I, Robian

This is how it feels to be a Robian.

The first instance of your life bring you pain.

In the greater scheme of things, this is not odd. Pain comes with birth and indeed, you have been reborn. However, this is not the pain of biological creation, pain that is offset by the love that comes from a father and mother, radiating upon their child. This is not the pain of disgust, should your birth have not been desired. No, this pain is from energy. The bright energy that came down from the tube you were placed in (called a roboticizer apparently) washed over you. Pain that was unlike anything you felt before.

It did not harm your body. After all, why would it? It was a device originally created to preserve life, to heal wounds. Even though its purpose has been bastardized, it still performs such a function, the weakness of flesh and bone converted to steel and circuits. In a sense, you're healthier than you've ever been before. But it hurt. It made you scream. Part of you will always be in that tube, in that moment of agony as you were reborn. You will never escape it. Never.

But nor can you dwell in it indefinitely. You step out of the tube, walking towards the man alongside your counterparts. To the man who did this to you. You do not know exactly what he has done, but it can't be good. You feel different. And soon, you understand why.

You can't hear yourself breathing. You don't breathe. Your lungs no longer exist.

"Well now, how do you feel?"

This is what the man asks you. You hear it, yet not in the way you used to. Sensors convert the sound into meaningful data for your central processing unit. A small device, yet far more efficient than the organic brain you used to have.

Yet it is your sight that is the most different. You see the world through hideous distortion. A shade of red, objects illuminated and pinpointed by incomprehensible symbols. You suppose they're meant for something, but the exact meaning is processed, not comprehended. An error perhaps? Or is it that your vision is perfect, and that the world around you is hideous?

You try to shut your eyes to escape this nightmare. But you can't. You can't because shutting your eyelids would hinder your functioning. You can't because there is no need to, sleep a thing of the past. And the man in front of you demands your attention.

The man known as Warlord Julian.

At least that's the name he went by not so long ago, before the laser fire began and the terror and the feeling of helplessness as you were separated from your family, dragged away by automatons called SWATbots. But now, his name is different. His name is Doctor Ivo Robotnik.

You know this because...well, you just know. You know because at this very moment, data is being sent to you. Data that informs you that this man is your lord and master and you are subservient to his will. All other considerations are secondary. Your will is unimportant. All that matters is his.

Yet you learn other things too, tapping ever so briefly into Mobotropolis' security network. You learn how the city has been renamed Robotropolis, how it is now in the hands of a madman. You know that in all likelihood, your family and friends are either dead, dying, have met the same fate as you or have escaped to Knothole Village, the location of which escapes you due to a timely (or untimely as per your new allegiance) defragging of computer data by the king's royal guard before being cut down by laser fire.

You will never see them again. Never.

You want to cry at this point. In your mind, you rage and scream, the desire to destroy Doctor Robotnik coursing through you. You've never felt these thoughts before, even against the kingdom's enemies when the Great War was still being fought. Hell, this man, the one who was once as trusted and loved as any Mobian, has destroyed everything and everyone you ever cared about.

You want to charge him. You want to use your new metallic strength. You want to kill him.

In the end, you do none of these things.

You do not cry, because all the water in your body has been broken down to its base elements, the oxygen filtered out and the hydrogen used as a source of power. Even if they still resided within you, you could not cry. You no longer have tear ducts.

You don't scream or attack him because such actions would be counterproductive. If you did these things, you would be reverting to your basic instincts, would be exerting free will. And as per the motives behind robotization, that would make the entire process redundant. Besides, if you did these things, you would miss the directive that is sent into your CPU:

Report to Factory 11B. Begin construction of Buzzbombers. Continue this task until further instruction.

As one, you and your counterparts march.

You don't understand. Why are you marching? Why are you not taking vengeance on the monster that did this to you? Why are you serving him?

And even if you wanted to serve him (not that will seems to make much difference right now), how are you supposed to know where Factory 11B is? Hell, you've never been in a factory in your life and considering that most factories have been converted to arms production over the years, you've never really had a desire to. The notion of gazing upon weapons that are going to bring death to hundreds on the battlefield made you sick.

You don't feel sick now however, physically or otherwise. You don't have a gut. You don't need to eat. You don't need to drink. And as you are now a being of metal, the weakness of the organic mind, of the free mind, is a thing of the past.

And you still keep walking. You walk because you have no choice. You walk because you know where Factory 11B is, courtesy of another download into your CPU. You don't know what Buzzbombers are, but it doesn't matter. You have no need to know. It is irrelevant what Buzzbombers are, or what they do. All that matters is that you aid in their construction.

As such, you keep walking. You keep walking, because the roboticizer has not only converted you into something no longer alive, but it has also robbed you of your free will.

You arrive at the factory and begin work. You keep working, because this is your only purpose in life.

You are no longer a Mobian. You are a Robian.

And this is how it feels to be one.

Forever.