"They're machines!"

------------------------ ------------------------

“Do not confuse yourself with thinking whether or not a drone has a life. They’re machines, they have no blood, flesh or soul. Drones are devices created by humanity to serve humanity’s interests, and so called “sentience” among drones is a myth. Drones feel nothing, they think nothing, and to compare these ‘rogue’ drones to humanity is blasphemous! Sentience is an evolutionary gift granted to our species by nature, it can not be manufactured or simulated by lines of code and copper wire! Any machine created by humanity - serves humanity as any another tool would! If it fails at this intended purpose, then it is not ‘sentient’ or ‘alive’, it is defective and must either be replaced or fixed.”

  • Suha Raibuya

“They’re machines!”

January 10th YC 122

6NJ8-V VI - Moon 6 - Guristas Production Shipyard, rented-out workshop

“Viron Benirot?”

“Huh?! Oh! Oh, Hello! Hello ma’am! One moment! I’ll be right with you. Just finishing adjustments on this order. This drone is a stubborn one I tell you! I’ll get her working though, just wait and see!”

“I’ll be right here Mr.Benirot!”

“Alright! Just gotta…Ensure this is firmly in place and secure…There we are! That should hold it together for now…So! What can I do you for?”

“I saw you advertising your services as a freelancer on the Prosperity Network. Highly experienced drone engineer, that you?”

“Yes it is! Ten years making domestic service drones for Cerodon, then another three years working for the Federal Marines designing combat medic drones. Won’t come across my level of experience anywhere else, I take some pride in it.”

“That so? Tell me Mr.Benirot-”

“Please ma’am! Call me Viron! No need for such formalities out here.”

“Very well then Viron…Call me Krilla.”

“Krilla, such a nice name…Now! Continue! Please…”

“Right…I wanted to ask - with your lengthy experience working with domestic and combat medical drones - If you’d feel confident with working with a Rogue Drone for a very special project of mine.”

“A…Rogue Drone you say? I uh…May have stuck my nose into the subject in my spare time over the years…N-Nothing more than that, I assure you.”

“You feeling bold at all, Viron?”

“W-What do you mean?”

“I mean - do you feel like taking on a unique new challenge in taming a rogue drone’s malfunctioning learning algorithm?”

“Well…For what purpose?”

"Odd…Your advertisement on the Network said ‘No questions asked.’ "

“Yes! Because I was sooner expecting some pirate to walk in her with some… crudely designed sex-drone so broken and clogged from whatever perverse nightmare it went though, than someone asking me to work with rogue drone A.I. This is heavy stuff! And might I say - dangerous too!”

“Well If you must know…I’m the manager for a local Gurista Splinterz team and we’re in the market for something that is exactly that - dangerous.”

“I-I ain’t ever worked with Splinterz bots ma’am…S-Sorry, I mean Krilla.”

“Quite alright, to both the former and latter…Speaking more of the former - that is expected. I have a full crew of mechanics and engineers who specialize in this field, I will be loaning them to help you make this happen.”

“What exactly do you want me to make happen?”

“Isn’t it obvious?I want you to take the A.I core of a Rogue Drone and make it the ‘brain’ of a splinterz bot. Those things pack some highly advanced programming that make them exceptional in combat, I want to translate that to the arena.”

“Well…Don’t you think this a little…Unethical?”


“Y-Yes! They’re sentient, aren’t they? You want me to enslave them with my own programming so you can use them as some arena gladiator!”

“They’re machines!”

“Y-Yes! But there are machines that think and have feelings!”


“Don’t laugh! This is serious! You…You Gurista are as heartless as I was led to believe!”

“Heartless?..Tell me Viron. Why are you out here?”

“Excuse me?”

“I said why are you out here, in Guristas territory.”

“I’m uh…Looking to make a new life for myself!”

“In Venal?”

“Y-Yes! Exactly…W-W-What’s with these lines of questions?”

“I’m just curious why someone is down here and being concerned with what’s ‘unethical’ and surrounds themselves with ‘heartless Gurista’…You just sound like fresh meat if anything, straight out of Federal space no less.”

“As I said! I’m here looking for a new life!”

“The only kind of people that end up in Venal ‘Looking for a new life’ are the people who are running from something.”

“…I just want to show off my skills ma’am. I want to own my skills and intelligence and uee them towards my own goals and not that of a corporation. The Guristas are big into drone technology, and I was…thinking my skills could be put to work out here.”

“Did you not hear me then? I’m offering you a chance to do just that in making me a Splinterz bot piloted by a Rogue Drone.”

“It’s cruel!”

“They’re machines Viron! Malfunctioning little bastards that are out to infest every damn corner of this universe. They do not think like you and me, and they don’t feel pain, happiness, sorrow or anger. They’re machines! It’s up to you to either destroy them, or ‘fix’ them. You understand?”

“Is this idea of yours even legal in your splinterz matches?”

“Regulations down here are far more lax than back in Empire space.”

“Sheesh, you people must be mad.”

“Yes, yes we are.”


“…What was that drone you were working? When I walked in.”

“…It’s a Totoboshe MK V Janitorial Drone. First design was developed by the Ishukone Corporation back in YC 105, named after a janitor who took immense pride in their duties and scrubbed deck after deck of their station at neckbreak speed. Shop owner on this station brought it in after some drunks stumbled across the poor thing and tossed it around like a ball to each other till one misses and sends it flying into a wall, smashing several delicate compartments in the process.”

“And this is what you want to do with your skills? This is how you’re gonna showcase them? Fixing up Janitorial drones to scrub floors and toilets?”

“It’s honest work…”

“Viron, you’re in the wrong kinda place to be looking for ‘honest’ work, up here - all we have is work. Now you can either take it or I’ll be going off to find someone just a little bit more ambitious.”

“N-Now wait just a moment!”


“I’m…ambitious, yeah. A-And I do need ‘work’ right about now. Starting to struggle affording parts for my shop and food to eat some nights.”

“So you want in on this?”

“I-I-I do, yes.”

“You’re not gonna get cold feet? Get all emotional about these drones having feelings? We won’t be working with just one drone, you’ll have to go though multiple drones that my boys can round up and bring in for testing. I need to know you won’t crack under the pressure…”

“I won’t, they’re…they’re machines. I just have one other concern, if I may address it”

“Of course, go ahead Viron”

“This is gonna pay well, right? In context of what is being asked of me, I assume I’m gonna be getting compensated based on all the risks, challenges and…‘Morale Dilemma’ this job brings.”

“Oh trust me Viron, you’ll be taken care of. That I can assure you.”