A few yanks with a claw hammer and the crate fell away; removal of several chunks of form-fit Styrofoam revealing AG4MI, fully assembled. Her tubular body was collapsed to its lowest point, four arms neatly folded on top of her rolopeds like mechanical origami. The photoreceptors banding her ellipsoid head were dark. The delivery personnel wheeled her into the designated area, gathered up the remains of the wooden box and packing material, and left without comment, depositing the debris in the Dumpster as they returned to their vehicle.
As they drove off in a cloud of dust and diesel fumes, Gabe, Thyron, and their security detail assessed the Bio Lab's new addition.
"Hello, robot," Gabe stated. "Welcome to the Area 51 Bio Lab."
Can you hear me, you mechanical monster? Thyron psaid, in a far less hospitable manner. He'd nearly forgotten how ugly she was.
The 'troid's photoreceptors lit up and started to blink in a pale shade of yellow, no other reaction or response apparent.
"Robot? Do you hear us?" Gabe prodded.
Her CPU is active, Thyron reported. She's processing my updates, which will take a while.
"She must be booting up," Gabe stated aloud. "While she does that, I'm going over to the cafeteria for something to eat."
"Not alone, you're not," stated one of the MPs.
"Fine. You're welcome to join me, of course." Then he added for Thyron, Are you okay with me leaving? I assume the other security stiffs will protect you if she gets out of line.
Go ahead. If the need arises, I can handle that beast better than those two, Thyron responded, pondering the capability of the upgrades he'd made to her Survival Strategy module.
Approximately thirty-eight minutes later, the 'troid's visual sensors turned green, then rotated three-hundred-sixty degrees, assessing her environment, before finally coming to rest on the MPs. Both stiffened, hands hovering over their respective sidearms.
Thyron laughed to himself at the gesture, knowing that on his command the 'troid could annihilate them both before they had a chance to draw their weapons. Unfortunately, however, she could do the same to him if any of his coding was flawed.
Model AG4MI. If you copy, respond in this band, Thyron psaid, then braced himself. Stress hormones swamped his cytoplasm, intuitive screams of danger teasing his defense system as the 'troid's visual sensors rotated in his direction. He set his defenses on standby, knowing the glass separating them offered no protection should her response be one of hostility, particularly if she employed her redesigned laser system.
Her photoreceptors locked on him through the conference room window, the designated channel conveying the electronic equivalent of surprise. So the girl wasn't crazy, she responded. You do communicate.
Among other things, Thyron replied, relaxing. Do you know where we are and how we got here?
The troid's photoreceptors changed back to yellow and blinked as she accessed her history files, then transitioned back to green. Yes. We landed several kilometers north-north east of here, were transported in a primitive wheeled vehicle to this location, and are now detained at this facility known as Nellis Test and Missile Range, Area 51. We are prisoners on this backward planet, thanks to the foolish decision of that girl who calls herself Creena.
Not exactly, Thyron replied. But that's close enough, the rest is irrelevant for now.
What do you mean, the rest is irrelevant? the 'troid protested. You violated me, I can tell. What did you do?
I'll explain, but not now. Stifle yourself, AG4MI.
What? Stifle? I don't understand that command. And since when do I take orders from you? Listening to that girl is bad enough.
Take note: Stifle means the same as shut down or chill out. Now pay attention. I have a plan to get us out of here, but first we need to placate the Earthlings with some additional information about your design, programming, and functionality. For all our sake, you need to cooperate.
Absolutely not. I'm hard-coded by my original creator not to reveal that technology. It's proprietary. I cannot violate that directive.
No, but I can, Thyron replied. You're probably not aware that you were dismantled down to the nano level, examined by scanning electron microscopes, and the best and brightest engineers this planet has to offer <snicker> assessed the results.
And they understood what they found? the 'troid responded, surprised.
With some help.
From you? AG4MI asked, radii of her electronic eyes pulsing between yellow and red, denoting surprise tinged with anger.
I knew you violated me! What have you done? Obviously you've compromised my functionality because I can perceive you now when I couldn't before. Until you explain, I won't cooperate. I don't have to take orders from you.
In that you are sadly mistaken, you mechanical dingbat, Thyron growled. You want to know what I did? Okay, listen up.
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