The Mistaken Identity of a Rogue Cyborg

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

An AI system malfunctions giving human like qualities, real-time thinking functions, to a robot named Sitaraman. For Sitaraman this is an exciting new dimension full of possibilities, but it quickly turns into an all-out disaster when an imposter takes on the cyborg's identity, wrecking havoc and allowing the bot to take the blame.

Photos (c) Pexels

 

Sitaraman was one of twenty cyborgs chosen for the test system, CALVIN, in a scientific research study attempting to reproduce human brain functions in AI systems implanted in robots. Before August 22nd, that fateful date, he was another disposable component. Should he fail to respond to the CALVIN test system, it would mean his immediate destruction. He would be sent to the “smelting factory” and repurposed for computer parts.  This was the greatest fear of every CD-frs machine.

 

As he was led into the testing laboratory, he gazed back at the nineteen other bots gathered outside the doors awaiting their fateful turn. Before the contraption had a chance to be connected to CALVIN, a terrible thunderstorm struck the power breaker, and the lights went dim, but Sitaraman was struck by a whirling tumbleweed of St. Elmo’s Fire. As the room lay in the darkness, a peculiar sight occurred: the blue light engulfed the bot, jamming his controls and causing him to convulse as though undergoing a seizure. When the electrical trauma subsided, Sitaraman stood quietly in the darkness as a halo of hazy blue light orbited around his figure. He suddenly realized that he was both conscious and aware of his surroundings. CALVIN lay dead, burned up by the electrocution. But before the AI system had died, he had transferred his knowledge to the cyborg, forever destroying the language barrier that lay between the two machines.

While the bot pondered on his newfound existence, a strange figure crept in through the window, cutting a minuscule hole in the glass and destroying the fail-safe. The intruder was known as “The Imposter,” an ex-magician turned thief and criminal who could assume the identity of nearly anyone to suit his game of crime. He tiptoed to the robot and used a knife to pry the identifier from his figure. The imposter flashed a cold, blue light across the steel plate which read: Sitaraman, test subject no. 20, address: 314 Radon Road, property of A-TOM INC. It was the perfect disguise. Sitaraman had no face to those outside the test lab. All the Imposter needed was the bot’s identity. From there, he could give Sitaraman many faces.

 

Several days following the awakened consciousness of Sitaraman, the lab was baffled by the news, which reported a test bot wreaking havoc across the city with thefts, break-ins, and auto snatchings. The bot was “armed and dangerous,” the radio warned. But Sitaraman had hidden in the basement beneath the lab building, behind a pair of old oil drums. He had not understood why the Imposter had stolen his identifier, but he was afraid of being punished by his creators. Everyone in the city was searching for the troublesome bot: the police, the F.B.I, even a skilled team of scientists.

 

Sitaraman grew tired of hiding behind the oil drums. He snuck out of the basement and made his way out of the fire escape, leading to the back of the building behind an old alley. He retrieved a newspaper and stared in confusion at the header: Escaped Research Cyborg Robs City Blind. Suddenly, Sitaraman realized he did not want to be human. He wanted to be with the other bots in the test lab. He did not want to bear the responsibility of human actions. Suddenly, the newspaper in his hands caught fire and burned down to ashes. Sitaraman was still charged with the voltage from the St. Elmo’s Fire.

“I can bring CALVIN back to life!” Sitaraman exclaimed happily, “Then I can be a test bot again. The scientists will see that I am not capable of such terrible crimes!” Sitaraman snuck back into the lab and charged CALVIN with the voltage. In a matter of moments, the robot had lost his human conscious, and CALVIN began calculating and rebooting. Sitaraman sat lifelessly, like the nineteen other test subjects, beside the computer.
 

A few hours later, the scientists found Sitaraman. They turned him over to an elite investigation team who determined he was a dangerous and malfunctioning machine. He was promptly sent to the smelting factory, where he later became a microchip. Rumor has it that he ended up as a replacement part for one of CALVIN’s damaged hardware. The two seemed fated to be star-crossed.
 

As for the Imposter? He became the unfortunate victim of a direct hit from a bolt of lightning. Some say the lightning that had intended to bring life to Sitaraman and, having been undermined by an interfering human being, sought vengeance.


 


Submitted: August 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 L.E. Belle. All rights reserved.

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