Just a little one shot Sci-fi Story I had lying around. I wrote it for an english class, if that's worth anything.
He looked up at the purple-burning sky, wishing for more. It was a dangerous thing to be daydreaming, if his supervisors saw him they'd take him away to be dismantled and replaced. Or they might simply place him in the Malfunctioning Android Department to be analyzed. No matter what reasons one could concoct for not looking at the sky, he couldn't help himself. The sky was infinity more interesting than the rocky surface he stood on, and he wouldn't be able to see it again for the next month. He was being put on the underground unit for a while. For the next 30 days (He never did understand what significance these 'days' had to humans) his only company would be the silent silvery-green rocks under his rubber foot-treads and the equally mute robots that worked beside him. He always dreaded going inside the moon, not because he was afraid, but simply because he wanted to go up past the fiery clouds, if only to see what it looked like.
The small moon he lived on was worth trillions in the intergalactic market, it was practically made of precious Heefie ore. Heefie was the only substance in the galaxy that could withstand the strain of light-speed travel. Unfortunately science had not discovered a way to reproduce it and nature could only create it under the most extreme conditions, like the ones on this moon. The incredible density of the moon's core made gravity's pull ten times what it should have been. The winds were strong enough to move the mountains, causing them to tilt and stretch into many long rocky spikes that jutted out of the ground. Incredible heat during the day combined with the flammable and toxic atmosphere to make purple fireballs appear in the sky. At night the cold caused the volatile gasses to freeze to everything in a sticky gel-like substance. No animals or plants grew here with the exception of highly resilient moss, a few large single celled organisms and some burrowing animals that were more often than not hibernating.
As a result of the hostile conditions, robots were used to mine the ore. The robots were put under the supervision of a small group of humans, living in a small environmentally controlled dome. He looked straight ahead like a good little android when he heard the supervisor coming. As soon as the other group came out of the tunnels his group would be sent the command to go in. The humans that designed him clearly didn't have any communication with the ones that commanded him, if they did they would have realized that he was programmed to recognize patterns and was entirely capable of going into the caves without a command.
He chanced a glance at the supervisor in that puffy yellow suit. He always thought the humans looked very funny, though they were shaped like him they seemed awkward in their bulky space suits. The only thing more hilarious than the way they looked I their suits was the way they looked without them. He had seen them like that before; he was once invited into their dome for a demonstration for some more important humans. They seemed so soft and delicate; he sometimes wondered how easy it would be to crush their squishy, clean, bodies in his hands. He didn't blame them for putting on those ridiculous suits, even the thin clothes he had seen them wear inside the dome seemed to offer their soft, flimsy bodies some protection.
The supervisor, who the others called Paul, walked over to the Master Panel and prepared to send the command. It was 27's understanding that Paul was in charge of monitoring all the robots. He was the one who kept them in repair and most often was their supervisor.
One of the screens on the master panel lit up and another human, who the others called Joyce, appeared and began to talk to Paul. It never made sense to the android as to why the humans had to communicate by these little screens. Couldn't they use The Signal like all the robots? They did seem to have a crude form of The Signal they called talking, but they had never bothered to teach it to any of the robots. They were able to understand certain words, though. Words like, caves, tunnels, dig here, meters, and heavy equipment. He also had learned certain other words that they used often, like important, expensive, output, repairs, and representative.
With his limited understanding of their communications, he picked up that some representative had come and wanted Paul to send something over to The Dome. This something was something that Paul didn't want to send. After a while of what he learned was called 'arguing' Paul seemed to give up and agree with Joyce. The screen flickered off and Paul pressed the loudspeaker button on the side of his helmet.
"Barcode-27, report to the Master Panel immediately."
For a brief second the robot's SPC or self-preservation chip went wild. Had they seen him daydreaming? Did they think him a threat to safety? Were they going to send him to the Malfunctioning Android Department because of it? Then his Logic chip kicked in; if they were going to send him to the M.A.D. there wouldn't have to be an argument about it. When 27 got up to the Master Panel, Paul ordered another robot to replace him. 27 waited patiently as the last group finally came out of the caves and Paul sent the new group in. Paul turned around awkwardly to face the robot.
"It seems the boss wants to talk to you, follow me." Paul led the way to the Dome with 27 following close behind.
"Can't believe they're doing this to me, short handing me right after I lose five bots! Were do they get off?" about three days ago a malfunction with the equipment had caused the destruction of five mining androids like 27.
Paul let out a long breath of air, it seemed this was the common procedure for humans when they needed to stabilize themselves. "But, then again, I knew this was coming, especially with you." Paul sighed as he looked over at 27, "I mean the Barcode Series hasn't exactly been the best with avoiding malfunctions."
"Malfunctions?" 27 asked, in a tinny almost toy-like voice as his self-preservation chip heating up.
"Yeah," Paul replied, only wondering a little bit at the android actually responding. "Almost every Barcode Series 'bot we've got on this rock's malfunctioned in one way or another."
27 thought it best to remain silent for the rest of the walk, and Paul seemed to agree with him, for a while, anyways.
"You're worried, aren't you?"
"Worried?" 27 had never even heard Paul use that word before.
"Yeah, you know, you don't want to get scrapped." 27 understood the word scrap; it often seemed to be one of Paul's favorites. It seemed to pop up in his vocabulary whenever something went wrong. 'Scrap this' and 'scrap that', he'd say when his panel wasn't able to process his commands, or 'aw scrap' whenever he'd hit his foot on something, or 'scrap you!' to the other humans when he wanted to end an argument with them. Most of the time, however, he used it when something stopped working and had to be recycled.
"Worried: Yes." 27 replied, now understanding.
"Well, don't worry, that just means you've got a good SP chip in your head. Besides, so long as your head doesn't start spinning and you don't start spitting sparks, you won't have anything to worry about."
"What is your meaning?" the android asked as politely as a computer can.
"Frankly, if you are malfunctioning, I couldn't care less. You're the best worker I've got and if that can be attributed to some bug in your programming, then that just means I can get the Mother Hive to copy your files and make more of you." The Mother Hive was in an entirely self-automated robot factory built on the moon to cut the cost of shipping in new robots from other planets. It was simply cheaper to buy mounds of scrap and make robots out of that.
"But, just incase they do want me to scrap you . . ." Paul turned to 27 and stuck a load chip in the robot's information port. The load chips 27 was used to would automatically download protocols on how to use tools or how to identify weak points in the rock, this one, however, held a slightly different procedure. As soon as the files had finished loading Paul pulled out the chip and went back to walking.
"If anything goes wrong, you just use those files and you'll be fine."
"Why?" the automaton asked as he looked over the files.
"Why? 'cause I'm gettin' paid to, that's why, and not by my bosses either, but I probably shouldn't tell you this."
"Why not?" the robot was feeling something strange he wanted to know more about this. He felt that no matter how much information he gained it still wouldn't be enough.
"Lemme put it this way, there are some folks out there who would really like to meet a 'bot like you. You're smart and not in the normal calculator-brained kind and that's all I'm gonna say."
They didn't say anything to each other for the remainder of the trip. They got to the entrance and began the decontamination procedure. 27 had to wait while Paul took off his bulky yellow suit, but when that was done the two continued on. They reached the observation room and there was the human Joyce, along with a creature that 27 had learned was their boss. The creature (known as a Laggith) was large with a thick red shell. To humans he would have looked like a 7-foot crab in a business suit. He reminded 27 of the small rock like creatures that were usually found burrowing underground. Despite the Laggith's huge size he did not seem all that powerful. He in fact was quite sickly by Laggithian standards.
"Is this the robot?" the Laggith asked. Paul resisted the urge to point out that if it weren't the robot he wouldn't have brought it.
"Then I shall begin the diagnostic." the Laggith replied regally. 27 had been through what seemed like hundreds of these diagnostics, it was simply a series of questions and maybe some physical tasks used to make sure an android was still functional. "Can you processes commands?" the red creature began.
"Do you know how to use your tools?"
"Have you experienced any problems while recharging?" 27 hesitated only a brief moment, he did have some problems when he recharged. When he booted back up after shutting down he would notice that strange things had happened to his memory files. He would find memory logs of events that never happened. He knew they never happened because there was no time for them to happen. Every nanosecond since he came off the assembly line was accounted for and these 'memories' didn't factor in anywhere. He later learned that the proper name for them was dreams, but not knowing that at that time caused his SP chip to take over.
"No" The general idea of robots throughout the galaxy was that a robot could lie, but there in that room, 27 stood and defied that logic.
"We've got a problem, Mr. Krill." Joyce said to her boss, making 27's SP chip click on in his head.
"What is it?"
"Looks like it has had some problems during recharge. Look at this." She said as her boss came over to observe the data.
Paul leaned over to 27, "I suggest you start looking' at those files I gave you."
"It must have thought that was normal." Krill said to justify the lie, "No matter, throw it out, and the rest of the Barcode series when you get the chance, in the meantime, I'll work on ordering new designs, we are quite outdated here."
"I'll take care of this one, sir." Paul said and he took 27 out of the room. Since the recycling center was out side Paul had to go to the air lock and get re-suited.
According to the files 27 had he would have to act while Paul was suiting up. So, when Paul was about half way dressed, with his suit's pants on and currently being vacuum sealed, 27 stepped out of the air lock and pressed the emergency lock button. The doors slammed shut, trapping Paul inside. Paul looked though the window somberly at 27, then turned to the panel on his side of the door and began to punch in the override code.
Knowing there wasn't much time, 27 moved to the next phase. He began to run down the hallway and right to the shuttle hanger exactly as the map he had up-loaded told him to. He punched in the security codes and rushed towards the ship who's blue prints had also been downloaded.
About then Joyce and Mr. Krill arrived in the hanger's command booth and activated the security system. Guns popped out of the walls and pointed at the robot. Joyce and Mr. Krill smiled in victory as the beams fired on 27. The two were very disappointed, however, when they came to realize that the guns were all set on stun. If 27 had been a living creature the beams would have sent powerful jolts to his brain causing him to temporarily pass out, but since he bas a machine and therefore had no brain the shuttle hanger's defense system proved utterly useless against a robot. By the time the two had reset to guns' settings, the android had jumped, unscathed, in the ship, and was preparing for take-off.
Trying frantically to keep 27 from taking off Joyce slammed her hand down on a button that closed and locked the bay doors. Words appeared on the ship's panel, telling the renegade automaton about this. The files he had been given didn't say what to do in such a situation and on top of that he had never learned how to read. Even if he could read he had absolutely no idea what the word 'locked' meant. If he had known he wouldn't have even thought of simply blasting off and breaking through the doors. Using the ship's onboard autopilot he was able to navigate the hostile sky. It was a bumpy ride and would have been both uncomfortable and nerve-racking if robots could feel comfort of had nerves to rack. Since Barcode 27 could only tell that the ride was bumpy he found his little journey though the fiery sky to be quite pleasant. Within minutes he was out of the moon's atmosphere. The ship drifted on it's own momentum for a while until the panel told him that it was now safe to engage light-drive. The files told him what to do now, hide himself on anyone of the nearby planets.
For the first time in his life 27 felt the urge to look around him. He looked out the window and saw them, billions and billions of stars. Paul's files had told him that most of those stars had planets on them, and he could easily hide himself on any of them. 27 now looked at the inky-black sky, knowing he could have something more.