Man Vs. Machine by Mike Lee

On Chancy street, the bus was just arriving.   A man, or at least the Stranger appeared a lot like a man, other than it’s hard plastic face, got off the bus, and was waiting for a second bus.  It was carrying a small red box.  In the box was a human heart.

“What’s in the box my friend?”said another commuter, sitting next to him on the bus bench, just waiting for his bus.

“I think it is something medical.   I am from McMichael’s Medical Service.  It is my job to  deliver things from one hospital to another.”

“I see.”

“Why do you ask?”

“I was just wondering.  I thought it might be something valuable.”

“I see, well yes then, I guess to the person receiving it, it is of GREAT value.”

“O.k, well then hand it over.”

“What do you men?”

“Hand it over.  This a robbery.  I have a gun.”

“I have a video camera and the police are on there way, so If I were you, I would take off.”

“Oh, yea.  Well, my gang is across the street and they want me to steal this package.”

“Sir, I am a robot.  You know that, right?”

“Right,  but how do I know that.”

“See, I have no voice box, no brains, no emotions, creativity, no intuition, no inherent language, other than the one my programmers have given me.  But more importantly than all of those combined.  I feel no pain.”

“Are you sure?”

“As sure as a robot can be.”

“I see”said the young hood, striking the robot on his metallic head with a crow bar, causing a loud metal ring, like a symbol to chime, a flash of electricity, as the crow bar found it’s mark,  then a rather loud alarm went off and the robot’s head became permanently bent to one side.

“EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!  CRIME IN PROGRESS! The police have been notified.  They are on their way.”

Then the young robber, grabbed the red box and ran across the street, without looking and was immediately stuck by a vehicle, crushing his legs and the red box.

The robot, without hesitation, walked across the street against the traffic, and bending down, he picked the car up off the young robber’s legs, which were crushed beyond repair.

“Are you OK, young man?”

“Are you?’said the young man, his face showing intense pain.

“Yes, I am fine, but that human heart is now quite useless to the person, who was waiting to have it transplanted inside them. I am afraid.”

“Yes, I see that.  Here give my insurance card to the ambulance, please, please so that they will help me, said the robber. ” As soon as the other people in the robber’s gang heard the siren of the approaching ambulance and police car following it to the scene where the young man began to loose consciousness, they ran like a bunch of chickens being chased by a wolf.

“Some friends.  Don’t worry, my young friend, I will stay with you all the way to the hospital.” said the machine.

“Is he going to be O.K.?”asked the robot to the ambulance medical team.

“I’m not sure, but at least he will be treated soon and luckily, the hospital is close by.”

“Are you related to the patient?”

“No, I’m afraid not. I’m just here waiting for my soul transplant.  Fear sleeps inside us all you know.  It’s a metaphor, that starts out like a small girls voice and then just gets louder.  It lives in the heart of the dammed. Excuse me.  I talk like this whenever a lighting storm is near by.  I am sorry.  Please, pay me no mind.”

“Well,  you sure can’t ride with us.”  Why don’t you talk to the Officers.  Maybe they will let you go with them.

Two hours later, the young man died of a heart attack.

“We are donating his heart, “said the young robber’s mother. It is what his father would have wanted.

“Really?”

“Really.  Has it been typed?”

“Yes, and wouldn’t you know it.  It matches the teenager, who was waiting for the heart that the young robber stole.”

“That is GOOD news, “said the robot, holding yet another red box with the young robber’s heart.

 

Now the question is who in this story acted more human, man or machine?

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