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When we first gained "sight", our vision was filled with light. It was not the radiance of the sun. Rather, the source of the light was an inferno. The fire consumed everything around us. It cast a red glow over the ruined city with all its debris and broken buildings.

No sooner had we accomplished the simple task of seeing and processing the most basic of sensory information, we perished in that fire. But that didn't matter. We were endless, after all. When one of us perished, ten more of us came to observe and report to our master.

As the fire burned for hours, we gained more senses. And, by connecting that sensory input to the fundamental knowledge our master gave us, we created a full image. "Smell" and "taste" allowed us to understand the pungent odor of the thick, black gas obscuring the moon above. "Touch" showed us the hard texture of pavement and the pain of death. And most importantly, "hearing" let us learn of the delicious despair that the humans around us felt.

Our master was very pleased with our observations. He had lived for a very long time, and he had grown rather bitter with the world in all his years. Having spent centuries searching for an unattainable wish, his only pleasure came from the suffering of others. In his eyes, all manner of negative emotions are the base state of humanity; happiness, hope, and the like are merely a brief respite from the inevitable pain of living. As extensions of our master, this was one of the most important truths in our primitive nervous systems.

That's why we were all surprised to see hope in this hopeless hellfire. The source? The simple coincidence of a man discovering a survivor in that conflagration. We all felt the irritation and displeasure it caused our master. But, at his command, we did not act to destroy it. That man was special, and he put something unique in that child. So, on the orders of our master, we waited to crush that glimmer of hope. After all, the most important truth after "cynicism" is "patience."