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Not many people in Paradigm City are aware of how powerful a man like Roger Smith is. I was skeptical at first. I knew when I first met him, that the only thing that made Roger Smith unstoppable was the Big O.

But that was not true.

Roger is different. Whenever he takes another case, I am reminded of this.

Sometimes, I find he's too calm at times to be a human. Besides his physical exterior and biological workings, the only way I am sure he is not an android is because he, like all living beings, has his flaws. But to everyone else, he is perfect - that's what makes him different:

His abilities appear perfect, like an android.

My name is R. Dorothy Wayneright. I am an android created from the image of a girl that is long dead. It is unknown if she acted toward her father - my father - as I did. All I know about this human girl is that her name was Dorothy, and she was musically inclined. I think she was perfect, too. Not the kind of perfect that a machine is programmed to perform, but the kind that has a grasp on Roger Smith.

I don't know how I know this. I just do.

At night, when Roger and Norman aren't awake anymore, I wander the house thinking about this girl, Dorothy. I know I'm supposed to BE her, but on occasion, I think this isn't true. Maybe I'm a different person all together - but that seems highly unlikely.

Androids, after all, are not true individuals - at least humans do not want us to be. Androids aren't supposed to savor, believe, or even express. It is extremely rare, and quite unusual, for an android to think or even care about a human such as that of the "old" Dorothy Wayneright. They are just machines... I am just a machine.

Before dawn, my thoughts turn to Roger. I patiently await the time he is to awake. The time passes, and I use my own methods to stir his conscious self.

My original purpose, as I said before but maybe you were not listening, was to pose as a "new" Dorothy Wayneright - to become the girl that had died. I was programmed to sing and play the piano, like I am told she did. Because I now live at the residence of Roger Smith, it is my duty to use my "talents" to prove myself as a useful android - or at least to amuse myself. Here, I am confused whether androids are supposed to have feelings... Excuse me, but perhaps it is time to move on to the rest of the story - I digress in my prattling talk.

To explain the situation to you, I will verbalize it has been an hour since dawn. Outside, dark clouds lazily crawl across the skies. The first signs of morning approach the inactive human world outside, arousing many from their sleep. Speaking of which, it is past the time that Roger should awake.

Perhaps I shall play Bach, or a Vivaldi, today. Jazz or blues doesn't seem suitable, or appropriate, this morning. Considering the options, I think a Vivaldi would be worthy.

I begin. Fast pace and feverishly loud. The music is filling the house brilliantly; it is a very good performance.

Three times I go through the pages of sheet music - Nothing. No yelling. No angry sounds; but it is not possible Roger hasn't heard anything.

"R. Dorothy? Didn't he tell you?" Norman appears, curiously undetected by myself.

He seems bewildered - a little surprised. Strange. I keep playing, half listening to him. He is obviously talking about Roger Smith.

"He left early this morning for a new case. A client called with an urgent message."

I stop playing.

It is a true wonder why Roger regards his work so seriously, when he seems to take everything else very lightly.

"As for me, I am off for the day!" Norman announces proudly.

Turning toward him, I observe Norman is wearing a ridiculous looking pair of rubber trousers and boots. He carries a load of fishing gear - nets and poles. Evidently, Roger has granted Norman a leave of absence.

Norman continues. "Of course, if he is to call for some back-up, which he may not need for this case..."

"I am to send him the Big O immediately," I finish for him.

Norman nods contently, a glint of gratification in his eye. He exits the parlor with his hefty amount of equipment rattling behind him.

I am left alone with the piano, and the dense quiet of the parlor. Maybe no one has ever realized just how empty a large house is.

***

It is after noon; 2:03pm. Roger Smith and Norman have not returned yet - I am all alone.

Because the chore list is quite lean today, I've spent most of the afternoon with nothing to do. I now understand that boredom is universal.

Roger did not call for Big O. He has been away for the whole morning, negotiating.

Thump! Thump!

There is a sound in the main hall. Someone has entered, and is climbing up the staircase. They did not ring the doorbell.

Very strange - I sense a prickly sensation inside of me, something I'm not too familiar with. If I truly didn't know better, I would say it was the feeling of fear.

In the corridor, a shadow appears. It is a dark silhouette of a man - a human man - struggling down the hall. He is clasping his side painfully.

Something jerks me forward, something internal, and I am forced to comply with this...to this...instinct? But there is no time to muse. I must - something tells me I must - get over to the figure right away.

The dark stranger doesn't mutter a word as he doubles over, falling into an unconscious state.

I am at loss for words, and I can feel something - a feeling of "panic," perhaps - as I recognize that this stranger is none other then Roger.

***

It is about 6:30pm now, and Roger Smith begins to awaken from his slumber on the sofa. He seems weary, and worn down.

I am sitting at the piano, tapping out a simple, quiet, tune. I'm watching him, or rather his reflection, in the window. The clear glass reveals the world outside, bustling with life and anxiety from the oncoming downpour.

He groans groggily, struggling to get up, only to cringe in pain.

"Don't get up. You're wounded," I advise.

Roger Smith lays back down uneasily, still distressed. "A little too late for that warning," he replies, a slight scowl twisted on his face.

It is then Roger Smith notices the bandages wrapped around his side. He looks a little surprised - probably by either the fact I took care of him, or that his white undershirt is unbuttoned.

Awkwardness... I can sense it.

Before he can say anything, I speak. "You were hurt, and I aided you." Obviously, that's the truth. I am not one who takes pride in girlish fancy, whatsoever.

"Of course," Roger Smith's surprise has melted away. His mischievous smirk is unsettling.

"I don't like that smile, Roger Smith," I say, trying to send all of those suspicions of his away to doubt. "That grin is unsettling."

Roger Smith shrugs, his smile mellower. He had been grinning that way just as a comical jest, obviously not to my amusement at all - if I had any amusement, that is.

As I said before, it is unusual for an android to savor, express themselves, or think as humans do. We are exact - cursed with complete perfection. But if we are only machines, given the limit by our programs, why have I been experiencing these...feelings...? Impossible...

Must turn my attention to the current situation.

Still, there is a pause in the room.

"I take it you were wounded on this 'mission' by a bullet?" I ask.

Roger replies. "I just dodged it in time - sliced into me, though."

"The usual, right?"

"I'm afraid so."

There is another pause.

Roger Smith's voice actually seems genuine. "Thank you, Dorothy."

I don't reply. The words "thank you Dorothy" seem to drift through me slowly.

I savor them for a moment.

THE END
 
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