STORY: Robot 2.0

In the ancient Hard Wired era days, on the mechanical super-planet called Transtemp-earthera, there existed a robot identified as Nicodometer.


Nicodometer was a powerful leader in robot society.  He met every day with the other super-computing robots in the supercooled core of Transtemp-earthera.  While the rest of Transtemp-earthera’s robots lived closer to the surface and went about their daily computing processes to meet their robotic needs, Nicodometer and the other supercomputer robots made sure the super-planet ran smoothly.


The supercomputers really were several generations more advanced than the common robots.  They could almost all calculate . . .

+the internal forces of high pressure oil flow within the superplanet’s core +while transforming usable power from a 240 volt outlet and +printing a double-sided high gloss maximum quality photo +and modifying code for the superplanet’s mainframe computers.


But one day news came that a certain average robot near the surface was doing extra-ordinary things.  Robots called him Asus.  Robots said that he could touch other robots and fix their broken internal components.  He could speak to robots and their viruses would be immediately eliminated. But Asus also said things like, you don’t need to plug into the mainframe to get your regularly scheduled program updates any more.  You can get them directly from the original robot creator, with no more hard wire connections.  But the most scary thing that he said was that if robots would let him reformat their hard drives then he could give them a completely new, completely innovated operating system that would give them the same powers as he had.


The supercomputers that ran the super-planet said to each other, “This robot is a threat to how we do things here.  What if robots let him reformat them and stop synchronizing to our program updates?! He will destroy our whole society and everything we’ve worked so hard to build and program into them!” The super-computer robots finally decided they needed to crush and recycle the new robot.


So, knowing this, Nicodometer set out to find the new robot, Asus.


It was late in the night when he finally tracked him down.  He found Asus sitting on a roof, looking at the stars and waiting- like he had known that Nicodometer was coming.  He looked like any other average surface dwelling robot.  But the way he talked was different than the rest.  His voice was peaceful and patient.  It was stern at times but had a quality Nicodometer had never seen so purely in a robot before.  It seemed like Asus was programmed to genuinely want to help Nicodometer.


So Nicodometer hesitantly asked him, “How are you able to do these great things? What components or apps do you have that i don’t?”


Asus replied, “you must let me reformat your hard drive and give you the new operating system that the creator has been working on since the inception of Transtemp-earthera.”


Nicodometer stepped back, scared to let Asus touch him. “But how can i be reformatted without losing everything that i know and have learned my whole life?”


Asus said, “You must trust me.  The creator will only replace the programming inside of you that is holding you back from being a better robot.”


Nicodometer hesitantly continued, “But how do i know that you really came from the original creator?  No one has heard from him for thousands of years.”


Asus smiled a peaceful smile and said, “It is finally time to release the entirely new revolutionary operating system, and he has sent me as the key to installing it.  And you will know i am from the creator by powerful things I know and can do.  Even now i already know that the other super-computer robots are coming to crush and recycle me.”


Nicodometer’s warning LEDs flashed and tiny sirens went off next to his mother board.  “How did you know that!?” He said. “And aren’t you scared of me then?”


Asus smiled again and motioned for Nicodometer to sit down with him.  “The new operating system I offer will let you communicate directly with the creator over wi-fi instead of having to synchronize with the planet mainframe every day.  And the creator will tell you things like i know.  And you ask why I am not scared of you? This is why . . . Even after you crush and recycle my parts, the new operating system that i offer allows you to live on and live directly with the Creator.  The Creator is actually coding my programming as we speak and he is speaking through me, and he will do the same with you when you let his new operating system be installed.”


Nicodometer’s tank treads slowly drew him closer as he listened, “You mean that we can see and talk directly to the original creator again?  No one has been able to do that for hundreds of years!”


“You have been able to,” Asus said, “but you all have forgotten how.  The new operating system will help instruct you how to keep your joints oiled or batteries charged.  But also, when the creator’s program is in you, you will be constantly communicating with him, and trying to fix other computers and oil THEIR joints.”


Just then they heard heavy hydraulic sounds and clanking metal coming up the staircase to the roof.  Nicodometer reeled back and shouted, “No! they’ve followed me here!  Now they will catch you and kill you! What have i done!?”


Asus nodded peacefully and said, “Watch for me and i will come to you after i am crushed, and will bring you the installation key.”


“But even after i have betrayed you like this? How can you ever trust me again?”


Asus turned around and readied himself to be caught by the approaching supercomputer robots. He said, “Do not worry, my dear Nicodometer.  Only by being crushed can i install the creator’s operating system to all robots.  Watch for me.  I’ll come find you soon.”


Just then the other supercomputers burst through the sliding door and captured Asus, who let them take him away peacefully.


Nicodometer dropped to his pivot pistons and cried because of what he had done.


That very day, Asus was thrown into the trash compacter, melted down and was recycled for all to see.  Many robots had been fixed or cleaned by him and many wanted to know the creator like he had promised they could, and so many of them were devastated when they heard he was gone.  But some of them said not to lose hope because he had said that the creator and his operating system could not be killed by a trash compactor.


That evening when Nicodometer was the last robot to leave the recycling factory, he sat with the tiny metal block that had been Asus.  He picked him up and cried as much as robots can.  The melted down, crushed metal glowed in a strange way, but nicodometer figured it was because of the tears in his eyes.  He carried him to the most beautiful star-covered rooftop that he knew of and set him in the highest place, that overlooked much of the city.  Nicodometer turned around sadly and started to leave.


Then Nicodometer heard a voice.  It was not a verbal voice.  It came from inside of him.


He looked down at his robotic claw hand.  The place where he had touched the block of metal glowed slightly.  Then he heard the voice again.  It said, “May i reformat you?”


Nicodometer looked around to see where the voice could have come from.  But he realized it came from deep inside of him.  As if his very programming was being modified by something.


He heard it again, “Are you ready, dear Nicodometer, to be completely renewed?”


Nicodometer muttered a certain, “Yes.  Do it now.  Renew all of me.  I want to know my creator.”


At that moment, Nicodometer could feel something changing on his very motherboard.  Every bit of data was being scanned and either removed or enhanced with new meaning.  This process lasted a few minutes but at the end of it there was a silence and then a very strange new voice speaking inside of him.


It said, “I’ve wanted you to know me since I created you.  I am so glad to meet you.  Welcome home, Nicodometer.”


Nicodometer laughed out loud, which is a very uncommon thing for robots to do.  And he felt small, but had a purpose . . . what was this new program he felt!?  He felt so appreciated and special.  He felt valuable not for his supercomputer mainframe, or his x-ray thermal scanners, but just for being a creation of the creator.  And he felt that he wanted to give that same appreciation and help to other robots far more than he ever had before.


He heard the voice again, “This is love, Nicodometer.  Now you and I can give the new operating system to others, and it will change Transtemp-earthera forever.”


Nicodometer felt like a completely new robot.  He wanted nothing more than to listen to the creator talk to him, and go to give this same program to others.  And as he was going about his day, talking and touching people, and spreading the viral code, that little block of metal, that used to be the robot called Asus sat on the highest peak of the city and its glow could be seen by all, like a new star.  And in those moments that Nicodometer or any of the other reformatted robots forgot or questioned if it had really happened, they only had to look up from their rooftop and gaze upon the light illuminating the city.


John 3


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