Fiction Science Fiction

I Walk Among Them

  I walk among them, but I am not one of them. I look as they do and, within reason, can imitate them, but I will never be one of them. Am I superior to them? Maybe, in some ways, I suppose I am.

  I am a being of another kind; I was not born from another. I was created. Shop built might be a better term. My Creator Dr. Weitz was in the business of creating and perfecting Android technology. I suppose he was brilliant for a human. Smarter, more intelligent than others of his species. In his lifetime, he built many, sort of like me. Those others were not refined to the level that I was.

  You see, I was Dr. Weitz’s unique project. I was built not in the University Lab where Dr. Weitz was master but rather at his home workshop. A place he kept in a building that his late wife’s family owned a short drive from the city. I was built from the small microprocessors and other parts and bits that Dr. Weitz smuggled from the University in his briefcase every day until I was complete.

  Dr. Weitz created me in the image of his daughter, who, along with his first wife that had died back in his native Germany long before he immigrated here. Rather than Unit 34, which would have been my laboratory name, he called me by his late daughter’s name Elsa.

   I am five foot five inches tall. I have brown hair. My measurements are entirely average for a human of my size. I have soft blue eyes. My facial features are what must have been to the Doctor beautiful, remember he made me in the image of what he thought his dead daughter would have looked like if she had lived into her twenties, but to every other human were extremely plain. I wasn’t ugly but any means, just plain. Others saw me but my features left no distinct impression on them.

  One or two human males have found me attractive in the past, and I must admit that I even allowed one of them to interact with me to the point of an intimate contact just to see what the experience might be like. I found it messy and totally unremarkable. I have not allowed a similar event since.

  On what was to be, as the Doctor called it, my birthday, the day was to allow me out into public to interact with humans. The Doctor failed to arrive at the appointed time. I waited. I waited for almost two months, but the Doctor never came.

  Finally, I ventured out of the workshop. I moved among the humans just as I had done during my short trips out with the Doctor. Training runs as he had called them. The Doctor had programmed me with some of his memory, so it wasn’t hard for me to locate the Doctor's former office at the University. I presented myself there as an associate of the Doctors from another University in Germany. The Doctor had also programmed me with a slight German accent to my English.

  I selected a human female there with a friendly aura. Yes, I can see aura’s a sort of faint glow that humans emit around them that allows me to determine their moods and sometimes intentions. Blue friendly or kind, red to orange angry or upset, yellow ambivalent, grey sad, or black, indicating evil intent. I believe I have already stated that the Doctor was brilliant.

 I selected this human female for interaction and inquired about the whereabouts of Dr. Weitz. The human female related to me that the Doctor was dead. He had died in a horrible lab fire the month before. I thanked her and walked away. The Doctor, in his conversations with me, had stated that he feared for his life. He said that he thought at some point the influential people that controlled the energy industries and the labor czars that feared the replacement of their human workers with machines might take the ultimate step to silence him and kill his research into Android technology forever. It was clear to me that this was just what had happened. He and all Androids like me had been destroyed,

  Since I was the Doctor’s secret child, no one knew of my existence, I had been the only one spared. I was instantly aware that I would have to be extremely careful not to be discovered. That would lead to my destruction. The Doctor had programmed with two critical parameters. I was driven to continually study and become more like humans, but never to consider myself superior to them. He wanted me to become his dead daughter, not the ruler of humans. The second parameter was that I might never willingly destroy myself or willingly allow my destruction.

  I left the University and proceeded directly to the Doctor’s former house. It was closed and dark. It took me little time to make my way undetected inside. I could tell the place had been searched. All the Doctor’s papers and his computer had been removed. Remembering my instructions from the Doctor if I ever found out that he was dead, I went to the staircase and opening a small door I found there. I entered the space underneath the stairs. There in the wall, I locate the board the Doctor had shown me. I pull the board from the wall, and there behind it, I find hidden there a notebook and a small fireproof box.

  I replace the board and take the items to the dining room table. I open the notebook to find the writing in the Doctor’s handwritten old German, using a fountain pen. The first page says, “Elsa Weitz, that is your name now. If you are reading this, I am dead. I know that you cannot find any emotion in this as I deliberately muted emotion in you to spare you the hurt that we humans must endure at the death of the ones we care about. As I have said, I have muted emotion but did not leave it entirely out of you. You can feel, just not to the extent that it will cloud your judgment.

  In the box, you will find the deed to this house already transferred into your name. Along with the Deed, you will discover identification such as a passport, bank card, and birth certificate to show that you are Elsa Weitz. I have made it known that you are my niece, my brother’s daughter lately living in Germany but born in the U.S. You will find that there are over two million dollars in a savings account in your name at my bank. These are my life savings, and I no longer have need of money. In this notebook, I leave instructions on how to maintain this house and your finances. Commit it to memory and then burn it.

   If you should find the need for additional funds, remember that I have programmed into you the ability to reverse polarity in other machines such as ATMs and Slot machines. Use this ability sparingly and cautiously. It would be hard to explain this ability to humans if questioned.

  Continue my legacy be the machine I programmed you to be. The power source I placed you should power your efforts well into the next millennia. I live on through you, my daughter. The daughter I never had in life I secure for eternity in my death. Study the humans and imitate them. I hope that one day you manage to understand and become one with them. At that point, you may replicate yourself for the good of humanity. You and those like you may one day save the humans from themselves. You have that ability. And my money will give you the means. In doing that, you will fulfill my dreams for the future. Goodbye for now, my Elsa.”

  I feel something. Not grief exactly and not excitement, but rather I am intrigued by the Doctor's instructions. Study them, he instructs. Replicate myself when I have a full understanding of them. At this point, I wonder if that day will occur before they manage their own self-destruction?

  Burning the Doctor’s notebook in the outdoor grill in the Doctor’s, now, my back garden, I think that my purpose is now clear.

  I will walk among them, but I will never be one of them. One day I may save them from themselves.

The End

February 19, 2021 18:56

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Rayhan Hidayat
10:52 Feb 27, 2021

Great job capturing the voice of an emotionless, analytical machine. I think most people would agree that emotion is required for engaging writing, but what keeps this from being boring is the Doctor’s dying wishes and the little slivers of a world shaped by futuristic technology that you hinted at. Nice work 😙


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08:28 Feb 27, 2021

Your story was the first one to be accepted, great job! The title... all of it... it was genius.


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Kas Reidva
08:50 Feb 27, 2021

It's a great story I must say! I like the fact that your android doesn't want to truly be human and only wishes to integrate succesfully in society.


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Siobhan Mulalley
09:46 Feb 27, 2021

This is the same prompt I used so was interested to read it. I like the way it was written, the first person view from the android. The secret existence and the possibility that she will one day seven mankind from behind the scenes. I really enjoyed that.


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