It was so long since he had seen light that he had to strain to remember what it was. His mechanical eyes sent a great spike of pain through his head. The lenses adjusted sluggishly, focused. The light resolved itself.
Hovering in darkness, bathed in grace and gentility, stood a figure. She looked young, her face and body untouched by the likes of Surgeon and the other makers, but her eyes were closed.
“Son,” she said. Her hand reached to brush the serial number burned on his forehead.
For the first time since his birth, he felt loved.