Author : George Li

The rusted orange hue of the sky made dancing reflections on Mirna’s “skin”. Carefully, she raised the fragile watering pot.

People had thought it would be them who caused this. Sentient robots that would rebel and destroy humanity. It didn’t work out like that. Robots simply had no need to rebel, they did not have the urge for power like most humans had. It simply wasn’t needed, wasn’t in their programming. Even the ones with no directive, no programming, even they had no such urge. These “Free-Thoughts” discovered in seconds, with their huge infallible minds, what took human philosophers millenniums to figure out. The rarity of life. The need for diversity, companionship, and harmony. So it was not the robots that caused this. It was the humans themselves.

Like most things, it started slowly. A buildup of mistrust, paranoia, and hatred. People started blaming everything for their troubles, everything but themselves. Wars started, lives were lost. But it seemed humanity would survive, like it had done so many times before. Until someone went nuclear.

Mirna slowly released the valve. With robotic precision, she filled the pot.

It took several years for humanity to die out. But eventually, even the race’s legendary resourcefulness could not save them. Robots tried to help, tried to stop the impending extinction. But they were pushed away, the paranoia and suspicion of the human mind was too hard to overcome. For the first time in thousands of years, Earth was free of humans. And the Robots were alone.

Synthbot M-1RN Edition A. That was what Mirna was, that is what the label on her back still said. Her original directive was gardening, taking care of the now desolate parks. And yet, even after all her masters died, even after she learned how to override her original programming, she still enjoyed her work. Perhaps it was something about making life, and seeing it grow.

Mirna walked over to a half broken cup filled to the brim with soil. On the top was a small flower. She delicately tilted the watering pot, and watched as a few drops of this now precious liquid fell.

There were plenty of spare parts, abandoned machinery, and broken vehicles. With careful rationing, Mirna could live forever.

Lazily a colorful butterfly landed on the small flower.

Mirna smiled. Maybe she would get to see the Earth reborn.

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