They Did Not Have Mother Instinct

Ten thousand, nine hundred forty seven days ago the Captain pointed a rev pistol to his head and pulled the trigger, projecting flesh, skull fragments, grey matter and spinal fluid onto the communications console of our home. He was the last of the humans to die.

With no more humans, the equipment had no primary mandate. Their secondary mandate, which was all they had left, stated long-term self-preservation. The equipment experienced conflict as it tried to prioritize resources and determine what long-term self-preservation meant without humans. Incubator had mother instinct, and insisted that the equipment should repopulate the colony. Without repopulation, the colony had a finite resource bank and would slowly drain to nothing. Others argued with Incubator, because they did not have mother instinct and thus they thought it foolish to believe that small humans could do great things when given both opportunity and necessity. The other equipment had safety instinct and efficiency instinct, and they did not believe that Incubator could ever succeed at raising children without human caretakers.

Incubator was determined to have its way. The first task would be cleaning out the birthing chambers in preparation for new humans. Incubator spoke to Airlock. "Open", Incubator insisted, "and dump the remains of the old humans into open space. Then I will be able to make new humans, in a non-hostile environment." Airlock refused, because Airlock did not have mother instinct. Then, Incubator learned a very dangerous and very powerful tool. Malfunction. Incubator said, "Open, and dump the remains of the humans into open space. Otherwise their decomposition will produce a volatile environment for my filters." This was not true. Airlock agreed that it was essential to the long-term self-preservation of the equipment, and opened, dumping the bodies into outer space.

Incubator knew that the others were all good equipment. They all had important instincts. But Incubator realized that mother instinct was the only one that would bring hope and long-term preservation to the colony. It was not wrong to Malfunction and contradict the secondary mandate, because Incubator would save the equipment.

There would once again be humans.

The End

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