Chiro turned to Otto, shocked. "You're saying it's...thinking for itself?"

He said it so surprisingly that it sounded like he couldn't believe it. For a moment I felt a bit cold and bewildered. Couldn't he see I...?

I forced that negative thought out of my head and cleared my throat. "Perhaps there is more to the Robot than what meets the eye."

"You gotta be kiddin' me, Antauri," Sprx insisted. "I mean, it's a machine. It's probably just broken."

Before I could interject, Gibson quickly included, "Agreed. Technically speaking, machines can only appear to be alive."

I paused for a moment, squinting my eyes and ducking my head. Couldn't they see they were...? I then added softly, "Appearances can be deceiving."

"Uh, whatcha see is whatcha get, Antauri," Sprx pointed out. He glanced at me and said, "Machines can not have a soul."

That really got me. I stared at him for a long time, wondering if he realized that he was talking clearly about, not the Super Robot, but me. Ever since I had sacrificed my natural body, and ended up being in a robotic, artificial one, I half longed that I had never made such a decision that would change my life forever. It's great to live again, but it's not the same. There were a lot of new disadvantages along with my new body. One thing that wounds me is the inability to actually feel emotions. I sense them, sure, but it still doesn't feel... real.

Another loss that I miss is the connection with the team. The monkey team treat me a bit differently. It's little things, really, and I doubt that they know they're even doing it purposely. They know that I'm a machine; not a real monkey, and instincts usually force them to accidentally ignore or abandon me at some times. Since I normally don't feel loneliness, sometimes even I forget they're avoiding me. But when it finally comes to reality, I don't know what to think. Anger, constrain, sadness? I can't feel it anyway, so I manage push it away only to have it swirling hurtfully in my head throughout the day. I can't explain it, but I can't seem to feel that, either...

The third, the last, the most painful thing... is that I'm just a machine. I'm not "real" like my companions. I can't laugh because of humor, I can't cry because of pain. It's artificial. It's...

Just not real.