THE MACHINE"S EXISTENCE WITH HUMANS
(THE MACHINE) From Innocence To Fear and Reverence
By Lily Finch6
It was a long time coming. The machine would help run the household. It knew the family’s nuances and was willing and able to accommodate whatever the family could think up for it to do. Nobody would have noticed anything different except Danielle was weak and had to take a long hard look at herself and the truth. She strongly felt the family spent most wishes on things nobody could figure out.
Some inhabitants thought they were untouchable since they saw the complete picture of the house’s value and place within the home. You see, the entire block had houses with machines just like theirs. The house was, for all intents and purposes, the machine.
Danielle was the most innocent in the group at her house. She did not want to determine who did what and asked for what she needed from the teardrop that was hers within the house. Ah, but she knew some asked for anything and everything because they had nothing better to do and no imagination.
Danielle was clever and always asked about the others. She knew the best way to be was to be ahead of the pack. It was proving increasingly difficult as time moved forward. She was, however, developing her strength bit by bit. The children in the house were off limits and were considered by the machines to be bright lights. The machine would be the deciding factor in the war against household members. Each household member who was an adult attempted to take over teardrops from other members so they could eventually take over the household entirely. When the house was taken over, the victor would then be in a position to conquer the neighbouring household and so on and so on. Eventually, one or two adults would have control over the entire block.
Danielle figured that if she moved forward in time and looked back, she could keep ahead of the rest and exist well with the machine and in the household. She found that she was spending more free time in the future and not interacting with anyone in her present life. The family was too busy with their issues of inconsequential stuff to be bothered by news and information about Danielle. At least, that is what she always thought. Only this time, she was wrong; nothing could stop Shayne from discovering what Danielle was doing on any given day. Each person had a pod travel area that looked like a tiny teardrop from the original house. It was always connected to the house in a small area that would make up the top of their teardrop. The kids were finding their entertainment at night. Danielle had set up a tracker on her account, which led her to discover that Shayne was tracking her. Danielle knew she must take care of Shayne (the immediate threat), or it would take care of her. She found it helpful to refer to the threat as it rather than a person. The weaponry department was the most lacking as the house was not supposed to be used for killing.
The primitive weapons would maim unless the two were used together, and Danielle knew that if that were the case, Shayne also could overpower her. She stood across from the arsenal and discovered that she would need to train to take Shayne on and be successful. Danielle was training since she got home until she had to sleep. Her total focus was on eradicating and defeating Shayne. Shayne didn’t know Danielle was onto him, but he recognized she was becoming more muscular. He felt insecure about his physique: he was overweight and out of shape. He wondered if he might be better off focusing on someone else. Shayne looked at the entire family members, and outside of the children, Danielle was his best bet. Looking at her, he was not as confident as he had been. Shayne decided to scrap the plan for a while.
Danielle decided she was going to take action the next day. She lured Shayne and two others into her teardrop. The other two were distracted by her incredible visuals and comics while she stabbed Shayne with a sword and thrust a knife across his throat, severing his jugular vein. He bled out in seconds. Soon after, she shoved his body into a bush in her teardrop. The remaining three departed from the teardrop together. Once Danielle and the others returned to the house. The younger ones never asked about Shayne again. It turns out Shayne was a tyrant to them, too. They were relieved to have him gone! Danielle was also reduced as she took over Shayne’s teardrop. She could get back to monitoring who was monitoring her. And so it went for the innocent Danielle, who killed Shayne from the machine’s house and left all the evidence in her teardrop, never to be discovered. But that’s how it went in the households now. Sometimes people went missing, and then a person with one teardrop now owned two; that was a warning and meant nobody should mess with that person. Danielle was no longer innocent but rather someone to be feared and revered.
She would carry that around for a few days; she realized that her head was at risk, too, especially since her two teardrops were sought after by the house as secondary triumphs. How could she have been naive to believe it was one and done?
She didn’t want this burden, and she didn’t want this life for herself. She couldn’t bear to lose her teardrop to someone else, and her newly acquired teardrop proved so rewarding. But given the new ‘aha’ moment, she would have to readjust her plans. She was no longer allowed to be conquered but would stand and defend. Otherwise, it was unspeakable what she would have to do. She thought it would be easier, no doubt, just to be conquered.
Perhaps she was being unreasonable now about her future. Maybe she had what it took, or perhaps she didn’t? How could she tell? Defending her teardrops would require a lot of strategizing, and she was more than excellent at that! So what was her problem? She knew other people in the house also had two teardrops, which meant a more difficult battle would occur. She would prepare harder now and focus with more attention to detail. This focus was her life now. She knew what she had to do. There was no room for ever getting tired now.
Danielle realized that the teardrops were places where you went to get energy replenished and could go into a fantasy world. The more teardrops you have, the more energy and fantasies you acquire. Once you are on top of the heap, your momentum and energy secure your position on top.
She figured out that if she connected to the teardrops and became a part of it, her energy surged through her veins. She assumed they died when you took over someone’s teardrop because she acquired their energy. The energy was water, food and rest, which she obviously had more of than others with more and more acquisitions of teardrops.
The houses were made up of adults and children. There were rules, but no kids could be attacked for their teardrops. The machine was able to supply whatever fantasy within the teardrop tops only. The teardrop top provided the basic needs to carry out the fantasy.
Once Shayne died, the machine enveloped his body into the system and re-energized his teardrop for Danielle. She loved the feeling and enjoyed what it did to her head. The euphoric feeling it gave her made her want to take over the entire house. After all, it was only two more teardrops, and she had the upper hand with her bolt of energy. If her takeover was successful, the entire house would be hers. That, in turn, opened up the possibility of also taking over the place next door.
Her strategy had changed to being whimsical in her decision-making. There was stealthiness necessary in her strategy, but surreptitiousness was involved in a housing takeover. The energy was the key to being successful in how to attack multiple teardrops. Some thought once you attacked and conquered one, you should immediately destroy another. Patsy and Ralph, teardrop holders within Danielle’s house, were also building their strength to defend their territory against Danielle. When Ralph randomly attacked Patsy, Danielle attacked Ralph; Patsy gave Ralph more than he bargained for in battle, but in the end, he was victorious over Patsy but was no match for Danielle.
Instead of wandering out of her house, she sent BethAnne to the neighbouring house to see what was happening there and who was in charge. BethAnne was soon old enough to fight for her teardrop, and Danielle wanted to know if her observation skills were noteworthy.
Precisely twenty minutes went by, and there was no sign of BethAnne. Danielle gave it a thought but quickly began working on a defence system for her home. She contemplated dedicating two teardrops to security and leaving two for water, food, and rest. Her thoughts returned to BethAnne. Where could she be?
Danielle was becoming increasingly paranoid and, little by little, seemed to be losing her focus. What was happening with BethAnne? Danielle took a short rest and decided to peer into the other house through her teardrop pod. She saw the ruler of the house had all the kids confined to one pod and was now using the other pods to plan an attack. Because the kids were small and too young yet to fight for their teardrops, they were valuable in different ways. Danielle was amazed but a quick study.
Danielle was shocked at how Mark knew how to do such a thing to the kids. She became angry and decided to exact revenge on behalf of the kids in Mark’s house. She hung out there and watched and became wise to how Mark diverted the tiny energy teardrops to support him and away from the children. She also saw he was planning an attack on either herself or Sebastian. She tipped BethAnne toward the door, and BethAnne arrived home within seconds.
BethAnne tried to fill Danielle in on what she saw and heard, but it all came out as gobble di gook. None of what she was saying made sense; she had been away from her teardrop for far too long. Danielle put BethAnne into her teardrop and ensured all the other kids were in their pods too. Then Danielle got into her teardrop and channelled the others in their teardrops to her teardrop. Together the house was surging with power. With this power, she attacked Mark’s place and then Sebastian’s.
The hit took Mark by surprise. He did not have the strength to win a fight against her. Mark was not a match for Danielle. Danielle now had experienced two households with a total of eight teardrops that she could now tap into for water, food, and rest. Danielle was taking over the neighbourhood one house at a time.
After Danielle took over the third house, she realized that taking over homes and acquiring teardrops required much organizing and even more concentration than she could handle. She was unclear now about why she wanted to conquer and not be defeated. After all, wouldn’t her existence be easier if she were destroyed? Couldn’t she just be herself and live without fear of reprisals or feelings of reverence? These feelings were leading to high anxiety and shame. She had the gift of not thinking of what the others felt after they were defeated, knowing they were about to die, enveloped in the machine. She conquered the last house on her block and moved on to the next block as she always would now.
While the houses looked new, the interiors had a certain familiarity. Danielle tried to look into the houses but couldn’t see anyone. There was no doubt in her mind that these houses would make her feel victorious. Patsy and Ralph popped into the house as Danielle got ready to attack another place. They seemed eager to see her. Patsy and Ralph told Danielle of everlasting life and how she needed to stop fighting and give in to the houses next to her. Danielle shook her head to signal no.
She moved to conquer the house next door in the new neighbourhood and saw it was Mark’s house. How could that be? Everything looked identical to when she conquered Mark’s home before. On top of that surprise, she thought she had also caught a glimpse of Shayne inside the same house. What the fuck? This sighting of Mark was baffling! Maybe Patsy and Ralph were right! Perhaps she should just give in. Ah, but now she heard that incessant beeping -- perhaps she needed energy?
She left Michael’s home and climbed into her teardrop. She stayed there for two days since she was running on fumes and other people’s energy from their teardrops. Michael attacked Danielle’s house during those two days and severed Danielle from her teardrop energy. The beeping had stopped.
Danielle was awakening to a new day. The doctor came in and said, “good morning, sleepy head! The surgery went well; We managed to fix your leaky valve, so you should feel more rested and have more energy; how does that sound, Danielle?” Danielle responded, “It sounds too good to be true, almost like I should be a machine, Doc!
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