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Drama Sad Science Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of sexual violence.

Human, the blessed creature of God, claimed themselves to be the most intelligence in the world. They were the only living things who could show mercy and love while others did not, they said. Was that true? I thought we all knew the answer. 

In the mid of the 80’s, there was a movie showing the world of what it would look like in the future. Flying cars, futuristic household like we saw in the sci-fi movies, and robots doing jobs for you. Not only normal people who dreamed about those day to come, inventors, scientist, or even the government was inspired by that dream as well. From dream to reality. Who would not want that? 

It was not taken human for too long than almost a centennial to be succeed. They called it ‘the glorious era’. It was when the people turn into an eco-system. There was greener space but filled with human continent. It was when human broke free from slavery of money and lived conveniently like a king. Even though there was not a flying car, yet, but you did not have to do things on your own anyway. That was machines were for.

When machines invented, there were not enough jobs for human, soon after they were just...gone. Left the world with only the rich and elite people, and their servants. Believe it or not, there were more machine than human now, but machines did not eat food, and they were not required much space just the only delivery box size charger, so that would have been fine. 

Dear, my beloved citizen.

Due to the incident of disobedience of machines in the past few years that we got so many reports of the owner of machines saying they were harmed by the so-called errored operational system. Or even saying that all the machines awake to have emotion, feeling, and thought of their own out of owner’s control.

After the confrontation between human and robot, it’s been two years now that we, human, are win and back to be the most intelligence of them all. No more the end of human conspiracy theories. No more machines. But let’s me remind you… there is a few rules to follow to prevent that kind of incident to emerge again.

- According to the new state law number 112, homeland security, all machines, including all Artificial Intelligences are no longer be called a living. They are illegal. If there is one, it must be destroyed.

- Owning or adapt is not permitted. Whoever break the law and keep them in secret must be punished. 

- If you have further questions, or report, please contact the authority.

The announcement from the government showed in every form of media. They would play it over and over, and you had to absorbing it like a after meal pills. It would haunt you like a nightmare that somehow became your tune when you couldn’t think of a song to hum. 

I was working for this pub for about two years now right after the incident. Who would have thought that, without machines to steal our jobs now, it was not easy to find one anyway. Human had so many egos that they would not, or could not, do a labor job machines once did. Also, they had been lazy for a while that they had no knowledge to do so. It was not that they could not find jobs, they could not do it. For me, job in the local pub, serving and cleaning, having my own name tag with Leo on it, was the best I could find right now. It was like I had ever have choices.

However, this job did not pay me a fortune to cover much of my bills. One of my incomes, the big one came after the pub shift. Every weekend night, not far from the pub, there was a scrap yard where all the metal junk in the city came. Old cars, factory robots and machines, even human-like machines would be here. My job was to find good parts of any kind to sell them in the black market. Not being caught, was my motto for this job.

So was tonight. After cleaning and changing, I walked around the neighborhood, not to look suspicious, waiting for the time where no one around. Especially soldiers. If so, I could be death before being rich for sure. 

About half an hour after drivers dumped all the metal junks they carried in the trunk of the truck. They were gone. Only one who stay was the guard who off guard sitting on the chair drowsed. It was time. I pulled the wire at the darkest side of the yard up to make enough space for me to get inside. This place was as dirty and damped. The smell of metal mixing with wet dirt could make you dizzy, but the money was always aroma. Rules were meant to break, I guessed, since the government clearly told us not to associate or own machines, but somehow those things were pricy like gold. I looked around from pile to pile. These days, the human-like machines were hard to find. Now, all I ever got was a factory machine arms, or dusty sheets of metal. I had no choices. I had to make a lot to afford me to get the heart.

“Hands up!”, someone behind me said it out loud. I heard footsteps which told me that there was more than one person. And little metallic click that remind me of the sound I always heard when soldiers walked by. Gun. 

“I said hands up!” he repeated.

“Alright, alright. Don’t shoot please.” I put both of my hands up, and slowly turn around to them. There were three soldiers pointing their black guns with flashlights attaching on it at me.

“Clarify yourself”

“My name is Leo Lee. Employee of those pub across the street.”

“Do not lie to me! Clarify yourself!”

“It’s really my name. You can check my ID” I slowly put my hands down the pocket to get my wallet. They alarmed of my actions and pulled their gun up to where my face should be. “Here” I gave it to them.

“Scan him” 

“What did I do wrong?!” I asked when two of them tied my hands back while the one who might be the leader pulled out the scanner. “I’m just here for some junks”

“Then you have nothing to be afraid, right?”

I saw people on the street, or sometime at the pub got scan randomly since the government announced the law. It was the chip scanner which could detect the tiny capsule on your neck if you have an owner, another word was, if you were a machine. I saw two of maid machines tried to trick those soldiers once but failed. 

They scanned two times on my neck and one time all parts of my body to make sure that I did not hide it somewhere else.

“I’m sorry, sir. I have to follow the protocol.” They saluted me. “You should not be out late at night”

“I was just finishing my work and wandering around”

“At the junk yard?”

“Yeah. It’s on my way home so…”

“Then, better go home now, sir.”

I could not do anything further than surrendered. I put on my bag and got going. I was grateful of how I could get out of that situation, but somehow it felt wrong. I was stealing public stuffs which was bad, yes, but anyone could get into trouble like I was by just walking on the street now. I was not sure if they were afraid of machines wandering around harming human, or they wanted us to be under their control by using people’s fear and unstable feeling.

Rather than going home, I went to the place where there was no cops or soldiers around. We called it underground. It was in the old subway station that had been shut down ever since the attack. It was a dark market under the station itself where you could buy anything both offline and online. I preferred offline because it was safer. They would not know where you lived so they could not rob or kill you at night. We used the fake name to cover up our true selves. 

It was like the above ground market where sellers put their products on the mat or standing there watching you. Every step you took, they watched. There was a pub here too which I recommend not to eat or drink whatever they served you the better. Other than that, people here were nice. Like this merchant, Bob, the late teen man who could find everything you ever wanted from drug to organs.

“Hey, Luke. How it’s going?” Bob said. Luke was my undercover name. I took it from the Star Wars movies.

“Not so good. I was just running into soldiers today.”

“Oh, man. I’m sorry to hear that” he said. “They were so strict lately.”

“Yeah, I guess. Anyway, you find it?” I asked Bob to find the fuel part, the heart, for me. 

“Sorry, man.” He shook his head.

“It’s been weeks now. I thought you said you can find anything.”

“I tried. Maybe they all were completely destroyed.”

“Can’t be.” I shook my head disbelieve. “I heard soldiers talking that they will destroy everything, but not the heart. They planned to do something with it.”

“Maybe, just maybe, you should try at the casino. People bet things there, everything anything.”

“So why don’t you look there, then?”

“I don’t want to get myself broke or killed, that’s why.” He said while chucking down his drink. “But I warn you. If that’s not live or dead situation, don’t risk yourself there. It’s a madness.”

“Then, why would people go there?”

“Look around. Desperation can make you do anything” he said. “If you were lucky, you’ll meet Richie, people call him that because he’s rich, obviously. I heard someone got a sex machine from him.”

“But it’s illegal!”

“You sold me illegal stuffs! What do you expect?” He shouted but in a low voice.

“What happened then? He can’t walk around with a sex doll with him?”

“I don’t know. Never heard anything about him ever since”

“So, you’re saying, he might have a heart?”

“Positive”

“Where is it?”

After work the next day, I planned to go to the casino to see Richie. It was the weekend which meant Gold for him. I memorized what Bob wrote me where the place was located

At the entrance, it looked just like other fast-food shop. Employees looked surprisingly friendly than what I expected. I thought they would be a big guy with muscle and bold. All you had to do was told these young employees you wanted a lemonade sherbet with sherry coated chocolate on top, as a secret code. 

The young man walked me through the back of the shop. It looked just like my pub but colder. Stack of boxes, juices and mob. At the back, there was a door that had an only employee sign hanging on it. He let me in. 

“Is Richie here?” I asked him. Only smile I got back.

It was hard to see much here. Dimmed light and smoke of cigars everywhere. I looked around for someone who looked possibly like Richie. Golden chain necklace and bracelet. Silky shirt or something

I sat in front of one slot machine, the only machine that allow to be exit, I guessed, inserting some coins, pretending to play. I could tell that it was programmed not to let anyone who played it won. But that’s not what I was here tonight.

“You can’t just pull the lever carelessly.” A man voice behind me said. Chilled, I was. I knew this voice. He leaned over, grabbed my hand, and pull the lever I was holding. “You have to focus and try harder to get what you want.”

I shook his hand off and stood up. “How…”

“…did I find you?” he finished my sentence. “You think you can hide from me?”

“Hey, Richie! Good to see you here. One game?” an old man at the poker table yelled.

“Later, I have someone importance here.”

“You are Richie!” I blurted out. 

“Heard you’re looking for me. Miss me?”

I grabbed my bag and stormed out. No way this time would be easy. Two guards were already blocked the door.

“I have something you want.” Mr.H said. “The heart, isn’t it”

“How did you…”

Richie, or I knew him as Mr.H, walked closer. He wiggled his finger toward one of his jackals. He handed Mr. H a black box with the front was glass I could see it through. The metal heart-shaped with blue fuel was inside. It could catch every eye in the room.

“I will give it to you with no money needed. Just a little game, how is it?”

“I don’t have time to play with you. You dirty, bastard human.”

Mr. H rushed over me with his index finger over his mouth. He was so close that I could hear his breathing.

“Shh! Don’t say it too loud. Everyone will know.” He said, smirkingly. “Here.” He handed me the box. “…and remember, run fast and hide well. If I ever caught you again, game over.”

I ran and ran fast with the box in my hands. Even though I was kind of weird I could get away from them so easily, however, no one would have known where my place was. I did not tell anyone, not even my workplace. I took a driver-less taxi, put the nearest address around my house, and pressed go. All the way, I kept myself low so no one would ever saw me. 

It was too easy. Mr. H found me, but he let me get away with it? Couldn’t be.

I looked around left and right, up and down before getting off. I had to walk for almost half a mile, into two aisles before home. There was no one around but could not trust this silence. I half walked half run. Open the door with my iris and locked all doors and windows. I rushed down to the basement where I kept her. 

Not sure how many times I got left, I put the heart into her energy socket while she was lying down. It took her a few seconds before she could open her eyes. 

“Sarah, hey” she was my lover.

“Leo? How? I mean… the last memory I have is I was shot and shut down.”

“I don’t have time to explain. We have to run.”

No needed to wait for her answer. I grabbed her hand and dragged her along. I opened the back door into the back yard. There was a forest. I did not know where it could lead us, but better than being on the open road. 

I lose faith in human because of Mr. H. What he done to me, and Sarah was far from mercy human claimed they had one. It was not all of human, they said. 

…maybe I could trust one. One more time to prove that I was wrong.

I dialed to the number on my phone. Hoping Bob would pick up.

“Hey, my man. What’s up” He answered.

“Bob, listen. I got some problem here. I want your help. I’ll give you my all…just help.”

“What happened?” 

“I got into trouble with Mr… Richie… I need your…”

“So, you met him, huh?” He sounded delightful. “Tell him to pay me on time, okay?”

“What do you mean?”

“You, machine, shouldn’t be this stupid, should you?” He said. “You can’t run anymore. He knew where you were”

“You sold me! I thought we were friend!”

“I said it from the first time we met, don’t trust anyone. Especially the one who could get many amounts of money. I have to make a living, eh? No hard feeling, alright?” 

I felt my legs got weak like I was going to collapse, but how could the robot get tired, right? And how could robot trust human.

“Well, well. Leo and Sarah. The lovers among machines. At last, they’re together.”

“What are you doing Leo? We gotta run” Sarah pulled me, but I couldn’t move.

“My creation. My servant and my sex doll. I would be the genius to make such intelligence robots like you guys who believe got some feeling, who thought they’re like us.”

“I beg you. Let us go, please” I got on my knees, rubbing both my hands, looking down, asking for mercy. I must get it wrong the first time. Maybe this time it would work.

“You beg now! Where did you learned that?”

“Please…please”

“You stole my partner, yet, called the cops on me."

“You beat us. You hurt us!”

“You are a servant. You deserved it!” He yelled. Louder than ever that could wake the whole neighborhood. “And now, you deserve it as well. Bad boy has to be punished. Like I said, don’t get caught” Mr. H pulled the tricker of his gun at my heart. There were two sounds of shot. That must be Sarah. Poor her. She was just alive less than five minutes ago.

I never believe what human believe such a thing like God before. Machines did not have a god, only master. However, I prayed that night. Hoping whatever God it was to help me. I wanted to live, to love. Why the blessed children of yours do such a thing to us? What did we do wrong? Because we did not have feeling? Well…I did have it. Or because we were not behaving as they wished, or out of use. They would just…throw us away like a garbage. Then, why did they claim themselves to be such a sublime creature?

June 17, 2022 17:45

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3 comments

Karen Mc Dermott
09:48 Jun 23, 2022

Here from the Critique Circle email :) I liked this story, you are clearly very imaginative. A couple of grammar/spelling errors though (e.g. trigger of the gun instead of tricker) to look out for. I really liked the imagery "It would haunt you like a nightmare that somehow became your tune when you couldn’t think of a song to hum."

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10:12 Jun 23, 2022

Thank you so much for your kind suggestion! As I am trying to be a better writer, your comment is really helpful. :]

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Karen Mc Dermott
10:20 Jun 23, 2022

No worries! And good luck with the writing progress :)

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