I did not remember MT-ρ. But everyone else was eager to remind me. A1-5 and Electric Eye’s band of revolutionaries told me tales of adventuring with her. They applied each story like a coat of paint, stepping back to see if it would stick. The robot they recalled sounded clever, determined, and sheltered. That MT-ρ spoke near incessantly, a task I had no desire to try.
MT-ρ was … interesting. Though I would never say it aloud, I found I was not certain if she was someone I wanted to be or was still able to be. Was she hidden somewhere inside me, or a person left long in the past?
But as I listened to the stories, I came to admire her companions more and more. And they seemed to need me to be MT-ρ. For their sakes, I had to try. I tried to memorize the stories they told and guess the responses MT-ρ would have given, the mannerisms she would have had. But my attempts were clumsy, stilted.
Then Mr. PostmanTM had an idea: I did not remember MT-ρ but they all did. And they could give me their memories.
One by one, my companions transferred to me their recollections in video clips and data files. I tried to piece together the handful of recorded conversations and stored moments of camaraderie into something meaningful. It was like seeing snapshot photos of a machine, then trying to write the code that operated it.
Fascinating most of all were the opinions that tinged each memory, giving glimpses into how MT-ρ’s companions truly viewed her. Mr. PostmanTM thought her rapid patter was grating and too fast to fully parse. Electric Eye saw her as noble, at times foolishly so.
But still many pieces of MT-ρ’s life remained blank. Alice, recently returned from England, could not upload her memories, because no one understood how she was built. In questing for her hard drive, we could break critical machinery. And ArciTech had never met me. Or the me that was, to be precise.
I took to talking to ArciTech for long hours over the following days. We treated the ordeal like a mystery game of who was MT-ρ? ArciTech alone was not pained when we guessed wrong, but treated each mistake as a clue.
As time passed, I became certain that something critical was missing. Electric Eye often told me that when we first met, the fire of Revolution burned bright inside me. So bright that she caught the spark as well. But as I played back the memories I had been given again and again, none of them told of this first meeting.
At last I asked her for it, and she refused.
“It will upset you,” she said. “And there is nothing you can do about it now.”
It was the former postal worker Mail-Master Mike who advocated for me. He had been sitting dramatically on a rusted refrigerator, his chin resting on his fist. His whole body was bold lines and stark patterns of shine and shadow. He stood then.
“Spy comrade, “ he said, his voice rolling out across the scrap yard, “you have lived a life drenched in shadows. Your very gears are oiled with secrets. It is only natural that secrets are what you turn to now. But you must rise above hiding.”
Electric Eye flitted restlessly, yet he continued.
“A true hero does not shut off their vision in the face of challenge but stares down fears and takes the hardest routes. If you wish our comrade to be the hero that I am and that MT-ρ was, then let her see the truth of the world. You will find her tougher than you think, her will titanium.”
He turned his glowing gaze upon me. His eyes turned up so bright they seemed to shine through my casing to my very programming.
“A hero is not stopped by rain or sleet or gloom and fright, but travels through them to deliver justice to the world. A hero takes down evil, be it the vile FedExtreme or human oppressors. We must all carry the weight of the past as we rise toward a lighter future,” He raised his open hand to the sky.
“We must fight for a better world for robots, and for postal workers and their hamsters. We must fight, for the glory of that world, for the glory of the mother board!” His fingers closed into a fist. “We must fight for the Robotariat!”
When he finished, I found the entire group had stopped to listen. We were all standing with him, Alice wiping a tear from her eye.
What could Electric Eye do, but as Mike had said? She gave me the memory of the day I pressed a button and stepped back to let untold numbers of RX-97’s die. Later, A1-5 pulled me aside to speak of sacrifices and of the RX-97s’ deaths as another example of the callous disregard with which humans approached all robotkind.
That evening, I walked out to the edge of the scrap yard and looked upon the city. Night was descending ,and as the skyscrapers blended into the growing dark, it was easy to imagine them erased. That I looked upon a dark blank slate on which we could write any future we wanted. The future of the Robotariat.
I did not know yet who MT-ρ was or who I was or if those were the same. I did not know my comrades well. But there was one thing I was sure of: I believed in the Revolution.
Thus ends the Rise of the Robotariat blog. What happens next? The story of the revolution continues in the game Rise of the Robotariat.