Junk Food

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Robotique

Inspiration for this came from a video a friend posted online about tiny robots that can fly around, avoid barriers or obstacles, work in teams and even build simple structures using magnets.  My mind of course soared to the land of the future where technology is everything and the world no longer resembles a lush wild habitat but a techno-industrial global metropolis.

So now I have to tell a story about Joe.  Joe is fictional but very much alive.

Act one contains frivolous imagery, as usual.  The exposition is clear but not as sharp and concise as I like it.  Joe is introduced and we find out he is dying.  At the end of the act, his brain is put into a low-tech flying robot but it is very fragile.  There is a risk of loss of consciousness but he does it anyway because he is so scared of death.  The relief of a successful consciousness transfer marks the end of Act one.

Act two the flying robot body begins to fall apart.  The maintenance expectations are too low and Joe can barely keep it from falling apart.  This puts him in almost the same condition he was in during the beginning of Act one when he discovers he is dying and decides to transfer his mind.  A series of tests and prototype bodies come along.  Joe finds himself becoming a guinea pig for a carousel ride of experiments involving several stages of what ends up becoming his more permanent body.  Only real catch is that the body is the size of a sky scraper and moves at lumbering slow speeds relative to the rest of the world.  Joe is alone but he becomes proud in his new form.  Powerful yet humble.  He feels enlightened.  

This enlightenment is short lived however, when the disconnect he experiences between himself and the mortal world keeps him in the dark about a political eruption.  The humans have been using him as a staging area for their radical movement against brain transfers.  Joe is powerless against this threat that is literally happening inside of his colossal body.  One human woman enters the core of Joe's brain center and learns to drive him.  She forces the activists to leave by operating the body, which had been static for many decades.  The activists lose their vigor and steam as they run screaming into the open arms of the law.  She saves him by taking him half way around the world, from his home in the Republic of California to the Chinese Conglomerate Alliance where there are many others like him and he can be safe while his body is repaired.  

While his body is recuperating, the woman begins falling in love with him and wants to undergo a similar procedure.  Joe forbids it, but she goes behind his back anyway and arranges for them both to be placed in bodies the size of space shuttles that can fly and operate in zero gravity environments.  The catch is that they have to serve as prototype spacecraft for the CCA and test warp drives and participate in other volatile experiments.  They are promised they would remain in the same fleet so they could be together, but the promise is almost immediately broken when a global war breaks out between RoC and CCA.  Joe makes off with one of the experimental warp drives and zaps himself into uncharted space and is all alone once again with very little solar power.  The second act ends with Joe adrift in space with his power cells unable to recharge due to lack of sufficient solar energy within range.

Act three begins with a tiny space probe from unknown origin.  It inspects Joe from aft to stern and determines that he is indeed a living thing, we presume.  A kind of space tug boat comes to take him away and they warp out together to another part of space.  When Joe comes to, he is greeted by an ancient planet-sized robot creature that is somehow able to communicate with him, though at first he doesn't realize how.  Then it becomes clear that the planetbot is in fact his companion, the woman who he was separated with.  She says she was taken in by a sort of Galactic Federation of Intelligent Machines capable of slowly altering the course of galactic movement and patterns in the stars.  Joe must decide whether to continue growing and expanding or to die.  His power cells are failing and will never be able to be recharged again.  This is his last chance to cling to life.  He must use all the power left in his cells to make the transfer happen.

Denouement: (I love that word)

When his mind is transfered, he discovers that he is not clear enough about what exactly he is going to be transfered to.  It turns out he becomes a small, flying robot with highly degraded awareness and intelligence due to the repeated mind transfers he has undergone.  He lives out the rest of his eternal days as a maintenance bot in a factory in a big city on the planetoid robot body of the woman he had loved.

End!

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Shit you're not clear on?

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