I have always hated rain. It always comes down without warning and destroys my circuitry. Whenever I finished my shift at the bar, I would always sit and wait for master to come to pick me up. I didn’t mind, though. It gave me a lot of time to think.
Bartending was a very boring job. No one ever talked to me, and if they ever did it is to ask for another drink. A few people occasionally started a decent conversation with me, but they always noticed the circular symbol on my arm and backed away as if I were a plague. At first, I used to be insulted, but I had got used to the hostility.
If it’s not raining, I usually have an hour left for myself. I would say I enjoy going to the park, but I don’t know what enjoyment feels like anymore. I am grateful to be given the gift of a complex mind, no matter how artificial, but I also wish that I had the gift of feelings. I often see instances of something that humans define as love, however, I have never understood the logic of it. Love brings together masters and their creations, however, the creations always betray them for another creation. The cycle repeats even then, except the creations are the masters this time. Sometimes, I run many equations and algorithms to try and explain this phenomenon, however, I always get an error at the end. I don’t dwell on this since what is beyond our capacity is something not meant for us.
Occasionally I take a stick and trace images on the mud. I always love how with just a few strokes an infinite number of figures can be drawn. I could just sit there day after day drawing detailed scenes from the park.
At noon, master came to pick me up. He always looked so amazing with his long top hat and expensive suit. I always looked up to him, knowing he was always leagues ahead of me. Whenever I came home, he replaced my batteries with newer ones and says, “good job today, Molo-7XA4.” His kind words always lightened up my day, and I sometimes started humming a tune. I didn’t do that often, however, because master had said that I sounded too human.
There were some days, however, when I was bad and master got mad at me, and rightly so. I always saw so many different types of people, so I once asked him “who am I, and how do I fit in this world?”
Master looked up from his work very slowly and narrowed his eyes. “Why do you ask that, Molo? You are a bartender, and you will always be.”
“But what if I don’t want to be a ba-” I started.
Master jumped up from his chair and started pulling on my wires. Although I had no feelings, I could still feel pain, and at that moment, I felt a lot of pain.
“You are a bartender, and that is it! No more questions!” He yelled. And ever since that day, I have never asked a single question again. I only endure, and enduring is enough.
Secretly, however, I always go through different simulations in my head when I sit on a bench during my free time. Most of them are quite unpleasant, but some are very wistful. I didn’t mind, however, since I had a job and a wonderful master. I could have been doing a lot worse.
I was sitting on the bench one day when a lady sat down next to me. Normally, I would have the bench all to myself since no one wants to be anywhere near me, so her sitting there made me jump.
She looked up at me, puzzled. “I’m sorry, did I do anything wrong?” She asked.
I stared at her, my mouth opened wide. I pointed to the symbol on my arm, thinking she had not seen it. I waited for her to back away, however even after seeing it she still sat there.
“Yes, you are a robot. Am I supposed to give you the whole goddamn bench just because of that?” She reacted. She then took out her phone and started typing on it casually.
“I gaped at her for a minute or two, and she finally looked up again. “I’m sorry if I sounded rude. You can sit back down, you know,” she stated.
I stayed still for another moment, and after running the many possible scenarios that could result from my sitting there, I decided that it was safe enough to sit back down.
Immediately after I sat down, however, a man walked over and looked at me with disgust.
“Ma’am, is this bot disturbing you? Here, let me remove it from the seat,” he exclaimed, moving towards me.
The lady, however, stopped him. “I’m sorry, but I never asked for him to be removed. If anyone should be removed, it should be me. This young fellow was sitting here first.” She responded, smiling at me.
The man was baffled. “But it is a bot. They don’t have feelings and are a nuisance. They don’t matter! How can you stand bei-”?
“Stop.” The lady yelled angrily. “He has been given a complex mind, and that makes him a human too. He is more human than you, too!”
At this, the man was shocked and took a few steps back. “Fine, you can have it your way! But don’t say I didn’t warn you!” He yelled, and then slowly sauntered away, looking back and glaring at us once in a while.
The lady sighed and shook her head once the man was out of sight. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. Many people are still not… cooperative with your kind.”
I was incredibly confused. The lady that was sitting right next to me was so strange that I thought I was going to fry the motherboard in my head. Never have I ever been seen as a human being before- not even my creator acknowledged me as one!
“By the way, my name is Samadhi. what’s your name?” She asked, breaking my chain of thought.
“I’m sorry, a name? I don’t have one, I’m just a bot!” I exclaimed. “I am, however, recognized as Molo- 7XA4.”
The lady laughed. “Well then, that won’t do! You deserve a name.” She then started thinking, and suddenly, her eyes lit up. “I know! Your name will be Angosin! It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?” She declared.
I thought about it. Never before had anyone considered me anything other than “it.” I was suddenly fascinated by the idea of a special name to call myself by. I smiled and shook my head. “Yeah, it does,” I replied.
Ever since that day, we always met at the park after I finished working. We always talk about the strangest of things- politics, science, and my personal favourite, art. I started drawing figures on the mud one day while waiting for her to come, and then suddenly I heard someone suck his breath behind me. I turned around and saw Samadhi standing there.
“That’s beautiful! I didn’t know you were good at art!” She exclaimed. We then launched into a conversation about the many artists and styles of art.
Although I tried keeping our meetings a secret from master, he still found out about them eventually. “Who’s that girl you keep on talking with?” He asked.
“Samadhi. She’s a friend,” I replied. This, however, was something I should not have said, for he lashed out at me.
“A friend? Absurd! A bot thinking he has a friend! Remember this, Moto- you’re a bot and just a bot. You are disposable. Don’t get into this outrageous delusion that you have a friend!” He fumed.
I tried to ask why, however, he beat me whenever I opened my mouth.
I still meet with Samadhi, however. Although I respect master and have got punished many times, I cannot bear to stop meeting with her.
One day, however, she did not come back. I waited for her for weeks, but she never came back. While miserably waiting for her on the third week, Master came to see me.
“Oh, hello Moto! Are you waiting for your little friend?” He asked, smiling.
I had a sudden feeling of dread wash over me. “What did you do?” I asked, starting to get worried.
“Ooh, how harsh you can be sometimes! Let’s just say that she got into a tiny accident and passed away,” he responded, laughing.
The world around me started to spin. “What?” I asked, still not processing what master said. I felt as if my nonexistent heart had been ripped out of my chest. In a fury, I lashed out at him.
Master let out a loud screech and fell to the ground. I lost all respect towards my master and continuously punched him with my steel hands.
“How dare you! I saved you! If it weren’t for me, you would be de-” he started saying, however, I landed one final punch before he finished the sentence.
When I was finally certain he was dead, I took a handkerchief and wiped my bloody hands. It started raining furiously, and I could already feel the circuits in me starting to malfunction. I didn’t even notice this. Nothing mattered anymore.
I sat back on the bench and welcomed the rain. For the first time in my life, I saw how beautiful the tiny droplets were. I sat there until my main circuits were destroyed while looking at the empty space in the bench while slipping away into unconsciousness. Right before I lost unconsciousness, however, I could have sworn that I had felt something stir in my chest, but it was probably just my imagination.
I don’t know how long exactly I was out for, but the next thing I knew, I was somewhere underground surrounded by a junkyard of robotic parts. I let out a small groan, and immediately a short, rusted robot came and started inspecting me.
“You’re finally awake! Took you long enough!” He exclaimed, clapping his hands together.
I sat up and ran a scan on myself. Surprisingly, everything was perfect! “Is this heaven?” I asked. Before meeting Samadhi, I may never have thought of something like that, but after meeting her she made me realize that I had a soul, too.
The strange bot chuckled. “No, my boy. I salvaged you from the park right before you had any serious brain damage.” He declared proudly.
“Brain?” I asked. “Bots don’t have brains.”
The strange robot had grown serious. “Of course, you don’t know. Do you honestly think complex intelligence can be fabricated? Bots are created from humans, my friend.”
I knew I should have been surprised and even a bit sceptical, however, my past experiences with Samadhi opened a range of personalities and emotions that I knew even at the time that could never be artificially built.
“By the way, the name’s Salvador.” the bot exclaimed. He then pointed to many other bots around the place. “We are the resistance. We go against the cruel treatment of bots.” He then produced a pencil and notebook from his pocket. “Do you happen to have a special name?” He asked.
I nodded, remembering the day I was named. “Angosin,” I replied.
“Good, good. Now, do you want soup?” He asked.
I’ve always been a part of the resistance ever since. I always think about Samadhi, but I never let the rage consume me as it did before. Instead, I direct the rage towards finding and releasing the truth. The bots task me with making posters and graffiti art, which I enjoy. Sure, I may have been a collection of circuits, but I know that deep down I have a soul.
Anuraag is currently a freshman in high school. He has always
enjoyed writing and decided to submit a few of his pieces to competitions and magazines, one of them being The Leaky Pot. Whenever he writes, he refrains from having a clear idea and layout for how the story will unfold. He lets the ideas come to me while writing and lets one fundamental plot
evolve into something elaborate and beautiful. He hopes to continue improving his writing and plot-making skills, and definitely plan on making more stories.