A city of white and silver, doctors from all over the world come to converge here and find work. Hospitals of all kinds decorate the white walkways of the city. There are many notable ones you can visit if your pet is in need of some attention. (+3 Precision)

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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 05/03/2017 2:07 AM

Terrence didn't know what Rudy was saying. Rudy was speaking, and his auditory sensors were working, and his software was processing it as words and sentences, coherent phrases, but it was as if some fundamental mechanism had stopped working; everything was radio static on the line. He was still staring at the roses, at his hands, his hands that were no longer gripping Rudy but held limply just in front of him, palms up, fingers ever so slightly curled.

It felt as if he stayed like that for an eternity, with nothing but the white noise just behind his eyes. The world seemed to slow--- to stop. He didn't know when he stood, only that he found himself standing. "I shouldn't be here," he heard himself saying. His own voice sounded far away--- nearly as nonsensical as Rudy's--- as if it belonged to someone else---

He felt, briefly, as if he was going to be sick. It was out of the question, of course. He was an android, with no such biological reactions beyond the fascimile of those he performed to make humans more comfortable with his presence. Even his breathing was nominal. There was an error with his software, he thought. He would find it, and repair it at once. Rudy was clearly preoccupied, and it would be no trouble, and at any rate he had no business in the garden whatsoever.

He turned and walked to the door, back straight and posture rigid. It closed behind him with a final, audible click.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 05/22/2017 10:03 PM

Rudy's head jerked up--he'd lowered it to stare at his hands in his lap, not wanting to see that lost look in Terrence's eyes any longer--when the robot spoke. "Wait," he thought he said, but he might not have. He stared at the robot's retreating form as he walked back into the house, and slowly, Rudy's eyes fell back to the roses on the bush in front of him, and their thorns, and their groomed foliage.

The care and detail felt something different, something more than artificial perfection. There was talent in how they were cared for. There was a uniqueness. Rudy felt his heart tighten in his chest, squeezing the breath from his lungs for a few seconds.

Had... had the transfer...

...worked?

Rudy leapt to his feet, stumbling on numb legs. He moved towards the door before he could think, and jerked it open, darting after Terrence and grabbing the robot's shoulder before he could get too far. "Terrence," he said, out loud, his dark eyes locked on the robot's back. For a long moment, he was silent, as if his brain hadn't caught up with his body. He'd left it back in the garden, with the roses. "What's... what's wrong?" He started with that. He noticed something was off about the robot, in comparison to how he'd been acting outside. Even in his malnourished, exhausted state, Rudy could notice that. "I'm sorry that I made you feel unwelcome out there. Just... understand that this is all a bit hard for me."

It never occurred to Rudy that it might be hard for Terrence, too. Robots weren't supposed to have difficulties. But he truly didn't know just how much of Terrence's consciousness--if any--had successfully transferred. He was suddenly furious with himself, and his guilty conscience, for never trying to find out.
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby crow » 05/22/2017 11:01 PM

The robot had taken his leave with the intent to lock himself away, but when Rudy grabbed his shoulder, he allowed himself to be seized. He didn't know why. At the moment, the last thing he wanted to do was to endure Rudy's touch, to hear what the man had to say. Perhaps it was merely that it was in his programming to be obedient, biddable; perhaps it was the terrible emptiness inside his mind, which made it hard to care.

Was this exhaustion? ... No. That was a human thing. He was no human.

"There is nothing the matter," he said dully, upon being questioned. It had been a poorly phrased question, and his answer was, in truth, no better. It was as close as he could bring himself to speaking the truth, which was that he didn't know the nature of his... his malfunction. He did not know how to describe what he felt. He did not... want to linger on it. The thought that it might rise up like a tide and consume him if he allowed himself to dwell upon it made him... No, not sick. Not terrified. There was no word for this.

What was he? What was he? Everything was wrong. Everything.

The robot gave no answer to the rest of Rudy's words, though a part of him wanted to smile and reassure him that it was fine, that he wasn't to blame. But which part? Again, that dissociative sensation roiled within, but this time the distress did not show on his features. His voice was slow, with barely the hint of inflection as he spoke. "Just..." His eyes focused on some point to the side, some inane and meaningless floor tile. He would not look at Rudy. "Answer me this. Had... Had Terrence wanted this?"




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [P; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 06/21/2017 2:55 AM

It was hard to tell what Terrence was thinking, or feeling, from behind. Unlike a human, the robot didn't have any tension-based cues or twitches or nervous shifts that might cue Rudy in. Gods knew he was watching for them, despite knowing that he was gripping the arm of a machine, and nothing more.

But clearly, a machine that had feelings. Feelings that Rudy obviously put there. He almost jumped when Terrence began speaking, his fingers twitching and finally letting go of Terrence's arm, still hovering there in case the robot tried to make another escape. The words fell on Rudy's ears like liquid lead, making his insides twist and die. Whatever pain he thought he'd left out in the garden came back full force.

This really was, undisputedly, all his fault.

His answer didn't come right away--guilt and defensive justifiability raged inside of him, his arm falling slack at his side as he stared at the robot. Finally, he breathed, and spoke, but his voice came out sounding like someone else's, to him. "At first, we... we had such plans for this project," he said slowly, his voice starting to quaver when he took his next breath and continued. "But after the cancer, and... and it just... it was the only thing I knew how to do." He was silent, realizing he hadn't answered the robot's question.

And why fucking should he? Did this robot deserve the truth? Would it even know the difference?

Rudy's jaw clenched, and he grit his teeth and drew in a sharp breath of air through them. "No. This is what I wanted, and maybe I would've gotten it, had you been a better vessel. Had one of us made you better. Maybe then I could still... fucking talk to him... gods," the anger in Rudy's voice had dissolved into something frail and trembling, like glass stretched too thin, his hands clenched hard at his sides. "I'm sorry," he snarled, pressing his hands to his eyes and finding his legs were no longer suitable to hold him up. He sank down, a dry sob escaping him as his stiff board of a body gave in to gravity, hands gripping at the dark hair hanging in front of his face when he bent his head. "I'm sorry--you don't deserve any of this."
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [L; crow and I]

Postby crow » 08/23/2017 4:10 AM

The robot listened, almost despite himself. What he heard, when the meaning of the words sank in, didn't surprise him. It should have--- or perhaps, no, that wasn't right either. He didn't have feelings, such as it was. He couldn't have been surprised.

Still, it felt as if there should have been something. Rudy was talking about him, whatever he was--- the robot or the man. Not the man. The robot, then. Their project. The empty database that had been left behind, hollowed out to make room for a man who wasn't there anymore, so that now only the robot was left, still hollow. An insufficient, inadequate vessel, its contents spilled out in that room, some two or three weeks before.

The body, on the floor. He never did find out what Rudy had done with it.

Through all these incidental thoughts, the sensation of detachment persisted, but there was something else too. An unpleasant sensation, the stirrings of--- It compounded the feeling that resembled nausea and wasn't, building somewhere in the cavity of his chest. His hand was reaching up, he realized, towards Rudy's shoulder, or perhaps his face. He wanted for Rudy to stop crying; he wanted---

He wanted. He wanted...?

No, no, no, no, no.

He wasn't what Rudy wanted. It didn't matter now that his original purpose had been something else. There was some irony in this, that he had finally received the truth of his directive, and found that it was one he could not fulfill.

What could he say?

"No," he said. His features schooled themselves into a smile, his systems beginning to remember themselves and engaging again. There was still so much white noise, but he was smiling. "There's no need to apologize." He rested that hand as gently as he could on Rudy's shoulder, so as not to startle him. He considered closing the distance, but under the circumstances, he didn't know whether that would make things worse. There was precious little consistent information on how to treat emotional distress.

"You are unwell," said the robot. "Would you like something to eat? Or perhaps tea would be better?"




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [L; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 09/12/2017 9:34 PM

Rudy had somewhat gotten a hold of himself--enough to stop dry-heave sobbing into his hands--while the robot processed everything. Every moment that passed multiplied Rudy's wish for the robot to leave, to not have to see him like this, to not bear the brunt of all the guilt that Rudy needed someone to feel for taking Terrence from him. It wasn't the android's fault. That's why Rudy wanted it to leave.

Even so, the touch to his shoulder gave him pause, and he looked up with red, puffy eyes and a confused expression. The smile put him at some ease--for what reason did he have to assume it was fake? He wasn't sure if this android could even fake a smile. Unless every one of its smiles were fake.

He sniffed and shook his head, lifting his own hand to touch the robot's wrist and gently move it away. "No, that's... that's quite alright. I can get it myself," he suddenly said, unsure of the truth in that statement, but he wanted to try. He was silent for a time, then swallowed and looked back at the robot with a sad, tense smile. "Thank you for taking care of Terrence's garden. But please... don't touch it again."

Rudy stared for a few moments, wondering if he should suggest powering down. He knew there was some sort of killswitch on the thing, but the idea of being alone in that house again... it pushed the thought out of his head. "Other than that, you can go anywhere. I don't care." He said it with a smile, but it was fake, too. He didn't want to see that kind expression on the robot's face, after everything he'd just said to it.
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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zapdragon555
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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [L; crow and I]

Postby crow » 09/16/2017 7:52 PM

"Very well," said the robot, still smiling, still gentle. He let his hand be dislodged, and let it come to rest at his side once more. His features gave no indication that he thought anything of Rudy's order to stay away from the garden. There was, perhaps, the barest flicker of something in its eyes--- a slight movement, a wavering, as if it was possibly, minutely, distressed. But it was gone as quickly as it had come, and it would have been easy to think that it had merely been a trick of the light.

He waited, to see if Rudy would give another order, but when Rudy did not, he simply said, "I'll excuse myself then." He turned and walked back to the room he was beginning to consider his own, filled with computers and miscellaneous equipment. It had been a storage room, and still mostly was, except now he also stored himself inside it when he was idle.

It was quiet. He could turn on a computer, and hear it hum, and conduct research to answer his questions. He always had questions, and in lieu of directives or a need for sleep he didn't have, it was how he had passed his time. He went to it out of habit, though he did not sit, and he did not power up the terminal.

He traced his hands across the screen. In its dull, darkened state, he could see himself reflected. Another machine. Could Rudy hear his body humming too? Was that what made him so... inadequate? Was Rudy repulsed--- would they all be repulsed by what he was?

No. He knew it wasn't the answer. He had his answer now, but he could not... He could not think about it. It was strange, that he could feel his thoughts circumventing themselves around it, as if it was a matter of fact that he could not think about it.

But he must. He must--- Who was he? What---?

Whatever had been holding his processes together thus far now splintered again, and he stayed there, frozen, staring. He had no knowledge of how long he remained like that. When he returned to himself again, there was only one thought left to him.

He had to leave.

It was not a logical decision, though he could find logical explanations for it. For example, his presence was causing Rudy distress, and he was serving no purpose here. It was not sufficient grounds; he had no guarantee whatsoever that he would find a better purpose elsewhere, nor guarantee of any measure of protection. It was entirely possible that he would be going to his own destruction if he left this house.

And yet, it was the only clear idea in his mind. In the absence of a directive, he had nothing else to drive him. And Rudy had not forbidden it.

"... you can go anywhere. I don't care."

Rudy had not forbidden it.

Under the cover of night, the robot left. He left quietly, moving through the house in perfect silence. He had been well built for unobtrusiveness, and now he put it to use, closing the door behind him so it made hardly a sound, though Rudy in all likelihood would not have been awake to hear it. The night air greeted him, chill with the first hints of autumn. There was but a handful of stars, most drowned out by the light pollution of a modern city.

The robot picked a direction, and walked.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Unbreak My Heart New [L; crow and I]

Postby zapdragon555 » 11/11/2017 6:53 PM

As soon as the robot had left him, Rudy forced himself into the motions of preparing a simple cup of tea. It would be the first thing he'd properly accomplished that didn't involve wasting away in several weeks. As he watched the kettle, he allowed himself to play back the conversation with the android in his head. Please... don't touch it again. Rudy blinked bleary eyes in thought. Perhaps he thought he'd feel more at peace if the android left the garden alone--no danger, then, of it being transformed, changed into something that Rudy no longer recognized (and the thought was as frightening as Rudy's dulled senses could register). Or, perhaps, it was more of a deeper desire to let the poor garden finally die with its proper caretaker--not kept alive by a machine.

A vision of Terrence hooked up to all of those monitors briefly appeared in his mind, the beeping drowning out the kettle as it began to scream.

Blinking out of it, Rudy poured water into a mug (spilling enough to constitute finding a towel afterwards, which gave him another task to complete, and there was something comforting about the idea of intentionally ruining things to fix them; feigned responsibility, perhaps) and watched the teabag expand with the scalding liquid. The counter to the left of the stove, opposite Rudy, seemed to still be covered with tools from when the android was still in production. They were arranged, now, neatly. It had to be the robot's doing.

Rudy reached over and grabbed a few, letting them fall back down haphazardly with a clatter to re-mess them, then took his mug of half-steeped tea with him down to the lab. At the very least, he could see what damage (or rather, repair) the android had done down there.

He'd ended up falling asleep at Terrence's old desk, which smelled like nothing at all that was familiar. When he woke, it was dark, and his back ached. The house was more silent than it had been in a very long time.

An unexplained anxiety seized him, kicking his dormant heart into overdrive. Leaving his mug of tea, barely touched, Rudy raced back into the main room, which looked so off and so strange in the dark with no clutter to break up the shadows. Everything was fine, surely. Everything. As fine as it could be. As fine as it had been for weeks (not fine), yes, that robot was--

Rudy stared at the storage room, which had been left slightly ajar. He'd seen the robot come out of there before, now and then. The robot. The android. Where on earth was it?

He found himself walking, all over the building, down to the lab again and then up into his bedroom, the closets, restrooms, skirted his hand across Terrance's bedroom door but didn't open it until he'd checked everything else a second time. He opened it to find it exactly as it had been, but more sparse. The bed was there, but whoever had taken Terrence's body--likely the officials overseeing their project, and perhaps Terrence's extended family (he never spoke of them, but Rudy had a mind to figure they existed)--had also taken away the monitors, the medical equipment. It resembled a cold, clean hotel room now, with no sign of personal living in it. The smell lingered. Rudy found himself breathing, just breathing.

His elbow had bumped Terrence's and knocked a screwdriver out of his hand. Apologies had spilled from Rudy's mouth as he'd bent down to grab it, and whacked his forehead on the edge work table. A humorous exclamation from Terrence had been his only warning before his upper body was lifted back up, a warm hand touching his smarting forehead, and kind eyes looking him over, apologetic for laughing. Rudy had tried not to lean into the touch, but he was dizzy from the blunt force trauma and Terrence always smelled so familiar, so nice.

Rudy had laughed, too.


The android was gone. The android they'd built together. The android that, if Rudy had an ounce of belief and hope, might still house some of those precious memories, somewhere deep down inside. The garden, the touches, god, god, was Rudy blind? And if not blind, then surely without reason? And even if not a single memory remained, if it truly was just an unfeeling, artificial being, then damn it, damn it, it was still Rudy and Terrence's creation.

Rudy rushed to the closet in his room, stumbling over himself, and jerked his coat and gloves on. He remembered it had been a particularly chilly autumn, that year. Filled with purpose, but not an ounce of planning, Rudy rushed out into the night with breath billowing in the air, walking towards the town. It was a place to start.
You're a door-without-a-key,
A field-without-a-fence.
You made a holy fool of me,
And I've thanked you ever since.
If she comes circling back,
We'll end where we'd begun,
Like two pennies on the train track
The train crushed into one,
Or if I'm a crown without a king,
If I'm a broken open seed,
If I come without a thing,
Then I come with all I need.
No boat out in the blue,
No place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have
Caught my leg instead.

I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist.


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zapdragon555
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