Jacer: Conflict

A machine knows no fear. A machine knows only it's duty. A machine does not have feelings, nor should it. It was simply there, designed to be what it was: a machine. I was a machine. I did not have fears, nor feelings, nor did unnecessary things. Well, wasn't that true? It should have been. Only, it wasn't.

I walked beside Edwina as the tour into the pyramids continued. The tour guide seemed to know the knowledge required of him and posed no threat to Edwina. That was good. All was as it should have been. So long as Edwina remained healthy and happy, Jacer was a successful invention.

My eyes grew wide and I started trembling as the tour guides lamp shut off. Something wasn't right. It wasn't something wrong with me. All of my body seemed to be without injury or malfunction. No, this was something caused by my mental status, but why now?

"What's going on?"

"The hell....?"

A light appeared and the tour guide apologized repetitively. He had brought a back up lantern, though, so I had no reason to panic. My body regained it's normal composure and I followed the others, ignoring there words. There was no reason for me to worry. My shaking earlier was probably the product of the protective nature over Edwina. 

I was simply a machine. 

"..alright?"

Edwina was talking to me. "Sorry, what was that?" I asked her. She seemed a little worried, so I gave her a smile. That didn't seem to help, but I wasn't programmed to do anything else, so I waited for a reply. 

"You have been acting weird since you were repaired..." she said, her voice sounding more and more like worry. 

At that time, I realized the tour was already over and we were walking toward the bus to head back to Cairo. Odd how time flows. Though, a machine such as me should not be thinking things odd.  "I apologize, I have simply been doing what I was programmed to do."

Edwina stopped in her tracks, causing Jericho and Aster to turn back and look at us. I had forgotten they were there too. What was wrong? I was supposed to be aware of my surroundings and protect Edwina... I could not do that if I did not notice everything. 

"Jacer... do you know what you were programmed to do?" Edwina asked me. Such an odd question. The answer was so simple that even she should know it. Why was she asking me to tell her? 

And why could I not say it. "I... do not know..." I said, surprised to find myself saying such words. "Apologies," I said quickly after, "I meant to say that my prime directive is your safety and my second is my own, so that I may carry out the first."

"I... see," Edwina said, looking sad. 

I leaned forward, placing a hand on her head and rubbing it. Why was I doing it, though. "Everything will be fine," I said reassuringly, "I am here to keep you happy, you know?"

Edwina's eyes grew larger, as did Asters. "F-father?" Edwina cried.

I backed away from her. "Apologies. I do not know why I did that. Let us continue."

Behind me I heard the faint voices of Edwina and Aster. They were easy enough to hear. 

"You heard that?" Aster was saying.

"I did. It seems like father programmed the brain..." Edwina said, her voice a strange mixture of joy and sadness. 

I ignored them, though. There could have been a threat to Edwina nearby, so I needed to be on guard. But... My mind kept going back to when I said those words involuntarily. It wasn't what I said or even the fact that I had no control that I thought on. No, those were explained by Edwina just a second before. Programs could be set to activate at just the right time. No doubt Edwina's father was the one to program his brain and make him say that. 

The real thing that bothered me was the warm feeling I got from saying it. 

The End

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