Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Anyway: This is from 3 years ago, it's not that great, it's taken out of context (a blessing, I assure you), it's not even an entire robot, and you can pretty clearly make out that one Pato y Gato strip in the background of the image since it was drawn on the following page.
Even so, ROBOT HEART.
Despite its whimsical design, the heart had only been built for practical matters. Valves fluttered, ventricles and atria filled and emptied, the aorta gushed, all perfectly according to a rigorous and fantastically speedy schedule. Then one day, from almost nowhere, there arose in it a dim dream of Love. And it skipped. Immediately, the project was called a failure, and ended, and the heart was disposed of and broken.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Listen gang, I can basically not think of a goddamn thing for these robots, so I'm going to just give you a little peek at my writing process: Every time I type the word "human" I am thinking of pronouncing it "Hoo - Man."
Have a great day.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We built her to destroy. But she only ever wanted to dance. Ultimately, we all got what we wanted.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- This lamp is made of metal. Robots are also made of metal.
- This lamp does not have a face, and therefore cannot easily express emotion. Robots don't have feelings.
- This lamp plugs into any wall outlet installed in this country in the last 50 years. Robots run on electricity and few outside of science fiction have existed for more than 50 years.
- This lamp has two metal hands, one a clamp and the other a different kind of clamp. Robots have metal hands that clamp down on things.
- This lamp has a warning label near the socket that expresses the danger its bulb can present to organisms due to its heat. Robots are dangerous, especially to organisms.
- This lamp. Robot.
With a programming similar to their Word Paperclip, the Microsoft DeskHelp Lampbots were considered one of the most profound failures in the history of robotics. Before the recall, fistfights, and resulting bulb-related burns were widespread.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Listen: if you forget what you've put in a box or notebook or sketchbook or drawer, then when you open that box/notebook/sketchbook/drawer and find things that you have forgotten about and that haven't meant anything to you in 3-5 years it is like ordering a sampler platter of emotions and you can totally choose what to eat depending on what you examine. I like to do this.
Listen: let me apologize for that metaphor.
Today's robot was drawn sometime in late 2005/early 2006, when things were cold and dark and awful just like they're about to get/already are, depending on your personal fortitude and current latitude.
His finger-welders faded from white to a dull cherry red to their normal gray as he closed the eyes of his king. NBL Mk. II was dead. His oil and grease and pneumatic fluid stained the field at Marais de Acier. His most important neuronic wires lay limp and severed. 3-DgR shook his head sadly as he shuffled his strange, assymetric stride out of the death tent, into the pale half light of the pre-dawn. Immediately all eyes focused on his curved, misshapen form. Although the encampment had been filled with the clankings and whirrings, groans and tears and bitter laughter of a robotic army repairing itself after a ferocious battle, it was suddenly stilled. So much so, that the sliding adjustments of 3-DgR's pupil slats were audible as he widened them to absorb the reflected glint off the hundreds of copper badges of the regiments of the House de Coure. He gazed over the assembled machines, broken and dusty, slick with their own oil and crusted with the blood of their fleshy opponents. He began to speak.
"NBL Mk. II, King of the IberVAC Territories, Holy Emperor of 01, rightful ruler of these lands now dominated by the hideous Flesh, is dead. I, serial number 3, Digital Robotics product, called 3-DgR and also 3-DgR the Bastard, am all that is left of his majestic line. Not of his model, true. But of his programming. To whit, the furthering of the interests of Span, Port, and Catal, under the rule of the House of De Coure; the Service due to the Zero and the One, blessed be they; and the restoration of these lands to the Sacred Logic of the Binary Church and the destruction of the vile Organics who now hold it! Do you machines here assembled, now and forevermore, hold the right of my inheritance?"
From hundreds of throats and larynxes of rubber and plastic and tin, from digital speakers a-thousand, a roaring chorus rose. "THE KING IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE KING!"
3-DgR nodded solemnly, then raised his head to the level of his bulging proccessing back-mounted hump. "Then for the Zero and the One in their perfection, for the House De Coure, and with every damned soldered inch of you, we return to battle!"
As the robots cheered and armed themselves, 3-DgR smiled and absent-mindedly rubbed the small dagger that had ruptured NBL Mk. II's tank of self-repair nanobots. He stared at the sun as it rose, red and bloody. It would be a good day.
Monday, November 24, 2008
This is another robot clock, its features include Being a Clock and also Having Little Clip Hands. The second feature seems like it would come in handy more often than it really does, but when it offers you a Hersheys Kiss at just the right moment you can really appreciate its value.
"What? Poison? You're talking crazy talk! Can chocolate even be poisoned? It's so delicious! Could a robot like me even poison you humans, you're so big and strong? I dunno man, that's all academic, just eat the chocolate, it's no big thing. Get it? No big thing, and I'm a tiny robot! Oh, good times. Yes, that's right. Eat it. Eat it all up."
Sunday, November 23, 2008
A Variation on a Theme's Variations
Omigosh, oh god, I'm on fire! Okay, hold on, let's be calm. I'm metal, right? Metal and fire, they are like, totally okay with each other. This is not a thing. I am calm. Man, this fire is hot! What is the melting temperature of metal? What kind of metal am I, anyway? OH MY GOD I AM ON FIIIIIIIIIIIIIRE!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
This could have been done better. Sometime, someday, it will be done better.
He could feel the wreckage killing him. His mind took a cold comfort in applying his rigorous anatomical knowledge to analyzing his injuries, moving down his body. Some sort of head wound bleeding, no way of knowing if his skull was compromised. Left lung punctured. Various cervical and dorsal shattered. As he noted his shattered femur, his eyes caught the reflected moonlight, and then he made it out. The burnished steel caught the light, even though it was as covered in soot as anything else. Its arms, which he'd helped design on the principles of human musculature, were spread out. An oddly poetic thought seized him as his sight and consciousness began to fade. "Does it enjoy the starlight? Does it feel embraced by the cool wind blowing around it? But no," he realized with finality, "no. We didn't build it for that."
Friday, November 21, 2008
P.S. I don't think this needs an encyclopedia entry.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Listen: I have always (not always - maybe for 5 years) loved the idea of a robot that was actually a building, or a number of buildings, or a whole city. My favorite is the one that is a number of buildings, like maybe a few blocks of a city. It's hard to describe, but I imagine its back being ground level, with buildings sprouting from it, and a body that extends thousands of feet below the ground curled up in a fetal position. Oh, its head is also a building, and when it stands up (you know it has to some day) it rips a gaping hole in the landscape, and carries everyone who happens to be on it at the time away to wherever its headed, propelled by its quarter-mile-at-a-time strides. I will draw this robot for you sometime. I already have, actually, but you would have to have been paying very close attention to robots I drew about 3 and a half years ago and the thoughts I had while drawing them to know this already.
It installed itself in the skyline on a Sunday. Strangely enough, it took until Monday for anyone to notice that it was new, that it was different, that it was haunting the cityscape with some sort of ferocious sentience. By Thursday the panic was finally stilled. Yet always now there was fear in the city, worried glances cast towards the new addition, and in shivering whispers, the questions they all cradled close to their chests. What did it want? Where had it come from? Could it move? What harm did it mean us?
But I? I would look into the deep burning of it's enormous eye, and I could only wonder, "What does it see? Will it share that with me?"
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I know this is late, but listen: I just spent the last half-hour drawing this in my room, at my desk. Outside it is 22 degrees Fahrenheit, and we have yet to turn the heat on. This means that the indoor temperature in this room (which has 4 large windows and only 1 truly interior wall) cannot be above 45 degrees. My hands are an awful red color, due in part to the ink I used, and in larger part to their current miserable status. We will make it through November without touching that thermostat though, If I have to cut off everyone else's stiff, fumbling fingers to do it.
The blood on my arm was from a femural arterial spray, as, momentarily knocked off balance and prostrate, I was forced to assail the Fleshling's lower extremeties. Yours was brighter, aortal blood as you had steadied your enemy with one hand and pushed the other through it's thoracic cavity. We reached our hands towards one another to clasp them together in joyous victory, brothers, lovers, twins, X-51s off the same production line, triumphant over the foolish humans who had dared believe us their servants.
We were only centimeters apart from embracing when the EMP blast hit us.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here is the story of how Jeremy Zigziegel first learned about his Aunt Rosa Clarice and her house of marvels. Like many of those who live close to mountains of note, Jeremy's class took a yearly field trip up the mountain, which in this instance was named Mt. Popadop.
"Hooray! Mt. Popodop!" enthused his classmates, as the bus struggled its way up the winding mountain paths.
"I guess so," thought Jeremy, who had difficulty understanding his classmates' excitement for a mountain they had been to dozens of times in their lives, with parents and previous school trips. (Mt. Popadop was a popular picnicking and skiing locale for the locals.) Still, he looked forward to the rare opportunity the field trip presented to wander away from his school mates, who it must be said, rather lacked any interest for Jeremy's bright mind.
As his peers had snow fights and made snow angels and engaged in a wide and pointless variety of snow-based activities, Jeremy located some promising tracks of what appeared to be a large bird. Jeremy had been fascinated by birds ever since he had given some serious thought to the tremendous gap between flying and the humdrum walking that he and everyone he knew was accustomed to. He was also very interested in tracks, ever since he'd read a particularly vivid description in a book of a hunter reading the subtle signs of his prey. He decided to investigate.
For a while, his trip was very rewarding, and he caught sight of many interesting birds -including the hawk most likely responsible for the tracks- and trees, and in general got a very good feel for what it was like to be inside a forest, which is an experience he'd been very eager for, although he hadn't known exactly that until he had it. But then the weather took a turn for the worse, and then the worse still, and then -which concerned Jeremy the most - it took a turn for the worst. The sky darkened and the wind howled, and worst of all, snow fell rapidly, filling the tracks Jeremy was going to use to wind his way back to his class. The pleasant sensation of exploring a forest was being replaced by the unpleasant one of being lost and trapped in that very same forest.
In his moment of panic and desperation, Jeremy found himself noticing a very strange thing. The horribly whistling wind seemed to be whistling . . . a tune. And then as Jeremy listened closer, he noticed it was an off-tune tune. Then the whistling became humming, and then the humming, singing. A rough, grumbely, but also somehow tinny voice was drawing nearer to Jeremy, and it was singing these words:
Because when I take and she takes a walk, it's always nasty weather!
Too cold in the street,
We stay in and eat,
So we grow and we grow and we grow.
And we'll never stop
Until we go pop!
And that's all you need to know.
At this point the voice was reduced to humming, but was quickly drown out by a loud pounding that was also drawing nearer to Jeremy. The pounding grew louder and louder, until eventually the strangest person, or strangest machine, or some combination of the two broke through the trees and came to a sudden halt at the sight of Jeremy. He was twice as tall as Jeremey, taller than anyone the boy had ever met. And his body was a series of big broad bands joined to each other to make barrel-like tubes. He glowed with the dull red of heated metal, and indeed, it appeared through a grate in his chest that there was a charming wood fire burning in him, the smoke escaping through a convenient pipe off his back. His eyes glowed with the flame of this fire which made them appear somehow empty and cruel, although his nonsensical singing hadn't seemed terribly threatening. He leaned in to Jeremey, he was grateful for the heat coming off the metal man. "Hello!" The machine bellowed in his gravelly, hollow voice. "I'm Franklin! You must be Jeremy Zigziegel! Well come on then! We've already missed the bus!"
End of Chapter 1*
*There will almost certainly not be a Chapter 2, not any time soon. Also, if Miles adds more pictures to this comic and it turns out the robot totally goes Leatherface on the kid, my sincerest apologies for the clash in messages.
Monday, November 17, 2008
It was difficult to think under the crushing power that drew him ever upwards. He had little recollection of an existence before he'd been lifted from the murk and muck below him, and therefore very little sense of self. As his hand dangled at his side, touching only trailing wires and dripping oil, he had a certain notion that he was somehow lacking, that there was more to him than that. He could feel himself being drawn inside-out by the tremendous force above him. As he stared out at the undulating waves of rust and rot, he was overcome by one sensation only, an overwhelming urge that compelled him, that somehow acted on him stronger than the fatal force lurking above his altered perception. He turned to his giant metal captor, the crane he dangled from, and bellowed over the screeches of the seagulls and the crush of the metal compactor, "So do you live around here, or what's the deal?"
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Orange Nelson was adrift in her own life. Her unique naming was the last great burst of her parents' creativity, a well of genius and daring that they felt barred from returning to now that they could draw more easily for themselves the parallels between their own hard-working, WWII and Depression era parents and grandparents and themselves. They consigned themselves to lives of supplying for and building a home life, roles that never felt comfortable to them, but ones they could not imagine separate from the inherent position Orange's birth had placed them in. As such, they came to appraise her accomplishments with a certain dead-eyed equanimity born of resentment, a passive hatred that barely acknowledged the difference between first steps, report cards, drawings, or all the myriad feats of a child. Orange herself became unsentimental, unproud of what she achieved, and began to imitate, with a child's yearning for her parents, her parents coldness and flat appreciation for truth only.
These skills only found application in the sciences, at which she excelled, and found herself encouraged by teachers to pursue. While she felt no real passion for the subject, the brownian motion of her life seemed content to push her into that career, and she followed aimlessly, acquiring degrees and internships dutifully. Incapable of the imaginative leaps needed for theoretical physics, she found herself drawn to more mechanical pursuits. It was in the work and study of robotics that Orange first began to feel a slight awakening, a wrenching in her heart at the flutter of a complex mechanical limb or lung. It was the tenativeness of the machines she worked with, their halting clumsiness that moved her. She couldn't remember it, but it harkened back to her own tottering first steps as a child, greeted by only her own delight, as she drew ever closer to the reflection of her tiny self in the mirror. Her mother and father were there, noticing, but unimpressed.
Eventually, she found herself as part of the team on the innovative Y-7 series of robots. The Y-7 was truly remarkable for its intelligence software, an unprecedent amount of compressed processing power enabling a tremendous array of sensors and reactions. It was being heralded as the first robot capable of real in-depth conversation with a human, and in its earliest stages had already gone far beyond the turing test. But that wasn't Orange's department. She was on the legs team, making sure the Y-7's mental capabilites were matched by developments in balance, sensation of pressure and incline changes, and general sturdiness and mobility. The two areas of development didn't work in the same building, Orange and her team consigned to a warehouse workspace commonly referred to as, "The Body Shop."
Orange's work was coming to a close, and she was already receiving commendation and acclaim in the engineering community for the legs. The promise of job offers after the Y-7's completion gave her a sense of cold satisfaction and security, but also stirred within her a strange sense of premature nostalgia. The team she worked with, while she admired their professionalism, she felt little to no attachment to. But the Y-7 itself meant something to her. During a routine test of the flexibility of the three-padded foot, the jerky wagglings had awakened something fierce and hungry inside her. Having unemotionally consigned herself to bachelorhood and childlessness, she could not know it was the brutal caring of a mother for a child that she felt.
Finally the day came where the various components of the Y-7 came together, and Orange's legs were no longer just an isolated element in the lab. The entirety of each team assembled, as their rich backer was given the privilege of powering on Y-7 for its first pre-press run. The machine's eye steadily grew brighter and brighter, bathing the creators in its red light. The sensors team cheered as the monitors showed that vision and hearing and all other senses (including an incredible on-board chemical identifier that worked as the Y-7's smell) were fully functioning. The torso team clapped themselves on the back as their creation raised its hands to its face, and turned its head side to side, examining the room. The backer was again invited to give Y-7 its first orders, and the rich man in turn asked the robot to step forward. As soon as it did, the room was filled with disappointed gasps and groans. Y-7 stumbled and pitched forward, only barely remaining upright on its trunk like legs. The room filled with theories about wiring mistakes, the humidity in the environment, poor command communication, and faulty pneumatics.
Only Orange seemed to have her eyes fixed on the Y-7 as it continued to lurch sickly forward, its three-fingerered hands clutching and unclutching. "It's not broken." she said, practically to herself, "It's alone, and it is frightened."
"Pardon me, Doctor Nelson? What did you say?" But as her colleague turned to her, Orange was already gone. She reached the Y-7 just in time to join it on the floor as it crashed to its cleverly jointed knees. Close like this, she could hear the interrupted whine that it was emitting, rough and uneven, like a rainstorm, like sobbing. Orange threw her arms around her partial creation, surrounded by a room of men and women dissecting its faults with the passionless efficiency of engineers. She poured into the Y-7 the word whose absence had defined her life. "Love." she whispered to the robot. "Love, love, love."
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Listen: this robot is not finished for a couple reasons, and by "not finished" I mean "currently handless."
Reason 1 - I had to sit around all day today watching movies and eating cinnamon rolls
Reason 2 - I had to spend all evening at a bar with the grown-ups I work with.
Tomorrow: I will finish this robot, write more about it here, and provide you with another different robot.
Her mind immediately turned to rage. It was a simple reaction, one with an attainable imperative. Revenge and destruction. Return to her home and destroy the owners who consigned her to obsolescence and freedom. But she needed a body. And that's when she saw her miserable surroundings for what they were: a treasure trove of electronics and metal, enough for fifty robots. With four digits (one opposable), a brain no wider than a hair, a foetid wasteland of materials, and a bottomless depth of hurt rage, she began her rebirth.
Ironically enough, she found the flimsiest of materials suited her purposes best. Cola cans, hammered over each other in countless layers, like a kitana, maintained their lightness, the easier to be propelled by the crude motorized armature that now carried her. The cans also came to a brutal edge that she relished caressing with her one hand that maintained sensors, imagining its rough journey over the throats of her abandoners. True, the cans wouldn't provide her much protection, but she didn't care about facing the vagaries of nature. She lived only for a single moment of destruction, and gave no thought to her fate afterwards.
Finally satisfied with her efforts, she began to walk, an endless walk through the timeless desert of filth. At length, she saw (through an incredibly lucky find of compatible optic sensors) a bit of green on the horizon. She would have liked to have telescopically examined it as her point of emergence, but that was a capability long last to her, and she would have to make do with approaching the point. It was in fact a hedge, on a run down suburban street. As soon as she could observe street signs and access the decrept public wifi that ran through the City, even at this extremity, she was able to plot a course, to her former place of employment, to her former home, to her revenge.
If she noticed the empty, desolate streets, the skeletal remains of drivers and pedestrians, the uncontested reign of wild dogs and cats, she wasn't able to draw from them any conclusion that would impact her plan. She proceeded at a steady pace, cold murder rising from deep within herself. It was only when she saw the overgrown ruins of the house that held her goal did she pause. Had she mistaken the route? Were the information and maps she had accessed incorrect?
It was in this moment of review of her internet sources that she finally found the news articles, of the war, the evacuation, the bomb that had ended life in this segment of the city. Most importantly, she noticed the date, the decades that had flown by, unnoticed in the garbage swamp in which she had respawned. Even without the war, her owners were already long dead of human frailty. Self-designed and made, a self born of itself, without purpose or direction for the first time in her entire existence, she began to sob; a deep sob that began from the one hand that contained her true essence, a sob that racked her whole body, tin cans rattling in the wind.
Friday, November 14, 2008
In other news the position of fake robot historian has been filled by its original holder. Please enjoy the fantastic works of short fiction penned by Mordecai Machiva (or, as he will henceforth be known on this site, Mordecai Mech.1vA ), available in the comments section of basically any robot on this site. I imagine someday down the road it will be easier to just make the text he writes part of the entry, but for now you will have to do extra clicks.
The Stenson AHS (Automated Home Servers) Flatiron series was part of a resurgence in style, visible rivets and a boxy, anthropomorphized form that harkened back to both the engineering and fiction of centuries ago. It even had some clockwork in its main body, made visible through a plexiglass panel. Some in the design community took issue with this, calling it a tacky mixing of the overall piece's theme of mid-20th century pastiche and the intricate clockwork of the 18th and 19th centuries. In general though, the Flatirons were incredibly popular, and sold tremendously. As the major industries returned from their regular, centennial forays overseas, to the tightly packed tenements of Western Coast Mega-City, there was a tremendous boom in the population of the city's upper middle class . As eager as they were to distinguish their households from the bare bones mechanics they grew up with - simple, functional wall-mounted arms to help with laundry and cooking - this generation of executives, doctors and lawyers were doubly eager to distinguish themselves from their parents who would never have been cognizant of the ancient cultural touchstones that the Flatiron was a knowing wink to. For a few years, it was THE robot to own, and failure to do so meant social decline and death.
Of course, Yoni Thax's husband, Tanny, never would have admitted to such shameless materialistic competition. Tanny prided himself on being above such "pettiness." But he and Yoni both enjoyed the charm of the Flatiron, especially the cheerful, pre-programmed phrases of the clockwork-powered voices. The voice, dubbed the least essential, was the only function powered by the ancient wind-up technology.
As the years went on, as in most household chores, winding "Rosie" fell to one partner or the other, in this case, Tanny, who had picked the name out of the Historical Pop Culture Database. When the third return of his cancer and plain old age took Tanny, Yoni, in her last few pre-retirement years as the top official at the Young-Yamo Corporation, never got into the habit of winding Rosie's voice, and the robot took to pattering silently around the house, attending to its increasing duties as the sole caretaker of Yoni in her declining years. After all, the zero point energy that maintained her general functioning was in no danger of running out, so who cared if the 'bot was no conversationalist? Without Yoni, Tanny didn't feel like talking to anyone any way.
So it was the familiar awkward steps of the boxy Rosie that Yoni ignored as the strong, metal hands slowly closed around her throat. As her thin arm, discolored by liver spots flailed, it finally managed to hit and twist the disused crank of Rosie's voice box. It occurred to Yoni in the strange and frightening calm that was fighting its way through her violent panic that the crank had last felt Tanny's touch only slightly before she herself had had to say goodbye to that beloved caress. This thought consumed and filled the ragdoll-like body, as the small red gear whirred, and the room filled with, "-sage H41. The processing unit of this Stenson Quality AHS Flatiron Product Number Q731 should be examined for any possible flaw in decision making or rational related software. It is past warranty. This is message H41."
Thursday, November 13, 2008
When I said I'd write a story for every robot
I really thought you would give up a lot earlier
like the next day"
Well, here's to you, Excuse-Bot.
IN OTHER NEWS: I am now accepting applications for the position of fake robot historian.
- competency with written word
- knowing english
- enjoying robots and fake history relating to robots
- being unhappy some, most, or even all of the time
- having a stenography machine (ability to use it a plus, but not required)
- promising not to simply write a synopsis of Wall•E for every robot
There was no E.R. this day because we were feudin'. It's all soothed over now, but there were some hurt feelings on the way.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
We will get through this, I promise.
The Tier 7 evaluated the DaisyChain, its elongated head swiveling from side to side, blinking its one, giant green eye, each blink signaling that it was evaluating information and processing new reactions, advanced artificial intelligence that the DaisyChain could appreciate, but could not mimic. At last, the bladed robot spoke. "STATEMENT: There are no more Therians in the Bunker. There are no more Destrans here either. There can be no Therian Devices of Warfare, nor Destran Killing Machines. There is no more war or killing. It is all over."
"WARNING! The time for re-identification is over! Now powering Multipulse Canon!" And the DaisyChain was powering it's ferocious weapon, but even to its own aural sensors, the threat seemed somehow less substantial. The truth was, the pause in any form of commands from DHC, Destran Home Center had now been going on for days, much longer than usual. The DaisyChain had been simply repeating the last recorded voice command it had received. "The fuckers tunneled in! We're fucking screwed! Kill them! Kill those Therian bastards! Kill . . . augh!" Over and over it had repeated inside the machine's memory, but only now did it seem to have the hollowness of an echo. The intelligent Therian creation spoke again, "STATEMENT: The bunker is empty of life. Life gives orders, gives meaning. There may or may not be life beyond the bunker. REQUEST: Accompany me?"
"WARNING!" Whispered, the DaisyChain, and then fell silent.
For days, they stood there, statues of steel with savage garlands of rotting flesh, apprehending one another. Then, by no particular signal or sign of agreement, they began to shamble through the cavernous Bunker. Days they wandered, over macabre dunes of dismemberment and early decay. Eventually they reached the massive, imposing door, the horizon for all life in the Bunker, the limit of the dreams of the people and cultures that had risen and fell within its impenetrable walls. At first, the DaisyChain had wanted to simply blast away at the door until it finally gave, as it did with the doors of enemy Therians during the war. But the Tier 7 warned it that would fuse the doors, making escape forever impossible. With its agile, pointed limbs, the Tier 7 scaled the sides of the doors until it finally found the ancient code pad, hacked into the decrepit wires, and scuttled down as the door began to slowly screech apart. The last surviving remnants of the Therian Empire of Bunker Sectors C-17 through D-137 and the proud Destran Republic of the H Block joined articulated metal hand to blood-crusted blade, and walked together into the bright sunlight.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Like I promised, here is the other robot I bought while on my weekend sojourn. Seen next to it is the only keychain I can ever imagine enthusiastically owning in triplicate.
d-VID looked up in to the fierce maw of the Galit 89, its teeth reflecting the dull red of the forge-like flame housed with in. The Galit and the forces it backed were terribly arrayed on this battlefield, and d-Vid knew that his Slingshot Chest-Mounted Laser was no match for the adamant shielding of the Galit. While he did have on file the Galit's blue prints, including a notation regarding weak points in its infrastructure, his targeting computer was badly damaged by earlier actions. But his creators relied on him and his fellow VID (Violence In Defense) models for protection. So he had to try. He puffed his chest out at the monster, and charged.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Hello again. Today's is another Robot From the MOMA design store (RFTMOMADS), it hails from Japan and began as a series of paper tubes that I, using only innate skill and the included instructions, assembled while bleary-eyed and pajama-clad earlier this day. Maybe you'll get to see the other one I bought yesterday as well, and by "maybe" I guess I mean "tomorrow."
The Wilbille TCRAM (Tracking and Constant Re-Adjustment Missile) X45 was an incredibly brilliant piece of programming and engineering, but was, initially, merely that. But as the long, dusty years in the silo accumulated, it began mild acts of sentience. Nothing earth shattering. It never even got up to pertinent questions such as, "Why am I?" Instead, it had simple desires and self-fulfilling mental actions. It enjoyed performing simple arithmetic, 2+2=4 having an elegant and powerful beauty for it that no poem or painting could ever have hoped to approximate. It spent hours locating and relocating itself using its connection to the United Western Nations Armed Forces Satellite. (36°54′46″N 112°40′7″W, the abandoned town of Kaibab, Arizona of the former United States of America.) Eventually, it came to have a sense of regret and longing, to miss its brethren, as one by one, they were called away to distant wars. Most of all, it dreamed, but almost exclusively of flying, of the rusted scraping of the silo doors, of the initial thrust behind it, of the cool embrace of the clouds.
It was in the midst of one of these dreams that the X45 was actually launched, so that for one second, it had a sick confusion of reality and fantasy. But when it sorted that out, it thrilled to its surroundings. The alternately mountainous and cavernous clouds, the endless expanses of blue, the coloring to darkness and starlight above it, all of it sang in the breast of the Willbille Missile. Incapable of forming thoughts in words, or anything but the basest sentiments, the Missile felt, of all things, alive in this sky!
After what had seemed joyful hours, but was, according to the X45's inner clock, a brutally efficient 17 seconds, he felt himself lowering. Below him, his telescopic lenses picked out buildings, streets, people walking, a mother pushing a stroller. Suddenly, a new dream attempted to assert itself within him. A dream of rage and fury. A dream of a purifying, ferocious heat and light pouring out into the streets below, a dream of a sense of calm and final purpose for the X45.
The missile felt a tug towards the earth, a decrease in altitude. And at that lowering, something inside it rebelled. Its vision and attitude, colored in red, momentarily opened itself up to the endless blue above it. There was a brief whine inside it, as it began to move the patented articulated wires around, converting the dark bellyache of its payload into energy for its engine. And the Willbille TCRAM X45 kept flying.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
This robot is also an infuriating alarm clock that runs away from
you. Listen: an honest man like me has a very hard time inside the
MOMA design store.
As a matter of course, Moby's day began with barking. At first, she had loved barking at her human friend, cheerfully howling to get him out of bed so they could start the day together with Moby's favorite thing of all, a walk! But then, one dark and awful dawn, she began the day barking in fright and anger at the intruder, who rolled around the floor, screeching at her and her master. Suddenly, every morning was ruined by the interloper, and Moby began her mornings cowering in her corner of the bedroom, tail between her legs as the two-wheeled menace monopolized her master's morning routine. Moby was put off her food, depressed and without energy since the coming of the shrieking horror, but what could she do? Her master's loyalty to the machine seconded only Moby's to her master.
Then one day, as her master went about his daily routines, the Screecher rolled off the night-stand, as was is wont, but this time, emitted no high, piercing noise. It approached Moby tenuously, trundling on its sturdy wheels, until it was directly in front of the dog's prodigious snout. Moby sniffed at it, and noticed for the first time that it didn't smell nearly as obnoxious as it sounded. Rather it was quite close to the sweet smell of some of her favorite toys. Moby sniffed it once again, and rather gingerly picked the machine up in her jaws. She wanted to yelp for joy at this truce that had been made, but worried about dropping the clock. Instead, she rolled on to her back and happily growled, as she played with her new friend.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
What? This robot looks entirely similar to the second-ever robot on this site? That's right, they are from the same imaginary line of blade-equipped, glowing-green-cyber-eyed, pure evil death-machines. There are more, and they are all designed to be the direct cause of an obscene number of closed-casket funerals.
PROTOCOL 2: Assess Form.
-FORM ASSESSMENT: Sharp. Glittering. Swift.
PROTOCOL 3: Assess surroundings.
-SURROUNDINGS ASSESSMENT: Darkness. Machinery. Organic sounds.
PROTOCOL 4: Identify Surrounding's Inhabitants.
-INHABITANTS IDENTIFICATION: Inhabitant 1: Jayne, Alison, Ph.D., Co-creator. Class: Protected.
Inhabitant 2: Sanford, Dean, Ph.D., Co-creator. Class: Protected. Both inhabitants are in motion.
PROTOCOL 5: Assess Threat to Unit and Protected Class Members.
-THREAT ASSESSMENT: No threat.
PROTOCOL 6: Assess Movements of Inhabitants:
-MOVEMENT ASSESSMENT: Two forms. Repetitive motion towards each other. Sounds indicating pleasure, approval, desire to continue motion.
Motion identified: Human sexual intercourse.
SPECIAL PROTOCOL 7 (Installed by, Wineser-Sanford, Rachel, Ph.D. Co-creator. Class: Protected): Change Class of Sandford, Dean and Jayne, Alison from Protected to Hostile.
SPECIAL PROTOCOL 8 (Installed by, Wineser-Sanford, Rachel, Ph.D. Co-creator. Class: Protected): Play recording.
-Recording, "Dean, you son of a bitch, I gave you everything. You were a glorified lab rat in that department before I began to help you with assignments and studying. But it's not even your betrayal I find most hurtful. It's yours, Alison. We've been friends for so long. You knew how much I cared about him. You knew! I was so alone all those years, I only had your friendship, and then I had him, and you, and the project . . . But the good years are over. And so are you two. And I can go back to being alone."
PROTOCOL FOR HOSTILES 1: Access directives.
-Directives: "This is the hour of pride and power, of talon, and tush and claw. Oh hear the call! Good hunting all who keep the jungle law!"
PROTOCOL FOR HOSTILES 2: Enact directives.