Jacer: Healing (Part 1)

I stood there, the captain's jacket in my hand, as Edwina walked away. How long had it been since I had called her sister? And why was I even worried about it? Why did I feel anything at all? The reactions I had gotten from the others ever since I assumed my role properly had been negative. Why? Wasn't I a machine to them too?

"Aster," I said, looking at the shorter figure.

She nearly jumped. "Y-yes?"

"Would you watch after Edwina for me and see that she doesn't put herself in harms way?"

Aster looked surprised, but nodded. I was briefly confronted with a curious desire to ask why she was surprised, but ignored it. Instead I pulled a gun from my trousers and put it in Aster's hands.

"Jacer! Where did you get this?!"

I shook my head, deeming the question unnecessary to answer. "I need to... be alone."

With that, I walked off, dropping Jericho's jacket on the ground outside the Heliopause. It was not my concern what happened to a shred of cloth and Edwina would be protected by Aster since she had the device I gave her. I truly had something I did not know I wanted for now. 

Freedom.

At first, I simply walked, but then I started to think. Why was it that I was created, really? I knew my basic reasons: protect Edwina and protect my own self so I may continue to protect her. Simple as that. Why, then, was I programmed with feelings? What was it that Edwina, or her father, wanted me to do? How could I figure it out? Should a machine even try to reason his creators methods?

I walked out of the airship tower just as a thought hit me. Maybe I was made as an experiment and something unexpected happened? That would explain my emotions and uncanny knowledge. No, not the knowledge, but certainly the emotions. My knowledge was most likely placed to aid my protection of Edwina. The emotions could have been a side effect of using a human brain... Yes, that would explain a lot, certainly.

But, if this was the case, I truly should act like I had been recently. It was logical. Just follow the intended pathway and ignore the side effects. That was all I had to do... 

Why was that such a... sad though?

I bumped into something, then. I had not been paying attention and knocked a little boy down. He was crying now, but it seemed as though it was a continual cry from before I knocked him down. I should have walked on. I should have not left Edwina alone. There were many things I should not have done. A machine needed to stay on task and never deviate. 

But, instead of doing what a machine should, I stopped and helped the boy up. 

He seemed surprised, but thanked me in some strange language. I was confused at first, but the language appeared to make sense to me. I hadn't really paid attention to the others on the tour or even when we were exploring Cairo, so I hadn't known.

"Sorry f-for bumping into you.." The child said in his foreign language. He started to walk on, but I placed my hand on his shoulder. What was it that I was doing? I was a machine. I hadn't the time for anyone but Edwina.

"What is it that makes you sad?" I said, surprising myself by speaking the foreign language perfectly. Understanding something was one thing, but... 

The child looked surprised and even stopped crying. It took him a while to speak. "My dog... she ran away a few days back..." he said, crying once more.

Almost on impulse, I smiled at the child. "Why not search around with me, then?"

He brightened up and nodded very fast. My eyes had long adjusted and I knew what he was. Dirty clothing that was nearly wore down to rags, no shoes, and a sunken body that looked to lack nutrition. It was obvious this child lacked a family. Was that the reason I was helping this child? 

I looked back to where the airship tower loomed in the distance, only illuminated by the bright moonlight. Edwina would have to wait. I didn't know why, but I needed to deviate from my purpose. I guessed I was a machine with faults. 

I turned and walked alongside the child. "What is your name?"

"Dahven! What's yours, mister?"

I started to tell the boy that I didn't need a name. That I was a robot. Something stopped me, though... "Jacer," I said.

Why was I doing this?

The End

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