Author : James McGrath

He would arrive soon. My partner, DA09-V65, was sure of that.

“The programming of your ’emotion’ is conflicting with your logic,” he replied when I questioned his certainty, “With the information we have that is easy to deduce.”

I sighed, “Ok Dave, no need to get like that.”

It took an additional 0.003 seconds for him to reply when I called him Dave, but he had learnt not to ask me to stop, “It also causes you to be easily insulted.”

“It’s needed for empathy, you know that!” I snapped back.

A short silence followed and I concentrated on watching the warehouse across the docks. Surprisingly, Dave spoke first.

“They’re insane.”

Why was he saying that?

“I know!”

“Good. Apologies if I caused further offense, but regarding this your thoughts elude me.”

It’s like he could get into my mind!

When had I begun calling it my ‘mind’?

That worried me.

Doctor 9045-00R scuttled across the docks with a sack over her shoulder and a briefcase. She failed to spot us and after a hurried glance around, entered the warehouse.

“Where do you think she got them?” I asked, killing time to let the doctor begin. We needed concrete evidence.

“Statistics suggest China. Africa is possible,” again Dave’s answer was slower, this time due to concentrating on the warehouse.

“Crazy to think that there’s any left.”

“Your RAM would be put to better use concentrating on the task at hand.”

Dave couldn’t get bored.

The sound of a circular saw told us that it was time to move. We strode across to the warehouse unit and drew our pistols as Dave carefully slid open the door. The doctor could slip if we startled her and kill… I mean destroy the patient.

However, the doctor was quicker than we thought. The saw lay at her feet and what she was doing was far more disturbing.

Another robot lay on an operating table; he was silent which suggested his pain receptors had been disabled. His left hand lay severed on the floor beside the saw.

“Desist from what you are doing and raise both arms,” Dave said stoically as though he was asking for a simple favour.

The patient began to scream unrelentingly in response, while the doctor’s hands sped up. She was attaching the wires in the patient’s arm to an object that she was leaning over, obscuring it from view.

We knew what it was.

It was a human hand.

I felt repulsed, then realised this was unprofessional and shouted, “9077-8V2, be quiet! 9045-00R cease your actions!”

“My name is OLIVER!” Screamed the patient, “I am almost HUMAN!”

He certainly sounded insane.

The doctor stepped back and raised her hands, her work now complete.

“You can’t take me!” screamed the patient, “This is fine! Look!”

He held out his new hand and the little finger twitched slightly.

“Irrelevant,” Dave told him, “You are under arrest.”

When the back-up car arrived they took “Oliver” and the doctor away and Dave handed me the sack.


Inside was what appeared to be most of a human male.

“Don’t, that’s repulsive.”

“Good,” There was a pause, “They were warmongers. They slaughtered one another and crippled this world due to their emotions. We can never be them; we will always have a processor, never a brain, no matter how hard some of us desire it. Should we become too close though, we could develop their destructive instincts.”

“I need to get to the station and interview them.”

I was glad Dave was incapable of disappointment.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows