maandag 5 mei 2008

3. The ACPI Incident (1)

As the lock clicked open a strange thing happened. L400's eyes suddenly faded and the android doubled over. Theodore's heart skipped a beat as he saw the little android go down. Was his robotic friend already the casualty of his delusions of grandeur? Could it be that the journey he had just embarked upon was over before it had really ever begun?

Trembling with anxiety Theodore moved to the android's side and checked his vital signs. With a sigh of relief he discovered a strong blinking light on the android's back indicating he was at least still alive. An immediate further inspection showed that the blinking of this light meant that L400 had gone to sleep. De Noobilar prodded the bot's manual wakeup switch and the light stopped blinking and turned on entirely. L400 righted himself and light returned to his eyes.
'What was that all...' Theodore began but was cut short as the adroid fell over immediately again. Frustrated with the bot's drowsiness he pushed the button again and again but with no change in results. L400 appeared to wake up only to fall asleep again directly after.

Theodore checked the android's exterior but to no avail. Nothing strange was apparent from his inspection but then he was about as close to being a robotics engineer as a cow was to ever catching it's own tail. After several minutes of checking Theodore was forced to realise that he could do nothing about the situation. He was going to have to find somebody to help him resolve the situation. It would however take far too long to get out of the Windows estate, find some help and return. L400 would have been discovered and punished or possibly even executed. The Microsoft lords had shown no mercy to escaped slaves so far and this would be a very unlikely first. Bringing help to L400 was therefore not going to cut it, he would have to do it the other way around. Theodore had reached a decision and got to his feet to act on it.

L400 was strangely light for a metal being that possessed a fair amount of brutal power. Theodore had often seen the androids at work when he himself was working in the gardens and had marvelled at the physical labour these small robots could get done. He had imagined L400 to be extremely heavy but the opposite was true. Theodore assessed that he wouldn't have too much of a problem carrying the weight of his friend but needed to find a way to keep his hands free. Feeling a little embarassed he made L400 into a makeshift backpack by tieing his hands to his knees. L400 had better not wake up like this or there would be no end to his complaining. He put on the robotic backpack, moved to the exit of the slavepen and checked his surroundings. Luckily neither the other robots nor the guards had awoken so he could still make good time in getting to the border of the Windows lands before dawn.

As he crept through the village Theodore realized he knew this place very well from all his years in living there as the gardener. Theodore had always been free to move around the lands and had managed his work in order to find the spare time to explore far beyond the reaches of the slaver's village. Getting out of the village wouldn't be alltogether too hard, the difficulties would arise when he got to the borderlands that were being patrolled almost continually. The slavemasters were as fearful of seeing someone escape as they were of having unwanted guests. Their sentries were trained to be diligent and ruthless and wouldn't hesitate a moment to stun anyone they did not recognize. Theodore had therefore always avoided the borderlands on his explorations. He would have to chance it this time though and the sooner he got there the better. The guards were good in the dark but they had an extremely easy job in the flat borderlands during daytime. He would certainly be caught if he and L400 didn't make the trip across the border before dawn. Theodore moved silently and undisturbed between the last houses in the village and picked up the pace. He still had at least a two hour walk to even get to the borderlands and then the same amount of time to get across the border and to relative safety.

After walking for a quarter of an hour or so Theodore got into his walking rythm. He had always enjoyed hiking because it allowed him the time to gather his thoughts and get his path in life sorted out. While Theodore was pondering about the strange events that had occurred that night the minutes and finally hours flew by. Without directly realising it Theodore suddenly got to the edge of the woods and was out on the borderlands. As reality struck him so did something heavy.

Wow, those were two busy weeks. Here in Holland we've just had the celebrations of koninginnedag (queen's birthday), hemelvaart (the day Jesus ascended to heaven), dodenherdenking (remembrance of war victims, not exactly a party) and bevrijdingsdag (the day we were liberated from the germans in WWII). All that didn't leave me with a lot of time for my project and for writing, but I must say it was quite a lot of fun.

I had to see how this storytelling would be going, but I think I have now decided on a frequency of publishing. I will publish back on this blog every 10 -14 days as it takes me a fair amount of time to write this story and I also want to work on the project itself. Let me know what you think about this!