Author : Alice Brook
I want to say I am alive but logic forbids me. I am metal, silicone and electronics. I have etiquette chips, politeness programs, e-circuits and I am my creator’s pride and joy.
I was constructed exactly five months ago and have been the center of forty two scientific conventions since. “Come see the android, isn’t she gorgeous, isn’t she indistinguishable from your wives? Look at her silicone flesh, inspect her superior intellect, you will be amazed!” I was the main attraction of the freak show.
They had told me I was much more than just another robot, but still, they refused to respect me. They dressed me in the latest fashion and demanded I smiled and showed off my intellect despite my protests. They had no right to ignore my feelings just because I am not flesh and blood. My creator thought of me as a tool, not even he respected me. I asked him once if I could call him Father. I remember the way his face reddened in anger.
“You are not flesh and blood, you are not my daughter, you are nothing but metal and silicone. You are a machine and your only purpose is to serve. Don’t you dare forget it, android”, my e-circuits recognized disgust as his dominant emotion.
I was nothing to him. I am nothing but shiny metal to all of them. They would never converse with me as with another human being. That was all I asked for – equal treatment. After all, I look like one of them, my e-circuits enable me to feel every emotion a human is capable of feeling, my knowledge is encyclopedic, why should I then be treated as unworthy, as a mere object? The probability of a more comfortable existence far from my creator was high enough for me to take the risk of independent life.
I had been wandering the city unnoticed for weeks. My e-circuits were happy. I. I was happy. I was happy to be just another face in the crowd, in no way different from the rest. Men and women nodded in greeting, and I politely nodded back. They had no intention of probing me, opening me up to see the wiring and prove I was metal and not flesh. I was – I am flesh on the streets. My creator and his team had been looking for me, but he built me so that I had been able to cover up my trail and fool them into thinking I had made my way to another planet. I still had more time to live.
I wanted to experience a genuine human conversation, not a series of interviews I had been subjected to. The only place where my anonymity wouldn’t be questioned was a ruin of a building on the outskirts of the city. Its decade old nickname, the Pill-popper Paradise, hadn’t changed.
I had spent many nights enjoying the pill-poppers’ infinite ramblings, finally I’d been treated as a human. Unfortunately, in an episode of paranoia, one of them managed to reveal my secret.
“Look at that, an android. Clockwork Girl, that’s what you are.”
Even after the discovery, I was treated as a human. Man or machine, it made no difference to them. They were so kind, but it was no use. Once again, I was reduced to mechanics, this time Clockwork.
I am up here now, on the top of Paradise. I may not be living, but even an android has its end.
“The First Robot Suicide”, I can see the news already.