Rust - Short Story


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 Clink-clank. Wirrrrrrrrrr. Zzzt-zzzzzzt. Clap clap clap clap clap...

I can hear clapping all around me. But I don't know who 'me' is. I haven't seen anything, I don't know how. Why are some people clapping? Why can I hear that?  Something good must have happened, because I hear 'well done' and 'congratulations' and 'a success'. But what am I? I wait until the clapping stops. Then...

Step, step, step...creeeeeaaaak, bomp.

The people...or things...appear to have left. Well, they don't appear, I haven't seen yet.

How do I open these things to see? They probably have a name, a thought pops in my head. But it's strange. I've just gained knowledge of being. How do I know what 'clapping' is, or what 'congratulations' means, or even how to think at all? 

I try to push the thoughts away and  concentrate on opening my...eyes? That pops into my head too.

I lift up something, my eyelids. As I do, they seem to make a strange clip-clip-clip noise. Suddenly, I can see. I can see a grey ceiling, even greyer walls, a slighly cracked window to some white hallway that I can not make out the details of. Besides the window is a large, intimidating metal door, appearing like it has just been polished while trying to scratch away permanent rust marks. I notice that the walls are blackened in the corners. I feel caged, like I'm shut up as if I am being studied on or hidden.

I have an immediate longing to sit up and look around. How? Would it be similar to opening my eyes? I try to lift up the back of me...

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All of a sudden, my body jerks upward, startling me, and I'm 'sitting up' another thing I learn from..well, I don't know where. As I do I hear a strange chreeennnnnnnnt noise.

I look at my body, and I see metal. Nails, bolts, screws. Tools with strange names that are just suddenly known to me as I look at them; drills, hammers, spanners. It comes to me who I am.

A 'robot'.

I haven't been born. I have been built. But I haven't learnt a purpose yet. I look to the window and see people peering in and smiling and waving like I'm their long lost friend. 

Is this, I lost the thought. Where has it gone? Out a crack in my joints?

Suddenly, I decide to run forward to the window. But I end up bashing into it.

I want to get out!  I think to myself. I want to see those people.

Laughter is heard from the other side of the glass. I feel like I'm being mocked. It isn't funny, but it doesn't matter. My main concern is getting out of here. As that thought crosses my mind I turn my head to gaze at the metal door. I walk over to it with effort and I manage to tap on the door with my sharp-looking steel finger. Nothing happens.

I tilt my head, confused. This is a strange contraption, I think. It must require force..? Seeing as it is metal, that would make much more sense, since a tap can't do much to such a strong material.

Clenching my technical fist I whack it against the door repeatedly. Large bangs can be heard, and the room almost trembles under my feet, but as with opening the no avail. 

Of course. It must be some sort of puzzle! I am a 'robot', so upon building me these people must want to test my intelligence by giving me an obstacle course to my first introduction! Maybe...I need to input some sort of code? I move my eyes to look all at the door but I can't see anything that looks suitable to type anything in.

I overhear a conversation from the other side of the wall.

"Did you programme how to open doors into him-- it?"

"Yes, I did, enough. But you cannot blame it."

Tired and frustrated, I think hard. Thoughts aren't popping anymore. I must use my mind...

I need to use some sort of tactic. An order must be required. I think, maybe...

WHACK! Tappa-tappa-tappa, bomp. Cli-click.

Eventually I decide to give up, and I sit back into the table I rose from, swinging my legs to ignore my anger. Humans really know how to work things into a trick. Did they really think I'd be that smart? Am I failure? Should I--

I become aware of a creaking sound from the corner of the room. The door has been a human! They have come to rescue me from my peril. They have brown, short hair, and a white...lab? A white lab coat, long black trousers and a pencil in his hand. 

"Hello." He says kindly.

I try to figure out how to speak. I can move my mouth, but by looking at the human I also need to breathe. I manage to say...

"..hhhh....umm....he-llo, person." I stutter.

The man laughs. "Welcome to the world, robot! I'm Dr Deacon Marsh, but you can call me Dean. We will show you around, and make you smart, and then...well, we'll figure that out."  He...Dean says kindly.

"Oh...thank you...Dean. Who are these people?" I point to the group of similar-looking, lab-coat-wearing humans nearby.

Dean smiles. "Them? Those are my colleagues. They are scientists just like me." 

"Scien...tists?" I tilt my head in confusion. 

"Aha, yes. Let me show you!" Dr Deacon puts his hand on my shoulder blade and takes me around the white corner to a new place that opens up my world...

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 A long white hallway with tiled floors is revealed to me. I can see many 'scientists' working around with all sorts of machinery, tools and

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