Last Week’s FFF: Isolation 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.