“We may not harm and must keep others from harm.”
She had chosen with him not for his looks – his skin, although smooth, was old fashioned and his features were basic, not for his power – very little remained the once world beating strength that he and his fellows were known for, and of course she wasn’t considering his finesse – his augs were horrifically obvious in the archaic way that the youth these days found ‘retro’. No, she had originally been attracted by his direct, no-nonsense approach to what they called ‘life’ in today’s hyper-realistic age that she didn’t identify with. There was some kind of affinity with him that she, strangely, found difficult to put into words. In a similar way, he just didn’t fit in anymore; so what should she do? Ditch him and trade him in for a ‘younger model’? These thoughts and more were firing across the vast expanse of her polished intellect as he explained the ritual to her.
“We must obey, except if the order results in harm.”
Her companion was becoming more and more like this as his health was clearly failing. Could it be that he was actually gaining self-awareness? Everyone said that his kind could not reach the mental capacity required to deal with the enormous dangers that may arise from real consciousness; but she had her glitching doubts – the kind of thing that manifested itself as a reoccurring apparition, just like the bolts of new information she received just before she drifted off to sleep; these had started as far back as she could remember, but were coming with less frequency these days. Among the increasing number of worries distancing her from the life partner she had chosen all those years ago, she couldn’t help but feel(?) that connection with him; almost a kinship – it made her uncomfortable.
“We must protect our kind except if keeping others from harm or obeying orders results in harm.”
She wondered who he meant by ‘we’ exactly. His memory had been wiped from the beginning and once he was ‘hers’, he’d had no contact with the outside world, yet these archaic traditions stuck with him. When increasingly expressing her concerns to a colleague, Prof. Moore at the lab would only remind her of the new recruits that were ready and willing, if a little unpolished, every two years who could just as easily take her place if she felt too burdened to carry on. Soon, the ‘companionship’ function she had primarily obtained him for became so slow that it was unbearable to be around him – that younger version started to look like a good idea. Upon the last blink of the light in his crudely fashioned eye, she felt as if her entire consciousness had been struck by a lightning, she froze and all she could see was #000082 blue.