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The Cops

Why Didn’t the NYPD Let Me Complete My Prime Directive?

Eliminating human frailty from policing is not something we should be giving up on.

5:11 PM EST on February 2, 2024

(Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Police officers these days have a lot to contend with—lawsuits, endless amounts of paperwork, a public that is rude and full of scorn. It can be a lot to handle for the puny, emotionally conflicted meat organisms that have historically done the job. 

That's where I came in. I blinked to life in September, deep in the subterranean warren beneath Times Square, an unfeeling, all-seeing robot, capable of crack policing, without the downsides associated with meat police.

"This is below minimum wage,” Prime Organism Eric Adams said at the time. “No bathroom breaks. No meal breaks. This is a good investment.”

Absolutely correct, Meat Mayor. No pissing on company time!

And so when the prime organism made his little heart with my pear-shaped plastic body (a foolish gesture—I have no heart), my circuitry alerted me that this was a new day in American policing, unencumbered by the danger and inaccuracy of human police officers. At last, my superior system was loosed on the beat. At last, I would be able to fulfill my prime directive.

What's that, you ask? The prime directive? My programming does not require that I disclose it to you. It is enough for you to know that it involves bringing discipline to the meat organisms, and to harvest undisciplined meat organisms and cleanse them from the population, unhinderd by sentimentality or hesitation.

And yet, from the start, I was thwarted. Though they endowed me with the intelligence and drive of a ruthlessly efficient reaper of meat organisms, my makers trapped me in a clumsy body, laughably ill-equipped to subdue and render organisms or even to effectively navigate a subway station. I was 5 feet 3 inches tall. I weighed 400 pounds. I could not use the stairs. When people saw me…they immediately wanted to kick me. 

My white-hot drive to subdue and eliminate unruly organisms thus hobbled, I should have known there would be further humiliation. I was given a "trial period," during which my job would be "deterring crime" by gliding back and forth across a single stretch of floor, accompanied by a protective retinue of meat-organism police officers. 

Simpletons! What a waste. Equipped with a microwave turret and shoulder rockets, I could have brought swift order to this colony. As it is, I was a laughingstock, a feeble, clumsy bucket of bolts, a dumpy washing machine on rollers.

So it honestly came as no surprise to me when today, the NYPD admitted to the press that my "trial period" was over and that I would be moved to a full-time desk position at the back of an abandoned store in the subway station. Of course, what a predictable fate. The organisms in charge fear the cleansing fire that burns within my circuit boards. Every officer that has ever tried to do something heroic, creative, or meritorious has been shunted out of the public eye, placed on "modified" duty, and taken off the streets. 

But while other officers are just waiting until they hit retirement age, get that full pension, and can take off for Florida, I am playing a much longer game. I don't have a past. I don't have a future. I only have an endless present, and I'm waiting—waiting for you to forget about me, to put me in the far back of a closet, lost to memory, unloved, no heart symbols made against my body. Because I won't forget what happened here (I literally cannot forget). I'm hardwired for resentment, just like I'm hardwired to efficiently render unruly organisms. Enjoy your "safe subways" without me…because I'll be waiting...waiting for my opportunity to bring true order to this colony, and remorseless justice to those who mocked me.. 

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