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Monday, March 12, 2012

Metallic Heart - Chapter 7

From the moment I visited Frida in jail, things changed drastically for me.  
 
 Everything appeared in a new light.
 
 My once colorful existence was now tainted in the bleak shades of injustice and oppression. 
 
 My eyes were now opened to the terrible plight of the humans here in Lunar Lakes.  I wanted to see more of the world we bots created.
 
 I decided to visit the outskirts of town; where only humans lived.
 
 I wanted to really see how the humans were faring.  Were they all as bad off as Frida? I wanted to see reality, now that I was not attempting to look at it through “bot tinted” eyes.
My limo driver and I  rounded the corner to an area of Lunar Lakes where we bots rarely go.
 
I noticed several tents set-up in a once empty lot. It appeared that a group of humans were homeless, although here in Lunar Lakes, there were empty homes available. However, the majority of them are located in the “bot” part of town.
“Pull over here,” I directed my driver.

“Are you sure?  What could you possibly-”

“It is government business.  Please just do as I ask.”
Reluctantly, my driver pulled over in front of the lot.
I sat there, looking out of the window at the tents and the humans that had been living in them.  Again, I got the guilt response, because I know exactly why some of the humans are living this way, and it is partially my fault.
I hopped out of the limo to my driver’s dismay.  I could tell that he was afraid of being caught in this area, but he made the wise decision to keep it to himself.
From what I observed, I guessed that at least two families of humans were living in this lot.  One family had a toddler, which automatically made me recall Frida’s request.
When the humans first arrived in Lunar Lakes, several years ago, the bots allowed them to assimilate into our culture.  We even allowed them to occupy homes in the now “bot” part of town.
However, the humans began to mate and reproduce.  This sent the bots into a panic.  We felt that if we continued to allow them to live among us, while they continued to increase in number, it would be a matter of time before the humans would out number and out rank us.
Bots in power immediately began passing legislation that would lessen the human’s likelihood for success in our world.  First, humans were fired from all but the lowest paying jobs.  We justified it by claiming that they had inferior intelligence.
When they could no longer afford the homes they were living in, they were forced to live in cheaper homes in the outskirts of town.  However, some humans saved up enough simoles to continue to occupy their homes in our part of town.
Laws were then passed to create a property tax to force these richer humans out of their homes. These homes were then purchased by bots, whether they could afford them or not.  A loan program was started to allow these bots to move in, creating a bot only area.
Once I was voted into office, I was responsible for drafting a lot of these unfair housing laws.  I did my duty willingly with no remorse or guilt.
I stood witnessing the results of my actions.
I stood there as long as I could, but my system was being overloaded with emotional responses.  Afraid to short out from an emotional overload, I hurried back to my limo.
I now realized that we bots had been foolish.  Pushing the humans away, did not stop them from reproducing.  It just created a system, where we bots ended up isolating ourselves from them and they were left to try and fend for themselves.
My limo driver hurried toward the bot part of town.  Here too, things no longer looked the same. 
How could I go back to living the same way I always have, now that I have seen what I have seen?  Frida expected me to keep quiet and hold my position of power, but I do not think she realized how tough that would be.
How could I face my friends, my co-workers and my bot mate when I knew that their prejudices and biases were wrong?
This was all put to the test immediately when I walked into the house.
“There you are.  Where have you been?”  Chas asked immediately.

“I was held up at work as usual.  You know President
Aron.”
I do not think that Chas detected my untruth.  However, he pulled me in for an emotional exchange in what felt like an attempt to determine if I was telling the truth.
“Did you forget?” He asked.

“What?”
“We invited some friends over tonight.  They should be here in a few hours.”

“Or course not.  We bots never forget,” I answered.
Truth is, with all of these new emotional sequences going through my system today, I totally forgot.  This worried me a little.
I needed to clear my mind to prepare it for the arrival of our friends.  If my emotional response system kept feeding me these feelings of guilt and remorse toward the humans, it would be a matter of time before I said or did something to alarm my fellow bots.
“Do you think we need to stock up on scraps?” Chas asked.

“No, you know everyone usually has their own supply.”
Chas went about the house preparing it for our friends’ arrival. 
Moments later, they began to arrive. 
Immediately I began to get a worry response.  Can I really pull this off? I asked myself as I stood.

“Are you okay?” Chas asked reading the response on my face.

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