BZPB

A Free-for-All Collaborative Fiction/RPG Forum with a Long-Lived Community!

View the BZPB Wiki for more information about the site and the BZPB Multiverse.


    Mean Machine

    Share
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:59 pm

    Prologue: HELLO, WORLD

    ~ ~ ~

    Bugging eyes stare at you out of the gloom. From their place resting in a metal skull, they drink in the visual input, and read every expression on your face. The lidless orbs flick about, drawn to every single twitch and motion of disgust, fascination, horror, and delight on your face. A cord hooked into the back of the head of messy, dark blue hair courses with energy, sending sparks dancing over those eyes. With an effortless movement that even you, its - her creator had not anticipated, the rising machine flips her face on. The young, Asian features gaze at you blankly, before gaining an appalling grin of self-aware malice.

    You brought her into this world, but if and when the time comes, you might not be able to take her out of it.
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:23 pm

    Chapter 1: hurts.

    ~ ~ ~

    She's so intelligent that it's frightening. Whomever the genetic donor was, they must have had an inherent predilection for brilliance. It took ten minutes for her to memorize all the perfect squares from 1 to 400; she absorbed basic information on the Periodic Table like a sponge; and now, she's writing spur-of-the-moment short stories on the level of a college graduate. There's only one problem, which you discovered when you asked her to give her opinion on the Scientific Method.

    When she opened her mouth, a truly horrid, metallic grinding noise rattled your bones and set your teeth on edge. You had to put a hand over her mouth, and when you were at last confident to move that hand away, she was giving you a sly smirk. The suggestion for her to use sign language was instantly an object of regret, as she broke into a string of incredibly rude gestures. At last, you convinced her to use a handheld touchpad device. She proceeded to type out for you: I don't give one damn #### about your Scientific Method, other than a means to an end. Now, the two of you are sitting in terse silence, on two sides of a table.

    Just typing away on her device, she'll occasionally glance up at you. You've dealt with enough crass teenagers to know that recognition is all she wants. Thus, you occupy yourself with your Sudoku. You do so love Sudoku. Then, you hear an odd crack, and her whining. You swiftly look up and toss the book down. Your creation is whining and grunting like an animal, holding onto her left wrist for dear life. That hand is flailing madly, and you know exactly what's wrong. You take out a tiny multitool, and carefully maneuvre over. Flipping open a panel on her wrist, you work on the flashing circuits.

    Soon, the spasms desist, and her hand is just left shivering. Just as you close the panel again, the automaton throws her bony arms around your chest and pulls you into a ferociously strong hug. You don't rightly know how to react to her low moans and sobs. Inexplicably, you feel...Guilty. All you can do is gently pat the back of her hair, and rub your other hand in slow circles on her back. This will be difficult for both of you.
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:19 pm

    Chapter 2: [please retrieve outlet] 1

    ~ ~ ~

    It turns out that many more glitches afflict your creation in the days to come. Mainly, her joints act up in strange ways, or she gets random pains under her skin. Thankfully, she has the intelligence to indicate what hurts, and the perseverence to wait for you to correct the errors. It takes almost a week, but in those six days, you iron out all of the preliminary mistakes in her design; for three days, not a single kink appears in her body's activities. Ever since, you've not had to deal with those faulty quirks in design.

    However, there are still some other...Miscalculations which you have to deal with. First and foremost is that she is inherently crude and exceptionally aggressive. You wouldn't dare show her to your colleagues in the field of cybernetics, as she still greets you half of the time with a rude gesture of some kind. You would try to correct some of the flaws, were you certain that they were, indeed, flaws. There was always the possibility that her donor's DNA had caused her A.I. to develop in an unforeseen fashion. Until you can be absolutely certain which is the case, you can't tamper with her A.I.

    This doesn't mean you won't stop privately bemoaning her behavior. She has so very, very much nervous energy pent up inside of her, and seems to have no outlet for it than the shooting range. It won't be long before the system's capacity to build drones is outstripped by her ability to destroy them. Then, she might just find other targets to turn her guns upon.

    As such, you are horrified when you can't find her one day, after returning from a meeting. She was ordered to not enter the shooting range on her own, with a limiting shocker placed to make sure that she wouldn't attempt it repeatedly. However, when you check your console, you find that the shocker has not been tripped. You decide to test out the tracking system.

    She's in your quarters.


    Last edited by Lucky Zev! on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:36 pm

    Chapter 3: [please retrieve outlet] 2

    ~ ~ ~

    You nearly trip over yourself to reach your room. Within are your pet projects, and a number of prototype weapons. She has been able to learn how to use all twenty-three weapons available to your training center, from five different planets, in a matter of two or three minutes each. If she learns how to use something like the double-function, rapidfire plasma rifle that you've been tinkering with on-and-off for a month, then there is nothing between this complex and the outside world that can stop her from shooting her way to freedom.

    However, you are surprised that not a single weapon or pet project has been touched in your room. From the music you can hear, she went straight for your electronic piano. You enter cautiously, hearing her try out several broken segments of songs. Then, you find her - crouched like a wild cat atop your cushioned chair, hands resting silently on the piano. Her eye flicks over to see you, she doesn't smile or flip you off like she is wont to do, she doesn't go to snatch up the pistol resting right below the chair. No, no...She looks back at the piano, and begins to play for you.

    Her hands are a blur of motion, hitting what you know to be every exact key for every precise note she wanted. At one point, she hits the controls for a more brassy sound to her notes, before switching back to the regular setting; all so quickly and masterfully that she never once hits a sour note. She is precise and focused, and is in complete control of the music. Or perhaps she's under the music's sway? You've heard stories about certain automatons reacting so powerfully to music that the song more plays itself, through them. You're honestly not certain which is the case, here.

    Now, she's playing a slow, sad, but in a way, hopeful outro. When she's finished, she turns in the chair, and rises to her feet. Those bangs nearly cover her eyes, but you can see her emerald green orbs looking right at you. Funnily, you're only just now noticing how the thoughts of a living creature and the calculations of a machine can both be seen, whirling behind eyes that you never before realized were green.

    Before you know it, she smiles, gives a laugh rather like pieces of flint scraping, and lunges. You allow her to hug you, with a dumb smile on your face. For what feels like the first time, and very well may be, you speak to her as a human being.

    "That was splendid. You...You, are splendid."


    Last edited by Lucky Zev! on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:36 pm

    Chapter 4: performance soon to begin! please enjoy!

    ~ ~ ~

    It seems that music was the key to calming your creation all along. Just as with weaponry, she can pick up practically any instrument and learn to play in minutes. She has a particular affection for stringed instruments, and your electronic piano. It at first made you quite uncomfortable for her to end her recharging cycle, then enter your quarters in the dead of night, and begin to play a song. However, she only plays soft, gentle songs, and it has actually lent a marked improvement to your sleep patterns.

    What does not put you at ease, however, is that she is reluctant to return instruments to you for placement in the community music room. It's like a child, convinced that even if they are on their best behavior, they still might never see an object or a friend again. Thus, with how she has behaved previously, it's understandable that she's well-aware that you would have your own reasons to not indulge her musical fancies. What she does not realize, however, is that you are not the cold man she assumes you to be. Thus, you pay a visit to the musical director - who is also your coalition's foremost expert on nanotechnology - and convince him to give her one chance, one single chance. He has been one of the few individuals that you've confided in about the cyborg's unruly behavior, so you do not blame him one iota for needing much convincing that she would not wreck the room. Once you have reasonably satisfied him, he goes about gathering his three assistants, and you visit your creation.

    She is sitting in her charging cradle, eyes staring blankly ahead. As soon as the door whirrs open, her eyes flick over to look at you. A spark dances over one orb, attracted to her pupil, as you sit in your chair next to her. "Now," you say awkwardly, "you have been given an opportunity, to, how to say...Prove yourself. I am going to bring you to the musical center, where they will allow you to play piano for the staff there." Her mouth tightens in consternation. You're the only human she's known in her brief 'life' thus far. You can understand why she might not trust this offering. "The community rules dictate no firearms or other weaponry," you offer appeasingly, "but I promise, so long as you behave as well as you have been, you won't have any need of them. They just want to hear you play. If you play, and show them that you are deserving, then you can visit the musical center under supervision." Her eyes widen almost imperceptibly. You see the corners of her mouth twitch upwards, once, twice. "They have an electronic piano, like what I have in my room; they also have mixing tables, guitars, violins, anything you'd like. You just have to behave well, and not harm anyone, and you will be fine. I know that there are going to be times when you'll want to hurt someone, inevitably, once I introduce you to the outside world...But it will pay dividends, I swear it, to be the bigger person, and not sink to the level of someone you hate. Now, do you promise me that you will behave?" You watch her cautiously.

    With a twitching movement, her hand rises up. Her fingers flex, once, twice, then begin to make a gesture. She's giving you a thumbs up. With a smile, she nods with just enough motion for you to see. You smile, murmur your thanks, and leave to allow her to finish her charging. Minutes later, you can tell she's finished charging, but still wait. It was certainly awkward the first and only time you entered her personal quarters without her permission. Soon, she exits the room again. She's wearing a bulletproof vest, and woven armor pants. Well, you suppose that after all the research she's done on humanity, she has every right to want to take that extra ounce of prevention, in case of an unexpected attack.

    It takes mere minutes to head down to the musical center. The room sinks into the floor towards the rear half, with three rows of seats facing the main area. Said main area houses a number of instruments, including both an electronic and a regular piano, two synthesizers, and several more in cylindrical cases. The musical director, with his bushy beard and wire-rimmed spectacles, gives your creation a look. She stares back at him blankly, expression unreadable. As she passes him by and heads down to the main floor, the man whispers to you, "I do hope you know what you're doing here, Maddock." You nod, and go down after your creation. The three assistants are aleady seated, and look unaware of your creation's more ornery habits. Fortunate, that.

    She sits at the piano, and rests her fingers on the keys. Her foot taps once, twice, thrice on the floor. Then, she begins to play. It is the same song she played in your room, but somehow refined even further. Faster, flowing out of the central area like a river, not a single note is played in vain, not one key is hit improperly. Your creation has made an improvement upon perfection, and you find something grabbing at the pit of your chest. When she has brought her song to an end, and the small audience is clapping in approval, and she smiles, and she hugs you tight, you can now put it into words.

    "You are so amazing," you say, choked, down to her. "I am so, so proud of you."


    Last edited by Lucky Zev! on Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:48 am

    Chapter 5: [COMBAT PROTOCOL];;::no connection

    ~ ~ ~

    The day which you have been dreading has come at last. Your creation is to be sent on her first mission. You will still have contact with her, but she will be under the orders of Central Command. Over and over and over again, you have discussed the mission with her: infiltrate the enemy base, kill all personnel, retrieve their files, return to base for debriefing. Thankfully, she has a maximum battery life of 720 hours; more than enough to get her through the mission. Now, you can only hope for the best as she enters the ship.

    You return to your console to speak to her, but find that your comm is blocked. Those cads! They're jamming your radio! Be it new protocol or blatant subterfuge, you really can only think of it as the tactical style of blithering imbeciles and rabid baboons. If your creation begins to go berserk, you have no way of calming her down. All you can hope and pray for is that she does not get herself damaged or destroyed; knowing that the event of the former would inevitably lead to the latter. You hope against hope that this will not be a disaster.

    Four hours later, the drop ship returns. She leaves the ship with a limp, still carrying her carbine. She has a scorched scar on her cheek, and is glaring hatefully at the commander. When she steps closer to him, you nearly vomit in fear. All of the guards' guns are trained on her. Yet she merely holds out a bruised hand, and opens her fingers. Rested neatly in her palm is a tiny data drive. When the commander says his thanks and goes for it, she callously shoves it into his hand and drops her weapon on the floor.

    She runs past the commander, past his guards, past the other personnel, and hugs you tight. She's not crying, thankfully, but she's shaking violently. Without much forethought, you tuck her legs under one arm, support her head with the other, and lift her up. You installed the capacity for sleep in case she needed relief from the stress of possessing emotions, and she's making good use of it now.

    You don't spare the group of men behind you a look as you carry her straight to her quarters. She deserves a good, long rest.
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:45 pm

    Chapter 6: TEZCATLIPOCA;

    ~ ~ ~

    Your creation has found a friend, it seems. Another scientist had a pet project of his own; an experimental A.I. named Tezcatlipoca. It has been tailormade to keep track of birth dates, dates of rank promotion, dates of expulsion, and dates of death in your association. It, or you should say, he is also adept at puzzles and strategy games. He came into contact with your creation, and introduced her to an online military strategy game. She now plays during her six hour-long rest periods, while she also loves to play him in digital chess.

    It is fortunate that she has been given a break, on account of her first mission being a resounding success, as she and Tezcatlipoca (or 'Tezca' as he will respond to) spend hours on end playing a single game of chess. You periodically check in between your working times to see how she's doing. Every one of their matches is truly a marvel to watch - they go for hours and hours, always thinking out three options for every next six or seven turns. You can tell, because studies were done on the maximum level of intelligence that Earth's cybernetics and digital work can achieve. Right now, the two of them are engaged in a match that has been going on for three hours. Your creation has only lost two Pawns and a Knight, yet Tezca's losses of a Pawn and a Rook are hardly an issue. You take a moment to read the command log preserved from your creation's processes.

    IF: bpawn6 (advance 2)
      THEN: wrook1 (take bpawn6)

    IF: brook2 (take wknight2)
      THEN: wbishop2 (advance 3, left)

    MOVEMENT #68: bpawn6 (advance 2)
      MOVEMENT #69: wrook1 (take bpawn6)

    processing command::::;;;;
    command sent. new command sequence in 5 milliseconds.
    4,
    3,
    2,
    1:
    IF: bqueen (take wrook1)...


    You love seeing how your creation strategizes, but this is a bit too much to follow. Thus, you retreat to your quarters, and leave your creation to her distractions.

    She has most certainly earned them.
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:33 pm

    Chapter 7: "!!"

    ~ ~ ~

    You wake up one cold morning to find several of your tools and a few experimental devices missing. A variable-purpose transcriber and translater, and a similar multipurpose speaker. You don't know what she intends to do, but something about it makes you terrified.

    Down to her quarters, you follow the sounds of static and metallic screeches. Just outside of her door, you stop. All has gone silent. You press the access pad, allow it to read the pattern of veins inside of your hand, and step through the open door. When you see your creation inside, you begin to cry.

    She's smiling so proudly, the panel on the front of her neck opened. A few flecks of pale gray gel are spattered on her shirt, and for a moment, you're terrified of what she's done to herself. Then, she makes a scraping, static-shrouded noise. She does it again, and again, until it becomes clearer. You listen closely.

    "Krrrrkkkch...Krrrrrchhhkkkzzzztch...Krrrrtchhhhd...Darrrrtchhhhh...Da...d...Dad...Dad. Dad. Dad! Dad! Dad!"

    Your creation throws the tools in her hands down, closes her neck, and continues shouting her first word over and over again. She hugs you, and begins to cry. "Dad, can talk. Can talk. Dad. Dad! I can talk, Dad! I can talk to you now, Dad!" You cry even harder.

    "I...I know, dear. I...You are...You are amazing."
    avatar
    Klak
    Resident Klak Expert

    Posts : 3563
    Coins : 13416
    Reputation : 7015
    Join date : 2010-11-08
    Age : 116
    Location : Yes

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Klak on Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:24 pm

    Wow. Zev, this is....amazing. The character development, the suspense, the second-person narrative, the feels.

    Bravo. I have to say this is one of your best stories yet. Bravo.


    _________________


    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:15 pm

    Chap. 8: wake^

    ~ ~ ~

    <leaving charging stage>
    processing standing commands&notes;;;;
    1:greet tezca and nannybot
    2:flip off nannybot(IF nannybot is being irritating to emotional processors)
    3:snuggle poochinello the best puppydoll in the world
    4:download updates from poochinello's etherdrive
    4a:process updates
    4b:sort updates by priority markers
    5:get dressed
    5a:try on glow-in-the-dark underwear
    6:take extra measures to ensure that no one discovers glow-in-the-dark underwear
    7:begin physical training
    7a:play "Keep Calm and Do Yo Thang" track
    end of standing commands&notes.//
    avatar
    Malygos
    Magus Ascendant

    Posts : 326
    Coins : 4713
    Reputation : 2003
    Join date : 2011-02-15
    Age : 22
    Location : Science

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Malygos on Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:48 am

    Hehe, I like the robot as child. This is quite brilliant.
    avatar
    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

    Posts : 1593
    Coins : 4510
    Reputation : 1116
    Join date : 2010-12-25
    Location : Despite all my rage, still trapped like a rat in a cage

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:57 am

    Here is the end of this story, which is the beginning of a longer tale.

    ...I've arbitrarily decided that a few minutes ago. This story is too good to just finish like this, but I thought that this would be an appropriate way to end the first part.

    So! Look forward to a continuation, at a later date!

    ~ ~ ~

    Chap. 9: Designation: ...
    I have named her Manyia.

    As far as I can tell, it's a word in an ancient dialect that means approximately "a precious jewel" or "an unanticipated treasure." I found that both translations suited by creation quite well. I call her my creation, but by the day, she seems more like a daughter.

    Or perhaps a capricious little sister, depending on her mood. Manyia learned of my inherent chastity, and always gets a good laugh by randomly strolling on out of her room in her purple camouflage fatigue-patterned underwear. Thankfully, she doesn't come out wearing any less - not after the incident last Mirthful Festival. She apologized no less than two dozen times when I nearly knocked myself out, falling backwards at her emergence wearing a sling bikini.

    She is truly a singular and unique being. I've now begun to observe how she learns to use different weapons. Every day, when her scheduled shooting practice comes around, Manyia takes time to pick up her current weapon and analyze it. The weapon is turned over and over again, as her deft fingers examine each and every mechanism. Only when she is satisfied with her appraisal does she ever open fire on the targets.

    Perhaps I am more proud of how Manyia has learned to exercise more intelligent methods of combat. One day, she asked me, "Otchin, could you install something into my left shoulder?" I was always delighted when she called me Otchin, after I learned that it was a word in the same dialect as her name. What she had requested for me to install was a device she had bought with earnings from a few missions: separated into five components, a disc within a ring and three inlaid spheres. The spheres acted as invasive probes, assessing the situation whilst remaining largely hidden. Indeed, I feel a curious pride at how Manyia has grown past her desire to simply shoot her way out of any situation. She knows I'm proud, and this encourages her to think on the battlefield.

    It is not her sharpshooting nor her reconaissance, nor any combat talent that make me most proud however. That would be her blossoming talent in music. Through trial and error, she has become what I would call a master of numerous instruments. She'll patiently work the strings of her guitar in the commons area, singing a quiet melody in her scratchy voice. Manyia used to make them all so very uneasy, but now, she can bring about a certain peace.

    All thanks to this strange machine, this happy accident, my life is so blessed.

    Additional Data Forthcoming...

    Sponsored content

    Re: Mean Machine

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Sun May 28, 2017 10:27 pm