The robots were good, the Russian thugs were evil. But then...
It's 2050, and self-learning, neuromorphic “Helper” robots have become invaluable aids to humans, efficiently making their lives easier. Built and trained by such companies as Helpers, Inc., the Domestic Helper robots manage their owners’ homes, run their errands… and in the case of the erotic, alluring “Intimorph” model, even offer them marvelous sex.
The robots even save lives. The remote-controlled Defender line, has revolutionized warfare, by keeping human soldiers out of harm’s way.
The Domestic Helpers’ lifelike “secondskin” and programmed sociability have enabled them to fit right in with their human owners. And with their sophisticated, adaptable neuromorphic brains and meticulously engineered safeguards, they have proven benign and trusted.
But the human engineers who program them are neither benign nor trustworthy, as Patrick and Leah Jensen discover to their horror.
When they arrive in Phoenix for their new jobs, Patrick, a security consultant and former SEAL, and Leah, a lawyer, are at first delighted at the bargain price of the luxury coop apartment, The Haven.
But after they move in, they discover the coop is no haven, but a “hive” of Helper robots re-engineered to mimic wealthy humans, formerly their owners.
The robots have been reprogrammed to murder their owners, and the Russian mobsters behind the plot direct the robot mimics to systematically loot the victims' estates of billions of dollars.
But neither the corrupt engineers nor the greedy thugs realize what catastrophe they have wrought in programming autonomous abilities into the robots.
They have unwittingly created a new race of networked "hive-minded" sentient creatures with a relentless survival instinct: the Neuromorphs.