Guess who’s coming at you with some new fiction? Don’t guess because it’s me.
Humans are particular creatures. There are successes and faults present in these ever-adapting beings. They don’t have programmed instructions; they live without conforming to the same lifestyle that I do. Humans are tedious creatures requiring constant care and always giving into biological needs and functions. Definition, food: any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth. I do not need nourishment. I do not eat because I am bored. I do not drink because of a dry throat. I am not human.
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There are two definitions of vision. The faculty or state of being able to see; an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition. Either definition could be applied to my experience. I am opening my eyes to see a room I had never seen before; I had never seen anything before. My vision is blurred, lights and shapes are fuzzy and unclear. Blinking is an odd sensation, but it did seem to assist in my sight. As my eyes become clear, I take in the view. There are monitors with scrolling text to the right. There is a bench littered with tools to my left. There is a man with yellow hair and a white coat in front of me. He’s touching my fingers, my hands fastened to the surface.
“Wonderful. I didn’t expect you to be aware for another few minutes. I don’t expect you to vocalize any statements yet, so nod your head like this,” he raises his head up and brings it down, “if you can do what I ask.”
I mimic his movement, my head feeling heavy.
“Can you feel this?” the man asks, squeezing each of my fingertips. I nod in response.
“Bear with me, but I added nerve endings into the major appendages of your body. There will be feeling nearly everywhere. We’re doing a checkup because the next two days are going to be big for you.”
Without speech, I run a quick search for facial expressions that could be taken as confusion.
The man stops. He studies my face. “You’ve been purchased. Well, actually, more or less adopted, if you will. There was some money involved, but not much since, you’re more of a gift. From what I know, the family has one biological son and one adopted son; they’re friends of mine. Why they don’t try to adopt again escapes me, but if you stayed here, I would have just made you play housekeeper. You’ll at least have a life, you know.”
Before the man says anything else, I play a recording of what he had said, only to meet ecstatic sounds from him.
“I’ve worked on you alone for nearly seven years now and for you to grasp so much, so quickly, astounds me. Let’s see what else you can manage.”
I nod silently as he kneels down and unfastens my ankles from the rotating table on which I was positioned. He works the straps on my wrists and helps me down, steadying me as I go.
“Follow me,” he instructs. The man and I walk in a square around the table I had just been on and around once more.
“Your joints sound wonderfully smooth. No clicking, no whirring, but just silence. You have a very natural sense of balance and you walk without hiking your legs up which aids in your speed. I’d like to see if you can form words now. Please stand at the table’s edge and say ‘Leo’ in your own voice,” he says.
In a slight echo, I repeat what he says.
“You could use a little work. Maybe after some time. Would you like to know more about your family?”
Leo, I believe his name to be, sits in a large chair in front of a computer and begins to type. He turns his head and motions for me to sit.
“I first met your family when they adopted their son nearly four years ago, but you came along a few years before. Your design was created by myself almost ten years ago and with the patents for your skin and skeletal structure, I started working on you seven years ago. People have been buying and selling androids for twelve years now. Once the innovators behind modern robotics in the early years of the twenty-first century found that there was more use to androids than labor and housework, they began to think of designs that would make androids personable. I had the idea to make a son. Your new family was handpicked by myself because they were already trying to make a difference in our world by bringing children of unfortunate events into their home. Everyone else I had seen were more interested in having an android to call their own. You’re not a prize to be sought, but a privilege to be earned. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
“Yes,” I answer, in a much clearer voice.
“Wonderful progress,” Leo declares.
“Your name is Leo. What is my name?”
“You don’t have a name, but I was hoping your family would name you. My assistants have been calling you John Doe for the past few weeks.”
I run a search through the database and find that John Doe is the name for an unrecognized victim of a mysterious death or homicide.
“I do not like it.” My face shows a look of horror and Leo laughs.
“That can all be changed tomorrow. It’s fine.”
Leo shows me how humans eat, how they drink, and he tries to teach me how to pass the time with television. He explains to me that food isn’t necessary for my body, but I should steer clear of it because I have no waste system and he expresses his jealousy for me not being able to gain weight.
Leo has me lie on the table for my last rest in his lab. He instructs me to review preprogrammed human interaction for the morning. Introductions are difficult. I learn to make a first impression. I learn how I should try to make connections with my family. Family is defined as a group consisting of parent and children living together in a household. I also find: a person or people related to one and so to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy. I conduct one more search before I power down. I watch clips, videos, and television shows about family to see what would happen to me. By all probability and statistical counts, I may not fit in because I am new; I am not their blood. They do not know me, so what makes them think they will want me?