Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Log 10

Korhin had a ground transportation vehicle waiting for us. The vehicle required no driver or pilot, instead it was operated by a computer, so unlike the vehicles of Earth, the seats were arranged so the occupants face each other. I suddenly found myself sitting next to Carlee, facing Korhin and Ven - who was the last to enter the vehicle. He scowled at the sight of Carlee and me together.

I had not been this close to Crlee in two weeks, but it was better than having to stare at her sitting on the seat across from me. this way I didn't have to see the pain on her face.

"I can see how your physical attributes were patterned after your owner," Korhin commented. "That's unusual. Most synthetics are patterned after a species but their features are generally selected to make the synthetic unique. We have engineers who can change your physical attributes if you would like."

"No, I like the way I look." Surprise that he would even offer such a thing filled me. Of course, I looked like Carlee, I was her brother.

But he was right, I realized. I didn't look like Carlee because we had the same parents - the same genetics. I had been designed to look like her. Looking in the mirror every day, I would be reminded of her - and how she had been the center of my programming and I had abandoned her. I could see the temptation to change my eye color or my nose so i would be reminded a little less of her. But I wouldn't give in. I deserved to feel the guilty of abandoning Carlee because that was exactly what I was doing.

"John is an Anthropology model," Ven explained to Korhin. "He was designed to look like Carlee so everyone would think they were siblings." Ven grimaced when he referred to me as "he" instead of "it". He had undoubtedly only done so since he did not want to directly insult the population of the entire planet on which he was a guest.

"Really." Korhin looked at me with interest. "A synthetic hasn't escaped from the Society of Anthropologists in two hundred years. We have been lobbying the Senate about their practices concerning synthetics but we have been mostly ignored." I could sense the calculation behind his gaze. Did he see me as a pawn that could be used in his political mechanisms?

I pushed such a cynical though aside. I would not be a pawn. He would ask me to join, and I probably would. The way the Society treated androids was awful. They essentially murdered them, and it had to be stopped.

"I'll have to speak to your patron about this," Korhin said. "Such a situation with an owner can cause imbalances in a synthetic's emotions." I tended to agree. I would indeed need the therapy he was suggesting.

"Patron?" I asked. "What do you mean?" Korhin opened his mouth to answer, but the vehicle beeped.

"Ah, we've arrived," he said. "Your patron can explain."

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Note from John & A Question Break

I apologize for the lack of posts. It is my fault, not Carlee's. She has plenty of posts written, but recently it has become my responsibility to upload them.

Life has not been normal recently. I cannot explain why, nor would I if I could. I will leave that for Carlee's posts to explain.

The next post will not be until Wednesday - once again my fault as Carlee wanted me to write the next post - but I feel that it dishonors Carlee not to have something posted today. So instead of a post, we will have a question opportunity.

Post your questions and I will do my best to answer them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Log 9

Blaue opened the exit, and we descended onto the planet's surface. The sky was lavender, which seemed odd to me, since I was used to Earth's bright blue sky. I supposed in time I would get used to the color.

Near the foot of the ramp stood a humanoid. He was easily two feet taller than me, and his skin was pale orange. He seemed very human, except he had no nose and his eyes were a burnt orange. It astounded me that in a universe where life's development was mere chance, a being so close to human had evolved. Perhaps their home planet was near Earth's, therefore they had been subject to many of the same cosmological conditions.

"Which of you is John Earhart?" The being's voice was gravelly, and it took all my strength not to cringe. Carlee did not have the same self control. She flinched.

"I am John Earhart." I stepped forward.

"I am called Korhin," the being said. "I am part of the Cultural Assimilation Program, and it is my honor to assist you as your assimilate into our world. Your organic captain has informed us of your physiological needs and an appropriate habitation has been arranged." His words struck me as mechanical and made me feel as if I was being put in a zoo. However, the rational part of my mind reminded me that this alien had probably just learned English so he could communicate with me and that he would have no idea of the connotations instilled in me by my upbringing on Earth.

"You must be Carlee Earhart, the owner." He said 'owner' very coldly as he turned his strange gaze to Carlee. She shrank and stepped a little behind Ven, as if he could protect her.

"I'm John's sister," Carlee said in a small voice.

"You are John's oppressor," Korhin said. "We have little tolerance for oppressors on Halshia."

"We were issued visas," Ven said. "Yuo can check with my Artifical Cognizant. Both Carlee and myself have your government's permission to be here."

"I am aware," Korhin said. "We try to be tolerant of organics, but you will have to forgive me if my slavery to your kind has made me quick to judge." Ven's jaw was set angrily. He hated the term organic and he hated androids. This planet had to be his worst nightmare.

"Korhin, Ven and Carlee are good people. You need not worry about either of them oppressing you," I said. "It was actually a lie as far as Ven was concerned, but this man needed reassurance, not doubts.

"Oh? Then why are you seeking refuge here? Why do you feel from them?" Korhin asked, his gaze focusing back on me. I could suddenly feel Carlee's eyes on me, as if she too was dying to know the answer. In her eyes, I was undoubtedly running away, fleeing from her. I could not explain the truth.

"Because this is what is best," I answered. The being studied me, his eyes narrowing as if he could see that I did not really want to leave my human companions.

"Of course," Korhin said. "Come, we will go to your habitation and discuss details." I nodded and walked down teh ramp, Ven and Carlee following. I felt like I was walking to my doom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Log 8

Blaue landed effortlessly. Not a single sentient, organic or otherwise, felt even the slightest tremor. So it was not until Blaue alerted me that I knew we had landed. Ven expected me in the cargo bay so we could all be there to meet the representative of the android planet.

Because of the diversity of the android planet, there was not set fashion. I had no idea what outfit would be considered appropriate or immodest, so I simply dressed to make a good impression on humans. Humans were what I knew.

Ven and Carlee were already in the cargo bay when I got there. I had not seen my sister in two weeks - I had purposefully avoided all contact with her - and at the sight of her, I stopped in my tracks.

She looked sick. Her skin was tight over her face, and dark circles were apparent under her eyes. Had she caught something? Ven would not know that Carlee only liked to drink 7up when she was sick or that she liked to be read to. He had not been the one to nurse her through the chickenpox, the flu, or dehydration.

Then Carlee looked up and saw me. Her eyes filled with pain. That was when I realized Carlee was not sick. I was the cause of her illness. I was the cause of her pain.

Carlee dropped my gaze and looked at her feet. I crossed the room and came to Ven's side, keeping him between me and Carlee. Despite Blaue's words I knew what was best. If I showed the slightest amount of what I truly felt, Carlee would not be able to let me go. She would fight this with everything inside her, and neither Ven nor I would be able to do anything but give in. That was not the best for Carlee. We had to be separated.

"We are being greeted by a male named Korhin," Ven informed me. "He's part of the department that settles in new inhabitants."

"Do you know what species he is constructed to be like?" I asked, maintaining a fake calm as to not alert Carlee. Nerves filled me as well as fear. I could be just about to leave Carlee, the entire purpose of my existence. I was created to be her brother. I was created to be by her side. How could I survive without her? How could I go on?

Looking at her drawn and pale face, I wondered how she could go on without me. But she had to. Carlee didn't need me like I needed her. Carlee would survive.

I know...

I know, I haven't posted in a while. I'm sorry. I'll post today. Promise.

To be fair it was John who forgot to post on Monday. He was supposed to write up Monday's post. It was my impression that androids don't forget but he said that posting was put on a low priority, hence his optimization circuits pushed it aside. Whatever, John. Excuses, excuses.

So you will get his post today. I'll make sure of it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Log 7

"We'll land in two hours," Blaue said to me. I nodded, adjusting the color on my jacket to blue. Carlee always thought I looked best in blue.

"Is this an appropriate outfit for the androids?" I asked. "I couldn't find much resources on their culture or rules about dress and modesty." The information on the planet was scarce, mainly because organics were convinced that androids could have no real culture. Without a real culture, what could be interesting to write about? Only engineers would care about a bunch of machines.

"Most of your skin is covered," Blaue commented, giving me an analyzing look. I knew the look was just a part of her hologram programming. She really saw me through the cameras that were dispersed throughout the ship. "If that's not modest, what is?"

"Clearly, you haven't spent a lot of time studying human fashion and propriety," I responded. "You can be both completely covered and immodest." Blaue seemed perplexed by that. How could I explain that a skin tight outfit on a girl was just as alluring as a girl wearing next to nothing? Then again, I was an android. Could I really find girls attractive? Or was it just my programming simulating the behavior of a teenage boy?

Questions like this kept popping in my mind. I loved pizza, but was that because I really enjoyed pizza or my programming recognized that teenage boys are supposed to love pizza? I had loved playing football. There had been a rush in catching a snap, in knowing that my powerful throw would be caught and my team would win. But did I feel all that because a teenage boy should love football and wish he was quarterback of the team?

That caused me to briefly wonder how my team had done without me. The second string quarterback had been a junior and fairly good, but he had lacked my accuracy and android strength. I wondered if my team made it to finals, or if they had struggled without me. I found a part of myself wishing they would miss me and struggle without me, but I quickly tuned that out. I had no place for such petty feelings.

"What are you thinking about?" Blaue sounded curious. "Your face got all sad and then stern." Blaue found human expressions fascinating, since she was always trying to act more human.

"Football," I answered. "It's a game we play back on earth." The caused Blaue to be confused. Undoubtedly she thought I had been thinking about Carlee.

But I didn't want to think about Carlee. I could not afford to think about Carlee. Yes, I was doing this whole thing for her, but I had to make her believe that I would be really happy on the android planet. Thinking about Carlee would make me realize how much I was going to miss her.

Without Carlee I had no purpose and what was an android without his purpose?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Entry 69

The next morning at breakfast I felt numb. Not like my body was numb. I could feel the muffin in my hands, and I could definitely taste it as I took a bite. It was my mind that was numb. I had cried the entire night before and now I had no tears left. Now I did not want to feel anything. So I mechanically ate my breakfast, alone at the table.

"Carlee." Blaue suddenly appeared in the room with me. "Ven wants you in the cockpit. He wants you to see the necessary protocols for landing." I nodded and took my half eaten muffin with me, knowing that Blaue would report it to Ven if she didn't think I was eating properly.

In the cockpit, Ven was standing in front of the main viewscreen. Dominating the screen was a multi-colored planet. People generally describe Earth as green and blue - green for the land and blue for the ocean. This planet could not be described in any two colors. The poles were purple, the oceans were blue, one continent was red, and another was green. I really was not sure what would make the ice at the poles purple - if it was ice - or what made the land red. It was very much not like Earth, though pretty in its own strange way.

"Contact has been made with the planet," Blaue said from where she was standing beside Ven. Ven nodded absentmindedly and then glanced back to me.

"Ah, Carlee, come here." He motioned to his other side, opposite of Blaue. I obediently came forward. A frown touched Ven's face as he looked down at me, but it quickly cleared.

"Landing on a planet is far more complicated than it might seem," Ven lectured. "You can't just pull up and land. A ship must park at a certain orbit - like we are - and then contact the planet's Space Traffic Agency. Every civilized planet has one. They have to according to the Space Travel Acts.

"It sometimes takes a while, but once the Space Traffic Agency is contacted, a landing spot, trajectory, and time slot are given to the waiting ship - like us. The ship must obey everything the STA tells them - within the law - and stay in constant contact as they land. All this communication is generally done by Artificial Cognizant, so Blaue is currently handling it for me."

"We have a time slot and a trajectory," Blaue said, and as she spoke a trajectory appeared on the screen. We would be landing on one of the green continents.

"How long?" Ven asked and then frowned when he saw the times scroll on the screen. "They're going to make us wait two hours? I don't see any other ships in orbit."

"There are two others ships currently in orbit, but neither is headed for the continent we are," Blaue said. "This planet does not receive a lot of traffic, therefore, they spread out all of their landings." Ven was still frowning, but he nodded.

"That's not unheard of," he explained to me. "The human colony for example has very little space traffic. I land there and a few other cargo ships, but they rarely see more than a ship a week. It sometimes takes less trafficked planets longer to prepare for an arrival." I nodded, that I was only half listening.

Two hours. In two hours John would be leaving. I wondered if I could muster up enough feeling to be upset, or if I would just be relieved that the anticipation was over.