I tried to post the a week or so ago but was having issues with the interwebs. Issue fixed so here is a story I wrote prompted by my writers group. The topic suggested to write on was Faith, Higher Power, God and what it means to you. I, of course, had just the character for this. It may seem light-hearted but for Butler 221 it was quite the transcendental question. This was well received by my writer’s group I hope you enjoy as well.
He stood in his spot under the stairs in the kitchen. He was supposed to sleep while charging or when he was just not needed, but the Butler 221 liked to listen to the family. It made him feel as if he was a part of them. He knew he was not. It was just his programming. The family had upgraded him a year or so ago with the new Emo software. It had changed his perspective on things. Before he felt little other than a desire to do well and now, well he liked to listen to the family.
It was listening to them that he learned about God. Every night before they ate their meal, the family prayed. As for as he could tell praying was bowing your head and speaking to the God. When he had asked the Father about this God, they smiled and remarked how wonderful his new programming was. Then the Father explained that God was a higher power, a super human, who lived in the sky and took care a place called Heaven. Through his files, Butler found out that Heaven was a place that good people went. It was an ideology from several different religions and had different names. Nirvana, Valhalla, Heaven. Butler didn’t care. He wondered if non-humans could go to heaven. The small human told him dogs and cats could go to heaven so, perhaps, non- humans like him could go. He will ask tomorrow when he was done charging.
He did ask the next day. Androids are not wont to forgetting things, although his memory was getting very full. For some reason, the humans did not like the questions about God or the questions about whether a non-human can go to heaven. The father Human was short with him and told him it was a matter of belief. The female was kinder. She told him that it required faith and his programming did not include that emotion. That one had to believe in God and heaven in order to go to Heaven after one died. The male in his teen years laughed at Butler. He told him that you had to be baptized to meet your Maker. Butler learned that Maker and God were the same but he had to look up “Baptized”. The Teen was correct. The Butler 221 was designed to be able to go in the rain and be water resistant but he was not waterproof. Baptism would short him out. He was sent to his charging station early that night.
The conversation around the table was the same as had been for the last few weeks. The Teen boy was talking to his parents about the newest butler. The X1-400. That one already had the emotions that had been filtered to be appropriate. Not like their old Butler who was asking questions about God and Heaven. Butler found out that night that Androids questioning humans about their faith was the fault of his emotion upgrade and the lack of his memory space to adapt the emotion properly. It hurt Butler’s feelings a little to hear that he was obsolete. That all those years of cleaning, cooking and taking care of the humans meant nothing. That he was used up. He shut himself down to charge.
The morning sun found Butler working hard at making coffee for the family. He could not tell if he had put in six scoops or four scoops of coffee grounds in the maker. He put two more in just to be safe. He was not able to fully charge last night; one of his cells was misbehaving and refused to charge. He informed the Father when he came. “
“Butler 221 needs a new battery pack. One cell is only able to charge to 25%. The other four are at 90%. Recommended Battery Pack change in 48 hours “
Father acknowledged the information and went to grab a cup of coffee. He sat down and took sip, immediately spitting it out.
“What the hell Butler! What did you make? Coffee soup?”
“No sir, I made coffee with..”
He was cut off by the father telling him to be quiet. So butler was. Inside, though, Butler was searching his database for information on Heaven and his Maker. He wondered about meeting his Maker. His search produced small clicks, barely audible. Father, however, heard them and yelled at butler to be quiet and go to his space. The android was not sure what he had done but complied, it was what androids do.
The mother came and laughed at father, accusing him of having too much alcohol the night before.
“Butler needs a new battery pack”, Father told her. “Again. That thing is getting expensive. And it makes way too much noise, all those clicks and buzzes”
The teen human came into the kitchen and that is why we need the new one. It is much quieter. And the battery packs for the one we got are expensive. Might as well pick up a new one”.
“I agree.” said the father. “ Call the maker and get a new one and have them take this one away.”
Butler couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was to be replaced. That information was welcomed as he was also to meet his Maker. God. Higher power. The keeper of heaven. The Maker, Once he met him, the Maker could tell him if Non-humans, if Androids could get to heaven. Even if they had not been baptized. Butler 221 was excited. Well, as excited as android could be. He had to be careful, though, he needed to conserve his power so he had some left when he met his maker.
The truck came later that day. Butler 221 was in awe of Butler X1-400. That model looked much more human than he did. He was shiny, the other one had a covering that looked like skin. Butler 221 greeted the new model who ignored him and went to introduce himself to the family. Butler was left with the delivery guys who picked him up and him in the truck
“Am I going to meet my Maker?” he asked the man on his right.
The one on the left said ”Yea sure get in, off to meet your maker. Heaven bound you are”
They both tossed Butler into the back. He landed on top of a pile of other Androids, some of them much older than Butler. He greeted them and asked if they too were go to meet their maker. None of them answered. Butler figured their battery packs were dead or they had no voice capacity. They traveled quite a distance that day arriving at their destination at sunset.
“Are we at Heaven?” Butler inquired, his voice dragging as his batteries were becoming quite drained. ““Is this where my Maker is? I recommend my battery pack be charged soon. One cell is only able to charge to 25%. I am down to 10% charge. Please charge soon”
One of the drivers poked the other. “See? That Emo upgrade got them all spiritual on us” the driver said. He turned to Butler, “Yea go in there, and your maker will come and take you to Heaven.”
“I need to charge as soon as possible”Butler said again.
He was worried that he would have no charge left when God came in, and he would miss his chance to ask him to go to heaven.
“It’s ok, just go on in, it is definitely Android heaven” he pushed Butler221 off the ledge and onto a pile of rusty robots and androids.
Butler 221 found it hard to maneuver around the pile with his dying batteries but he needed to find a charging station. He got to the bottom of the pile and saw an outlet. He crawled to it and had almost reached it when a door next to the plug open up, spilling light into the room. Coming out of the light a man walked into the room. He was followed by several others, human and non-human
“I need an old one. Preferably a 221, 221 was my first real commercial product and I would like to have one for old times’ sake. It’s time to give this company to you, John” He patted the shoulder of a young man who had come up next to him. “ I want a remember of the finest droids I ever made. AHA! “He exclaimed, spying Butler lying on the floor.
The man leaned down and picked him up. Butler 221 slowly blinked his eyes and his mouth moved slightly. The man holding him was illuminated by the light and looked like the pictures of God Butler’s had seen on the wall.
“This one.” The Man said, walking back into the light, cradling the Android in his arms.
Butler 221 saw his Maker just before his battery ran out.