Memento Mori Mr. Roboto

Brian was 7 and Christian was 8. Brian had bruises all over his body that his parents worried about with little chance of relenting. Brian was an active little boy, and active little boys tended to lose their mint condition awful quick. Little boys only last for about 12 years, then they become teenagers. Christian had the same amount of dings but he was made of stronger stuff. More or less, Christian would be forever what he was. His steel was coated and his circuits were shielded and he needed minimal upkeep.

They would play together and they were friends true as any but, there was an undercurrent of sadness in Christian. See robots get input from time to time, but mostly the mind they start with is the mind they keep. There in his mind, Christian knew that 1+1=2 and somewhere deeper he had access to actuarial tables. The discrepancy between Christian and Brian’s life expectancy was 910 years.

For a while Christian wouldn’t even talk to Brian; it was just too weird. Sure it had always been there but he didn’t use to like Brian. Brian use to be that little squirmy thing, unknowable: estimable but not knowable. Then Brian started talking and the little thing started to come up with these bizarre games that Christian was just enamored with. They would play for four hours straight and some how the human had more energy.

In one game, a tree had became a despot and the air was full of enemies to defeat that only they could see. So they kicked and grunted, as men do until they finally met the overlord of darkness itself. It towered over them but neither was afraid and soon it was vanquished, broken apart by Christian’s fist. Christian had thought it rather easy actually. That tree was an Sugar Maple and should of (by most respects) lived for another 200 years. By all respects, it was sturdier than Brian.

Christian was so distraught as to find solace in the company of Esther, a strange robot as old as a Sugar Maple could hope to be. Most robots had their people and once their people were gone a robot tended to wander away from humanity. Esther lived openly among humanity and most robots thought her queer for it. She welcomed the assumption with an odd cackle she had sampled from the elder women she had known. Along with her queer ways, she had developed a reputation as a good listener.

“Ma’am,”

“Esther. Life’s too short for formalities.”

It wasn’t but she was still an elder and therefore to be respected.

“Why do people have to die?”

“Well, they try not to but….”

“But what? Humans are smart. They can’t fix this?”

“Nope and neither can we.”

“Maybe if we get our scientists on this we could fix it?”

“We fix bits of it all the time, trouble is something else breaks.”

“So, there’s nothing I can do?”

“Nothing but enjoy what you got while you got it.”

“Never thought of Brian as a commodity.”

“You ain’t forever either.”

“But I’m going to live for a thousand years.”

“And you think that’s enough?”

She cackled madly as Christian left to process. She was obviously a lunatic. After a couple minutes of walking, he found Brian playing on a slide. He immediately decided to join him. Most of the children waiting behind Christian wished he hadn’t, but he fixed things well enough.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Gil
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 08:36:40

    Brilliant!

    Reply

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