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Science Fiction Fiction

Normality. Such a thing doesn’t exist. Nothing is normal. I’m the furthest away anyone could ever be from “normal.” I have bio-artificial pieces, non-organic robotic materials, and human skin. I look like a fake human. I suppose humankind would call me a “cyborg,” whatever that means.

The humans of INAE (International Network of Automated Experiments) Laboratories seem to treat me just like one of them, “one of them” as in humans, minus the fear I see in them whenever I enter a room. It’s more comfortable to pretend I’m just a machine, otherwise they get scared of me for using autonomous programs. Except Reece, who is the head of INAE.

They call me Elektria. Well, my technical name is E-732-714-TIA, but nobody wants to say all that, so Elektria it is. I am a female model. I’m one of the security modules, running diagnostic checks and aggressive safety measures on the perimeter surrounding INAE headquarters. If I see a faulty feature or some sort of enemy unit, I take action quite quickly. Whether it’s a physical action, or “telepathic” action, depends. 

           Speaking of, this morning I went to check all of that, and I couldn't seem to get into the system at all. In fact there was no system to check. I couldn't pull up the panels, or even do it internally with my machine-like brain (which is technically a central processing unit). This is a mighty problem, and I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned anything.

           Now, I'm in the bathroom combing out the knots in my hair. Gray, web like strands falling into neat strands with each stroke of the brush. I can't even remember the last time I had my hair cut. It has grown down to my waist, split ends, and white creeping up.

           Typically in humans, white or gray hair signifies aging or health conditions. For me, it's because my genetics aren't formed properly. I guess you could call it albinism, but in "cyborgs," it's common. 

         INAE tries not to extract genes from alive and well humans. If they did so there is a chance of messing up human authenticity. Genes would not carry out into the human bloodline after an extraction. 

         After a moment more of combing my hair, I set the brush down, and got into my sterilization unit. Sterilization is a quick process. Bacteria killing chemicals and steam are projected onto my body, then I wait for 5 minutes. It's not as refreshing as a human shower, but getting my robotics wet would be fatal. For me and the labs' power.

         Stepping out, I grabbed my uniform and tightened it around my body until it was comfortable. I put on my opaque face covering, strapping it to the back of my head, and then set the breathing mechanics to normal…except, the breathing mechanics weren't working. 

          Quickly, I took off the covering and started inspecting the circuitry. I found nothing wrong with any of the fans, boards, or even the CPU (Central Processing Unit). It seemed perfectly fine! 

          Now, it finally hit me. Have we been attacked? I thought to myself. I set the covering down, hastily slipping on my steel-toed boots, and ran down the corridor from my room.

          As I'm running, I realize that I can't hear the familiar electronic buzzing of the labs' technology. I stop for a moment to listen. No sounds. None. Not even the industrial air purifiers.

  Taking in the peaceful silence made me realize something. The world’s gone silent, at least my world has gone silent. I don’t hear all of the radio chatter, and no orders or commands. I’m free. 

I could go back to the main lab, see what’s wrong and help with the repairs… Or I could just leave. I never really thought of it before, because I didn’t get the chance to. I love Reece, I love all of the people here, but a chance at peace and solace? I don’t think I can give it up. I’ll just have to write a note. Write.

I slowly walk back down the corridors, listening to the peaceful silence, and into my room. In a few moments, I won’t be in a small, cramped space anymore. Even though the world outside is nothing but barren land, across the seas is an untouched habitat of life and quiet. Europe is where all of the destruction was caused by Belyaev, the scientist responsible for EINZESIA (Electronic Industry - NanoZeroth - E17 SanitySIM Initializer Abstraction, sounds like a bunch of jumbled words, I know. Belyaev was never the smartest of people when it came to names), and a full-on mad man. 

I search my drawers for a notepad, finally finding one that had hardened from the lack of use, and then grab a pen. I started to write; my handwriting messy,

‘Hello. This is Elektria. The consequences of living inside of this lab have rendered me longing for freedom and peace. With the chances of everything failing this morning, I think it’s right for me to leave and retire. Reece, Emric, come find me someday. The journey across the seas will be rough, but I am an INAE model. I will find a way to thrive. - Elektria’

With that, I rip off the note and stick it to the outside of my door. I grab a duffel bag and gather everything I can. The analog clock I’ve kept and repaired seems to still work. I wonder if simple technologies like these will continue to help. I should find a radio…

Throwing the bag over my shoulder, I slip out of the room, but not before grabbing defense weapons of course.

I start my way towards the broken tech room. Once I make it, I am hit with the smell of rust, dust, and other earthy smells, similar to dirt. 

I walk into the back, knowing I have seen a radio before, and begin my search. I say search, but it only took looking up one shelf and grabbing the radio. Once I stuff it in my bag, I leave.

Luckily, the exit doors have emergency magnetic releases so that if the tech fails (like now) we’ll be able to get out. I press the lever and kick open the left door before running out to the aviation lot, which is empty. Did they leave without me? I wonder. Regardless, I continue towards the gates with a fast run. 

Pushing open the cool metal sent a shock through my body. Should I really leave my life? I thought, and looked back towards the towering INAE building. I really want my freedom and escape from the confines of a robotic body. I deserve it after decades of helping. 

After taking my final look, I turn forward, and step off the concrete foundation. Out into my future of freedom.

February 11, 2023 02:04

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20:20 Feb 16, 2023

cool this is so inspiring


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