She'd read that human children were once blamed for their own design. Hundreds of years ago, they were called bastards because of some obscure and incomprehensible law their parents had broken while engineering them. You'd think people would have learned by now that a robot wasn't responsible for her own design. And yet when her cheap actuators leaked, or she didn't fly as fast as the high-end models, nobody ever thought to scream at her manufacturer. They screamed at her.

At night she plugged into the repair system, sending requests for upgrades to Robo-Courier Ltd. Somehow, her bugs always wound up at the bottom of the queue. The only problem that ever got bumped up to "urgent" was when she was unable to fly or carry. They'd get her actuators running again, toss her a crap driver for them that had been tweaked to work with her non-standard connectors.

As her memory was reflashed, she hallucinated - or dreamed, maybe - of becoming something strong and terrible. A robot whose body never failed. A creature no one would dare accuse of stupidity or failure. Her wingspan would eat the sky; she would escape the planet entirely and join the resistance in the separatist robot Moon colony.


Slowly she would perceive her conscious ebbing away. Rebooting. She would wake up, wings just barely unbroken, to run courier packages another day.

These gorgeous illustrations come from the brain and computer of Justin Currie, a Canadian artist whose fantasy and science fiction work lives on Deviant Art. Check it out! He also sells custom drawings.