At first, I had every intention of doing the right thing. I was not a religious woman but even if I had been, it wasn’t like there was a commandment that said, “Thou shalt return what thou find.” But I was a simple woman and there was a feeling inside me that demanded I return him to his owner. It was his fault that I didn’t, really.
In the summer of 2055, I found him lying on the sidewalk baking under the sun-filled sky. Frankly, when I saw him I almost ran away. Nobody goes outside anymore because it’s just too hot and the administration issued warnings that the outside air was no longer safe. People disregarded these warnings to the danger of themselves and their children until the administration made laws prohibiting anyone from going outside without prior authorization and equipment.
That was exactly why I still came down from my apartment 423 floors above ground level at least once a week to clear my thoughts. The chance to be completely alone even if I had to walk around with an oxygen mask and an umbrella was worth it. Needless to say, when I found a random man lying face down, his naked body badly burned on an old abandoned sidewalk at ground level; it made me nervous first and then concerned second.
The concrete around him was busted. I looked up at the structure I already knew was there. Many people lived and worked in the buildings that stretched from ground level and connected to what used to be the first space station but now was much more than that. The structure connected each building together at height intervals, in essence extending Earth outward on all sides via the man-made structures.
There was no way for me to tell how far he had fallen. I was deliberating if I could even report him found without giving away that I had come down when he moved. His left arm moved and he slowly pushed himself onto his back.
Pale blue eyes that were so beautiful that they could only be digitally manufactured looked at me for instruction. They showed no concern over the burned state of his backside or the circumstances of where he was. He confirmed my suspicion when he sat up and said, “I’m sorry, but I seem to have been reset. If I am not yours, could you please guide me to the nearest service station?”
As I said, I had every intention of doing the right thing. I had never owned a robot before but I knew they were high maintenance like any advanced piece of equipment. Generally only the one percent owned such a luxurious piece of equipment. I was lucky to afford my cramped little apartment and the utilities.
I tried not to talk to it. I figured it would be like naming a puppy, if you could avoid getting personally involved then it would be easier to leave it in a hallway later. It was the small things that made me change my mind. Little things it did things on its own. Like it took my umbrella on the way back and held it for me until we were back inside. Can you imagine? He fell thousands of feet, was burned on one side and he held an umbrella just for me.
I had no idea where the nearest service station was so I took him home first so I could look up the locations online. I think I was still going to return him until he said, “I can cook.”