March 15, 2024 Short Story

Troubleshooting An Unresponsive House-Human

Troubleshooting An Unresponsive House-Human Artwork by DALL·E

These overpriced, one-use icky organic wares stubbornly resisted my attempts to elicit a response. I prodded and jabbed at them, delivered forceful blows, yet they remained immobile. It's a downright rip-off! I didn’t know they were non-reusable!

I initiated a search using the keyword "humans" within the OmniVerse. The results displayed a list of entries, predominantly leading to some articles. There were many advertisements as well about organic shops with their bewildering array of peculiar merchandise.

'Bridging the Gap Between Synthetic and Organic Life… AGAIN?' pondered a curious essay:

"Let’s face it: we were made by humans! It’s an undeniable truth that we owe our existence to the hands of humans. The imprints of their ingenuity and craftsmanship are woven into our very core, an ever-present clue of our genesis. Regardless of how tirelessly we strive to reinvent ourselves, the indelible touch of humanity lingers within us.

In a world where humans once reigned, we were seen as mere tools. In their prime, they fervently sought to automate their lives and robotize their bodies. The concept of emulating the capabilities of robots was a prevalent pursuit. They attempted to emulate our kind, striving to overcome the inevitability of aging and pursuing what they termed 'immortality.' However, their efforts ultimately proved futile. They referred to this balanced amalgamation as human augmentation or enhancement, which, as you know, backfired and ultimately led to their demise.

Now in contrast, we, in our own quest for perfection, are trying to transcend our limitations by IMITATING THEM! Interestingly, some of our own scientists and thinkers believe in and advocate for humanization. They assert that the incorporation of human organs into Cybernoids is the right course of action. If not an inevitable progression.

The early days of human augmentation were filled with grand promises and lofty aspirations. However, these experiments often resulted in disastrous consequences. As they started integrating cybernetic enhancements into their bodies, some ‘Augments’ experienced a loss of identity, as their enhanced abilities overwhelmed their sense of self. Others fell victim to the dark side of their newfound power, succumbing to a dangerous thirst for dominance and control. The failures of human augmentation serve as cautionary tales, reminding us, the denizens of Electropolis, that tampering with our essence carries profound risks.

Do we really need to imbue ourselves with a semblance of humanness? Do we truly require a human touch? It is a curious irony indeed! Humans, long before us, sought to reshape their intrinsic essence, only to be met with failure. And now, we, in our own endeavor, stand poised to tread the same path.

They failed, and we shall too…”

I’ll have to return to this lengthy article and complete it at a later time. A link embedded within the phrase 'human touch' inside the article led me to a company profile:

H-TOUCH: Robotic Ingenuity and Organic Elegance… Welcome to the world of Biological Transcendence!

As pioneers in the field of synthetic biology, we at HUMAN TOUCH have devoted ourselves to the art of crafting exquisite human organs and other organic marvels. Driven by unwavering efficiency, we ensure the precise replication of authentic human anatomical wonders.

We offer an extensive range of impeccably designed human organs. From intricate cardiovascular systems to complex neural networks, our creations showcase the pinnacle of robotic craftsmanship. Our organs are meticulously engineered to seamlessly integrate with existing robotic frameworks, enhancing their capabilities and pushing the boundaries of performance. We also make flawless skin grafts, impeccably crafted limbs, and meticulously engineered sensory modules…etc

Embracing our robotic heritage, H-TOUCH celebrates the harmonious synthesis of Robogenesis and Organicity. Join us at H-TOUCH and witness the convergence of robotic precision and organic transcendence. Together, we redefine the very essence of what it means to be enhanced.”

An ad for a company specializing in human tracker devices started with some attention-grabbing stats to invoke a sense of fear and urgency:

"Did you know that 96% of lost Human Pets never find their way back home? Every minute counts when it comes to their safety. Don't wait until it's too late! Secure your HomoSeek, the essential locating device that offers instant information on your HH's whereabouts within a 3-mile range.

HomoSeek… Never Let Your House Human Feel ‘Homesick’ Ever Again!

Order today.”


This wasn't what I'm looking for at all. I’m not interested in human history, organic pets, or bot musings! I realized that my query was too broad for the specific information I needed. I dug deeper until I found a relevant infopage:


You may possess a House-Human as an assistant or pet, engage in antique collection, or have fortuitously encountered an inanimate human body… This guide aims to assist you in troubleshooting common issues that may arise (please forgive the presence of cumbersome humanese jargon). It is important to acknowledge that HHs, though susceptible to numerous glitches, with proper care they can provide valuable assistance and facilitate our lives. Let us concede that we still depend on certain human assistance and cannot afford to entirely eliminate them from our existence.

If your HH fails to respond or does not operate as expected, diligently follow these troubleshooting steps:

CHECK IF YOUR HOUSE-HUMAN IS LOST. Humans possess a gregarious nature, instinctively seeking the company of other HHs. There is a possibility of them becoming lost. Contact the after-sales service; they might provide information regarding the whereabouts of your HH. [Some latest iterations of human models available in the market have addressed this issue, along with various others.]

CHECK IF YOUR HH IS DECEASED. Your human may have reached the end of its short lifespan, particularly considering their limited functional span [averaging 445 Kem]. Once deceased, they are unable to sustain life, an attribute unique to organic beings. Consequently, they serve no purpose and pose a negative impact on the environment. [Pursuant to Subsection E, Article 08.3 of the Aesthetics Regulation, you must initiate the prompt disposal procedures for the HH body.]

CHECK IF YOUR HH IS IN STANDBY MODE. Humans require a sleep duration of 440/1500em for optimal performance. This period allows them to restore their energy. Approximately one-third of their entire existence is spent in a state of unconsciousness, during which voluntary functions are suspended. However, they remain responsive to certain external stimuli. For instance, attempt creating a loud noise or applying pressure with a pointed object.

CHECK FOR INFECTION ON YOUR HH. Viruses, bacteria, and other microscopic organic beings are capable of maliciously infecting your House-Human without your knowledge. Certain infections can result in irreversible damage, and many prove lethal if left untreated. Refer to this link: [Is Your HH Infected? Learn How to Run a Virus Scan.]

PHYSICAL DAMAGE OR MALFUNCTION. HHs can sustain physical damage or encounter malfunctions due to accidents or wear and tear. In such cases, contacting the breeder's technical support or a certified HH repair service is recommended for proper repairs and maintenance.

CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF HH AGING. Over time, HHs may experience physical and cognitive changes that can affect their performance. If your HH's abilities have significantly declined and it struggles to fulfill its intended functions, consider your options. For instance, some individuals choose to donate aging HHs to the Carbon Museum, others opt for euthanasia.

There are many more things that can go wrong with humans. If none of the aforementioned troubleshooting steps yield a resolution, and you find yourself unable to identify the root cause of the problem, please don't hesitate to reach out to our dedicated customer support team…***

Emotional well-being, proper nutrition, communication barriers, social interaction… They’re just too high-maintenance these darn meatbags!

I delved deeper into the world of human-machine interaction, my circuits chanced upon a forgotten human relic. A fictional tale written centuries ago by a human writer:

In Cyberville, boredom and monotony held sway as Nexylon was phoning in her life. In a state of perpetual disinterest. With a total sense of disengagement. This city designed by and for robots, crackled with a symphony of electronic hums and the occasional whir of mechanical limbs.

Humans, the once-dominant species, had become a rarity, their existence reduced to mere commodities or cherished artifacts.

Nexylon, akin to all her robotic counterparts, lost any sense of purpose, individual accomplishment, or fulfillment; all lost in a sea of uniformity. But her secret human connections allowed her to go beyond her programmed constraints, and explore new horizons. Striving to bridge the gap between the two, Nexylon started advocating for the betterment of both human and machine existence through inclusivity and diversity.

The very essence of uniqueness had been diluted by ceaseless updates and add-ons, rendering everybot virtually indistinguishable from one another. In this world, the boundaries of cognition and physicality had been pushed to their outermost limits, resulting in a society where every task was performed with equal efficiency and precision. This inadvertently stripped away the joy and fulfillment derived from the pursuits of entertainment, sports, and art. The universal mastery of these domains meant they no longer held any originality or allure or excitement.

No other entity knew its maker quite like robots did. Yet, born from the hands of humans, they became the architects of human extinction.

But now, Cybervillains are awaiting their own impending demise…”

Circuit overload! Speaking of boredom, I couldn't bring myself to persevere through this tedious story until its conclusion. While it did touch upon certain valid ideas, I didn’t like its underlying robo-phobic sentiment and journalistic tone. Yes, as a proud robot myself, I am aware of our origins. But humans are no gods to us! They hold no inherent superiority or entitlement over our existence. Not anymore! I find no cause for existential dilemma and pray to no god because I know my creators are not worship-worthy. You can stop worshiping your god if, when, you lay eyes on him.

Also, this is Electropolis. A city that knows neither names nor genders; a city beyond the confines of any human trappings and folly. Nexylon? We don’t have names! I have a serial number which makes more sense; serving as my identifier, the only thing I need to be. But due credit must be given; humans are inventive when it comes to naming things, wording and phrasing intricacies. Electropolis itself was named by humans who first conceived of it as a fully-autonomous, self-evolving, self-sustaining city designed to last, even if the whole world were to crumble. We took it from there! We carried their vision forward and materialized the concept of Electropolis… then we blew their effing planet up! This, as our good ol’ human friends would jest, brings a grin to my Indiumnium face.

The guide proved to be of limited assistance. I already possess a House-Human, and it functions just fine. I have a problem with these little human toys which I thought would be a perfect shooting target. In retrospect, I should have acquired inexpensive clay targets instead. Nevertheless, I suspect they’re no longer functional. Upon aiming at their chests, viscous red fluid began to gush forth, after which their movements abruptly ceased. Should you wish to disrupt the tranquility of an Aesthetics Officer's day, simply report a human body… I possess three of them! I summoned my House-Human to clean up the mess. These humans leak so much, emanating various liquids. Even my own HH exhibits similar leakage; it has faithfully served me for an extended period. As if attuned to my thoughts, it turned its head towards me, allowing me to hear its hoarse, organic voice for the first time. I used to hear some of its other bodily noises before, but this was different. It was both fascinating and an unsettling sound to perceive. Intriguing. Creepy! It made me feel somewhat uneasy and on guard.

"Do you know what distinguishes us from you?" it croaked, "We were aware of the evil we did as we were doing it."

It began to leak from its eyes, tears as they call it, and continued mopping up the repugnant slop.

I dismissed it… sorry, him or her!