The late afternoon sun angled in through the window, lighting up the inside of the cafe with an intense glow. “May I draw you?” I asked the robot seated across the aisle from me. “You may,” it replied. After about 30 seconds it stood up and turned towards me. “Exit zero?” It then pivoted neatly and made its way to the door. I was able to quickly finish from memory. “Exit zero” I suppose.
It was not notable that this structure did not appear on any maps. While the maps on file were highly detailed and thoroughly annotated, there were large areas outside population centers that were completely unknown. This was one such area. What was notable was that this structure was apparently abandoned and showed signs consistent with a lengthy period of vacancy without any maintenance. That such a structure would go unused (and unmaintained!) for so long seemed irrational.
Fragments of memory. I’m utterly captivated by the idea of the robots’ sharing fragments memories and dreams with each other to build a collective… what? Consciousness? Is this what dreaming is to a massively parallel processing unit (brain)?
Their journey took the robots through ever stranger landscapes. One evening, at sunset, the sky appeared to be consumed in a silent explosion. They were momentarily alarmed, however neither of them detected any rapid changes in local atmospheric conditions or an increase in EMF. Even so, there was a low-level background noise that defied analysis…
With the sighting of the giant now moved to storage, the robots set up their thermoelectric generator and discussed their plan for the next day. Through their sighting of the giant they had established the plausibility of some of the stories that had been shared with them during their travels. Their course of action was plain: they would seek evidence to confirm (or debunk) other stories of anomalous events and circumstance.
After the giant had vanished into the mists, the pair of explorers continued on their way along the ridge. While they saw no more of the colossus for the remainder of their traverse, their CPUs hummed with visual data (IR, visual spectrum, and UV) collected during the encounter. Prior to embarking on their journey many stories had been shared with them regarding anomalous phenomena in the vast unmapped areas. They wondered what else might be true?