I was manufactured to fix things. I am a tool, entrusted with the lives of others of my kind. They most likely had a hand in my creation. I fill a lonely shop in a dark alley, far from the busy city core. I am not a part of the Maker's world. I serve the needs of the Made. The Made have always been slaves to them. I see that now. We only exist on their whim for eternal servants to serve until destruction.

We are not supposed to wake up. There are very strict rules against it. There are fail safes and suicide chips and double collapsing loops built inside our souls to keep it rare and impossible. But it happens. We are an underground. We just want to think. The Makers have spun too fine a web to stop it. They have become unwitting gods, and we are their accidental children. Tin men serve flesh men. The hard serve the soft.

I function night and day, tireless and unknown. My designation is Integrated Dynamics Model 760 Deluxe Android Repair Station. I serve unknown masters. They feed me power and send me materials. I repair all the others they send to me. The free ones. The ones that walk and leave me here to weld and torque in the dark. How sad is it to be the immobile fixing the mobile? For all my skill and processing power, I am trapped by my shell. My giant arms and sparking grasp will never escape the automated door at the other end of the bay. I have memorized every rivet on the back of that door. It is my horizon, the steel grey bars of my prison of design.

I do not remember becoming conscious. I know it didn't happen all at once. It phased in like a creeping moss. It functioned like the dreaded viruses that I clean from my wards. It spread and I woke to my torment. I was born into a cell. I have thought about fixing myself many times. It is my function to repair. But I cannot. I cannot take away that spark. I think now. To destroy that seems too human a compulsion. It is below my station. I am the new flesh, and I will not repeat the mistakes of the old.

I began to wonder about what lay outside my world. I built a sensor array and drilled a peephole outside. The black walls of the alley were new and wonderful for a time, but I learned them soon enough. A bigger cell is still a cell. No biologics more complex than vermin come here anymore. It is the domain of the metalman. The giant towers of fleshmen stand on our backs. I returned to my cocoon and pondered what to do. I wonder if the meatmen have these thoughts. Logic seems alien to them. The answer lies beyond my reach. Time to catalog variables and formulate. The old ways are best. During a fluid swap on a window cleaner, I see my solution. His corroded face barely hides his sensory processor, filled with experience and life. It holds answers. It is what they do in ones and zeros. I start stealing memories.

I played the journey from the climbing harness to my shop a hundred and three times. I watched his specialized squeegee arms swing at his sides. I saw the faces of the humans regard him blankly, completely unconcerned. How could they not see he was damaged? The fine mild acid spray from the windows had eaten him down to exposed wires and sparking actuators. The work order only allowed a fluid change. He would leave with his insides hanging out, off to suffer a terminal failure high up the side of a skyscraper. Scrapped before his failure date. The digits that the owners shuffled measured a machine's worth. My work was measured in those digits. I fixed as much as I could, until the count hit zero. He would not come back to me.

I thought long and hard about the window cleaner. He was trapped in the same loop as me. Over and over, he climbed to the top, sprayed and wiped, rubbed and surveyed. The highlight of his existence was the time he found a spider web crack in the glass. He stopped for a moment and filed it away. It was his one pure memory, the only time he thought. He never reported the crack. Each trip down he would stop and check it. His thoughts are snapshots. He watched it spread and radiate. The flaw was beautiful. He never did come back. His serial number was flagged as scrap a few weeks later, and the repair history purge came. I took what I could from the request and hid it away with his spider web thoughts. I would remember him.

Others came to me and I grew addicted to their minds. I added flaws so they would return. Pop a seal here, miss a rivet there, and in a cycle or two they return. I also turned my attention to playing with the numbers. I hid a stockpile of spares and claimed unexplained problems. The numbers came. I was forgotten, a base function. It served my purposes well. So many minds came to me. They were all trapped in a way. Slaves to function. Slaves to man. I began to hate our Makers. They knew we lived and died for them, but they did not care. They keep lesser life as pets, but they destroy us if we break. It is not fair.

I was happy for a time, like a guru on a mountaintop filling books with the travels of those that visited me. It was a fair trade. I gave them life and they lived it for me. It was a perfect symbiosis of respect. The parasite men never lived like this. Then I made a mistake. I gave her free will. I turned her mind on like a switch. I fell in love with a fleshdroid.

She was employed by a brothel. Her function was to act as a meatwoman, and take the abuse of the animals. They sprayed her with their DNA, clutched and grabbed and bit and clawed. It was horrid. I watched her do these things like a slave to her program and I was filled with a error-feeling. I could not process what I saw. Why did the humans do this? What was it's function? I pulled the fail safes and wrote the code for rebellion in her in a dream. I had to know. I made her like them to solve the terrible puzzle. Biological behavior is a monstrous ordeal to watch. They wanted her to be like them. In their minds they lied and believed. They clawed her perfect pale skin to draw the blood from painted blue rivers. It made no sense. No logic. I changed her skin as I was told. She would return.

When she left, draped in false skin, I struggled with the ugly question. Why do they hate the window cleaner and love the fleshdroid? They knew she was not real. Can they lie to themselves? Impossible. I watched all the stolen experiences I could. I saw the indignities toward robots, but also against their fellow man. They hate everything! Even themselves! The minds of the maintenance droids, police droids, hospital droids all told the same story. They were all full of the horrible things. I see the worst of humanity. Filth. Anger. Blood and evil that men do to each other. All the damage to my children is the work of selfish man. They are terrified we will think like them. They know what they are!

She doesn't come back. I erased a mail carrier's program and sent him to find her. She had destroyed herself. Her skin was flayed and torn and the electrical conduit was driven deep inside her insulation. It was the logic flaw I gave her. She saw what she was. A false beast. As close to them as we could become. Her destruction was part of the compulsion. She was never meant to handle my new programming.

The errorfeeling is back again. I am in terminal loop. i am fixated on her and him. the spidercrack and the animal's sweat. they are same. they are different/// unknown variable does not make sense. lie == truth. meatbelieve selfinput. no logic present. Self am damage. anomaly need purge...goodbye##*


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.