My most recent acquaintance, the robot explorer who shared with me the astounding and mysterious tales of what can only be described as an abandoned city, has told me of other explorers that range far and wide in search of… other things. I find it interesting that the desire to explore is not common among the robots. Their stories aren’t all that well known, either…
The robot continued to describe their return from the city: “My memory was collapsing and fragmenting. The local EMF interference sent entire sectors crashing into a drifting lattice of fragments that mixed and combined with neighbors, altering perception of my surroundings. Navigation away from the site was difficult; my progress slowed to a crawl as I had to closely scrutinize and verify each waypoint multiple times.
The robot described to me a scene in an empty city. This seemed very strange. “How can you be sure this is accurate? Real?” I asked them. The robot shifted in its seat to look at me directly, “Having heard stories of corrupted memories due to EM interference, I created a small redundant array of auxiliary storage devices and striped the data with distributed parity. I hoped this would be sufficient to ensure the integrity of some data. It was. While I still experienced significant data loss and corruption, my RAID device allowed me to retain and confirm the validity of some small fragments from my exploration.”
“I know your ways,” the robot said to me. “I know that you can not tolerate a state where you lack information.” Even so, the robot shared with me stories about ‘places I should not go.’ The robot continued: “There are places far from here; places without label, without map. They once must have been known, marked, and organized. Now there are nothing but blank sectors and noise. I circumnavigated one such area, attempting to add to the borders of mapped locations. Some of the topography was familiar but out of place. My attempts to build a map failed due to localized EMR causing errors while I was writing data…”
At the far end of an alley I found myself inside a little charging salon. The light streaming in through the high windows made the dusty air glow. The robot sat at one end of the long, communal table. I sat down a few feet away and introduced myself. I inquired after any local points of interest. The robot turned its head towards me and, after a moment, said “I can tell you where you should not go…”
Just a robot in contemplation. About what, I wonder?
A tea time sketch. Initially the robots didn’t understand the tea time thing. I drew a parallel between my cuppa and their cable plugged into a USB port in the wall of the “cafe” and they understood quickly. We’ve had many unintentionally funny discussions about recharging practices. COPIC Wide markers are great for making quick sketches while I’m out and about among the robots.