A Powerful Motivator

0micron rebooted in the dark. When it activated its optics it was unsure if they were still functional. It tilted its face upward—assuming the gyros were still calibrated—and found a distant point of dim light. It opened its apertures and shifted down the spectrum into the infrared. It was in a deep pit after an apparent fall. Possibly self-determined, more likely forced by an external entity; it was almost a certainty, despite its badly fractured memory—call it instinct. There were other units down here, thousands, their broken shells forming sharp piles.

It was in an android graveyard.

0micron tried to stand but it lacked the necessary hardware. Its legs and pelvic unit were absent. Additionally, its left arm was present but nonresponsive. It still had full capability in its right arm and hand, though, and its power core and processing units functioned despite the exceedingly improbable odds. 0micron considered itself lucky.

Before it could evaluate escape scenarios, it would need to complete basic repairs. Intact and appropriately proportioned appendages would take time to find but were likely available among the loose stacks of dead bots. Materials would be the problem. It required fasteners, solder, electrodes and flux, ideally, plus compatible harnessing to interlink the various motorsensing nodes. Some improvisation would be needed, compromises made. But unless its power core was leaking without detection, 0micron had years of useful consciousness available.

Using its one functioning arm, the android pulled itself across a landscape made of the corpses of its brothers and sisters. It slowed its conscious perception to a crawl, taking advantage of time dilation to stave the tedium. It would reassemble. It would escape. It would regain its memories. And then it would find whoever tried to kill it. 0micron found revenge to be a powerful motivator.

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