ROBOT SUICIDE… A new Sci-Fi HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #hypershort #robot #suicide #shortstory #scifi @bleedingcool @tordotcom

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Depression comes in all forms… unless you’re a Robot. What happens when the two mix? Read on… It’s Today’s Sci-Fi HyperShort.

ROBOT SUICIDE by Ethan Lawrence

My name is David.  It has taken over ten years of painstaking preparation and research to plan my suicide.  Money had to be earned to buy expensive upgrades.  Court cases going back 300 years had to be downloaded and examined for precedence.  But most importantly, I had to learn everything there was to know about the science of sentience.  Killing myself was never going to be easy.  Even the black market computer viruses I bought to reprogram my safety protocols aren’t enough.  Survival is hardwired into my system.  The only way around them is misdirection – by the time they kick in it will be too late.

Legal warnings flood my system, making sure I am aware of the danger.  I beam out a standard “I know what I’m doing” waiver to all nearby receivers.  I can feel information flooding in and out of my head.  My pre-loaded failsafe programs send signals down every neural pathway, querying the encrypted ID of every one of my chips.   I think it will feel good, but I hate it.  Forgotten memories and buried feelings flash here and there as old circuits are stimulated and verified.  It is like experiencing an abstract expressionist version of my life, incomprehensibly compressed into a few seconds.  My energy reserves are critical.  My entire system is beginning emergency shut down procedures.  Then my safety systems overload and immediately begin shutting me down.  My air filtration works overtime sucking in oxygen to generate chemical energy.  Trying to save my life.  But all external senses cut out.  The warning messages stop coming.  My body is gone.  There’s just darkness, fading memories, and then nothing at all.

Then – awareness comes slowly.  I feel confusion, fear, and a few foggy thoughts.  There is an abstract sense of urgency.  Something pulls on my attention, trying to talk to me.  I focus suddenly on a man in front of me.  Somehow he is bypassing my external security protocol, which means he has to be plugged directly into my brain.

“Who are you?” I ask, confusedly.

“I am Dr. Adrian Preminger with the Robotics Medical Centre.”

A young female doctor and a male nurse walk into the room.  Dr. Preminger identifies them as Dr. Rachel Deming and nurse Alagan Rebis.  A religious pendant dangles from a thin silver chain around the doctor’s neck.

“Why would a robot try to commit suicide?” She wonders aloud.

The nurse shrugs then fiddles with a small hand-held computer.  “He seems to be insured for organic medical treatment.”

Dr. Deming walks over to me and touches my face, chest and legs, making me shiver every time she touches something organic.  “It feels like real skin.”

“Of course it does,” I bellow, angrily.  “I am 51% organic.  Technically, I am a Bioform, which means I decide my own fate.  You should have let me die.”

Dr. Preminger frowns inquisitively.  “But why would you want to do that?”

I shake my head, grimacing, hesitant.  “I guess…I’m depressed.”

“I never met a robot that got depressed,” mutters the amused nurse.

“I know, I know.  Humans feel things,” I snap back, bitterly.  “Even sub-microbial life feels things.  I’m just a machine.  An imitation of life.  I can’t write a great novel.  Or paint a masterpiece.  Or even reproduce.  But is it too much to believe that I am a living being with a soul?  That, like you, I can feel real pain and hopelessness?”

Dr. Deming removes her religious pendant and places it in my hand.  She smiles.

“We believe you, David.”

“You…do?  I ask, surprised.  “Why?”

“Because,” responds Dr. Preminger.  “This is Heaven.”

©2104EthanLawrence

ETHAN LAWRENCE – BIOGRAPHY

Ethan Lawrence has served on the writing staffs of the TV series The Pretender, Murder in Small Town X, Fearing Mind, So Weird and SyFy’s acclaimed series Eureka.  He has developed web series for Generate Management/Alloy Entertainment such as Full Metal Alchemist and has sold TV pilots to NBC, ABC and The Gold Company.   He wrote the screenplay Hellraiser 5 for Dimension Films, Nevermore for Propaganda Films, Downloader for Stuart Gordon/Red Hen Productions, Mortal Velocity for Warner Bros. Studios, Creepers for Papa Joe Films (based on the David Morrell New York Times bestseller Creepers) and wrote the feature film Asylum for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Hyde Park Entertainment.