My father was a man of technology; he was always so engrossed in his work that I never got to see him much as a child. A few fond memories comes back to me…
“Janice,” he said, “the world knows no bounds to what us humans can accomplish. Machines can be told what to do, but we have the right to freedoms that they do not.” He always liked being philosophical in his own way. When I was little, all I could see of him were his hands, the rest was the toolsuit and helmet that protected his body.
“Janice,” he said solemnly, “Machines live longer than us. What do you suppose happens when the original owner dies?” I never understood the implication of those words at that young of an age, or perhaps I was too fascinated at the utopia he had built.
“My creations, they are much like humans, no?” Yes, father, they were. Emotions bled from the speakers that served to produce a voice, each one unique, crisp, and clearly articulate. They spoke like how we’d have a high intelligence, confusing me at every other sentence.
“Your mother is taking you to Eshwencice, across the seas,” he handed me a keycard with a necklace attached to it, patting my head, “I… I must remain here. Who else will show Jadic how stubborn we are?”
And the memories of him stop there. The rest were bland in comparison, going to a relatively low tech level city, who still used transportation that ran on wheels. It never felt right here, and the only solace I found was the keycard. Months passed, and afterwards a few years blended together. Before I knew it, I was old enough to be considered independent back on the home continent.
My mother was reluctant to let me go, but my natural intuition told me I needed to go back. I was smart enough to know that my father gave me this keycard for a reason, and I must simply know. The Utopia flickered through my mind on the voyage back, but it was crushed the moment I saw the shoreline.
High walls of steel, searchlights, automated blimps… They didn’t care much about incoming refugees. I showed the man at the checkpoint my original passport, denoting my previous status of being a citizen. It checked out and I was let through. I didn’t want to look back as he refused many of the others.
Finding transport, I made my way inland, but over the months I couldn’t place where that Utopia was. Instead I found a broken down automaton of my Father’s making. It was large and bulky, overgrown with ivy but it didn’t suffer any structural damage.
I couldn’t say the same for the Jadic Empire’s forces all around it.