This character at first reminded me a lot of Data from Star Trek. However, I took him in a little bit of a different direction. The challenge I wanted to set for myself was to create a character who evokes an emotional reaction while being incapable of experiencing emotions himself.
Activation date: February 4, 2117
It may seem unusual for one to recall their first moment of consciousness. In fact, I know of no species with such ability to do so. However, I, like the others of my kind, can remember with perfect clarity, the first sensory input my system interpreted. You may doubt me, as you should. I have found that most humanoid life-forms are in the habit of telling falsehoods for various reasons. I assure you that I am not engaging in such activity.
I am an android. I was constructed in a warehouse by the BetterDroid Corporation in the year 2116 and released in 2117. I must apologize to you, reader, as I realize that much of the information I share with you may seem mundane to a feeling-being such as yourself. It is unfortunate that my knowledge of such trivial emotions is limited to an outside observation alone.
Indeed, I have learned that I have a tendency to indulge in the sharing of unnecessary information. As my friend, Datz says, I ramble. Perhaps I should share information I believe to be vital to the telling of my story.
I awoke. My positronic brain first interpreted the image of my master’s features. In more human terms, the first thing I saw was my master’s face.
He was frowning.
I cannot say why he had chosen such a negative expression. In the first moments of activation, I did not possess the ability to ask. My operating systems, memory drive, and sensory input drivers each began to boot themselves according to the chosen preferences of my master. I accessed each instruction and began to assimilate the information required to perform the duties he wished.
The process lasted for precisely 4.8 minutes. During this time I stared forward without blinking. His optical enhancement apparatus glinted in the overhead lights. Again, I must strive to find the more human approach as I tell my story. His glasses glinted in the lights of a chandelier overhead.
My master furrowed his brows, cleared his throat, and adjusted his glasses as he peered back at me. His head tilted to the side. He scratched his chin. “Hmm,” he sounded.
To note, I was not fully developed at this point. My master had not made language a priority. Later he would explain this decision. “Two thousand credits for language. They must think us fools!”
In truth, I cannot argue his logic. The speed at which I am capable of learning and integrating language is one hundred times faster than any human child. I was programmed with a preset list of skills and understood basic commands. Having not chosen to pay the additional cost for language and speech, my master was able to converse with me within six months of my activation.
I seem to have begun rambling again. For that, I apologize once more.
My master made his intriguing sound without the motion of his lips. In response, I mimicked his expression, body language, and sound. “Hmmm,” I sounded. My mechanical movement was admittedly lacking. When I tilted my head, the motion was not fluid. When I leaned forward, my body jerked. My hand struggled to find my chin.
This caused something of an uproar. My master’s wife, who stood just outside of my peripheral vision, began to make the most curious sound. I turned and focused my attention on her. Her lips spread wide with corners turned up, and something akin to a high-pitched hiccup erupted from her throat.
Master had chosen First Aid as one of my preliminary functions but had not selected human interaction. Again, he believed it was an unnecessary waste of currency. With three unfortunate circumstances in place, my programming took charge, and I rushed to rescue the woman whom I believed to be in distress. “Human, do you permit this android unit to perform emergency services?”
The reaction to my query was most puzzling at the time. “It thinks you are choking,” my master said. “This is garbage. I will return it in the morning.”
However, his wife did not agree. I found it curious that she was no longer choking as I previously believed. “You have got to lighten up, Del. It is only doing what it was programmed to do, and if I remember correctly, you were the one who chose its programming.”
My master produced a sound that today reminds me of an annoyed canine. At the time, I deduced that something had lodged in his throat, and he was attempting to remove it. “Fine. What will we call it?”
Master’s wife smiled. “Eam.”
I jerked my head from one to the other in an attempt to follow their discussion.
“Well, you keep referring to it as ‘it.’ I thought perhaps we should make it official.”
Copyright © 2015 by Sophie Giroir