| Part Two | Part Three
The image is focused onto a photoelectric chip then converted into a mass of ones and zeros. That glob of data is processed, formatted, and compressed, then transmitted over electrically charged wires and then converted again, this time to pulses of light, and then beamed half way across the continent where the process is reversed. The image is then displayed in all of its digital glory on a large wall-mounted screen among ten or so others that line the wall.
The screens showed various views. Some displayed vacant lifeless rooms, others were filled with crowds of people and still others moved through various locations. The main screen showed a room with a couch. The perspective appeared to be from where a video recorder or a game system might be placed next to the vidscreen. On the wall behind the couch there was a splotch of red liquid that fanned out in little rivulets. Like someone had sneezed their brains onto the wall.
"Did you see that?"
"Damn, yeah. Another one. We even had a unit in place."
Two technicians stood looking up at the scene displayed on the vidscreen. They were both sipping from cups of steaming coffee. One was tall and decidedly long-limbed, the other was short and rather round.
"Go get the supervisor, we need a deployment decision." Said the first tech. His voice had a drawn mechanical sound to it. He stood with his head perched on one arm and hugged himself with the other. His back curved into a hunch.
"This can't be good Jim." said the short man.
"Not good at all. Find out if we should send the Albert into combat mode" Albert was the nickname of the 4163-R7 model that was sending the images currently being projected on the main vidscreen. It wasn't the newest model they had out but it was an all-around good robot, excellent stealth capability and decent maneuverability. Most owners of the 4163-R7 have only an inkling of its entire array of functions. The lack of documentation however didn't hurt Mega Robot Corp. most people just used it to play video games. Mega Robot had no qualms with this, they didn't want to give away all of their trade secrets.
The other tech, the shorter round one, scuttled away to find the supervisor.
"This is a potential PR nightmare. You're telling me an owner of one of our robots was attacked in his own home by a Nano Ninja Monkey?" The supervisor was a squat man, almost as big around as he was tall. He was waving a thick cigar around in the air. Plumes of smoke haloed around his head as he gestured emphatically.
"Don't send that Albert into combat mode! Bring him home, I don't want anyone knowing that a Mega Robot was in the house and didn't stop that monkey." The supervisor waved off the short man with a dismissive gesture. Thin wisps of smoke followed him out the door.
The supervisor leaned back in his chair behind a large artificial mahogany desk. This meant big problems for Mega Robots. If the Nano Ninja Monkey had a new breed that was undetectable by the robots' current software then a massive update would have to be produced. They needed to get a hold of one of the new monkeys. He pushed a small square button on his desk.
"Yes?" Said a voice embodied by the desk.
"Have you heard about the situation?"
"We need to get that monkey- I don't think the Albert is equipped to handle it."
"I've already considered this...Two 1014's have been dispatched to contain the threat." The desk said.
The speaker clicked off and the supervisor wiped sweat from his brow. "A Lola," the supervisor mused. He'd never actually seen one of them; he'd only heard the stories. A large chunk of ash fell from his cigar onto his tie. "Shit."
The short round tech came scurrying back into the situation room.
"RECALL!" he shouted to Jim.
Jim punched a few keys on the keypad in front of him. The main vidscreen swung down and forward as the Albert transformed out of its cube form and became mobile. As the Albert was bounding out the door two streaks flashed across the vidscreen.
"What the heck? What were those, Mark?" Jim said turning to the short man.
"Do you ... Do you think they sent Lola's?" Mark said. A touch of wonderment making him sound breathless.
A white van driving off down the street was visible from the house. The door creaked as a slender metallic claw slowly pushed it open. Silence greeted the two slender linear forms that stood before the door. Through years of research and development, their bodies had been optimized and formed into thin skeletal frames. All of their internal components were ultra-miniaturized. Most of what was visible on the Lola frame was plastic piezoelectric muscle which covered a very thin tubular composite frame. They were both small, about at eye level with the door knob. Their size allowed them extremely fast ground speeds, and because of their extreme quickness, there was no need for extra armor over the layers of plastic muscle.
A sensor array was mounted on top of the skeletal frame with full 360 horizontal rotational capability. The platform also allowed 270 degrees of vertical tilt freedom in any direction. Their tracking capabilities were unmatched. The two largest sensors on the array gave the Lola's a bug-eyed appearance, the large lenses allowed for maximum light capture. In other words, they can view the entire light spectrum. These dual sensors scanned the building through the doorway. No movement. Heat sensors reported a mammalian in the vicinity but there was no direct line of sight. The two identical robots looked at one another in a caricature of human non verbal agreement. Some of their radio transmission equipment was directional to allow for greater range. The two robots continued forward silently.
The Lolas were in constant communication, flocking algorithms encoding and decoding signals endlessly. They were Mega Robot's first synchronizing robots. They worked in concert, like a pair of hands molding a clay pot, or the hammer and anvil. Their first mission was to extract the Mega Robot Corp customer. Bad press was hard on the bottom line. Cleanup was necessary to keep a good public image and a good bottom line. The second mission was to capture the new Nano Ninja Monkey.
The two robots scanned the house again for heat signatures, then targeting the largest non-mobile signature moved down the hall way to the body lying in front of the box. Their movements were silent and quick. Metal and plastic polymer claws gripped the clothing of the young man and they hoisted the figure effortlessly above their bulbous heads. They ran out of the house; ants carrying a gift for the queen back to the hill.
A quick radio transmission was sent from the first Lola and received by an automated white van that had dropped them off. A mobile base, it was Mega Robot standard operating procedure for delicate missions. The white van that had been circling the block screeched to a halt in front of the house the rear doors flinging open on pneumatic actuators. The two robots deposited the young man in the back and the doors closed automatically as the van sped off.
The two Lolas turned back to the house and entered through the open doorway. They moved so fast that they were practically invisible. A brief screech was heard followed by the sound of breaking glass. The two robots emerged, moving slower now. One was dragging a limp monkey with a feathery red dart sticking out of its limp form. Another white van pulled up to the house, this one with a human driver, and the two robots jumped in the back along with the monkey. The van drove away slowly.