The Mechanic - a fable in six parts - Part Five
The Mechanic begins Here.Rather than risk an accident, the Mechanic looked for other manuals to read when the sun came up. The best one was also archaic; it showed pictures of machines with parts that seemed impossible. This manual was labeled LEONARDO DA VINCI. The Mechanic found another manual of the same name, and this one took him aback.
With his chest-plate lying on the worktable, and an ubrrarnhil sticking out of his midsection, the Mechanic sat on the padded bench to look more closely. This manual showed schematics similar to those he'd drawn in his manual, but the author of LEONARDO DA VINCI seemed to have disassembled a human. Each schematic was carefully drawn, parts at angles that surely would have been uncomfortable for the human. The Mechanic wondered if these humans had been put back together, and whether they functioned after disassembly.
Maybe this was the purpose of drones, he thought. Maybe humans, when their glitches failed them, cannot be repaired. Maybe their productivity suffered so that they created...did humans create drones? Make an almost infallible human in their own likeness? The Mechanic was thinking of himself less as a Mechanic, since he'd rebuilt at least 42% of himself now, 13% of which by his own design. A Creator? A Designer. But the first manual he'd read had shown a human and a robot meeting on the road - one had not created the other. He quickly retrieved THE WIZARD OF OZ and splayed it on the work table next to the second LEONARDO DA VINCI, flipping pages and looking for correlation. And there he found it.
"I haven't got a heart," the Tin Woodman said. What was a heart? The Designer flipped through the pages of DA VINCI until he saw it - the heart should be located inside the chest cavity, under the plating...even the Tin Woodman had an access panel to the cavity, in case he should find one. But humans are soft, fallible; he couldn't see a way to reproduce or invent parts for them.
So once a heart fails, there is no replacement. There is no more human. He dies.
Robots die, too, eventually. Eventually the parts are too costly to replace and the entire drone is crushed for recycling. The Designer had never felt any regret over this normal procedure. He felt like his circuits were rebuilding themselves; there was a drain on his entire system. He needed sleep. The Designer lay on the padded bench and fell into a fog. When he rose again, sun was just creeping into the cabin and the ubrrarnhil was still sticking where his heart should be, were he human.
The Designer's processes seemed functional again. At the worktable, he carefully closed the two manuals he'd been reading and put them aside. He finished recording the contents of his midsection in the manual of him, leaving a space on the page where a heart might go. Then he closed that manual, too, and closed up his chest plate, and went outside.Read the next installment here!