Attack Of The Crackerbots

This is written proof that white guilt gets in the way of telling an interesting story.

The Crackerbots were winning.

We were the only people above ground, holed up in a warehouse office that concealed the gateway to the underground. Our mission was to hold the gateway until reinforcements arrived.

Florice checked her scanner. “They’re on the roof.”

The bots marched lockstep across the corrugated metal towards the rooftop entrance.

I looked at the terminals and said “I have an idea.”

Scientists couldn’t find a weakness in the Crackerbots. They moved in unison, attacking as a single minded organism. I knew their conformity had to be their weak spot.

I chewed my cigar slowly and ran a check of our servers in the object-oriented language, SoulTran.


    RUN musicDrive.contents THROUGH jambox


I hit enter and waited.

Over the warehouse speakers, the opening chords of Devo’s Are We Not Men? failed to have any affect. Florice looked up from the bank of security monitors and shouted “What’s wrong with you? You’re makin’ em mad!”

“Sorry! Tryin’ something else.”

IF(musicDrive==true AND file ISNOT honkyShit){

    RUN musicDrive.contents THROUGH jambox


The Devo song stopped and the heavy bass of Cameo’s Word Up filled the warehouse.

“Look, it’s working!” Florice gave me some skin and we watched the Crackerbots stutter around the rooftop in confusion.

As soon as Larry Blackmon’s nasally vocals started, the Crackerbots returned to formation.

“Stop it! No! He sounds too much like their leader!”

“Hush, mama! I didn’t think about it!”

I was getting close, but needed to refine my search.

IF(musicDrive==true AND file ISNOT honkyShit){

    RUN musicDrive.contents THROUGH jambox

    (UNLESS file MAKESFUNOF Crackerbots)


The slow melody of a flute played into a beautiful waterfall of piano. I closed my eyes and immediately saw beautiful Florice, naked on a bearskin rug in front of a fireplace.

A One In A Million You? What is wrong with you?” she reached over and slapped me.

Our one night together was so long ago but the music brought it all back in waves.

“Shit sorry, baby! Sorry!”

“Stop slapping me! I can change it!”

She turned back to the monitors. I was tapping the backspace button when her hand shot out and grabbed my wrist. “Hang on! It’s working. Look, they’re confused.”

Larry was getting to the chorus; “A woooooooooooooooooooooon in a…”

She shook her head. “Damn but I hate that song.”

“I’ve got an idea. Try somethin different.”

IF(musicDrive==true AND file STARTSWITH wahwah){

    RUN musicDrive.contents THROUGH jambox


The silence of the speakers was terrifying. The Crackerbots were at the rooftop door now. The bots were using their third arms to destroy the door.

“Why isn’t it doing anything?” She cried.

“Shh! Hear that? Listen!”

Jimi’s wahwah slowly faded in, and Voodoo Chile began to creep over the speakers. The Crackerbots slowed, but didn’t stop.

“Dammit Q! It takes forever to get to the jam part! It won’t work!”

Her last word was drowned out by the crash of the door buckling under the barrage of Crackerbot thirdFists. She shrieked and looked out the manager office window onto the main floor. The bots had to file down a staircase and cross the warehouse floor to our office.

“I think we’ve got time, woman. Just wait.”

“No! If they get to us, that’s it. We’re all that stands between them and Black Rome! Move!”

She drove a foot into my chest and I launched back over my chair away from the terminal.

“You don’t know SoulTran! You’ll get us killed!”

I climbed to my feet but it was too late.

Flo said, “I got it!”

The Crackerbots were almost at the door.

“I’m sorry baby it’s too late. I always loved you!” I went to hold her, and she backed away from me.

“Love me? Motherfucker don’t ever say that to me again!”

As the wahwah of James Brown’s The Payback boomed over the speakers, a Crackerbot kicked open the door and knocked Flo to the ground.

I had 5 shots left in my honkyStopper9000, I had to make them count. I put a hole in the first ‘bot and it fell on top of Flo. As I was aiming at the second one, the heavy syncopation of the shaker, the wahwah, and Fred Wesley’s JBs brought the Crackerbots to their knees.

The unison of the backup singers was like a dentist drill through their transistor-filled helmets.

When James Brown’s first “Hey!” came through the speakers, the bots fell flat.

I shouted, “You did it baby! We’re getting out of here!” But Flo was unconscious. I picked her up. On my way out of the office, I looked at the monitor.

IF(musicDrive==true AND file CONTAINS wahwah AND drummer > 1){

     RUN musicDrive.contents THROUGH jambox


James laid down seven and a half minutes of Crackerbot-crippling soul.

I took my time escaping. On my way to the underground gateway, I kicked over a can of gas. I flicked my cigar to the growing puddle of petrol. The glowing embers arced across the room and missed the puddle.

I made it to the gate as the gas puddle reached the cigar. The explosion woke Flo.

“I was afraid you was dead.”

“Only way I’ll die is after I kill your black ass.”

We kissed, I carried her through the gateway and headed for our underground headquarters.

Flo found their weak spot. We would survive.