Death: A 1000 word Sci-fi flashfiction

I was dead before, but when ­­the bullet passed through my skull, I died officially.

As my lifeless body hit the ground I saw Luna, my girlfriend, standing in front holding a gun at me. I can’t say for sure whether she had taken the shot or not. It could be anyone. I was alive at a time when everyone carried a gun to save themselves from armed psychopathic killers. I always felt weird about that. So much that one day I whispered to one of my neighbors,

“How giving gun license to everyone decrease risk of psychos. I mean, come on! You are handing over gun to all possible psychos.”

He gave me the exact look that Luna is giving me now, as she is lowering her gun. ‘You deserve to die’ the look says precisely.

But why?

I am not a psycho, or an obesity activist. I didn’t even try to run a suicide campaign. I just tried to unplug the power supplier of a machine called USAIPG (United Station of Artificial Intelligence Power Grid). 200 years back, I might be called a crazy vigilant for doing such things. Not in today’s world where the last words I heard before getting shot in head was ‘Satan’, a teenager with strange blue eyes screamed that while pointing his ring finger at me.

Am I? A Satan!

The bullet damaged some core function of my brain, so I can’t really decide.

Would Satan try to stop the machine?

Probably!

After all, USAIPG powers the artificial intelligence of every single machine all over the world. My dad said it creates and maintains millions of intelligent machines.

“Pretty much runs the world son” he used to say in his fat burdened voice.

My mum liked it too. One time, just before her second liposuction surgery she told me in a lullaby voice how every single human activity like producing food, running industries, raising children, writing poetry, doing researches, even running government is replaced effectively by machines. I was only seven then, and she ruined all my fantasies by saying that the voices from my favorite songs are artificially created and the movie heroes I am planning to be in future are animated. As she was telling me these, she had a cruel smile on her face that still haunts me.

Before I was ten, I understood that machines do everything now.

We, humans, are left nothing to do except living.

Blood has started to spread over my memory cells, so I can’t say exactly when I started to hate machines. I think it’s when a patrol machine destroyed my secret garden. I was twelve then, and I was obsessed with thorny plants. I picked up three of those from roadside and planted it in plastic cups. I didn’t know what to do with it so I stared at them every day until I felt sleepy and went to bed.

One day my dad found me staring at them.

“Sonny, what are you doing?”

It’s funny of him to ask me that because I never did anything while I am not asleep. There was no answer to his question. So, instead, I told him

“They are taller than before”, pointing at the plants. My dad stared at them for a minute and then left the room slowly. His 230-pound body required time to move. But the patrol robots didn’t. It arrived before my dad finished his call, destroyed all three thorny plants, and left.

Before my shock transformed into grievance my android teacher Ms. Kayla came to make me understand the necessity of the action, and why it was wrong of me to try something stupid like that.

“You don’t need to waste time in planting.” She said with a perfectly designed smile that changed with situation.

She gave me a gardener robot that day. ‘It will make you a garden more beautiful than yours.’ She said before leaving. I didn’t want a beautiful garden. I just needed three thorny plants that I had planted.

Luna is sitting beside me now.

Is she crying? Or Screaming? Or smiling? Or Laughing?

I am not sure. Everything has turned blurry now. I can’t even say if she is looking as beautiful as yesterday when I told her about my secret garden adventure.

She was scared. I knew that because She was rolling her eyes when she said to me

“Why would you try that? You are not a machine. You must maintain harmony.”

I hated that word. Harmony!

It’s everywhere. On walls, on flags, on cars, on airplanes, on T-shirts, on donuts, even Luna had it tattooed on her neck in glittering LED ink. I grew up hearing the word every single day. It was probably an android clown or an android woman, an android kid may be — or all of them on the afternoon TV program who announced every day with an unsettling joy as if they had just killed someone,

‘You will fail. Your all attempts to do anything will fail.’

The android woman always provided the reason,

‘Nature created you as weak, flawed, and naive. Because it doesn’t want you to do anything.’

Then they screamed together

‘Please don’t attempt to do anything. Please maintain the harmony.’

Watching me lost over my thoughts, Luna said again ‘Do you understand? You must maintain harmony.’

I screamed “No, I don’t want to maintain it.” I felt hesitated for a moment when my brain calculated whether she could take it or not, then I said,

“I want to do something. I know I can do it.”

She looked hopeless.

“Why Sonny. Machines are doing everything perfectly.”

“I hate machines” I screamed again.

Luna left after that. I was angry, but for the first time in my life, I felt free to do anything. I wanted everyone to know what I was feeling. I called Luna at night and said that I will cut the USAIPG for a day tomorrow morning. I wanted people to live one day on their own, to know about their capabilities, their powers. Strangely, Luna said she will join me in the morning. I didn’t care why. I was happy she finally understood me.

Today I arrived early but I waited for her to reach. And she came in her gorgeous 320 colors changing dress with a vibrant smile and a gun at hand.

But I still believe she didn’t shot me. I could have figured out who had taken the shot, but I died before that.