Robot Love – A Science Fiction Story from Uzbekistan
Ozod Moumin Hoja, a writer from the land of ancient Silk Route shares his short story.
A love story of biorobots
By Ozod Moumin Hoja
I was walking in the park with my girlfriend and thought: “Who are biorobots or androids, how did they get their name from the suggestion of one science fiction writer? They are practically indistinguishable from people…”
– Why are you silent? – Hilola asked, – can you hear me?
I noticed a bench nearby and answered:
– Of course, I can hear you. Let’s sit there! – I offered.
She agreed and we sat down.
This was our next date. I wasn’t in a very good mood.
– You don’t want to talk to me? – Hilola’s voice trembled. – Maybe you don’t like me anymore?
– No, it’s not, honey! How can I stop loving those agate-black eyes, those ruby lips, all your beauty? – I smiled widely.
– Are you exaggerating again? Be serious. I love you very much.
I froze. For the first time, Hilola told me the words that I was waiting for and that I was so afraid of. I have loved her for a long time, ever since I saw her in the reading room. I had no right to approach her, because I did not belong to myself, but to the cause. Yet I struggled to hear those fatal words. What’s next?
– I love you! – She repeated and fixed her eyes on me.
I don’t know how it happened, but my arms wrapped around the thin figure, and my lips formed for a kiss. However, Hilola behaved unexpectedly. She slipped out of the embrace and shyly straightened her light dress.
I kept accepting emptiness.
– Come on, I need to go home! – She said and smiled mischievously.
– Let’s go! – I sighed.
We wandered along the river. The bright rays of the sun made their way through the dense crowns of poplars and fell in blinding spots on the lawns. Drops of water on the freshly watered grass flared with multi-colored sparks. The fiery red rubies in Hilola’s earrings swayed, and the sun’s rays sparkled there too. Her delicate body shone through the silk fabric of her dress. I didn’t know what lay ahead of me. The thought that I could lose this extraordinary girl drove me crazy.
– You have a divine beauty, and in addition you are smart! I can’t imagine my life without you! – I said.
She smiled and looked at me admiringly.
– I can kill myself if I can’t be with you. Believe me! – I said again.
She lowered her eyes, looked around and suddenly said:
– Look! Ice cream!
An ice cream machine was installed nearby. “Here it is, female logic,” – I thought, – “what is the connection between words of love and ice cream?” However, I had to press the buttons to remove two filled waffle tubes from the ice cream machine.
We ate ice cream and looked at each other. I knew for sure that I was experiencing the same sensations that Hilola is experiencing. Sweet ice cream melted in the mouth, cooling the palate and teeth. The sun blinded my eyes, burned his face and hands. A sultry haze swayed over the square; a barely noticeable breeze stirred the leaves of the trees.
All this made me feel like a real person. My perception of the world was identical to that of a human. Because I was an android. Hilola was human.
…That’s why I knew our love had an unhappy ending.
I had a date with Hilola again. I was waiting for her by the river. Willows grew along the shore, their branches touching the water. Fast jets strove to carry them away, but again and again elastically returned. Round poplar leaves along the avenue fluttered and jingled like silver coins.
Dark thoughts swirled in my head. After that meeting with Hilola, I hesitated for a long time, but nevertheless informed the Androidology Center about the hopeless situation in which I found myself. My mentor Jalol-aka was surprised at first. It turns out that so far none of the many androids living on earth and in space have had such difficulties. The maximum that they experienced for people was a feeling of friendship and brotherly love. Jalol-aka promised to deal with my initial data and inform me in a timely manner. To be honest, his calmness annoyed me a little.
– What should I do? – I asked.
– Work as before.
– But I love her!
– Does it affect your work?
– With what sign?
– Efficiency increased by thirty-six percent.
– Okay, keep working.
– But she’s human and I’m an android.
– I don’t see a big problem. You must give up the girl.
Of course, he was right. However, I was torn apart by conflicting feelings. According to the calculations, there should be no difference between me and people. Everything was algorithmic. But androids weren’t supposed to fall in love…
Suddenly, narrow, warm palms covered my eyes.
– It’s amazing, – she laughed with a happy laugh, – how did you recognize me?
– Because you are the only one in the world.
– I’m a little late, sorry. Met up with a school friend and chatted.
– I wish you hadn’t come at all, – I said grimly.
– What jokes are you having today, – Hilola remarked casually. – Oh, look! Do you see a man coming? I think it is android.
– How do you know them?
– He has a very perfect figure. Yes, and his gait is also too correct.
I was very surprised. Not many people knew about this.
– How do you know?
– Did I not say that my father works at the Androidology Center? He is a great scientist.
– His name is Jalol-aka? – I suggested jokingly.
– You’re like Sherlock Holmes! Hilola laughed. – My father was identified immediately.
The river was still churning. The branches of narrow-leaved willows were elastically bent. Evening was approaching. I hesitated: should I tell her or not talk about myself? But I made up my mind:
– Hilola, I have something to tell you…- I said sullenly.
– Oh, how scary! – She didn’t change her tone.
– Don’t laugh, this is serious… Hilola, I’m not a human, I’m an android.
– Is this another joke? You recently said that you arrived in a time machine from the thirtieth century!
– I’m very serious.
– You’re kind of weird today…
– Once I should have said this: I am an android and your father created me.
Hilola looked into my eyes carefully. She still didn’t feel this unexpected information. Suddenly she smiled.
– This is good!
– Why are you so happy?
– We have a common father! – She answered and immediately became confused. – But doesn’t that mean we’re brother and sister?
– So what?
– A brother cannot marry a sister, – Hilola said thoughtfully.
– What kind of marriage? – I exploded. – Hilola, understand, I’m not a man! An artificial heart beats in me, artificial blood flows in my veins!
Hilola didn’t understand. Or her soul did not want to understand. She looked at me with huge black eyes, her black hair falling over her shoulders like willow branches. The fiery rubies glittered in the earrings like drops of real blood. Her beauty drove me crazy.
– I love you, – Hilola said softly.
– And I love you too… You can’t even imagine how! – I whispered. – But you must understand that I am a robot. You loved me as a human, but I’m an android, you know?
– Never! I love you and don’t want to hear about anything else! I don’t care if you’re human or android. Most importantly, my soul wants only you! You are no different from a human. So, you are human!
I wondered why she didn’t understand all this. Does she really love me that much? Does this mean I can still be with her?
– Hilola! You are beautiful not only on the outside, but also on the inside. I also want to be with you for the rest of my life.
I believed in these words of mine, as well as in the fact that the Center for Androidology, in the end, would forbid me to contact a human girl.
– You must do everything so that we can be together and live happily! – She answered.
– Okay, I’ll talk to the Androidology Center, – I replied hopelessly and looked at her.
She smiled happily. Her prostate and naiveté pierced my artificial heart like an arrow. And in response, out of hopelessness, I jumped off the bench and, being in clothes, rushed into the water. I surfaced after thirty meters and, without looking back, quickly swam obliquely across the river.
I don’t know whether to cry or laugh. Such metamorphoses occurred only in skillfully written ancient dramas. I would never have believed what happened, but Jalol-aka showed the work logs and laboratory data. In short, it went like this.
Having understood my initial data, Jalol-aka requested old files from the archive. An impartial computer showed on the screen the program and method by which I was created. At first glance, everything looked plausible. However, a deeper analysis showed that even a frog cannot be grown according to the above program. After a long search found his “creator”. It turned out to be a rather ancient old man, now living somewhere in New Zealand. The old man admitted that he tried to develop a new direction in androidology, but his capabilities were lower. And then went on falsification. Just at this time, his wife, that is, my mother, died in childbirth. He presented his son as the result of his own scientific research.
Do you represent my condition? On the one hand, I was shocked, in the blink of an eye, I turned from an android into a human. On the other hand, it turned out that my creator was not Jalol-aka, but a falsifier of science. I was ashamed that my father was a scoundrel. Jalol-aka reassured me as best he could. He said that my father was not so much a criminal as an unfortunate man. That he has already been punished, and the son is not the defendant for the father. In the end, there is one dazzling side of what happened, next to which everything fades. I am the same person as Hilola! Now nothing stands between us!
I was perfectly happy. I almost asked Jalol-aka for permission to marry his daughter. But over time, I thought that we should do it together with Hilola. And ran to the meeting place.
Hilola was already waiting. For the first time since we met, she came first on a date. We rushed to each other and hugged. This also happened for the first time! Her cheeks were burning, her eyes were full of tears.
– What can I say!
– What can I say!
We shouted those words at the same time.
– Everything you want to say is nonsense compared to my amazing news! – I said.
– Darling, now we can be together! – She added.
I was surprised: she knew everything.
– Jalol-aka told you everything!
– How do you know? Yes, my dad confirmed. But first, my mother revealed the secret.
– What does she have to do with this?
– I’ll tell you in order. When you swam away from me…
I interrupted her.
– Please forgive me. I acted like a fool.
– I cried for a long time. Then she came home and cried too. Can you imagine? I sit by the window and cry like a little girl. This is how my mother saw me. She started asking questions. I told everything.
– About me?
– Yes. And about you, and about how we love…
I could not stand it and hugged Hilola again. She didn’t push me away.
– Speak! I whispered, kissing her on the cheek.
– In general, my mother found out everything and revealed one secret.
– What secret?
– I’m like you. I’m an android too.
I moved away from her.
– Are you kidding?
– No, this is not a joke. I’m very happy! Nothing separates us … It turns out that dad and mom could not have children. And they really wanted and, of course, a daughter. That’s when my father decided to make me. He developed a unique program and methodology by which I appeared. Can you imagine? Each of my cells, nerves, vessels are no different from human ones. Even genetically I am the daughter of my parents. Any research will only confirm our relationship. Very cool? Are you happy?
Hilola came up to me again, but I barely managed to pull away.
The stun had already passed, I could control my words and actions.
In front of me is a mannequin covered in leatherette. Artificial blood, dyed red, flowed in his veins. The pump beat rhythmically, driving plasma through the intricacies of the quasi-aorta and quasi-veins. The pseudo-lungs steadily inflated, taking oxygen from the air, so necessary for the normal functioning of the android. The visual analyzers were pointed in my direction. I saw how they began to slowly fill with lubricating fluid. Apparently, something went wrong in the android, because the liquid overflowed the analyzers and flowed along the front surface. I grimaced in disgust. Apparently, the android was crying silently.
– Sorry, I don’t want to love a robot… – I said and stood up from the bench.
And slowly walked along the edge of the river. The day was great. The sun was very bright. The poplars gleamed with silvery foliage. The willows bathed their flexible branches in the river. The air was filled with the scent of flowers and the chirping of birds…
It’s good to live in this wonderful world!
Ozod Moumin Hoja, an Uzbek writer, was born in 1952 in Tashkent. He is the member of Writer’s Union in Uzbekistan.