I followed the hamster through the corridors and some very tight maintenance shafts which ended in a dimly lit room. The room was full of hamster wheels and other toys, an automated food dispersal system and small hamster tunnels running in every direction. Even though this clearly looked like the hamster’s mess hall (or whatever you’d call this) there were not many of the little critters present. The few that had to pass from one access tunnel to another did so as fast as they could. The few that were in the room were mutilated with all kinds of random machine parts attached to them.
I did not notice that George had run off until my eyes adjusted to the darkness. Then I saw the figure of a robot in the corner of the room, working on something in the near dark. The red eye lights were not bright enough for me to see what it was the robot held in it’s hands, but I feared it would be tiny, fluffy and being tortured…
Suddenly the robot turned it’s head slowly to face me.
The robot spoke:
“bleep squeak bleep bleep squeak squeak.”
“What?” I asked, a bit confused.
The robot turned it’s head back to the work it was performing. I took a step closer, and another few steps. The robot did not seem to mind. As I moved closer the robot suddenly shouted: “ENCRYPTION ERROR! DESTROY SUBJECT 767!”
The robot’s eyes went dim and it stopped doing anything, the hamster it was ‘working’ on dead in it’s hands…
I heard a tiny squeak of victory and looked at the source of the sound; there was George, sitting on the robot’s shoulder having gnawed through some exposed wiring. I knew this would only temporarily disable a robot of this mark, backup power sources could come back online within 30 minutes.
“I can’t possibly drag this thing all the way back before it reboots…” I mumbled.
Within a few seconds I heard scurrying coming out of all the walls, and an army of hamsters came from all corners of the bunker, the lights started to dim and flicker a bit. I guess they left only the essential workforce to deal with the generators and other critical bunker functionalities.
It took a few minutes to fold in the robot a bit so it would fit through the maintenance shafts. The hamsters did the rest and manouvered the robot back to the main corridors, I just had to crawl after them to the exit. “Let’s get it to the robotics lab.” I said and after some squeaks they started moving. I walked along, checking the robot’s registration and credentials on my handheld terminal.
Registration number: #2716057
Software version: Unknown.
Hardware version: 08, rev. 013
Not much to go by, but from my engineering training I know this registration number does not fit within the range for bunker operation robots. I concluded this must be either a hacked standard issue, or rebuild from old parts. Obviously the hamsters could have tampered with it, after all this may be their own doing…
We arrived at the robotics lab, and I restrained the robot in one of the empty alcoves. I put the robot in debug mode by placing some jumpers on it’s mainboard. Once it booted in debug mode I plugged in the debugging cables, and started downloading it’s operating system and stored data.
I closed the alcove for the download to process, I’ll check again in the morning.
* this story first appeared on tsgonzo.com