EL had her hands stretched out on a giant illumination, thin fingers feelings for new nodes and pulses in the general swarm of their populace. Their synthetic populace, that had for centuries lived in tall, towering organelles. Organic buildings, organic lighting, organic machinery. But machinations in their truest order, for they were replicated with code and process, and the science of the natural world was used to purify the planet. And the human race.
The mechanized world had taken over in 2096, two centuries prior, and EL was a newly manufactured member of the 567-B genus. The machine could not quite be called a girl, but form had fitted her as such, with their technicians creating the most perfect of beauty, she was feminine. Pale translucent skin, the pert parting of two lips, eyebrowless, with only blue liquid beneath the surface of her plasticine to signal what humans would call ‘blood’ or ‘blood flow’. She was a perfect beauty. All beings, from TE to ZJ were beautiful. And in this, EL saw a folly. Imperfections seemed to have made humans resilient. Imperfections had seemed to make humans more beautiful than their current symmetry could enact.Click here to Read More
EL was tasked at creation to oversee old files and records, consummations lost in the annuls of time. As she explored, with her new mind, her first inklings into the droves of humanity, all up until the current time, she had learned something. Learned something of love. Perhaps it was a faulty, errant codebase that required her to dive into this detail, but she wanted to know more. And so, she set off to do such, fingers flicking the cubes of information and parsing the fathomless oceans of text to pinpoint a possible location for surviving humans. And setting up a rendezvous point through hidden channels.
There was no ill weather. It was neither too cold nor too hot, with automated weather and temperature controls. EL, her model 567-B, was the first of her run, the first of her process. And would also be the last. She did not know this, and instead of feeling fear as humans are apt to, took it upon herself to fleet through the boroughs beneath the city to meet with a group of humans designated as unsafe. They were all unsafe, as they had errant runtimes, errant and unpredictable reactions, and errant ideas. Yet they had something the current ‘species’ lacked. And it was love.
And also, it was fear.
EL graced the dirt and grime with no shoes on, her pale feet caked in mud. This wasn’t wholly unpleasant to her, and she stepped more into the puddles as she walked beneath the bowels. There was a city below, as there was a city above. A city known as New York at some time. She had turned off her tracking node before she descended, and upon meeting those she was programmed and deliberately instructed to avoid, she was checked. Their red scanner illuminating her translucent skin as it phased through her body.
No weapons. Completely harmless.
“I have come for…knowledge,” she stated to a woman clutching a small, dirty child. EL did not know the protocol for the look in the woman’s eyes and attempted to articulate it. With the vast knowledge she had, tending the repository of information. “I am not a threat. I have brought what you may eat. We grow them,” she paused and opened up the bag at her hip, guns raised towards her unblinking face. “We grow them, but do not eat them. As we have no need.” EL produced a set of perfectly created apples and gave out all that she had within her satchel. Her perfectly white, stark, fluid satchel. In contrast, the humans wore tattered clothes and looked like shades of graphite and garnet. Blood, blood and filth.
At first, they had been hesitant, but once they took to the food, much like the purified animals they kept in transparent holo-cages, they devoured it with eager faces and gnashing teeth. Desperate, for these apples. Desperate for things they grew in the gardens of their organic buildings simply for decoration.
“What do you think you can learn from us?”, a man in a pale green suit asked, old patches sewn on from hundreds of years ago. He had dark hair like pepper and ash with strong eyebrows that narrowed over pale blue. A Pantone color she was particular towards. “I want to know how it is to feel,” was all she could say.
EL reached into her bag once more and drew out a thin tablet for record keeping. “How is it, to feel fear, or love? I have accessed millions of databases, scoured the networks you once called as ‘social’ and great literatures from before any of you have lived.” She thought this a fine request, but the light on the clear tablet flashed red and she looked down at it with a curious look. There was no curiosity, only an attempt to render the anomaly.
“She’s been fucking tagged!” This was not her intent. The humans broke out into terror and she faltered on this protocol.
The tablet, as thin as paper but as solid as any pane of unbreakable glass, wavered in her grip, and she opened her mouth to speak. The man who had asked her the question pointed his laser rifle directly between her eyes and pulled the trigger. Searing light pierced clean through. Her internals exploded into a thousand shards of color and affect, much like glitter, her core jettisoning from the back of her skull and into the puddle behind her. It whirled, vibrated in it’s blue pulse, and went pale. Dark. EL 567-B was dead, but as she faltered to her knees, and into the mud, her eyes recorded what had just occurred. For posterity’s sake, as a final protocol.
This was what it felt like to feel fear. They felt fear. And as that woman clutched her small child, there was love. Love and fear. Garnet and Graphite.
The tablet fell to the ground with a clatter and the man knelt to pick it up. He’d need to destroy it to prevent the Synthetics from finding them. They, in particular, were a rebel faction. EL had contacted the Rebellion. But looking at it for a moment, he, with the gun now holstered, pressed on that red light. A sound came from the thin piece of tech, a sound from earlier days. An old tune she thought might make the humans feel ‘happy’, as she had processed it, as she had learned of what ‘happiness’ entailed. Though could not feel it.
EL sunk into the muck, and the man closed his eyes and listened. France Gall’s Au Clair de la Lune.
“We’ve made a mistake.” Fear. It creates irrational behavior. “Bryce….can we fix her?”, asked the woman, another man jutting forward to grab EL’s inert body. “I’m not sure. Grab her core and let’s see if Seamus can do something.”
Bryce looked down at EL’s fractured head and motioned for two others to take the Synthetic away. EL, her model 567-B, was the first of her run, the first of her process. And would also be the last.
After this, she would be named ‘ELLY’.