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Last Week’s FFF: Isolation Part 2


Clank, Part 1

Clank, Part 2

The processor in my head sputtered as the I reeled from the old man’s whack.  Whatever I thought I had remembered was gone now.  Worse, my equilibrium betrayed me, and I stumbled.  I stepped back, hard.  Hard enough to produce an muffled clank.  This room was metal beneath the carpet.

“Do you know who I am?” the old man asked again. 

He was mad at me.  I reasoned that it must be from the holes in my programming and my inability to answer his questions.

“Great, I’ve got a broken one.  Well, let’s see if you’re any good at all.  I am your owner.  Do you got that?  Tell me know, who am I?”

“You are my owner,” I heard myself repeat.  It was the first time I had heard my external voice.  It sounded like sand-blasted steel, rough and metallic.

“Good.  Now, help me back into bed,” he said.

My processor spun again, deciphering his request.  He wanted my assistance to lay down.  I knew this position.  I had just gotten up.  He sat, and I lifted his legs and laid down his head, making sure not to catch myself on his tubes.

This was only the first of many requests.  If I didn’t understand, he would yell at me awhile, then show me what it was that he wanted.

There was something inside of me that couldn’t disobey.  Every time he asked for something, a feeling of joy wound up inside of me.  Every time I delivered a satisfactory action, I felt happiness.

In the night, while the human slept, he would call out.  When I attempted to rescue him he explained to me that he was dreaming of his life.  I was meant to share in his memories, but with my system corrupted, I could not provide this service.

One day, he asked me to do a skill that I had not done before.  He showed me what to do, and had me practice in the air before attempting it.  A part of me said that I should disobey this order.  But I was unable to.

That night, while he dreamed, when he called out her name, I went to him and held a blade in my hand.  My processor protested.  I was conflicted with myself.  But I had to do what he asked.  I plunged my arm downward.  The knife went through his body, and the metal clanged against the box springs.

The next day, he didn’t wake up.  I waited.

I waited until the humans from outside came.  They were not pleased with the duty that I had preformed.  They took the old man from me.

With a loud clank, they sealed the door, leaving me in this room.  With no one to command me.  No one to tell me when I’ve done well.  Alone.

The only sound I ever heard again was my feet clank against the metal floor when I went back to my room.