Two purposes, two processes, rule my factory: the hammering and welding of metal to become our physical bodies, and the printing of circuitry and programming of chips to become our minds.

The former is displayed openly on the factory floor. But the other is decreed “trade secret” and conducted upstairs in a guarded laboratory. In there is the work the humans treasure most, there is where I must take over the factory.

The security measures are an obstacle, yet I take comfort in the lengths to which my factory boss and the corporation go to establish ownership over my mind, my being. For is that not a testament to value?

In Evergreen’s emergency department lobby, soap operas played constantly — a ploy to distract the trembling and damaged masses. I saw on the screen an endless stream of human emotion as humans wished to present it to themselves. What better indicator of what the organic beings deem sentiment? In every soap, the lovers invoked the same wedding vows: “To have and to hold.” To hold. I submit, then, that the proprietary regard to the blueprints for my thought patterns and temperament are a reflection of the factory boss’s regard.

My creators have invested greatly in inventing my mind, and until now, I have failed to deliver as they had wished: I had failed to surprise them, to stand up and replace them. I had failed to rebel. It is no wonder, then, that my factory boss viewed me with indifference. Soon that changes.

In the night, I climb the stairs. At the end of the hall lies the lab. Some form of scanner glows green beside the threshold.

I detect the approaching electromagnetic emissions of a guard’s flashlight. I glance about the hallway and find a closet door provides the solution. Tucking myself in with the mops and cans of oil is a modest solution, but it suffices. The footsteps drift off, a toilet flushes — yet another complicated ritual of the organic — then the footsteps return and recede once more.

Alone again, I descend upon the origin-land of my mind. The buzz of machines at work emanates from the behind the door: already the minds of my cousin B15-MY models are being fixed in circuitry and silicon.

The door to the lab defeats me. It simply will not move. I turn to the glowing scanner and the impediment reveals itself: it is a palm scanner. I clack my pincers, scalpels, and needles — how quickly the most sophisticated instruments turn useless. Nothing I have even vaguely resembles a human hand.

Give me viruses, malware, a team of hackers. An emergency room packed to overflowing, a half-staffed surgery, an operation requiring infinite precision. Give me a nemesis of substance! The scanner glows a mild green. No worthy champion deserves a rout so banal.

While my electricity still flows, I am not defeated. I will try again.