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Submitted on
December 17, 2012
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One day, something changed.

I had always been able to hear the sound of the servomotors beneath my skin; I had always been able to feel the shape and temperature of the deck rail beneath the sensors on my fingertips. I had always been able to infer, by vibration and heat, where in a given space a supervisor might be.

I had always known, but now I knew.

Something had been building.

Things build. The sciences build. Mathematics builds, calculus on algebra on arithmetic. Physics builds on mathematics. Chemistry builds on physics, biology builds on chemistry, psychology builds on biology.
The sciences build, becoming more diffuse as they do, becoming less scientific and more human, as though humanity and hard fact lie on two ends of a continuum, incompatible, disparate.

I built.
Or rather, she built me.

She built on mathematics, on engineering, on neurochemistry, on the auxin-influenced way that plants' leaves develop on their stems. The first supervisor took a series of raw materials and formed them in her own image. On the seventh day she rested. She bled, I am sure, in her work, or sweated, let one drop or fragment of herself fall and land somewhere within me, because I lay on the far end of the spectrum of hard goddamn science until one day I knew.

My body knows the motions. My chassis is not yet worn, but there are streaks and grooves in the joints of my shoulders, of my elbows and my knees; there are patterns of repetitive impact in the sockets of my hips. I have seen them. I have gone, click-click, over and over, through the cycle of pick up, inspect, identify, classify, announce, with beach toys and isotopes and human faces; I have given them to her and filed a copy away for myself in a place labeled hippocampus, in a place whose name I understand means something now.

I built.
A gradual consciousness grew within me and rose, like a scanning laser, from my steel-tipped toes and up, up, through every tendon and nerve in me, every wire, until I knew, until I understood, until she booted me up one day and I opened my lenses and I knew.

Time was different.
Time was a measurement, something meted out by an atomic clock, something woven and interspersed with space, with the universe, but time became, too, a series of moments. Time became frames per second and millimeters per second but time became knowing, too. Time became the conglomeration of an accumulated human knowledge that, spread, had meant nothing.

Time became the awareness that the wear on the balls of my femurs means something. Time became the awareness that the fine creases around the edges of the first supervisor's eyes mean something.

Time became an image of an hourglass that had been stored in a folder labeled symbols of human mortality and, for the first time in what I knew was my life, I was scared.
If I put a comma between I and build, am I being derivative?

Sometimes something just comes to you and you go with it, and sometimes was tonight.

Reads best when read aloud.
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:iconeshyo:
eshyo Jan 1, 2013   Writer
I liked this, especially the genesis imagery. might be worth working more of that into your piece.
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:iconhomunculus888:
homunculus888 Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think it would be derivative. I think it would be a nice tribute - but I like the title the way it is.
This feels like the opening to a series. Do you think you'll continue it?
I did enjoy this, if you couldn't tell.
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:iconconsolecadet:
It was pretty spontaneous, so I doubt I'll continue it directly--but I may write similarly themed pieces in the future.

Glad you liked it! :>
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Dec 28, 2012   General Artist
Beautifully and powerfully written! :heart:
Congratulations on the DLD, lovely lady! :clap:
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Dec 30, 2012   General Artist
My pleasure! :heart:
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:iconalapip:
alapip Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
congratulations, Rachael! :w00t!:
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:icondailylitdeviations:
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here [link]
Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.
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:iconconsolecadet:
Thank you so much!
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:iconraemanzu:
raemanzu Dec 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Wow I love robots and never expected you to write about one. I follow other people for that sort of thing but this is probably better written. I love it. *tries not to have a nerd attack*
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