“Perhaps the machine became possessed,” I suggested. “Inanimate objects can become animated by all sorts of abnatural beings. I have encountered plenty of such creatures.”
Dr. Honda seemed to consider the idea. Then he shook his head. He said, “I don’t have your experience with such things. Nonetheless I don’t think that O.T.T.O. acted from outside influence. As far as I could observe, he was learning. And learning far faster and with more intuition than we ever would have predicted.”
“When did you start to worry?” I asked.
“When he killed one of the rats. He had twisted its neck. He brought to me and expected me to fix it, to bring it back to life. When he realized that there was nothing that I could do, nothing that anyone could do, he became very upset. He kept trying to get me to explain why the rat had died. Why anything died. I couldn’t seem to explain it in a way that he understood.”