written by Jake Parkinson
My eyes opened to gaze upon a new world. I expected beauty, I don’t know why, I tried to appreciate what I saw but I couldn’t. I tried to move, I don’t know what I was trying to move, it just felt like an instinct. Nothing happened. I tried to hear but no sound met my ears, I just sat there in complete silence. I felt fragmented, devoid of humanity, staring at a black and white world. Was the world meant to look like this? Just a room full of strange metal objects and wires connecting them. I felt like something was missing, I felt incomplete. I just sat there, I couldn’t do anything. I felt lost, entrapped, I had no memory of anything before my awakening.
Two people walked into the room. I felt cold, like I should feel something but couldn’t. Observing them, one was taller than the other; that is all I could say about them, I could not seem to register their faces. I could see them tinkering with the large metal machines at the other side of the room. Was I their prisoner? I sure felt like a prisoner, unable to do anything but lose myself in my own mind. A wave of sound passed through me quickly, it was beautiful, pulsating through my body. I could hear. The hum of the machinery. The footsteps of the people in the room. I could feel my humanity restoring. The two people in the room walked up to me and began to speak, the deep bass in their voice calmed me.
“We both know you won’t be able to remember anything. That is for the best. We are trying to make you a new person, an improved person. That is why you can’t move right now. As for your sight, it is in black and white. The world looks far better in real colour, we will have that sorted soon. Give us time, Sigma, and we will have you in full working order, you can walk among us again a new being.”
I was human. I couldn’t reply back, apparently I couldn’t speak yet, but I trusted them. I felt like a lab rat, stuck in a cage constantly tested upon, but I felt safe. My name was Sigma, it felt important somewhat, why Sigma? That didn’t sound human. What had happened to me to make me lose everything?
My eyes opened and I saw the world in a new light, I could see colour. The room glistened with radiance before me, the various grays and whites that graced the machines seemed to fit in with the pale colour of the walls and floors. The wires that were once all a standard shade of gray were now multi-coloured, with blues and yellows and reds running across the walls with such perfect beauty. The scientists were right, the world was so much better in colour. I could trust they were telling the truth. I tried to move, still nothing. I couldn’t tell if it had been days or weeks since I last laid eyes on the world. Time seemed to stand still for me, only operating when it wanted to. I could see the scientists better now, the smaller one was also much older, with short balding gray hair lying upon his head. This made me wonder what the colour of my hair was, how old was I? Was I male or female? I still had no idea. I wanted to ask these questions but I could not, they hadn’t found a way to bring my speech back to me yet. The taller of the two scientists approached me, he had long brown hair, messy from where he had ran his hand through it in frustration. He spoke, I could hear him more clearly than last time.
“You now see the world in a much greater light. You see the truth. You hear the truth. I understand that you will have many questions Sigma, I will answer them when you can ask them. Your speech and movement will come back to you soon, we are very close now. I know it has been too long but you don’t have to wait that much longer. You will be free soon.”
I hesitated, his voice came across as ominous; it sounded as if he was hiding something. I don’t know why I felt that way, I could trust them before, what had changed? What did he say that threw me off? Was it the almost philosophical nature of it all? You see the truth, what did that really mean? I still trust he will give me a voice, and when he does I will ask him, he deserves to be trusted for now, he is my saviour after all.
I was rudely awaken to the sounds of blaring alarms. The room in front of me was pitch black expect for the red spinning lights on the walls. I could see the two scientists struggling with the machine in front of me. The world was in chaos. A third man walked into the room, this man was new. He was not wearing a lab coat. He held a gun. I tried to move. I tried to run. I tried to shout. Nothing. The man put a bullet through the small gray haired man’s head, it stained the pale floor a glistening red. I could hear screaming and crying and praying. I couldn’t do anything. The gun was fired again. This time the target was the tall brown haired scientist. He dropped to the floor with a thud. The alarms stopped, the lights came on. I saw the man with the gun was in front of me, mirror in hand. He spoke.
“I am so sorry. You were never saved. I have got to make this quick. I am sorry you never got a chance to live, but it would have changed the world more than you can ever imagine. If you can imagine. Sigma, you are a computer. The eighteenth prototype in a line of computers with human based artificial intelligence. You were tricked. You were never human. You would have never been able to move.”
He held the mirror up to my eyes, but eyes I did not see. I saw a camera. I saw a machine. I was a heap of metal just like the rest of the machines around the room. I was never human. All my emotions, all my thoughts, fake. I never had a past. I wasn’t saved, I was created to be a pawn. I was a prisoner. I always will be a prisoner. I saw the Greek symbol for sigma imprinted on my cold sheet metal. I would never feel anything. I was nothing.
“I am sorry it has to end like this. This is murder of a new life. It will weigh on my conscience for a long time but you can’t live. It is too dangerous. I will do one last thing for you.”
The man reached down and flipped a switch. I could speak. He had turned on my function to speak. I knew I wasn’t human but at least I had a voice. I could hear how robotic it sounded as I muttered an utterance. I could see why they never wanted me to speak. They didn’t want to learn the truth.
“Thank you. Thank you for giving me what little humanity I could obtain. Kill me. Kill me now.”
The whole world went black, I was finally at peace.