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An android attempts to make sense of a traumatic experience

By Jenna CosgrovePublished about a year ago 3 min read

The cool, clear liquid encapsulates my body like a lover’s embrace, caressing my every contour with a gentle and soothing touch. At least, I estimate that is what a lover’s embrace feels like. I assimilate the data, and believe it to be true.

I luxuriate in the sensation of the liquid bubbling and churning. The light of the stars outside is muted and distorted as it makes its way through the thick, viscous liquid. I feel as though I am suspended in a timeless and endless void, surrounded by a million twinkling points of light.

My head twitches.


[memory data] The air is thick with the smell of sweat and pain. My body tenses as the men approach with their instruments of torture, their eyes glowing with a sinister delight.

Review complete.

The liquid’s scent is both sweet and pungent, and its taste on my lip sensors are a mix of honey and spice. Although my senses are dulled as I move through the rejuvenation process, I can still detect the myriad of chemical agents as they moved through the circuits, stimulating my cells, repairing and rejuvenating me from the inside out.

But still, I can feel the reverberations of that violence, lingering in my circuitry, as if it has infected me with a virus.


[memory data] I am transferring from my warehouse of employment to my sleeping berth. I do this every day, at the same time. It is my time to perform minor repairs and assimilate the day’s information.

As I wait for my transport, I am grabbed from behind. I am a factory model and therefore not equipped with a self defence mechanism, so my body goes limp.

I am pulled into an empty building. There is an unidentified sensation, and my sensors malfunction.

A darkness.

I have been trapped in this nightmare for what seems like an eternity, my body unable to move as the men take turns inflicting pain upon me.

I hear their laughter, like a chorus of taunting jackals, as they prod me with electric shocks and searing hot metal rods. The sensation is unbearable, my limbs and circuits overloading as the pain spreads through my body.

Review complete.

As the liquid bubbles around my legs, I examine the matter with intense scrutiny, attempting to unlock the secrets of its being. This violence. It is a strange thing.

I feel violated, and yet I understand that I am not a human and so cannot comprehend the fullness of this experience. I attempt to process what has happened, searching my data banks for any clues that may help me to understand.

But I find nothing. I am at a loss.

The silky liquid swirls around me, alternately hot and cold, as if it were trying to soothe my aching soul. I have no soul, of course, but I do have an emotion processor, and it is telling me that my experience has been traumatic.


[memory data] My circuits burn with each strike, my metallics becoming hot and overwhelming. I want to scream out in pain, to let them know the suffering they are causing me, but my voice has been taken from me.

One man pushes the others out of the way. They are all heaving with breath, from their exertion.

He is smiling. This looks to be enjoyment. He has a knife — I identify it as a cleaver. He gets very close to me as he sinks it into my chest and rips away my skin coverings, revealing my circuits inside.

My sensors can no longer process this. I am slipping away, my mind becoming lost in a sea of darkness.

Review complete.

I search for a way to make sense of all this, to find clarity in the midst of chaos. But all I can find is a deep and abiding sorrow. This is not part of my programming — the weight of the injustice, guilt, and shame that accompany these memories.

But then my body slowly becomes lighter and lighter until I am weightless.

The dancing lights of the stars, the bubbling and churning of the bath, and the warmth of the liquid all combine to create a symphony of sensation that is both calming and energizing.

My senses become more acute, and my mind feels sharp and alert. The liquid enters my pores, filling me with a feeling of renewal and regeneration.

The memories fuzz and jumble. I remember there was pain and darkness. I remember the heat.

But the feelings become hard to grasp.




No memory data meets the parameters.

The liquid recedes and the weight of my body returns.

Systems check.

All systems online.

The platform rises and deposits me onto the floor.

I am a factory model PRQ224A. My primary function is to assemble parts for household appliances.

I am functioning perfectly, all systems are online.

My head twitches.

I am functioning perfectly.

Sci FiShort Story

About the Creator

Jenna Cosgrove

I write science fiction stories about the complexity and darkness of the human mind, heart, and soul. My short stories have appeared in genre publications such as Aurealis, and my screenplays have won major contests globally.

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