Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Part 2 of Sentience...and Some Apologies for It Being A Little Late...

Okay, here's part two.  Enjoy.  Here's Part 1 if you missed it.


Chapter 2:  Job

Frederick sat in his room, waiting for his other computer to start up. In seconds, the lightweight operating system had started running.  Frederick accessed the folders that held the information he needed.  It had been placed there, as promised, remotely, while he was at work.  There was a folder of pictures and a separate folder for text files.  He clicked the text folder.

Robotics.  Android, eliminate.  A robot with female attributes had escaped from the corporation.  It had been an experiment, she was unstable, dangerous even, and on the run now.  He had to find the machine and either bring it to the company or destroy it himself.  There were pictures included.  He needed to find it, by the pictures given.  It had gone by the nickname of Marie, and may be still going by that name somewhere.  She was tricky and elusive it said, able to think and learn.  He opened the folder of photographs.

A woman smiled at him from the screen.  She couldn't have been older than himself.  It was Marie, the android, so lifelike that he may have mistaken her for another human if he didn't know any better.  She was average looking, brownish red hair, eyes that may have been gray or blue, pale skin.  She'd been missing for sometime, most likely hiding in the very city where Frederick was living, where she would blend with the masses, where no one would give her a second glance.

He pulled the phone out of his pocket and stared at it.  He would take the job, maybe, but first...

"Macon.  Wonderful to hear from you so quickly."
"Mmm."  He bit his lip and kept speaking.  "So I am to collect and eliminate this woman?"
"Robot, Macon.  Or android.  This thing is not a human.  I thought that was quite obvious from the information."  The woman's voice sharpened.  "I do hope you are not backing out.  This is one job that we need you to to do, and it would be quite a shame if you refused.  Quite a shame, indeed."
"You threaten me."
"Such accusations, Macon.  Tsk tsk."  Other voices in the background.  "In truth, we really need this particular piece of technology back here, or dismantled and destroyed.  You have either option.  I would say the latter is the best."
"Why is that?"
"To avoid problems that may arise.  Now, do you agree to this job?"
He hesitated.  These people were dangerous, but this job could easily be so as well.  Anything to avoid going back to his home world.  Life was too slow there, too simple, not enough stimulation to keep him from thinking.  Better to collect a piece of property for a company than to go back.  "Yes.  I agree."

"Good luck."  A soft click sounded. 

Frederick stared at the pictures again.  One looked like a formal portrait.  Another was candid, the android leaving a restaurant and dressed rather plainly, flanked by a friend or two.  The machine walking down a sidewalk above the ground, in the city.  He recognized the building behind her.  It was a bank, and she was walking as if it were a routine to pass there.  He'd start there. 

The portrait caught his eye again, the smiling face unflinching.  He swallowed hard and closed the files.


No comments:

Post a Comment