by Abby Gayle
Molly adopts a robotical puppy.
|"Rob!" I shouted. "Rob, come, boy!"
Almost immediately, the small, sleek, silvery puppy dashed over, skidding to a stop just in front of me. The dog wagged his metal tail and sat down.
"Good boy," I praised him, patting his head. "Come on, time for a walk, Robbie."
I clipped a black leash onto the robot dog's red collar. When I tried to walk out the front door, though, Rob stayed put. I tugged as hard as I could, but the little metal pup wouldn't budge. I sighed and unclipped his leash.
"Come on, Rob. Why can't I walk you like people walk normal dogs?"
He barked in response. And he wouldn't stop barking. I was started to wonder if he was broken or something when I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door to a man in a black trenchcoat and sunglasses.
"Hello, Miss, is Mr. Snyder here?" the man asked.
"Not at the moment, may I take a message?" I asked.
He took one look at my puppy, who was still barking, and shook his head, then started walking off. The man turned around for a moment and added, "Tell him Mr. Smith was here." The man continued away from the house, all the way down the street, and I watched until I couldn't see him anymore.
Later, when my dad came home, I told him about the man.
"And he had a big coat and glasses?" my dad asked.
"A trenchcoat and sunglasses," I told my dad again. "And he said his name was Mr. Smith."
My puppy came whining into the room. He looked up at my dinner longingly. I never knew they could program puppy-dog eyes into a robotical dog, but apparently they could.
"No, Robbie, you can't have people food," I said in a babying voice. Instead, I tossed him one of his special robot-dog treats.
"Molly, what is that thing?" my dad asked, gesturing toward the metal puppy.
"He's my dog. His name's Rob."
My dad grabbed my arm and took me to my room, slamming the door before my puppy could come in.
"Molly, that dog is a robot," my dad hissed. "He's programmed to infiltrate our organization. He's not just some innocent little puppy. He is a spy."
"Just because he's a robot?" I snapped. "Is that how it is?"
"No, Molly, of course not. But at work today, we discussed the enemy spies, and one of them we talked about was this kind of . . . dog. Now, I don't expect you to turn him off for good or anything, but I do expect you to get rid of him by tomorrow."
"Tomorrow? It's not like he's some . . . inanimate object. He has feelings, too, you know."
"No, he doesn't. He's a robot. He has simulated emotions, but they're not real. Because he's just a machine," my dad burst out.
Tears formed in my eyes. "A machine? That's all?"
"No, Molly, I didn't mean it like that," my dad said. He reached out to me, maybe to apologise, but I turned away.
"Robbie and I are going on a walk," I announced as I walked off. "Don't expect us back soon."
This time, when I clipped his leash on, Rob seemed to understand. We walked farther than I'd ever walked from home before, and I'm considering not even going back. After all, if my dad couldn't stand a machine like Rob inside the house, I don't know how he can bear to live with a mechanical, artificial intelligent daughter like me.