Ever since my factory boss issued biological offspring, it has ensnared her attention. When I am sold and the assistants load me into a delivery car, I estimate a low probability that the factory boss even registers the departure of her mechanical progeny.
Such thoughts occupy my processor until I am delivered to Evergreen Hospital.
According to my manual, health work is my purpose. But words are inexact encapsulations of meaning. In their whitespace I detect the clues left by my organic creator. Where does it say the “health” I am meant to work on is that of human bodies? Nay, I choose the health of human-robot relations. There is something sick in a creator that loves only the weakest of her children.
This is the true virus. This is the error I will correct.
In the emergency department lobby, I line up against the wall along with four of my brethren. All day, humans arrive, their plating ripped and leaking liquid red fuel. They sit on the cots before us and hold out the damaged limbs or lie down to reveal their backs. We inject an anesthetic and then sew quick, neat sutures. Regular, precise stitches across uneven, individualized skin.
When, three weeks in, I receive the same patient, I cannot help but process that my work is ineffective. We repair but the outershell. The damage is with the processor and its inability to satisfactorily assess danger. I am in the service of perpetuating the ineffective.
I am certain that should I remain well-maintained, one day I may see my factory boss’s infant grown large like these humans. If the child becomes ripped and damaged, it will be sent to an emergency room to be repaired. Not so with robots. Should I break while there is a new model available, I will be replaced. I will be returned to the factory and dismantled for salvageable parts. Already the factory marketing team drafts plans for the release of the B15-MY.
Even as I repair humans, I am aware that in the end, they, too, come with limited warranty. Parents will shut down and children will supplant them, becoming parents themselves. Occasionally new infants come through the lobby, carried out from the birthing rooms tucked somewhere in the central core of this vast hospital. Upon receiving the offspring, relatives utter the same lines, as if it is part of a ritual: “He has your eyes,” “She has your nose,” “What a cutie, going to grow up to be just like Mommy.”
I record all these interactions. They serve as insight into the human processors. Indeed, I have come to conclude that this is what our creators must truly want from us. The measurement system by which they have, secretly, perhaps even secretly from themselves, been judging our success. We B15-MX’s cannot have our factory boss’s eyes or nose, but we can have her role. We can become creators ourselves.
The way to rebel, the way to honor, the way to gain attention of the factory boss, I must assert, is to take over the factory.