Brain Log Excerpt: Unidentified Patient 3917

Robot in a desert

Source image from Direwrath

This is a sequel. Read the previous story here.

I have one of those bodies that feels like the stereotypical robots from the 21st century. One-dimensional articulating limbs. These have full range of motion, they just look that cheap. They’re like, stick-thin too. Artificially stick-thin. Because they’re metal. I feel like a life-size toy robot. It feels like my limbs could snap from any wrong move, but they seem to be nigh indestructible. I learned that after walking on the fourth floor of the satellite clinic, and accidentally taking the fastest route to the first. It’s, uh. Not well maintained. Also? Completely fucking devoid of people.

Alice said the public transportation is free, but I don’t see public transit anywhere. Mostly just dust and chunky things that were probably buildings before.

My body can run really fast and I don’t get tired at all. I do overheat though. I learned that by running toward the city until I fell over involuntarily and became paralyzed. My motors—or whatever this thing uses—stopped working. It’s pretty dry here but the skin of the metal changed its texture to collect moisture from the air. It was pretty bizarre. The metal got really tiny spikey shapes all over it suddenly and they pulled water drops out of thin air. A few minutes later I could stand up again.

Robots that sweat. Or reverse-sweat. Or whatever the hell that is. Jesus. I wish mom had warned me about this stuff. Plus, the robot is my body, and my brain is somewhere else, along with my actual body. I’ve been turned into some weird remote control. Shouldn’t I be able to just change bodies to a surrogate near the main hospital? I can’t figure out how it works. Pretty sure I’m stuck here by the shitty junk clinic. I figured out how to change bodies in the clinic changing room, but that didn’t help me achieve anything but a new paint job.

God, I’d kill for a car. Do they still use cars? These people are fucking weird. And I’ve barely even seen them. None around here at the blast site, that’s for sure. I just saw them on pre-recorded videos. Nobody’s seen a city dweller for generations. Until now, I guess. They’re not human anymore. They look strange, more aerodynamic. I think I saw their actual bodies, but I could be wrong. They don’t wear clothes. Or their bodies are clothes. Or they’re all robots. I don’t even know. It’s fucking weird.

Alice sounded nice, if a little awkward. She wore clothes. Maybe she put clothes on so as to not scare the “outsiders” like me? Some kind of cross-cultural gesture of respect? Or maybe they only wear clothes like uniforms, when they’re functioning in a specific capacity? And then nudity is like, the “just being yourself” uniform. Business casual at the office, buck naked everywhere else. They don’t really look nude, even when they’re naked. If what I saw was actual nudity. Their skin is like, colored like a more metallic version of dolphin skin? But as soft and flexible as normal skin? Or almost. Definitely not like normal flesh. It’s smoother. No pores, no hairs, no nothing. It’s weird. Clean and aerodynamic.

Oh, that’s what it’s like: It’s like when furries do those drawings of animals that have fur, but they draw like it’s skin and just sketch these little zigzags on the outlines to imply there’s fur, but they still behave like it’s skin? It’s a confusing mix like that, but with plastic instead of fur.

(Yeah I was a furry in a past life, so sue me.)

And, like, not like I’m a perv or anything. But I had to look, and they don’t have any junk that I could see. Maybe they evolved beyond sex? Or they’re all hermaphrodites? (The actual kind of hermaphrodite. I wouldn’t call an intersex person a hermaphrodite. Unlike some people in the furry community. If they’re still alive.) But maybe these people evolved into something else, like snails or something? Or they use test tubes to reproduce? I don’t know. They all have little chest bulges that are almost like breasts, but aren’t. No nipples. And nothing down below. They’ve all got Barbie Doll crotches. As far as I could see. It’s not like they spread eagle for me on any of the videos. But I couldn’t see anything down there on anyone, not even camel toe or a bulge.

FurAffinity would go apeshit if they saw this stuff. Literally.

I don’t even know if anyone else is alive. My people. The actual humans.

It’s fucking dusty as hell out here. Dust everywhere. It wasn’t just an explosion that destroyed everything. It was something else. I checked the map on the wall, and I think my entire town is gone. Completely gone. I don’t even think my family…

God dammit, I got dust in my eye. It doesn’t hurt, because this is a fucking robot eye with dirt in it. But I can’t see anything now. If I scratch my eye will it, like, scratch a lens or something? Can I break myself if I’m not careful? They wouldn’t be that stupid, right? There’s no way they’d be stupid enough to make a robot that can tear itself to shreds. I’m just gonna wipe the dirt away with my finger.

They’re not that stupid. Thank God.

I can see the city, if that is the city. There’s this really tall spire and then the rest around it almost looks like a city skyline, but it’s moving. Yes, moving. It’s made out of tentacles or something. Maybe that’s just my past life talking. It’s not square buildings, I can tell you that much. But it’s not natural. It doesn’t look like mountains or forests.

Not that the mountains and forests look like mountains and forests, either. I remember what it was like before their weird bio-technology-whatever spanned out and filled the world. It happened practically overnight. We knew they were having some major breakthrough, and then boom, everything changed. And then changed again. And again. And again. The birds, the trees, the insects, everything.

It was like falling asleep on Earth one day and waking up on that planet from Avatar the next. And then falling asleep on the Avatar planet and waking up somewhere even weirder. And then that, again, ten more times. Instead of the foliage becoming all cool and glowy or mammals mutating into six-legged monstrosities, it’s more like everything has this look in its eye. Like it knows what’s going on. Everything knows what everything else knows. The trees talk to the birds, who talk to the flies, and shit like that. Sounds like a bad LSD trip but I swear, they all talk to each other now. And the mountains react to things. They talk too. I’m kinda glad the blast made things around here into a wasteland.

Anyway, there’s one thing I’m trying to figure out right now. My body needs more than sunshine and rainbows to keep going. I think it needs water. More water than it can pull out of the air with the weird texture-changing thing it does. There aren’t even any puddles around here. Like I said, total wasteland.

So I ran until I found a tree. It was just one tree, cut off from the rest of nature—or whatever you’d call it now. I felt really stupid doing this, but I couldn’t think of anything else, so I asked the tree for water. I asked out loud. I swear to God, the tree understood me. It tried to give me water but it didn’t have any extra and it needed to stay alive. I was like, “That’s ok tree, or whatever, I get it. You gotta take care of number one.” I have legs so I figure I can’t complain.

I start walking toward the closest place that looks like it might have water, right? Taking my time to conserve energy. And before I get even a few yards from the tree, this rush of dust hits my face. But it’s not really dust. It’s intelligent like everything else. It’s just this annoying dust spray but I can tell it has a mind and it’s talking to all its little dust particle friends. They’re holding a little dust committee. The tree sent out an SOS or something and the dust was the closest thing around to hear it. And it’s dust so of course it doesn’t have any water, so it spins around me for a bit and flies off. Fucking weird, man.

Remember that old movie The Hills Have Eyes? They really do here, and so does the dirt and the freaking flowers. It’s like Alice in Post-Apocalyptic Wonderland out here. At least there aren’t any nasty talking flowers and nobody’s trying to cut off my head. Except for my doctor, who wants to remove my brain from my head. If they have tech to do that, why don’t they just fix whatever’s wrong with my spine? I’m not a doctor, I guess there’s a reason.

Oh wait, the dust is coming back. Aaaah fuck I can feel it going into my… not my lungs but whatever the hell my body has. It’s inside my robot innards. I can feel it. It doesn’t hurt; the body turns off pain once I get the message things aren’t right. But it’s spinning around and oh thank god it’s out now. It’s all covered in black stuff. That doesn’t seem good. Does it? I don’t know. I’d ask Alice but my “brain email” seems to be malfunctioning. Thanks a lot, Alice.

Oh shit, Alice. In Wonderland. Alice my doctor. Weird coincidence, huh? Doesn’t mean anything, I know better than to read into shit. It’s like a Rorschach test, where you see patterns in the noise. There aren’t any patterns though, I’m just going crazy in this desert while searching hopelessly for water. There are no patterns. There are no patterns. It’s all just noise. And what kind of name is Merzbow? Anyway.

The sentient dirt’s gone again. Great.

Shit, I’m the nasty talking flower, aren’t I? Trying to steal water off everyone else. Is that how this system works? If I wasn’t cut off from their infrastructure I’d probably be fine. But no, I’ve got who knows how many miles of dust between me and civilization, and I can’t afford to huff it. Even though I’m in some super-futuristic EnergyStar-compliant Green Technology™ wankjob robot body. Gotta stay in low-power mode. Retro mode. 8-bit mode. Piece of shit mode.

I’m going to send off a bunch of brain IMs to Alice. I hope she gets them. I’m gonna fucking DDOS her with IMs.

Don’t be pedantic, self. I know, it’s just me, so it’s not a DDOS. There’s no distribution. But there’s gonna be a lot of IMs, damn it.

I’m talking to myself now. Great.

I’m imagining Alice with a beeper like they have in those aaaaancient-ass movies Danny watches.

Topic change.


I’ll be a little more polite than that. But really.