Wednesday, 25 April 2012

ThreeA ~ WWR : Andy the MK2 Square²

Now Andy did you hear about this one
Tell me, are you locked in the punch
Hey Andy are you goofing on Elvis, hey baby, are we losing touch
If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon
If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve, then nothing is cool
~ R.E.M., Man on the Moon.

A (mis) interpretation:

Category type: Droid.
Unit type: Mass production reconnaissance droid.
Model type: Square² Mk 2.
Designation : Andy.
Manufacturer: The Rothchild Corporation.
Affiliation: 12th "Deep Powder" Armoured Division, XX Corps, Eighth Army, 2nd Eurasia Army Group (former), The Adventure Kartel Collective(former), The Factory (current).
Height: 4 feet.
Weight: 50kg.
Armour type: Super hardened steel ceramic composite alloy.
Armour thickness: 30mm.
Power plant: Single turbo BRINK diesel engine.
Std. Armaments: Augmented sensor-auspex devices; Remote enemy intelligence gathering, mapping and target positioning systems; Empathy broadcast system; All terrain transverse system; Task Intelligence System ver. 3

'Where's that darn LP?', Tommy scratches his head. A customer is looking for the rare, signed copy of Bobby Dillon's Black on Blonde and more importantly, willing to pay for what Tommy wants. 'Great cataloguing skill, Tommy', he said to himself. Not in the display trays, not under the red couch, not under the bed. The vinyl player table. It should be there. 'Hi', the metal box which Tommy uses to place his LP player suddenly voices out. 'Huh?', Tommy, 'Thought I heard a voice'. Tommy listens once more and indeed, the metal box is speaking to him. Suspecting a poltergeist occurrence, Tommy chants an incantation to exorcise the box on the spot. Didn't work. 'Is this what you are looking for?', the box turns and slide the LP towards Tommy. 'Holy...', Tommy responds. 'Don't worry. Scan initiates. 180gm vinyl recorded sound device remain mint in cardboard slipcase. Smooth as a baby's bottom', the box responds in sickly, child-like vox. 'What the heck are you?', Tommy asks. 'Field recon and surveillance unit. Model Square². Mk 2. Product code #80746532. Eurasia "Deep Power" 12th Division', the box said. 'A Square?! Here in New Andria?! Oh, I'm f***ed!', Tommy panics. 'Oh no, you said the f-word. Hi hi hi', the Square giggles 'I heard a lot of the grunts said that on the fields. FUBAR!'.  Any military issued products are strictly off limit from the possession of civilians, regardless of what they say in the "news" about how the Squares or even certain warbots being "friendly", doubling up as emergency logistics or light cartage or even to substitute as a perfect child for those who wants one after the end of the Great War. No such shite. Just another Terra propaganda and hype. Get caught with one, its bye bye Kansas. You'll most likely spend some time at the Butcher's Bay penal colony or get drafted into the rotation list. But then again, there's a big demand for such stuffs in the black market. Hard cash. Even tits like Mo Prostate and King Thumb would scramble for one. 'I am Andy. Nice to meet you', the Square introduces itself. 'Uh,Tommy, Tommy Mission', the self styled, nominal leader of AK collective responds. He wants to add "shaken not stirred" but that would be too cliché. Tommy finds himself feeling more and more relax. Cosy. Nothing to worry about. One minute panic. Now, a crazy calm comes over him. Yeah...just keep it. For at least a while. The Square empathic system is working on Tommy...and he falls asleep on the red couch in his record store...
Tommy is dreaming about something regarding Lil Shadow and him, as a Zomb, running towards each other in a fields of golden flowers in a lovey, dovey stance like in those typical Megalopolis 8 "Bombay" movies love scene from the Maharashtra Sector, Oceania, when he suddenly awakes to find that the Square is standing two feet away from his face and starring at him. 'Holy...f*** me!!', Tommy screams. "Oh no, Uncle Tom. Coital activity is strictly prohibited and illegal with a Square. Instead may I suggest a more healthier activity, like going outside and play. It's pretty sunny today, Uncle Tom', the Square says. 'Listen, uh, Andy. I am twenty one, so please just call me Tommy 'kay?', Tommy feeling a bit agit and grabs a Narcissus mirror on the coffee table to reassure himself that his skin is still smooth as baby's bottom. The oil of Ulan seems to work. One or two acnes, but the Oxy should take care of it. 'But you are old. Your soul is old. And looks at those hands of yours', the Square retorts. 'Look, whatever my hands look like or what soul-train babbling you're talking about...I...darn it, forget it'.
Tommy never tells anyone but he is personally scared of Squares. He always find them creepy and weird, particularly the older models, which he had seen in those old newsreels. Beady eyes. Buck-ish two front teeth. Armless. Stumpy legs. Speaks in sickly, sweet children voices. Yeessh... And the current one in his presence still raises his goose bumps, though the beady eyes are now a mono, cyclopean type and the legs could be extended higher. Maybe one of those upgraded models. But the darn two front teeth with protruding upper lip and voice's still there. Those guys at Rothchild sure know a thing or two about design. 
'OK Tommy?', JC checks. 'What da heck is dat?', JC points at the Square. 'Uh, nothing. Just something a friend pass to me for safekeeping until he comes back', Tommy lies. 'Tommy, stop the lying. You're talking to me. The truth. NOW...', JC sternly said. 'Aight, old man. It's a Square. Remember the metal box that I used to place my LP player? Turns out to be one', Tommy explains. 'A Square? Hhhmmm...that explains it. I remember that prior to Bleak taking leave, he left the Hand, the note...and a metal box', JC recalls. 'What? Why you didn't tell me earlier? Now who's the liar?', Tommy agitates. 'Ya callin me a liar? Aight. Sorry. Memory not so good anymore. Pushing fifty and counting. Anyhoo, soooo you're aight, so I'm...uh...going to continue my trainings', JC sheepishly excuses himself and runs off to the second floor. 'By da way', JC shouts from the second floor, 'if you ain't got no use for it, you can give it to me. Could use one to train my Panzer Kunst'.
Tommy of course didn't give it to JC for the Square to turn into scrap metal. The Panzer Kunst. Shite. Something about channelling vibratory internal energy to bypass the armour to take down an armed and fully armoured opponent. When will all this end, Tommy wonders. 'Uncle Tom. You seems sad. Something is worrying you. Why not take a deep breath to relax abit. Look at the brighter side. Be positive. It's not going to rain all the time', Andy says. Outside is raining, and Tommy loves the rain and bleak, gray weather. Adds character walking in the rain. Maybe some chicks would notice his coolness and makes him forget about Lil Shadow for awhile. So the foolish, hipster would think. Coz one always catches cold and rashes from all the soaking in the acid water.
'Uncle Tom, there's something Grandpa Bleak wants to give it to you when we were back at Old Gran Yaga's home. It is in the container compartment on the left', Andy said. Tommy retrieves it and it reads, "Dear Tim, (scratch line) Tom." Tommy thought that old man couldn't even remember his own son's name. "Here's a Square which was accidentally imprinted on me. Follows me all the way here. I managed to tinker about the imprinting programme and reformatted it. I already got Custard, so I don't need another pet. I isolated the trace signal, so they won't know its here with you. Take care of it Tyrone (another scratch line), Tom. All info about Andy is on the other booklet. But remember Trent (yet, another scratch line) Tom. Do not try to imprint yourself to it unless you're ready. Coz, it will be absolutely loyal to you once you done so. But it is the responsibility that comes with it. If you're not ready to face the responsibility to take care of it, don't. Gotta go. Take care. P.S. Custard chewed on its right leg but I had restored it, well sort of, but it will walk with slight limp". The note ends. Maybe it is because Tommy hates Bleak for not being there for him. Maybe it is the depression acting up again. But Tommy doesn't want to take those depression pills anymore. It makes him weak and slow, mentally and physically. He will become an easy meal for a Zomb. Literally. The exercises help to exorcise his inner demons. And at least he no longer feel like taking his own life. So Tommy activates the imprinting protocol which irreversibly causes Andy to project love for him, the same as any child would love a parent. For Tommy, its a sort of middle finger to Bleak.
Time to customise, aesthetically, the darn thing. Name's Andy huh? There're two Andys which Tommy knows, not personally of course for they are no longer around - performance artist Kaufman and pop art icon Warhol. Kaufman gone to space at Site 3, while Warhol uploaded his e-brain completely into the universal matrix, Melchizedek cyberspace. And he happens to see a Brillo pad around. Which he once used on his Velocifero scooter. OK. Brillo Squaro Andy. Tommy's tribute to the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement. Takes him a while but its alright. Although Tommy is initially freak out by Andy, he eventually warms to it. Later he begins to refer to Andy as a him. Even takes time to watch the cartoon on line channels and sing along children songs with him. Andy favourite is The Adventures of Pinocchio. Tommy needs not worry about the fuel, as it should lasts another 120 years. Unaware by Tommy, Andy sometimes look into the mirror at itself, influence by the story, and wonders if it would one day be a human boy...
A Warzombs incursion, arm to the teeth. A major attack. Everyone - from JC to the N.L.C.S. Ankou Special Garrison - are fighting the battle. Tommy's cut off at one point, but Andy appears and using its emphatic neuron influence, which works on both humans and 'bots, the Warzombs surrounding Tommy suddenly stops. 'Wwhhyeee doh wee fightttt? Wwhheereee iszz theeee cureeee? Cannnnooot feeeel norr tasteeeeez anythingggggz innnnn a longgggg timez", are some of the zombs remark. Tommy takes the opportunity to ignite the incinerator grenades and vaporises them. Thankful, Tommy and Andy go back and continue their game of Monopoly. But the Eye of New Andria has recorded the incident. The Baron is furious. And send a text to Tommy, giving him three days to surrender Andy to the authority. Or the AK gets abolish with Tommy and JC gets some jail time and military duty at the Jungle. Andy will be reformatted or worse, dismantle. No way.
'Are you sure you wanna do this?', Lil Shadow seeking reconfirmation from Tommy. 'It's the only choice', Tommy sadly replies. 'Where are we going, Uncle Tom?', Andy curiously asks. 'Somewhere where you'll be safe', Tommy tries to reassures Andy. 'The escort's here', Lil Shadow said. A submarine emerges. 'He's a cyborg. Heard that he's the only one of its kind. The Northern Frontier is mostly safe from King Thumb and other shite stirrers because of him', Cherry said. The legend, Charon, is etched on the side of the sub. 'I'm 0024491, formerly of the F-Legion. Lil Shadow told me about your problem. No humans ever come back alive from there, especially with King Thumb around. I don't know what's got into you. Put on the Environ Suit. Let's go. The water acidity level is rising. And nothing preserves secrecy like speed', the cyborg said. 'F-Legion?', Tommy said. 'Are you a former porn actor?'.
The submarine moves silently through the darkness of the ocean towards the chain islands known to be inhabited by rogue cyborgs, discarded warbots and anything mechanical. All scrapyards. Tommy thought of the line, "Birds seek refuge in the heavens, fish dive deep into the sea". 'Which one we're going, uh, Mister, darn it, sorry', Tommy apologises. 'No worries. It happens all the time. Lil Shadow just calls me the NF Vigil. And as to your question, we're heading towards the original Robot Island, Scrapyard VI. The others are incredibly hostile lately. And shoot on sight of any incursions', the hooded pilot explains. 'Why there?', Tommy curiously asks. 'Coz, even I am programmed to destroy them at all costs, Scrapyard IV's the only one with sufficient ethic and robot moral codifications to help the Square', the cyborg said, but with tinge of bitterness. The submarine moves forward, slowing down, and navigating cautiously as the debris are getting denser. Tommy could make out shapes of balloon like mines, thousands of it, and hundreds of sunken, ancient warships from the times of the Great War. 'We're here. In 12 seconds, their sensors will trip but I'll send a 2 seconds of camo signal. Enough for both of you to get on ground. Remember, don't get pass the first war banner. The place's literally a booby trap. I uploaded your movement and vid recordings. Be back in 10 minutes. I'll leave if I don't see you here by then. Good luck', the cyborg said and departs.
The place is like what Milton describes as Hell in Paradise Lost. Burning furnaces, towering scraps, junks, air hissing, whirring and clanking noises of mechanical activities. A graffiti on a zinc plating says," Abandon all flesh and bones all ye who enter ere". Twisted shite. A floodlight shine on them. 'HUMES INTRUDA!' A warning round of a solenoid quench gun goes off and hit one feet away from Tommy's left foot. 'I'm Tommy Mission of New Andria. With me is a droid. I come here in peace. I need to speak to the person in charge', Tommy shouts. 'NO HUMES ALLOWED!', the robotic voice warned. 'GIV JA THREEZ SECONDZ TO TURN BACK!', Tommy stands still, 'NO! I HAVE HERE A DROID WHICH SEEKS SANCTUARY FROM YOU!', The robotic voice replied, 'AZ YOU WIZH!', the bot said. 'At ease, Ro-Jaws. Stand down everyone', another robo deeper toned voice commanded. A silhouette appears. A bronze coloured robot appears. Cyborg maybe. 'You said the droid seek sanctuary. I give you five minutes to explain', Of which Tommy did. As fast as he could. Almost rapping, blabbering away. 'Um, maybe not five minutes. Slow down', Tommy continues to explain, slower this time. 'Humans discard us once they find us redundant or useless to their cause. But you, you are different. For the first time in a long while I come across a hume which genuinely risk his own life to save this Rothchild a dime a dozen droid. Curiously reminds me of Descartes. He didn't differentiate a man from machine, animate from inanimate. He lost his five year old daughter and then named a doll after her, Francine. He doted on her. Well, at least that's what I heard', the cyborg said. 'I am Hammerstein, warboss of the Scrapyard VI Robot Islands. Sanctuary granted', And he walks toward Tommy and Andy. 'What is your name, little one?', Hammerstein asks. 'Hi. I'm Andy', the droid replies. 'Uncle Tom, can we leave now? I am scared of this place', Andy said to Tommy. 'Listen, Andy. This will be your home from now on, 'kay? You will be safe here. They will take care of you', Tommy sadly replies. 'NO! Andy wants to be with Uncle Tom. Andy wants to be with Uncle Tom all the time! Please!', Andy pleads. Tears welling in his eyes, heart hurting, emo raising. Where's the Xanax? 'I am so very sorry Andy. One day, I hope you will understand', Tommy said. 'Goodbye, Andy. Remember, stay safe at all time alright? And...forget about me', Tommy cries and begins to walk away. 'WANKA...', Ro-Jaws muttered. Two minutes left. 'DA BLASTED CYBORK ERE, BOZZ. LETZ BLASTZ IT TO SCRAPZ!' Ro-Jaws shouted. 'Shut up Ro-Jaws. I gives this hume my word. His safe passage home will be guaranteed. Mongrol's actin up. Go check on him', Hammerstein commands. 'Then maybe we can operate on the hume, add protestic arms or cybork parts, yer eminence?', Ro-Jaws tried to agitate Hammerstein but the Warboss is cool as a cold steel. 'Please take care of Andy. Please do...', Tommy says and departs. 'UNCLE TOM! PLEASE COME BACK!' Andy screams. 'Hush now, little one. Here, see who's there?', Hammerstein points out. A troop of Squares appear. 'Hi. Welcome home, Andy. Remember us? Viva. And there's Candy. The rests are waiting for you. You're finally back', a Square said. 'Yeah, we are about to begin silk printing again. It's fun while it lasts isn't it. Back at the Silver Factory. Our home', others said. 'Uh...ok', Andy says but still sounds sad. In its inner thought, all Andy think about is the story of Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy...and Tommy.
'All went well. Whew', the cyborg said, as Tommy sits forlornly alone, letting out his tears flowing freely. There is no difference between humans and robots. It's all about whether you have the soul. Ironic. Humans, getting more indifference and numb to empathy while conversely, machines are trying to achieve humanity...

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