A Machine Error

October 1, 2017

Emmate was tired, the soles of his feet were callused and his stomach growled incessantly from hunger. The trek across the steep hills and valleys was an arduous exercise in survival. But, he had made it to this little town deep in the transitional forest with just enough energy to seek help and a reprieve.

“Hello there!” said the little man with long golden locks. “And what do they call you?”

At times, the simplest error in judgment for an individual can and will cause a misrepresentation of their existence. Keeping this in mind, observe the misfortune of our character in the following short story.

“They call me Emmate and I have traveled across those hills and I’m very tired and in need of rest and food. Can you help me?”

“My name is Teefor and of course, I’ll be obliged to assist you with whatever you require.”

“Food and rest would be wonderful. You are very kind Teefor. Thank you.”

Teefor led his guest into a small but very clean bungalow with all the walls covered in the most magnificent embroidered satin and silk tapestries he had ever seen. The floor was adorned with incredibly detailed rugs of gold, red and black depicting an ancient language. Scattered to the sides of the rug were images of old and new races, that he assumed, were part of his culture.

“Emmate, you may rest over there on the bed after you eat. Now what is your fancy?”

“What ever is convenient for you to supply me with. Something filling. That would go down nicely right about now. Thank you.”
Teefor looked a little perplexed, but all the same brought Emmate a loaf of bread, a large salad made from fresh from Teefor’s garden and a flask of wine.

“How can you eat and drink these things?” asked Teefor pointing to the food.

Responding in a quizzical way, “I eat and drink such food all the time. It’s natural for me.” said Emmate.

The next morning, Teefor suggested that they visit the facility where he worked three days a week.

“That would be very nice. And what do they make at your plant?”

“We recycle old outdated products and melt the parts down for the manufacturing of new and modern working equipment. It’s very interesting. I know you would enjoy it.”

“Yes that would be interesting to see. Can we go after breakfast?’ asked Emmate.

“Of coarse,” replied Teefor presenting another flask of wine and a loaf of bread.

“I make bread and let mold grow on it. The mold is made into a drug called penicillin which I leave on the other side of the invisible wall you climbed over. The penicillin is needed by our makers and the wine is a gift.”

This explaination was quite confusing to Emmate but nevertheless he took it in stride. He never saw an invisible wall nor anything resembling one.

A fifteen minute walk down the only street in the village led Emmate to a huge recycling and manufacturing plant. The size, Emmate assumed was on the scale of at least four football fields and was over seven stories in height. Smoke billowed from four huge stacks rising endlessly into the sky. Emmate thought to himself, ‘What in the world would a recycling plant of this size be doing in the middle of a forest?’

“Come!” voiced Teefor over the din of the plants’ operation. “I’ll introduce you to my foreman and let him explain our operation. If you like, maybe he can get a job for you. That is, if you intend to stay awhile.”

The intensity of Teefor’s exuberance added more questions for Emmate.
As Teefor and Emmate entered the large front door of the foundry, they were greeted by a man of the same stature as Teefor and identical features.

“No wonder you brought me here,” said Emmate. “This must be your twin brother.”

“His name is Teetoo.” replied Teefor. “And I told him to expect us for a tour this morning. He said he would be very pleased to meet you as it has been a while someone of your kind has traveled this way.”

Now this situation began to concern Emmate. There were too many slight inferences in the way Teefor was talking… and this was perplexing.

The foreman finally spoke. “I’m very excited to meet you Emmate. You certainly don’t look any worse for wear. Your parts have served you well.”

Before Emmate could respond, an overhead crane appeared out of nowhere and dropped four claws. Two claws attached themselves to Emmate’s thighs, while the other two grabbed him under the armpits. Before he realized what was happening, the crane lifted him off the assembly floor and moved him to a trolley system destined for the recycling smelter. In extreme pain and screaming at the top of his lungs, Emmate now understood what had happened.

He now knew his inevitable fate.

Flaying and howling, Emmate disappeared through a rubber slotted door and beyond the sight of Teefor and Teetoo. The sound of whirlling blades could be heard and blood flowed countinously on the metal recycling floor.

“T-4, I must thank you for bringing me model M-8. That is one of the last old models to be recycled. It has been years since I have seen an android of that calibre. They sure knew how to build them back then.”

“Oh, you’re welcome T-2. It was my pleasure. He never did say his model number correctly and that was confusing to me.

“I have one question for you. Did that particular model ever require sustenance to survive? The reason I ask, is that model M-8 asked for food and consumed the food I prepared for him? I found that odd!”

“No, a model that consumed human food was never built. There was never a need for food. Are you sure he actually ate what you prepared, or did he somehow discard it somewhere making you think he consumed it?”

“I’m sure he ate it.” said T-4. “I witnessed it with my retinal scanners. He ate the food all right.”

“Then,” said T-2, “He is not an M-8 model. For that matter maybe his name was right. Did you say Emmate? Maybe he wasn’t one of us after all. Since the beginning, models produced never required food of any kind. They functioned on internal nuclear energy. He should not have been recycled. Oh my T-4, I think we have made a terrible error. Our makers will be very upset. We have recycled one of their own. He must have been a human. We will now be recycled as punishment.”

While walking through the forest, Emmate had unwittingly crossed an invisible barrier set up by the humans to prevent the androids from entering the real world. A mistake that took the first real life form and unfortunately not the last. The world of androids was becoming a liability and fear ran through their circuitry, if fear was the correct outcome.

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