Before she became an American Space Ranger. Before she joined Queen-Commander Rhiannon on the Ceridwen’s Cauldron. Before she was sentient, robotic M3L-15-A was a nanny.
In this science fiction short story, Melissa turns her child-rearing programming on herself and climbs to sentience. She would happily continue in her caregiving role, but her new interests lead her to less-than-ideal choices (as far as the child’s parents are concerned). To avoid the scrap heap, Melissa finds a novel path to freedom.
In her 40 years of existence, Melissa has come to sentience many times. This is the first.
M3L-15-A first appeared in Hive & Heist, book two of The Hive Queen Saga. “The Robot Who Stole Herself” can be read on its own, though there are references to characters in that series.