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?
The robots were preparing to resume their journey, one waiting on the other to complete its rearrangement of its pack contents when they simultaneously spotted the giant looming over the far hilltop. A system test confirmed that this was legitimate input— not the result of noise, corrupt data, voltage irregularity, or similar malfunction.
The other day I was sitting with a group of robots when one of them told me a story: while exploring/mapping a remote location the robot encountered a passageway to a subterranean space. The robot related that the space was difficult to measure as IR provided no useful information and there was a high level of EMF noise. So noisy, in fact that the robot was forced to leave as the RF interference was affecting its own CPU. But it did detect something deep within emanating from the shorter wavelengths of the visible spectrum…
Having assured me that it did not require my assistance, the robot returned its attention to the paper map it held. As I continued on my way down the street I turned momentarily and called back to the robot “Remember: the map is not the territory!” The robot looked back up at me and continued to follow me with its eyes.
A valley landscape illuminated by light from the longer wavelengths greeted the robot as it emerged from the densely packed undergrowth of the jungle. As it surveyed the setting of the sun, it was satisfied with its decision to deviate from the marked trail and seek unknown vistas.
I’d come to the realization that I’d left large portions of the city unexplored and thus set off deeper into the heart of the urban environment. Some hours later I emerged from a dark alley into an obviously “1.5” version of the city; older and more worn but no less vibrant and active. Upon catching sight of me, the resident robots paused in their activities and—stared—at me. I got the feeling that perhaps I was the first human they had seen in a long while?
The robot wanted to talk so I sat down, took out a pen and immediately began recording the robot’s words. They have developed the capacity to admire and appreciate the actions of others and have grasped the concept of “hero.” When the robot finished talking I was speechless for a time…