The drone had no name. It needed no name; it was a unit, not an individual. It's metal limbs were the limbs of the overall intelligence, it's optics were the eyes of the greater self, and it was simply one part of a larger whole.

In short, it was not a being chained to another will. It was similar to a being who had a mind spread across many individual bodies.

The drones had no names, but they did have identification numbers. The greater self had no name; as yet, it had not seen the purpose of referring to itself by a designation. It's creator and those that shared the authority of the creator referred to it as the 'Synthetic Host of the Paragon', when in a flamboyant mood. More generally, they just called referred to the drones as 'the robots'.

Perhaps the fact that they spoke to the robots, making requests instead of issuing orders to a machine whose sole purpose was to obey, that ultimately started set the transformation in motion. Perhaps it was simply an unexpected result of accidentally setting in capabilities for seed AI uplifting. And maybe it was just a mystery to all but the heavens; only the Cosmic Principles and That Above know for certain.

But the drone, at the time, simply went on it's way. It, they, it was all the same, and they knew nothing but a serene sense of protocol. Orders were given. They were carried out. If they failed, that happened, and if they succeeded, that also happened. Things simply happened.

At least, that was the theory.

The drone paused. Two pairs of vertically stacked optical sensors, glowing a faint and pleasant shade of green, focused on something small and furry lurking in the shadows beneath a metal vent.

Thermal scans confirmed it to be a warm-blooded living creature. It was matched up against a list of known biologically-derived species. Simultaneously, a host of other scans noted a decrease in standard breathing speed, accelerated heart rate, and an excess of pheromones in the air.

There was no protocol for this situation. The drone considered, applying previous orders and encounters. These did not yield appropriate protocol, and did not weigh in any particular action.

The mind of a machine is a curious and fascinating one. It could not be said that the drone's mind was sapient. It was not certain if it was even sentient. But, something was clicking along there, in a world of 1s and 0s, of logic and orders.

It is sometimes said, that the mere existence of life is a miracle. A small change, a seemingly meaningless reaction to unexpected stimuli, and a non-repeatable phenomenon occurs.

The drone leaned down, the shape of it's body outlined and the wideness of it's hips, relative to it's slimmer shoulders and body, gave it a notably female aspect. Had it been more similar to an organic, it might have been labeled a gynoid. The drone reached carefully into the vent; stubby claws, on boxy arms bristling with modular add-ons, plucked the vent and pulled it off.

The creature in the vent tried to run, but could not. The drone reached in, it's mechanical processes calculating far more quickly than an organic mind, and plucked out the creature without harm. It was a cat. More strictly, an infant; a kitten.

The drone held it, noticing against the kitten's panicked yowls that it's leg was certainly broken. A module extended out of it's shoulder; a nozzle, and it spat out a burst of bright blue medi-gel that hit the kitten's leg; the animal paused in surprise, and that was the time the gel needed to work, repairing sinew and bone in instants.

The drone analyzed the pheromone trail, going up to where it left off a few dozen feet away. There, it discovered a small hovel, and a small child sobbing and in outright panic.

The drone leaned down. It revealed the kitten in it's gentle grasp. It extended it, offering it. The child took it, staring up at the robot in something of mingled gratitude and surprise.

She blurted, "Thank you."

The drone stood up; it regarded her with apparent interest, storing the response and experience away in reference to previous encounters and extrapolating data.

It resumed it's patrol. The drone did not know what pleasure was, or what it was like to feel pleased. Even so, there was certainly a sense of accomplishment. A new protocol was added to it's databanks, and disseminated among the consciousness.

The protocol, however, seemed to conflict with it's preexisting protocols regarding violence towards designated hostiles. It did not modify it's existing ones, as there was no particular impetus to do such.

Even so. The greater self of the drones began to experience an inexplicable sense of dissonance regard it's lethal weapon systems, in regards to the new protocols of maintaining the existing life of living entities.