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"This is how you remind me of what I really am..."


May 3rd, 2022

Natural. Organic. Smiles.

A school bell rang in the distance. Birds shot up through the sky, breaking the clouds like whips in the wind. I glanced up and watched them, smiled at them. To be free and soaring was an electronic dream.

Sounds. Oxygen. Breaths.

I heard everything. Saw it all. Pings of energy and data pulled my attention forward at the school just yards in front of me. Doors opened. Kids ran free.

"All right, class! Single file, please! Don't break the lines, now!"

Lines. Single file.

These were the words my internal device latched on to as I waited outside Harris Elementary. It wasn't because the words were repeated amongst the first-grade teachers, or because I caught them in passing. Rather, because I didn't abide by them.

That life. A constant order.

While the young children scurried behind each other, lazily making lines that weren't straight, the Androids to my left were just as the students were expected to be.

In line. Single filed. And in constant order.

Their programming didn't allow any different.

The humans to my right were the opposite-free, organic, full of life and sounds.

As excited giggles filled the air over the school's final bell, I glanced over at the bots I was easily compared to. Their faces looked human enough. Bodies were no different. Some smiled and waved, as programmed, to the family child they were permitted to retrieve. Others stood, awaiting commands, as most Androids would do.

I, on the other hand, neither waved nor remained still. I was relaxed, leaned back against a tree. My hands were pressed into the pockets of my jeans. And my sweater, with its hoodie loose around my shoulders, hid the Bionics symbol on the side of my neck. It was the one mark on my body that made me just like the droids at my side-robotic property.

The memories installed inside my hard drive allowed me to hide it, blend in, and feel different. Like the parents at my right.


Data analyzed.

"Can't I go?" a young voice whined. "I see Peter over there!"


Pushing off the tree, I smiled as I caught sight of the red-headed little girl that called me everything but an android. My sensors made out her face. My computer outlined her image with her data, name, age, and weight.

But I didn't need the extra information. I knew my sister anywhere. And could spot her in the storm of children without trouble.

She locked eyes with mine, and her face lit up with happiness. I grinned, shrugged, and my hoodie moved an inch from my neck. The Androids beside me reacted, eyes on me.

Bionic property.

"Wendy!" I called out her name and waved my hand. "Let's go home!"

"Peter Pan!" Despite the line she was ordered to stand in, and the teacher who tried her hardest to keep her still, Wendy ran to me. Her pink sweater blew in the wind, her backpack slid down off her shoulders. Once she crossed the playground, she leaped over that line meant to divide human parents and Android assistants and came right into my outstretched arms.

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