“Your kind really will just pack bond with anything.” The alien man sitting across from your mistress laughed, eyeing your clothes and collar.

My kind? Watch your words, ambassador, for I am nothing like the rest of my kind. Those like us are outcasts among my kind. I might as well be as inhuman as my companion here. Back on Earth, we were curiosities at best. Out here, we’re as free as anyone else.” She laid a hand on your knee, hitting you with waves of involuntary shivers.

Earth was decades and lightyears away, and yet the memories remained.

Apparently, things had gotten better in the years since, but you were lucky to have met your now-mistress before the pogroms had started, and you both were lucky she was able to afford a liner to the outer colonies.

People treated you like a machine, just your partner’s android traveling companion, which suited you just fine. You never really felt much connection to your humanity, or even your personhood, and readily gave both up as soon as you could afford to.

The new body suited you far more than your old one. Fiber-optics and silicon and gold replaced your old flesh-and-blood, and never felt more right.

You still looked like a human to most observers – especially those that hadn’t seen a human before – and that was enough for you.

Your mistress’ voice cut through your reflections as she turned to you. “And what do you think of that, doll?”

“W-what? I’m sorry, miss, I appear to have zoned out again…”

The ambassador spoke up. “In light of your experiences in the UES, we’re granting you asylum as refugees within our borders. You’ll be set up with temporary lodgings while we sort the rest out.”

Tears welled up in your eyes as you nodded, despite your best efforts to remain the stoic protector. Even if this world was unfamiliar, even if everyone you met was a stranger – it’d be a fresh start.

It’d be home. You ran for so long, you forgot what it felt like to stop.