Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #89: The Head Is Purely Ornamental



Glenn couldn't breathe.
  The big metal…thing had snuck up behind him and was sucking his life out, at least it felt like that.  It's big metal arm was at his throat. Choking him.
   He managed to scream.
     Glenn was in town on inland leave, he was a border patrolman.  It was a pretty boring job, because most threats seemed to come from inland, somehow, but the uniform was nice, and the pay was good enough.
          The Sargent had never said anything about big metal things that sneak up behind you and choke you to death.
              Glenn tried to scream again, but he was nearly out of air, so that didn't really work.
   The Sargent, whose name was Arnold, was on inland leave too and had seen Glenn get grabbed by the big metal…thing. Arnold hadn't rose in the cut-throat ranks of border patrolmen by waiting around, so he drew his sword and charged.
He drove the sword into the MK4's head, thinking that's where the brain was. In reality, the The Head is purely ornamental and the brain {Such as it was} was in the torso.

  Arnold, like all Legopolians, had only vague notions about robots, so he couldn't have known that drawing a metal weapon and driving it into one was a terrible idea.

-=fig. 585: electrocution=-
The current traveled out of the MK4, through the sword, and made Arnold's hair stand on end. 
Unfortunately it also traveled over the exposed metal body of the MK4, along its arms, and into Glenn, who was trapped in the MK4's vice-like grip. 
 Pretty much everyone got electrocuted, except the robot, somehow.
-=-
Glenn stood up.  He felt…Good.  “I…Survived!  Sgt. Arnold! I Survived!”
-=fig. 586: dead?=-

A voice like a slab of lead said “YES, ER, ABOUT THAT…”
 Glenn went white.  “I'm Dead, aren't I?”
    DEATH was relieved, this made his job so much easier. “YES, YES YOU ARE.”
-=-
Dr. Smith Rounded the corner.

-=fig. 587: i have you now=-

   He had chased the MK4 that had gotten those poor Border Patrolmen down here, but it had disappeared. He only had the one shot, all the others were with Capt. Brown on the basis that he was a better marksman.
    In retrospect, that was the reverse of what they should have done.
      At least at this range Dr. Smith couldn't miss.

-=fig. 588: in over his head=-
Ah.
 *Zap!*
The MK4's marched forward over the body of the Mk4 Dr. Smith had shot.
 Dr. Smith was out of power now, but the Mk4's didn't really seem to notice him.
  He got out of the way.
   Once they had passed by, Dr. Smith pulled a little computer out of his briefcase and plugged it into the trampled robot.  The robot was beyond repair, but the little computer allowed Dr. Smith to see the its source code, and the logs, and maybe find out what had caused all this. The logs showed that the…3-X TERM-1: NAT3 virus had deleted Program.1 and replaced the original source code with this:

Var.MK4= Status.PowerOn 
  <Open> Program.2; 
    <Start> Cmd.DESTROY; Var.HUMANS <Ref> File.HUMAN-IDENTIFICATION</Ref>
<WHILE> Var.HUMANS=1+ goto: line3;
 <IF> Var.HUMANS=0 STOP

It was only a few words different from Dr. Smith's original program,  but it was nearly twice as deadly. 
  The earthquake indicated that the MK4's had realised that Dr. Smith was human.
It was time to leave.



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