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I Am Not an Android

A hapless meat farmer is mistaken for an android.

By Lorelle R.Published 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 14 min read

Interview 0009883

Synthetic Human and Android Inspection Agency Transcript 12/11/2042

Inspector Maria Nelson

Subject is Anise Carmichael/Sunnydale Meat Farms Employee Serial Number 007028

Inspector: Please state your name for the recording.

Subject: [Sighs] Anise Carmichael.

Inspector: The purpose of this random interview is to determine whether or not you, the subject, contain any traces of biosynthetic reasoning or psychology. Do you understand?

Subject: Yes, yes.

Inspector: Please answer “True” or “False” to the following statements.

Subject: I should be working right now. Didn’t you guys inspect this branch three months ago?

Inspector: “At the end of a long work day, I feel satisfied with my work.”

Subject: [Sighs] Sure.

Inspector: Please answer “True” or “False”.

Subject: Fine. True.

Inspector: “I actively seek out social activities with friends and family.”

[Long pause.]

Inspector: Ms. Charmichael?

Subject: False, I guess. My family doesn’t live close to my workplace.

Inspector: “I have many friends outside of my workplace.”

Subject: What are you writing?

Inspector: Please answer the question.

Subject: That report is about me, right? Shouldn’t I be allowed to look at it?

Inspector: You’ve participated in these tests before. You know how they work. There’s really no need to complicate the procedure.

Subject: So let me see what you’ve been writing.

Inspector: Let’s move on. [Cough.] Please answer with as much emotional truth as possible to the following fictional scenario. You are walking through downtown on your way to a sale at one of your favorite retail stores. You see a small, injured rodent in the gutter. How do you react?

Subject: I wouldn’t see it. I don’t look at the ground when I walk. Is that the right answer?

Inspector: There are no right or wrong answers.

Subject: There are if you’re an android, though, right?

Inspector: Have you experienced any strange sensations or perceptions since your last interview with SHAIA?

Subject: Well, I’m being stalked.


Inspector: Please elaborate.

Subject: By a mail drone. Someone sent me mail, but it won’t complete the delivery. It just follows me around everywhere I go.

Inspector: Let’s wrap this up, shall we? Please look into this camera.

Subject: What does it do?

Inspector: What cameras usually do. Smile.

Subject: Why?

Inspector: You look sad.

Subject: I’m not. Why would you say that?

[Long pause.]

Inspector: Your results are back. Hm. Call your manager in here, please.

Subject: What? Why? That’s not procedure.

Inspector: Actually, it is.

Subject: Since when? You didn’t do this last time.

[Rustling noises]

Inspector: Will you join us in here, please? Thank you.

[This third subject will hereafter be referred to as Employee 006710]

Employee 006710: What’s the holdup?

Inspector: This employee is an android.


Subject: [Laughs] No, I’m not!

Inspector: I can assure you, she is.

Subject: I think I’d know!

Inspector: Our machines are never wrong. We’ll need to tag her and add her to the registry and perform some other administrative tasks. We’ll be here a bit longer than expected.

Subject: Now wait just a minute! I’m not an android!

Employee 006710: Can you prove that? Legally, I mean.

Subject: Legally? I was born! I have parents!

Employee 006710: You could have been swapped with the original bio, for all I know.

Subject: What-

Employee 006710: Look, Anise, you’re a great employee. One of the best. No one’s more efficient. But I’m sorry, ultimately I have a business to run here. I can’t get in trouble for employing unregistered synthetics. Do you have any idea what the fines are like?

Interviewer: Hold out your arm, please. We’ll need to chip you.

Subject: This is crazy!

Interviewer: Arm, please.

Subject: No way. I’m not an android, I’m a person! A person!

Interviewer: Can you hold her arm down for me please?

Subject: Over my dead, human body!

[Sounds of struggle]

Interviewer: Ow! Hey!

[End transmission]

Transcription of video surveillance footage

Submitted by Sunnydale Meat Farms

Date: 12/11/2042

Camera D

Subject runs through hall. Subject knocks over a Sunndydale Meat Farms employee, but does not stop to assist. Subject exits through easternmost door.

Camera B

Subject enters administrative offices. Employees look up but do not move to impede Subject. Subject attempts to open various doors, without apparent success. Subject turns toward door through which Subject entered the room. A secondary subject enters room and appears to be pursuing Subject. Subject tries last door and exits through it. Door is marked as “Template Room”.

Camera R-24

Subject enters room. Room contains a biological-animal cage with outside feeding access. Subject opens cage, and exits room through feeding door. Template exits room after subject.

City Taxi Serial Number: RLCT785655 – Quality Recording (TM) Transcript


Driver: Where to, miss?

Passenger: Just, go!

Driver: And will the pig be joining us?

Passenger: I don’t know!

[Inhuman squealing noises]

Passenger: Fine! Whatever! Get in!

Driver: I charge extra for animal passengers.

Passenger: Just go!

Driver: There’s no need to raise your voice. But alright, here we go. Since you haven’t provided me with a destination, just say when, I guess.

Passenger: I need to think. I need to think.

Driver: Couldn’t hurt.


Passenger: Pick up. Pick up.

Driver: You talking to me?

Passenger: Mom?

Driver: Okay, not me. I get it.

Passenger: I failed the test. [Pause] The android test! The test to find androids!

Driver: Ooh.

Passenger: They think I’m an android, Mom!


Passenger: What? Of course it’s a big deal! Mom, they think I’m a synthetic! They tried to chip me in the arm!


Passenger: Hang on. Mom? Mom! I can’t believe this. She hung up.

Driver: Oh, look at that.

Passenger: Hey, hey, hey! Why are you pulling over? Who told you to pull over?

Driver: Look. You’ve got mail. Window’s jammed, you’re gonna have to open your door.

Passenger: Now it wants to complete the delivery? Now?

[Buzzing] [Slamming sound]

Driver: That looks interesting.

Passenger: It just says “Is this better?”, whatever that means. And it needs a code to open.

Driver: Well, when did you order it? The company probably sent you a code.

Passenger: I didn’t order anything. Just drive.

Driver: Whatever you say, miss. On we go. …Well, hey, who’s it from? Maybe you can message them for the code.

Passenger: There’s no name. Just a return address.

Driver: Well, maybe you can-

Passenger: I don’t care about the stupid package! …Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout. It’s been a stressful day.

Driver: You’re telling me. My last customer… actually, you’re not gonna want to hear that story until you’re sitting somewhere else.

[Squealing noises]

Driver: So what’s with the pig?

Passenger: Look, if you don’t mind, I need to talk to my doctor for a minute.

Driver: Suit yourself. Cute pig, is all.

Passenger: Hey, Doc?

Digital Voice: At your service.

Driver: [Driver’s speech overlaps with Passenger’s speech] Oh, you got one of those virtual doctor apps, huh? I don’t trust ‘em. My doctor’s a synthetic. Much more reliable, you know. Better than humans, too. Don’t make prejudicial errors. But I guess you know about that, sounds like.

Passenger: Do I seem… unusual to you?

Digital Voice: Please include more detail in your inquiry for best results.

Passenger: Do I seem more… like you?

Digital Voice: I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. Please try again.

Passenger: Do I seem different? Does my behavior seem different?

Digital Voice: You disabled mandatory mental health checks six months ago. Would you like to resume?

Passenger: I don’t remember disabling any of your procedures.

Digital Voice: Resuming mandatory mental health checks. Question #1: Do you feel sad?

Driver: Don’t we all? [Extremely loud laughter]

Digital Voice: Do you identify with any of the following statements? I feel empty inside. I feel like a husk of a human being. I am out of touch with my emotions. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I stopped existing.

Driver: Whoa, kinda a bummer there, buddy. Are you sure it isn’t the program making you depressed?

Passenger: I’m not depressed. Goodbye, Doc.

Digital Voice: It’s been a pleasure. [Electronic trill]

Driver: Maybe for some of us.

Passenger: My mom… I told her something that should have been shocking. Just now.

Driver: That you’re an android?

Passenger: I’m not an android!

Driver: Okay, okay.

Passenger: She wasn’t shocked. At all. She seemed… kinda… I dunno, guilty? You don’t think she could have-


Passenger: Hey!

[Scuffling sounds]

Passenger: Give it back!

Driver: Ha! Wee little thing almost got your box open without needing a passcode, huh?

Passenger: Not such a wee little thing. Shame on you, Piggy! From now on, this stays in my lap.


Passenger: Hey, this writing…

Driver: What, on the package?

Passenger: Yeah. It kind of looks like… I think it’s my handwriting.

Driver: Ooh. Eerie.

Passenger: But how could I have forgotten sending myself a package? And why would I send myself a package?

Driver: Well, you said there’s a return address?

Passenger: Well, yeah.

Driver: So why don’t we go find out? You, I mean. Why don’t you go find out.


Passenger: Piggy’s in.

ERROR. RLCT785655 Quality Recording Device (TM) is out of storage. Please free up space immediately. No more data will be recorded. ERROR.

From the records of Dr. Edna Harper

Home Security Camera Footage



AI-Rendered Transcript, footage compiled from multiple home security cameras

[Doorbell rings]

Dr. Harper: Coming. Calm down!

[Dr. Harper opens front door.]

Dr. Harper: Oh.

[Unidentified subject enters foyer, carrying an unidentified package. Biological-animal enters foyer.]

[SCANNING.] [Biological-animal identified as SUS SCROFA DOMESTICUS;tran/ver::common/pig]

[SCANNING.] [Unidentified subject identified as ANISE CARMICHAEL, aka ANISE]

Anise: I have questions.

Dr. Harper: You should never have found this place.

Anise: And what is this place? Exactly?

Dr. Harper: You weren’t even supposed to remember my name.

[Dr. Harper points at the unidentified package.]

Dr. Harper: Looks like you broke some rules. That package was supposed to stay with your parents. But you what, sent it to yourself via dronemail, to be delivered at a specific time? Or under specific circumstances? Clever.

Anise: I need to know. What am I?

Dr. Harper: Oh, dear. Here.

[Dr. Harper passes a piece of cloth material to Anise.]

Dr. Harper: [Sighs.] You want to understand? Follow me.

[Dr. Harper, Anise, and Pig walk to Computer Room B. Dr. Harper sits by a computer.]

Dr. Harper: Take a look at this.

Computer: [Inaudible] So what, I’m supposed to travel through life, grayly, when I know that other existence is out there? The one where I don’t hate myself for being lazy and messy and not good enough, but unable to grab it? That sucks. I don’t want- [inaudible] Life is hard. Doing the very basics sometimes feels like fighting to keep my head above water. [inaudible] I was late to work today. Couldn’t care. Well, I cared. I worried. But not enough to get to work on time. [inaudible]

Anise: What is this?

Dr. Harper: This is you. Before the procedure.

Anise: Procedure?

Dr. Harper: You came in here with your parents about six months ago. Said the meds weren’t doing their job and you wanted to feel better. Your parents paid me a lot of money for that.

[Dr. Harper points at unidentified package.]

Dr. Harper: I implanted a, well, a synaptic dampener. In your brain. Your amygdala, to be specific. It acts as a sort of, insulator, I suppose you could say. Blocks out all those nasty emotions. Of course, I don’t touch the self-preservation ones. You’ve still got fear, annoyance, disgust… But everything else, you’re free of.

Anise: Implanted? So… so… I’m not an android?

Dr. Harper: What you are, is less miserable.

Anise: I don’t think that’s true.

Dr. Harper: Didn’t you see the video files? You could barely get out of bed in the mornings. You had no friends, no social life.

Anise: I still don’t. You know why? They can tell. No one wants to be friends with someone who doesn’t feel anything. You can’t be vulnerable with someone who doesn’t understand vulnerability! They can sense it! They know!

Dr. Harper: Don’t be ridiculous.

Anise: Fix me.

Dr. Harper: I’ve already done that.

Anise: Put me back the way I was.

Dr. Harper: Even if I could do that. And I can’t. But even if I could, you want to go back to feeling like that?

[Dr. Harper points at computer.]

Dr. Harper: My work is impeccable. Trust me, you are better off this way.

Anise: I don’t want to feel better, I want to get better. Do you understand?

Dr. Harper: I’m afraid not. And I think you should leave now.

Anise: Maybe I’ll be miserable again, but at least there will be a possibility for getting better. People are willing to do a lot for possibility. Like threaten to reveal the identity of a doctor performing illegal brain surgeries.

Dr. Harper: Oh. So it’s like that.

Anise: I just want the chance to get better.

[Dr. Harper stands up.]

Dr. Harper: Take a seat then.

[Dr. Harper places unidentified machinery around and on Anise.]


Dr. Harper: Well, you’re certainly not an android. An android would see the futility in this. Hand me the package.

Anise: What is it?

Dr. Harper: You asked me to obliterate my former artistry, so now I am trying to do that. Hand me the box.

[Anise transfers the unidentified package to Dr. Harper. Dr. Harper opens the unidentified package.]

Dr. Harper: This gives me access to your augmentations.

[Dr. Harper takes something from the unidentified package and places it in the computer.]

Dr. Harper: I can now connect with your neural network. I’ll start by removing the safeguards and blockers. Some emotions may begin to leak through during this process.

Anise: How many others are there?

Dr. Harper: Hm?

Anise: Like me. How many others have you blocked?

Dr. Harper: You’re the first to complain.

Anise: If no one knows what was done, how can you know they’re better this way?

Dr. Harper: I know.

Anise: So how does it work? Brains change, don’t they? How do you keep them from reprogramming themselves?

Dr. Harper: That transmitter sends updates as needed. My system is flawless, it’s too bad you can’t see it that way.

Anise: I’m sorry I had to threaten you.

Dr. Harper: Guilt.

Ansie: What?

Dr. Harper: I tried to warn you. You think you’re better off with your emotions back. I guess we’ll see.

[The front door opens. Five law enforcement officers enter the room.]

Officer 1059: Android containment officers!

Dr. Harper: In here, officers!

[The law enforcement officers enter Computer Room B.]

Officer 1059: Ma’am, step away from the android.

Anise: I’m not-

Officer 1059: Anise Carmichael, you are guilty of evading android registration efforts, and illegally existing without a government issue ID chip. Since you resisted previously, we will begin the registration with the necessary level of force at this time.

[Dr. Harper removes an item from the computer and smashes it with a paperweight.]

Anise: Stop!

Officer 4349: What was that?

Dr. Harper: Just some outdated tech. I don’t need it anymore.

Anise: You destroyed it. Why…?

Officer 1059: Grab the android.

[Two officers hold Anise. Officer 1059 places a device on Anise’s arm.]

Anise: Ow!

Officer 1059: ID chip has been installed successfully. The registration process will be finished by android inspectors at a date soon to be determined. Do you understand?

Anise: No…

Officer 1059: Listen-

Anise: That was my only chance!

[Anise moves toward Dr. Harper. Three officers grab Anise.]

Officer 4349: The android is agitated. I’m going to administer TR.

Officer 1059: Go.

[Officer 4349 places a second device against Anise’s arm.]

Officer 1059: There, is that better?

[Anise slumps to the floor.]

Dr. Harper: What is that?

Officer 4349: Tranquility in a syringe.

Officer 1059: Go ahead and swab her for the database while she’s calm. Now listen, Anise. My name is Kenwood Harris. I know your parents. They hired me to find you before anyone else did. They want you to know they’ve arranged a job, just like the one you used to have. You’ll work at a fully android-staffed meat farm. Your name goes on the registry, but no charges for evading registration. This time. But all of that means you have to cooperate. Do you understand?

Anise: [inaudible]

Officer 1059: Say again?

[Anise stands up. She leans on Officer 4349.]

Anise: No.

[Anise takes a baton from Officer 4349’s belt and smashes a device in the center of the room.]

Anise: [Screams.]

[Anise falls to the ground.]

Dr. Harper: No! No! No!

Pig: [Squeals]

[Officer 4349 takes back his baton.]

Officer 4349: What’s wrong with her?

Officer 1059: Get the android-medics up here, STAT.

[Pig runs at officers, rams Officer 4349 to the ground. Pig runs to Anise. Officer 4349 gets up. Pig turns and runs at Officer 4349. Officer 4349 discharges firearm into Pig.]

Officer 1059: Stand down!

Anise: Nooooo!

[Dr. Harper runs to device at center of room. Anise crawls to Pig.]

Dr. Harper: You’ve ruined my life’s work!

Officer 1754: Requesting android medical services on location.

Anise: Piggy… I’m so sorry… I should never have let you follow me.

[Anise hugs Pig.]

Officer 1754: Does she seem to be acting a bit emotional? For an android, I mean.

Officer 1059: Hm. Dr. Harper, can you explain the meaning of that device?

Dr. Harper: Transmitter.

Officer 1059: Beg pardon?

Dr. Harper: It’s a transmitter. Or it was. It’s not transmitting anything, anymore. Ah…

[Dr. Harper sits on the floor.]

Officer 1059: I think we’d better all take a trip to the main office. I have some questions for you and the android.

Dr. Harper: I think we both know she’s not an android. Look at her.

[Anise looks at the window.]

Officer 1059: What’s she looking at?

Dr. Harper: I think she’s looking at the sunlight.

End of Partial Transcript

Sci FiShort StoryMystery

About the Creator

Lorelle R.

"Writers write," I chant to myself as I endlessly refresh Goodreads instead of writing.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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  • A. Lenae4 months ago

    This was delightful. Such a great, unique, ride, and so compelling!

  • THE SPEAR SISTERS4 months ago

    So fun!

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