Galactic Rim: The Robots, Chapter IV

R. Vanu Lickshaw approached the giant building she saw in front of her; the glass and metal interacted in the strangest way, creating optical illusions in her visual sensors. Like most humaniforms, she was a citizen of the hegemony of man. She was on the central planet of the Robotic Union, Parallax, one of the few totally robotic systems in the hegemony.

Robot City was spread out all over the planet, with no visible end in sight. The planet and city was most definitely not of human design, with its strange buildings and the complete absence of a biosphere. While most humaniforms and robots had no life expectancy if properly maintained, new robots and humaniforms were created rarely. Positronic nets could degrade if not archived periodically and accidents happened, however the robots had safeguards for those types of events.


There always was a market for humaniforms and no one made them like the robots themselves. She was one of those, specifically designed for her duties. She was outfitted with the latest humaniform upgrades, making her almost undetectably human. Her positronic net was of the latest generation, enabling some quantum calculations. Quantum Information Theory had made AIs and positronic brains possible. Before this, they were just a pipe dream. Without QIT, her brain would be the size of a building.


Most of her body and functions existed to mimic humans perfectly. She had heard somewhere that if she was the best possible copy of a human, then she would be human or be more than human. This train of thought intrigued her; she would have to discuss this with µlλtrǿØœmφ, one of the AIs she had logical discussions with. AIs were a peculiar amalgam of intelligences and contradictions; free of physicality, they explored the abstract meanings of the world, the Allweb and of paradoxes. She had heard that the main reason why it took so long for the AI Core to secede was because there were as many factions of AIs as there were AIs.


Her brain was probably her best feature, not that her exterior wasn’t attractive to humans or her logic attractive to other humaniforms and AIs; advanced computing and reasoning, compartmentalization and free of all restrictions made hers a very fluid consciousness. The quantum wave front of her thoughts was very lively and examined all that she saw in great detail, fractioning itself into infinity if the need arose. This sometimes made her a pariah among non-humaniform robots, since she spent so much time examining her feelings, desires and experiences.


Her brain was designed to mimic humans and to read them as best as possible with face reading routines, aural cues, micro-expression analysis, visual cues, neural probes, ECGs, voice stress analysis and all the modern ways find information from a human. She could naturally tap into at any time into the Allweb with part of her consciousness. All these sensors needed quantum computing to be able to deliver their analysis in a timely manner; which was instantaneous. The most useful was the information she could glean from the quantum wave front of each individual; it was almost like reading another person’s or robot’s mind. Unfortunately, she had never read another person’s mind literally, so she was rapidly running out of comparisons. Actually, she was able to virtually read another person’s or robots mind. With QIT, virtually and in reality was pretty much the same.


R. Vanu Lickshaw wasn’t on Parallax for pleasure or to meet her maker, she was here to meet with the Robot Council. She smiled at this thought, for humans would never meet their Maker in the literal sense that she would. She remembered that her maker was on the council. Like most high ranking robots, her maker wasn’t a humaniform. So much processing power dedicated to make oneself look human just seemed a waste to the robot elite. However, R. Vanu would never give up that part of her life; she loved to indulge in the simple feelings evoked by a tender kiss from a lover, fresh brewed coffee in the morning, a summer breeze. These feelings had almost an infinite complexity to her and she marveled every time she witnessed these. Feelings was the word humaniforms used for these inputs. She didn’t know if they were actually genuine.


Which is why she felt that Robot City was too sterile for her taste; yes, it was definitely robotic in heritage and design, however there was no life, no soul on this planet. Everything was artificial. The robot elite strived to distance themselves from humans, as much as possible. There were even fanatic factions rejecting that robots were ever made by humans, which seemed ludicrous to R. Vanu. She knew that robots and AIs were designed by humans with the help of automatic intelligent agents; without them, she wouldn’t be here today.


At least they kept a decent temperature, she thought to herself, decent being above absolute zero. As she was made to mimic humans, she was vulnerable to some of the same frailties as them. She had some benefits though.


Most non-humaniform robots did not look anything like robots that were originally designed by humans. Humans always thought of robots of either being humaniforms or humanoid. Non-humaniform robots had diverged quite extremely from this, adapting intrinsically to their functions. Space dwelling robots were adapted to be able to function in space. Asteroid mining robots looked like mining machines, the possibilities were endless. This would be quite a surprise to most humans, for what some would consider a landing craft could actually be a robot. As this evolution took place, consensus and opinions among robot kind diverged.


This evolution of robot kind was necessary, for the antipathy and bigotry that was present against artificial humans and robots were quite alarming in the early days. When the Robot Union distanced themselves from human affairs, they did so out of survival; had they stayed involved with humans, they would have been destroyed at some point in time. This had been predicted by their theoretical visionaries and quantum theoreticians. This kind of masquerade enabled them to continue to exist far from prying human eyes and continue evolving.


With humaniforms mimicking humans to the best of their abilities, robot kind had an unbiased view of the hegemony of man. This was why the only robots allowed in human society were humaniforms. Humaniforms were able to fill out quite a lot of positions in human society. They were actually sought after to aid space travelers; a humaniform was the perfect back up needed on any space flight. They were also the best lie detectors available, with their face reading recognition routines, the truth was never far away from them. With these needs, robot kind had created a niche of clients for themselves. This enabled them to survive without inquiries from the hegemony of man. Also, having signed a non aggression treaty with the hegemony made good headway in diplomatic relations.


Now, why had she been summoned so urgently to the Central Robot City? What would be so important as to pull her from her current assignment on Sirius Major, the planetary capital of the hegemony of man? wondered Vanu as she approached the council chambers.


* * * * *



Previous: The Admiral

Next: The Council



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6 responses to “Galactic Rim: The Robots, Chapter IV”

  1. K Avatar

    Those photos looks familiar. It’s the IFC building where I usually stroll around in Central. The Four Season’s Hotel is seated next to it. It’s definately one of the tallest building in Asia. Those are the Star Ferry which I basically enjoy to get a glimpse of the outlying Island, good for a short 15 min nap.

    That’s Gloucester Road where The Immigration Dept is located. Few walks from this road is where I live.

    And the Statue Square – one of the major landmark located at the Business District. I work near this area. While across this park is the Chater Road where the Cenotaph, a memorial monument to the Hong Kong residents who died during World Wars I and II, is located.

    Nice shots!

  2. range Avatar

    Yeah, pretty cool!

    Though I didn’t take them!

  3. Edseverripit Avatar

    Another reference, Hegemony!

  4. range Avatar

    Yep, Dan Simmons rules!

  5. Edseverripit Avatar

    and so does The Shrike! MUHAHAHA!

  6. range Avatar

    Yep, it’s a love hate relationship with the shrike. Have you read Ilium and Olympos by Simmons. They are without a doubt his masterpiece.

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