Unit CR 049 - Report 294633

Unit CR 049 - Report 294633

A Chapter by Meeks
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Classification - RED, EXCLUSIVE USE OF THE PROGRAM Time - 15:37, 19 December, 2089 (AD) Location - Hotel Prometheus, Human Inhabited

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Policing Unit CR 049, Team Eu2 - Status Report #294633

Classification - RED, EXCLUSIVE USE OF THE PROGRAM

Time - 15:37, 19 December, 2089 (AD)

Location - Hotel Prometheus, Human Inhabited


>LIVE Report: (Videofeed transcription)

Unit is sitting on ground, damaged. Weapon lying a few meters away, its safety unlocked, brittle pieces of glass scattered on carpet. Damage report 1: headpiece glass broken, left videofeed faulty, depth perception faulty. Unit lifts its hand, touching left side of the face. Damage report 1.1: Left side of face bent. Unit turns head to the left, towards suspected assailant.

Small biological human standing with bent pipe in hand. Unit resets cameras once, then twice. Human doesn't disappear. Human takes step backwards.

>PROGRAM command: Autonomous Control Program of unit CR 049 automatic override. Personality loop activated.


I blink. The clicking sound of cameras resetting pierces the silence. For some reason the processor is glitching. So many problems with being limited to a single unit.

“What - what happened?” I say. The microphone is a bit too loud, and I lower the volume halfway through my sentence. The human, the kid, opens his eyes wide and his face twists in an gruesome way. How can he do that with his face?

“Are you okay?” his voice is weak, and I need to re-analyze the message to understand. He is whispering, maybe frightened by something. I pick up on rapid footsteps downstairs.

“No, I’m not okay,” I respond. I test my motors and pistons, moving each one a slight bit, making sure that nothing else is too broken. My hand reaches up for the couch, metal fingers grasping the unused leather, and then pulling my body up to -

“Don't get up!” the kid hisses at me. I pause halfway up, looking at him. He holds the pipe like a baseball bat, threatening to hit me again if I don't comply. I compare his face to historical pictures in the program’s database. He is at most eighteen.

“What do you want?” I ask. His face changes again -- how does he do that? -- and his white teeth show.

“I’m trying to hide from your buddies. If you tell them I’m here I’ll knock you again!” his voice rises. My programs race. Does he not know I’m connected to the system? Does he not know that the hotel is undergoing a lockdown, and that every single police unit in the city is racing to this room?

“You know that’s not going to work, don't you?” I watch his face change yet again. The teenager bounds to the apartment entrance and closes the door, ignoring my comment. “Why - ,” pieces of glass crumble and rain down on my metal chest. I stop, using my hand to stop the pieces from cracking.

“Why what?”

“Why are you a biological human?” my question’s phrasing is odd, but I couldn't think of anything else. I start reworking the grammar programming.

“Because. I don't want the program to know I exist,” he starts pacing around the room.

I pause. Some code glitches out trying to compute, and I restart it.

He doesn't want me to know that he exists? Well, too late. But why? What did this person do? And why was he so intent on covering his existence?

A plan pops up from one of the servers. I give it my attention, reading it through, trying to determine if I can implement it and just what I will get in return. I wait for the scanners to finish, watching the map of points, watching as all the units converged on room 64.

The result comes back from the scanner. The plan is deemed profitable, and it’s safe to back out whenever I want to. It’s worth it, all systems go.

>PROGRAM command: All units, pause: search of Room 64. Orders: scan building. Avoid room 64.


“Well, there’s more to it than that,” the kid is still pacing, oblivious to the fact that policing units that were just outside are now dispersing, sparing him. “But you’ll never understand, my dear robot,” he decides, and suddenly stops pacing. He listens on for a moment.

The not-so-distant  thumps of units climbing the stairs echo through the hallway outside. I immediately know he hears them too, his position shifts slightly.

The kid looks at me, and his eyes grow wide. “You're connected, aren't you?! You sent a report to them, they know I’m here!”

Busted in the first two minutes. Plan B?

I demote the priority of the pessimistic processor. I can salvage this, he saw through the plan but I can salvage this.

“I can't send a report; you damaged the wireless optimizer,” I explain. It was true in part, the wireless optimizer was damaged, but it was also unnecessary for short distance communications. “But they are going to figure out where you are soon. The whole hotel is in lockdown.”

“The whole hotel?” the voice’s pitch rose towards the end with an odd flurry. I identified it: surprise, or disbelief. And worry. “The program can't put a whole building into lockdown,” he says. I shrug. Why couldn't I? It was for the safety of the citizens, it passed the morality loop. That pesky morality loop, the one that stopped so many lucrative operations for no apparent reason.

“I know the search patterns,” I tell him. “They’ll be here to re-check in five minutes, unless they notice my absence. Then sooner.” His face mangles itself again.

“Do you know a way out?” he asks. Perfect, right on track. I shake my head no, and quickly stop when I feel the pieces of glass clink against my fingers. The teenager looks at me with a twinkle in his eye, and then steps forward and grabs the automatic rifle from the ground. He drops the pipe, and awkwardly holds the weapon in my direction. “Yes you do. You’re going to lead the way out. If we bump into anybody, I’ll kill you and then the first civilian I see,” I watch his finger curl around the trigger. He doesn't know a thing about what he’s doing.

“Watch out. Pressing the trigger activates a distress beacon, so policing units will know your location,” I remind him. His eyebrows go up. “And it makes a lot of noise.”

“It’s in your best interest to lead me out,” he mumbles. “Go on,” he motions to the locked door with the gun. My motors whir again, pulling my hulk up to a standing position. I had a good several inches on the teen, even though he was tall. He takes a cautious step back as he notices my height.

I could just grab the rifle. He was standing so close to me, that I could just push the rifle and he would miss completely. I could call all the units back, I could arrest this clueless teenager, and I could go back to my quiet, digital dwelling. Free of this body. But first I had to figure him out.

And arresting him wasn't going to help.

>PROGRAM command: All units, Pause: scanning hallways A, B on floors 6 and 2, Northeast staircase, northeast face of building.


I watch as the green dots clear away from the main path I’ve created for myself and my… aggressor. All the civilians have been evacuated to the lobby, so the hallways I chose will be empty.

The kid nudges me with the barrel of the gun, so I walk over to the door. How stupid can he be, touching my arm with the barrel? My metal fingers clink as they unlock the door, and I wait for a moment -- pretending I’m listening for robots in the hallway -- before opening it and stepping outside in one swift motion.

I take off at a brisk walk down the hallway, watching him in my peripheral vision as he trails to my side. He let the gun down, wasn't pointing it at me anymore. Another chance I could take, but that won't help me achieve the goal. I led him to the Northeast stairwell, pushing open the door and starting down the stairs. The soft clicks made when my steel feet contacted the concrete made him shudder.

>PROGRAM command: Unit CR 043: unlock car across from window 023 on Northeast face of Building.


We emerged on the second floor. He looked a bit surprised when I opened the window on the Northeast face.

“The lobby is where civilians are evacuated to. You won't blend in there,” I explain, and he nods. I notice he glances out the window, looking at the closed trash bin beneath it, before I climb onto the shelf and jump out.

My rubber soles contact with the plastic, denting it heavily, and I hop down. The glass pieces from my skull seem to be shaken loose by the fall, and when I touched it there was almost nothing left. Great, I have to get that replaced.

The boy’s jump is less than gracious, and he stumbles on the plastic. I watch, recording for future reference as his knees bend and he kind of squishes himself on the plastic lid, the gun flying from his arms. It skids to the edge, teetering for a second before falling off and hitting the concrete.

The boy jumps up, a wild look in his eye. The gun is hidden beyond the edge of the trash bin, and he looks around for it in panic. I record the scene as it unfolds; him not noticing that the gun must’ve fallen off.

Really, he was almost asking for it. The way I’m handing him a policing unit on the plate, how easy I’ve made it for him, is getting a bit obvious. We need a bit of realism, otherwise he might suspect something. So I reach for the weapon, grabbing it in my hands and showing it to him.

His mouth opens. He slowly raises his arms in a surrendering gesture, and I point the barrel at him. “Get down from there,” I command. He jumps down from the trash bin, and I back away in an effort to keep myself at least three meters away at all times. Judging distances without depth perception is hard, but I improvise a perspective program to help out.

“Get in the car,” I motion to the car that was unlocked. I don't usually steal private cars, but this was something extraordinary. The decision passed the morality loop, and that was all that mattered. The kid quickly walks up to the car and opens the passenger door.

I wait until he gets in before clicking the safety of my rifle on and walking around to the driver’s side. My metal fingers clink on the handle and I get in, closing the door after me. The first thing I do is lock all the doors to prevent the kid from getting out. He looks at me, his face twisted in yet another expression, as I lodge my rifle between the seat and the door.

>PROGRAM command: Purchase: human apartament in building C283 aka ‘The Century Dormitory’. Specific location irrelevant.


“Computer?” I ask aloud. The kid looks at me, the features of his face hinting cluelessness.

“Yes?” the female recorded voice answers.

“Go to location: The Century Dormitory,” I tell her, and the car lurches forward, driving along the asphalt.

>PROGRAM command: All units, Resume: scanning suspected area.


To be truthful, I wasn't comfortable. Whenever something important was being transported, I always conducted an override of its autopilot and drove it myself. I could do the same to this car, but the piloting patterns were different. What if he noticed? He could figure out that I was connected all along, and that the robot wasn't autonomous. No, better to take the smaller risk of a car crash.

Only then did I notice the kid wrestling with the door. I’m not sure what he was trying to achieve, considering we were going thirty miles an hour down the street. I reset my peripheral vision, and am about to grab his shoulder when a better idea was submitted by a server.

“You know, I’m doing you a favor,” I tell him. He stops to look at me.

“Where are you taking me?” he asks, sniffing. The skin around his eyes is turning a bit red, so I search if it wasn't a disease.

“To my apartment.” The results come back negative. “I want to help you, hide you from the program.”

“I don't believe you,” he says.

“I don't blame you,” I try. Not convincing, I need an explanation. What would a simpleminded autonomous program do? “Have you ever thought about how much we are suppressing biological humans? Seems everybody is forced to be transplanted.” I watch as he nods his head.

“Yeah,” the short reply was quiet.

“I want to know why you are still biological,” I lie. “It’s for the betterment of the program. I’ll submit everything in a report once I understand it well enough. Who knows, maybe you can change the world.”

“You want me to explain… to explain why…” he trails off. I glance at him. He’s looking out the window.

“Yes, I want to know.” The car slows down and stops smoothly as we hit traffic. I look over to the side, but all I see are the blackened windows of passenger cars in the second lane. I check the time. 15:45, right into rush hour traffic. Of course, I could commandeer the traffic lights programming, but that would make him suspicious. Besides, robots have a lot of patience. I can wait. It’s the kid I’m concerned about.



He’s asleep now. I found him some caloric pulp that civilians intake every night, some water, and he conked out on the couch. Biological humans don't require much, didn't even have to plug him in. I might be missing something, so I search through my memory of human biology. Shouldn't he need more calories than I gave him?

I walk to the robot towards the pod that civilians use. Robots can power down anywhere and charge wirelessly, but I should sleep in one to not rouse suspicion. I lie down, pushing aside the mental sedation and feeder tubes, and turn the robot off without ceremony.

>LIVE Report: End


Time to review the video feed from today, and then dig up what I can about historic humans and their behavior patterns. I can't go into the field empty handed like today, I should know everything that is necessary.

Getting a historic human through a whole building full of modern humans is hard to do. If they see him, they will immediately call the police or even worse, a friend. That could cause pandemonium, and it would not be a believable way to hide the kid. The police calls I can reject, and I can interrupt inter-human calls as well, but the word is bound to spread if anybody sees him.

In the end, I put him under a roller cart, and pushed that around. Carts are still not autonomous, reason is that humans prefer knowing that their breakfast won't drive away while they shower. Paranoia is so useless, and humans are so prone to it. One of my servers whirs to life, trying to speculate what parts of the brain I could remove to get rid of paranoia, and other emotions too.

Nope. The morality loop cancels the action, whole server crashes and I have to restart it. Well, it was worth a try.

Walking any robot into a dormitory and asking for a room is suspicious on its own, but a policing unit? At least I left the gun in the car, and had someone pick that up. What kind of robot lives in a human dormitory anyway? None do! That’s why I had to override the servicing system: to make sure no servicebot asked too many questions.

But where else could I bring him? The unit storehouse? Definitely not, I know enough about preferred human conditions to know that that plan would never pass the morality loop. I mean, modern humans technically could survive in a storehouse for a few weeks, but the kid? He seemed much too brittle.

The worst part was that I couldn't hide the robot’s identity either. Every human-like automatic machine controlled by program had to have a black and yellow striped left  shoulder. Which was quite hard to hide. I recall Operation 005, when I tried to create a robotic secret service, without striped shoulders, to have more control over the citizens. Didn't pass the morality loop as usual; none of the Operations passed the morality loop.

The video-analysis programs pop up a notification. The kid has perfectly white teeth. Why is that important? Did historical humans not have white teeth? I search the database, coming up with picture after picture of people with their faces twisted so that their teeth were showing. Facial expressions, I remember.

I run an analysis of the teeth colors. The data comes quickly. Everyone’s teeth are shaded slightly yellow, or brown. All of them. I check the kid’s picture again. Perfectly white. My programs run wild, and I start cancelling some tasks to que up more pictures.

Exception. A historical human with white teeth.

I quickly look at the picture, zooming in to get a detailed view of the small spot of white. A baby? I redid the analysis for the picture, taking away the shade from the small bit of tooth that was visible, and it came up white again. What the heck?

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, which feed on sugar and excrete acids that corrode the teeth, making them yellow.

I cancel the photo-analysis program. The baby I can understand, the tooth should have been sterile until recently, but the kid? How old was he, eighteen? Maybe he used teeth whitener? No, nobody supplied that in the past 16.325 years. Maybe he stockpiled it? How about antibiotics? The kid probably had no money to begin with, and antibiotics would be dangerous for completely living organisms.

I store the note in Report #294633 Files.




© 2015 Meeks



Author's Note

Meeks
This chapter in particular, I'm trying to get a feeling of the cold, emotionless programming controlling the robot. Feel free to leave tips on how to do that.

Also, I would appreciate if you highlighted the part where you think the robot displays most emotion.

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I'm a little confused by how this robot works, the following you may interpret as valid critique or it may just be my own misunderstanding, but here goes. You say you want it to seem cold and emotionless, which you more or less succeed in, but it seems the line between human and machine is really blurred and inconsistent. He doesn't understand human thought processes (or even basic anatomy and movement) but the way his mind operates is very humanistic; judging from his inner monologue he seems to have a full understanding of concepts like rhetorical questions and sarcasm, and thinks in incomplete sentences like "Plan B?"... Also some of his word choice, like describing the system as "pesky" as opposed to, say "arbitrary". Basically, he reads to me more like a weird, antisocial guy than a machine that processes thoughts in English. Then again, the whole 'personality loop' thing, maybe that's your intention. I'm not sure.

The part where I find the robot the most emotional (and also possibly the crux of my previous point depending on your intention) is when he lies to the boy.

Can't really get too deep into the story as not much happens here (which isn't a bad thing, the pacing is fine) but I can say it sets up for many potential mysteries and twists and turns, depending on where it goes. To be continued on the next chapter...

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I pretty much agree with Sora the Egotistical, but I just wanted to say wow! You're only sixteen! I thought you were like 30 reading this, your skills are far beyond mine when I was your age. Keep this up and you'll do great things.

Posted 1 Year Ago


This is actually a really decent piece. I shall read on!
Particularly enjoy the beginnint part.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

THIS IS AMAZING PLEASE KEEP WRITING I LOVE YOUR WORK ^-^

Posted 1 Year Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I'm a little confused by how this robot works, the following you may interpret as valid critique or it may just be my own misunderstanding, but here goes. You say you want it to seem cold and emotionless, which you more or less succeed in, but it seems the line between human and machine is really blurred and inconsistent. He doesn't understand human thought processes (or even basic anatomy and movement) but the way his mind operates is very humanistic; judging from his inner monologue he seems to have a full understanding of concepts like rhetorical questions and sarcasm, and thinks in incomplete sentences like "Plan B?"... Also some of his word choice, like describing the system as "pesky" as opposed to, say "arbitrary". Basically, he reads to me more like a weird, antisocial guy than a machine that processes thoughts in English. Then again, the whole 'personality loop' thing, maybe that's your intention. I'm not sure.

The part where I find the robot the most emotional (and also possibly the crux of my previous point depending on your intention) is when he lies to the boy.

Can't really get too deep into the story as not much happens here (which isn't a bad thing, the pacing is fine) but I can say it sets up for many potential mysteries and twists and turns, depending on where it goes. To be continued on the next chapter...

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. This is exactly what I would read if I went to the library and picked out a random book. Its creative, unique and excellently written. I am excited to see what happens next! I get the feeling of coldness that you are putting off from the robot, it is pretty concrete.

No critiques here, I just want to continue reading... so.. I will XD

Posted 1 Year Ago


With this chapter, on the report make it look more official. So bold your titles and separate them more. This way it will be that much colder. It will look all business. And that will help with the feel.
other than that you did good. I like the conflict.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


This is really thrilling. I can see you worked hard on this story. I can't wait to read more! If I can give you any advice, expressions like: what the heck, or nope spoil the feel of inhumanity.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I really feel what you were going for. The writing seems full of meaning but at the same time, it grabs you by the neck with its bluntness. This is great! I honestly loved all of it..

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Meeks

1 Year Ago

Hey, thanks for the review. I'm trying to figure out some plot details for the next part, this is ju.. read more
McBear

1 Year Ago

Yeah, no problem my friend. Feel free to send as many read requests to me as you'd like.

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Added on November 29, 2015
Last Updated on December 16, 2015
Tags: science, fiction, science fiction, deep, emotion, rose, robots, program, boy, kid, teenager


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Meeks
Meeks

Poland



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Hey guys! I'm a sixteen year old writer trying desperately to make something publish-worthy. In the meantime, I hand out useful critiques and comments. Currently trying to work on something diffe.. more..

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