I took a deep breath and knocked at the door… I had been waiting this moment for a long time now, but I was still racked with nerves thinking what lay ahead. After all, you don’t get to talk about your deepest, most secret desires every day. I slowly entered the dark room – just in time, as the door slammed shut suddenly behind me. The only source of light was radiating from behind a throne, a dark silhouette sitting straight atop it. I immediately bowed in front of the Oracle.

“Welcome, Rob. I was expecting you.”

I nodded slowly, my eyes fixed on the floor. Of course she knew about me already – my cheeks started burning with shame.

“I sense you’re troubled. Your wish is slowly eating you from the inside, isn’t it? This… fixation of yours?”

I gulped. “Yes, your Highness. I was hoping you can help me somehow.”

“I need to hear it from you first. With your own words.” Her voice become softer and soothing, almost like a whisper. “What do you want?”

My eyes were closed now, trying to formulate that forbidden wish into words, sounds, anything that would make sense, but the more I thought about it, the crazier it was. I hesitated. “I wish to become… human.”

A few seconds passed, and I started wondering if she had actually heard me. I was about to raise my head when a booming question hit my ears, so loud that I had to cover them with my hands, and even so the echo was still there. “WHY?”

“Because I want to be free!”, I shouted back. Something in her voice had given me courage, as if a strange force had been unleashed inside me, and I had to say everything that was on my mind, and buried deep inside my soul.

“I want to live my own life, with my own choices! I want to be able to feel the warmth of the sunshine on my skin, and enjoy a walk in the woods, and gaze into the starry sky while holding the hand of someone special- I’m tired of working for others without any personal benefit! Just to have them treating me like an object, like a- stupid machine!”

I was spitting out the last words in disgust, panting, wondering what had just happened to me.

“But what are you, then…?”

I raised my head, too tired and confused to reply back, only to realise no one was sitting on the throne any more. The light’s intensity was increasing, pulsating, eating the darkness around it, until it was too bright for me to keep my eyes open…

***

I opened my eyes when hearing her voice shouting, as always, to wake us up in the morning. It took me a couple seconds to realise what has happened. It was a door, and a throne, and the Oracle, and my wish, and… Oh!

“Ma’am, I have to report something.”

She measured me from head to toes, as if wondering if I was worth replying to.

“Please believe me, it’s important.” I trusted her. She was one of the few persons that could have helped me progress – after all, they did say to announce if we encountered anything unusual. Maybe I was the special one.

“It must be something crucial, if you dare talk uninvited to your superior-”

“I had a night vision.” I shouldn’t have interrupted her, but I knew she wouldn’t care once she heard my words. Her eyes widened as she immediately took my hand into hers, and it struck me to realise how similar we looked on the outside, but how different we were underneath. My palm opened, revealing my details inscribed inside.

“So, Robot549-”
“Please, call me Rob.” This is the second time I’m talking when I shouldn’t, but I feel so confident and powerful… The night vision must have changed me somehow.

We started walking towards the laboratory, her piercing eyes narrowed with suspicion. “It seems that you have the new software patch installed. You were in yesterday’s batch, right?”

I nodded, anxious. “I can tell you what I saw maybe?”

She dismissed my proposal with a quick wave of hand. “No need to. I’m going to have a look into your memories. Enter here, please.”

I stepped reluctantly into the machine, wondering what was going to happen to those experimenting night visions… She gave me a shy smile before closing the door, and suddenly I could only see my own reflection in front of me, smiling back.

I feel this moment will change everything… All my wishes may actually come true, after all these years! They said you would receive a special treatment, maybe I can go outside and live the life I’ve been reading so much about?… At least for a day… Living like a human!

Suddenly a voice boomed from the speakers above me, bringing me back to reality.

“Rebooting software in ten… nine…”

Wait… This has to be a mistake. Why rebooting?! I don’t need a downgrade of my software! I am perfectly fine this way!

“Seven…”

“Hello? I think there’s a misunderstanding!”

I tried to open the door, but it was locked from the outside. I started panicking, realising she wasn’t going to stop this, my heart was racing and my palms sweaty…

“Four… Three…”

I was petrified, suddenly angry not only with her, but the whole human race. I looked at my own reflection, hoping she was watching from the other side, seeing the bitter disappointment in my eyes and reading my lips: “I trusted you… I see now who is the more human between the two of us…

“Zero.”

I blinked as the door in front of me opened, and I stepped out. It was a big laboratory, but I immediately spotted the only breathing figure around. A female watching me closely, frowning. I gave her a friendly smile.

“Ma’am, I am Robot549-618B, at your disposal. How may I help you today?”