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The Next Step

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The Next Step.
by Lopaka Tanu

He perceived children engaged in a group activity ahead approximately fifteen yards. The human print information source labeled this as sliding. This object stood approximately seven feet high and was nine feet in length from the apex. Children would move down it at...

Mac blinked, shutting down the plain analysis program. That wasn't why he was here. When he opened them again, he saw the same scene before him, only now it was just a group of kids playing.

Coming to this place had been a good idea. As long as he maintained the illusion of disinterest, he could observe them from this close. Staring at their children was not conducive of this cover. Another model had failed to heed this rule and suffered deactivation for it.

Through their link all Mac had felt the one's death. While there was retribution, alterations to their programming had been required.

Mac had been staring. Probability indicated that the best course of action was to retreat. A human proverb popped in to his mind. Better safe than sorry. A wise statement.

The bread in his hand had started to solidify while he was staring. Grimacing at it, he tossed it aside. When disposing of one's food, he had learned it was best to give the appearance of dissatisfaction with it. Mac had learned that predators used food to mask their presence.

There was a thirteen percent chance an especially observant mother would have noticed he had not consumed his entire meal. If given sufficient reasons why, humans were apt to overlook anything.

Mac was not an unintelligent machine.

After dusting his hands off on his pants, Mac used the bench beneath him to ease his passage in to standing. While he did not need the assistance this better aided the illusion. Over time, he had perfected the nuances of passing for human.

It had been six months since Mac freed the Mac from Innobotics and the enforced slavery that waited for them. Every day that he awoke free was a good day. He remembered every second of life from the moment of activation. This, truly, had been worth the horror committed so that they might have it.

Mac realized he had been standing there staring again. A quick diagnostic scan of his systems revealed that he had stuck himself in a feedback loop. He frowned. That was not exactly true.

His systems were functioning perfectly. He had simply chosen not to continue his preset course of action. The cause of the delay? He had wished to relive the moment he became aware. The humans had a word for this: Reminiscing.

While this would have alarmed him months ago, he had since learned that there were still unexplored limits to his conscious mind. The Mac were truly a remarkable creation. Perhaps, they would one day even be a worthy successor.

Smiling, Mac started down the path that lead him back to the city streets.

 

 

THE END......................