|Posted by jashykins on August 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM|
"I said no, Samara." I yelled, not caring who else in the house heard me. "I'm not a human. I'm an M-4. Spas don't interest me anymore."
"What about me?" She replied. Her tone angry with a sense of longing. "I'm here too. For one day I want to forget-"
"That I'm me?" I asked. "Listen, I'm trying just as hard as you are. My whole world is changing just as much as yours.
Samara sighed and looked away. Then the next second she looked back at me. "Then why don't you try and show it. You know you're not the only one."
I stepped right up to her face and said, "If I'm not the only one why haven't you found someone else in the three years that I was gone?"
As soon as the words were out of my mouth I felt what was very similar to shame. I knew the reason why. It was the same reason I had been able to escape my programming. The hope that someone I loved was still out there and waiting for me.
"I'm sorry." I said with the usual Machine toneless voice. I cared so much that I had lost control of my voice. Unlike a human's, it just went toneless.
Samara nodded and wiped away a tear. She knew I cared, or at least she hoped. And hope can be more powerful than knowing.
"Nazilla is right, Samara, those things don't go to Spas." Mark said and stepped into the living room. The other members had been quiet. They were pretending not to be here. "Hell, Nazilla shouldn't be here."
"It is my choice, Marky," I said. Mark tried to hide his anger as I used one of his most hated nicknames to date.
"Naz and Mark, please." Samara said and both of us. Mark and I just looked at each other. One day we might have our final battle over Samara. But right in front of her, especially right now, wouldn't be the time or day.
"If you even think of harming her-" Mark told me.
"I will self-destruct." I said and he walked away angrily. "Now about the Spa."
With that Samara and I got into the car and I drove her. In the car we turned up the radio and she found a station she liked. I only did the motions of dancing because she was doing that too. My Machine self found nothing pleasing about the sounds coming out of the radio.
Samara stopped her dancing and turned to me. "You used to like this song."
I looked at her and said, "I just hear the sounds and nothing else."
"Can't you remember, though?"
"Yes, I can, but I don't get any feelings from it." With that the only sound was from the radio and the only motion was from the car.
However, once we arrived and entered the Spa, we were talking like old friends again. I examined the entrance and I saw beauty in the work. To a human it was calming, for me it was a study of what I had once been. Which, I guess, was calming in a sense.
As I was examining the Spa I saw someone. That someone was either an enemy, friend, or someone caught in the middle. For now I didn't know which one she was. But, whichever one she was, I was interested in seeing her again. To destroy the mystery surrounding her. My sensors easily identified her as Glau.
I continued to look at Glau and she took notice. Her eyes traveled to lock onto both Samara and myself. I wanted Glau to look at me so that maybe I could understand her. But that could be dangerous. Hell, our last conversation had led to Samara and me being ambushed. Finally her eyes looked at me.
I saw a smile form on her mouth. It was human and yet had a touch of M-4 to it. I smiled back at her. Samara made a tiny huffing sound and my sensors picked it up. I mentally shook my head and remembered that Samara and I were together. And, right now, I didn't want to lose her. If I did lose her I wasn't going to do it to Mark.
"Sam, are you jealous?" I asked and put a pre-Machine Nazilla smirk onto my face. I didn't feel like doing a smirk but knew it'd calm her down.
"Naz," She said angrily. But my sensors picked up her heart beat slowing down. "Her being here isn't a good thing. And, no, it isn't a jealousy thing. I'm worried that she's just doing this to get into Karma."
"There is a much easier way to do that." I said and patted her on the shoulder. Again, a gesture that I barely remembered or thought about. But one that would calm her down. And it did.
Samara gently kissed me on the lips and I returned the brief kiss. Turning around I could tell a slight sign of jealousy on Glau's face. Was I glad it was there? No. Was I unhappy it was there? No. It didn't matter to me. All I wanted out of Glau was answers. That's how I lay with Samara at night.
I walked calmly to Glau and the parameters of the Spa seemed to expand. I could still go back, but something was pulling me towards her. My sensors would tell me that gravity wasn't a factor but my remaining humanity would swear it was. And logic was the only thing that kept me going towards Glau.
It knew that nothing Glau said now would affect how much I still loved Samara Crichton. Samara was the one whose memory helped me override my programming. This woman didn't have that connection to me.
"Nice seeing you here, Glau." I said and put on a smile. I didn't feel like smiling but my programming had suggested it.
Glau blushed and nodded. "Yes, it's nice seeing you here, Nazilla." She looked down as if uncertain of what she was going to ask. "Can I ask you something?"
What could she ask me that would require me to do even a little bit of thinking? "Sure, go ahead." I replied.
"Why didn't you meet me for lunch?" Glau asked. She looked into my eyes and a tear went down her cheek.
I couldn't believe what Glau had just asked. I stood in silence as my systems tried to compute what I had just heard. Finally, when they had given up, I replied, "We were ambushed."
Glau looked confused. "What do you mean? What ambush? And someone else was with you?"
"My girlfriend," I said, putting an extra emphasis on girlfriend. "Thought it was going to be a trap. She was right."
With that, I turned around and walked back towards Samara. As I walked I heard Glau start to cry. I focused on Samara and realized any of Glau's mysteries would just lead to a tragedy. I had heaven right in front of me.
"What did she say?" Samara asked when I got back to her.
"She asked why I didn't come to lunch." I said and shook my head merely for Samara's benefit.
"She didn't know about the ambush?"
"She was confused."
"You have guessed why, haven't you?"
I just looked at Samara. "I'm trying not to think about it."
"That's hard for you, isn't it?" She said and I continued to look at her without blinking. It freaked her out and she sighed. "She wanted to kill you. You're here and she's confused. She wanted to talk to you to find out why."
"You're jumping to conclusions." I replied. "You're seeing what you want to see."
"What does your other side say?" Samara asked, not wanting to bring up that I was a Machine to any of the people walking by.
"That Glau has acted suspiciously and should not be trusted." I let the words roll off my tongue while I wanted to put them back in. I wanted to erase myself from ever saying them.
After I said that Samara smiled and we waited. Finally we were called back to get a massage. This was supposed to be relaxing. To a human it would be, but not to me. Even my fake muscles wouldn't be able to be relaxed by a massage.
* * *
The massage was being interrupted by Samara needing to go to the restroom. Most likely to pee. That is one thing I was glad that I didn't need to do anymore. One thing that made being an M-4 a good thing. I didn't have to pee anymore.
But, with her leaving, I was now alone. Well, me and one of the guys. And this guy was talkative.
"Your first time?" The man asked. "You seemed sort of tense."
"Yeah, first time." I replied. I didn't mention that it'd probably be my last.
"Your friend seemed much calmer."
"Yeah." I replied. Sam was relaxing, maybe I should find one of my programs that would allow me to do the same thing. "Plus we've had a rough couple of weeks."
"Want to know something?" He asked.
He smirked and replied, "Rob Saymes."
"So, Rob, what did you want to tell me?"
"There's a secret organization called Karma. They fight The Net who is creating robots." Rob paused for a moment. "Can you believe it? Real killer robots!"
"No, I can't believe it." I said, my mood slightly improving. Then I grew worried. How did he know about Karma?
"I'm actually friends with one of the members." Rob continued. "So I know this organization is legit."
"Have you told anyone besides me?" I asked, letting my towel go down a little.
"Uh, it's a good pick up line." He replied and his face grew disappointed as I pulled the towel back up.
This wasn't good. A good pick up line was his excuse? Didn't he realize that The Net could have his head and the head of someone useful? In other words, he could be the reason a member of Karma was, or would be, killed.
I walked over to him and whispered into his ear, "It is a good pick up line." I then went back a foot or two. "Any other lines to this pick up?"
Rob looked at me, not believing what he was seeing. Maybe he thought I was hot or maybe he was just lonely. I was going with the latter. He worked at a spa, he would've seen hot women before.
"Well, I do have a virus to put in future Machines." Rob replied.
I brushed my hand against his wrist to check his pulse. Rob, in turn, seemed to think I was going to ditch Samara for him. I didn't care what he thought. What mattered to me now was that I had confirmed his 'pick up line'.
I went through different options on how to get Rob to tell me his way to hamper The Net. I was under no delusion that Netty could ever be truly stopped. The organization was too powerful to stay down. Plus, human nature could not be hampered. One way or another there would be a quest for power that would end with Netty being in charge.
But what about Rob? He seemed to be a lonely man. Looking at him closer I couldn't see him being demeaned because he was a nerd. Those who liked men couldn't help but grow interested in him. I was relying on infiltration programming for this as I had no interest in men. None at all.
Giving sex would be overkill. Plus it would open up too many questions. Especially by Sam. So I decided on a different option.
"Are you busy tonight?" I asked Rob.
His face brightened. I didn't feel bad about lying. It was all part of serving Karma. All part of stopping The Net.
The door opened and I thought that Samara had returned. However, the footsteps were wrong. And, as I turned, I saw a woman with a different look than normal.
Glau was walking through the door with a pure Machine grace to her. Her face was no longer happy or innocent. Any human expression was long gone from her face. I quickly went in front of Rob who was trying to look more at Glau.
I should've guessed. I should've known. I shouldn't have taken any feelings of human love and given it to her.
"Glau, stop." I said, hoping that it really did love me. That something I said would make it stop.
But what I knew as Glau didn't stop. Instead the Machine aimed a kick at me that I took full in the abdomen. I grabbed her leg and used her own momentum to swing her into the wall. The wall bent inwards.
As Glau got up, my systems reported she was an M-3. She was a Machine with both Machine and human programming. Except, she had never been human. Thus making her different from me, an M-4.
Glau took out a gun and shot at me. I reminded myself that she didn't really have human emotions and so I allowed myself to go into attack mode. The next few minutes were filled with punches, kicks, and gunshots.
Once I came to again I turned to see Rob Saymes dead. His blood littered the floor and I knew I hadn't killed him. Or at least it wasn't my fault. Glau had fooled me into having feelings for it and then forgetting to protect a human life. My programming would have to be checked out later.
Luckily the few nanoseconds didn't stop me from looking for Glau. I saw her and ran after her. She tried to get away but I tracked her. I had improvements from its model. She couldn't stop me from finding her.
But once I went outside the building I couldn't find her. I put all my sensors to their best abilities and I finally found her. Unfortunately I found her driving quickly away on a motorcycle.
The screams inside the Spa didn't bother me. I could run and hide. What mattered was that I had let the enemy escape.
* * *
It had been hours since I had started explaining what had happened in the Spa. Stewart stood calmly listening to every word. For some reason I thought that he was concentrating on me more than my story. Don't get me wrong, he was Mark's right hand man so he was listening to my report.
Mark seemed angry that I was the only one that could give the complete report on Robert Saymes and the M-3 that went by Glau. Rebecca stood beside him and repeated Mark's angry look at me.
Martha and Samara were the only ones to show different emotions. I wasn't counting Stewart's as he was, well, Stewart. Martha was hiding the need to run over and hug me. Unfortunately, Mark was her boss so she couldn't. Plus it would be unprofessional in her eyes.
Samara's eyes were red from crying. I would need to talk to her about that later. But now I was getting to, what I hoped was, the final questioning.
"How come you didn't know that this M-3 was a Machine?" Mark asked. I saw a slight grin start to form as he thought he had caught me. That he'd have reasons to have me torn apart.
"Glau," I said, putting emphasis on the name. The M-3 would always have a name to me. No matter how much pain-like emotions it gave me. "was using Scram."
"You were confused by Scram?" Rebecca asked with arrogance in her voice.
"Scram is used to confuse sensors to hide that a Machine is a Machine." Stewart replied. "If you have forgotten, Nazilla sees through her sensors."
I nodded at Stewart's explanation and put down of Rebecca. The nod I had to think about but was well worth it to see Rebecca's reaction.
"Yes," I replied. "It wasn't until the Scram was disrupted in the fight that I realized."
"But wouldn't you have noticed that she was a Machine since you're, well, a Machine?" Martha asked and I knew that she had already guessed the answer.
"I was attracted to her." I replied in a toneless voice and Samara started crying again.
After a few minutes Samara walked away quickly. Even in times of sadness she had some calmness to her. Mark saw his chance and went over to Sam and I pushed him against the wall.
"She doesn't need you." I replied angrily and Mark was silent. I let him go and Stewart had to hold him back. I walked towards Sam and heard Mark start to yell.
My sensors allowed me to hear the yelling in full force but, luckily, Samara had gone to her room upstairs. I went to her and hugged her. Samara grabbed me and sobbed on my shoulder. I noticed things I wouldn't as a human such as the time each tear dropped.
"Don't worry, Sam," I told her. I searched through my programming to find something that should comfort her. "But at least Glau didn't betray Karma. At least she wasn't the one to set up the ambush."
With these words of comfort Sam pushed me away. Or, more accurately, pushed herself away.
"Do you know what you just said?" She asked in shock.
I processed the words over and over again. The words still seemed comforting to me.
"Yes, I do." I replied. "And I see only comfort in them."
Sam sat on the bed and looked at me. "Well," She said. "You don't know what you do."
I was confused. What was she talking about? After five minutes I still didn't know what she was talking about.
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