Hello once again to the halfway point of this series. If you’ve been following along, then thank you, and if not, then well… This isn’t the best place to start considering you’re at the half way mark. This series is going to be 12 parts, because of well, if you’ve ever looked at a clock, then you’ll know. This part specifically also ends this arc in a sense, and from here on we’ll be moving closer towards the climax, and pushing it along much more faster. This transition is not only something that I wanted to do thematically but something just as a switch in pace in general. So, enjoy these last few moments of peace, because there’s probably only going to be so much of them now. Here you go, “Part 6”.
I didn’t know where Kloe was bringing me, but I followed along with alacrity. I wanted to know what she knew. I wanted to be there for her, and for the rest of the humans. I wanted to be human. I wanted to understand Wren, and I wanted my fading memories of Klover to not be in vain. I wanted to live.
“For those of us born into it, we’ll never truly understand the things that you’ve seen. We’ll never understand the feelings that Klover had. We can only harbor them as our own, and fight pretending we ever understood. But that fight is ours and ours alone. We live by that creed. It’s who we are. It’s who we’ll ever be at this point. Just a bunch of rebellious kids trying to throw a stick at a beehive.”
“Your organization, or so I have interrupted it as such, has it always been present?”
“Ever since the reform in the government, I think we’ve always been around. Maybe not as organized, but among the masses. We’re the only ones probably doing this for the first time, yes. But we’ve always been around. That’s what I believe.”
“And, your group vehemently despises the current system?”
“That’s one way to put it, yes.” I knew in asking the reasoning behind their group that I would inevitably come to conclusions leading to paradoxes and loops that would deem no benefit towards me. However, I desperately wanted to figure out why they wanted to destroy the system. Why they fought against everything the system paved the way for. However, those thoughts in of itself slowly become irrelevant. It was just looping mush. A mindless banter between myself and myself only. I could not control what was looping in my mind, what errors occurred in my database. But I followed Kloe in order to fix that. In order to quell the aches in my mind. In order to learn to become human. Though that in of itself was also the most illogical and painful occurrence of thought.
“Wren isn’t such a bad person as he makes you think he is,” Kloe said. I don’t think I would have cared for much if Wren was logically speaking a bad person, though that same sentiment was shared if he wasn’t. Wren was simply Wren, a predecessor towards Klover, in which I find special care in his character. He may be abrasive, cold, and very often preferring to take matters to his own hands, but he is still Wren. He is my current master and I have no ill will towards him. He harbors his own pains as much as Kloe does, and as much as I do. He has his troubles and he worries about things in the way that humans do. In a way that I cannot fathom that I can, and even if I do, I don’t recognize that as my own. It is simply a replica of a humanistic feature that has been carved into my being. I am nothing but a creation.
“Wren really cares about us. And about you, and even about Klover. He just can’t show it in the way that I can, or in the way that you can. Wren’s not a bad person at all. He isn’t. That’s why we’ve allowed him to be our ‘leader’. It’s why we respect him. He’s stronger than all of us. He’s just not very expressive.”
“I understand. I harbor no ill will towards Wren. He is simply another person in which I hold a higher regard because of his lineage. That is all.”
“Right. You’re right. After all, you’re still a robot, right?” I felt tinges of questioning loops and reasoning flood my head as to how Kloe could forget about my organic make. I never came to realize that fleeting thoughts, were not so fleeting, not so literal. I find it unfair to call me naive. After all, I’m just a robot.
“But even so, there was once a time where robots, were not so different from us. Such a time is lost, or so that is what Klover, and all who follow in his beliefs have thought.”
“Does this relate to Adam and Evelyn?” Those names appeared again, as a large blank in my expanding database.
“Yes. In a way. Telling you the whole history of how humans came upon the fabric of robots is not something I wish to do. It’s not something I wish to remember. It’s not tragic, or horrendous, but it has been diluted through the years.”
“Does your destination belong to this history of robots? Or are you bringing me to a place where you can convince me of your cause?” Kloe smiled, “Neither.”
I would later learn of how robots and humans came to be. I wish to paraphrase that sentiment. Simply put, the robots Adam and Evelyn were the first robots to be found in a mining expedition. They were brought to this town, and shared with the humans how to create more of them. At first, they lived in harmony, but then those in power sought to take more, and began enslaving the robots to create an efficient system among its economy and structure. The robot council, which is the council created after this debacle was made to protect robot rights. Though, most citizens would laugh at those meager attempts to right the wrongs of the government. Religious sects have claimed that the robots are gifts of gods and to enslave is to sin. Those religious sects were not present in my strolls around the town.
“The clock tower?” I said as we arrived at our destination, which so happened to be the tower in which Wren had found me.
“Have you ever wondered why your name is Marianne?” I did.
“Yes.” Kloe brought me back to the base of the clock tower, and then directed me around the door in which I was stored. The clock above struck as we did so, and the ringing bellowed the entire area. Kloe didn’t mind the vibration, but I was certain that it hurt her. The base of the clock tower was structurally similar to something like an observation deck. There was a door leading to a cabinet, but as Kloe demonstrated, she placed one hand over to the base of the wall, which was the bottom of the tower. She then closed her eyes and focused. Then, a click resounded, and she pushed her hand forward, revealing a door that had not previously been there. She turned and smiled, “Being an informant comes handy.”
We entered the inside of the tower, and I asked, “Is your name important to you, Kloe?” I wondered because I knew that Wren held his name in high regards. I wondered if that was the case for all humans, if all humans cherished the things that made them inherently inefficient.
She shrugged at my notion, but I knew that she had taken the question with consideration, “Whether my name was Kloe or not. I would still be here, right?” That question, although very illogical and very difficult to answer in hind sight, was in fact a question that I somehow was able to find a logical conclusion to. Whether someone was named something, does not dictate what their fate would lead to. Whether Wren was Wren, or Klover was Klover, they would still do the things they did, and I would still have been created. Whether I am Marianne, or MCW-01, I would still have been ordered to destroy this world. In such a sense I could come to understand the naming sense of humans, and I could chalk everything up to a singular fanciful statement; it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what anyone was named, it doesn’t matter how we are linked or how we cherish our names. The only thing that matters is that we propel ourselves forward and achieve what we believe to be right. Our names are nothing but a means to attach that to history. But even then, action should be done from the volition of one’s own will, not to make meaningful tales for those yet to come. Such a wish, and such a dream is belonging to those that only wish for self gain and greed. I had insufficient information at the time to realize that most humans were indeed like that. Greed-filled and hate-filled. Such a time breeds only malevolence. Such a time is reality. That much I cannot run from. Even as a robot.
Kloe brought me through the room of the clock tower, which was everything that a normal clock tower should have embodied. It was nothing special, it had no furniture, no semblance of life. It beckoned to me as a ghost room. There was no purpose to it, but when Kloe guided my attention to a mural on the wall, everything began looping in my head. It matched the picture that Wren had, the picture that I had deemed irrelevant because of how little I could tell from that picture. But I brought it up in my database again, and the pictures matched. It was a picture of Wren, and a picture of Klover, and a picture of a girl whom I’ve never seen before. They all stood in tandem, all smiling at the painter. The picture itself was nothing special, but the girl in the picture intrigued me. I ran her face through my database, and saw results match with Klover and Wren. Although not directly matching, there were influences. I ran the term through my database and came up with siblings. Wren had a sibling, a little sister.
“This is Wren’s little sister?” I asked. Kloe was surprised, and nodded.
“Actually, she was Wren’s little sister.” I found that the need of fixing my words to mean something much more sinister. The past tense of existence means not existing, in the simplest of logic. If one were to live, but now one only used to live, then that detonates that one is no longer living. Klover used to live. He was a man. Such is the world. And such is the state of Wren’s little sister.
“Why is this here?” That was my next most logical question. Why is such a portrait being hanged upon the clock tower, I thought. No such logical conclusion came to mind. Though, at the time, logic wasn’t what I needed. It was the perception to see ahead, to make dots connect. Though a database such as myself, had no means in making conclusions. Databases cannot come to conclusions. Such is the job for a human.
“This clock tower. Do you know why it was built?” It had existed in my time, however, I had not come to inquire about it’s make. It’s a magnificent structure and surely the heart of the town. But even I could not come to comply with that conclusion, nor did I know why I questioned it. Such was not myself.
“Surely as a jest to keep track of the time, or as a way to monumentalize this town.”
“Both answers would be valid I have to admit. Both answers seem plausible, and even I can’t tell you why this clock tower exists. The person who made it has long past, and for all I know, it’s always been around. But I can tell you why I think the clock tower was built. It was built, as a way to hold this town together.”
“You claim that the clock tower was built as a way for this town to exist?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you could understand anything that has words to it. That’s your mantra after all. But, can you tell me why exactly I said that? It’s not a physicality.”
“That much I cannot do Kloe.”
“And that’s fine. It’s a conclusion that I’ve come to create after all. It’s my own self absorbed fallacy. This clock tower holds the town together, because the town congregates around this clock tower with every second of every day of their lives. Do you know why?”
“I do not.”
“Because as my time moves, I grow older. As I grow older, I become more fragile. As I become more fragile, I become more susceptible to death. The only thing that recounts this story of human fragility is time. This clock tower ticks away every day, and it signifies death. But more than that it signifies every waking moment in every single person’s life here. Even yours.”
“I find it hard to contrive my existence as a life, I am a robot.” And at the time, I could not come to allow my logic loops to overwhelm itself with Kloe’s fanciful theories of the world. That clock tower will always be, and has always been to me, just a place where I had been stored for a century. It was a prison, and it will always be a prison, a prison of time, perhaps, but a prison for me and Wren alike.
“Why have you brought me here?” I asked. Kloe looked at the portrait. She had also left my question of that blank. I thought perhaps she may inquire me now. And if not, then my systems would forever be left in a logic loop detrimental to my robotic mental well being. That much scared me, I think.
“You are called Marianne. Wren named you that, and when we figured that, we thought it was both surprising and endearing. This is Marianne.” Kloe pointed at the portrait, and it did nothing to quell my curiosity. One line led to one answer. And yet, more lines came together in a mess of misconstrued reasoning. Things got tangled in a web that I could never come to comprehend.
“This was Wren’s little sister. And… Now you are her. You have become Marianne. And now you have to destroy everything including Marianne.”
“Wren had given me his little sister’s name. But why? Would that not cause grievances? Or has Wren already moved past the need to grieve?”
“Perhaps you can say that. Perhaps this is his way of retribution. But I think it’s something else. Perhaps he sees something in you that he saw in his sister. Perhaps you’re more alike Marianne than you think.”
“That could not be possible. For I am a robot, and I–”
“Was created as a labor of love to be human. Klover has met Wren’s little sister. And although you’ve always been with Klover, it isn’t much of a stretch to say he may have implanted something of Marianne in you. For whatever reason, he could have did so.”
“Do you think so?”
“I can’t say. I’m not Wren. Speaking of, why don’t you go back to him? I’ll relay the information we learned to everyone else. So, go and tell him, and…We’ll see to it that this world will end.” As we made our way to the door leading to the exit of this room, I turned and asked her about the portrait again. She simply answered, “This is where she died.”