After a few hours the robot emerged from the slot canyon and stepped into the waning sunlight. They stopped and removed the map and added some updates. They surveyed the scene stretching out ahead: the canyon had connected the known with the unknown. The robot was… what word would the human have used? “Enchanted” seemed appropriate; the vista would bear much examination.
“Due to localized EMR exposure, I was unable to trust input from my sensors. I had to engage in triple redundant checks of my surroundings. I still could not confirm whether or not I was being followed.”
While traversing a deep, narrow ravine, the traveling companions discovered an anomalous opening in the face of one wall. The dimensions of the passage were oddly uniform— not the result of natural erosion processes. The light from outside quickly dimmed to a murky gloom. “Should we proceed with documenting this passage?” asked one. “No,” replied the other. “My batteries are not fully charged. Let’s get into the sun so we can fully charge and then return.”
One evening a robot asked me if I might be interested in doing some shopping. Of course I said yes! We walked a few minutes through the center of town to a bustling, vibrantly lit, street market. There were tiny shops, stalls, carts, even small tables with banners; all displaying all manner of goods. The robots had a most interesting system: I didn’t witness any money or currency change hands. They appeared to either barter or use a form of social or reputation credit. Their transactions were fascinating!
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.
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.