“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…
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…
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?