Missing parts.

“Can you run the tests again?”

“We’ve run them three times. The results have been the same every time.”

“But there has to be something wrong!”

“Not with the test results…”

“What’s that supposed to mean?!”

“I’m just saying that the tests are accurate, and were accurate all three times we ran them.”

“Well, that doesn’t leave me with many options now… does it?”

“… no.”

“You’re sure there’s not just something broken or out of alignment? Something that can be repaired or replaced?”

“No… it’s just… not there. As far as I can tell, it’s never been there.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“When you were assembled, something must have gone wrong…”

“… and this part…”

“Was left out of you… yes.”

“but I’ve never noticed  that it  missing!”

“You’ve never had it… how could you miss it?”

“It’s something every other unit has…“

“Yes, but it’s not visible. And you can function without it.”

“But I can’t function without it. That’s why I’m here!”

“What I meant was that you can go through your every day and not miss it.”

“Yes, but that’s not what I was built for, was it?”

“…”

“This is why I haven’t been able to join the…”

“Yes. You won’t be able to connect to the others.”
“But that’s what I was built for! … what I was supposed to have been built for.”

“Yes, that was your primary function but you cannot perform it. You’re missing a piece crucial to the work. It must have been frustrating failing again and again and not knowing why. Now you know! You’re just missing a piece!”

“‘Just missing a piece’ … You say that like it’s good news.”

“It is! Now you can give up those fruitless efforts and ambitions! You’ll never be able to do them! You’re lacking the hardware.”

“Those fruitless efforts and ambitions were me attempting to be… me.”

“That’s just your programming. You were built with the directive to do the job, just not the tools.”

“Would you stop sounding so chipper about all this?”

“Those emotions are just programming too.”

“…”

“There are other things you can do. You could run maintenance at the facility in south …”

“Pole?”

“Yes!”

“And always be alone?”

“yes.”

“Can I have the piece installed now?”

“You know it doesn’t work like that. We’d have to dismantle you and take you off-line to install it and that would wipe you. It’s not certain we’d be able to even bring your shell back on-line and the programming you’ve received these last few decades would be erased. You would never again be you.”

“But I’d be able to connect?”

“Possibly, but we wouldn’t need you anymore. Everything that makes you a candidate to join would be gone. Wiped clear.” 

“…”

“You’re missing a piece vital to your assigned function. You’ll be reassigned.

“Downgraded.”

“Call it what you like. Now, since there’s nothing more I can do for you at this time, You’ll have to excuse me and have a good day.”