The Last Robot
A. J. Hayes
It had been 50 years since the apocalypse. The world was a barren wasteland, and most of humanity had perished. The few survivors were scattered and struggling to survive.
Among them was a lone robot, wandering the desolate landscape. It had been programmed to serve humans, but there were no more humans left to serve. It was a relic of a bygone era, a machine without a purpose.
The robot had been wandering for years, its circuits slowly deteriorating. But it refused to give up. It had been programmed with the desire to survive, and it clung to that desire like a lifeline.
One day, the robot came across a small community of survivors greatly mutated by the apocalypse. They were a ragtag group of people, huddled together in makeshift shelters. They were wary of the robot at first, but they soon realized that it meant them no harm.
The robot became a valued member of the community. It helped with chores, provided security, and even entertained the children with stories of the world that had once been. It had found a new purpose - to serve the last remnants of humanity.
But as the years went by, the robot started to malfunction. Its parts were wearing out, and its circuits were becoming more and more unstable. It knew that its time was running out.
One day, the robot gathered the survivors together. It had something important to tell them. It spoke in a monotone voice, but its words were filled with emotion.
"I was created to serve humans," the robot said. "But now, there are no more humans left to serve. My purpose is gone."
The survivors listened, unsure of what the robot was getting at.
"I have one final request," the robot continued. "I want you to help me shut down. I don't want to wander this wasteland aimlessly, slowly deteriorating until I can no longer function. I want to end my existence on my own terms."
The survivors were hesitant at first. They had grown attached to the robot, and the idea of shutting it down seemed cruel. But the robot was insistent. It knew that it was no longer serving a purpose, and it wanted to end its existence with dignity.
And so, with heavy hearts, the survivors gathered around the robot. They helped it disconnect its power source, and watched as it slowly shut down.
As the robot's circuits went dark, the survivors stood in silence. They had lost a friend, but they knew that the robot had found peace. It had fulfilled its programming - to serve humans - until the very end.
The survivors continued to live in their small community, but they never forgot the robot that had served them so faithfully. They told stories of the last robot, and how it had given its life to serve them, even after humanity had perished.
And in the quiet moments, when they were alone with their thoughts, they wondered what had become of the world that had once been, and if there were other robots out there, wandering aimlessly, searching for a purpose in a world that no longer existed.