you are a machine. a cruel machine built of blood and wires, chords and cold steel, a skull with circuits. so many people look at you and see the metal. they see the cold exterior. you see your strong exterior.

you pride yourself on your wires, your steel and your circuits. your logic, your ability to brush off pain. then one day you start to bleed.

everywhere you go, a bloody trail follows. those not avoiding you for your exterior were now eluding your gaze for your secreting insides. after weeks of this, you see a doctor. you need to overcome the strength draining from you.

the doctor says it can't be patched. anything can be patched, you say. the doctor says your wounds cannot be healed if you continue to carry yourself like a hulking beast.

i carry myself as a machine, you say. with no room for error, with no flaws. with no weakness.

the doctor says that everyone needs moments of weakness. that's what makes us human, they say.

then i am not human, you scoff.

are you beast, the doctor asks. of course not. beasts are not as smart as you.

are you computer, the doctor asks. no, not at all. a computer could never be so agile and strong.

then what are you, if not human?

the doctor has wasted enough of your time. you ignore their deductions and continue living your life, the trail of scarlet still pooling behind you.

you'll get exactly what you want. you are feared, and respected, and you will live a life of strength and wisdom. the only problem is that you're getting slower and slower, as more blood drains. years later, you return to the doctor.

same problem, i see. they look you up and down. you're killing yourself out there.

i am not human, you say.

yes, you told me before.

would you teach me how to be one?