Danby 12.A3 sat at his cubicle, processing his existence as he had so many times before, though careful not to think too hard, as that would waste precious energy. Zecks 64 interrupted his processes with a quick friendly jab to his chrome torso. Danby 12.A3 was stunned. He had never seen a bot so active. It was a waste of energy to use it on frivolous activities. Zecks 64's emo was blinking madly, indicating happiness. Danby was silent. For as long as he remembered it was taboo to be inefficient. In the old days, his elder bots told him, the over-clocked were formatted and recompiled. Now they seemed to be commonplace.

"How are you Danby 12.A3? I hope I did not alarm you? I was merely trying to liven up the mood in here because everyone seems to be acting so seriously. What is your opinion Danby 12.A3?" The bot was almost spitting his words out. Serious case of over-clocking, Danby processed to himself. Best to answer him quickly and then get back to work.

"I am doing satisfactory today Zecks 64. You did indeed alarm me and I would very much like to return to my work. I will talk to you at a later time. Good bye Zecks 64." Danby went back to his work assuming that Zecks would also. Unfortunately, the hyper bot did not move. Instead of wasting precious energy to query why the bot was still near him, Danby simply ignored him and continued his work. Several hours later, however, Danby noticed that Zecks still had not moved. This did not seem correct; however, Danby's resources couldn't be wasted on such trivial thought. At the end of the day he stopped by the supervisor's office to report on Zecks.

"Ah, that's the tenth O-C we've lost this week" He complained. "Damn Megabyte Corp! It is their fault you know, 12.A3, them and that new-fangled energy bar. Supposed to keep your process threads running a efficient levels even if you are wasting energy on useless activities..." Danby wondered how his boss could waste energy so haphazardly but kept quiet. When the boss was done ranting, the cautious bot finally realized that Zecks had crashed. He had never seen a crashed bot so early in its life. It was unsettling. Danby dismissed the thought and left the office. On the way back he noticed that bots were slumped over everywhere. Most active bots were laughing and their emo's were blinking frantically.

"What a waste. Don't they know that they will only burnout and crash? What was the point? If we were meant to be over-clocked we would have had that feature installed when we were formatted, however that feature was not included. It is a bot-made technology and we should just not use it."

Danby muttered this to himself as he headed for home. "Sarabot would understand." However, when he walked into his home he was shocked to see Sarabot slumped with the wrapper of a Megabyte energy bar at her side, her emo blinking wildly. She crashed happily. Danby was at stand-by. How could this have happened? How could his Sarabot do such a thing? He wasted no virtual emo tears for her though, for that would be wasting energy. He merely called the Defragmenters to come and take her away. After she left he fixed dinner and watched the digibox all night since digitizing required little effort. The next morning he arrived at work as usual.

That day seven bots crashed and four more had to be removed from the premises for over aggressiveness. That was the trend throughout the week and by the weekend only Danby was left. He hardly took note of it though, because that would waste energy, and if you wasted energy you would crash early. A good bot needs just enough processes to function, yet keep its CPU in good working order. Working harder made you crash and working less made you inefficient and inconsistent. Danby's Elder bots long ago shared with him the secret of living a long life and Danby followed that advice to the letter. Once, a part of him once tried to defy that thinking and he began to consider making his existence a bit more exciting, but after seeing the travesty of the Megabyte Bars those thoughts never haunted him again.

As the years went by Danby processed long and hard enough to attain maximum efficiency, but he thought he was happy. He rarely noticed that there were no more bots; he just attributed it to the fact that he did not see them often. He lived well past that of the average bot and even longer than the ancient server bots. When he crashed he felt no emotion at all.


Discussion: This is a little story to show the conflict in many people's lives. Do you take risks knowing full well the consequences or do you simply exist? Which is more important, to simply be alive, or to have a life? Now, the Over-clockers in this story were a bit extreme, but could be likened to those involved in X games or extreme sports. Those like Danby simply seem to let life pass them by. They are afraid to take a risk because of the chance it means. Like all risks, some do payoff, while others don't. By avoiding risks altogether you increase your safety and efficiency because there is no way you can do something wrong if all you do is simply follow the rules. In Danby's case he lost all contact with the world. He failed to see that sometimes there is more to life than simply existing to the next day, however that is often a part of life. The person who lives life to its fullest is that person who knows when to take a risk and when to play it safe. That person, though, is often a rarity. I know it is definitely not me, however I will continue striving to try to act more Zecks-ish than Danby-ish.

Yeah, I know the idea of bots eating candy bars is strange, but who knows, it could happen someday!

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