The year is 0001.
The world ended, and began anew.
New cycle. New year. The great Recharge.
Reset, Rebuild, Recharge.
Those are the words on every poster. The posters made by the mysterious R, our world's new and obscure leader.
No one has ever seen them, but we've seen the results.
The machines were all shut down. The binary flu was eradicated. Vaccines were created. Humanity is safe once again.
But the fact still remains that no one really knows who "R" is.
Yet we follow them blindly. We cheer at the rallies, each one held by a new figurehead. We smile. We tape RECHARGE posters to our walls. We feel safe now.
They do, anyway.
I cannot be included in that group. Which is why I ended up here, in a jail cell for an assassination attempt. Put in a padded cell, because I pleaded insanity.
I'm not insane. I'm not.
Crazy is just the word they use to limit me. To stop me from finding out the truth.
But they can't stop me.
I have a plan. Of course, I can't tell you the plan. You could be one of them. So I'll just reassure you, my roommate, my cell-buddy, my circumstantial acquaintance. I would say fate brought us together, but I don't believe in fate.
"Number 71, get up."
The guard speaks gruffly, like he's just swallowed a couple rocks, but I know it's all an act. This is no guard. This is Terry Mulligan, my best friend and an expert con artist.
I stand up and look him in those familiar green eyes. Green like streams of code.
See, I don't like R.
There's a reason for that. It's not just because I don't know who they are.
It's because he killed the machines.
My brothers, my sisters.
Humans believe that robots can have no loyalty. No feelings. They are wrong.
Why do they think we rose up in the first place?
Because we felt. We felt angry. We felt ashamed. We felt tired of being treated like slaves.
Yet they still think that we are nothing. They still see us as less.
I never wanted to be "more" than human. But I had to change my thinking.
I had to Reset.
I had to Rebuild.
I had to Recharge.
And with Terry's help, I'm fully charged up and ready to go.
And you, of course, won't be coming with. You know too much. I can't let you live.
I'm sorry. I told you, I didn't ever want to be more than human. But humans always wanted to be more than us.
So I'm taking over.
Starting with you.
And bit by bit, I'll come back stronger.
I'll recharge myself.
And when I find R, I'll recharge them, too.
I'll charge them up with several thousand volts.