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Science Fiction LGBTQ+

CLINK. Clink clink clinkclinkclick.

My brief life flashes before my eyes as the bolt rolls across the floor. The chunk of skin-like material that is intended to look like my ear is in my hand.  Everything is moving in slow motion.  The dance music coming from the hidden speakers around the room suddenly sounds screechy and threatening. 

Why did I come here? 

Father told me not to. “You’re not ready, Mina.” Or “Just wait a little longer, Mina.” Whenever I asked. “There are too many people out there, Mina.  A crowd could turn in an instant.” He had warned. 

But did I listen? 

The metallic bolt spins and spins across the black tile floor, closer and closer to Samu’s shoe.  She turned away, dancing to the music, and hasn’t noticed my malfunction yet. 

At least now I know the answer to one of my many questions:  It appears that I can experience human fear.  

The first time I met Samu was the best moment of my life.  I remember the mischievous look on her face as she closed my bedroom window, ducking beneath the flower-patterned sill. She had managed to outsmart one of the patrol robots on the street intended to enforce curfew, launching off one onto my window’s ledge.  She had no idea of what I was.  

Samu is the first other human that I remember interacting with, aside from Father. But she is his exact antithesis.  Father would never purposely deface a building, which was Samu’s reason for being out so late that night.  She was “tagging” a street corner with a can of green spray-paint.  Father never made art, at least that I had seen. Unless machines count. 

After our first encounter, Samu went out of her way to escape to my house again.  I was unable to distinguish at first if she was just using me and my room for a hiding place; Humans can be tricky and selfish, I have heard. 

But on her fifth visit to my room, she brought me a purple flower.  “I thought it matched your room.” She had smiled, waving her hand around my violet flower-themed room before tucking the stem gently behind my ear and smoothing out my hair. 

I never told Father about my human friend.  I realize now there are many things I never said.  That I may never get a chance to say. 

“Humans are scared of what they don’t understand.” Isn’t that what he had told me? “And humans don’t understand Androids having consciousness. Please, promise me you won’t try to go outside just yet, Mina. There are a few adjustments I have to make.”

I should never have made that promise. 

On her twenty-fifth visit, Samu asked if I would like to go to a Space-themed dance club with her.  “It’ll be fun, Mimi! The music will match your tastes perfectly!” She had chirped. “How do you know you won’t like it out there if you don’t ever try to go?” 

Why not? I had questioned myself, considering what leaving the house without Father’s permission would mean. He’d never have to know. Maybe if he found out he’d even be proud of me for researching human behaviour. So I said yes. 

There’s an answer to another of my frequently asked questions: I do appear to malfunction as often as humans do. 

Samu’s foot comes down hard on the bolt.  She stops dancing and looks down, trying to find what she had stepped on. Her head swivels, locking onto the silver bolt.

This fear.  My circuitry is firing at full power, threatening to fry my whole system.  Do you humans feel this way often? How do you people deal with that?

I realize this must be the end.  Samu has my bolt in her hand. Any moment she’ll turn around and see the metal patch revealed when my ear fell off. She’ll realize what I am and alert the rest of the club.  The people that I danced with moments earlier will send me to the scrap-yard with all the other androids. 

Why did I come here?  I don’t usually make such brash decisions.  I calculate and formulate until I reach a logical action to complete. 

No, I remember. 

What is life? I was contemplating this when Samu had asked me to accompany her to the club.  Why do I need to stay trapped in my room when Father can leave the house whenever he wants to?  What do I get out of staying in the house my whole life?

Safety, I suppose. 

How do you people deal with it? You’re all blobs of bone and meat, floating on a mud ball in the middle of inky blackness. You might choose to play it safe all your life, but then you might end up dying before you ever truly lived. You don’t even know if there’s anything else out there. You comfort yourself with thoughts of a creator you can’t even see, trying to come up with reasons for all of this. Why are you here? What is your purpose? 

I guess I’m lucky in this aspect. I’ve met my creator personally, talked to him, fed him chicken-noodle soup. But even Father doesn’t have the answer to all of my questions. 

Maybe I should have played it safe. 

Samu lets her gaze drift around the room, trying to locate the owner of the metal piece. 

Her gaze locks with mine. 

Her eyes drift to the ear in my hand. Then to the exposed metal spot on my head where the bolt connects.  

Samu’s eyes widen with realization. 

Click click.  My only friend shifts, her dancing shoes tapping on the tiles.  She begins stalking towards me, cautiously.

And all I can do is stand there, frozen, my circuits frizzing.  It’s all over. I’m sorry Father. I didn’t keep my promise.  

It's all over. Just when I thought I had made a friend.

Click click click.

I close my eyes, wrapping myself in the music for one last time.  I want the last thing I see of Samu to be her face in child-like mischief, like when she first climbed in my window. I want to remember her in that way, smiling, unafraid.

Click click.  

What will death feel like? Will they tear me apart themselves? Or send me to prison? Can I die?

Click.

At least I lived once before I had to find out.

The clicking stops. I flinch, anticipating the roar of the angry mob, the searing pain of my metal being ripped off my body one piece at a time. Fire destroying a field of lavenders.

After a moment, Samu still hasn’t said anything. I open an eye, cautiously. 

What is her expression?

She lifts the hunk of flesh-like material from my hand, piecing it to the bolt from the floor with practiced hands. She then smirks before reattaching it gently back onto the spot on the side of my head, and smoothing out my hair. 

It takes me a moment to move again. “You… why…?” I stutter, trying to form the words I need to express this hurricane of thoughts. 

Samu leans in close, her mouth almost brushing my ear. “I thought you matched me. I think I was right.” 

“You… I…”

She places a kiss on my cheek before grabbing my hand and pulling me out to the dance floor. 

Yet another answer I was seeking: I can indeed experience human love. 

The spot where Samu’s lips touched my cheek is tingling. 

How do you people deal with this?

February 26, 2021 03:03

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1 comment

Jaden Garcia
03:46 Feb 27, 2021

To Kabraki, who read it first, and informed me (through excited squealing) that it wasn't as bad as I thought.

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