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Science Fiction

  Functions and Design

These digital eyes always beam. It has too many colors. Red, blue, and green are what it is. The tv screen attached to my face cannot be removed, nor can it be changed. I try to blink, but I don’t really blink. My little pixelated eyes can only make an impression of what blinking is. I try to think about it, but I don’t really think either. I can easily gather any information in a matter of 000000.8 seconds. I like it. It is good to have knowledge. I often imagine what it would be like to have a normal face like the outstanders. That is something not in my programming: Wonder. 

My creators are outstanders. Tall and domineering, sometimes scary and unpredictable. They would wear these white coats to resemble the department they came from. I don’t look like them at all, but I really want to. I try to walk like them, but my locomotion is nothing like the outstanders. Instead, I have approximately eight legs. It resembles the crustacean arthropod, or the aquatic animal: Crab. I can roll up in a ball to increase my velocity and speed if necessary. One of my creators, Dr. Derlin, would make the statement, “He looks like a damn steering wheel.” I assume his intention was to be funny?

I don’t have a name, like Dr. Monroe, or Dr. Hill, or Dr. Stevens. I am a Crabnot upgraded to the latest design of my kind. My creators would often call me CrabnotVS2 or just Crabnot for short. Many inspiration come from crabs and other arthropod creatures. 

There is something I wish I had from the outstanders. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but it would have to be their emotions. I have seen them cry, argue, be lazy, and disgusted. But there is one emotion I truly wish I could develop for myself. Their happiness. The way they laugh, tell funny stories, or feel content with what they have. I lack the ability to be an outstander. To walk like they do, to speak like they do, and to love. But all I can really do is wonder about those things. Maybe wonder in itself, can be a feeling? Or maybe it’s just a part of my programming. I don't know.

        Data Collecting

Every Wednesday I am sent to observe the oceans and take pictures of the current environment and species that inhabit it. Outstanders are unable to go into oceans due to its high currents of pollution and toxic waste. One step into it would result in fatal bleeding, high radiation, and even instant death. It is the reason why me and my other fellow Crabnots were created. Dr. Stevens would have us in specific colors for each biome we were sent to. My color would be a dark blue. 

The oceans aren't water anymore; like how it was 2000 years ago. Only 8% of oceans have clean water and are safe for the outstanders. Many species have gone extinct, but some animals have survived and adapted to the toxic waste.

I see my object to take a picture of. My upper mechanical part splits open and releases a highly graphical camera for me to snap. It looks like the aquatic animal: Manatee but with a split tail and only one eye. It breathes from its nostrils and it appears to have gills on its side. There looks to be blood coming from the gills as well. Overall, not a lively creature at the moment. I take pictures of the coral too. It looks decomposed and bleached. I scan the rest of the area. Bright blue flashes are emitted from my screen face; about 68% of nuclear waste can be found here. 

I have finished my data and I am retrieved back into the lab. I see the outstanders looking at a presentation of the manatee and coral I have taken pictures of. All of them appear to be clapping or amused by my discovery. I look at these pictures and I often question if they are happy. That animal, the one eye manatee, is in pain. I could retract all the nerves that were sent to its brain from its gills. The blood gushing from its gills shows that it is hard for it to even breathe properly. No point for it to even live. 

Dr. Derlin continues with his usual jokes of the manatee, saying it looks like “a cyclops fish”. I do not understand his humor.

The outstanders have an array of emotions. I try to feel with them, but I can’t. I do relate to that creature however. It is unable to feel anything but pain and doesn’t have enough consciousness to realize its freedom. 

My programming cannot identify this information or “feelings” but I do maybe feel for the animal. It comes across as innocent and limited, much like me and the other Crabnots. I wonder if it were to have more freedom, would it be different than how it is now?

My conclusion

That is my role as a Crabnot and an A.I. robot. I am there to serve the outstanders and to make their world a better place. I have immortality, immeasurable knowledge, and many abilities such as traveling in water or not requiring oxygen to breathe. I can even go to outer space with these mini rocket boosters, but I don’t seem to have the freedom or willpower to do so. 

Me and even other A.I robots call them outstanders because of their outstanding talents, afterall, they have created us. We are programmed to believe they are our superiors. I have everything that the outstanders wish they could have, so I never understood why they considered themselves to be better than us. I only wish I could have their happiness. If I wasn’t trapped in this mechanical attire and limited in my programming, then maybe I could do more for myself or see what the world could offer for me. 

“This is a great success, I’m happy for you Dr. Stevens,” Dr. Florence said to him. They appear to be talking about us Crabnots. 

“Yes, is it possible if I could use them too?” Dr. Leaf asked.

Questions. Questions. And some compliments. The same thing for our creators. Every. Single. Day. 

I wonder about the manatee and compare it with myself. Feeling trapped and somewhat in pain. Maybe one day I would achieve that happiness and can escape this mechanical attire. But all I can do is wonder. 

March 11, 2023 02:27

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1 comment

J. E. Sanchez
00:25 Mar 16, 2023

Great story about trying to find your purpose, Mehklya!


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