Oct 5, 2007

K, Robot

The K-series robot didn't begin its life as a machine, but rather, as a normal man. Science fiction novels had popularised the idea of robots wanting to become human; but 20th century technology was nowhere near advanced enough to facilitate such radical change. It was, however, up to the task of transforming a human into a robot.

And so it was with the K-series, which began its life as an average human, raised in rural surroundings with a standard education - and no more robotic than a pencil.

But as it grew into adulthood, the man that K-series once was developed a slight problem with its main engine. "Heart" was the human word for it. A pumping valve to this "heart" became damaged beyond normal human repair. Perhaps it had always been faulty, perhaps it had been used and abused during its owner's lifetime. At any rate, there came a time when the heart was no longer operational, unable to be fixed under warranty (human body parts rather foolishly lacking such back-ups), and therefore had to be replaced.

Now it is said that once a drop of salt enters a body of fresh water, that the water is no longer fresh, but salty. Similarly, once the robotic element was implanted into the human, then the human instantly lost a facet of its own humanity. "Machineness" had taken root, forever changing the man. Like the drop of salt within the freshwater lake it was undetectable to most other humans, but slowly, would come to flavour the actions of the now half-robot man.

The K-series, as the machine then came to be called, decided the country needed fixing, much like his heart had all those years ago. He attempted to work for governments in advisory capacities, but his mechanical heart broke with the strain. He knew was to politics what the last gasp of a dying woman was to a tornado.

So the K-series mended his broken valve, and began making alternative arrangements for the future of the country. With the support of his family unit, he braved the polling booths and made a run for elected office. He put himself out there, machineness and all, begging to be given a chance.

The people watched and evaluated his steely resolution, his perfectly groomed appearance and his ability to summarise popular discontent in twenty seconds or less. They liked the fact he kept a steady gaze despite the constant barrage of camera flashes. They thought the K-series looked like a robot that would get things done.

But the very reliability of the K-series proved its downfall. The people began to question the merits of electing a robot to public office. Was it really in their best interests to be represented by a creature without a living, beating heart? Could it truly understand the needs, desires, emotions of the voters? Could it feel?

The K-series was defeated, and its mechanical heart shattered again. Fortunately, it could still be fixed under warranty. It was even able to upgrade to a newer valve, one which replicated the beating of the human heart. The K-series was determined to regain its lost humanity, in the most machine-like way it could.

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