Or (1)

A spindle flew across the void without stirring a soul. Nothing was there but a lonely planet, floating in the space without a mother star, like a rogue agent without any worthy country for it could shed its blood. It slowed down and started to draw a curve around the planet. The spindle, a featureless, needle-shaped spaceship, made a stable orbit. From it, A speck of light then was seen to descend to the planet surface.

There was nothing but rows of machines closely packed on the ground, dots of cold light lined up the horizons. They buzzed with different tempos and intensities, like an orchestra playing a great masterpiece tirelessly, all without the guidance of a conductor. Or, was there one?

The visitor slithered among the machines, listening to the machinery ticking gently in the gray space. Nothing fascinated him hardly anymore, but a cold shiver always shot through his tentacles when he was here. This array of machines, collectively called MAL, appeared out of nowhere, out of no reason, and out of the imagination of their best scientists.

He moved to a pedestal and waved his four tentacles. A command console beamed up, weightless buttons and switches appearing in the thin air. He could not wait anymore, for the matter he was pursuing was important to the empire. The results of the simulations, all carried out by the fuzzy atoms in the quantum realm, played a very important part in the plan. Arguably, it was more than it should be.

And, Or, Not?” A message pop out on the console. MAL has spoken to him. He needs to decide a keyword to proceed with the retrieval of the data, and MAL has not been entirely forgiving to those who do not understand the cosmic logical rules. He was well adept in such art, but looking at the data matrices and custom functions in the files, he was totally clueless. Based on what he could decipher, MAL wanted to know how he wanted to manipulate two nearly disjoint result sets.

He placed his two tentacles into a receptacle on the pedestal. With his third, he waved in the air:

OR.

A soul-ripping scream swept across the field. Machines still ticked in the background, totally oblivious of what just happened.

(To be continued)

via Daily Prompt: Or

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