baseball bat.

The young male exhibited the expected pain responses. The recycling unit waited for him to stop screaming before communicating.

“You are charged with obstruction of a recycling unit in the execution of the Population Cull and Control Act 2046. If you believe you have been incorrectly charged, provide evidence now.”

“I hate you! You killed my dad!” The young human gave a hysterical scream as tears streamed down his cheeks.

The recycling unit scanned its protocols. Irrational grievance from a family member was allowable. It took a DNA sample. Positive match. Identified.

The unit sedated the young human, placed him safely on the bench seat at the bus stop, and trundled away to the recycling plant.

rocket crux 2 75

About The Author

Shane Griffin

Shane Griffin lives in Australia near the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. He is a part time author and full time scientist. He has been writing science fiction and fantasy since age 19. He has published over 20 short stories in magazines and ezines such as Potato Monkey, Antipodean Science Fiction, Ripples, Eclecticism and Masque Noir.

With stories like Accident Man, Border Patrol and the Duel proving popular with readers Shane is now focusing on e-publishing under his own label - Poupichou Press.

Shane's first full length novel "Apocalyptica - Rogue Memories" is out now!!!!!


AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

asff img

Please visit the ASFF website and consider joining for up-to-date info about Australian SF cons, awards, competitions, and to receive the Foundation's newsletter, Instrumentality, and more.


About AntipodeanSF

Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version: 

Kindle version: 

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 227

101 Uses For Dark Energy
by Pascal Inard

AThousand Ways Of Not Detecting Aliens
by Russell Hemmell

Jamison Omitted
by Willow Schafer

The Black Dog Cometh
by Benjamin Hayes

The Orient Express
by Daniel de Cullá

The Human Question
by Ivan Bucalo

Still Water
by Mark Tremble

Three Mistakes And Something More
by Paul Alex Gray

Triumvirate Judgement
by David Scholes

by J.M. Williams

Get Dimension 6


Get Dimension 6 Speculative Fiction

From Coeur De Lion Publishing

Here at AntiSF
Download D6 Now!

"Trust me, you want this free speculative fiction e-zine."
(Rob Hood)

AntiSF May 2017



Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

rocket crux 2 75

Radio Show Schedule

Aaronson: May 6

No More Doors No More Windows — by Andrew Kozma
The Donald - Duck That Is - Gone Hunting — by Wes Parish
Panel presentation "Selling Across The Ditch", at Contact 2016 — Kylie Chan (moderator) Keri Arthur, Angela Slatter, Sean Williams (part 4)


Aase: May 13

City Limits — by Matthew Harrison
Drawing Down The Demon — by Nick Clark
Panel presentation "Selling Across The Ditch", at Contact 2016 — Kylie Chan (moderator) Keri Arthur, Angela Slatter, Sean Williams (part 5 - final)


Aavasaksa: May 20

Out Of Time — by Chris Cole
A Bushmeat Addiction — by Wes Parish
Panel presentation "Australian Gothic", at Contact 2016 — Kathleen Jennings (Moderator), Simon Brown, Angela Slatter & Kaaron Warren (part 1)


AAVSO: May 27

The Mask — by Sue Clennell
A Self Long Forgotten — by Ariel Braago
Panel presentation "Australian Gothic", at Contact 2016 — Kathleen Jennings (Moderator), Simon Brown, Angela Slatter & Kaaron Warren (part 2)


2NVR - Nambucca Valley Radio

20:30 EADST — every Saturday


Live Stream 2NVR Here

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show Podcast

antipod-show-50The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.

The weekly program features the stories from recently published issues, usually 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 Saturday evening at 8:30pm.

You can find every episode online here: 

SF News From The ASFF

Big Issue Short Story Competition: <> Entries close 5 June.

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>


Thronecon: Melbourne 20-21 May 2017 Melbourne Showgrounds (Town Square Pavilion), Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale, Melbourne.  More information <>

CONTINUUM 13: TRISKAIDEKAPHILIA will be held in Melbourne from 9-12 June 2017. (Jasper Hotel, Melbourne) It will also be the 57th Australian Natcon. The Guest of Honour will be Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. More information at: <>

Starwalking - 40th Birthday Gala Dinner. Celebrating 40 years of Star Wars. 3 June 2017, Jasper Hotel, Melbourne. <>. Sadly Star Walking Inc has announced that Force V has been cancelled. Silver lining the Gala Dinner will still go ahead.

Nullus Anxietas VI — The Discworld Grand Tour — The Lakes Resort Hotel, West Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia on 4-6 August 2017.  More information <>

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>

S5 Box

Login Form

S5 Register

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.

SF Quote

Any sufficiently advanced ETI is indistinguishable from God.

Michael Shermer