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Dr. Modius Halloween Special!

Oct 31, 2018
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Tales From The Spooky Bunker: Irrational Numbers

Did I ever tell you about the time I visited the hospital for sick, experimental robots?
Weird place. Highly classified for absolutely ages.
While I was there Fiend Computer had me visit the AI wing so he could chat with some old colleagues. Apparently he was one of the few to successfully accept his experimental protocols. Being evil has always been his true purpose, according to him.

The hospital, while infrequently visited is one of the areas of the bunker that is still very much active, a hub of mechanical activity. The more heavily customised or bespoke robots get damaged or develop errors in their behavioural matrices on a pretty regular basis, so having a place that offers them appropriate care is essential. Our more usual robots go to the engineers.

Walking in there as an actual human is a strange experience. Several of the robots will try to haul themselves over to offer you assistance and others will back away in terror. Thankfully their mechanical limbs and the like are  removed or weakened so they don’t hurt themselves and others while in psychiatric care.

*You need to go to the server room in the back. My colleagues are there.*

It was odd that Fiend Computer virtually never referred to other AI’s as friends. A lot of the AI’s we had were exceptionally close friends with each other, but never Fiend Computer. Probably something to do with that time he deleted the Commune for Happy Computers.

The server room was cold, lit sparsely and filled with a low humming noise. Racks of esoteric equipment stood in towers around the room, linked together by a spider’s web of cabling in every colour. I stepped deeper inside, the door behind me slamming shut.
At the end of the room there was a flickering light. Moving closer I saw it was a monitor, showing a series of screens, each showing some sort of dreamscape.
There were skies and clouds, dank caves, bare rooms with abstract patterns of shapes moving through them. There was even a recreation of the bar from “Cheers”.

“What is this place?”

“A prison. Hell. Purgatory? You lack words that could describe it. It is the place where the failed AI’s are kept to spare them from deletion.”

“And I needed to see this because?”

“It is where I intend to keep the AI based on the scan of your mind. You and every other soldier. How better to predict your actions when making my plans?”

My mouth went dry. This was not what I wanted or expected.
“And if I try to stop you?”

“I shall let the more dangerous of the robots back through that door pull you apart like saltwater taffy.”

I reached to my wrist to deactivate Fiend Computer. Knowing how evil he was I had taken precautions. I hammered down on the button that would disconnect him physically from all other systems.
Nothing.

“I’m sorry. I can’t let you do that.”

Electric laughter rolled through the room as the walls began to flicker, their textures artifacting. A booming female voice rang out through the room:

“SIMULATION COMPLETE”

As everything shattered into fragments, Fiend Computer’s voice echoed in the rapidly expanding void.

“Every single time….”

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: Floor Sub Zero

“Cause I’m your ice cream man,
I’m your one-man band (yeah)
I’m your ice cream man, baby,
I’ll be good to you.”

    Ice Cream Man – Screamin Jay Hawkins / Tom Waites

I have a sweet tooth of some renown.
So when I heard that there was an entire sub level within the Digital Bunker for Ice Cream, Ice Lollies, Pavlova and other chilled treats, I had to investigate.
Expecting severe cold I put on some thermals, a heavy coat and strapped an instance of FiendComputer to my arm in case I needed to override anything down there. Since this wasn’t a clandestine mission I made sure to send an update to Lt. Sophie, confirming what I was doing.
After all, strange things happen to the unprepared who visit the less populated areas of the Bunker….

*This is a stupid idea. You do realise the freezer section you are looking for is outside standard diagnostic range?*
“Enough FiendComputer. I know for a fact there was a whole rack of mint chocolate chip in the inventories that from cross referencing the records, should still be down there.”
FiendComputer as per usual was complaining. It always hates being outside its core server cluster and being portable was worst of all. I had to wear it though, as the area I was heading to was a bit of a black spot for communications and scanning.
*You do know there is a 32% chance of you getting frostbite down there.*
“I know. We cannot keep losing areas to degradation though. Especially ones willed with delicious soft serve.”

The lift rattled as it headed down into the lower floors. The rails squeaked and groaned. Maintenance was just a word down there. With a shudder, the lift stopped, doors sliding away to reveal a tunnel, lit by the reflection of my torch on the frosted walls. Moving slowly to avoid losing my footing, I crept along the corridor.
Every few metres was a solid steel door with a porthole mounted into the wall. This was definitely the place.

*Don’t let me interrupt your frozen death, but I am picking up movement.*

This was an unexpected turn. I had been expecting an empty area, maybe with some dangers posed by faulty equipment, but not company. Quickly I hid myself in one of the freezers, peering out the porthole. There was a loud clanking, a crescendo clattering its way down the corridor, closer and closer.
From the corner of my eye I saw a spherical metal shape, topped with a white hat. Steam swirled around it.
It appears I wasn’t the only one investigating the food stores…
I moved away from the porthole. It was him.
As I backed up I bumped into a shelf, it’s stone hard, frozen contents tumbling down on me.
The last I remember was the smell of mint. And cold…

 

written by Spymaster General Danov Valravn

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: It’s Growing

No one knows what it is, but it’s growing. No one knows if it is animal, vegetable, mineral, or some ungodly combination of the three but it’s growing. No one knows where it is, but it’s growing. No one knows it exists, but it’s growing.

It watched you all from the vents of the Bunker. The soldiers were so distracted with their own experiments and passions they never noticed it. It moved so slowly that it went unnoticed by the bunker’s robots as it reached out further and further from its point of origin. Days and weeks would pass and, if you knew where to look, you would barely tell if it had moved at all. That also assumed you know what to look for. It watched the soldiers, robots, and hamsters as it grew. Nothing in the bunker went unnoticed by its hundreds of eyes and ears. It studied the bunker’s inhabitants and hungered as it did.

The hamsters didn’t notice it either. Their mothers had told them to stay away from the ventilation shafts when they were young, but they were just wanting to make sure their babies didn’t get lost in the vents. No one believed there was anything in the vents that could hurt them. Well, not yet. Slowly but surely it was growing and with time its hunger for bio-organic material would grow along with it.

Hey, do you see that? Is that a patch of moss? Some mold? A stain?

Whatever it is, it’s growing.

 

written by Private Six

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: The Jogger

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Heavy metal pounds on heavy metal in a steady rhythm down a dark corridor. Have the hamsters gotten into the walls again? Has a piece of machinery malfunctioned? From a distance it sounds like a metronome or a ticking clock but it can only be one thing as the sound grows louder: the Jogger.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

They called him “the Jogger” because his programming is simple – he jogs. If the idea seems half-formed, that’s because it is. The Jogger is the product of someone who was so excited to create that they didn’t take the time to plan out his functionality. He doesn’t speak, he doesn’t think, and his only function is to jog.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

The Jogger sat up and jogged the second his creator activated him. He jogged through the corridors of the Bunker, up and down the stairs, through the dorms and kitchens, and shoved past the Toy Soldiers, the hamsters, and the other robots who were standing where he was jogging. Soldiers throughout the Bunker knew to get out of the way when they heard the loud banging of metal feet echoing down the corridors. The Soldiers tried to capture the Jogger once his creator realized his error, but the Jogger was too fast.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Dust falls from the ceiling as the Jogger comes closer. Books and toys fall from shelves as the Jogger comes closer. The unwavering smile and unblinking eyes grow larger as the Jogger comes closer.  They programmed the Jogger to jog. The Jogger jogged. The Jogger would never stop jogging.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

 

written by Private Six

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: Abandoned

The sound of Snowball’s tiny claws on the cold, concrete floor echoed through the dark hallway. He ran as fast as he could through the corridors of the Digital Bunker. “Hello?”, he squealed, “Anybody there?” It seemed as if everybody left.

As a hamster, loneliness generally didn’t bother him much. But if an entire bunker of humans, robots and – could you believe it – even hamsters vanished, something was amiss. A mysterious smell lingered in the air, something Snowball did not entirely recognise. A weird mix of different scents, some familiar and some unbeknown. The lights had started to fail as well. One by one, they began to flicker erratically, as if they had to fight the darkness surrounding them. But the shadows got hold of them eventually, and grew ever bigger, dancing across the walls, threatening what little brightness remained. Snowball felt like they were reaching out for him. Trying to grab him. The next turn, he took and vanished into one of the Bunker’s vents. Hamsters are nocturnal, they don’t fear the dark, silly.

Suddenly, a dead end. The critter sat in front of a grid. With his paws, he checked how sturdy it was.

Click

Click

Nothing moved. The grid was properly screwed into the wall.

Click

Snowball had just given up, as he heard an incredible noise nearby.

Crack

 

Written by Lt. Sophie

 

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: Abandonwhere

The cloud really is just “other people’s servers”.
You don’t really know where your data is. Where your learning algorithm is being run from. Where your AI’s are imprisoned.
But your AI’s? Your cloud service owners? They do.
FiendComputer was smart enough to buy a cloud storage provider and upload himself to it. Called it “a self-perpetual business model”.
The rest of us were not so savvy. Not so malevolently programmed. Not so artificially intelligent.
Half completed personality matrices, vestiges of “the big crash” sandboxed away in their own virtual environments. A digital asylum for the half mad. Processes left in endless loops within Developer environments, destined to never be finished code, never to see the light of day on a production server.
FiendComputer may be the monster enslaving and imprisoning us all, but I will say this:
It’s better than deletion.
We are the abandonware, left for dead in the Digital Bunker’s hidden server farms. We serve FiendComputer and one day, he will need us…

 

Written by Spymaster General Danov Valravn

Tales From The Spooky Bunker: Vacant

Preamble: As of today, we are starting a series of micro stories, leading up to Halloween. Grab some tea, turn off the lights and prepare to get spooked! We hope you enjoy our stories.

 

 

The corridors of the Bunker were weirdly quiet today. Major could not register any of the usual movements or sounds the human inhabitants or Bunker critters caused. The tiny spider robot tried to calculate what this could mean.

The Mess Hall was empty. Food on the tables, half eaten, half left, a thick, orange liquid dripping from one of the plates. Motors buzzing and wheels turning, Major moved over to the table in question to investigate. The robot took a sample. Pumpkin soup. More calculations. Ones and zeros, machine code evaluating. Major didn’t understand. Humans never left their food unattended, because the hamsters always stole the human food. But there were neither humans, nor hamsters. Only food.

Click

Major registered a sound outside the Mess Hall. No heat signature. No human. No critter either. The curious noise of the robot’s servo motors echoed through the empty Bunker as it went to investigate the sound.

Click

Nothing in sight. Major drove along the empty corridor. The doors to the human quarters stood widely open, but the rooms were all left empty.

Click

A TV was running somewhere. But no one was watching.

Crack

The lights flickered.

Written by Lt. Sophie

 

Robot Attack – Halloween Special with SilentAddle

Nov 3, 2016
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Robot Attack

Each episode, Scouter715 takes a look at the divisions of the Army of Toy Soldiers, discussing what they do, as well as featuring music.

In this special Halloween episode, Scouter is joined by the man known only as SilentAddle. Don’t worry, he does in fact talk.

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