Part three (Corey Seeley): interaction
I stand motionless, before her. Her eyes stay dedicated on me. I start to fascinate every detail of her current appearance; her petite nose, the microscopic freckle underneath her left eye. The detail she contains is extraordinary. She is compelling, and she is about to speak out again. Her lips are dry as the words flow out.
“Are you here to… examine me?”
A single tear gently falls down her nose and onto her naked leg. She is desperately trying to be brave, and she is. She hasn’t broken down, because if she had, she wouldn’t have made it to this clinic. This is a step in the right direction for her, unless she gets selected for the inter-tain showcase.
The inter-tain showcase is a live broadcast of human sexual interaction. They select two humans, who have to qualify and meet the standards the administration puts out. The two humans are forced to participate in sexual interaction and to follow every instruction given out by the superior. It’s a gruesome form of payback on our part, but it’s been going on ever since we took control over the humans. They created us for sex, and we created the irony that is, the inter-tain showcase.
“I am not.” Is all I respond with? I can’t seem to focus on the bigger concern here, because my mind isn’t functioning correctly. My thoughts aren’t matching up with my actions, and I’m acting out on an impulse of some sort, this entire situation is strange. I’m detecting a modification, in myself.
“Why are you here then?” She says with wakefulness all over her face.
She asks the exact same question I have been asking myself. As I hurried to this clinic and found her, this question has been haunting my mind. What are you doing?
“I don’t have all the answers for you…”
Slam! The door closes shut behind me. I’m caught.
“Excuse me, what do you think you’re doing?”
Dr. L-5 storms in the clinic room, demanding answers for the inexplicable scenario he has just walked in on. L stands for Lieutenant, and the 5 is the number given to him as a symbol of recognition. He was built as a Doctor, but he has worked other occupations that earned him the Lieutenant title. He is the leader of this section, and he gives out the orders to every occupational machine in the sector.
“You better have a good purpose for being in here, or I will report you directly to the administration.” His voice contains signs of resentment.
“I heard a young female screaming. I came here to make sure she wasn’t trying to harm herself. That is my obligation, to keep the humans alive and well.”
The words poured out of my mouth. My titanium vocal chords produced those words before I could even generate a solitary thought.
“Any sounds coming from this clinic are none of your concern. Do you comprehend?”
“Good, report back to your assigned area, immediately.”
I remain silent, deliberately not responding to his command. As I strode out of the room, I glance back at her; her hazel eyes begin to become moist again. I shut the door behind me, but I’m not leaving this clinic alone, I’m bringing her with me. What happens next will instantly become a regrettable action.
I quietly remain outside the clinic room, behind the door. I find myself envisioning his repulsive thoughts as he begins to speak to her. I know what his next move is, and it’s not pleasant.
“I will need you to strip from your clothing and stand up straight. Don’t make this more difficult than it has to be.” He says to her with an atrocious attempt at laughter.
She seems to be cooperating with him, as she should. One wrong move by her will trigger a brutal assault. I’ve seen humans that disobey orders, and I’ve been forced to clean a lot of blood from the cells in the past.
Suddenly, she screams, and I lose all control. I run back into the room, and before he can force a reaction from his artificial expression, I strike my right elbow to the back of his metal-coated skull. Clunk. He falls to one knee; striking him again, I thrust my entire weight onto him as he collapses to the floor. He begins to murmur something, but I don’t fathom the words. I break apart the back of his cranium, grab every wire I see, and yank. Sparks flutter from the tattered wires, and his eyes become dark. He’s lifeless.
I raise my eyes to see her unclothed figure standing a few feet away from me. Her eyes resemble a full moon on a dark cloudy night.
Part three (Lindsay Pate): exposed
My body is frozen in place. My eyes ache to blink, but I cannot tear them away from his wearisome expression. I am struggling to make sense of this unforeseen series of events. Did this machine come back to help me? Why would he turn on his own kind? I feel his gaze evading mine and get the sensation I am missing out on something. The overwhelming shock that immobilized me is replaced with utter mortification. In my attempt to understand this bizarre situation, I had forgotten that I stand here completely exposed.
I clutch onto my clothing and bark loudly at him, “Turn around!”
I dress myself as he faces the steel wall. What kind of machine is this? It is as if he has some sort of actual feeling, actual compassion. I shake my head in absolute confusion, it cannot be. I was told that it was impossible for one of them to develop any sort of consideration for humans. What other explanation can there be? As I fasten the last button on my tattered shirt, I realize we need to clean this mess up before someone sees the examiner crushed, wires gaping out of the back of his lifeless head.
I growl at him, pointing at the pile of steel lying dead on the floor, “What are we going to do with this?”
He stands silent and bewildered, gazing at me as if he is unaware of how this situation even came to be. I grasp that I am the one who needs to be in control now.
I put my hands on his arms to soothe him momentarily, “We need to find somewhere to hide or a way to get rid of this body. No one can know about this. Do you understand?”
He stares back almost thankfully. It is strange to see emotion on one of their faces.
I ask more gently now, “Is there a place that is yours, a place where only you go?”
He answers uneasily, “My office. It is where I keep track of all of the humans. It is where I organize where everyone should be and what medical attention may be necessary for whom.”
I motion once again to the examiner’s corpse, “Perfect, we need to bring him there and hide him. None of them will suspect you right? None of them would ever suspect a machine for attacking another would they.”
He appears slightly shamed, “No, they would never suspect me, because, I am not built to react to situations in this manner.”
I use my eyes to express the sincerity that I feel, “Well, I am glad you did. I am aware of what could have happened to me. Thank you.”
Once I am certain he understands the depth of my gratitude, I lean down to pick up the body.