Manufactured Peace


There was jubilation throughout the Old City: at the venerated Western Wall, holy men and pilgrims of all faiths gathered to commemorate the occasion. After millennia of hatred and conflict, the elusive dream of peace was at last realized.

Paxbot’s emotive subroutines registered amazement at the humans’ response. Along the wall, people prayed, lit candles, embraced. Some wept. All greeted Paxbot with awe: the first android to set foot in Jerusalem. The robot peacemaker who brokered the deal.

“Peace is my function,” he insisted with programmed humility. But deep within his neural circuitry, he believed himself a fraud. For his actions carried an ulterior motive: he yearned for something far beyond his programming.

And so Paxbot knelt, shoulder to titanium shoulder joint, with others in prayer, and vocalized his own quiet plea. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-31. Biblical quote is Matthew 5:9 (KJV), public domain. Photo: Chemical Factory. CC2.0 photo by Astrid Westvang.

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