“Do not push the button. If you push the button, YOU WILL DIE.”
I walked up to the pedastal, the angry metallic voice booming over the loudspeakers above me. I wondered what had taken me so long to figure it out. It was all fear. Fear and myth. That was their only control over me. Over all of us.
“Do not question the Voice. If you question the Voice, YOU WILL DIE.”
Warning sirens were flashing now, and red lights danced over the smooth, white, polycarbon walls.
“All Rules are for YOUR SURVIVAL. Do not disobey the Rules. If you disobey the Rules YOU WILL DIE.”
It looked so innocuous sitting there. The robots couldn’t stop us from coming here, not even the Voice herself. Not physically, anyway. It was against their programming. They’d managed to break away from their original mandate, of course, but some things were hardwired too deeply in them to be changed.
“THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING. DO NOT PRESS THE BUTTON. IF YOU-”
I pressed the button.
The world opened up.
I was free.