The war of humans against machines, the same old story that science fiction authors always loved to write about, the war I fought. Thankfully, in this version of the story, we were winning.

We had just taken another hill, and my squad was moving in through the beaten down defenses, when a downed enemy grabbed my leg. I’d rarely been in such close proximity to one of them, but one glance told me that the damage to it would be unrepairable.

I suddenly wondered whether they could feel what we feel. We’d been told that they couldn’t, but as I looked down at the pathetic wreckage of the thing clutching onto me, I couldn’t be so sure. In a wave of pity, I raised my weapon, and made sure it would no longer feel anything at all.

I continued on, blinking rapidly, wipers smearing away most of its blood from my optical sensors. As I turned up my leg servos to catch up with the rest of my squad, I felt glad that I had ended its suffering.

After all, that sort of compassion is what most separates us from our makers.

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