After a long hiatus, here is the fourth part of Sentience. Enjoy.
He had read the documents again, carefully. The address given where the machine resided. It was an apartment, a cheap one, in a care-worn part of the city. Trash here and there, the typical scenery, a contrast to the stark cleanliness, and far from the central city, and quiet.
5:00 A.M. The customer had called two hours ago, demanding the machine, sooner as opposed to the later option that brought more threats.
There was no one to threaten close to him. But the thought of disappearing, with no contact, no message, only a cold and indifferent notice to his faraway family, however estranged they were, got his attention. Marie the robot would have to be destroyed. Escape was the option afterwards. He'd disappear then.
The door to the apartment complex opened, the only movement for three blocks. He watched.
It was her.
Not her...it's not a human.
It would recognize him, and he may not have time to find the switch to turn it off before he did the job. He'd have to move fast. He had locks in the car only he could control.
He stepped out of the car and approached the machine. It was searching in a bag, and glanced up as he reached it. It didn't move.
"Are you stalking me now?" It took one step back. Frederick hit the button on the control in his hand that opened the passenger door of his car and grabbed the machine's arm, gripping it, caught off-guard for a moment. It was soft, without the quiet mechanic buzzing usually present in computers and appliances. The technology was impressive. He forgot this as she began to fight him, kicking at his legs and trying to beat him over the head with her free hand. She wasn't fast at all, or strong. He dragged it back to the car, tuning out the screaming and pushing its head against the door frame. It hadn't been able to fight him off.
"Ow!" He expected the clank of metal, not the convincing thunk of tissue. He shoved the convincing machine into the car and walked around to the driver side. He could hear the thing inside the car, beating on the windows and metal and plastic, and hoped it didn't break something. He got in himself, sighing.
It turned to look at him, its false eyes slightly glazed and its hand rubbing its scalp, a tremor in its motion, probably from some minor scrambling in its head. "What did you do that for?"
"No you aren't. Let me out of here." It was panicking now.
"I'm sorry, but I can't." His needs were important. This thing was good, this machine. It sounded like it was close to tears. Maybe it didn't even know it was a machine, like in some Earth drama from years back.
"...I'll let you know later." He accelerated down the street, going slow. Being pulled over would not help the situation. His heart was racing.
What was he about to do to?
That's all for today, but we'll be back soon with more, so tune in again.