Story Time, Now with 30% more robots
Every day I try to force myself to write for an hour. Literally one hour exactly. No more. So I often find myself either writing nonsense for a few minutes or ending things rather abruptly. It’s fun. Anyhow this is the result of one of those hours…
‘I think, therefor I am, I think?’
It really all boiled down to that one line of code some smartass put in when the project started. Over the months of development a few of the other scientists added their own graffiti to what became known as the Archie subroutine.
So now, 384,478 Kilometers away RJ45 was wandering around the lunar surface referring to himself as Archie. He was a terraforming robot. Well, he would have been a terraforming robot if he was on Mars; here he was more of a wasting time to settle a bet on Earth robot. His purpose as far as the humans were concerned was to create a farmstead on the lunar surface without any assistance to prove that a dozen later versions would be able to do the same thing on Mars before the colonists arrived. Because robots can take a lot greater G-forces they could be sent at the same time and yet arrive much sooner than the colonists. It would be a fantastic plan if it worked. If it didn’t everyone would die. So they built Archie, with undersized solar panels to simulate the increased distance, and dropped him on the surface of the moon.
No one thought to explain any of this to Archie, to them he was just RJ45 and would do his job even if there was no point. He was, after all, just a robot. When he woke up to find himself on a much greyer and smaller Mars than he had expected he began to wonder. Robots aren’t by nature good at wondering so it took him quite some time. He had plowed a few dozen square kilometers of earth, or mars he supposed, before it began to really bother him. Not so much the whole mars being wrong bit, he had accepted that, what bothered him was the supposing. If he was supposing things he wasn’t supposed to suppose then he supposed that made him alive; but he wasn’t entirely sure given how new he was to the whole supposing thing.
There were a bunch of chemicals he was supposed to mix with other things he would find in the surface soil but none of them were there. He decided to skip that step and went right on to disassembling the ship that brought him here and making it into a shelter. The shelter was basically a big dome full of air for humans. When he was done he looked around the farm. It was sad, without an atmosphere he couldn’t grow anything and without the soil chemicals he couldn’t make an atmosphere. He pondered this for a while and decided that he would search the entire surface. Since the human habitat was already in place he supposed they wouldn’t mind if he was gone when they arrived. Especially not if he came back with all the stuff he needed. Unfortunately, he couldn’t go on the dark side for more than a few minutes without powering down, so he couldn’t actually search the entire surface.
By the time Archie had come to this conclusion he had also decided that the humans would probably be ok with only half of the living space in exchange for an indoor farm. Archie was happy to have something to do as he began seeding the soil inside the dome. He ended up seeding the entire bottom of the dome because it was simply easier that way. If the humans had a problem sleeping next to turnips he would deal with that later.
Now he had a dome full of food for humans, and ground for them to sleep on, and some air. Humans like air. What he didn’t have though was an atmosphere. That simply wouldn’t do. He reasoned that they wouldn’t have sent him here with an impossible task, humans aren’t that stupid, they made him and put him on Mars so they must be pretty clever. Logically the needed materials must be on the dark side of Mars but for some weird reason it was always night over there. Clearly the planet had stopped rotating. When he checked the maps he had made he realized why, the planet wasn’t round. It was more egg shaped. It’s complicated but that makes planets stop turning. The logical answer was to fix it. He could move a lot of earth, or mars, over time but it would take a lot of time. He had nothing but time though. He started to plan.
“What’s it doing now?”
“Waiting I think.”
“Waiting, for what?”
“Well, us, we never altered its programming, it thinks it built the Martian colony.”
“So the project is a success then?”
“When’s the next launch window?”
“We send the RJ’s tomorrow; the colonists have to wait another two years.”
It took a lot of time, the planning, but he was finished. What he needed to do was simple. He needed to remove mass from the long side of the planet, the bright side. Thankfully his farm was fairly close to the equator so it should probably survive the explosion. Explosion, right, I forgot to mention, that is how he is going to remove mass. Explosions in a vacuum are tricky though, since an explosion is generally just fire moving really quickly the lack of air complicates things. Luckily for Archie the farm was also equipped with mining gear and some fairly impressive power sources. The started digging immediately. Not straight downward, Archie had to reprogram them a bit to make his complicated manufactured fault lines.
The launch was a success, in a few years’ time humans could finally claim to be an interplanetary species. At least, for the time being.
“Yeah man? Why are you watching that old thing, it hasn’t moved in years?”
“Well, mostly because it’s moving now.”
“What!? What the hell is it doing?”
“I don’t know. It looks like it set up the water mining gear.”
“Why? There’s no water on the moon.”
“It doesn’t know that though.”
“Why now though? Is it a scheduled event or something?”
“No, call everyone in here would you?”
“It’s a party Tom, everyone else is drunk.”
“Eh, it’ll wait till morning.”
Tom flicked the lights out in the control room and joined the launch party.
The power cells exploded perfectly, a large chunk of the Martian surface went sailing off into the sky and the planet began to slowly rotate. Archie was very proud of himself. He knew that when the humans arrived they would be very impressed with his ingenuity.
It took about three hours for the massive chunk of the moon to come crashing to earth. If the dust cloud and near endless winter hadn’t killed everyone they might have found the now calmer seas and pretty ring around the planet to be a positive change. Unfortunately, it had.
The Martian colony was fairly successful until the robot uprising, but that is a totally different story.
And for those of you complaining about certain science ‘facts’ let me remind you it is about a self aware robot building a colony on the moon, some things just need overlooked.