Decided to post an excerpt from one of my pieces. This is a book I started writing way back in high school, revised a few times during college, and then put aside to work on other projects. I do want to revisit this idea, but would like to change it/make it less cliche. Excuse some of the writing style (note, I plan to revise dramatically): I wrote this about four years ago when I was a freshman in college. Anyway, here it is:
HEART OF STEEL
- CHAPTER ONE: PROLOGUE (DRESELON, 2245)
12:00; midnight to the hour. The rainfall thickened in heavy torrents as I made my usual distance through Metricon City. North Ferridas District, to be specific, was my current assignment. There were thirty-six in total, counting from East End to West. I was patrolling the residence complex: several blocks of quiet houses that seemed to repeat themselves. Each one situated, from my estimation, with an average of four, maybe five inhabitants. Past the block rose a series of buildings and towers; the mark of the inner city. My patrol route led me precisely on schedule. I found the streets secure in my quiet detection. A few careful scannings would register a signal now and then, but they were faint and mostly absent at this hour. The timer shifted to 12:01: past the hour now. A lane of airships circled the towers, their lights flickering through the darkness, like glitters of starlight. About five, six, seven, I counted them closely. The noise of engines lingered above and I waited another minute or so before giving my next report: district secure.
It was a quiet walk through the district. The stirring cold gave a chill to the senses. Mine, a programmed assortment of sound, taste, and touch, were no less prone to the climate than any human passerby. My clothes had soaked, partly dried, and then soaked again as the storm returned. A few, to five hours had seen some change in the weather, but not past the usual off and on. My shift was almost over. It was a quiet night, for the most part; no muggings or thefts. Robbers, rapists, traffickers, druggers, and all the others that made my arrests were seemingly absent. Without the usual disruption, the route was peaceful. Now and then you might see a drunk staggering by, their movements waddled and slurred, as a drunk’s usually were. If they caused more than a casual disturbance, then you charged them with dangerous intoxication. Most would stagger off in a dizzied stupor, and once they passed detection, you wouldn’t give them the slightest thought of pursuit. Or arrest. Other lonely passers were probably citizens from the local area.
Only recent, I had approached a group of minors gathered under an overpass. I found several motorcycles and bikes strapped to a railing nearby, with the helmets draped over the handles. A few boys were leaned against the walls of the pass, with their arms wrapped around three young females, lips locked, and their fingers groping their legs in a sexual manner. Their pants were unbelted and their thighs were thrusting wildly to the noise of lustful moans. They each released each other as they saw a dark figure approaching them. After stopping, I reached into my pocket. Each of them froze, as if expecting me to draw my weapon. The steel of my H-27 automatic was neatly tucked in the holster beneath my coat as standard police weaponry, but I hadn’t ventured to use it tonight. Nor would I now. A pair of solitary eyes peeked out from under the brim of my hat, untouched by the rain. I retrieved a loitering ticket, then informed them of their violation in the most straightforward officer manner possible, before briefing them on the dangers of breaking curfew. Or, in this part of town, risking their safety. One of the boys took the pass, eyes rolling in silent annoyance. The others quickly zipped up their pants and the girls redressed themselves. With a simple nod, I told them to move on.
I returned to the residence complex. My steps were measured as I walked, making no sign of hurry. I stopped at the next corner: West Aquarius and Fortifex. My feet splashed in a puddle. As I gazed down, I noticed a dark figure watching me closely. Another stranger of the night, but all too familiar as a gloomy reflection when I studied its features: two lengthy arms hanging from the shoulders, two feet touching the ground where we met, and a head tilted over with its eyes cast downward. Each feature reflected was lacking in the appearance of typical machinery. As a human model, I resembled one in his early to mid-twenties: straight brown hair, smoothly rimmed cheeks, clean of stubble, and a set of dark eyes hanging over the nose. Every physical detail was artificially produced to create my human appearance. Beneath the flesh was an alloy composed of steel. Every limb was wired carefully into one body, perfectly constructed to match the human physique. The steel was guarded by an outer layer of tissues and skin cells. This feature helped me assimilate; rendered me indistinct from most humans. My attire, however, revealed my identity. I was dressed in a police uniform. The label “HSA Security Force” was neatly stitched in yellow across the arm of my coat.
My designation, or name, for lack of a better term, was XR unit 19. None like me were ever given human names. The “XR” was a part of every unit’s designation. The number that followed was simply a way of identifying us; a label that we each carried. “Unit” was the title given by scientists to a group of specialized human machines, or androids. “Specialized” set me into a category apart from most other machines. As an “ XR unit”, I was one of a vast group of artificial beings designed by the government to provide for security. Most humans addressed us as “police” units, or simply officers. As officers, we were programmed to guard the cities from crime and corruption. Unlike humans, we were more efficient in our duties to enforce laws and protect security, though they still ruled us as superiors. For nearly fifteen years to this day, October 5th, 2245, the XR units had served their function.