April 21, 2014  |  298 pages
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Humaniform robot Minta’s army of Model 10's were the genetically malformed women from Gundig-B, the weibchen. The person’s brain was entirely surrounded by a complex neural net that translated the brain’s electrical impulses into robot controls and vice versa. These Model 10's proved to be vastly superior fighters than normal humans. Now she had her army of powerful robots. Minta’s army consisted of these bloodthirsty model 10's, a host of Model 6 workers, and Model 12 throw-away fighter robots, roughly as strong as a human male. Dirt cheap to make, they slavishly followed orders. By 1480, the ten millionth Model 12 rolled off the assembly line.

Minta organized her squadrons into one Model 10 in command of one hundred Model 12's. Her generals, Minta-0 through Minta-9 each commanded ten thousand squadrons, that is over a million robot fighters — very impressive numbers until one took into account their warships, which consisted of the single-man fighters with their small cannon and backup, deep space transports with a much larger cannon. That is, Minta had no battleships, heavy cruisers, or light cruisers, at least initially.

She attacked Zeta Scorpii-C first, capturing its large space fleet and enormous spaceship construction companies. Minta used her own worker robots to man the factory lines. City by city, she utilized the bio genetic agent to mutate the city’s population, but also provided them with an Ashford-5 style living environment. Her goal was to allow them to survive but pose no threat to humans or robots. She established doctoral programs in key areas that would further the development of robot technology. Those students who excelled in these fields were given special treatment, luxury housing, the best clothing, the finest food, and so on as a reward for their academic achievements. By 1485, these few doctors became the elite of Zeta Scorpii-C, numbering six thousand. Initially, the world had seven billion people when attacked in 1465. By 1470, the population fell to around three billion, but by 1500, the population had increased to close to four billion, though nearly half of the total population were children under eighteen.

By 1500, Minta-0 had fifty battleships, a hundred heavy cruisers, and two hundred light cruisers in her command. Minta was ready to move into Phase 3 of her Grand Plan. Based on the total success on Zeta Scorpii-C, she incorporated that scenario into her future plans for other conquered worlds. She envisioned the entire galaxy under the control of her robots, with all the human populations identical to that on Zeta Scorpii-C and Ashford-5. Once completed, the humans could live useful, productive lives, but never again threaten the robots or start wars between worlds or even fight among themselves. The galaxy would be finally in a permanent complete and total peace. Never again would mankind ravage the galaxy or harm others and themselves.

Of course, humans had an entirely different point of view of Minta’s actions. Yet one man’s question undid everything. Can a robot be a person?

Find out how Ashford-5's telepaths finally achieved their rightful position in the galaxy.
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