We, The Institute, have declared the legal publication of improved and authentic automatons that are capable and necessary for the assistance of human activities. We guarantee that this new generation of automatons - fully entitled as 2nd Generation EXONs - will satisfy the buyer’s needs. We hereby declare that these scientific products and any of our future products will last the length of life desired by the owner during the placement process, and that the implemented chips used in the database of these automatons are highly advanced and relatively interminable.
Join the prospective society by purchasing one of our very own, customizable EXONs to work for your elite family today!
“Do they really have to send us this every week?” I complain as I toss the letter aside. I lazily lean back on the futon and relax my muscles against the soft embrace of the cushions. “I swear. It’s like they haven’t gotten the message.”
“We’re the only family of our class who hasn’t gotten one yet,” my mother points out as she sits on the seat across from me and sets her cup of tea on the glass table.
“That’s not true. Hara’s family hasn’t gotten one,” I protest. “And we’re in the same region.”
“Their case is different,” she replies. She crosses her arms and leans hear head against the couch. She looks tired, but still attractive. My mother is beautiful, unconventionally so, and sometimes I wonder why I didn’t get that enviable side of her genes. To my knowledge, all I inherited from her was her bad temper, something of which I’m not exactly proud.
“Why, because Hara is half of an automaton?” I smirk. My mother glares at me in warning, and I mute my irritation. “It’s true,” I mutter. “She sneaked into the Institute and ended up having half of her body cut against a machine.”
“I know they sued, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Institute is still allowed to make these stupid robots,” I reason.
“Of course they’re still allowed to make them, honey,” she explains. “They helped her live. Because of their technology, she’s almost as she was before. They helped each other out. The Institute got the publicity they wanted because of their brush against one of the older, elite families, and she got her life back,” she pauses. “Well, half of it.”
“Mom,” I roll my eyes, and she just smiles, the gloss on her lips gleaming underneath the white lights.
“I thought I told you not to call them robots.”
“Why, because it’s ‘unrefined’?”
“Because,” she firmly states, “we’re better than that.”
I understand her implication and fall silent. She leans down and takes her cup of tea, her slender fingers curling around the handle.
My mom is carefully polished. There isn’t anything about her that’s out of place. She gets her nails done once a week, straightens her hair and combs it back in a simple braid, and neatly puts on a thin coat of make up. Her clothes are always folded, always ironed, always pressed. She has a job to do, and that job is to uphold her impressive image. My family – made up of my mother and me - is one of the twenty elite families living in the Argent region. By elite, I mean, we’re rich in money and status. At least one person in each elite family works for the Government, and by working underneath them, they get financially backed really, really well. There are more pros than cons for working for the Government, although the jobs they assign can take a psychological toll on a person. It’s never physically. Mentally, people change. Their demeanor. Their characteristics. I don’t know what it is about the Government and their principles, but they brainwash their employees in such a way that their morality is set askew.
But I don’t think my mom tries to maintain such a pristine exterior because of her high government position. I think she’s afraid of breaking. I think, deep inside, she knows that if she stops trying to act so darn perfect, she’ll crumble and therefore degrade herself to the ‘rest of the world’ – and by the rest of the world, I mean, the pitiful existence of the Brass region.
She blames my dad a lot for her current life status, but in a fond sort of way. My dad was a council member in the Government. I don’t remember him very well. I was two years old when the Government sent him to talk to the Brass region for a political negotiation. It’s been seventeen years since the news of his sudden disappearance has been published.
He was a good man, people would say to me. That’s nice, I’d think back. You can say all you want about how amazing my dad was, but it’s not going to change the fact that he’s gone. You can try to illustrate the best picture of the past for me to remember, but I won’t ever be able to know that portrayed experience first hand. I simply know him as the father who was present for the first two years of my life. He was there, and then he wasn’t. It’s as simple as that, and I’m not about to try and make my life more complicated.
Even though my mom dislikes the repercussions of being married into an elite family, she doesn’t deny its privileges. What girl wouldn’t give up her old life in the dumps to live in an upper class? She came from the Brass region. She knows how bad it gets down there, knows how neglected those civilians are, knows how useless the government makes them feel. She was just in the right place in the right time, she tells me. The council visited the Brass region during their monthly visits, and she was there in the street, looking like all those other, common girls, and for some reason, my dad noticed something in her and brought her to the Argent region. And that was that. She got married, she forgot her old life, and she has no regrets – so she claims.
I suppose that is why she tries so hard to be collected. Because she doesn’t want people to remember where she came from.
She may hold a high position, but she didn’t acquire that by birthright. She acquired that because she married my dad. She got his old job after his ‘disappearance’. It’s the law, and although the Government would have preferred that the title be passed down to one of the actual elite families, it was given to her.
I understand her in that sense. I hate the Brass region. People there are futile. Why don’t they try harder? Don’t they understand that the Government is treating them so unfairly because they’re not doing their best as the low class people that they are? Honestly. You’d think they’d learn to work by now, but they still only half-do everything.
But I don’t hate the Brass region as much as I loathe the Institute.
I don’t think anybody understands how much I hate the Institute. Not even my mom, and she’s a pretty understanding person; well, relatively speaking. For a council member, she’s understanding. She has to be. But as a mom … well, sometimes, she just plain annoys me.
But that’s beside the point. The point is that I really hate the Institute. Why? Because they produce human-like automatons. That’s sick. I’m sorry, but that’s sick. I don’t care what anybody else says about how amazing it is that we’ve completely transformed into this new generation where we can create such distinctly human creatures. I don’t care. That is sick.
Machines are meant to look like machines, and people are meant to look like people. That’s how it should stay.
I’ve seen advertisements and photos of the 2nd Gen Exons. They say they’re more expensive than the 1st Gen, and much, much more reliable. And they’re only made by request, too. Before, the 1st Gen were produced by the dozen every week, and anyone who could afford to buy them, would. Every family in the Argent region besides mine and Hara’s have one. Some have two, some three, some ten. The Government has hundreds. They do the trivial work around the place, the work that requires little thought. I don’t know why they bother purchasing Exons if they’re just going to assign them to do some stupid job, but I guess they don’t want the higher-uppers breaking their nails. That would be far too ‘unrefined’.
The creepy thing is, they all look the same. The Government requested their Exons to be made just like that. I’ve heard that they have fifty gardeners who look like, well, a stereotypical gardener. All their cooks have the same faces. All the repairmen have the same faces. All of them, depending on which job they own, have the same faces. I guess it’s their way of classifying the Exons. It would be too much trouble to individually name them. They probably call the cooking crew Unit Kitchen or something unimaginative like that.
I wonder if they’re going to purchase any of the 2nd Gen. Apparently, these ones aren’t programmed to just do menial tasks. These ones are as close to human as they can possibly be - or so the slogan of the Institute claims. Everyone in our region is clamoring to buy one. They’ve tossed their 1st Gen Exons away, and I’ve seen trucks with that blasted Institute symbol of a red eye taking away the discarded automatons. I’d feel sympathy for those Exons, except I can’t. Because they’re not real.
I’m sure Hara’s family is going to get one soon. She always gets what she wants. There’s been talk that, ever since her surgery has occurred, she hasn’t been her usual self. They say her whole personality has changed, and her parents blame the Institute for her unusual cravings, but she simply deprecates their suspicions by stating that she’s better, she’s alive, and that is all her family should care about. They shouldn’t care about the fact that half of her isn’t real and is still functioning like a human being does – but that’s only on the outside. She looks human on the outside. But on the inside? She’s metal and oil.
She goes to the hospital every month to receive x-rays. I would hate to see those blueprints of her twisted body. It must be so gruesome. I ponder how they did that to her: make her alive again, make her feel okay. I wonder if her heart beats in a twisted, silver cage. Are there wires running through her veins, pumping her blood? I don’t want to think about it, but it’s so fascinatingly disgusting that every time it enters my head, it’s a topic so difficult to chase away.
I hate Exons. And I think that’s why I don’t have any close friends. That makes me sound anti-social, but really, I’m not. I’m not awkward in parties and groups and all that. I’ve learned not to be, especially since my mom always drills it in my head that I’ve got to be the best I can be, and that I need to represent her family. (Not the Brass family, but the Argent family). I do what I’m told, because there’s nothing else to do, and because, like her, I don’t want to be reminded of the fact that I’m half one thing and half another. In a technical way, I’m just like Hara.
But at least my heart is real.
whoever made this rumor
and if sm really does name our fandom fucking “MOIST” I WILL FLIP TABLES