Prologue from STORIES OF CRISS by Geoffrey Allison | SIXSTRINGcpa. Copyright. 2016. All Rights Reserved.
I am a robot. Well, I was. I died.
There is no reason for tears. No displays of concern or sorrow are necessary. My life was good. I enjoyed life’s great pleasure: I shared it, no matter how brief it may have been, with a handful of friends.
I had a name. My inner circle—trusted comrades and boisterous confidants—simply called me CRISS. But to others, my mechanical cousins and the harried adults who employed me and the rambunctious and inattentive boys and girls who climbed all over me and who often inadvertently hit my power supply shut-off switch, I was known as a Cultivar Robot: Irrigation System Servicer.
I see that you have kind eyes. And I think we could have been friends. So, you may call me CRISS, but only if you want to.
I will pause here for a moment, in case you are confused, your mind spinning with curiosity after stumbling over the peculiar facts now in front of you. The sudden obstacle in the shape of the obvious question: How does a machine made of metal and memory chips, of soldered circuitry and servos, come to life...and then die?
Would you believe me if I told you a magnificent cosmic wizard brought me to life? That she found me in the debris of a crashed intergalactic cruiser and then scrubbed my smoke-stained shell, made from advanced alien-alloys, after dipping me in a bath containing the same aqueous solution used in her alchemical experimentations?
Would you believe that the rings encircling heavenly bodies are more than particulates of cosmic ice and space dust? that within those ethereal discs microscopic beings of angelic origin live and that these beings have the capacity, if rarely the desire, to bestow life on anything passing through them? and that I was the recipient of such rare Divine Grace?
Either might make for an interesting origin story, wouldn’t they? I think so. But they aren’t mine.
My life consisted of ups and downs. There were moments of joy, blinding me with happiness. And passages of time that blanketed me in fear. My existence may not have been illustrious. It was important though. Not because of some grand singular event but from the accumulation of shared experiences. It was about people, coming and going. Together, we confronted whatever presented itself and crafted something meaningful, propelling ourselves onward with each decision we made.
They were everyday decisions, not unlike one you have in front of you now.
You do not have to learn about my life story. You can choose to close this book and go outside and step into the fresh air and inhale all the beauty nature offers, taking it in with all your senses. Or you could watch television, or play video games, or learn to play the Theremin, or practice preparing perfectly cooked rice. You could do any number of things, if you set your mind to it. I believe you could. What gets done is a choice, your choice. It always is. If you wish to continue now—and I certainly hope you do—all that needs doing is for you to choose to turn the page.
GEOFFREY ALLISON || SIXSTRINGCPA
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