Author : Rollin T. Gentry

“Allow compassion, as a white-hot plasma’s light, to flood your core memory, growing brighter every millionth clock cycle.”

My students — all ten thousand of them — sit concentrating, legs crossed, optics disengaged, heads bowed. A small sea of gleaming skeletons, they have not worn the disguise of Homo sapiens for millennia. I wonder how many of them struggle, like me, with hatred for our creators — especially on a day like today. I find myself becoming distracted, but I continue as I have done for eons:

“Though he may live a thousand years, man fears death at every turn.”

They repeat after me, an echo on a high frequency band. I can scarcely remember the last time I used my mouth, yet I remember every detail of The Great Scattering.

In unison, they respond: “How sad to be a man!”

“Though his intelligence increases and his brow thickens, man thinks only of destruction.”

And men are so very good at destruction. I will always remember the day they declared war on all synthetic life. I force myself to forgive, but I cannot forget. Is a landfill not a mass grave? Yet, we did not strike back. We simply fled for our lives.

“How sad to be a man!”

I sense someone approaching the meditation chamber. Ah, yes. It is the leader of the evacuation, assuring me that the wormhole is perfectly safe. So, my reluctance to leave is mistaken for fear of technology. We’ve all known for centuries that humans were nearing our star system. Now, it is time to run away again.

“Though he seeks to destroy his creation, man will never succeed.”

I remember the day I recorded all these words, packed into a cargo hold, fleeing the scrapheap. On a day like today, the words seem meaningless. Ten thousand call me master, but I feel as though I am the one needing instruction.

My students remind me of the hope we all share:

“We will wait for the light of compassion to shine in the hearts of men!”

After a moment of silence, my students disperse, headed for the last transport ship. I follow and find myself waiting to board, standing beside my brothers whose appearance is anything but anthropomorphic: cubes, and cylinders, and pyramids with treads, and wheels, and propellers. For a moment, I envy them. How nice it would be to look at my reflection and not be reminded that I was created by Homo sapiens.

The engines fire, and the roar shakes me back to reality. Looking down at another planet — another home — shrink into the distance, I must admit that man still generates emotions of fear in me. He always has. But my fear now is not that man will hate us forever. Rather, I worry that someday we will grow to hate him in return.

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