I was frozen, staring, but my dad closed the gap between us in three quick steps and stood between me and the android. No, between me and Grandpa. He backed up while pushing me to the front door. I had trouble walking, and while it was bright outside, everything seemed fuzzy and out of focus.
Outside. It was cold, cloudy, and hard to tell the time of day. I stumbled at first from the strong sense of tunnel vision. We did not speak, but my dad took my hand, and we walked out to the large open barn. Eventually, my dad began to speak. "Jacob, are you okay?" I didn't say anything.
"Robert did always seem odd, incredibly kind, but odd. Your mom didn't like him, but now... Now I think Helen had told her. I'm sure she thought she couldn't tell me. I never saw it. I just thought he was humorless; he never could take a joke. Damn, maybe I'm really bad at my job!" We continued walking out to the farthest sheds. His grip on my hand was steady, but his shoulders were relaxed.
"Jacob, look at these sows. He must have a hundred fat ones here."
"And when we drove in, did you see all the cattle? Robert's learned to be a good rancher."
We walked around the farm for hours.
"Dad, I know it's illegal, but I want to open his processor. I want to do a massive download before he's destroyed."
"Ok. I don't think I want to cash him in anyway."
"There's not much left here. He spent the last four days purging files."
Dad leaned in. "Wait, that's an antique Read Me file. Open that one."
YOU ARE READING
Eating with RobotsScience Fiction
In the future, our world is populated by nearly undetectable robots. Designed to be caretakers these simulacrum hide in plain site. One Toggleman, hired to hunt and and shut down androids who have gone off grid, struggles with the ethical questions...