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The Day That Love Was Invented


The midday sun warmed his metal quicker than it warmed his skin parts. In this field, like every other field in the quadrant, everyone was equal. No one got more than any other cyborg, and, equally, no one would expect any less. It was the way it had been since memories began.

That was the way with memories – you only remembered the last time you thought of something. What you remembered was the memory of remembering. Memories were not permanent. When you thought of a holiday or a Christmas day in the past, you made a new memory and the old one was gone – for good.

The masters had still not perfected the droid body, it was easier just to grow the organic body in the sheds. No one ever went there, to the sheds – those places were for the farmers, the old ones, those who created all of us. No one knew who they were, but it was peaceful to know that they existed.

The head, the metal head, which heated all too quick, was the part that was created by the cyborgs. The old ways, the old brains had faults, had errors, had too many weaknesses wired into them.

In this new world of metal heads, everyone was equal. With the organic brain, no unit had the need to weep, or to laugh, or shout, or love. No one really knew what love was anymore. It was a concept, a memory, an old-fashioned trait which had been eradicated. How could we all be equal if only some fell in love, and others did not. What if the love was not returned? It was unfair. It was gone. It was unequal.

Those who lived in the far sheds, had talked about love coming from the brain. Those who had existed before the cyborgs, had left books in which they wrote about love coming from the heart. But where in the heart would it have come from? There was no centre of thinking or feeling in the heart.

That was why the masters knew that it was simply a safe organic pump. It maintained the liquid which circulated the fleshy body. A cold super-liquid kept the metal brain in motion.

There were two meetings each day – one before the fields, and one at the end of the shift. The fields were difficult places to work, but they were necessary to keep the organic bodies running, and to keep them stoked with energy.

The Prefect would take note of all cyborgs working that day, and check that all of them returned to the rest pods.

Each day, Borg 12a4 would stand on the third row and each day he would identify himself at the start and the end of work. In front of him stood a female labelled Borg 49b7, and as the days and weeks and months progressed, a strange thing happened to him. He felt a great elation when he saw her and looked forward to the end of the end of the day when he would see her again.

He had no idea why or what he felt.

During the work day, as each Borg tended to the crops, any weeds or any other wasteful growths were removed. Except he did another weird thing: he put one of these weeds in his store cup and did not destroy or tell the Prefect about it.

Therefore he could not understand why, as he waited on the Prefect calling his name at the end of the day, he wanted to pass the wasteful growth to the Borg who stood in front of him.

If there had been a witness to this, on that day when this first important action had occurred, perhaps they would have thought that indeed there was a ghost in the machine, and that perhaps love and loving was universal and not located in an organic brain.

Perhaps love wasn’t located in any place, at all.


bobby stevenson 2017


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