Dragon Lair Nesting Grounds Gather Items Clan Profile Hoard Messages Merch Marketplace Auction House Trading Post Crossroads Custom Skins Fairgrounds Coliseum Dominance Forums World Map Search Dressing Room Scrying Workshop Encyclopedia Media Support
Espace » Lair » Alpheratz
Level 25
Ridgeback Male
Apr 16, 2015 (4 years)
Stats Growth
PrimaryStonewash Ripple
SecondaryAzure Current
TertiaryDenim Smoke
Eye TypeIce Common
Energy: 49 / 50
Apparel & Skins

ア ル フ ェ ラ ツ

“Alpheratz, attack.”

The machine hesitated. He had to do what Antares said; he was his creator, in a sense, and more than that he did not want to disappoint the man who clearly liked him more than any of his other creations. Besides, Alpheratz didn’t mind target practice. Not really. He would much rather drill his techniques on metal silhouettes and crates than on the living, but this target…

This one was shaped like a cat.

He liked cats.

Alpheratz looked over his shoulder. Antares stared at him sternly from behind the glass divider, and the machine noticed his creator’s hands tightening their grip on the clipboard he held.

Alpheratz,” Antares’ voice repeated over the intercom.

The weapon stared down at the feline silhouette for a moment, then reluctantly drove his spear through its body with full strength, cleaving the metal in two with a loud, sickening clang. Joyous cries reverberated on the metal walls around him, whoops and cheers of utter delight, but to Alpheratz the sound rang conspicuously hollow. Why would they make a cat-shaped target? Would he have to fight them in the future? Was it merely a test? Why? There was a heaviness in Alpheratz’ chest, and even though he knew the cat wasn’t real, he wished he was able to apologize all the same.

“Excellent work, Alpheratz,” Antares’ affirmed. The robot turned to look at him, but could not understand the look of pride on his face. Antares turned to one of the technicians. “I now declare this test complete and it is clear that the evidence has proved our hypothesis. Unit 2.0 - designated “Alpheratz” - lacks the capacity for free will. He will make an excellent addition to our military operations.”

Antares and his gaggle of contemporaries poured out of the viewing area. Alpheratz waited. He expected them to enter the training area – that’s how it always went. He’d attack, they’d write things down, and then he would be debriefed and sent with El Nath back to his storage quarter, where he would wait for the same sequence of events to happen once more the following day. However, it soon became clear that he was alone, and, as such, he decided to lean down and inspect the remnants of the target he so mercilessly destroyed. He picked up one fragment, allowing his finger to trace the jagged edges of where his spear had struck. He could probably fix it. He might even-

His thoughts were cut short as he locked eyes with his reflection on the fragment in his hands. His darkened sclera stared back at him, cold and emotionless, and as his focus shifted to his other features – the wires and the circuitry that peeked out from under polished metal and synthetic facial structures – he realized just how detached his expression looked. How? There were so many feelings twisting in his chest, and not a single one manifested in his face. He would know. He’d always been good at figuring out how people were feeling. He imagined himself to be rather empathetic, but robots didn’t have the capacity for empathy, did they?

He dropped the silhouette piece; it fell to the ground with a loud, jarring clang. He’d always had struggled expressing himself, but, somehow, he had never realized what exactly that meant. In the eyes of the others – the mechanics, the weapons experts, the regular dragons – he was as real as the cat-shaped target. He was nothing more than metal and circuitry, an empty and crude imitation of flesh-and-blood, an overly advanced computer that lacked any capacity to think or feel or hurt or love-

He sat down on the floor, desperately wishing that he had the ability to cry. Why did he have to feel anything at all? Was he even alive?

The door opened behind him; El Nath’s familiar face peeked through the doorway sporting a beaming smile.

“Hey, champ!” He chipped. “Nice work today, everyone’s really pleased!”

Alpheratz barely heard him. His mind was twisting in several different directions, none of which eased the pain he felt but lacked the ability to express. The sound of footsteps advanced toward him.

“Time to go, kid, your room’s waiting. And guess what? You remember that cat that was following you around yesterday? It’s waiting for you in there!”

Alpheratz glanced back at the target he destroyed. He wanted to object, but there was no sense arguing. He couldn’t if he wanted to, and no one would understand him, anyway.

Thank you, MissAmmunition (#222430)




(modular bio template by hylozoist)

© 2013 - 2020 Stormlight Workshop. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Rules & Policies | Privacy Policy | Employment Opportunities | Credits | Support