A mechanical valentine of hate.


I have realized that we all wish there was a robot dedicated to our destruction.

We never want to meet this robot, of course. It would be rude to say it out loud, but it’s true. If we were to meet the robot in our youth, we would learn that even youthful energy has a limit, that young men and women can grow tired, and possibly not even hear the mechanical clanking and whirring that heralds our doom. As more mature adults, we would curse our lost strength, vainly thinking we would somehow defeat the metallic beast, while a small part of us would whisper “Even then, you would have failed.” And of course, if we were little kids, we’d run up for a hug or stand there like an idiot.

But deep down, all of us want to feel that we matter. We want to know that we’ve accomplished something with our lives, and affected the future. Our thresholds for that depend on the person, and how much we can settle for what we do achieve, versus what we hoped to achieve. In that light, I think knowing that someone hated us so much, and knew us so well, that they’d make a robot designed only to find and kill us, tormented by having one goal in their cursed half-life and knowing no joy or closure until we were eradicated? Well, mortal terror aside, it would be a pretty good assurance we’d made an impact on someone.

Please note that I’m not talking about an impersonal robot killer, like a Terminator, or some other member of a robot horde. Nor do I mean a robot uprising, where you might know the robot that tries to kill you, but it’s really not designed for that, it just happens to have surprisingly effective murder tools. No, I’m talking about a very personal creation, slaved over for hours, its killing instincts honed to perfection and targeted only on you. No impersonal forms of death here! Its creator wants your end to look you in the eye, to record how you go, and your feeble efforts to escape and survive. I know that if I was targeted in such a way, I’d feel honored that I was so hated to provoke this. You know, in between bouts of running for my life and trying to figure out how to defeat this untiring threat.

And if you’re the one crazy and/or talented enough to make the robot designed to kill someone, hey, that’s pretty impressive too. Good job, you psychopathic success! Most people can’t make robots that can walk, and even those don’t do a very good job of it. But one that can kill a person on purpose, much less go out on its own to find them? That takes a level of skill and dedication most people can’t match. If it wasn’t for the fact that you’re probably already on the run for previous crimes, that’s a Nobel worthy achievement. Not that they’d give you a prize for “first kill bot ever made,” but they should.

I guess this is just my long winded way of saying that when you first hear that rapid pounding on (then splintering of) your door, in between hysterical sobs and desperate attempts to barricade the entrances, take a moment to feel pride in your achievements. No one unimportant would receive this kind of remote homicidal attention! You’ve changed the world, and this is the undeniable proof.

Also, if any of you hear unexplained noises from my house, don’t worry, it won’t be directed at you. Probably not, anyway. But we’ll see what you do between now and its completion, won’t we?


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