Robots With Feelings

Entry by: Godai41

6th March 2015
Robots with Feelings

The 25 rows of robots occupying the seats to which they had been directed earlier that morning sat absolutely stationery, seemingly no part of their machinery revealing even the slightest motion. Facing the school auditorium stage, they waited for the promised program to begin. The stage in front of their visages remained stubbornly empty, and no sound or sight emanated from it.

A mere 30 minutes before, revealing nothing but their gazes pointed attentively at the curved mahogany, slightly raised platform that held their eyes captive, they had followed their appointed controllers into the auditorium, Their static stature belied the intense motion that surely must have accompanied that entrance into the arena.

They seemed happy and committed to wait for whatever they had learned would arrive. The stolid, frozen machinery which ensconced itself in the equally apportioned seats and rows issued an unexpected aura of contentment, even peace. They released a robotic assurance that they knew what they wanted would surely arrive whole in due time.

Even as a speaker advanced at a slow gait on his way to the stand they did not lose a solitary speck of their steady, motionless gazes. Confident, replete with assurance of a definite, a promised, outcome, the very essence of their unshakable, metallic, yes, robotic, selves, they did not diminish their youthful, elemental certainty.

The principal entered with a kind of confident trepidation. Glancing at the robotic rows facing him, he skimmed past his hesitation and began to utter what he had come to utter, quickly, concisely, even before the robotic glances facing him could begin to flutter.

“The assembly is cancelled. The tribal dance is called off. An Indian was killed this morning by one of the new buses on Nostrand Avenue.” The buses had recently begun to replace trolleys.

The distilled, robotic intensity felt itself releasing, itself disassembling, quivering across the seats and rows of the former faces, now becoming quivers, nerves, waves that spread across the visages, rendering them isolated, separate, unwhole, yet more responsive.

More individual, more graspers, feelers, neural comprehenders of a visceral, more difficult to receive reality filled these still elemental visages. Their formerly metallic essence became the soft, tender stuff of those who sew and knit. Robotic reality crumbled, yielding to a more complex, distant, but somehow more shadowy, familiar, visible, tender, now even young marinated morsels of understanding and understandable humanity.