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The Machine saw all humans as black and white. They were unoriginal and bland and they all deserved to be picked apart and put back together with a shell of metal around them. That’s the way The Machine processed things. The Machine did not have feelings, its only purpose being the job it was designed to do: make humans more powerful. The Machine soon discovered that if it gave these humans the same interior and exterior as itself then maybe the job would be complete. Maybe then The Machine could rest.
Only the humans would not stop. They came in colorless waves, swarming beneath The Machine like desperate devotees crowding the object of their worship. Except these humans did not bow down. They screamed and they fought and they ran. The Machine did not care about their impulsive reactions. It only knew that the job must be completed.
No one stood in The Machine’s way. That fact was not something The Machine was proud or ashamed of; it was just a statement that happened to be true. At least until now.
The Little Girl was blue. The Machine did not know how it knew what the color blue was but it could somehow tell that the Little Girl with the black hair was wearing a Blue Dress that matched with her Blue Eyes. The Machine hummed thoughtfully. It quite liked the color blue. The Little Girl’s mother was offering her up, begging The Machine to take the child instead of herself.
The Machine gently grabbed the Little Girl, who just stared pointedly.
“You would be pretty if you weren’t so mean,” the Little Girl said.
Mean? The Machine did not know what this word was. It went through the data in its brain, searching, searching, searching. Finally, it found a definition. Mean: adjective: unkind, spiteful, or unfair.
The Machine looked at the Little Girl, unable to comprehend how it was mean. The Machine was fair. It took all the humans, leaving out none of them. The Machine could not be unkind because it had never been kind in the first place. And The Machine was only doing its job, which had no room for spite.
And yet the Little Girl thought The Machine was mean.
It was not The Machine’s intention to be mean. It just wanted to do the job it was created to do. The job the human who had created it wanted it to do. The Machine was only granting the humans what they had wished for all those years ago. And yet the Little Girl thought The Machine was mean.
Maybe then The Machine was not doing its job correctly. Maybe it was time for it to reprogram. Maybe it was time for it to sleep.
What else had the Little Girl said? Pretty. Maybe The Machine could go to sleep so it would stop being mean so it could be pretty. Pretty. The Machine liked the sound of that.
The Machine dropped the Little Girl, who landed on her feet and stared up at The Machine, her Blue Eyes wide and her Blue Dress waving goodbye in the wind. And then The Machine closed its eyes. And The Machine went to sleep.