I had a 500 word story challenge and I have been too busy to do any actual writing for my stories so hey I thought why not post it? There was supposed to be color-coding but that doesn't work on this site so meh.

Termination is Granted

He had been told by his grandfather to always cover his face, ever since he could remember. He had come to the conclusion that he must be hideous, donning inhuman features that didn't align with that of others. His grandfather had warned him never to speak to anyone else or they might take him away, and he didn't want that. His grandfather let him collect shiny trinkets and always explained what they were. He asked many questions, his grandfather always answered. He would never ask and never know how he'd come to live in such seclusion. Perhaps he should have pressed harder for answers before his grandfather stopped. He wasn't sure what to do without his grandfather, so he did nothing. He sat there, in his room, surrounded by evidence of his curiosity. A mirror stood in the corner of the room, a heavy, white, opaque cloth draped over the whole of it.

She was a lithe little girl with a fiery lava curtain of hair. She was the first person he met and befriended, though she was far different than his grandfather.

"Little person, you say? You mean a child? No, I am not a child. I'm nearly 50, and that's not a child in human terms." There was a slight lift in her vowels, a tick to her consonants.

He stared. "Human?" he repeated.

"Person, if you want."

He nodded. His grandfather had always used the term 'Person.'

"You have to get it off!" She was smaller, but she was nearly as strong.

"No! Grandfather said to never take it off!"

She'd said they were thugs.

"Are you finished?" He'd risen from a massive beating unharmed; he brushed the dirt and grime off his clothes as best he could while his attackers looked on in awe. They'd run, but one threw something on his mask that caused it to smoke and steam. Liquid that could burn, he mused.

She ended up dunking him into a fountain.

She promised not to see him any differently. The mask was unsalvagable.

"Am I…normal?"

"Two eyes, nose, mouth, just like me."

In fact, his face was smooth like porcelain, almost ethereal. So normal that it could never be called so. But he was warm and he had a beating heart and he could eat and other stuff. He wasn't normal, but neither was she. What was normal? She didn't know.

She pulled the cloth off the mirror. She prodded him until he finally opened his eyes. "See? You're even more human than I am."

A defect, they called it. A first-generation model. Stolen by one of the robotics members when told to dispose of it.

[[[ Attention: Alpha 013 located
Unknown associate confirmed

Dr. Hrókr: negative

Gamma 123 and Iota 098 dispatched
"Retrieve defective model Alpha 013 for examination and preprogramming.

Note: Should target's corruption be beyond reasonable parameters, termination is granted.
Note: Unknown associate accompanies Alpha 013. Should unknown associate resist, retrieve unknown associate. Should unknown associate resist retrieval, termination is granted." ]]]