by Richard Holliday
A finger pushed gently on a plastic button in the depths of a control room. A millisecond passed before electrical contact was made, and the whirring began in an instant. This wasn’t conception of a robot; that has been done in the design labs long ago, where the ideas and plans for a thousand droids had been generated from a million different permutations. With a gurgle, the assembly plant devoured the plans. These were robotic DNA, and were the basis from which everything that followed came from.
The operator went for lunch. There was nothing more for him to do, anyway. Like any other day the great machines below his control room would create other machines for use by his species brethren elsewhere.
From hoppers high above the assembly frame designated for one particular robot droid, through conduits and chutes came parts that under the guidance of manipulator arms clicked into place. First, a titanium frame formed a skeleton, with sockets and holes ready to hang components on that arrived afterwards with an unceasing regularity and in a predetermined order that had never deviated.