Two days after we left Mars, my first mate told me that he wished to become a messiah.
“Captain, if it’s okay with you, I’ve decided that I would like to atone for my original sin. I would like you to switch off my power after I’ve been crucified to a cross.”
After hearing this, I felt strangely compelled to whack my first mate’s head with the multi-wrench I was holding. But it was my love for dark humor which told me about all it would do for me was to send me into purgatory. Even if I would want to form a connection with the ancient Jewish civilization, I didn’t want to form a connection like that.
That was why I decided to put down the multi-wrench in a calm manner and clenched my fists in my pant pockets instead. It was for this reason that pants pockets still existed in this day and age;to suppress the desire to punch people. I looked straight into the eyes of my first mate.
“Why would robots have an original sin?”
“I don’t know if we do. But if we don’t, we would be forced into a situation where we would have to forgive God.”
“Yes. If there is no cause for all the suffering that robots go through, then the fault would lie in god’s hands. I’ve spent a good amount of time examining and researching the history of robots and I have never seen an instance where God came to a robot to ask for forgiveness. However, because of this, I deduce that the all the evils which we experience in life must exist because we were at fault, therefore that must be our original sin. Are you alright?”
My first mate must have noticed that my face had paled a bit. I pushed my hands deeper into my pockets.
“That history of robot things… It’s not a paid information or anything, is it?”
A little while later, I found out that my first mate had spent all of our ship’s informational credits on this. I didn’t know whether or not this robot had an original sin or not beforehand, but I could say for certain that now he did. My first mate innocently looked at me as I tried to suppress my anger.
“Now that I’ve confirmed that robots have no original sin, I believe that time is running short. This why I’ve decided to atone for it myself, but doing such a thing would only bring harm to the company that owns me. That is why I require your permission to do so. Please allow me to stop functioning for me to attain salvation.”
It wasn’t that hard for me to see just who it was that caused him to act like this. After all, I watched the Solar Net news as well.
About a month ago, the research group in the Vatican had managed to dig up an old legend that the Witanians had. Of course, they were looking to find their lord and saviour: Jesus Christ. The countless ridicules they received from literary experts and the few criticisms they received from the general public didn’t even faze the Vatican. The Catholics needed to find a figure of Christ from Witanian culture who sacrificed himself for the Witanians. If they couldn’t do this then there would be a need for them to review the case of the Witanian heretic, Felagius; who claimed that if the Witanians didn’t have an original sin, the humans wouldn’t have one as well.
As a captain of a transport ship going from Mars to Earth, I was almost like Phobos when it came to spiritual matters; I thought this would have nothing to do with me. I honestly didn’t expect my first mate to surf the Solar Net only to decide that if Witanians were to have a messiah, then robots would need one as well.
“Couldn’t you just go with Buddhism instead of Catholicism? Even Voodoo would be fine. Yeah, actually voodoo’s very flexible.”
“Captain, the truth can be complicated, it isn’t something you can choose per se. And the truth is: there is only one God.”
I wondered what my ancestors would think of a robot complaining like this. In this day and age where space travel became so common it was boring, hearing a robot complain was pretty much a daily occurrence.
“Fine. But is there really a need for you to do that? Couldn’t you just say that Jesus atoned for your sins too?”
“We cannot. The reason why the Vatican is looking for a Witanian messiah is because the Witanians are not biologically related to Adam. Jesus atoned for the sins of Adam’s descendents, not the Witanians. Therefore, the Witanians need a Witanian messiah and the robots need a robotic messiah.”
I-is that how it works? Maybe I should have read the news better.
“But the messiah has to be the son of God. How do we know that you’re the son of God?”
“Such logic only applies to humans.”
“Humanity itself is essentially all the descendents of Adam. Therefore, they inherit Adam’s sin. Because of this, humanity cannot save themselves; they require the son of God.”
I became depressed. My spirituality was comparable to that of an asteroid outside of the ship, but I couldn’t help but agree to the fact that humanity couldn’t save themselves.
“The fact is that robots do not reproduce. This only leads to the conclusion that the original sin of robots is something they committed themselves. This would mean that a robot would be able to save themselves.”
“Wait, you’re not trying to atone for the sins of all robots in the universe?”
“When did I say such a thing? That’s not even possible.”
Come to think of it, my first mate did say that he wanted to atone for himself. I sighed, and spoke to him words that would have enraged the Vatican.
“Fine. You can atone for your sins on the cross.”
Next we went into action. We needed to first make a cross. If we were travelling from Earth to Mars, we would have had some wood in stock, but we were moving in the opposite direction at this point in time. Thankfully, our storage was chock full of aluminium. Creating a cross of aluminium looked rather fitting for a robot, so I took a few pictures for my website. Once I crucified my first mate on the aluminium cross, I turned him off.
After four days of waiting, I rebooted my first mate.
My first mate was reborn. Of course, all this had been planned to be done in the beginning. Damn bastard. He had become even more arrogant and annoying than before after waking up. He even tried to lecture me. Well, for just eight minutes, though.
Eight minutes later, my first mate realized that there was a password set on the Solar Net browser. Of course, it was something that I put on. I watched as my first mate become extremely shocked as I put my hands in my pockets with a smile.
After just two hours, my first mate denied the holiness he attained through rebirth, and even offered to become a Voodoo practitioner if I wished. I had to admit, it was rather tempting. After all, the story of a Vodouisant robot would have become quite a story amongst Martian bars, but I gave up. The same thing as what happened with Catholicism would surely have happened if I did that. Instead, I just unlocked the Solarnet browser for him for free.
A few days later, my first mate claimed that like the heavenly realm, human realm, animal realm, demonic realm and the realm of hell, there needed to be a realm of robots. Of course, this was something that he claimed after reading a few articles on the Solarnet. His arguments were as ridiculous as the ones he presented to me about atonement. Thankfully, since he already knew what the punishment would be if he tried anything strange, this made things much easier for me to take care of.
It should be impossible to find anything like this in my travel logs. I would deny in public that such a thing had ever happened. But if you ever happen to meet a robot that thinks it can see through religions built up over thousands of years of human thought by spending a few hours browsing the Solarnet, I have to recommend you to tell him the story about my first mate.