20 Tales of Terror – Day 2: Emotional Breakdown

Emotion Chip

Anna was almost complete.

She was Dr. Thurber’s greatest achievement, a nearly lifelike android who would, with a few additional tweaks, be almost indistinguishable from a human being. Her head was suspended above his workstation; her body was being examined for any flaws or bugs in the movement controls and would be brought back to the lab in the morning. Dr. Thurber was working on Anna’s brain. He had designed a sophisticated emotional control chip that would replicate human emotion perfectly.

He had implanted the chip in the central control panel in her head and had placed a tracking device on her temple that would display the severity of her emotional response. Once the testing was complete, she would be ready to face the world. Dr. Thurber powered up her head and waited.

Anna’s eyes opened slowly, twin blank screens that were soon replaced by beautiful dark eyes. Her blonde hair cascaded about her face, which almost shone in the harsh light of the lab. Her synthetic skin was also in its final testing phases and would be outfitted the next day. Her eyes focused on the man in front of her. She recognized him as her creator. He was smiling. Anna’s lips, which had only been outfitted that morning, twitched. She could feel  pleasurable sensation radiating from deep inside her. Slowly, carefully, she returned his smile.

Dr. Thurber clapped his hands together. So far, so good! Anna seemed to understand the idea of contentment. But he would need to test the other extremes of her emotional range. He turned around to make some notes on his laptop.

Anna observed Dr. Thurber, the man who had created her. She liked looking at him. She wanted to say something, a small hello. But she couldn’t. Anna’s vocal controls hadn’t been installed. She looked down, realizing that she had no body. How could that be? How was she alive? What had Dr. Thurber done to her? Anna could feel the sensations in her head changing. Panic. She was panicking, but couldn’t do anything except move her eyes and her lips.

Out of the corner of one eye, she saw movement. It was a spider. Anna was transfixed, watching the creature slowly lower itself from the ceiling, hanging by a few silken strands. Other feelings were building up inside her. Revulsion. Anxiety. Fear. The spider inched closer to where she was. It couldn’t cause her any harm, but that didn’t matter at that moment. All she felt was dread as it drew ever nearer. Her eyes flicked towards Dr. Thurber, who was still typing on his laptop, oblivious to her peril.

The spider’s long, fuzzy legs brushed against her golden hair. Anna screamed silently as her emotion chip overloaded.


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