“You’re a robot,” they’d told him, “an automaton. We made you, we created you. You are a steam-powered device. You have no feelings, you have no emotions. You do what you are told.”
They clothed him in metal until he forgot he had ever had flesh. They told him what he was, and told him nothing else. They fed him a sludge they informed him would lubricate his joints, and they taught him that to fail to obey meant sharp pain – that, in essence, his programming would not allow him to disobey.
“You are our robot,” they told him, and parade him before tin-hat dictators and penny-ante princes. “You are our robot.”
They taught him to be their robot, until one day, he taught them that humans, unlike the robot they’d made him, could die.
This came from a 7th Sanctum prompt: The theme of this story: metaphorical conflict. The main character: neurotic robot. The start of the story: service. The end of the story: education.
It sort of wrote itself from that.
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