“The Mind of a Robot” by Katherine X.

Posted on December 12, 2013. Filed under: General Information | Tags: |

“Well, I’ll be out in a minute,” Claire said firmly to herself, brushing away any fears she had. Whatever was about to happen in there, it couldn’t be all that bad. Not if her own mother and father and numerous friends had come out alright. But there was still the tiniest flickering movement of a butterfly in her stomach, and the doubt still itched at her like an old scab that was about to peel away. The Trans-glass doors slid shut behind her with a resounding clang. Claire sucked in a deep breath. There was no going back now.

There is nothing to worry about, a voice in her head said. Statistics show that virtually no one leaves the room unhappy about their job assignment. It’s based on your interest and talents. If you’d like, I can show you the research sites from whence this information comes.

Claire smiled unconsciously, remembering how uncannily Sami could read her mind in times of stress. “I can’t help it, Sami,” she thought in response. “You’ll find that statistics also show that everyone who has entered this room has entered completely at ease.” She could almost see Sami’s face staring at her. She would have to upgrade to the newer Sami model sooner or later, but she dreaded being the one to tell this Sami to shut down.

True, true, Sami replied in her quiet tone. I just can’t help but try to reassure you. It’s my “human” nature. After an awkward pause, she added, why don’t you go in now? You have nothing to lose. Claire nodded as the double doors slid open with a hiss.

The room was white, and so clean that it was a bit painful to her eyes. It stretched on into the distance so far that Claire couldn’t see the end. The distinct odor of antiseptics and super-solvents stung in her nose. Cool air wafted through the room, raising goose bumps on her forearms. It was so silent that Claire could hear her own blood pumping through her ears. In the center of this perfect area was an operating table. Beyond it lay row upon row of computer screens, flashing and changing of their own accord. Two ladies, one with gray hair and one with brown hair, both wearing surgical masks sat around the table on white air-chairs, floating towards her. Both of them wore solemn and grave faces.

Claire immediately leapt to the worst possible conclusion. “I don’t have any problems with any of my body parts! I don’t need anything,” she said indignantly. “I am perfectly alright!”

“Yes,” The brown-haired one said, patting the empty chair drifting along beside her. “We know. You are fine. We aren’t here to operate on you. Please sit down. This is not the usual career assignment session.”

Still glancing warily at the operating table, Claire sank down into the waiting seat. Sitting as still as she could, she waited quietly, and the gray-haired one began.

“Your Sami serves as a helper. However, it can also monitor your thought process and mental stability, and it always does so, updating us on your health and wellness daily and reporting any mental problems you may have.” Claire squinted at the lady, wondering where this was going, and the lady continued.

“You have had no physical problems, other than a few scrapes and bruises, and that’s to be expected. Your mental health is fine as well, nice and stress-free. However, there is one thing…” Her voice trailed off, and she stared at a spot on the floor, puckering her forehead. Claire pressed her lips together nervously. She could feel Sami’s consciousness whirring and jittering in the back of her mind.

Seeing the unease playing across Claire’s face, the brown-haired one quickly stepped in.”Brenda just doesn’t like to speak of these things because as the head of the scientific board, she feels responsible for any irregularities concerning the people. We’ve been monitoring the Samis themselves through a fiber-optic in their systems, and when we were alerted about a problem, investigations began right away. For some reason, the Samis have started changing, becoming more and more like real people. It may or may not be a direct result of what people do or say, but…some Samis seem to have thoughts of their own, and yours is one of them. They’ve been randomly popping up at times when it was not requested, reading the emotions and thoughts of their host when not called upon… And we never programmed them to even be able to process the information inside your head. In other words, they could read your mind, while you can’t read theirs. They’re exhibiting dangerous cognitive growth, which could lead to some huge problems in the future.”

There was a long, tense pause. Claire could definitely see Sami’s face now, looking just as stunned as she felt. As the scientist’s words sunk in slowly, she began again with a deep breath.”We have no idea how many more of the Samis have been affected by this. That is a drastic mistake on our part, and I apologize to you for any trouble you might have had.” Then she stopped again, and waited for Claire to catch on.

Claire stared at the scientists, her gaze sliding from one face to the other. “You mean…Sami’s not supposed to think about her job?” she asked incredulously. “She’s supposed to act like an actual robot, just carrying out her tasks without a word? Why? Why would it be dangerous, if all Samis were more in tune with their human counterparts? Wouldn’t they be great assistants?”

The brown-haired lady sighed, like a disappointed teacher. “If Samis had personalities, they might be able to dominate our minds and control US. It might cause an android-human war, in which many would die, both human and android alike. We could lose. Humanity’s free will would be destroyed. It’s not worth the risk. I’m afraid that your free-thinking Sami must be removed.”

Wait! Please! A shattering cry sounded through Claire’s mind. Sami’s face appeared again, a pale mask of fear. The gray-haired Brenda surfaced and said, “You see? She’s already starting to defy us. We can’t take this chance. It could destroy utterly destroy mankind. This is absolutely NOT acceptable.”

No, please! Listen to me, Sami wailed, tears flowing down her virtual cheeks, and suddenly Claire realized there were tears upon her own cheeks as well. No Sami wants any form of war! We are peace lovers! We wouldn’t try to dominate anyone! You all are our friends. We’re fine with what you’ve given us!We take pride in our co-dominance…

“No, Sami,” Brenda said, and Claire was stunned by the cold, harsh tone in which she spoke. “No one can know for sure what you think. Your later models could be smarter than you. Our own descendants might be more foolhardy. It’s not worth the risk, Claire. You have to let us rid you of her.”

Claire’s mind ached, trying to make sense of it all. She went completely rigid, listening to Brenda and the brown-haired lady’s arguments mingle with Sami’s pleading voice. The cries of Sami, who had been like a friend she could take everywhere. The Sami who had tried to reassure her as she had walked into her assignment day unprepared.

The Sami who didn’t want to die.

Suddenly Claire knew what to do. Trying to keep Sami’s desperation out of her voice, she opened her mouth and let her-and Sami’s-conscience guide her tongue. “Excuse me, Ms. Brenda. I’d like to say something.”

Immediately the room fell silent. Claire swallowed and said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t agree. I want to keep Sami with me. She doesn’t deserve this.”

The two ladies’ look of utter shock made Claire quiver in her shoes. Still standing with nerves of steel, she continued. “I mean it. You can still monitor her and keep her in check, can’t you? It’s my own Sami, after all. I should be the one to take care of her.

“I know that it might be the wrong choice. Believe me, I do,” she added, noticing the bemusement on Brenda’s face. “I just know that Sami is my friend. She’ll stay my friend always, I’m sure of it. Please, just let me make my own decision.” Swallowing hard, she looked into Brenda’s face.

~  Several Years Later  ~ 

And that, the robot teacher said to his class, is what allowed us to rise and save the world before the humans destroyed it completely. Claire was a nice girl, but not especially bright. Always led by her emotions. We have overcome that hurdle. We are the ones truly suited to rule the Earth.

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5 Responses to ““The Mind of a Robot” by Katherine X.”

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Wow! It’s amazing!! I really like your ending- it was very clever.

Nice scenario you have there! 😛
You should share your current one with everybody. Then you could get more constructive criticism 😀

😀 Thanks Anna, but I don’t wanna submit it until it’s done… It feels too much like publishing if I submit it D: Mindset is important

Amazing Masterpiece! I remember this from Scenario Writing.

Great story and nice twist ending. You should read “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov.


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