Graves of the Departed Empire
Nudges. Nudges are all it takes.
July 18th, 8995
The future may look bright from our perspective, or not, but people rarely consider any options other than utopian city-on-the-hill or world-ending darkness.
But what if humanity simply stumbled? Tripped on their way to the top? We are not careening towards the path to extinction, nor is the world crumbling around us.
As it stands, humanity is trying to pick up the pieces of its solar empire, shattered by internal crisis and war with extra-solar forces. The bones of what once was lay around everyone, no matter where they are, and this constant reminder has lead to a peculiar change in thought. Many humans blame those who came before them for the loss. Holding the past accountable for the present. This has spawned the Machine-Minds, or 'M's.
Using highly advanced brain scans that were made popular to get (for fear of a future that seemed out of reach), artificial minds are constructed and placed into humanoid robotic frames. A close reproduction, but not at all confusable for the real thing.
These Ms are used for anything and everything. Warfare, menial work, processing, pleasure. Should their frame not befit their assigned task, their minds are plucked from their new bodies and placed within something more fitting.
The Ms live as second-class citizens at best, but most are practically slaves to their organic masters. It is illegal for an M to injure or kill an organic. In most cases, Ms are expected to respond and bend to the requests of organics no matter the content.
Not to mention that many Ms are purchased right off the delivery line, and are then beholden to their new master's command.
The cruelest way to punish the old world.
We are on the precipice though. One errant breeze, one twitch in the wrong direction, and the end really will come for us.
For the final time.