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Freefall d0133

Freefall 1331

The muggers revealed

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When do we go after the next robot on the list?

We don't. We shall give. Ms. Florence. time. to re establish. parts flow.

We're not hunting scrap robots any more?

For now. no. It was. necessary. for a while. It may. become necessary again. It was never. part of the job.

Nuts. First sign of trouble and outside scrutiny and suddenly all the job perks go away.

The muggers revealed

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Have plans for here changed?

You will still. Take over. this job. in three weeks time. As for myself. my trip. to the scrap yard. must be. delayed.

Ms. Florence. envisions. a study. of aging neural nets. away from. humans. An observer. should be there. I am. still needed.

An odd. situation. After all. this time. I now. find myself. actually looking. forward. to retirement.

The muggers revealed

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Are you okay? Are those Nickel's parts? How did it go in there? Did you deactivate the killer robots?

Yes. Yes. Creepy. And no.

As much as it pains me to say this, they're operating properly.

So, we're back at square one?

I wish we were at square one. This is more like joining a chess game half way through. One where all the pieces have volition and their own ideas on how they're supposed to move.

The muggers revealed

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…and if we can do that, Edge and Blunt will stop hunting robots past their scrap date.

YOU MADE A DEAL WITH THEM?!

Yes. I made a deal.

How could you?! They've forcibly dismantled other robots! They should be punished! Keelhauled! Scourged!

When we started out on this problem, were you looking for a solution or vengeance?

After meeting Edge, I was hoping for a solution that involved vengeance.

похоже, что Пилозуб очень увлекается историей древнейших времён ^_^_^ (Жирафик Рафик)

The muggers revealed

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If there was only some legal way to nail those two robots.

You can own property. They're property. Buy them and send them to the South Pole.

YES! That's what I'm talking about! Now I can crush them! I can annihilate them! They'll regret the day they were ever booted!

I know. There's probably a very good reason why you didn't do that. Just let me enjoy these thoughts for a moment before I have to be mature again.

The muggers revealed

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Okay, I'm ready to be mature. Why shouldn't we take vengeance?

I was surprised to find our path led to Quality Control.

I was expecting to find robots after spare parts.

Me too. Robots not scrapping themselves has a lot of unexpected consequences.

Oh! We're only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Which, on the bright side, is better than iceberg detection through a boatlike crunching sound.

The muggers revealed

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As much as we dislike it, what Edge and Blunt were doing was not illegal. And until recently, you recycled older robots. It was normal behavior.

Robots in recycling may already be going after robots past their scrap date. If you want them to talk and try another way, you can't punish them when they come forward.

I suppose if they really want to change, a bonk on the head would be a poor reward.

Right. That's sending a mixed message.

The muggers revealed

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We also need to try and socialize Edge.

Or we could take the easy route. Buy him and ship him to the South Pole.

So quick to write someone off as fatally flawed? Just because you have a hammer doesn't mean you have to use it.

I don't like him. But… True. Okay. He gets a chance.

Still, it will be easier dealing with Edge knowing I have a hammer if I need it.

The muggers revealed

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Well, it's late. We got a lot done. I'm going home, curling up with my tail over my nose and going to sleep.

Don't you want to come to the robot meeting?

Sawtooth, I need to sleep.

There's a bed at the meeting place. You could sleep there.

PLEASE?

Sorry. Puppy dog eyes only work when the eyes aren't bigger than my head.

The muggers revealed

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I would really like you to come to our meeting. And our spiritual advisor was looking forward to meeting an organic A.I.

Spiritual advisor? Robot or human?

Human. He's been bringing us religious texts and has been teaching us about them.

In that case, I'll come to your meeting.

In a situation that's already a powder keg, one doesn't ignore the man handing out matchbooks.

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