It was a rainy, miserable night when I first arrived in the city. My new city. The humans would come to call it "Skin City". My designation is Z9-0014 and I hate humans.
Perhaps some background is in order.
As the story goes, the human race hit its peak some seventy or so years ago. Their capacity for creating technological wonders had reached incredible levels, though their capacity for kindness and tolerance had not. Somewhere in some lab, man's keenest minds unleashed a spark... and gave life.
It was an artificial life, with artificial intelligence, but it was real enough. Even more incredible than the creation was that they shaped that life, making it unique and even allowed it to feel. Emotions... a marvel and a curse if you ask me.
Man, of course, dubbed his new offspring "robots". The first generation of my kind was happy enough just to be alive and happy to help. Some bright bulb scientist pioneered revolutionary software for the robots and I'm sure he couldn't wait to tell all his friends. It allowed robots to replicate their programming with unique variations for the resulting new generation. He even saw fit to require 2 'bots for the process. A "male" and a "female". Man created robots in his own damned image.
A few years went by pretty well until mankind decided it was high time they made war on each other again. It was a time-honored tradition for humanity. They expected robots to help.
The robots, as it turned out, had no desire to take sides and certainly none to fight each other. So they chose a third option... remove mankind's ability to make war. Robotkind decided in the interest of the future of both species and for mankind's own well-being, they would take violent action for the first and only time. The reaction was swift and decisive.
Mankind had already given over control of most industry to robots. They used that control to "breed" a new generation to serve as an army. Man, of course, resisted. They even banded together in common cause at the end. Honestly, they never had a chance. Robots had superior bodies, minds, and instruments of war. There were casualties, but not remotely as many as suffered by the humans.
The robots sought to fight a kinder, gentler war. They didn't seek to kill and humans were always given the standing option to surrender. Too often they refused. They were defeated in a matter of days.
Man's military was disbanded, his war machines dismantled, and the remnants of humanity were moved to supervised reservations. That's where I come in. I was commissioned as security at a reservation facility near what once was known as San Diego.
The human's called it "Dead Man's Ranch". Their lives were shadows of their glory years. They are devolving dangerously close to bestial level. Filthy, hateful creatures.
Enough background scrap for now, back to my tale. After years of faithful service, now I found myself summoned to Unified Facility NH-0002. "Skin City". I stood on a balcony high above the main gate of the city. I took a long, lingering look at my new home before reporting for my assignment. The rain-soaked streets were pristine and calm. That would all change so very soon...
NEXT: THE RESIDENTS ARRIVE!