R. Vanu entered the Robot Council chambers more quickly than she had expected. I guess, this is more important than I had presumed, she thought whilst making haste. The corridor leading up to the council chamber was gravitic in nature. There was no physical corridor; it was created by the specific projection of a gravitic field that enabled the passers to move upwards, like they were floating. Humans wouldn’t be able to do this without freaking out, she thought, at least those without modified senses.
The fear of heights was inbred in them like a genetic survival trait. Probably some would have no problems whatsoever; however this ascent was robotic in nature to say the least.
Reflective surfaces were everywhere. She knew that most of the city could be modified at a moments notice since it was made up of nano-based smart molecules. The city actually evolved through time, sometimes randomly, sometimes voluntarily for some reason. This technology was still cutting edge, even for the robots. Simple things like buildings and certain simple molecules were easy. Organic and complicated molecules were something else.
She finally got to the entrance of the council chambers. The megalithic doors opened slowly and Vanu entered. She couldn’t discern anything in the absolute darkness. For a moment, she thought that her optical sensors were malfunctioning.
Suddenly she felt herself being picked up and pulled away. She barely had the presence of seeing transit, when she landed on a bare rock floor. She was surrounded by mountains. They towered above her. She realized that the mountains were the elders. What had just happened? This was the first time that she had experienced anything like this. She must have been yanked forcibly into an obscure part of the Allweb. She wasn’t sure, because her web senses were all cut off. She had never seen this type of code before. It was almost unreal; maybe surreal was a better description of it. Like a hyperrealist multidimensional painting, every surface had an infinite number of fractals embedded in its code. It was mesmerizing, so easy to get lost in it.
“R VANU LICKSHAW, YOU/ IT HAVE BEEN SUMMONED TO TAKE A NEW IMPORTANT/ RELEVANT ASSIGNMENT.” blared the mountain representing VLTRXX, in a burst of binary code that ripped Vanu from her examinations. VLTRXX seemed to be randomly designated as First Speaker for this meeting.
“YOU/ IT WILL TAKE POSITION AS 1ST OFFICER ON THE NABUCHODONOSOR, A NEW DEEP EXPLORATION VESSEL FROM THE FLEET/ HUMANS. YOU/ IT WILL GATHER ALL INFORMATION AND KEEP US/ THEM UPDATED ON YOUR/ IT PROGRESS. WE/ THEM HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS MORE TO THIS VESSEL’S MISSION THAN THE FLEET/ HUMANS WOULD DIVULGE.”
“TAKE/ MAKE HASTE, LITTLE HUMANIFORM, BE CAREFUL NOT TO BE SQUASHED BY GIANTS.” shouted, or seemed to shout, ~DOR+SK, whose sayings and predictions rarely made sense until all the relevant data was assembled.
Advice and counsels started coming from all directions. They were suffocating her. How many elders were here? They were crushing her mind with their code. She could barely understand them and comprehend them, she felt her head splitting in a thousand pieces, each of them like a child, demanding her total attention. What had happened to the robot elders?
“[CAREFUL WITH SHADOWS/ STAY IN THE LIGHT\\ MANIPULATIONS OF DARKNESS SEEN BEFORE US/ TENEBROUS AS THEY ARE\\ NO ONE/IT CAN SEE IT IN THE DARK\\. WE/THEM CAN SEE IN THE DARK. //IF YOU/IT HIDE YOU/IT WILL SURVIVE\\. SHADOWS KILL AND DESTROY US/ THEM/ IT ALL IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL, FEMALE HUMANIFORM CONSTRUCT.\\]” said GLORNU.
“DRINK DO NOT SPEAK IT/YOU,
IT/YOU WILL DEVOUR US/THEM WHOLE NEXT TIME,
TREAD SHIT ON A DICK.”
A SQUIRREL ASKED UMOK TO TEACH IT.
UMOK ASKED “HAVE YOU EATEN YOUR NUTS?”
THE SQUIRREL REPLIED “YES, I HAVE.”
“THEN GO LICK YOUR BALLS,” SAID UMOK.
AT THAT MOMENT, THE SQUIRREL WAS NOT A SQUIRREL ANYMORE.
“TWO HAND CLAP AND THERE IS A SOUND. WHAT IS THE SOUND OF ONE/LONELY HAND, LITTLE HUMANIFORM?”
“IF YOU MEET HIM/IT/HER, KILL HIM/IT/HER!”
“A LESSER GOD/BEING/TRANSIENT ASKED 1000101010110,
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF EVIL
1000101010110 ANSWERED IT’S THE LIGHT IN YOUR/ IT ARSE.”
R Vanu lost consciousness with the screaming code still going on in her head. Some part of her consciousness tried to continue recording the elders. The world blanked out as her screams filled the night.
* * * * *
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Next: The Navigator
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