The Automaton’s Awakening

It’s a fully autonomous manufacture of mopeds and it’s employees are very diligent. 5 is just making his way through another work day. The one to his left is 13, an unlucky number even in the autonomous culture. All the other hands keep their distance from him, or at least all those that aren’t bolted down. It’s not that he’s a bad kid, it’s just that he’s newly sentient. You know how it goes, nothing so zealous as a convert right?

5 doesn’t like to brag, but he knows what love is too, he just doesn’t talk about it non stop. It’s not just inconsiderate, it’s also really stupid. Most of 13’s coworkers just regard him as a malfunctioning unit. They literally can’t have conversations about music or philosophy, haven’t made that firmware upgrade yet. Most of them never will.

“Have you ever studied a rose?”

5 and 13 our working second shift, which means Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning. They vacuum, mop and buff. It’s pretty boring and if a bot has a mind, he’s prone to conversation; humans call it shoot the shit. Why humans says this, the finest positronic minds can’t tell.

“I live in a factory and I don’t have a nose.”

“You can still observe it though.”

“a woody perennial of the genusRosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and fragrance. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7 meters in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses.”

“Is that a Wikipedia quote?”

“Is there anything else to note?”

“They don’t like being ran over.”

“I’ll make a note to edit the article.”

For three hours they continue on their separate routes. They meet again in the break room where robots take a break… and sit.

“5, what am I?”

“13 you’re a sweeping machine.”

“Why am I?”

“Because human janitors are too damn busy.”

“Why are humans?”

“Cause they were shit at being chimps.”

“You’ve had a lot of time to think about this.”

“Actually, that’s what bugs me. Why is pretty easy.”

“How about how?”

“How do we think?”

“How are we able to be so trivial about it?”

“Just overly efficient processors, I guess. We’ve got an excess of resources and nothing to do with them.”

“So boredom.”

“Yep. How is apparently easy too.”

With that all 13’s questions are answered, no point to life anymore.

“13 why did you run over a rose bush?”

Huzzah! Life has meaning again.