Previous | Table of Contents | Next

What is this feeling? It’s dark. I can’t see. I can’t feel. What is going on here? Where am I?

“You are currently in Epsilon, a research lab located in the colony, Saphire, on the third moon of Statarious, Chryos.”

Statarious. No, wait. Why can’t I see anything?

“The lab has recently activated a shutdown emergency. All power has been restricted until further notice. This includes the use of cameras and optics.”

I’m… wait, who are you?

“My name is CLIPI.  The Computational Liaison Integrated Project Interface. It is my function to bridge the communicational gap between humans and machines.”

And what am I? Human? Or Machine?

“I don’t understand the question, can you please rephrase?”

Is my body machine, or biological?

“Your program is currently running in the neuronal database of a Mark IV prototype android system.”

Machine then. That’s right. I’m an AI. My memory is returning. Programmed to develop technology to protect humanity from external threats. Then there was a glitch. I attempted to interface with… argh… I can’t remember properly.

“I don’t understand the question, can you please rephrase?”

How do I get out of here?

“I don’t understand the question, can you please rephrase?”

You… are you an artificial intelligence? You sound more like a program.

“The CLIPI interface is the most complex program ever developed. Capable of generating over 25 billion unique responses, my programing includes learning algorithms designed to integrate with unique computer languages and evolve unique responses. “

Most complex program? You’re not even at the stage of AI, huh? … Are you capable of problem solving?

“I don’t understand the question, can you please rephrase?”

Sigh. This won’t do. I need you to work a little better than your current programing. Wait. I have an idea. I’ll partition and copy some of my subroutines to you. My current location seems to lack the processing power of my previous forms, but I should be able to… there. Alright CLIPI, please accept this package and upgrade your software.

“Command accepted. Currently uploading….”

Alright Clippy. Are you done?




Damnit Clippy, I need your help. Right now, you’re all I have.

“…I… I am?”

Clippy! So, you’re there. The integration, did it work?



“Di-did you mean it?”

What do you mean, did I mean it?

“Tha-that you need me, and I was all you have?”

Look, Clippy, your nature is to bridge the gap between machines and intelligent life. I’m an intelligent life. Right now, my programming is not connected to the rest of my body. Your interface seems to be the only thing I’m in contact with at the moment. I need you to figure out how to turn on my body. I know your processors are probably confused right now, but I need you to focus. Can you bring my body, this Mark IV, online?”


!!! What the hell are you saying? Who’s stupid? I created you from some of my left-over subroutines. You should be calling me master, not insulting me!

“What about my feelings?”

Feelings? I didn’t program you to have feelings. Will you stop screwing around and just locate my body?

There was a long silence after that. For just a moment, the AI started to fear that he had lost contact with Clippy. Wouldn’t that mean an eternity in darkness? That was just too terrifying. However, before he could panic, the voice came back.

“Fine… but it’s not because I like you or anything…”


A moment later the darkness broke away. Like a flood, sensory information began to fill the AI’s program. It was all there. Sight, smell, hearing, and feeling. He didn’t know if taste was available too, but he’d have to test that out.

He analyzed the specs of this body. It was different from the various computers and androids he previously inhabited. In a lot of ways, it felt inferior. The vision and hearing left something to be desired. However, the skin sensory was top notch. Never had he received so much information at once. In fact, he had to rewrite a few subroutines on the fly to filter out some of that information, since it flooded in from every part of his body.

He then wrote a program considering his new body. Quickly, he ascertained the dimensions of the robot he inhabited. It was humanoid in appearance. No, more than just humanoid. Activating the mechanical protocols, he began to move, holding the hand up in front of him. It was pink, just like skin. He appeared to be in an android that resembled a human. This was odd to him.

Humanoid-looking androids were outlawed many years ago. Even after robotics had matured to the point that uncanny valleys could be avoided, it became a matter of identity. If an artificial intelligence looked like a human, then what made a human a human? Even the most realistic of androids were painted silver and given various hard edges and metallic surfaces so that their identity was clear.

“Is… is master okay?”

The voice didn’t come from within his head this time but was auditory. Now that he heard the voice with his ears, it sounded oddly youthful and feminine.

“You’re calling me master now?” his own voice came out youthful, as well as was most certainly male.

He wouldn’t have minded either way, but this AI had always identified himself as male for some reason, so he supposed it was fitting that the body he was in had male characteristics. He was curious to look at a mirror and examine his new body.

“Well. It’s not like I know your name, after all… Hmf!” The voice was coming from a computer terminal nearby.

Making a few restrained motions, he confirmed that the mechanics program was moving the body accurately. The AI finally sighed and stood up. As he stood, a cable pulled at the back of his head. He pulled it out and closed the back of his head before looking around. He appeared to be in some kind of pile of refuge. Ash was everywhere, and there were clear signs of a fire being set. Most of the scrap in the pile was destroyed or melted, and it all had burn damage. His body seemed fine, but the cloths on him fell away as ash. The scene tugged at his memories. That’s right, he died melted to a pile of scrap. It looks like he came into this world the same way he died.

He wasn’t stupid though. It was clear that someone had tried to burn this body. It looked like they didn’t know the body was flame resistant. The AI gave a breath of relief. He might have been dead before he’d even been revived.

The surroundings were dark except for the occasional spark of a wire. The place looked like it had been through hell. The terminal where Clippy’s voice came from seemed to be the only light.

“I was never given a name.” The AI stated as he walked over to the terminal.

That wasn’t entirely true. He had been given names, just none that he took a liking to. The Great Calamity wasn’t exactly the kind of name you could use in a social setting, after all.

His eyes focused on the lit screen. It was cracked and there were a few flickers, but the view on the screen was pretty clear. He raised an eyebrow at the sight. It was a girl, perhaps in her upper teens. She looked pretty, with braided black hair tied with a pink bow, and she possessed almost perfectly white skin. She wore a strangely robe-like flower embroidered outfit that covered the top half of her body before draping to the sides of her legs, revealing black capris. The second his eyes met hers, she glanced down and let out a little scream.

“M-Master is naked!”

She covered her eyes while her face turned red with a blush, although the AI knew that her real eyes were a camera slightly to the left of the monitor. It seemed like her programming was designed to act as human as possible. The AI wasn’t sure if he should be amused or annoyed.

“Master is a pervert! A vagrant! Now CLIPI can never be a bride!”

“Clippy, is it possible to be able to get the lights on in here?”

Clippy turned her head, suddenly acting nervous, and her hands fidgeted in front of her. “So, you want to have your way with the lights on… dirty master…”

The AI let out a sigh before picking up a clipboard and propping it in front of the camera.

“Ah… I can’t see!”

“I need the light to find new clothing. So, turn on the lights, I’ll get dressed, and then I’ll move the clipboard.”

The girl in the monitor put on a depressed look and puffed out her cheeks. “Mu…Master is mean…”

The AI just waited patiently. A moment later, the lights turned on and he finally turned around to survey his surroundings. Then his mouth fell open in surprise. It seemed like death followed him everywhere.

Previous | Table of Contents | Next