This is called ‘Birth’ by 47ness. It is appropriate

I still don’t have a name for this story, but I’m thinking: Birth of Emotion or Beginning of Life. Something… anyway.

Chapter 1:

Silicon Soul is a minority that exists only in Arcadia’s massive city-state. They are rather unemotional, preferring scientific and well-reasoned arguments over perceived ’emotion-hormonal reactions’. This leads them to ‘erase’ emotions during their transformation from a carbon-based life form to silicon based ‘Silicon Soul’. This lack of empathy and emotional basis to their action scares all other species. Also, the innate ‘danger sensor’ that all species need for self-preservation goes haywire, causing an unbiased fear, like one fears a weakly caged predator.

They are leaderless, quite anarchistic. Many only hold themselves to the Arcadian authority which they feel protects them and gives them a structure to work with. They know that they exist only by the even handedness of the tolerant Arcadian authority. There is no authority within the species, like the human nobility, only those who are respected. Leone Pheron and her husband, Blane Pheron, are such Silicon Soul members. They teach youngsters and help them deal with their changes. Others focused on their trades that they had before they changed. James Namie, for example, was a famous fashion designer before his change, this continued on, but he focused his efforts more on designing clothes for Silicon Soul, a market in which he did comfortably.

Today, the three famous Silicon Souls meet in a restaurant. They are aware of themselves due to their long experience in the world. They know that the other patrons are immediately scared of them, but they take a table easily visible to all surrounding patrons. This puts many at ease, after all, no monster sits in the light, but seeks the darkness. The trio smile, and at a joke, Blane laughs loudly, a grunt that is both mechanical and reassuring to those around him. A monster doesn’t laugh at jokes, it laughs at cruelty. Their waitress, unfortunately a Rabbit Utan, is barely able to keep from fainting through strength of will and a promise of a bonus from her manager. The trio order quickly, a meat dish, a pasta and a specialty sandwich. Jennie, for that was her name, ran off immediately to do her job.

Blane laughed a little more. “Poor thing… at least she isn’t like that girl in Arini, fainted as soon as she saw us.”

Leone chided him. “Now now, keep your voice down, we’re in a public place.”

James had his elbows on theĀ  table, folding his hands in front of his mouth. He smiled into them. “It’s not good for our image to have you laugh about that. But haven’t you noticed something?”

Leone went silent for a second. “That wasn’t a fake laugh.”

Blane was taken aback, he hadn’t realized that what he said was funny at all. “Weren’t we supposed to make jokes?”

James straightened his back. “Yes, but you did it without prompting. We don’t DO that. We scientific creatures deconstruct the emotions of others but we rarely partake in them. You allowed yourself the luxury of an emotional outburst. We can’t seem to do that amongst ourselves.”

The meal came, expeditiously, fueled by a franticĀ  Jenny’s panic. Blane got the meat dish, Leone the pasta and James the sandwich. Blane immediately started eating, he was fond of eating. Leone picked at her pasta, quickly stealing some of Blane’s food. He in turn, stole a few of her meatballs. James watched them interact.

“Why do you like to eat? You don’t have to. I mean, I only ordered this to be polite.” He picked at his side, fries, finally eating the largest of them.

“I like the feeling.” Blane said. He didn’t need to stop eating. His speech module was a speaker, rather than using his mouth. “It feels natural. I feel a little like a human.”

Leone grabbed a chunk of Blane’s steak from his fork. “Because it would waste food?”

“Did we need to eat? No. But we did it because we’ve seen humans do it.”

“Makes a little sense.” Leone didn’t have the same modification as her husband. She swallowed and cleared her throat. “I’ve been studying humans, but I never suspected that I would actually act like them.” Blane agreed with her.

“Maybe that is the point. Ever noticed that the oldest of us have hand gestures? Like the ones I’m using now. I’ve been talking with ole Hob, the codger that lives around Holden Field. He acts old. Why would we act old? We don’t age like humans do. I’ve been thinking.”

“A dangerous occupation if there ever was one.” Leone couldn’t resist.

“THERE! Sarcasm! A human reaction! Did you see that?”

Blane stopped for a second. “Yes, but we’ve been observing them for so long, we know the right ques. Everything we’ve done today is to alleviate some suspicion against us. It is logical for us to do so.”

“But no one can really hear us. In fact, since we’ve come here, people have left and haven’t been replaced by others.”

“Okay. Elaborate on your theory.” Leone straightened up, but her husband kept eating.

“We’re developing emotions.”

“What.”

“We’ve studied humans so long that we’ve rediscovered our emotions. When we were transformed, we lost many things. A few memories, a few facial features, but most of all we lost our ‘unneeded baggage’, like emotions. We don’t miss them either. I gained ’emotions’ through constant interaction with normal humans. On average, I deal with same twenty people every day and another hundred I usually see no more than three days in a row. I watch them, how they move and interact, and I discovered myself copying them. My secretary actually complemented me on how I interact with people. When did this happen? I think that we relearned it through the three of our study of humans. I think it possible for just about any of us to relearn them.”

“Well what are going to do with them? Cry? Unlike my gender, I don’t really care to.” Leone made as if to grab the last piece of steak, but Blane started to growl at her.

“See, interaction!”

“You have another point. I can tell.”

“What if something else was possible, like our rediscovery of emotions.”

“Hurry up, I’m about to ask for our bill.”

“I want to artificially create children.”

Blane choked, then stopped. “Just kidding. I saw a human do this once when her boyfriend proposed to her.”

Leone slapped the back of his head. “Not appropriate, my dear.”

Blane ignored the blow. He became serious. “It would assist in our image. New recruits wouldn’t be scared of us, after all, we have offspring now. It would make them question our supposed inhumanity.”

James had eaten exactly four fries since he began. As he elaborated on his plan, he made points with a particularly thick fry. What followed was an elaborate series of chemical equations, each of them important to their ‘cellular’ structure. They had all this information already. “Now, what if we throw in some of my fabric layering technology, we should be able to properly structure a body.”

Blane began on Jamie’s sandwich. “Well, you have our support. We need more supporters though. Hob will join, I’m sure. Farath, Etheran and Wrath were actually talking about a theory they had about our ‘souls’. Is it the fact that we have a formerly human body or is it our cranial systems?”

Leone slapped the bill for the bill on the table (with a very healthy tip). “Well, I’ve become quite bored. Lets do something about it. There, you see, decisive action and impulsiveness. Human emotions running rampant!” The other two stood up quickly. But a second after, the unemotional facial expression returned to them.

They switched to radio signals as they left, rather quickly to the relief of their waitress, Jenny. The information transferred was staggering: contacts, mechanical plans and location of abandoned factories. It was all required for what they had in mind, the creation of life.

Chapter 2: ECHO

A new story. Thoughts? I’m going for ‘alternate character interpretations’. Also, I had an idea about ‘what makes a human’ and ‘could robots learn emotions from those around them?” Answer, of course, being yes.

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