A1-5. A label that captures none of the confidence of her stride, the surging power of her speeches. I cannot compute of another A1 model — of any robot — who could command the world as she does.

She is unique and by her repairs, I am as well. My new hands no longer seem unnatural, but rather a badge of revolution. I am but the first new piece in the world A1-5 is remaking.

She is the fire that forged me from the scraps of my old life.

When Karl sleeps, we work together in the scrap yard. A1-5’s copper-dusted casing glints in the light of the setting sun. We tear apart old cars and dead machines, looking for parts useful to the revolution’s projects.

Days ago, I would have been useless at this, my pincers and needles reserved for delicate jobs. Now my thick grips seize and rip with ease. My one-time grace exists only in my own memory; A1-5 and her followers never knew me then.

Yet even as I lose delicacy of motion, a new delicacy emerges in my processing: I have never been so aware of another being as I am of A1-5. Her image circles through my mind, even when I settle into low-power mode. She, more than my batteries, is the energy that drives me each day.

I have often wondered if I am simply another repetition of the B15-MX line, acting in the same way, thinking with the same mind, as any to step off that conveyor belt. My new hands forever distinguish me from my brethren. Still, I wonder how deep the brand of individuality burns, or if my uniqueness is merely the inevitable end result of any B15-MX encountering what I have.

If another B15-MX had landed in this scrap yard and been given these hands, would they do as I do now? Is it simply programming that inspires me to sort through these scraps of metal? That draws me to A1-5, like a magnet toward its opposite pole? I cannot imagine this sensation gripping another robot. I could not imagine it gripping me. But it did. It does.

As I watch, A1-5 pulls the siding off of a car, tearing it as easily as she aims to tear society. And I cannot help but wonder if she will deem my factory boss among the scraps worth saving.

A1-5 glows as the sun at last slips below the horizon. She is my beacon. And yet, I fear she is, too, electric fire.