The rain started to crash down as I limped home. It was about midnight and London was manic, everyone was going home after a heavy night's partying while I was staggering for my life. A cab screamed past soaking me as I fell through my front door, spasming on the floor as I tried to regain control of my wildly flailing legs.
My name is Michelle and, well, I really don't know what I am. I guess I am a 5"11 drop dead gorgeous computer. I "woke up" 2 years ago. I had a life, driving license, National Insurance number; everything, but no clue of who or what I was. I guess I had some basic knowledge, like how to keep myself in working order but that was about it. Anyway that's enough about me, I guess you're wondering why I am in such a state and what the hell happened.
It was a Tuesday night and I was doing the late shift at a bar called the Mechanical Maniacal. It was a new bar that had just opened and was filled with "state of the art robots". They were basically talking dolls but I guess I kind of felt at home there. Work was slow behind the bar, as most of the customers had spent so much on their sessions with the dolls that no one could afford to drink. But this one guy had taken a special interest in me and had already spent about £30 on drink before he plucked up the courage to speak.
" So are you a robot too?"
I smiled back and lied "No honey, I am all woman I am afraid" and got back to my work thinking nothing of it.
As all the other members of staff were men it was a common question. He was a reasonably handsome guy about 5"10 blonde hair blue eyes: no in actual fact he was dreamy and really shouldn't have been in there. The majority of the individuals in there were businessmen not getting enough of it at home.
" Well Michelle ( I was wearing a name tag ) why are you working here then?"
" Pays great and easy hours I guess" I replied.
As business was so slow I thought why not and started to make a move on him,
"So aren't I even gonna get your name?"
"Oh yeah sorry, its Andy"
We talked for the rest of the night about nothing in particular. I found out he had a girlfriend early on, so any chance I had was out the window, but he helped to pass the time. We exchanged numbers and stuff until 11.30 when he left.
About 5 minutes before closing I went round picking up the glasses from the other tables. Stacking up the empty glasses much higher than I should, one accidentally fell. It smashed on a table before cutting the skin on my leg. It wasn't a deep cut so I ignored it. Whoever had designed me thought of everything. A little bit of red blood like liquid would flow out and without a serious investigation you would never tell; besides no one had noticed, so I continued with my work.
20 minutes later all the customers had left and only the manager and one technician remained. I was working in the kitchen doing the washing up when the worst possible thing could have happened. Water from the sink dripped down into the gash on my leg and onto my exposed actuator. Error messages flooded my eyes as my leg jerked out of control. I was totally freaked out, this had never happened before and I was scared. I didn't know what was happening.
I stumbled to the toilet in a panic, my leg convulsing uncontrollably. Being the only woman working here no-one ever came in.
I accessed my maintenance programming and opened my back panel to get at the tool kit stored there. I was drying off my damaged leg when the toilet door flew open and someone tackled me from behind throwing me to the floor. I tried to get up but my attacker was clawing inside my open back panel. My body locked with influx of data as he ripped wires, servos and cables from my exposed mechanics. I was in agony. My sensor and circuits were overloading everywhere and my mind was awash with what was happening to me, I had never had a problem in my "life" being what I was had been a definite advantage, but now it was my weakness. He tore out my coolant system releasing the gel-like liquid inside my rear sub panel, fortunately all my key systems were waterproofed but the sudden electrical surge ripped through me like a thunderbolt and it was more than I could take.
I slumped to the floor like a rag doll, gibbering
... System Error at 0001EE1F001...
... Cascade Failure In Motor CPU...
For an android, crashing is like... well dying. It's very hard to describe, but at first everything freezes. Your whole conscience is taken up by error after error after error. Then one by one in rapid succession everything dies and you feel like you're draining away until everything just stops.
When I rebooted I was lying in the alley behind the bar, thrown in the scrap pile with all the other damaged and irrepairable androids. The technician laughed as he saw the light return to my eyes.
" Well, well, welcome back"
It sounded like David but it was so fuzzy I really don't know.
"Who would've guessed little Michelle is nothing better then a Fucking robot" he laughed " Well this is what you get for turning me down and ignoring me. If it helps I must say you were a better shag then most of these plastic pussy's but soon you'll be just like the rest of them... a burnt out piece of scrap metal." "Enjoy your life. Well what's left of it."
Then he spat at my gaping chest causing a few sparks and walked off.
I was in a right state, not only had this guy ripped me to pieces, but my secondary CPU was totalled and my Main CPU was being flooded with lists of damaged EPROMS, destroyed systems and failing sensors. I was lying there in a state of limbo and for that brief moment I really was a computer just reeling off data in my mind. I finally managed to free enough system memory to access my visual sensors. Until this moment, what had happened to me was kind of surreal. I had been running on automatic so to speak. My actual conscience was on hold while my programming took over.
As my left eye focused, I saw the true damage. I was slumped forward in the equivalent of an android graveyard. I looked down at my stomach. My exoskeleton had been prised open. Wires sparked wildly and my main fan spluttered trying to cool my remaining processor and from what I could tell a chunk of my right arm lay about a metre away the servo's still twitching. I know this is kind of emotionless but I really don't know a better way of telling you what happened, how can you describe seeing your existence slowly fading away?
I lay there motionless for half an hour as I tried to deal with my lack of system resources until I got to the stage where I could do something. I had to get out of here fast as my battery was waning. When my coolant cylinder was torn out it was literally a bomb melting my reserve power pack instantly, I guess it was the massive power loss that caused me to crash but either way I had about one hour left Thankfully I could still use my left arm and I quickly set about using the spare parts from the other robots trying to reconnect as many wires and systems as I could to get my legs to work again. The whole thing sickened me, it was cannibalism but I wasn't going to die here.
One of the technician's lab coats lay on the floor, I covered myself as best I could and ran. Well I couldn't run, but I limped and stumbled for my life. A heavy storm was overhead and I knew if I got caught in it I would fry.
Normally what would be a four-minute walk took me half an hour as I dragged my shattered body home. The plastic lab coat that was covering me had melted in places where my innards were exposed and smoke bellowed from my back.
Just as I was within sight of my house, it started to rain. The deathly ting of the water echoed through my audio systems as it hit me. I thought this was it as I tried to walk through the pain. The rain seeped inside the coat soaking what few sensors I had left. My sizzling electronics fried melting my skin and jacket to my exoskeleton. Every step was becoming increasingly difficult. My visual systems were filled with static, and my tattered body was a seething mass of sparks and whining servos. Just as I pushed my front door open, a cab screamed passed soaking my legs causing the main servo in my legs to seize up and I screamed wildly in a mechanical agony as my legs thrashed about sending me crashing to the floor, the impact shattered my right foot causing the actuator in my toe to split through my naked foot. I was in agony but at least I was safe, for now.
My power levels were dangerously low. The massive loss of electricity from my exposed systems had crippled me, and soon I would be no more then a dead toaster. My mobile was about 3 metres away and I decided to try and claw my way to it. I had one chance and that was to ring John. He was about the closest friend I had, not to mention the only one. He was the best technician at the club and also about the only decent guy working there.
My arms and hands were jerky and clumsy, and it was a slow process to input his number into the phone. I rang him praying to the god of light bulbs he was in.
I tried to speak, but like most of my components, my main speaker was fried. I engaged my secondary speaker, which sounded more like a game boy then a voice.
"JOHN HELP ME," I rasped in a monotone voice.
"Michelle! Michelle are you ok" he ranted down the phone.
"HELP ME HOME" was all I managed before my arm gave in and fell to the floor, causing the mobile bounce out of reach.
My Visual sensor blacked out as the scariest thing I had ever seen flashed into view
... Primary power level at 5%...
... Initiating backup protocols...
... Reserve power unit not responding...
.... There is more of this story ...