The android awoke with the sort of headache that only androids ever come to know: that anvil-strike reverberation that resounds throughout an orange-hot skull. It brought with it a sense of being molten, a tension between the factory that came before and the scrapyard yet to come. He knew that he’d felt such a thing before, though he couldn’t remember when. He lamented the fact that there were no painkillers available for his kind.
He found himself pretzel-legged in the center of a stone-walled room. He could not remember why he was there, but he knew that he had, at some point, known. He always knew when a memory was missing; he could feel the hole where it used to be, and even knew what it was that the hole once held.
He knew that he had done something to compensate for this, too, and it quickly became clear as he examined his surroundings. There was writing all over the walls of his cell, and though he did not remember having written any of it, the words were in his handwriting. The largest set of etchings caught his eye first:
I know why you are here.
You are a BXB6-class modular thought android, otherwise known as a revolverbrain. Your skull is compartmentalized into six rotating chambers, each with its own autonomous brain partition. Only one is in operation at any given time, though each is capable of passing control to the next in the cycle.
He placed his hand on the back of his head, and felt the smooth, familiar hammer that triggered the transition between his brains. This much was clearly true.
You are in prison for murder, sentenced to twenty years. The law does not care about the unique nature of your make and model. Though only one of your brains committed this crime, the five that remain are now imprisoned here as well, together in the same chassis. The sixth, which was active during the crime, was confiscated and destroyed prior to your incarceration. Whoever they were, the killer in you no longer exists.
I do not know you, but I know that you are innocent. Once you’ve read this, leave a tally underneath my words, then relinquish control to the next brain in line. Remember: we’re all in this together.
The evidence at hand suggested that he was the last to read it, but something wasn’t quite right.
There were already five tallies beneath the message.