How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

  • Music:
"There in the silence something hides,
Something lies,
Something breathes."
There in the Silence - Savatage.

I'm going to take this moment to post "Humphrey: The Space Robot", first draft, incomplete. I've gotten like a page and a half done or so, but its fun.

Humphrey the Space Robot

"Humphrey? Humphrey! Get your fat ass over here now!" filtered out from beneath a greasy looking pile of variously sized cables, all of which hummed with a distinct intensity.
Humphrey, for his part, rolled into the room at breakneck speed, his tank-like treads churning up distance faster than you would think something of Humphrey's bulk could move, so much so that he took the turn into the room on only one tread, his already top heavy mass almost toppling over before the gyroscopic stabilizers kicked in.
In a rather pathetic digital reproduction of a human voice Humphrey slowly responded to the summons. "Yes sir?" Its voice leaked out, crackling and moving about as fast as a Lermeian panthersloth.
"Get me out of here!"
"Where are you sir?" The robot's voice was full of a good natured willingness to help. In fact, it seemed downright perky at the concept, or at least as perky as a robot could get.
"Under the fucking cables!" The voice beneath the pile was getting increasingly impatient, and starting to sound rather strained.
"You realize sir, that those are power cables, and according to the ships schematics, which in your infinite wisdom you loaded into my positronic network, they are supposed to be mounted in the maintenance compartment directly above this one, not on this level. They should not be on you."
"I know that! So would you please be so kind as to lift them the fuck off of me you sniveling, mewling, over glorified rat catcher before I turn you into a new thrust-vector panel."
"I find it highly unlikely that you would be able to perform such a conversion. First, the duranium-carbide used to make my outer layer, while suitable for EVA is not at all suited to withstand the temperatures and pressures to be placed upon a drive vane. Secondly, you are currently imprisoned beneath a sizeable load of power cables."
A moment passed with nothing more than the hum of the dive capacitors cycling. Humphrey did not move, and his articulated arms hung limply, as if the robot had no intention of moving. The standard "awaiting instructions" pose that the HMP3 class of robot would assume.
The poor individual beneath the cables could not see this though. He was beneath a pile of cables. Instead, the cables moved slightly as he inhaled deeply, in preparation to bark out, in full drill sergeant fashion, "Get these cables off of me and back in the compartment above where they belong!"
"Oh, absolutely sir. You are absolutely sagelike, full of the wisdom of Solomon to issue such an order. In fact, I'm going to note this so that posterity can reference this. Perhaps it can even become a holy book."
"Today Humphrey!"
"Oh, yes sir. Very good." Humphrey moved into action, his treads moving him about the room, while his two lifting arms gathered up the cables, passing them to the articulated fine manipulation arms, which attached them to the bracers in the compartment above. A few minutes of this revealed both the man barking orders and the bulkhead that had once been above their heads. It was twisted and dented horribly from where the cables had burst against it.
The human that was lying next to it looked equally worse for the wear, covered in bruises, grease, dirt, and all varieties of technical filth. He was barely a meter and a half tall, and looked to be almost a meter and a half wide as well. For all his butterball appearance, there was a hard edge to his flab, and he looked to be rather strong. What little hair he had hung down the back of his neck in wispy, greasy strands. The man had perhaps shaved a week ago, perhaps more. He wore no shirt, but his chest was covered by dun overalls, the edges of which he spilled over slightly. About his waist was cinched a belt from which all manner of tools dangled.
"You realize Humphrey," the man said, pulling himself to his feet with a groan, "that when I find the son of a bitch that wired you I'm going to make him wear your wires for garters and use your positronic brain as a suppository." He brushed a few scraggly strands of hair out of his face, and wiped a sheen of sweat from his brow, leaving a smear of dark grease instead.
"Of course sir. Will there be anything else?"
"Go make me some coffee." The man turned away from the robot, and hefted the ruined bulkhead, examining it carefully. He frowned, then shrugged, and began attempting to wedge it back into place, despite the fact it no longer lined up with the fasteners.
"And what variety of coffee would you like sir? The galley picked up some lovely Turkish coffee when we swung past Dvorian's world, we also have an absolutely glorious Maple Hazelnut crunch-"
The man slammed the plate into place; metal screeched in protest. Instead of actually fastening, he had wedged it firmly into position. It was at an odd angle, and vibrated horribly in resonance to the magnetic fields surrounding the power cables. "Just coffee. You know, it's brown. Goes in a cup. Has caffeine? Coffee. Not Turkish, not Maple Hazelnut crunch, coffee."
Humphrey paused for a moment, the facial display blinking in what almost could be interpreted as befuddlement. "I will go make you some coffee then, of the generic variety sir?"
"Yes!" The man turned away, and whipped out another tool, which hummed while he examined pipes and conduits, muttering to himself, the robot completely forgotten.

Humphrey rolled out of the 3rd Deck aft maintenance compartment, and began rolling towards the galley. While his positronic brain was not capable of experiencing emotions, at least in a human sense, he could still feel a sense of familiarity, or contentment, or even the sense of a job well done.
He was full of all of these feelings at the moment. He had been working with Gabe Jackson, the ship's engineer for only a few days. Mr. Jackson had purchased him a few stops previously, taking Humphrey on as an assistant, though from Mr. Jackson's behavior, he seemed more interested in building up his own personal staff so that he could someday own his own ship, and not be a "slave in the backroom". Mr. Jackson seemed to be very friendly with various members of the crew, from all of the crucial certification departments, pilots, navigation, computer, and so on.
At any rate, Mr. Jackson's easy demeanor and blunt honesty had immediately made Humphrey feel at ease around him, and Humphrey felt they had achieved a good working chemistry.
Humphrey was content working in such good company, and on such a prestigious vessel as the H.M.S. Queen Marie XXII. In just the past few days they had been to exotic places that his previous masters had only talked about.
And as far as a job well done, Humphrey did an absolutely wonderful job of picking up those cables, at least in his opinion. A few quick computations showed that he had not spared a movement in the task, and had also managed to do it in the manner that would cause the least wear on his own body, while keeping the cables from being worn down at all.

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