Mechanical Debacle Prequel

*CLUNK* *CLUNK* .. *BLEEP* .. *CLUNK CLUNK*

Hamster King George looked up from his scavenging, pointing his ears in the direction the echoes seemed to originate from. George was curious, but generally careful when it came to things his little hamster brain didn’t understand. Even though hamsters in the bunker have quite a high tolerance for all kinds of radioactive materials, hearing loud clunks usually meant something heavy. And thus far the hamsters in the bunker have not developed heavy object proof bodies. This fact was sadly demonstrated during the first (and only) annual robot versus hamster speed run debacle; where hundreds of hamsters lost their lives to robot-foot coordination malfunctions…

George rather kept his small hamster body not flattened to the floor, and so he skidded up along some cable tracts towards the sound. Slowly the little hamster got closer, and could hear bleeping noises in various tones. Robots rarely bleep to themselves, it’s just one of the signs the robot in question has lacked regular orders. Like how that R2-D2 fellow kept bleeping to itself all the time, a tell-tale sign of robot boredom…

The hamster got closer and closer until he spotted the figure of a very badly damaged robot walking down the corridor. Random machine parts seemed to be attached to the robot that didn’t belong there. George was able to trace some of the bulkheads strapped on the bot with tie-wraps and duct-tape to corridors #82, #26 and #2578 respectively. The hamster frowned, no one’s ever been so deep down the corridors, as far as the files go. Many tunnels were blocked or are not accessible to larger (artificial) lifeforms. Some hamsters speak scary and daring tales of visiting corridor #1313 which is allegedly haunted, although George doesn’t really believe in that kind of stuff.

*CLUNK* … *BLEEP* … *GLITCH* … *OPERATION UNCLEAR* *BLEEP * … *CLUNK* *CLUNK*

The robot was clearly malfunctioning, lacking maintenance badly… George usually keeps away from the robots, unless it’s during work shifts when the hamsters and robots have to work together sometimes to keep the bunker up and running. But this was just a sad case, this robot needed help, and judging by  it’s current shape wasn’t going to survive for long.

The hamster waited for the robot to pause from its stumbling and made a calculated jump right onto the robot’s head. George inspected the clumsy repairs and concluded that the robot must’ve tried to repair itself after something had happened. It half-looked like an accident and half intentional. The hamster made it’s way to the robot’s audio sensors and squeaked: “This is King George of the Hamsters, you look damaged. I’m here to help in any way.”

The robot stopped making sounds and looked around fast, nearly slinging off George, who managed to grab on to the reaction last minute.

WHO? WHAT?
Are you another voice? Or are you real? Is it another glitch, or is this hamsterspeak?
[DOES NOT COMPUTE!]

“I’m a friend,” George said. “Please let me help you.”
The hamster climbed down from the head onto the arm of the robot. The robot observed the hamster carefully and stated: “You need upgrades.”
“No I do not!” Exclaimed the hamster, “now listen: You need maintenance!”
“∀GR∃∃D” The robot glitched.

The hamster led the robot through a maze of tunnels eventually ending in an abandoned robotics lab. Most of the equipment was stripped, this would have to do.

King George had to get a few of his hamster friends involved…

This story first appeared on Gonzo Enterprises