Free Will

"I wrote this piece during a Creative Writing Club meeting here at Lambert and I feel very proud of it, in that it shows how far I have come since I first started writing." -Jessica Wilder

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Sketch done using MS Paint by Johnathan via Flickr.com

A world filled with robots knows no free will

He couldn’t remember when he became Aware. They weren’t supposed to have Free
Minds during charging hours. Come to think of it, they weren’t really allowed Free Mind
at all. He was scared they would know, the chips installed as makeshift hearts would
always give a red alert at the tiniest thing. He did recall on occasion when another one
of his kind had somehow thought about how to catch a football rather than mindlessly
serve the assigned family their dinner. She was taken to the Programmer, but she had
yet to turn up again.

These chips were meant to keep their minds as blank as possible; any detailed
thought would give them a one-way ticket to the Programmer. He was scared, he was a
good… what was he, exactly? Looking down at his set up, he managed to make out the
numbers engraved to the left side of his cold chest. He was afraid to read them silently
to himself, but he was already Aware and nothing had happened to him yet. But what if
they were looking for him now? He had no idea how the procedure went exactly, the
mechanical companions weren’t meant to know. Pushing through the fear, he read the
combination of letters and numbers. “MC-3261” had been filled with black paint where
the molder pressed into the metal.

Okay, that had been enough. The Programmer must be searching up and down
the pristine and stiff lines of the musky Warehouse. Anyone walking in would feel an
assault on their nostrils, so many mechanical companions in one compact room created
a scent concoction somewhere along the lines of an old basement with the metallic
accents of blood. MC-3261 shut his mechanical eyes, the rusty lids filling the Warehouse
with a layered screech symphony.

Why wasn’t he going back into Rest Mode? He knew he was still hooked up to
the bulky station, the charger shoved into his back with his hands by his cyborg body.
Just don’t think! He told himself. But it was too late, his mind running off from one topic
to the next from colors to the image of someone popping champagne with tiny glitters
floating around them and a huge ball shape in the background on a weird box. Clips of
these weird bright bots in the Great Blackness to wonders of pink and purple fluffies in
the sky. He wanted to be there, be unleashed from this restraint and soar up into the
Great Blue.

He remembered a long moving picture that his assigned family watched on
another one of those weird boxes. “Think of a wonderful thought, any happy little
thought. Think of Christmas, think of snow, think of snowbells and off you go.”
MC-3261 had no clue what any of that was, but he figured it was a beautiful
thing. He gave it a shot, the cogs in his head were rusty and chipped, but they tried their
best to turn. Images popped into his head; pictures of families running in a field,
gathering animals across a savannah, girls laughing at a weird box, an orb with swirls
floating on its own in the Great Blackness with the balls of light, weird creatures with
pointed chins and large black eyes far away. MC-3261 was amazed with where his infant
mind was going, so much so that he didn’t see the Programmer wrap his gloved hands
around the plug in his back.

Just when his mind had begun to explore this new world, in room of over 1,000
mechanical companions, he had created his own collection of weird light balls and
thousands of eyes opened with Free Will for the first time and MC-3261 ceased to exist.