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Author Topic: EP729: Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird  (Read 255 times)

divs

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on: April 24, 2020, 05:57:41 PM
Escape Pod 729: Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird

Author: Eric Schwitzgebel
Narrator: Ellora Sen-Gupta
Host: Tina Connolly
Audio Producer: Adam Pracht

First, an eye. The camera rose, swiveling on its joint, compiling initial scans of the planetary surface. Second, six wheels on struts, pop-pop, pop-pop, pop-pop, and a platform unfolding between the main body and the eye. Third, an atmospheric taster and wind gauge. Fourth, a robotic arm. The arm emerged holding a fluffy, resilient nanocarbon monkey doll, which it carefully set on the platform.

The monkey doll had no actuators, no servos, no sensors, no cognitive processors. Monkey was, however, quite huggable. Monkey lay on his back on the warm platform, his black bead eyes pointed up toward the stars. He had traveled wadded near J11-L’s core for ninety-five thousand years. His arms, legs, and tail lay open and relaxed for the first time since his hurried manufacture.

J11-L sprouted more eyes, more arms, more gauges – also stabilizers, ears, a scoop, solar panels, soil sensors, magnetic whirligigs. Always, J11-L observed Monkey more closely than anything else, leaning its eyes and gauges in.

J11-L arranged Monkey’s limbs on the platform, gently flexing and massaging the doll. J11-L scooped up a smooth stone from near its left front wheel, brushed it clean, then wedged it under Monkey’s head to serve as a pillow. J11-L stroked and smoothed Monkey’s fur, which was rumpled from the long journey.

“I love you, Monkey,” emitted J11-L, in a sound resembling language. “Will you stay with me while I build a Home?”

Monkey did not reply.




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CryptoMe

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Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 09:41:53 PM
I enjoyed the story, but I am not sure if I understand the ending. Did JIIL's monkeys populate all those other planets, or were there multiple JIILs all populating their own planets?