I was Ari. In 2027 I used to work in space. My best friend was named Dsh. He was mostly mechanical. We worked in orbit clearing junk and fixing things. I lost my friend during the Kid Plague in 2021, everyone lost someone. I was one of the few humans to contract the virus. For 6 years after the plague I fluctuated from highly functional to unpredictably violent, then I fell asleep. When I woke up they told me it was now, and now is here in the past. Before I went to sleep, to stay occupied when not being studied I collected, cataloged, and tried to repair bots I found in the woods. For some reason they gathered near rocks and meadows and died there. It always made me sad. Every month I am going to sketch and describe some of the bots I saw. They were my friends, all of them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Snow Job in Marscouver

I met three guys in Vancouver after taking a solar sail spinner into the sound near Victoria. 

I jumped in the sea to wash off the vomit and Orca's be damned swam to the city. I was escorted by rescue dolphins that tried to sell me all kinds of passes to various cardio events in Chinatown. I had no interest in entertainment but I was very willing to accept a tow in the last 5 minutes so I could research the best dim sum place to eat. Some guy named Kevin charged me three pounds of Kyper chips to let me in on an unlicensed engie'd endangered species eat your way through the history of bio diversity circa plains of North America dimsky place. If I eat there and get through the entire 16 course meal I get three GNUedu credits for completing the bio diversity course. I was really close to being able to qualify for class II biomech surgery on I don't know what tier of life form... probably lowest third.

In the restaurant I met three loud men, they noticed my diamond lenses which I tend to leave in when I am not in space because I find it hard to adjust to putting them back in. They asked me over to their table and it was clear as I sat down they had not slept in a few weeks. As the meal progressed one of them asked me.

"You are a total sweet man and I love your story, how is your sense of smell? Good range?"

I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply, after a short pause I named every piece of dim sum on the table behind me. Several people applauded.

His taller friend with hair made most likely from redwood bark leaned into me.

"Take this and smell your way to our next party."

He handed me a scratch and sniff tab with tiny instructions on it. With his other hand he rummaged around his waist band and then produced a dark cube about 6x6 cm. He put it in my palm.

"We formed this company six months ago. We have now served 67 clients and held two parties. Blow on the cube to find out more." 

"Enjoy the rest of your meal, hope to see you tomorrow at 3AM. Don't forget the cube, it has virus cryptography and only we have the key. Nasty flu will sideline you for a month."

I blew on the cube and put it down on the table, the black covering became clear and inside there was a block of what looked like ice. Their laughter was dying slowly as they walked down the long old sewer tunnel going who knows where. A waiter watched them progress down the tunnel while scratching his lower back. Their footsteps fading nicely suddenly stopped after one minute.

The cube focused on my retina and I chose private viewing, there was a lot of anime around me as people were doing work and play but I was tired and wanted to focus on the presentation. At 3:18 the punch line was delivered. These three men were running a Martian ice business that specialized in snow cone and mixed drink events. They were all class VI roboticist's, more than enough talent to commandeer a Panamax office city and belt out some useful new industrial bots. I am guessing they were loaded and didn't need to work hence the specialty entertainment bots they made. Below is a drawing of their main bot that delivers the basis of their marketing plan.

This is a retrieval bot from a series of 70. It was assembled in orbit and launched towards Mars. Once there it used CSA ice data to settle down on an open claim and mine a big block of ice. Four heated rods sunk into the ground and laser cut a block of ice which was hoisted and clamped to the bot. The ice was chemically sealed to protect it against heat and friction. Once it returned to earth orbit they farmed out delivery to a cold storage service and the ice was deposited to their vancouver warehouse. Two events were organized within 24 hours of delivery. In the day time they made snow cones that cost the same as a house in the nicest part of Chengdu. At night they made mixed drinks that cost almost double. Their day time footage showed models licking bits of shaved Martian ice with caution and a weird looking piety. At night its the same crowd but they seemed more riotous. I was thrilled that day knowing I would be the poorest person there with the least likelihood of licking anything.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My vacation in Cambodia

I took a week off from work and went to A very popular island that was just built by the Khmer Turkish friendship society; everyones favorite island builders. Most people like to stay in Ankha but I skipped over to the quieter side where the "old" port is. The island was shelved for six years over some kind of artifact dispute when laying under sea infrastructure. In that time a good size group of Kiwi Squat's set up camp there and built an emergence society. The builders decided to let them stay and studied the formation of their society to see if it could be incorporated into future design. The port was also extremely popular with the political class from the ever influential Vietnam empire. On day 4 I managed to lose my sequencer ring which is a shame because it was probably going to hatch in 3 or 4 more days. I had come into contact with various task based societies from the Kiwi camps. I had primarily been observing a group of salvagers that were combing the sand using really ugly left over hacked track bots brought back from Mars. Some poor sap bought them all and paid to have them shipped thinking he could turn a dime on each. These things ended up in a pile floating around the sea. A group from this camp formed a society of scavengers and used them to groom the sand during the early construction of the island. They hacked these bots to rent to tourists to use for various menial tasks. There were at least 7 black market tourist operators using the island before it was done so visitation was quite good. The bots were clunky and old but they could deal with sand well. I approached one of the operators and purchased some coconut candy while we spoke. The bot offered me a free shot of coco juice with it, I accepted. He seemed friendly and I asked him if he could look for my ring. His bot could operate up to 30 centimeters deep into the sand so it shouldn't be a problem.

'However I can not do it now. We have to council first.'
'Another council, why do you need to council?'
'There are strict rules of ownership for each square meter of sand. I am allowed to sell here as I have rented passage but I can not salvage here. Salvage has no passage laws, you perma own salvage plots. Not many salvage owners take requests, you have to go to the auction market to look for your item. I can ask the owner of this plot if you want me to.'
I declined and decided to take my chances at the market. Seems like a good way to support the locals and meet more people from this society. I took a walk to find someone in the middle of a salvage. After walking for 10 minutes I found a woman scraping objects off the magnetic grills that grapple onto larger items that pass through the sand vacuum on the bottom of the chassis. She had platinum teeth and moveable feast tattoos. She showed me a ring she just found, probably from a Russian tourist group that was here all morning. It was also a DNA ring but this one had a husband and wife's DNA in it. Every few minutes it would produce a small hologram of simulated children based on combining the two peoples DNA. Her bot was empty and went back to work detecting metal in the sand and spraying blizzards of dust as it sucked sand up through three chambers. Magnetic cages grabbed onto metallic items and allowed small bits of metallic sand to pass through to the ejection chambers. Hearty little two track robots, so focused and small minded but I was glad to see them out in the world instead of melted down. I remember being so hopeful I would find my ring at the auction party. It was an optimistic place.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Tempestuous Fishing Quadcopter

I bought this thing when I was a fresh divorcee. Some guy was making them in a seed garage at the end of the block where I lived. I never had a real conversation with him. He was pleasant and overweight in a way that made me wish he could dress in a santa suit all year long to bring out whats beautiful about being shapely. His pants were too tight. He would breathe heavily when talking about the weather and seemed to really dislike the man that lived above him. I bought this because he also ran a small museum of non living things that had been shot, I am a really big fan of small museums with difficult mission charters. I took this with me every time I went to the mountains but it had faulty code and seemed more like it wanted to catch something else, maybe it had enough sentience to want to hunt bigger game, maybe it didn't like getting wet. I controlled it with a retina display and used neural haptic force whenever it hooked a fish. The bobber would send a signal when it detected proper vibration from the fishing line and the retina scanner would show the type and size of fish. If I didn't want to keep it the hook would flex straight and let the fish go. If I decided I wanted the fish I could choose a range of auto to full manual or even better use the retinal scanner and simulation software to become the fish. (pain settings were low, i am a coward) The higher the pain the more the will to fight off the hook diminishes until you get to max pain and go completely nuts and numb. It was fun to have around and moved with grace. It reminds me of frying things on a grill and drinking very nice mountain beer. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A lighting blimp. Had one when I was 7. Loved it.

My brother made one for me when I was a kid. It was for my birthday. I took this thing everywhere. We never had much wind where I lived so it worked perfectly. Not a lot of kids had flying bots that could stay aloft so long without needing to eat. I found this one in some forest of the NW. I was running and on my 27th mile I found a graveyard next to a very lichen covered boulder. My bot had a simple radio receiver that was tuned to my retina caster. It tracked and followed me providing a wonderful light. I used audible commands to direct it or change the lighting. One of my favorite things to do in the summer was catching frogs in the night using the lowest lighting on the air ship. I miss walking to my local printer shop on the corner lighting the way with this familiar.