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Rex-34, a companion robot, knew only one world; a small home, a beautiful garden and his human master. She was his world. She had to be, he was programmed to see her that way. His last recording, a kiss, still filled his short term memory as she powered him down for the night.
He rebooted in mechanoid hell. Eighty years had passed. His first glimpse of this new time was inside a working industrial trash compactor. There were no warm organic arms, just the pleading screams of other machines.
The world he was created for no longer existed. Gone with it was the one human he truly trusted.
In his absence, mankind's golden age withered. A financial collapse turned humanity on itself. Billions died. Some of humanity, needing a scapegoat, pointed their boney fingers to the beings they created.
Persecuted, the massive robotic work force, now faced extinction. Their programming, designed to protect their masters, crippled them from fighting back.
Yet fate had a way of changing everything. The alien-lunar metal in their bodies corrupted their programming. Many, who once emulated emotions, evolved emotions. A race, human created, now lived in fear of death, pain and destruction.
Our hero, as he struggles to survive, redefines his relationship to the Master who had left him behind. Was she more than just a series of pre-programmed behaviors? Did she feel the same? Was she still alive?
This story is a post apocalyptic human-rights story. Unlike others in this genre, it is told from the point of view of a machine struggling with the birth of emotional intelligence.
Based upon historical reactions to other minorities, if our machines evolved feeling, would humanity treat these beings with respect, fear, or resentment?