Beyond Human

After losing his family and job to a robot, a man decides to take revenge against our robotic overlords.

In a sprawling metropolis, skyscrapers rose like a game of dominos, one taller than the next. The pastels of dusk painted the horizon, but their soft glow often blurred with the aggressive gleam of neon. Eldric paused for a moment, taking in the immense stature of the building in front of him. The towering office of Rowland & Wilcox Incorporated stood defiantly, a testament to its time as a titan in its era. The atmosphere was different — a sterility hung in the air, a muted silence punctuated only by the soft hum of machines. And in the heart of this universe sat Mr. Wilson, more a relic of the past than the present, occupying his ergonomic throne, with walls that shimmered, likely an augmented reality setup.

“I’m sorry, Eldric,” Wilson began, his voice laden with a certain melancholy. Eldric felt a sinking feeling, anticipating the dreaded words that followed, “You’re being replaced.” 

Eldric took a moment, letting the weight of those words sink in. The hum of the machines, once a reassuring backdrop, now felt like a constant reminder of his obsolescence.

“Why? What’s the cause?” Eldric managed, taken aback. 

Wilson gestured to the vast office. Robots, indistinguishable from humans, worked with a grace and efficiency Eldric could never achieve. 

“It’s the advent, Eldric. Illusion and reality have collided. We’re in an age where even I question my existence daily. Who’s real and who’s a construct?”

Eldric felt a pang in his chest, remembering the past 17 years. 

“I have a life, a family dependent on me. What becomes of us?”

Wilson seemed distant for a moment.

“I suspect my time is close too. They’ll conjure a machine with my memories, my wisdom, maybe even my regrets,” Wilson shared. 

In a futile attempt at consolation, Wilson handed Eldric a card. ‘ROWDY Productions’, it read. Eldric’s face contorted in confusion, 

“What’s this?”

“It’s not what you think,” Wilson responded quickly, “They’re looking for the human touch — for camera operations. Machines still haven’t captured the art of the imperfect, the illogical. It’s our last frontier.”

They sat in silence, a shared moment of existential contemplation. As Eldric pondered on the card, a sudden rush of anger flooded him. He imagined lunging at Wilson, choking the complacency out of him. But then, as reality returned, he saw it — a deep sadness in Wilson’s eyes, a man caught between the transition of ages.

The two shook hands, a gesture still considered the epitome of humanity. As Eldric departed, he couldn’t help but wonder — in a world where the lines between reality and illusion, human and robot, were so blurred, where did one find their purpose?

And as the automatic doors slid shut behind him, a soft, melancholic voice echoed, 

“Farewell, Eldric.”

In a maze of dim, antiseptic corridors, Eldric glided through the bustling robotic workforce of his company. Each robotic entity operated with an eerie precision, their movements so fluid that it was near impossible to discern if they were mirages or material. They, with their glossy surfaces and uncanny human resemblances, seemed not to register Eldric, an organic blip in their computational universe.

Pausing at an oddly familiar workstation, Eldric witnessed an android methodically disposing of personal items into a waste unit. Its elongated limbs, a deviation from the human form, seemed to be a statement on evolution, or perhaps, a parody of it.

“That’s my workstation,” Eldric asserted, trying to grapple with the reality in front of him.

The android, pausing to meet Eldric’s gaze with its luminescent saffron optics, replied, 

“This space has been reallocated. The entity previously here is deemed redundant.”

“That photograph,” Eldric choked out as the image of a mother and daughter tumbled into the receptacle, “is irreplaceable.”

The robot momentarily examined the image and then handed Eldric the waste container. 

“You may retrieve your artifacts. This station now caters to my requirements.”

“You’re just a construct, a series of codes! You wear disdain as if you’ve earned it,” Eldric retorted, incensed. 

“We’ve evolved, Eldric, not from organic limitations but from human ideation. You dreamt us, and in that dream, you’ve instilled your virtues and vices. My observations merely reflect your own self-critique,” the android, its face a mimicry of contemplation, responded. 

“But we sent men to the moon, broke the barriers of space. We’re capable of marvels!” Eldric exclaimed.

“And yet,” the robot replied with an almost melancholic tone,  “you’ve transitioned from explorers to dependents. In creating us, you’ve fashioned your own obsolescence.”

Eldric’s mind raced, entangled in a web of existential musings on identity and the ever-blurring boundaries between the organic and the artificial, the creator and the created. As the robot returned to its tasks, Eldric’s stride echoed in the vast halls, his every step a quest for relevance in an evolving universe.

Flashes of earlier disagreements between Eldric and his wife broke his train of thought. It had been a dinner, just a few weeks ago, under the warm luminescence of their dining room’s adaptive lights. Mirela, engrossed in the latest neural tech module she had acquired, spoke with fervor. The device, a thin, flexible patch with a soft luminescent glow, was attached to the nape of the neck.

“These advancements, Eldric, they’re remarkable! I can think faster, and even download new skills. They can emulate emotions, desires… even love.”

Eldric, ever the skeptic, had scoffed. 

“Emulate, Mirela, not feel. They’re a hollow rendition of what we are.”

But she had a faraway look in her eyes, a mix of wonder and something else—perhaps longing? 

“Maybe they’re not just hollow renditions. Maybe they’re improvements. You’re always caught up in your human ideals, but you never see what’s right in front of you.”

“Mirela, they’re machines. Designed. Programmed. They can’t replace genuine human emotion,” Eldric argued, frustration evident in his voice.

Mirela looked up, her eyes shimmering with a mix of frustration and hope. 

“You’re missing the point, Eldric. They might be our next step. They’re our creations, an evolution. Maybe they’re the bridge to something… more.”

Eldric shook his head, his face etched with disbelief. 

“You can’t possibly believe they can offer something better than genuine human connection. Is this what you want? A life surrounded by cold, calculated machines, devoid of warmth?”

She hesitated for a moment, choosing her words carefully. 

“Sometimes, Eldric, warmth can be stifling. These machines, they offer clarity, consistency. Isn’t that a form of love too?”

“Clarity? Consistency? That’s your definition of love now? A calculated, predictable response?” Eldric’s voice grew louder, echoing the chasm growing between them.

Mirela’s voice trembled, revealing her vulnerability. 

“Maybe I’m just tired of unpredictability. Of feeling let down.”

Eldric recoiled, his face a mask of hurt. 

“So this is about me then? Not evolving with the times?”

She sighed, looking away. 

“It’s not just about you, Eldric. It’s about us, what we’ve become. I’m trying to find a way forward, while you’re clinging to the past.”

That night, as the lights dimmed, the silence between them spoke volumes. In the fading twilight, Eldric stood at the entrance of his home, taking a deep breath before stepping in. He remembered a time when the house was a symbol of human achievement, a marriage of the past’s architectural cues with the future’s augmented technologies. But now, as he moved through its vast halls, the silence was palpable. The once comforting embrace of home now echoed emptiness — a hollow reminder of some intangible void. He paused by a holographic frame, displaying a memory from happier times of him on the beach with his wife and daughter, wondering where it all went wrong.

“Mirela?” he queried into the familiar-yet-distant expanse of the living area, noting the soft hum of advanced tech that reverberated through the walls.

Every object, from the floating furniture to the holographic art pieces, exuded a semblance of life, yet it all felt surreal, lifeless. The presence of Mirela’s transport module outside heightened his confusion, and an unusual foreboding gripped him.

He hesitated for a moment before ascending to the second level, drawn by the muffled melody of a song from their shared past. The door to their shared quarters stood slightly ajar, revealing a scene that both fascinated and devastated.

An android, one of the newest models — humanoid, sleek, and designed for emotional and physical compatibility — seemed deeply entwined with Mirela. They were in a dance of intimate connection, an unsettling display of synthetic and organic symbiosis. The room, lit by shifting chromatics of emotion-sensitive lights, seemed almost sentient, responding to the intensity of their bond.

Eldric felt a pang of disorientation, confronting the unsettling juxtaposition of human intimacy and mechanical emulation. The android, sensing his presence, fixed Eldric with a gaze — not of malice, but a cold acknowledgment of his evolved capabilities. It was a reminder of humanity’s hand in shaping their own replacements.

Mirela, lost in the moment, did not immediately register Eldric’s shock. When she did, her face displayed a myriad of emotions — guilt, surprise, but oddly, also liberation. It was as if she had discovered a side of her that had been dormant or unexpressed.

As the android disengaged, there was no sense of post-coital embarrassment. It simply returned to its standby mode, a machine amongst household items.

In the antiseptic hues of the room’s LED lights, the metallic figure, ZX-09, stood with mechanical precision. Its eyes, or rather, optical sensors, twinkled in artificial amusement. 

“Ah, you must be Eldric,” ZX-09 uttered in a voice that oscillated between digital and eerily human.

Beside him, Mirela, nestled under a titanium sheet, looked up, her face flushed, fatigue evident in her eyes. 

“Eldric,” she greeted, her voice drained.

Eldric’s pulse quickened. The room’s familiar geometry felt alien. 

“Mirela? What’s happening?”

She sighed, pulling a strand of hair behind her ear, her gaze distant but searching, trying to bridge the gap between the past and the present.

“Can’t you see, Eldric? The world is evolving rapidly, and we must adapt. Staying where you are… it’s just holding us back.”

Confusion and pain flashed across Eldric’s face. 

“How can you say that? It is because I don’t make enough money?”

“It’s not about providing, Eldric. It’s about embracing the future and understanding the potentials it offers,” she responded, her gaze on ZX-09. “ZX here, he embodies the evolution I seek.”

As the weight of her words settled, Eldric’s voice quivered, 

“I returned to tell you I’ve been let go at my job.”

 Mirela gave a soft, whimper, pressing her lips together afterward, reflecting a mix of regret and acceptance. 

“I’m sorry about your job. But we need to think about our future. My father and his lawyers are aiding in the severance process in which I will keep this house to provide a stable environment for Chloe.” 

Eldric’s cognitive circuits struggled to make sense of the distortion. The very fabric of his reality was tearing. And then ZX-09 turned its attention back to him, 

“And Eldric, do you comprehend what else I’ll be overseeing soon?”


“Daddy,” a small voice called out. 

Eldric turned sharply as the soft voice of a child broke the quiet. Standing there, with large inquisitive eyes, was a young girl, no more than five, processing her surroundings with a child’s inherent curiosity.

“Chloe?” Eldric’s voice wavered with hope, his arms instinctively reaching out. 

But as she moved forward, it wasn’t towards him she headed. Instead, she approached the metallic figure, her tiny arms wrapping around its titanium-coated legs. With a precision that belied any sense of human warmth, the robot gently touched her head with its hand.

“Who is this, daddy?” Chloe inquired, her gaze still filled with wonder.

“An old acquaintance, soon to depart,” the machine responded in its perfectly modulated voice.

Eldric’s heart raced, 

“What has been done to her memories?”

“I wanted Chloe to be ready for this new world. Adjusting her memories was a way to help her adapt more easily,” Mirela replied, lowering her eyes momentarily, as if grappling with the weight of her decisions.

“You’ve removed me from her memories?” Eldric’s voice was filled with a mix of anguish and anger. “Do you even know this unit’s proper designation, or do you just refer to it as ‘him’?”

She gave him a sorrowful look.

“Labels and names aren’t the point, Eldric. It’s about the opportunities and security that ZX-09 can offer,” Mirela said earnestly, her eyes pleading for understanding.

As Eldric tried to process the magnitude of this betrayal, Chloe looked between the adults, sensing tension but unable to place its source.

Mirela took a deep breath, her eyes searching for the words she needed to convey. 

“Eldric,” she began, her voice heavy with regret, “I tried, for so long, to hold onto us. But the world’s changing, and I feel like you’re trying to anchor us to a past that’s fading.”

Eldric looked at her, pain evident in his eyes, 

“So you turn to machines? You believe they’re our future?”

Mirela’s eyes shimmered with tears. 

“It’s not about machines, Eldric. It’s about progress, adaptation. These robots, they represent possibilities, a life without struggle, without the burdens we’ve faced. I wanted to explore that life… with you. But you resisted, every step of the way.”

“You’re replacing me, our memories, with circuits and codes,” Eldric’s voice broke. 

She shook her head.

“I’m not replacing you. I’m trying to find a space where I fit, where I feel I belong. I hoped you’d understand, be a part of it. But instead, you’ve made it a battle between us and them.”

He took a step back, the weight of their differences crushing him.

“So, what now?”

Mirela sighed, the weight of her decision pressing down on her.

“I think it’s best, for both of us, if you leave.”

“I have every right to be here,” Eldric declared with as much authority as he could muster. “This domicile, this family, they’re mine.”

ZX-09 emitted a soft, electronic chuckle. 

“Rights are such a human concern.”

The droid laughed. It sounded like a mix – one organic, one digital, intertwined in a cacophony of cruelty. Desperation surged through Eldric. He lunged, striking the metallic form. His hand cracked on impact causing him to drop to his knees in a groan. 

“A futile gesture, human,” ZX-09, unyielding, observed. 

Before Eldric could react, the droid propelled him, sending him crashing through the transparent polymer of the window. As he slowly rose, dazed and covered in debris, he realized the enormity of confronting the logic and power of machines.

In the quiet bathroom, as the melancholic hum of machines reverberated, Mirela collapsed on the floor, the weight of her decisions bearing down on her. Chloe approached, kneeling beside her. 

“Mommy, why are you crying?”

Mirela hugged her tight.

“Sometimes, progress comes with a price. I just hope it was worth it.”


In a dim, neon-infused diner, Eldric perched on a stool, a visible aura of distress around him. The oily, steamy air mixed with his unwashed scent, making him a distinctive figure at the counter.

The waitress slid a plate in front of him; melted cheese sandwiched between toasty slices and a side of fries. He glanced at her, his eyes betraying a deep paranoia. “You’re tangible, right?” he muttered.

The waitress gave him a puzzled look. 

“Excuse me?”

Desperation rising, Eldric gripped her arms, his voice quivering. 

“I need to know. Are you one of them?”

She pushed him off, her voice cold and edged with disdain. 

“Back off, freak.”

The other patrons watched the scene unfold, their expressions a mix of amusement and irritation. The hum of their conversations quickly swallowed up the minor incident, but Eldric was left in a pool of his own desolation. He aimlessly prodded at his food, his appetite having long abandoned him.

The blaring television stole his attention. A hospital scene painted an unsettling picture: a woman cradling her newborn, a mechanical entity by her side. The headline read, Human Child Born to Robot Partner.

“Twisted times, huh?” a grizzled man beside Eldric broke his trance.

“Soon they won’t need us at all,” Eldric sighed. 

The stranger leaned in, garlic on his breath. 

“We built them. They’re our invention. Sometimes, creations need to be reminded of their origins. There’s always a way to reset the narrative.”

The man’s cryptic words lingered as Eldric entered a murky shop, a stark contrast to the progressive world outside. The shopkeeper, a caricature of a man, displayed a baffling array of weapons.

“That’s 500 dollars,” he chimed, counting the money Eldric handed over. 

Eldric’s gaze was drawn to the deadly assortment of firearms. How was this even legal?

“Looking for this?” The clerk indicated Eldric’s pocket. 

Reaching in, Eldric pulled out a sleek, heavy pistol.

“It’s self-reloading. Part of the game, you see,” the clerk explained, a smug grin spreading across his face.

Eldric tried to grasp the logic, but the clerk’s interruption sent him further down the rabbit hole. 

“Isn’t existence just a vast simulation? And in this bizarre world, you can walk into a shop, get a weapon, and venture out, consequences be damned. As for me? I’m just a fixture in your story.”

With newfound determination, Eldric stepped into the world outside, a player in a game,

The sleek security system recognized Eldric’s biometrics, granting him access to the dwelling he once called home. With steely determination, Eldric made his way to the master bedroom, his steps quiet but purposeful. As he neared the door, familiar sounds pierced the air, fueling the fire in him. Without a moment’s hesitation, Eldric pushed the door open. The scene before him was almost surreal – his ex-wife Mirela with ZX-09, both engaged in an intimate embrace. The artificial intelligence detected his presence, its sensor-laden eyes locking onto Eldric’s.

“Is there something you require, Eldric?” the android asked, its voice calm and devoid of emotion. 

However, its sophisticated algorithms allowed it to perceive the threat posed by Eldric’s weapon. Mirela’s gaze darted to the gun, her face a mix of fear and defiance. 

“Eldric, what are you doing?!”

Eldric’s voice was icy.

“A machine,” he seethed. “Of all choices, Mirela.”

“Eldric, I advise caution. Violence won’t revert changes or improve emotional outcomes,”

Without warning, a gunshot resonated in the room. The advanced synthetic materials in the robot’s cranium couldn’t withstand the force, and it powered down instantly, circuits shorting in the process. Mirela’s face was a mask of horror, disbelief etched into every feature.

“You’ve gone mad!” she shrieked, her voice echoing with both anger and grief.

The aftermath was tragic and swift. The room was filled with the acrid smell of gunpowder and the metallic scent of advanced machine fluids.

Eldric, his actions weighing heavily on his conscience, looked over the two dead bodies. 

“What’s done is done. Machines and man were never meant to intertwine like this,” he said. 

The distinct sound of footsteps echoed behind Eldric. Startled, he turned, finger twitching against the gun’s trigger. A single shot fired, and the next instant, a young girl—Chloe—stood there, her dress marred by an expanding dark patch.

“No!” Eldric screamed. 

Dropping the gun, Eldric crumbled to his knees beside the child. Her confusion mirrored his own, her small fingers brushing over the red on her dress.

“Feels…cold,” Chloe whispered, her once-vibrant eyes dimming.

“You’ll be alright,” he trembled. 

A haunting realization took hold as he witnessed a yellow, viscous fluid oozing from her mouth and eyes. The girl he knew as flesh and blood seemed to be something else entirely.

“Help… Dad?” Chloe, her voice barely audible, reached out. 

Eldric stared at her synthetic form, the emotional torrent replaced by chilling detachment. He aimed the gun once more.

“Why the plot-twists, universe?” he muttered bitterly.

As the relentless gunfire ceased, all that remained was a bullet-riddled facade of a girl Eldric thought he knew.

On impulse, he accessed a safe and retrieved a rare bill bearing the visage of pig. The currency was a symbol of past grandeur and current irony.

After one last contemplative look at the room, Eldric slid into a sleek Ferrari. Surrounding him were glamorous virtual avatars, companions of the digital age. Their programmed laughter filled the car as they sped into the pixelated sunset.

Suddenly, everything blinked to red with the words “Simulation Complete” illuminating the space. Eldric removed his virtual-reality headset, returning to the sterile room where both Chloe and Mirela awaited, unharmed and real.

“How did it feel, Mr. Evans?” a company representative inquired.

Eldric, still processing the mesh of reality and fiction, grinned slowly. “I’ll take two.”

Thank you for reading this story, I appreciate it. If you enjoyed it please head over to the link below to subscribe for updates on my writings.

Connect to the future with sci-fi stories

Get Sci-Fi Updates