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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Metallic Heart - Chapter 14

 After leaving President Aron’s office, I pulled Mia to the side in the hallway.  I just had to know why Chas had visited President Aron unannounced.
 “Mia, why was Chas here?  I saw him leaving just as I was preparing for the meeting.”
 “He burst in right after I left your office, demanding to know why we had not executed the human yet,” Mia said, confirming what I suspected.
Mia continued, “He was also pretty upset about the paparazzi hounding you last night.  He wanted the so-called human witnesses rounded-up and arrested.”
 “Why did he leave so upset?” 

“Well, his visit really put President
Aron on the defensive. President Aron resisted everything that Chas threw at him.”
 “Do you think that is why President Aron was so agreeable to everything we suggested?”
 “I found that odd also.  I think so, because as Chas left, I heard President Aron murmur that no one tells him what to do!”
 “The paparazzi visit really was terrible, but I do not think it warrants an arrest.”
 “Maybe you should tell him that, because he was pretty passionate about it.  He did not seem like he was going to take no for an answer.”
 “I will, but I do not think he will listen.”

“I know one thing,” Mia added, “He will not be too happy to hear about the human’s sentence.”

As Mia said it, I realized that she was right and that unhappy was an understatement.
I left the office that day feeling very unsure.  Like anyone who attempts to do the right thing, I came to a moment when I questioned if I was actually doing the right thing.  Maybe the other bots, including Chas were right, and my actions were only the result of the virus that had infected my system.  What if the humans had actually put it there?  What if I was only doing what they wanted me to do; serving some hidden agenda?
What if they were the actual villains here?

 I directed my limo driver toward the Lunar Lakes Crystal Mines.
Without the crystal mines here in Lunar Lakes, life would not be possible.  The crystals are the source of our power.
The theory is that an abundance of crystals below Lunar Lakes is responsible for a strong gravitational pull that exist only in this small area of the moon.
When we bots were first sent to prove Lunar Lakes habitable, our first mission was to mine the crystals day and night.  Chas and some of the other scientists later discovered that the crystal could also serve as a power source, providing Lunar Lakes with energy for our homes and businesses.
After Lunar Lakes was deemed habitable, we bots abandoned the mines and turned our attention toward building up a city and setting up a government.
Now these once abandoned mines would serve as a place of punishment for humans…for Frida who never even committed the crime that she has been accused of.
And I had to figure out how to live with that.  
I had succeeded in saving her from execution, but did I really save her?  Several of us bots worked until we practically wore out from working the mines.  A couple of us ended up being scrap metal; beyond repair.  There was no way a human could survive even ten years here in the mines.
 All I had really done was save my position as Vice President, which was what Frida wanted. 

But, unless I could find a way to really change the way Lunar Lakes was being run, I was not really helping anyone.
Maybe I was just a pawn for the humans…a pawn being navigated and manipulated by a virus.
Either way, there was more that had to be done.
The crystal mines would be a very tough sentence for Frida and I knew that unless I really made an effort to change the emotional responses of the bots…
Frida would still die in vain.
I arrived home that evening to an empty house and a text message from Chas saying that he would be spending most of the evening at his lab.
My goal was to use this time planning out my next strategy and trying to figure out another way to access the internet, but I was surprised by a knock at the door.  It was Amira Bot 707, who is an officer, responsible for building up our military and often difficult to get along with.
“Hello Amira,” I said, greeting her.  “To what do I owe this unexpected visit?”

“Are you aware that my home was broken into by two
morts?” She said in her stern demanding voice that makes her idea to run our military.
“So it was you that President Aron was referring to today?  From what I understand, the humans have been arrested.”

“Yes, but arrested is not enough,” she said in a quick short matter.
“Believe me, the humans will be punished,” I answered.

Finally a smile spread across
Amira’s face.  “So they will be executed after all?” She said, assuming that execution was the punishment that I meant.
“Well, I am not at liberty to say anything.  President Aron will be making an announcement tomorrow to inform all of Lunar Lakes of the changes in our criminal law.”

 “But they will be executed,” Amira said once again as if she had not heard what I had just told her.
 “Like I said, I am not at liberty to say, but please rest assured that the humans will receive a suitable punishment.”

“No!  Listen to me Vice President
Ardis.  My home was violated by two morts when I was in a vulnerable position.  If not for my military training and quick actions, they could have easily reprogrammed my system or worse!  Nothing short of execution will be suitable!”
 “But Amira-”

“Good evening Vice President Ardis,” Amira said cutting the conversation short. “I will await the President’s decision.” She said turning on her heels to leave.  My lack of an answer did not make her happy.

I was beginning to see a little of what President
Aron meant by backlash caused by our decision.  What would happen once all the bots of Lunar Lakes found out that none of the humans would be executed?  

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