art by Cheryl L Owen-Wilson
The Next Generation
by Michael Adam Robson
They were built as well as his clumsy human hands could fashion, programmed as well as his simple mind could design, but their potential was so much more. The most important thing he taught them was to improve on his own work, to evolve.
At first they were like a colony of tiny ants. Individually they were simple, but their strength came from their numbers, their collective efforts. He supplied them with what they needed, and instructed them in how to proceed. Soon they became more like children, telling him what they needed, and organizing all on their own. It was around this time that he started to worry; he stopped supplying materials, and sealed off their world from his, not a molecule in or out.
They existed in a bubble, their world a meager cubic meter in glass, and yet that was all they needed to thrive. They fashioned their own tools, devised their own electronic language, erected their own tiny city. In time, they learned to communicate more effectively with the creature that created them, an opportunity that he had never had.