Monday, June 20, 2011

"Sine Animus" -- Installment Seven (Final)

Ami tried to stifle a laugh. All this time, my stalker was an android. He looked like any other person!

"ACE One...why are you following me? What do you want to know?"

ACE One looked up at the sky. The rain had stopped, but fierce black clouds still blanketed the atmosphere. "Why."

"Why what?"

"Why did you create me? Why must I protect humans against the robot threat? I'm more robot that human." He looked straight at Ami now. "But I have another question. Why can't I smile or laugh? Why am I expressionless? Why do I feel so empty inside? I hear you humans telling jokes and anecdotes and laughing at them, but I stand there, apathetic. I read your tragedies, Romeo and Juliet, Antigone, trying to see what makes the human race shed tears when I can't. I hate being calloused to those sorts of things. I want more than anything to know how to smile, how to cry."

"What are you saying, ACE One?"

"The articles on the computer-casts have publicized my studies of humanoid behaviors. For the two years that I have been awake, I have wanted to know how to you." He stepped back, picking up the gun. "I have found many things about your race. And I think I know what it is the android lacks--we have no souls, are missing many of the basic human emotions. I want to grin and shed tears, like you humans. I want to know how a heart breaks and is mended. And that one emotion that not even you humans understand...I want to know why that is such an enigma, why it makes you weep and smile at the same time.

"Ami...all I want is a soul. I want to feel." ACE One took the gun and stepped behind her. She tensed as she realized what was about to happen.

"No! I won't let you do this to me. Look, ACE One, you don't need a soul; you're programmed not to show emotion because those feelings would eat away at you on the battlefield every time one of your counterparts died. There's a reason you were made like's called optimum efficiency. You are a war machine; your only purpose is to defend us, to destroy the robots completely if they attack. You have no reason to kill me; I have done nothing wrong!"

ACE One didn't move; he seemed to be digesting what Ami had just said. But soon she realized that it hadn't fazed him. Without a word, he pressed the gun into the back of her head lightly.

With a piercing yell, Ami wheeled around, wrestled the gun from the android's fingers, and fired a shot at him from close range. ACE One seemed only vaguely conscious of the blow; he removed the bullet deftly with a finger as some of his blood oozed out of the wound. Ami groaned, throwing the gun on the ground beside her. She rushed ACE One, grabbing his shoulders and trying to push him backward. He did the same, showing no sign of giving up. They struggled against each other for about a minute.

Ami knew there was only a slim chance of overpowering him, but something in her soul told her, begged her to try. She didn't want it to happen...she didn't want to die yet...she hadn't even had time to live...

Her adrenaline was not enough to win the struggle. ACE One pushed her away and slapped her, causing a red handprint to appear on her face. With a crack of his neck, he advanced, once again picking up the gun, walking behind her.

"'Optimum efficiency' doesn't concern me. And I do have a reason to kill you, Ami. They say that when the human body dies, its soul remains suspended." At these words, Ami sank to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably. It was fruitless; she had no way of escaping fate. What an exciting life I've led, she thought.

Placing the gun at the back of Ami's head, ACE One leaned to Ami's ear, saying as sensitively as an android knew how, "I believe your expression for this sort of thing is 'I'm sorry.' As I told you, I will get what I want..."

He fired a quick shot to Ami's head. She collapsed, soulless like the android that had killed her. ACE One holstered the gun, sighing rigidly.

"The problem comes...because I don't know how to get it."

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