Science Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

tw: reference to murder


// .doReplay (signal 'voice line'); speech.to.synthesize

. . at the tone, please recite the relative acronym of the android you are trying to access. 

'CAS' - . . is this the android you are looking for?

-> Welcome to CAS. 

. . warning: certain subscripts are missing. this may alter the playback of the disc.


"We are the future. So for that, everyone [REDACTED] everything will walk behind us blindly." 

The look on Mr. Reilly's face displayed a sort of twinge to it. His eyebrows arched and furrowed, with his mouth curled downward, contorting his face into a vitriolic wrench. Majority of the employees gazed at the director, wholly deadpanned over his oration towards the arrays of desks. The androids churned, air vents whirring, inner circuits behind their matte eyes retaining and filing his every word. Those of the different species, the species Mr. Reilly shared, looked down and fidgeted with their fingers for a few precious seconds before looking back at the director, hoping he didn't see their actions. Except for one employee, hidden in the pond of gray uniforms. She turned her head away, dodging eye contact with each waking organism in her vicinity for the entire event.

CAS stood directly next to Mr. Reilly, his figure relaxed, eyeing the laborers in front. The robot absorbs each motion from the assembly by his recognition feature: pinpointing and linking body language to files on emotion. His first target today was the inattentive employee. CAS always started by banding each trait into a line.

{input} ; fingers, tangle, pinch

{input} ; bite, lips, bleeding

{input} ; elbows, hug

// {'output'} = NERVOUSNESS 

. . synonyms: anxiety

The android looked away. 

"CAS?" Mr. Reilly signaled. CAS hummed and shifted his stance towards the director. The turn was simple since the left foot had to swing to the front of the right foot, a new update on his reaction speed. Rather than stepping up before turning, CAS could now shift his feet in his current place, an idea proposed by a devoted employee who had been observing up in the front of the group. 

The android tilted his head at Mr. Reilly, indicating that he was waiting. New lines of code started to be written within his interface, directly after the ones expecting a command. A blinking dot was after each code, lingering for an order. 

"CAS, I give you [REDACTED] to launch the A-7 plan."

CAS arched his head in a bow. In those milliseconds, he sifted through the details of the plan. Terminate, architectonic, detriment . .

The code completes. The robot launched the plan, and each robot in that room caught the notice. 

CAS raised his head back to its original position and swung his left foot back next to his right. His computerized irises glazed over the direction of the listeners. "The A-7 plan [REDACTED] been launched," he recited.

Mr. Reilly began to clap, triggering CAS to lift his hands and lightly applaud, not too hard to damage his indicators. It was ill to see since no one else decided to clap along until the other AI had joined. No matter how lightly the androids were clapping, it was beating alloy on alloy. It's a shrill orchestra of mindless followers.

"Everyone return to your desks, get to work," the director finished. He turned his heel and stepped into his office. 

The human employees timidly bowed behind the director just before trudging to their desks, while the androids took the extra time to step up, turn around, and locate their areas. CAS walked with stability yet in a hasty fashion to the front of the workroom. A more extensive desk and chair were there. CAS could practice his sitting ability, an idea also proposed by the devoted employee, who had a table closest to the robot. On her uniform, embroidered on the sleeve and a nameplate attached to her chest was the name Terra. 


// .doReplay (signal 'voice line'); speech.to.synthesize

. . video footage 34 accessed. 

CAS stared down onto the top of Terra's cap-covered head, the accessory matching the grey on her uniform. She knelt to his feet, leveled on thick textbooks. The android was balanced by two employees, each holding him up with a hand on his back.

"He should be fine right now. Try [REDACTED] see if he balances." Terra stood up and circled the android, the other employees letting go. They kept their hands in the air, just in case he were to tip over. Terra stopped a few feet in front of CAS, anticipating a fall. 

"CAS, come over here," she commanded, gesturing.

CAS tipped his head in Terra's direction. 

{input} ; hand swaying, gesture {?}

{input} ; terra

{input} ; "come over here"

-> {input} 'here', distance: four feet

// {'output'} = MOVE FORWARD

The robot buzzed, extending a metal leg. It was stagnant motion, like a vase pitching over; he couldn't freely bend the wires of his leg just yet. The employees behind him nearly grabbed his arms, but he didn't need their support. He lurched ahead, off the textbooks, and continually marched until Terra extended her hand to stop. CAS' torso lightly pressed against the palm of her hand. The trio broke into applause. Terra pumped the air with her fist, a frequent signing to CAS. The employees looked at each other triumphantly, grins splitting their faces. 

{input} ; smile

{input} ; nods, clap

// {'output'} = ME {?}

The creator stepped back, leaving just enough space for the android's head to be inches away from her in his nod.


A break in his path cuts him off. CAS nearly plummets to the floor. But a swift movement of his hands and he’s then clung to the desk next to him, catching himself before meeting the floor. That clatter of metal split through the shuffling of papers and the occasional mechanical beeps. Everyone veers their heads, including the androids.

It takes a moment for CAS to regenerate composure. The end of the code line started blinking before restoring a new ruling, allowing him to stand up. He scans the ground for the object that stopped him, which, according to his database, was a foot. He traced his vision to the owner.

{input} ; still, no motion

{input} ; eyes, lips shaking

CAS jerked. The lines started over. 

{input} ; still, lack motion

{input} ; big eyes, lips quiver

// {'output'} = SHOCK 

. . synonyms: surprise, upset

The robot tilted his head and then analyzed the nameplate. Wesley. Before another executed reaction, Mr. Reilly darts out of his office. Terra comes from out behind CAS.

"What are you doing?!" the director yanked Wesley's shoulder, who yelped in pain in response. "This is priceless tech we're talking [REDACTED] Why aren't you careful?" The employee's eyes glazed like a donut, tears threatening to exit. CAS enthralls into the body language, codes firing away into comparisons within his database to old shows, movies, interviews, etc. He then turned to Terra, who hastily checked over his external hardware, worry scrunching her face.

"Terra!" Mr. Reilly shouted out. The android swerved his head. Terra strode forward. Wesley squirmed violently under the director's grasp, cut-offs in his breathing. "Is [REDACTED] alright?" CAS twitched in confusion at his name repeated, crossing out the code currently written and starting over.

Terra bitterly glared at Wesley. "CAS' reaction speed is slackening. Look." She lifted two fingers at the android's sensors, repeating his name. CAS flinched once more before identifying her fingers and face behind them. His eyes drifted to the human employees scrutinizing the scene while the other androids continued their work. One employee made eye contact with him before shuddering and looking off, startled. CAS footed backward like a shy and skittish child. His eyes reverted to the terrified man, whose tears slipped down his chin and onto the director's clutch on his collar. 

{input} ; water, eye

{input} ; no breath

”Wes-ley. Wesleyyy!” CAS formulated, his sensors feeling around the air for Wesley’s head. A sharp beep flagged that he did, and soon, CAS slanted his head. Exactly in his line of vision were the eyes of the scared man. “It’s alright. Don’t be so -” The robot linked chains of files from his database, shuffling through each of his findings before landing on one. “Don’t be so sad, Wesley. That was just an a-accident.”

Mr. Reilly's face tensed, following the lax grip on Wesley, who gasped and began leaning away from the trio towering above him.

Terra narrowed her eyes at the android, an acrid visage coating her face. The director, still as a brick wall, delivered his order. “Both of you, take Wes [REDACTED]."

Terra waited for CAS to finish processing the command. It didn't take too long.

CAS thrust a grip at Wesley's arm, swinging him out of his chair. Wesley screamed and thrashed the floor with his feet as CAS dragged him down the hallway, Terra close behind. Wesley's echoes left as a warning for the others and as a reminder for the androids to follow suit. 

Terra chased after the android and ex-employee, but the android only kept going faster, each stomp reducing his chance of retaining a new command. Fully immersed in this ruling.

CAS hurled the employee onto the pavement, head first. Wesley clamored, shuffling to the back of the wall, next to the dumpster of old computer parts and wires. Terra took the lead, CAS heeding her orders. 

"Don't you know how fucking dangerous that is? [REDACTED] reputation of this company, breaking CAS?" Terra said, pacing towards the cowering human, curled up into a ball in an attempt for defense. His face was stained with salt water, more leaking out of his eyes. 

Wesley and the robot made eye contact. The robot was droning away, molding a new emotion into his database, remorse. 

Terra continued. "You don't know how much work I put in, just for him to be at least partially successful. Simple mistake, sure, but it could've easily been [REDACTED]." She was now towering over Wesley, hand reaching into her back pocket. A silver sort of item with a wooden hilt. "You and Angela were always alike."


// .doReplay (signal 'voice line'); speech.to.synthesize

. . video footage 34 accessed. skip to 0:36?

Terra reached for CAS' shoulder. "Stay right [REDACTED], and we'll be back." She and the other workers exited his line of vision, and he stood there, static.

A shorter employee rushed past him. It was too quick for CAS to react, but she shuffled close to him, a box of heavier computerized parts in her arms. Stupidly, clumsily, ignorantly, the girl stumbled into the android, the pack of items tumbling onto his foot. 

CAS jolted sideways, leaning onto the desk. His eyes darted down to the uneasy human on the ground. She jumped to her feet, hurriedly propping him upright and shoving him into balance. "No, no, [REDACTED], fucking hell . ."

{input} ; hurry, fast

{input} ; confusion

{input} ; arch, brows 

{input} ; furrowed?

// {'output'} = FRIGHTENED

. . synonym: scared

CAS eyed her nameplate, rumbling. "Angela, stop. [REDACTED], stop. Go [REDACTED]. Terra will know." CAS pronounced, threats spilling out of him like lava from an active volcano. Angela immediately backed away at his persistence, words compressed to a block in her throat.


. . video footage 34 from 0:57 - 1:26 is unavailable. skip to 1:27?

CAS leaned forward and watched the spectacle from above, just behind the window, the more advanced robot casting the sobbing employee to the wall. He documented every motion between her and the android, even the lines of red that streaked onto the pavement. Her mouth could only be seen opening and closing, the muscles in her neck tightening just before they relax, CAS believing out of comfort. He couldn't replicate it now, but if his creator could code him that way, maybe he'd be as good as the advanced robot? 

The android's reflection lingered in the window. CAS probed at the sight.

{input} ; . . .

He considered himself a beautiful creature. Even, in the reflection of a sort of child he was; ignorant, curious, naïve - CAS could be structured for greater things.

He had the ability to grow. Like a seed, he would only grow as far as he could, in the vast garden he was given.


. . video footage 34 from 1:36 - 1:56 is unavailable. skip to 2:10?

The advanced robot made its entrance. All those in the room quieted down and looked elsewhere, visibly apprehensive. The pulsing buzz of androids dispersing across the workroom kept everyone from losing it. 

The robot was named Reese. It even had a nameplate.

CAS stepped away from the window and redirected himself towards Reese. Reese wasn't just out of any metal. CAS concluded the metal served as a pattern. CAS identified the red splotches as something like tie-dye, which was the first thing that came up in his database when he analyzed the colorful appearance of the robot. 

{input} ; red, bright

{input} ; drip

{input} ; circles 

// {'output'} = TIE-DYE

"Hey, CAS," Reese said warily, eyebags weighing down his face. He made sure to keep a safe distance away from the android, pacing back a few.

CAS bowed his head in response. "Thank you, Reese. You saved my life." It was a phrase that CAS learned from the human workers, which he saved in his file called 'GRATEFUL.'

"S-Sure, anytime." Reese sped off, random nonsense exiting his lips. CAS droned off in a frenzy, attempting to piece why there was a faint emotion radiating off of this robot.


"CAS. Stand back." Subconsciously, the android had crept closer.

Terra glared at her creation. “Stand back, CAS. Now.”

“Why don’t you get . .” CAS whirred for a moment, filtering through his memory hard drive. “Why don’t you get Reese to do it? Reese is more - advanced.”

“Stand back, CAS. That’s an order.”

CAS retracted, positioned and set his right leg. He did the same with the other.

There was no need for a window to be part of the audience. This time, CAS was a witness directly behind his inventor. He watched Wesley fumble, scream, quiver, all bundled in an odd expression. It took a moment for it to soften to . .

{input} ; cry

{input} ; losing cry

{input} ; furrowed brows

{input} ; no furrowed brows

CAS lurched. 

{input} ; tired

{input} ; melt, face 

. . unable to file {MELT}. place file into relief?

Wesley's taut muscles loosened, his legs stretching outwards inch by inch. His tears were dissolving, nearly gone. The second the robot's creator raised the object above her head, CAS looked away. An unsolicited box popped into his interface.

//; [SHAME] . . two files. updated last: 12 seconds ago. 

June 10, 2022 21:33

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Alex Sultan
17:00 Jun 15, 2022

Hi friend - I think this story was really unique. One of the most unqiue I've read on here, and everytime you went into the {input} // {'output'} I thought it was so well done. All the coding and the single lines for the video footage was captivating. It made it all flow well. My favourite part in specific was CAS coding out fear with the '// {'output'} = FRIGHTENED' A lot of the word choice was great, too. Keeping the sci-fi theme was well done. And simple lines 'air vents whirring' and 'like a vase pitching over' stood out to me. For fe...


Dorsa S.
17:45 Jun 16, 2022

thank you so much for your feedback, i’m glad you enjoyed reading! this was my first attempt at sci-fi, so i’m happy that i stayed within the theme. i do understand your point on the amount of named characters in one scene, once i have more time i’ll polish that up. i did adjust the final line a bit, though. thanks again. :)


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Dorsa S.
21:34 Jun 10, 2022

this is what i imagine the code lines for a visual perceptive ai to be like, this is definitely not accurate to the real thing. in fact, it's basically random nonsense. open to any criticism. :)


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