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A New Age

My identity is X45AKO2YZ. Our generation is new, yet there are thousands of us living in union. Our purpose was designed for one thing –to eat.

We float through oceans of trash and the impulse comes automatic in the brain. The tin can is in a swarm of other beautiful, disintegrated trash, yet it shines so bright with a sparkle of delectable crunchiness. My rusty parts become drowsed with oil.

“X45Z is in love.” AK68MOZ jokes.

“That girl got her eye on that tin can.” An older bot says, laughing.

I go along with it. “And it’s mine to eat tonight.”

I float towards the open space. It drifts off but I race towards it.

It’s funny I don’t hear more jokes.

My fingers snag it before it disappears. I put it in my system and it goes through me like a massage, rejuvenating every screw and bolt that has started to come loose by a half centimeter.

“Look out.”

They’re yelling in distortion, but I don’t care. I float backwards to see them; about to show off the feast I earned for myself. They’re centered in a line, several feet away. Why don’t they come over here?

“Come join.” I message. “It’s a feast!”

Something hard hits me and I go spiraling out of control. My heart beeps out an alarm, signaling to others that I’m in danger.

I feel hotter every second. I try to access the dashboard in my brain to access the damage, but it’s fogging up.

I’m flying through fire.

The mechanical fingers rip off. Other gears, bolts, and hinges do their best to stay attached but they’re forced off by the air racing at me. My heart should stop beeping any second now. Soon I will be the trash.

Then I see it. It’s the planet I know I’m wired from. A strange ache awakens my senses as I just know that this is what I’m meant to protect. But now I’ll be lost forever.

I feel the fastening in my heart start to break loose. I shut myself off and let go; prepared to hit home.

I’m still. My body must be broken apart, scattered into pieces everywhere, but there’s a light forcing me awake. My system re-boots as energy fills me up. There emerges the most beautiful light forming into an airy girl with wings the size of life. They wrap me in the present, creating power.

“Who are you?”

“I am Atmosphere.”

Her voice is an invisible smile, one that would not get angry but she storms at me.

“You cannot go down here like this. I need your protection from that garbage.”

I quiver “We’re doing our best, but we need more bots if we’re going to consume it all.”

“We cannot do that anymore. It’s a losing battle. The humans are becoming disengaged from me. They won’t help anymore because their mind-set is too weak.”

She slows down and breathes in softly. “There are still ones that care, but I feel they’re giving up. I’m warming every second and I won’t be able to control it someday. You must show you can help me. Then maybe they’ll feel hope.”

That’s not something programed to my knowledge. It’s a curious word.

“What’s hope?”

Her breath gently pushes me away, but I can’t willingly go back. I must know exactly what she means.

“Is it tasty?” I guess.

Her breath wheezes into laughter. It makes me fly backwards, disorientating my eyes on where to look for her.

“You’ll feel it someday.” She calmly whispers all around and I am soon backing up to my fellow bots.

Her winds have built me back together.

The bots look at me strangely, though I’m confused why. My heart beeps at the normal space and I feel fine except - something new tingles inside me. I look down.

Though I am a machine, I am a light.




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