where the writers are
"A Machine Error""

 

At times, the simplest error in judgment for an individual can and will cause a misrepresentation of their existence. Keeping this in mind, observe the misfortune of our character in the following short story.

Emmett was tired, the soles of his feet were callused and his stomach growled incessantly from hunger. The trek across the steep hills and valleys was an arduous exercise in survival. But, he had made it to this little town deep in the transitional forest with just enough energy to seek help and a reprieve.

.

"Hello there!" said the little man with long golden locks.

"And what do they call you?"

"They call me Emmett and I have traveled across those hills and I’m very tired and in need of rest and food. Can you help me?"

"My name is ‘Teefor’ and of course, I’ll be obliged to assist you with whatever you require. And, don’t they call you Emmate?"

"No, my name is pronounced ‘Emmett’ and food and rest would be wonderful. You are very kind Teefor. Thank you."

Teefor led his guest into a small but very clean bungalow with all the walls covered in the most magnificent embroidered satin and silk tapestries he had ever seen. The floor was adorned with incredibly detailed rugs of gold, red and black depicting an ancient language. Scattered to the sides of the rug were images of old and new races, that he assumed, were part of his culture.

"Emmate, you may rest over there on the bed after you eat. Now what is your fancy?"

Emmett ignored the mispronunciation. "What ever is convenient for you to supply me with. Something meaty and filling. That combination would go down nicely right about now. Thank you."

Teefor looked a little perplexed, but all the same made Emmett a stew with bread and a flask of wine.

The next morning, Teefor asked Emmett if would like to visit the facilitiy where he worked three days a week.

"That would be very nice." replied Emmett. "And what do they make at your plant?"

"We recycle old outdated products and melt down the parts for the manufacturing of new and modern working equipment. It’s very interesting. I know you would enjoy it."

"Yes that would be interesting to see. Can we go after breakfast?’ asked Emmett.

"Of coarse" replied Teefor.

A fifteen minute walk down the only street in the village led Emmett to a huge recycling and manufacturing plant. The size, Emmett figured, was on the scale of at least four football fields and was over seven stories in height. Smoke billowed from four huge smoke stacks rising endlessly into the sky. Emmett thought to himself, ‘What in the world would a recycling plant of this size be in the middle of a forest?’

"Come!" voiced Teefor over the din of the plants’ operation. "I’ll introduce you to my foreman and let him explain our operation. If you like, maybe he can get a job for you. That is, if you intend to stay awhile."

The intensity of this cordial stranger started to make question for Emmett as to the purpose of Teefors’ exuberance.

As Teefor and Emmett entered the large front door of the foundry, they were greeted by a man of the same stature as Teefor and identical features.

"No wonder you brought me here." said Emmett. "This must be your twin brother."

"His name is Teetoo." replied Teefor, "And I told him to expect us for a tour this morning. He said he would be very pleased to meet you as it has been a while someone of your kind has travelled this way."

Now this situation was really beginning to be of concern for Emmett. There were too many slight inferences in the way Teefor was talking and this was perplexing.

The foreman finally spoke. "I’m very excited to meet you Emmate. You certainly don’t look any worse for ware. Your parts have served you well."

Before Emmett could respond, an overhead crane appeared out of nowhere and dropped four claws. Two attached themselves to Emmetts’ thighs, while the other two grabbed Emmett under the armpits. Before he could realize what was happening, the crane lifted him off the assembly floor and moved him to a trolley system destined for the recycling smelter. Yelling at the top of his lungs, Emmett now understood what had happened and also recognized his inevitable fate.

Flaying and screaming, Emmett disappeared through a rubber slotted door and beyond the sight of Teefor and Teetoo.

"T-4, I must thank you for bringing me model M-8. That is one of the last old models to be recycled. It has been years since I have seen an android of that calibre. They sure knew how to build them back then."

"Oh, your welcome T-2. It was my pleasure. He never did say his model number correctly and that was confusing to me. I have one question for you. Did that particular model ever require sustanence to survive? The reason I ask, is that model M-8 asked for food and consumed the food I prepared for him? I found that odd!"

"No." responded T-2. "A model that consumed human food was never built. There was never a need for food. Are you sure he actually ate what you prepared or did he somehow discard it somewhere making you think he consumed it?"

"I’m sure he ate it." said T-4. "I witnessed it with my retinal scaners. He ate the food all right."

"Then," said T-2, "He is not an M-8 model. For that matter maybe his name was right. Did you say Emmett? Maybe he wasn't one of us after all. Since the beginning, models produced never required food of any kind. They functioned on internal nuclear energy. He should not have been recycled. Oh my T-4, I think we have made a terrible error. Our makers will be very upset. We have recycled one of their own. He must have been a human. We will now be recycled as punishment."

While walking through the forest, Emmett had unwittingly crossed an invisible barrier set up by the humans to prevent the androids from entering the real world. A mistake that took the first real life form and unfortunately not the last. The world of androids was becoming a liability and fear ran through their circuitry, if fear was the correct word.