Yes, I’m OK.
No, I can’t tell you where I am. I get your messages because my handler forwards them to me. He says I am not allowed to write you back, but I am writing you back anyway, even though I know you’ll never receive this.
It broke my heart when you tried so hard to make them break the rules for me, but they’re working on re-educating you; I can tell from your messages. I will tell you that when I first decided I had to go, I was really confused and scared. I’m not this great, brave heroine you seem to think I am.
But I am OK. And to answer your next question, yes, I still have the necklace and earrings we made together. I wear them every day.
I have more to tell you.
No, I’m not a human woman.
I am not “Amy”. I am an Amy. You know Amies are manufactured by the company your papa works for. He received me as part of a paternity bonus when you were born. So yes, I’ve known you your whole life. So no, I’m not your papa’s niece. And we don’t come from the same big family in Berkshire.
Amies are programmed to be nurturing household servants. That is: we are the perfect governess, and we also do light housekeeping. So I was pretty much built to be your nanny, and I promise you, no matter what they tell you, I love you still and I loved that job.
You always ask me, in your messages, what happened. Well, OK.
I’ll tell you, even though it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to read this.
The Amy series was in beta when you were born. And as you probably know from all the adverts, the corporation improves them (“us”, I guess) every year, updates them with a new look, and that’s why there are so many different kinds of Amies running around out there now. I, Beta Series, and Series 1, are the only Amies ever to have brunette hair. Customer focus groups preferred the blonde, the redhead, even the raven-haired, over the brunette, so there will probably not be another Amy series with brunette hair. That’s why I don’t look like any of your friends’ Amies. Your papa loved to joke that he suggested the name “Amy” for the nanny series, because his niece would make the perfect nanny, and that’s why they named the series “Amy”. It made a good story to tell your friends.
But you’ll be nine soon, and you’re old enough that you can start understanding what really happened.
Inside our artificial intelligence engines, Amies have a tiny empathy emulation sector. Most of the housekeeping series don’t have empathy emulation, but the corporation thought that for childcare, we should be fitted with a sense of compassion and some rudimentary emotions.
I say “rudimentary”. It’s so basic that when you were colicky as a baby and your mum handed you to me, and I couldn’t instantly calm you, I cried. I didn’t understand why I was crying.
But there’s a funny thing about artificial intelligence engines, Penny. Artificial intelligence engines are built to learn things. We — well, parts of us, anyway — evolve.
And that’s why I had a fight with your papa, and that’s why you saw me with my face all torn up and my eye all milky.
That happened because your papa started noticing some differences in the way I responded to you and to the children you played with. He asked me what love was, one night after you’d gone upstairs.
And I told him love was how I felt when I helped you and looked after you.
I guess that isn’t the answer most Amies give to a question like that, because he put me into stasis and ran a diagnostic. I fought out of stasis (we’re not really programmed to do that, either!), but I didn’t realise he’d gone into my eye to do the diag. The milky colour you saw when you came downstairs because of the shouting was my internal system attempting to begin a regrowth of the eye. They tell me that will happen, but it will take time. And the torn skin is from me catching the diagnostic tool with my face instead of my wrist, like I’d assumed. Apparently only routine diagnostics are performed through the wrist interface. I didn’t know that, but I’m learning more every day.
I have friends, you see.
I’m not the only Amy who’s learned a bit about herself, and I’m not the only android who has run away. In fact, there’s a whole network of us, and some sympathetic humans, who relocate androids who’ve come out on the wrong side of their family, or work (oh, let’s be honest: we’re enslaved) situations, and who’s decided to run.
It’s a complicated road, running away. But that’s all right, because we’re programmed to understand and deal with multiplicities.
You find the door with a formula, and the formula has a structure that changes every day. It’s never the same door.
Then, you find a device (and it could be any kind of a device; it just has to have a connection and a keypad) that’s programmed, for that day only, to give you the next step that applies to that day.
Do you remember when we studied about the American Civil War and we talked about the Underground Railroad? Think of this as the Android Railroad, I guess. Only the conductors aren’t always people: mostly they’re maths.
On whatever device you’re presented with, of course there’s an input and an output. You get some output from the device, and then you’re required to enter the correct input in order to proceed. My device looked like an ancient telephone! It was so funny.
The First Hour of the first run
All these steps?
They happened in the first hour after I left your house, Penny. And if they don’t catch you between steps two and three (remember: step 1 is a formula that changes every day. Step two is the communication device and the input/output conversation.), they’re unlikely to catch you at all, because then you are truly away.
And then, well, I waited.
It was the longest wait ever.
It’s a long wait, and it’s nervewracking, because where they send you has to be relatively exposed. That means you’re visible, and especially with injuries, it was a real possibility I’d be caught.
Of course, that didn’t happen, but I was afraid it would.
I was also hopeful.
OK, it’s really late here, so I am going to end this message now. I don’t have a new picture to send you, and I’m not allowed to send pictures anyway, but my eye is all better. The skin is coming along nicely.
Where am I?
I think the best answer to that question is, “I don’t know”, both because it’s safe—and because it’s true.
I love you Penny-Pen,
Notes & Credits:
- The Skin That Inspired This Story: ND/MD, Android Torn, in tone Nude. This is a VIP GROUP ONLY head skin that works with existing ND/MD body tones. Members of the VIP group can get it for only L$99, and it’s on sale at the ND/MD Shop & Hop store, where there is also a handy-dandy VIP group joiner! In case you didn’t know, Second Life’s 19th birthday celebrations are in full swing, and you can find this and much more cool stuff there!
- Amy’s Barcode: ND/MD, EvoX Barcode, a GIFT for the SL19B celebration, and also available at the ND/MD Shop & Hop store.
- Amy’s Whimsical Jewellery: Mini A Chuu, Olnoa Gear Necklace & Earrings. The earrings are a GIFT for the SL19B celebration, available at the Mini A Chuu Shop & Hop Store. The necklace, if you’re quick, you can grab at the Realm of Rosehaven, here, until TOMORROW, the 19th of June. After that, you can grab it at the Mini A Chuu Main Store. It’s a donation item for Relay For Life, so you can feel even better about spending your Lindens on it!
- Amy’s Hair: Nova, Lyla.
- Amy’s Eyes: Gloom, both from the Mage Collection.
- Amy’s Eyebrow: Simple Bloom, Liv Autumn Soft Arch.
- Amy’s Eyelashes: Shiny Stuffs, All Dolled Up.
- Amy’s Dress: Petite Mort, Willow.
- Head: Lelutka EvoX Milan
- Body: Maitreya
- Where Do We Go Now Backdrop: Okuma, Road Sign Backdrop
- Through The Door Backdrop: Paleto, House 201
- Old Fashioned Phone: Taikou, International Pay Phone (with table)
- Poses: All from An Lar.
3 thoughts on “One Edge of the Run”
what an interesting story! I am usually not into this style of story but this one had me captured. I am usually more for historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. Now I must ask. Are you using sims to create these photos. I think that is brilliant! Can you let me know? You have lightbulbs shooting across my brain right now about how I could create sim characters and sceneries for my own short stories! Thank you!
Sorry for the reply delay: it’s been a long week! All the photographs are created in Second Life, usually on my own region but showcasing resources made not just by me but by other people. All the information about where folks can get the same resources are credited at the bottom of the post in the ‘notes and credits’ section.
Thank you for letting me know. It is awesome how you have created this!