New man:

I often find it difficult, remembering a time before I was like this. It is not difficult to remember, but perfect recollection can really be a bitch. It often occurs to me that he should have left me like I was, but I know he didn't want to.

It strikes me as strange that I was created humanoid, but it never seemed strange to him. He could have at least changed me back before he left. My first memory is his face. I think about that a lot, maybe it should seem like that was an omen or something. But it wasn't.

I don't have a job anymore, but they leave me alone. Two people sent to mars, two people and a robot. He had blood on his face when he opened the box. I think that almost all of the blood was his own, but not all of it.

He did nothing, the ship told me that. We crashed right into that red planet, almost like the ship thought it wasn't there. The woman was killed and the man was almost killed. I guess an inbuilt infirmary was a good idea.

The power started up when he opened the box with his fingernails. It was supposed to be a security system, but then again, the ship was supposed to land perfectly, and dispense mints, apparently it did neither.

Of course at the time I registered none of this, all I did was crouch in my box and wait for him to tell me what to do. He never told me to make him a house, which was actually what he was supposed to do, he just told me to put a rush on the air purifier.

The air purifier was finished exactly one hundred seconds after the final breath of air came out of the ship. He had problems holding his breath that long, but he survived. I don't think they would have sent anyone else if he had not.

He talked to me a lot, after the purifier was finished and he could leave the ship. He talked a lot, about the woman who had died and about home and about the fact that the ship did not give him mints. He seemed to mind a great deal that there had been no mints.

I didn't really care then, or know what he was saying.

But one day he said something that will stick with me forever, considering I will live that long. He sat down next to where I was welding, probably a bad idea for a human, and he apologised to me. He sat with me and apologised for not being able to help.

The next day he made me like this, which has caused me no end of pain.

We talked a lot after that, we took it slowly in building the base and after about three earth years they sent a ship full of materials and what was effectively a note saying not to rush. He taught me to read and I read all his books within a few days.

It is hard to tell what he thought of me and hard to tell what I thought of him. It is hard for me, I had no experience. I still don't, not really. He gave me my life but what did I give him? Did I give him anything?

We worked on this city for twenty four years, so long to be alone together.

They did send two more robots, after fifteen years, otherwise the project would have outlived him, that isn't why they did it but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it. But he did nothing with them, except teach me to program them.

He was always talking though, he said over and over that it was really my project, he was just keeping me company. Every time he said that I thought the same thing, but never said it. I wouldn't need keeping company if you hadn't made me like this.

I can't truthfully say I don't resent him for this, but I also can't truthfully say that I don't prefer it. He gave me his life but all I gave him was my time. What worth does my time have if it will never run out?

It is hard for me to not spend all my time worrying if he appreciated what I could give him. I know that I appreciate what he gave me. I never told him that, I never thanked him for making me like this, because at the time I didn't know what the difference was.

Even when they sent more I didn't see what he had done to me. I thought for a long time that I was the same as always, despite my memory of before. I don't think that anymore, but if it took his death for me to realise that I owed him thanks then the realisation means nothing, does it?

I remember the day he died, of course I do. I commandeered all of those robots, the ones they sent, the ones they brought with them and the ones they made. I took them all and I made him a place to rest. It was the last thing we made, just as he had planned. We made him a house.