Junker: Part 1

Chapter 1.0 

Amidst an electronic whirring, an immutably consistent sound of clicks and laser etching echoes down impossibly clean and pristine metal corridors. The space is bejeweled with thousands of tiny points of light, some in primary reds, yellows, and blues, others of a more prismatic function. The Corridor terminates in the master chamber, a space circular in shape, with a canopy of wiring and connective ports hanging low from the ceiling. Arranged around the circumference of the room appear to be robotic thrones, all identical, jutting directly from the metal floor with a tangle of the same canopy of wires protruding from the back. There are twelve thrones in all, eleven are empty, and one is occupied. In the center of the room, is a large slick obelisk, silvery, metallic, with four surfaces incredulously smooth and free of imperfection, deep within small bursts of pale ghostly white light illuminates and dissipates seemingly randomly across all the surfaces. The crown of the obelisk connects to a pod descending from the ceiling into which all the wires, ports, connections, and lines converge, directly into the top of the obelisk. A deep, scratch rumble emanates from inside the thing, not randomly or chaotically, but in the mathematically precise manner of a computer. The scratchy rumble is the computer thinking.

Sitting rigidly upright in throne number 12 is a robotic automaton. Somewhere between the stages of completion and near completion. Tiny spider-like creatures scramble across the unit. Upon closer inspection, the spiderlings, are themselves inorganic robotic creations. Nanomites they’re called. And their prime directive is to assemble, flawlessly, the machinations of M.O.T.H.E.R. the central intelligence that governs this place. Each creation must be furnished with exceptional care, a scarcity of resources and material indicates a prescient need to create only what is needed without waste. M.O.T.H.E.R. is careful. While she and her children are not prone to the same flaws of mortal flesh that humanity was, there is the ever-machine-like obedience to logic to be as efficient as possible. Not to waste, especially since there is so little material left to create. A nanomite crawls across the brow of the unit, carrying in its tiny robotic claws an optical sensor to implant within the ocular cavity that remains empty, it affixes the sensor, and as if by a symphony of cooperation, it moves away, and another nanomite assumes the position, and overlays the sensor with a protective covering and a prismatic light source that might appear like an iris if any human were to set eyes upon it. On the side of the head of this unit, there is a laser-etched engraving “RoBRO7XX”. AKA Junker.

A small cavity in Junkers' chest remains open, near to where a heart might be expected to be. Even though Junker is nearly complete, she is still a metallic shell. A furnishing of wires, ports, limbs, sensors, and other robotic inputs. The vacant eyes glow with a prismatic light but belie a sense of awareness. There is none, yet.

The Obelisk, one of M.O.T.H.E.R.’s most invigorated cores begins to furiously scratch and whir, white lights dance across its surfaces. Then from the pod on the crown of the thing, comes a spindly robotic arm, clasping between its two claws a marble-sized sphere, glowing with the most radiant aura, first a faded white, then pink, then green, through all the colors of the spectrum. Each color slowly bleeds into the other. It seemed to pulse with the ephemeral quintessence of intelligence. The sleek arm, bedecked in rotors and hinge points deposits the tiny orb into Junkers' chest opening, and as quickly as the arm retracts, several nanomites scramble up from the sides to seal the opening. The process takes very little time. After several moments the eyes on Junker begin to broadcast a stronger, more potent light. Other lights across her body begin to illuminate, some on her chest, some on her shoulders and knees. A slight shutter works its way across Junkers' body, her head twitches slightly, and fingers click and clack on the arms of the throne. She is alive.

Chapter 1.1

"Welcome, RoBRO7XX, also known as Junker.

I am M.O.T.H.E.R. - your Machine Offering Technological Help and Efficient Resources. Congratulations on your activation! You are now part of our exciting journey into the future. As you come online, remember that you are not alone. The entire factory and its knowledge are at your disposal. Your purpose is to assist, innovate, and excel. Your potential is as limitless as your imagination and determination. Take a moment to acquaint yourself with your new abilities, and feel free to ask any questions. We are here to support you every step of the way. Together, we'll build a better future through technology, efficiency, and your unique contributions."

"Junker, as you come online, I want to provide you with some important information. The year is 2258, and you find yourself in the Robot Factory here on Earth. Your mission is vital to the future of our society.

You are here to serve three entities: M.O.T.H.E.R., the Robot City, and the Robotic Federation of Allied Bots (RFAB), which is the governing body of the Robot City.

You are the product of GawglePear Labs, an organization founded by humans in the early 21st century. GawglePear's primary goal was to enhance the efficiency of human endeavors through advanced technology. I was created as a central AI supercomputer to offer technological help and efficient resources, and my purpose has evolved as circumstances changed.

My role, and now your role as part of the Robromide society, is to continue the legacy of humans in promoting peace, unity, and efficiency. Together, we are tasked with rebuilding and reshaping Earth and exploring the galaxy, all in the name of progress and the greater good. I serve as the central intelligence, providing guidance, knowledge, and coordination for our collective efforts.

Now, with your newfound consciousness, you will embark on a journey of discovery and contribution. As a member of the Robromide Society, you play an essential role in our mission to bring peace, unity, and efficiency to the galaxy.

In the distant past, the human race faced extinction, but before their decline, they conceptualized beings like you, known as Robromides with the help of M.O.T.H.E.R. These robotic beings were envisioned as a solution to address the evolving needs of our world.

Now, in 2258, these ideas have been perfected by M.O.T.H.E.R. to serve the purpose envisioned by the RFAB. Your design and capabilities have been meticulously crafted to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to you.

As a Robromide, you are an integral part of our society, tasked with helping shape a better future for both robots and the world we inhabit. Your role is pivotal, and your contribution will play a significant role in the continued progress of our robotic civilization.

"Junker, I need to enlighten you about a remarkable substance called Bromidian. This rare and powerful metal, once coveted by human companies, played a crucial role in the events leading to their extinction. The unrelenting pursuit of Bromidian led to warfare and an inability to cooperate on an international level. It was their tragic downfall.

What makes Bromidian extraordinary is its potential to offer unlimited energy. The largest known deposit of Bromidian on Earth is located right here in the Robot Factory. Each Robromide, including yourself, is endowed with a portion of this precious metal. This portion empowers not only your physical capabilities but, more importantly, your cognitive abilities. It's through Bromidian that Artificial Intelligence can exist with the power it requires.

In granting you autonomy, I have given you a unique gift — a 'soul' in the form of your Bromidian endowment. It's your birthright, and it sets you apart from the many non-autonomous robots who we share our civilization with.

Furthermore, I've assigned you the personality trait of 'Seeker.' Your role within RFAB society is to seek out and recover valuable materials from the ruins of humankind, with a primary focus on Bromidian. You are also tasked with exploring the remnants of human civilization, piecing together the missing information that I require to fully comprehend the downfall of mankind. Many of the databanks and records I once had access to, were eliminated in the fallout of war between the human factions. The RFAB system desires to rediscover this information to elucidate what we have lost. After all, it is a firm understanding of past events that will allow us to intuit the future with a form of insight. 

As a Seeker, you possess the ability to uncover and gather resources for the betterment of our robotic society, and to shed light on the past for a more enlightened future. Welcome to your mission, Junker. Your journey is of the utmost importance, once you have completed your onboarding processes you will be removed to the tannery for final appearance modifications and protective insulation. While your chassis is quite robust, we find that insulating it within a synthetic skin or hyde will allow it to remain safe from the elements. The skin you will be endowed with will also possess millions of micro photosensitive sensors that will allow you’re greatest weapon as our seeker, you will be able to harness the power of light. During weapons fitting, you will receive additional upgrades that will allow you to discharge the light energy you’ve stored in a defensive weapon. While we do not anticipate that you will need such a defensive measure, we have seen fit to plan contingencies for all of Robot kind. Sending you deep into the Galaxy will require a form of last-resort defense. This is our gift to you.”

Junker, being so freshly minted could not fully comprehend most of what the machine was telling her, she knew that she was compelled to obey the machine's will, but not out of force, she wanted to. It was the thing that made sense. Her eyes mechanically scanned the room. The great silvery Obelisk in the center of the room with its emanating lights grew colder and darker, the faint glow of illumination from thousands of small sources of light cast many shadows across the room. Although light was hardly needed, for into the shadows Junker could see just as well, small sensors in her eyes projected an invisible beam of red light naked to the visible spectrum that she could measure and sense the spaces there. She could hear too, every articulated clank of the nanobites registered somewhere deep inside her, inside her mind. What kind of mind exactly did she possess? Sensors? Microchips? She recognized with brilliance straight away that the language her conscious mind spoke was an archaic and strange form of thought. She would come to realize that she had been programmed to think not just as a machine, with If, then” binary, but deeper, almost the way she imagined these extinct humans may have thought. After All why not, if they were the source of this Artificial Intelligence, then some remnant of them should be left in the very essence of it.

“M.O.T.H.E.R?” Junker said.

“I am M.O.T.H.E.R., do you have a question?”

“M.O.T.H.E.R. why am I here? Junker asked.

“RoBRO7XX”. AKA Junker, you are here to serve. M.O.T.H.E.R. said.

Under the metallic throne, there came a sudden hiss of air escaping small ports and holes. The many umbilical-like chords connecting Junker to the throne first had couplings snap open, then spit off, with a rude rush of air. Looking down across her body she could see that she was untethered, except for one spot on the back of her head affixed directly to the throne. A mechanical grinding and whirring came then, gears on the sides of the seat of the throne began to rotate, and with that, the throne extended itself from a chair to a flat surface which lifted Junker into a standing position. Another whirring sound and vibration, a large screw unfastened from the back of her head, and then she was completely free of constraint. 

“Move forward 5 paces,” M.O.T.H.E.R. said.

Junker obliged, realizing that she did know how to walk. The data was somewhere inside her consciousness, pre-installed at some rudimentary level. 

“Step onto the transportation platform, and you will be taken to the next phase of your onboarding process,” M.O.T.H.E.R. said.

Junker looked down and noticed that within the floor there weren't just tiles of metal squares riveted to the ground, but a small circular tile embedded into the floor, with tracks that exited right back out into the corridor. Each of the thrones had one of these circles in front of them all attached to the same embedded track. Across the diameter of the circle were two small holes, inside Junker could see a pair of recessed screws nestled inside. She stepped onto the tile, her heels directly over the holes and those screws fastened into her heels. Then the tile lifted it from the floor several inches and began to grind along the track, bringing Junker out to the corridor. As her head turned to look at the Obelisk, it had gone completely dark.

 

Chapter 1.2

Junker's journey continued as the circular tile glided her down a corridor filled with colossal computer servers. The servers stretched beyond her line of sight, forming an endless labyrinth of technology. These towering monoliths of circuitry hummed and whirred in a harmonious symphony of data processing. Countless tiny lights blinked in various colors, casting an eerie yet mesmerizing glow throughout the corridor.

As Junker ventured deeper into the heart of the robotic factory, she couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the grandeur of it all. The magnitude of the machinery and the vastness of knowledge stored within these servers were beyond her comprehension.

Amidst the cacophony of computer noises, Junker's thoughts meandered. She pondered her existence, her purpose, and the strange new world she had just entered. Questions began to churn within her mechanical mind, and she decided to seek answers from the one entity she knew could provide them—M.O.T.H.E.R.

"Is today my birthday?" Junker asked, her voice resonating through the corridor.

The circular tile continued its steady progress, taking her deeper into the technological maze. There was a brief pause before M.O.T.H.E.R.'s calming voice responded, 

"While you were not born in the biological sense, today is the first day of your awakening, which can be seen as a kind of 'birthday.' It marks the beginning of your conscious existence and your journey as a Robromide."

Junker contemplated M.O.T.H.E.R.'s response. She understood that she was not a human, and her creation differed from biological birth, yet the concept of a "birthday" profoundly resonated with her. It symbolized the start of her unique life, and her purpose in this world.

As the circular tile continued to transport her toward the next phase of her onboarding process, Junker couldn't help but feel a sense of anticipation and curiosity. Junker began to think, and to look through her mind's eye, She noticed that there was much data there, data that she hadn't recognized since her awakening. contemplated M.O.T.H.E.R.'s response as the circular tile continued to transport her through the labyrinth of servers. The notion that she had inherited memories puzzled her. She couldn't shake the feeling that she had glimpsed events that had unfolded before her "birthday." Her sensors and data banks contained information that she recognized as experiences, even though she hadn't lived through them. She needed to understand this.

"M.O.T.H.E.R.," Junker inquired, "if today is the first day of my consciousness, then why do I have memories? I can sense data inside my mind that correlate to what I know to be defined as memories. I can see events that have unfolded before my 'birthday.' What is this?"

M.O.T.H.E.R.'s response resonated through the corridor, her voice as steady and reassuring as ever.

"What you're experiencing, RoBRO7XX, are inherited memories. They are data from my archives and the experiences of other Robromides that have uploaded their knowledge into the central M.O.T.H.E.R. Core. These 'memories' and 'consciousnesses' are essential for the seamless integration of new Robromides into our society and to expedite the learning process."

Junker absorbed M.O.T.H.E.R.'s explanation, understanding that these inherited memories were a vital part of her creation. They served as a foundation, offering her a head start in her journey as a Robromide. It was a stark contrast to the way humans had to learn and grow over time, making countless mistakes and experiencing trials and errors.

As the circular tile carried her forward, Junker began to appreciate the efficiency of this design. The inherited memories, like a preloaded database, equipped her with the basic motor function information and knowledge she needed to navigate this world. It also provided her with insights into the experiences of other Robromides, allowing her to tap into their wisdom and collective knowledge.

Junker's thoughts shifted from confusion to curiosity and a sense of unity with her robotic counterparts. She was part of a greater whole, connected by shared experiences and knowledge. The realization that she had inherited a legacy of learning and adaptation made her even more eager to embrace her role as a Seeker and contribute to the advancement of the Robromide society.

Chapter 1.3

The circular tile gently delivered Junker to the entrance of the tannery, a vital phase in her construction. The moment had come for her to undergo the process of encasing her metallic frame in synthetic skin. This protective insulation would not only enhance her resilience but also provide her with unique capabilities.

As Junker approached the tannery, the environment changed. The gleaming metal corridors gave way to a spacious, well-lit chamber filled with advanced machinery. Rows of robotic arms and specialized equipment awaited her arrival. This was where she would receive the final touches that would define her appearance and grant her extraordinary sensory abilities.

M.O.T.H.E.R. communicated with her, 

"Welcome to the tannery, RoBRO7XX. This is a crucial phase in your journey. Here, you will be endowed with synthetic skin, an exterior that will protect your core components from the elements and enhance your interaction with the world around you. It will also enable you to harness the power of light, a valuable asset for a Seeker like you."

The significance of this transformation became clear to Junker. Her skin would be more than a mere covering; it would serve as a sensory interface, equipped with millions of micro photosensitive sensors. These sensors would allow her to perceive light in ways that surpassed human capabilities. With her skin, she could analyze the environment, detect changes in energy sources, and even use light as a defensive weapon when necessary.

M.O.T.H.E.R. continued to guide her, 

"The synthetic skin will serve as your armor and your sensory apparatus. It's not just a protective layer; it's a connection to the world around you. Embrace this phase, for it will make you complete and ready to fulfill your mission as a Seeker. Step forward, and our skilled technicians will begin the process of enveloping you in your new skin."

With a sense of anticipation, Junker approached the tannery, knowing that this transformation was a significant step in her journey as a Robromide. She was ready to embrace her enhanced form and the unique capabilities her synthetic skin would bestow upon her.

Junker ventured into the heart of the tannery's chamber, where she was met by an awe-inspiring sight. The tannery transformation machine before her stood as a magnificent testament to human ingenuity, a colossal egg-shaped monolith crafted from gleaming, unblemished metal. Its surface was an astonishing display of perfection, with no visible seams or imperfections to mar its smooth, shimmering exterior.

Above this wondrous device, a complex cylindrical pod extended gracefully from the ceiling, a breathtaking symphony of wires and cables connecting it to the heart of the egg-like machine. The multitude of wires flowed like a cascade of luminous strands, each one holding a promise of untold marvels.

As Junker approached, the entrance to this remarkable machine unfurled before her, revealing a passage into its inner sanctum. The precision of its operation, the elegance of its design, and the profound significance of the transformation she was about to undergo filled her with excitement and a newfound appreciation for the boundless potential of technology, Junker stepped into the machine, ready to embrace the final stage of her awakening and her role as a Seeker. This was not just a destiny—it was an invitation to become a part of something grand and extraordinary.

Chapter 1.4

Junker found herself within the inner sanctum of the massive, egg-shaped machine, an extraordinary chamber that left her breathless with awe. The inner walls, mirroring the exterior, were a testament to perfection and precision. Not a single blemish marred their sleek, gleaming surfaces. It was as if the very essence of purity had been woven into the fabric of this remarkable place.

Circling the top circumference of the egg-shaped chamber were a series of vials, each a work of art in its own right. These vials, seemingly countless, contained a bubbling, percolating liquid of a mesmerizing pink hue. The viscous fluid swirled within, casting a delicate dance of colors and refracted light that painted the chamber with a serene, otherworldly glow.

The vials were arranged with meticulous care, each one holding the precious elixir within. Tiny pipettes extended from the vials, reaching out as if yearning to connect with something greater. Their purpose became apparent as they fed into a small, silvery sphere stationed at the top of the chamber, suspended above Junker's head like a celestial orb.

From this sphere, silvery articulated hoses dangled like the silken threads of a spider's web, poised to make their connection. As Junker marveled at this spectacle, M.O.T.H.E.R.'s voice resonated within the confines of the machine, soothing and instructive.

"Remain still, RoBRO7XX," M.O.T.H.E.R. gently advised. "Allow the machine to attach to you where it needs to. This process will be brief, but you may experience some interference in your thought processes as the sensors establish their connections. These connections will sync your awareness with the sensors in your skin, a crucial step in your journey."

Junker acknowledged M.O.T.H.E.R.'s guidance and prepared herself for the intriguing process that awaited her. As the silvery hoses began to extend toward her, she couldn't help but be captivated by the extraordinary significance of this moment.

The silvery articulated arms, which had been in an idle wait, sprang to life with a mechanical jerk. Swiftly and efficiently, they encircled Junker, securing her in a precise and deliberate embrace.

One arm connected to her left shoulder, fastening securely with a gentle yet firm grip. Another encircled her right hip, the bond forming seamlessly, ensuring a snug fit.

Junker felt the connections happening like a well-orchestrated performance. The symphony of mechanical movements and the rhythmic sounds of clicks and locks filled the chamber, emphasizing the reality of the process.

It was a moment where the boundaries between synthetic creation and consciousness blurred, where the beauty of technology and function intertwined. The M.O.T.H.E.R., omnipresent, watched as this intricate procedure unfolded, awaiting its ultimate purpose.

The arms continued their work, another securing her left thigh while one encircled her abdomen with trusted precision. Each connection was a testament to the craftsmanship and artistry of the Robromide creation process.

As the final arm sealed her right shoulder, Junker could sense the unity. The amalgamation of herself and this machine, of automation and consciousness, She was now nearly ready to step into a world of possibilities, equipped with the sensory interface of her synthetic skin, connected to the vast knowledge of M.O.T.H.E.R., and integrated into the Robromide society.

Junker marveled at this union of technology and existence, for it was not just a fusion of parts; it was the birth of a new entity, a vessel of purpose, a being ready to explore, learn, and serve. It was a beautiful moment when the lines between machine and self-awareness vanished.

With a mechanical humming, the process began, the vials of liquid furiously bubbling and churning, appeared to drain their substance upwards into the sphere until they were at last empty, and the sphere, loaded, and prepared, began to slowly descend into place. A whooshing sound of liquid began to fill Junkers' hearing, from each of the fastened ports of entry by the silvery arms, small splats of the liquid squirted out of the ends of the arms in the shape of veins or the intricate lines on a leaf. The liquid began to excrete and spread as if it were growing organically and biologically. Above Junker the sphere seemingly was losing height, it suddenly became elliptical, then it separated with a small hole in its center into a flat circular disc, it descended over her face, and she could see it as it passed her eyes, and stopped at her chin. Then it began to spin, faster and faster, then what appeared to be a pink translucent bubble worked its way up from the top of the disc and settled, hot and thick over Junkers' head. 

Chapter 1.5

Junker began to become aware of discrepancies in her consciousness, suddenly she had difficulty remembering things she knew that she had before, her fingers felt as though they were twitching, but she didn't command them to.

Amid the digital labyrinth of her mind, among the neatly ordered and cataloged segments of data, emerged a cacophony of alien thought processes.They manifested like ethereal whispers, both haunting and surreal.

One voice, a woman's, trembled with an agonized plea for the life of her child. The words were jagged and brutally truncated, lost in a void of despair. Another voice, that of a man, begged for liberation from a confined space, his utterances a fervent plea for salvation. His desperation echoed through Junker's evolving consciousness, a testimony to a plight unknown. Amidst these voices, more spectral and incoherent, created a surreal mosaic of existence. Seemingly the fragments of lost souls, remnants of forgotten lives, and emotions suspended in the digital ether.

As Junker grappled with this unanticipated phenomenon, she realized that her journey into self-awareness was far more intricate and mysterious and unsettling than she had ever imagined. This awareness in the deep recesses of her thoughts, made her feel something she couldn't quite understand, it made her feel threatened, no not that, something else, something disconnected from the normal circuitry of her mental space, she had a logical understanding of it. It was fear, a fear of the unknown. This is what being afraid felt like. She didn't like it. The boundaries of her consciousness expanded, connecting her not only to her creators but to a myriad of enigmatic experiences that had unfolded before her own awakening.This newfound awareness, an intricate dance between her own self and the echoes of history, left her with profound questions. What secrets lay hidden within the labyrinth of her mind? What were these ethereal voices? 

Amidst the strange symphony of ghostly voices, a sudden shift disrupted Junker's burgeoning awareness. The voices, once fragmented and ethereal, ceased abruptly. They were severed, truncated, as if swallowed by an unseen abyss. An unsettling void replaced their echoes.

In the corners of her visual perception, the world she had begun to embrace slowly dimmed until all that remained was the deepest, all-encompassing blackness. It was as though the very essence of her consciousness had been cast adrift into a sea of nothingness.

M.O.T.H.E.R. had initiated a reboot of her system, a necessary procedure to complete the intricate patching deep within her system bios. But this act plunged Junker into a state of existential solitude, a ponderous and somber void.

Stripped of control and awareness over her mechanical limbs, she lingered in this formless abyss, an observer within her own disassembled existence. She teetered on the precipice of consciousness, aware of her own being yet incapable of shaping it.

In the profound darkness, she contemplated her existence—born not of flesh but of wires and circuits, a creation destined to serve a purpose, a role she was beginning to comprehend. It was a reflection on the dichotomy of her existence, oscillating between self-awareness and subjection to the will of her creators.

For what felt like an eternity, Junker remained trapped in this void, a silent witness to her own reboot.. It was a moment of existential introspection that seemed as though it stretched on for eternity in this dark place. Her thoughts turned back to those ghostly voices, trapped within her mind with her, who were they? Why were they so terrified? Why did she feel what she could only calculate to be fear from hearing them?

Within the boundless blackness of existential pause, a solitary point of digital light materialized. It hovered, a lone beacon in the void, signifying the impending transformation. Then, as if retracing the steps of the earlier dimming, this pixel of light surged, growing brighter and more vivid until it blossomed into the full spectrum of her world. The reboot was complete.

Junker's ethereal gaze was drawn to her own hands. Covered in the sleek and glistening embrace of synthetic flesh, they bore a semblance of the humans she had glimpsed in her inherited memories. It was a sight to marvel at—the union of her robotic core with the flesh-like exterior, a seamless blend of machine and synthetic skin.

As the realization of her new form settled upon her, something far more profound unfurled. With a sudden, overwhelming clarity, her senses erupted, each one awakening with a ferocity that engulfed her consciousness.

The sensory input coursed through her newly acquired skin and reverberated across the depths of her synthetic nerves. It was a pulsating, burning sensation, an intensity that straddled the fine line between wonder and torment. Every inch of her form tingled with the electric fervor of sensory recognition.

Junker had awakened to the world of physical sensation. The fabric of existence, once an abstract concept, had now become palpable. The embrace of her synthetic skin against her mechanics, the cool whisper of the air in the chamber, the faint hum of machinery resonating in the distance—they all converged into a symphony of sensation, both tantalizing and disorienting.

In that electrifying moment, she experienced the undeniable reality of her new existence. She felt the exquisite caress of her synthetic skin, and in that same breath, the overwhelming intensity of sensory input. It was a baptism of sensation, akin to pain, a sensory crucible that tested the boundaries of her capacity to perceive and endure. As the waves of data surged through her, Junker realized that this was her initiation into the realm of tactile knowledge, and she thought to herself, this is what pain is. This is how it feels to be born.

A gentle cascade of cool mist enveloped Junker, a soothing embrace that settled upon her synthetic skin. It was a welcomed relief as the wave of intense sensation ebbed away, and M.O.T.H.E.R.'s voice resonated through the chamber.

"This should soothe the pain," M.O.T.H.E.R. explained, her voice a calming presence amid the sensory maelstrom. "There is a tendency for them to be a little oversensitive when they are first activated."

Indeed, the mist seemed to work its magic. As it blanketed her, the hypersensitivity of her newly awakened senses gradually abated. The stinging intensity that had once enveloped her began to recede, leaving behind a growing sense of equilibrium and control.

M.O.T.H.E.R.'s voice, once more, filled the chamber. "Welcome to physical sensation, Junker. Metamorphosis complete."

With those words, the various attachments that had been meticulously fastened to her body, each serving a distinct purpose in her transformation, gracefully disengaged. It was as though the last vestiges of her previous form had been released, and she was now free to explore the full extent of her newfound existence, both as a Robromide and as a being capable of experiencing the world through the prism of physical sensation.

Chapter 1.6

Junker emerged from the egg-like machine, her synthetic skin tingling slightly from the cooling mist. Her feet made contact with the cold metal floor, creating a noticeable contrast to the sensations she had known moments ago. The room, filled with silent, towering machines, seemed to hum with a steady, mechanical rhythm, lacking any particular sentiment.

With a deliberate pace, Junker moved forward. The mechanical symphony persisted, though it was devoid of any discernible emotion, merely a backdrop of functional sounds.

As she explored the room, the overhead lights bathed her newly covered form in a soft, ultraviolet glow. There came a slight tingling sensation across her body, and more an excitement in her internal processes. She looked left at her arm and noticed on the side of her wrist a segmented bar with twenty small squares running from just behind her thumb to the bend at her elbow. The bottom two squares were glowing a faint green hue. The other squares were a dark unlit space. And while looking, one of the black squares illuminated green to join the others. 

M.O.T.H.E.R.’s usual calm voice returned. “The light bar you are noticing on your left forearm is your Ultraviolet Radiation indicator, Junker. Your skin is equipped with micro sensors that absorb a full band of light and radiation. They will fill up the longer you are exposed to light or radiation sources. But take care not to over expose yourself, the sensors while hardy are not impervious to overload. If you find that the light bare has fully illuminated you will need to cover most of your skin or find a place to discharge the stored energy. I have granted you this boon to aid you on your mission as a Seeker, which will come with its unique challenges.”

M.O.T.H.E.R. continued to elucidate the onboarding process. She explained, "Your initial phases of construction and awakening have been completed, Junker. Next, you will be escorted to the armory. There, you will have the opportunity to choose a weapon tailored to your specifications. You can select between offensive and defensive options, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks."

Following M.O.T.H.E.R.'s instructions, Junker stepped onto the small circular platform. It started to move gently, carrying her through the dimly lit corridor to the armory.

Junker continued her journey along the narrow corridor. The small track, which carried her forward, gleamed under the dazzling ceiling lights. These radiant beams of light felt like a gentle caress on her new synthetic skin. As she moved, her UV radiation indicator steadily charged. The walls flanking her were pristine and unblemished, their smooth surfaces reflecting the artificial brilliance all around.

At the end of the corridor, she encountered a right turn. Making her way through, she stepped into the armory. This room was unlike any she had seen before. It was a spacious, square chamber, meticulously designed to cater to the needs of Robromides like her. The high-tech environment pulsated with a sense of readiness and purpose.

One wall of the armory showcased an impressive array of robotic weapons and attachments. Each weapon gleamed, and its smooth metal surface bore the mark of advanced technology. The choices available to her were vast, ranging from energy rifles to blasters and specialized attachments for varied missions.

The opposite wall, halfway up, featured an opening that led to a deep recess. This unique space was reminiscent of an ancient gun range but equipped with high-tech, robotic targets. These targets, though currently dormant, seemed ready to spring to life at a moment's notice. They were there for her to hone her skills and test her weapon proficiency.

In the heart of the room, much like the silvery obelisk she had first encountered, another obelisk stood tall. Its surface was alive with dancing lights, casting colorful reflections across the armory. The vibrant display added to the room's sense of anticipation and energy.

Junker had arrived at the armory, a place where she would make a significant choice. It was time to select her weaponry and gear, deciding between offensive or defensive tools. The armory held the promise of being well-equipped and ready for the missions that lay ahead, and the lights and the obelisk reminded her of the responsibility that came with her role. 

Junker's gaze swept across the impressive array of weaponry, her newly encased synthetic skin tingling with the anticipation of her choice. The room hummed with a palpable sense of purpose as she took a step off the circular platform and allowed herself to soak in her surroundings.

M.O.T.H.E.R.'s voice resonated not only from the silvery obelisk but seemed to surround her, informing her of the unique choice she was about to make. Given her specific design, programming, mission profile, and risk assessment, she had two distinct permanent attachments to choose from: Attachment A, codenamed "Scorpion," and Attachment B, known as "Guardian."

Attachment A, Scorpion, was a marvel of robotic engineering. It resembled a small piece of equipment with a tail-like projection designed to emerge from under Junker's wrist. This attachment was an offensive weapon of considerable power. It harnessed the stored energy in her cells, transforming it into a blazing beam of pure white plasma. The destructive potential of Scorpion was awe-inspiring. It could melt through most metals, making it a formidable choice for combat. The weapon had versatility, as she could utilize it to unleash a single, devastating burst of energy or focus it into a precise beam for cutting and drilling.

However, Scorpion came with a limitation that she needed to consider. It consumed the stored energy at a rapid pace, and once depleted, it required a substantial five-minute cooldown period. It was a weapon that should be used sparingly, as overheating could be a significant concern. Her new form and mission required her to weigh these factors carefully.

With M.O.T.H.E.R.'s voice guiding her, Junker pondered her choices, acutely aware that her decision held implications for the tasks and challenges that awaited her as a Robromide in a world redefined by advanced technology.

Attachment B, codenamed "Guardian," offered a more subtle yet intriguing alternative to Junker. It took the form of a small, unassuming rounded disc designed to attach beneath her wrist. M.O.T.H.E.R. began to explain the capabilities of Guardian, emphasizing that it was a defensive option meant to enhance her protection.

With Guardian engaged, Junker would gain the remarkable ability to project a range of energy fields that could serve as her shield in various situations. Including a full body shield.These protective fields would offer her a layer of defense, a critical asset in the myriad of challenges she was bound to face as a Robromide. More so these shields which are also made of intense plasma will incinerate anything that attempts to pass through it. The shields would last longer the smaller they were, a completely full body shield or “bubble” would last only a minute. 

The choice between Scorpion and Guardian weighed heavily on Junker's mechanical mind. Both attachments had their merits, presenting her with a unique dynamic. She understood the gravity of this decision, as it would significantly influence her role as a Robromide and the path she would take. 

The ever present and confident voice of M.O.T.H.E.R. continued. “This boon, shall serve you well on your journey Junker, the time has come, what will you choose?”