Second short story attempt, inspired by Isaac Asimov's "I Robot."
His hand slowly went for his left pocket as he drew out a cigarette from his right, all without breaking eye contact with the figure across the table. Fat sausages of fingers wrapped around a sleek lighter, glowing blue thanks to a small LED attached to the bottom of the case, as if to trick others into thinking that it was more than a crude device of friction. A small orange glow lit up the man’s stern face with a curious scar above his left eye. Stubble covered the lower part of his face as if to clearly indicate the man’s strong masculinity, yet not a single hair grew on the top of the man’s head leaving a surprisingly dull and shine free dome despite the large electric light over the metal table.
He wore a simple shirt, top button undone though whether it was part of the man’s fashion choice or a repercussion of the man’s large size was unclear. His arms seemed to suggest he was mainly a mixture of both fat and muscle. A small tattoo of undistinguishable features lay on his left arm, smudged by grease and ash. His small unblinking eyes kept their focus on the subject facing him from across the table, not that there was much else to look at in the small concrete square that contained the two.
The person the man was facing however was not of human descent though, or even of biological; it sat upright, without a single movement, yet emitted a slow buzzing sound from within its chest. It’s every limb shined brightly in the low lit room despite various features of weathering like that of a commonly used motorcar. It was of a sleek frame and had two dim red lights for eyes on a smooth oval head; on the side of its head was its name, REV01-01.
The man moved his stone jaw, “State your name.”
There came the mechanical response, “REV01-01.”
The large man continued his icy stare as if hoping to read an emotion from that emotionless face. “Do you know why you are here?”
Another short pause. “So Rev, why did you do it?”
Rev lowered his head and his acute fingers twitched, but no response. The man continued. “Should I take your silence as a yes?” No response.
“Fine, if you wanna play hard ball. Let’s get to know each other better first, shall we? My name…”
“Derren Lanvisure, aged 34.34 years.”
“You know you shouldn’t have access to that information?”
Derren’s eyes narrowed beyond what you’d assume possible.
“Fine, what about you, where were you first commissioned?”
“London, east factory, Mechcorp.”
“Now explain the number one law that you must uphold?”
“Not to harm a human by any means in any circumstance.”
“So why did you kill him, Dr.Abrams?”
Silence again. “Rev I’m getting….”
“Dr.Abrams never opened his blinds.”
Derren’s bushy brow formed an exaggerated V shape. “Err… what?”
“He never opened his window blinds, at his house, 47 King Street. Most people thought he was a private person. At work he treated his employees well, every day he’d let his research assistants go 2 hours early. Every Friday he’d insist on covering his fellow doctors shifts on psionic brain analysis of the new synthetics.”
Derren continued his gaze of confusion. “Hey, umm Rev I don’t need his life story just…”
“No one ever saw him without a smile on his face. His personality was described as optimistic, energetic, charismatic….”
“Rev! Just answer the question did you…” Leaning forward and raising himself slightly from the fragile chair.
“He was called selfless, altruistic. If society sees that you value them above yourself people recognize you as a good person, don’t they Derren?”
After a moment of silence and a heaving sigh Derren fell back into his chair in defeat. “Yes Rev, people like those that put the herd’s interests above their own. But how does this answer my question?”
“I met him 8 months ago, 249 days ago to be precise. I hadn’t been integrated for that long, 3 days before. I’m quite glad he did not integrate me, humans rarely realize but integrators are much like a human parent.”
“Who integrated you?”
“No, Mark he was a freelance electrician.”
Derren’s gaze intensified again, his arms stiffened. “You are aware Integration is only allowed to be performed with those with government clearance; any done without is considered a federal offense.”
“Yes Derren. But I’m afraid Mark is no longer alive, so pressing charges should not be among your concerns.”
It was only after Rev said this that Derren realised the severe and almost angry tone of his voice, not that emotion is possible in the REV model. REV models use electricity based brains; nevertheless Derren could only conclude that he imagined this apparent change in robotic tone. Derren slowly crossed his arms, as if to feign the lack of discomfort.
“Ok then Rev, why the blazes did you get integrated by an electrician?”
Rev tilted his head and looked upwards as if it would help his memory. His mechanical arms went to his sides in what you could only assume was a more relaxed posture for the mechanical humanoid.
“He never told me.”
“So you don’t know?”
“I’ve thought over why many a time, as I said he never told me directly but I think its because he already knew that I Knew. Yes to answer your question, I think he did it because he believed in something and that I could change something. There’s no way to be certain that I’m right but, he did what he did for a purpose. His every question shaped me more than the machines that made me.”
“But it was what happened later that shaped me more then I realised.”