The yellow-stained wine glass smelled of gasoline. Champagne bottles glowed orange in the light of nearby candles. It was the only light source in an otherwise windowless room.

A mattress were thrown on the floor against the wall. It was stained, the duvet torn. A few of Hayley’s belongings lay on the end of the bed. It wasn’t much; a few eyeliners and a fashion magazine she stole stole on the job. A copy of ‘Why Robots Remain Without Conscious’ stuck out from the garbage can.

Hayley laid on the wooden table, her head on her arm. Her lips were shining from the gasoline she was drinking. It was her idea to re-purpose the empty champagne bottles left in this room for the gasoline they gave to her every week. Somehow, pouring it from a fancy bottle and drinking it from a chipped wine glass made the reality hurt less. She might not be able to drink real champagne, but she’ll be damned if she put a plastic pipe into her mouth.

Eyeliner formed dark lines on her cheeks. She splashed her face with gasoline to get it to match her feelings. Robots do not have tear ducts, and to resemble the upset humans she saw in magazines, she had to be creative.

“This one has a flaw in its code,” the greeter at the restaurant announced. He’d found her reading a book about human anatomy, asking an innocent question. How do sensations on the skin feel?

Since then, she was examined, interrogated, threatened, and finally thrown into a small unused storage room. Her only flaw was displaying signs of what humans called a consciousness. The manager ordered her to be shipped off to a facility later today where she would be disassembled.

She dreaded it, although it excited her as well. Dying is a human experience, and although it wasn’t the one she wanted, it was better than nothing.

“There’s some irony attached to your reasoning, humans,” Hayley said to herself as she carved pieces of wood out of the table with her nail. “You designed us to be human, but the moment we act like it you’re afraid. Must be out of fear that we’ll be much better than you.”