Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sentience Part 3

Here's part 3 of Sentience.  It's a bit short, but this part is where the story begins to pick up.  Enjoy!


His tablet was starting to lose power, and he'd read most of the interesting articles by now anyway.  With a sigh, he slipped it into his pack and stared at his shoes, glancing up every few seconds to watch the passersby.  He pretended to search his pockets when he glanced up.  A figure in simple clothing walked down the street, not slowly, not quickly.  Her red-brown hair was covered by a hat.  As he watched, it became evident that her clothing was a uniform of some sort, probably for one of the shops nearby.  He did not look away. 

Frederick found himself looking into the eyes that were neither gray nor blue, just for an instant.  Her-its- eyebrows rose, it looked away, and Frederick dropped his gaze.  It was walking more quickly now.  He kept watching.  The machine was thinking.  Learning.  It knew, and it turned into the entrance of a department store.  The automatic doors slid open, and Marie the machine was gone. 

He stood.  He had to follow her; no question, and now if he was to ever catch her.  He stood, walking quickly to the department store and in.  Marie was disappearing up the glass elevator.  It was facing away from the door, but he followed up the antiquated staircase that stood in the middle of the store, running.  The robot stopped at the third floor and got off, walking toward some tall clothing racks.  Frederick kept after it, and it directed a quick glance behind, and he knew he'd been seen. 

"Excuse me!"  He called to her-it- as she sped up.  "Ma'am...excuse me!"  He caught up to it, grabbing the upper arm. 

The reaction was fast.  It spun around and slapped him across his face.

"Leave me alone, creeper."  The android pulled away and kept going, seeming panicked. 

Frederick was only shocked for a second.  He collected himself and fished in his pocket for the strong magnets he'd brought.  This would disable it for sometime, if not fry something.  He hurled them, connecting solidly with the back of the torso area, the cranium, and the neck.

"Ow!"  Marie spun around, then came closer.  "Look, I have no idea why you're throwing junk at me, but leave me alone or I'll find out who you are and call the police.  Just...go away, freak."

It stalked to the stairs and ran down them, going out the door.  Frederick watched as she turned neither right nor left.  Other customers were watching.  Silently, he collected the magnets.  For today, he'd lost Marie the robot, and he'd have to go back to his apartment for more ideas.  Fear raced up his spine.

This job he knew had to be done. 

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