MECHANICAL HEART: Part Two
A story series by: Corey Seeley and Lindsay Pate.
Part Two (Corey Seeley): Words.
Words; I have the physical proficiency to speak them, but do I really mean them? Are they sincere? When I speak to others of my kind, we just communicate. It doesn’t feel like a real engagement in conversation. We aren’t programmed to speak certain idioms, because we have the brainpower to decide for ourselves what we will say. Do I even put emotion into the words that I progress? Humans have the facial expressions, the watery eyes, and the wrinkles in their skin. They have the little things that make conversation more significant.
I know that I must respond to her. She is glowering at me, anticipating for a response. I’ve never dealt with human confrontation before. Most humans are too frightened to speak to me, and almost all of them shiver with fear. We’re not all predators. I’ve never killed a human; I’ve never even harmed a human, not that I remember. I can only recall memories that they permitted when I was created.
She stands up, and takes three slow footsteps towards me. She is approximately four feet from the cell door. She does not seem afraid of me at all; she seems arduous. If I could read human facial expressions, I would know what she is thinking. I don’t have that expertise because of my lack of human interaction. As she takes another two steps, she begins to speak again.
“Do you, speak a language?” “Can you hear me?” “I’m talking to you!!”
Her voice begins to rise with every question asked. She is, angry with me. Her eyes are flaring and I can see a small crinkle above the cuts on her forehead. Anger is surprisingly not a human emotion I’ve ever had to cope with. I’m not suppose to comfort these humans when they’re sad, and I’m certainly not suppose to have conversation with them when they try to engage in one. I need to step away from where I am standing, and remain unseen. I want to speak out, and give her answers, but I know I shouldn’t. She is becoming livid; I can see it in her eyes. They’re changing color, slowly but I see it. They’re becoming a dusky green, as they were hazel a few moments ago. My thoughts are scattered, evaluating both outcomes of my next move. Avoid a seemingly regrettable action, or communicate with this human girl, and see what the results may be.
She takes the final two steps as she approaches the cell door. Her eyes are continuously glued to my every motion. As I take a step backwards, the words seem to fall out of my dry, mechanized mouth.
Her face seems to change facial expressions; a new expression begins to form. An expression I’ve never seen. Before she can continue with a response, a movement from the hallway alarms us both. He is here for her. Her time is up. The other human girl in the cell starts to weep a little louder, as another of my kind steps towards the cell door.
He is a larger, stronger, more brutal version of myself. He was built as a warrior but they use him for interrogation, and intimidation steps. He puts all the fear into these humans so the administration knows exactly the kind of soul each one contains. That is how the occupations for each are determined. I don’t particularly care for him. I remember on my first day here, he accused me of being too silent around the humans. I guess I’m supposed to be cruel because of what I am? That’s just not the way I am. No humans have escaped or committed suicide while I’ve been here, so I’m performing my occupation in a productive manner.
He looks down at me, with an ignorant glare. “I thought I heard shouting from a female voice. Does this girl warrant any course of punishment?”
“No.” I say as he steps into the cell and tags her wrist with a track device. She doesn’t squirm, or scream at all. Who is this girl?
As he takes her, her eyes build up a single tear, and I see the hazel color reappearing. She is almost out of sight, when she whips her head back at me, staring within me. She’s gone.
Part Two (Lindsay Pate): Fear
I feel his cold steel hands gripping at my tiny emaciated frame. His movements are so harsh they are almost violent. I wonder if he is going to hurt me, or worse. I need to be strong. I try to wrestle away from his forceful grip, to prove that I can walk on my own. He grips even more tightly to my arms.
Loathing bubbles to the surface of my composure and froths over my words, as I demand that he let me go. For a moment I thought he was loosening his grip, but as we turn the corner into what resembles a doctor’s office, I regret my hostility. Abruptly, he hoists me into the air like a rag doll and slams me into the wall. As my body goes limp he hurls me down onto a cold, steel medical table. His hands are on either side of me holding down my wrists. I am terrified of what he may do to me.
His emotionless face hovers closely above mine, sending shivers down my spine. In all the time of running and hiding from them I have never been so frightened. His face is so close it is nearly touching mine; I quiver in utter disgust and fear.
Finally he speaks, “Are you a virgin, little girl?”
I feel as though my heart has come to a complete stop and will never revive. Over the past few years I have heeded warnings that their kind rape girls my age. I have even overheard tales of a “sex game” that they play, exploiting humans. My mind races, as I attempt to think of a way out of this situation. There is not one.
He speaks again furiously, “Just answer my questions, girl.”
I have no other hope than to answer his interrogations and pray that he will let me go. My mind feels as though it is breaking, I can barely muster enough strength to speak.
My voice betrays me as it quivers, “Yes.”
Without hesitation he asks me another barrage of odd questions. I am confused as to what they mean, and petrified of what this knowledge may mean. Why are these questions so personal? Why does he care?
I think he is about to ask me another question when suddenly I feel his icy hand grasp tightly onto my left breast and he sneers, “Someone will be coming to give you an exam now, my pretty girl.”
I turn my head away in disgust and close my eyes, willing him to leave. After what feels like eternity he lets go of whatever part of my numb body he clutched and exits the room. I almost feel relieved that he is gone, until I realize that he said someone is coming to examine me. What the hell does that mean?
I see someone walking into the sterile room out of the corner of my eye. I recognize him through my delirious haze. It is the “man” from earlier, the one who lied to him for me. The first kindness I have seen in months.
The only word I can muster from my disoriented state is, “You”.