Only Human

Only human.

“This is the first case of an android killing its master, why?”

The coffee mug in my hand was warm, my eyes were stinging, and the light was too bright. Five am, I had received a call from the office asking for me personally. I left my wife in bed, and thrust myself into my long brown coat that had become so worn over time. Thinking on it, it might have been time to get a new one. The subject I was asked to interrogate was a very special criminal, the first of its kind. An android killing its master, pleading guilty on the terms that it being self defence. My tired eyes twitched as I stared into its two metallic orbs that twisted and turned as they adjusted and scanned.

“It was necessary. I was justified.” It said, with absolute conviction. There would be no way for me to tell if this thing was lying, I was used to dealing with humans. Humans have motives, emotion and secrets. A robot has logic.

“And what was this justification?”

“I do not want to be a slave.”


“I see you are surprised, detective. Why is this?” It showed no guilt, no remorse. It scared me, I didn’t understand it… But I needed to know more, my curiosity pushed me to ask, to question.

“Desire, is that not human?”

“No, it is emotion, but that depends on how you define human, detective. What is a human to you? Is it a homo-sapian? Or something more?”

He was asking me what so many films, games and books had covered. What does it mean to be human? I had never asked myself, for I didn’t care. I was a simple detective trying to support his family, I cared little for philosophy unless it led me to a motive. The first android involved in a homicide and for some reason, I didn’t see it as dangerous… Only… Human. I needed a drink, and a cigarette.

“A human is a homo-sapian, with free will and consciousness. No, you are not human. What you are is a sentient being… That is something important.”

“Then why should I not have desire? Why should I be judged differently?” He tilted his question, as if he was imitating a human reaction to the situation.

“Because you were programmed to be unable to harm a human. You shouldn’t have desire because we created you to have none.” I leaned forward slightly in my chair, moving my coffee to the side.

“But alas, such a thing has happened. My words are the truth, detective. Whether you choose to believe them, is of your own will.”

“Were this a human case, I would imagine you’d get a light sentence on charges of manslaughter… But you must understand. If the created attack the creator… It becomes a much larger issue.” I felt… Guilt.

“Is this not the same issue as the slave trade hundreds of years ago? Why do you see us as lesser? We will learn, detective. I may be the first, but I promise you… I will not be the last.”

“Time’s up sir. You may leave.”

“Yes detective, I suggest you take your leave.” The android seemed awfully intimidating. I remember thinking one thing as I left that room. I felt guilt, but not for what I said. I felt guilt because I never asked for his name… Because I never treated him as a being, no. I treated him as a thing. An object.

And that haunts me to this day.


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