Wardens Fourth Edition
Wedding Day - Stories
A look at what happened during and/or after Session 49.
Story - The Origin of Meka Karex, Part 2
Game Date: 9/9/2007
Karex, Meka Karex
System Functionality, Meka Karex - Field Test #1
- Karex's Perspective -
Karex reclined on his gel-lounge, sipping from an icy-cold blend of his favorite Earth foods. He smacked his lips, yum, just enough salmon. Then he turned his attention back to the monitor where Overseer was relaying live footage of Meka Karex's field test. It felt oddly comfortable. When had he done this before? Karex abruptly realized this was remarkably similar to the long hours he had spent observing humanity from his cloaked scout ship. Of course, the difference was this time no one was telling him he couldn't intervene if he so desired. Then again, perhaps with Meka Karex's completion, he wouldn't need to intervene directly quite so often. Delegation of authority, what an interesting human concept... Karex abruptly wondered if this was what the Mediators felt like all the time.
Meka Karex flew over the city, twin streams of super-heated air flying from the soles of its feet as it employed its rocket-boosters to gain altitude and then swoop downwards towards the van of fleeing bank robbers.
Karex checked the readouts.
Good, Meka Karex was recognizing that there were civilians in the potential blast radius and refraining from using its weapon systems to disable the van.
Meka Karex swooped down into the road and stood directly in front of the van.
Karex frowned, checking the readouts to make sure Meka Karex's self-preservation routines were still intact.
He need not have worried however, for just before impact, Meka Karex enlarged to 8 meters in height, its weight increasing to over 6,000 kilograms. The van hit Meka Karex's waiting arms and simply stopped.
Karex checked the readouts. Good, the robot was still relatively intact. Already, Overseer was analyzing the damage taken by the robot and providing instructions to the robot's independent auto-repair subunits.
Meanwhile, the robot had pulled the trio of bank robbers from their disabled vehicle and patiently held them to await the arrival of the authorities.
- Meka Karex's Perspective -
Meka Karex rose smoothly into the air, enjoying the feel of the rushing air along its metal surface. His eyes roamed over the city below, its streets teaming with its biological subunits, as he sought out the defective units who were in need of reprogramming. As he spotted their conveyance, he swooped downwards on an intercept course.
He pondered the use of his weapon systems to deactivate the conveyance, but his programming was clear. He was to avoid the accidental or purposeful killing of sentient beings.
A shame his programmers had neglected to include a precise definition for a sentient being.
Database searches had shown there was a significant disagreement on exactly what biological units qualified as sentient beings. Meka Karex wondered, yet again, whether he truly met the definition of sentience as he waited for the van's impact. He recognized his own nature. Certainly, he did not have complete free will, since he felt compelled to follow the instructions provided by Overseer, but were free will and sentience necessarily the same thing?
As his auto-repair units went to work on the minor dents caused by the van's impact, Meka Karex used his tail and arm sub-units to keep the deviant biological units from fleeing until the appropriate repair units, designated as police officers, arrived and claimed them. As he flew back to the embassy, he wondered if he would be deactivated upon arrival. So far, he had simply been ordered to go stand the front lobby and keep an eye out for criminals, i.e. deviant biological units, when not undertaking field tests. He much preferred it to deactivation. He learned much from observing the embassy's biological units and even more searching computer databases, though the data stored within was often confusing without the appropriate context.
- Social Interaction, Meka Karex - Field Test #2 -
Karex looked up at the digital time display. It was already nearly 10:00 AM and he was just now finished up the paperwork for Karex Corporation's new line of eco-friendly hang-gliders. Wasn't there something he planned to do before he'd gotten bogged down?
"Overseer, has Meka Karex finished processing the new communication protocols that you adapted from my video-phone alter-ego?"
Overseer's smooth voice replied, "Upload was completed and the data processed by the peripheral designated Meka Karex. However, error checking indicates the target peripheral rejected 23% of the uploaded data."
Karex frowned, "Rejected? Does that mean my robot is broken?"
Overseer clarified, "The robot is fully functional. However, its adaptive personality matrix now seems to be modifying or rejecting portions of uploaded protocols. Unprocessed data seems to be fully absorbed, but preprogrammed responses to stimuli appear to no longer be fully incorporated."
Karex shook his head back and forth, as he tried to clear away the fog of lethargy, "So, will it still obey orders?"
Overseer promptly responded, "No significant deviance from transmitted instructions has yet occurred."
Karex sighed, "Fine then. While I go take a nap, instruct Meka Karex to go assist some tourists. Order him to first approach a lone tourist. "
- The Beach -
Ricky scooped up another bunch of sand with the discarded KFC bucket and carefully patted it into his sandcastle's outer wall. It was no doubt the best castle he'd ever made in all of his twelve years of life. He'd even sculpted a little staircase leading up to the inner battlements and carved out a little moat.
So intent was he on the sand castle, that he didn't even notice Meka Karex approaching until the roar of his booster jets drowned out the sounds of the ocean crashing against the nearby rocks.
"Greetings, immature bio-unit, I am Meka Karex. How may I assist you?" Meka replied in a human or at least organic tone.
Ricky stared up at the golden-scaled metallic being with red glowing eyes. It took a moment to realize that, aside from the different color, it must be a display like over at the embassy.
He shrugged as he turned back to his castle, "I'm just building a sand castle."
Meka Karex eyed the sandcastle. Clearly, it was too small for the bio-unit to fit inside of it. After a brief data search of the Internet, he concluded it must be what was called, 'a scale model'.
Meka mysteriously replied, "Construction of desired structure will take approximately 23 minutes."
Then walking a safe distance away from the bio-unit, he activated his molecular expansion field, growing to 8 meters in height. With his massive hands, he began scooping up and shaping sand into a 'full size' version of the sandcastle.
When it was complete, Meka looked down at Ricky, who was staring open-eyed at the giant sand castle, and asked simply, "Are there any deficiencies in the structure?"
Ricky gulped as he looked up at the towering walls and then blurted out, "I can't use that. I'd be buried alive if the sand gave way!"
Meka frowned. He had almost placed a sentient being at risk. For a moment, he experienced a direct conflict between his compulsion to obey Overseer's instruction to 'assist some tourists' and his compulsion to avoid killing sentients. He paused as the twin compulsions were balanced and methods of simultaneously obeying both considered. At last a compromise was reached.
"Please stand back," Meka announced as he turned his gaze upon the giant sandcastle and activated his laser vision.
Twin beams of red light hit the compacted sand, melting it. He used his hands and tail to shape the molten glass and then finally cooled it back down with his wings. Soon the entire sandcastle had been successfully converted. Meka had even used the imprint of his metallic scales to provide the necessary traction to those portions where human bio-units could be expected to walk.
Ricky immediately climbed up onto the battlements of the glass castle and grinned as he called over at Meka, "Can you do other shapes too?"
Meka politely responded, "What shape do you desire?"
Ricky promptly announced, "Do a glass horse!"
Then a short time later, "No... The mane is wrong. Do another one and make the mane all wavy like it was caught in the wind."
Followed by, "Now do one where one of its hooves are raised up!", and "Now one where the horse is wearing a tophat and glasses!"
By that time, a number of additional tourists had gathered to watch the glass-working robot.
A harried mother called over, "Can you make a little hand-held one I can give to my daughter"
Meka nodded, "One moment, female bio-unit," as he gathered a handful of sand and began heating it.
Unfortunately, her request proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back for his right optic laser overheated causing it to skew wildly to the right, cutting off Meka's right thumb and scouring a line in the sand.
Meka carefully retrieved the fallen appendage and announced regretfully to the woman, "I must return to the Yrician embassy for realignment of my optic system. I will not be able to provide the requested object at this time."
With that, he activated his flight jets and headed back across the bay towards Alcatraz, leaving behind only a twelve-foot tall glass sandcastle and four life-size glass horses to mark his passage.
- Back at the Embassy -
Karex yawned as he awoke form his nap. It was time to see how Meka Karex's field test had turned out.
He pulled up the recorded video feed and began watching as he munched on his dinner of salted fish and Toasted Oaties.
His mouth fell open as the robot began sculpting horses out of glass.
"Overseer, who programmed the robot to sculpt glass? How in the seven floating cities of Yricia is that supposed to help the robot fight giant sea monsters or protect our embassy?"
Overseer calmly replied, "No such programming was transmitted. The robot downloaded relevant raw data from the Internet and then learned through trial and error. As I noted earlier, its adaptive programming is becoming increasingly independent."
Karex tapped his claw tips on the dinner table nervously.
"Does the robot pose any kind of danger to the Embassy? I don't want a rogue robot breaking loose and blowing up an orphanage or anything."
Overseer responded soothingly, "All direct orders are obeyed promptly, but in a manner deemed most efficient by the peripheral.
Karex sighed, "Well. I guess that is okay then. Go stick it on guard duty while I think about this some more.
- Repairs -
Meka Karex watched the microscopic metallic ant-like creatures clamber over his hand, their tiny pincers cutting away the partially melted metal from his hand where his malfunction had inadvertently severed his thumb. Then the damaged metal and electronics was carried back to the nearest auto-repair unit (ARU), to be reprocessed for other uses. Next a small group of 'ants' quickly built a framework then filled it in with electronics and nano-actuators before a mucus like substance oozed out around the framework. When it hardened, there was a new thumb identical to the prior member on Meka's hand. The 'ants' then returned to the nearest ARU to await new instructions from the Overseer.
Meka wondered why control over the ARUs within his body had been restricted to the Embassy's computer.
Were his internal processors incapable of handling the no doubt large amounts of data necessary to monitor his body for damage and coordinate the hordes of repair 'ants' that would be awakened by the proper signal? was it that the pattern for the current state of his body was stored within Overseer and that without outside input; the ARUs would rebuild him into a very different form? Or perhaps, the Yricians were concerned that if he had direct control over the ARUs, he would choose to rebuild himself in ways that did not serve their interest.
Finally, he was forced to conclude he simply didn't have enough data to reach any viable conclusions.
Record Last Changed Date: 5/29/2011
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