“What is this?” Gonzo looked at Sophie in utter confusion. Did they have musical machines down there? A sentient synthesizer? Both moved their heads back towards the screen. “That’s it!”, Sophie shouted excitedly. “It’s that shadow!” In the distance they could see a figure, resembling a human silhouette. As Major slowly moved closer, the sound coming from that figure got clearer. It really was some kind of melody, it sounded beautiful but also very sad. Then, the music stopped. In the dim flickering of the lights it looked as if the figure had discovered the tiny robot. Hastily, it seemed, it tried to escape. And it didn’t really  move like a human being…

Quickly, Sophie switched to her putty console, and typed in a few commands for Major:

terminal

The engine howled and immediately Major moved faster, chasing the figure through the corridors at quite some speed. Whatever they were chasing, it was definitely not slow, but unlike the spider bot it had no wheels and seemed a bit clumsy, too, so that was a huge disadvantage. Major got closer, but it never made any attempt to stop or even attack the figure. It was only Chase Mode after all. “This looks like a kid or something”, Gonzo murmured. Then it happened, the mysterious figure fell as it tried to run faster and turn around at the same time. Major slowed down and came to a halt right next to the ‘kid’. Sophie looked closer at the picture on her screen. “You know, you weren’t entirely wrong there. That DOES look like a kid. A robot kid.” The new HD camera revealed, although the lighting down there was terrible, the face of a somewhat humanoid robot. It was the size of a maybe ten year-old child, it even wore awfully outdated and dirty, ripped clothes. It reminded her of a metal version of Pinocchio. And it sang.

A few moments passed by, robot staring at robot. Neither of them moved. The only sound was a disturbed and confused melody from Pinocchio. Sophie and Gonzo held their breath. Then, after a while, the robot boy seemed to realise that Major was no threat at all. The melody changed, slowly, to something more light-hearted and curious. *Bleep boop bleep* It was heart-warming. “Look, they get to know each other!” In absolute fascination the two soldiers stared at the screen, being witnesses to the first contact of the two robots. The kid seemed shy, but the moment it realised there was nothing to be afraid of, it made no further attempts to flee.

Many years later, both Gonzo and Lieutenant Sophie would still be talking about this wonderful moment to new recruits on occasion, and would get all teary-eyed and that look on their faces as if they had just watched the cheesiest romance ever.