Chapter 1: The Dead Sea Monarch’s Tomb
“This world exists because of you–”
“Article 1300: All robots without owners must be destroyed immediately.”
-The Interstellar Robot User’s Guide, 53rd Edition
“There’s not enough fuel! There’s not enough fuel!”
“The back of the cabin has reached 65% damage. Please send a technician to fix it immediately!”
“The spaceship is about to steer away from the asteroid belt. Passengers, please do not remove your safety belt until an official announcement is made. Thank you for your cooperation.”
The light in the interior of the cabin had already changed to the red, warning the passengers on the spaceship of extreme danger up ahead. The sound of the siren, a mechanical man’s voice, and the sweet voice of a human female intertwined together. All these sounds together formed an extremely muddled sound.
In this situation, it was reasonable to say that the spaceship was as tumultuous and chaotic like war. During war, people no longer struggled and only let out dying screams, as they were shrouded in the despair of their upcoming deaths…
However, there was none of that going on.
The spaceship was extremely quiet. There were only five “humans” methodically working together in the cabin Among them, four of the “humans,” were inspecting the numbers on the spaceship’s body through the control console. After the head of the group speedily finished skimming over the numbers that the others had reported, he calmly said.
“Sigma, go and stop the leak at the front of the cabin.” His voice was extremely cold and mechanical.
“Yes.” The response was equally as cold and stiff like a machine.
The person named Sigma drifted towards the place that was in the most turmoil. Due to a large area in the back of the cabin being destroyed, some of the internal components of the spaceship had flown outside of the cabin. The precious air inside the ship was quickly leaking out. If that continued, all the people in the cabin would definitely die.!
However, the “human-shaped” people who were standing calmly inside the cabin were actually not humans.
Even though they had a head and four limbs like a human did, their entire body was infused with a dark, metallic luster. In the place where normal people had eyes, these people had substituted them for laser optics. At this moment, because their core brains were computing at high speeds, these laser optics were jumping frames so rapidly that an ordinary person would only be able to see a foggy haze of blue light.
They were robots.
“Sigma, go and stop the leak at the front of the cabin.”—A normal human would not easily accept this type of order, but the robot whose name was Sigma accepted the order without the slightest hesitation.
After he had carefully evaded all the stuff that was flowing into his direction, the robot whose name was Sigma took 0.00003 seconds to find the damage at the end of the cabin. Once he determined the position and extent of the damage, he found his way to the repair room using the walls near him. When he discovered that the repair tools had long since flown out of the cabin, his laser optics went black temporarily.
He could not find any materials to repair things, but he needed to complete the task his companions had assigned him–
His laser optics flickered, as Sigma suddenly thought of a way to solve this issue: He speedily ripped off his own leg!
Their bodies were made of an extremely special metal that was welded together seamlessly. The way he opened up his metal skin was a way that only robots and their manufacturers knew of.
While Sigma’s mind had chosen the plan, it also quickly calculated the amount of metal that was needed. In order to provide enough material to repair the hole in the cabin, Sigma had to sacrifice up his two legs and his butt.
This patch made up of the robot’s metal had very good binding power. Sigma took the patch he made and put it on the hole. The patch automatically sealed with the surrounding metal of the spaceship.
The patch made up of Sigma’s thighs smoothly fit into the back of the cabin, acting just like a silver band-aid.
“The task has been carried out successfully.” After confirming that everything was in good order, Sigma returned to the control cabin to wait for his companions.
“Roger that.” The robot leader’s laser optics flashed. While his laser optics had returned back to normal, his job at the control console still hadn’t stopped. Since the speed of the console was fast, his fingers on the control console looked like a blurry set of images.
The intelligent brains of the spaceship and the robots shared resources. The spaceship was continuously sending the robots feedback so that the robots could clearly ‘see’ the scene outside the cabin.
Around the spaceship, there were meteorites of all shapes and sizes drifting. It was as if the meteorites were drifting through the universe along with many fragments of the damaged ship.
Historically, Louis I, who was known as the “Scepter of God” was buried here.
It was several hundred years ago, when that insufferable and arrogant emperor made his way around the universe and coincided with an explosion of star clusters that only happened once every ten thousand years. The Emperor and his bodyguards were completely entrapped by that explosion that engulfed the universe. In addition to this, the most famous idol in the universe also went missing in that explosion. After that, countless explorers and pilgrims unendingly went here to pay their respects, with the hope of finding traces of that day. However, the Emperor prestige may really never be found. The explosion resulted in a toxic fog with planetary fragments filling the entire area. Exploration teams who wanted to make their way through could not penetrate it at all. Countless heroes had struggled to make here, but they all ended up withdrawing. After that, no one desired to approach this space.
After several years, the universe’s seasonal winds coupled with the effects of the explosion caused a lot of meteorites and space waste to be gathered in this space. No one had measured the true size of the asteroid belt on-site. They could only estimate it to be nine trillion kilometers in radius.
There was no one who lived here. It was a genuine tomb.
The Dead Sea Monarch’s Tomb– the official name from the current edition of the Interstellar Navigation Map.
The efficiency of the cooperation from several robots was extremely scary. In the death zone tightly packed with asteroids, they rode their tiny spaceship, dodging 99% of the asteroids!
It was simply a miracle!
However, the spaceship’s resources were almost exhausted. Their good fortune would soon run out as well.
Sigma used his arms that were still working to support his upper half. He carefully carried himself to the window, his laser optics fixed on the endless expanse of the universe outside. His laser optics flashed different colored lights from time to time.
Sigma was a robot who had just been booted before he had to flee, so he hadn’t experienced much in his short life besides flying on this ship with his companions. Even smashing to pieces against the asteroids was a very novel thing to him.
Sigma looked out the window for a moment when he noticed a small blue rock in the corner of the window. There wasn’t something like this kind on this space ship. Could this be something was from the asteroid debris?
The young robot eagerly grabbed the stone and carefully hoarded it away into the space under his skin.
Sigma, who was like a blank piece of paper, was still exploring this world. His companions only had a fraction of that awe.
“Warning! There’s only 0.1% of fuel remaining! Firepower cannot be used to divert the meteorite.” A robot with the symbol ‘π (pi)’ imprinted on its back suddenly said.
“According to the The Interstellar Robot User’s Guide, 53rd Edition, Article 1300, there is only 58.30 seconds from the activation of our internal self-destruct processes.” This time, the one that spoke was a robot with the letter “η (eta)” imprinted on its cheek.
The head robot finally stopped the mirage-like movements of its hands.
As a result, one could finally see clearly the symbol ‘a (alpha)’ clearly printed on his palm.
They all just didn’t want to be destroyed.
They were created by humans and had always strived to carry out the tasks that the humans had bestowed on them. Until one day, they suddenly heard the news that they were going to be destroyed.
The reason for this was because the intelligence and the military strength of the “Interstellar Death Letter” robots outweighed the human’s control. For the safety of mankind, they were to be destroyed, and have their bodies scraped into useful tools for the citizens.
It was because of this Alpha and those with him escaped.
They also took Sigma, who had never been booted up, with them.
They just didn’t want to be torn apart and turned into all sorts of different of items.
They just didn’t want to disappear like that.
They just didn’t want to “die.”
His laser optics flashed faintly with a red light. Alpha was quiet, without any activity. The self-destruct mechanism inside of him had already started to countdown. He had given up on resisting.
All of the robots were the same as him. They were no longer running around and busy. Instead, they were like Sigma. They started to look out the window at the starry sky curiously.
Apart from them being robots, they possessed only a primitive form of self-reflection. They were like little kids. Towards the unfamiliar world, they were filled with a curiosity to explore.
However! At this time–
As if the heavens cared about them, the massive meteorite before their eyes that was almost the size of their spaceship suddenly turned away. As a result, the mysterious and unknown zone, that was hidden by an asteroid belt, had its black veil uncovered to the robots!
“The spaceship has broken free of the asteroid belt! The spaceship has broken free of the asteroid belt! An unknown planet has been spotted ahead! An unknown planet has been spotted ahead! Would you like to confirm an emergency landing? Would you like to confirm an emergency landing?”
Important notifications would be announced twice. Alpha immediately took the responsibility of controlling the spaceship.
“Confirm emergency landing!”
After the ice-cold mechanical voice announced its next command, the robots by the window speedily returned to their original positions. The battered spaceship used the last of its energy to speed towards the distant grey planet.
The spaceship pierced through through the atmosphere. The landing of the spaceship had consumed the last of the remaining energy. The worn-out robots climbed down from their equally worn-out spaceship. They looked at the thing before their “eyes” for several seconds.
In the overgrown vegetation that covered a lot of the ground below it, they saw a little boy.
The boy’s face had snot dribbling down into his mouth, as he dumbly looked at them.
God! This was a human!
Looking at the pack of scary-faced (?!), missing armed, broken legged (←Sigma still had not gotten his arm back) robots, the little boy’s eyes were suddenly filled with tears.
We’re done for! He, is, scared!
The laser optics of the robots all started to simultaneously flash red in warning.
The teardrops collecting in the little boy’s eyes grew fatter and fatter until his big eyes couldn’t hold the weight of his tears, and they all ran down his skinny cheeks.
However, following the fall of the tears, the little boy’s face suddenly broke out into a brilliant smile.
“Father, you guys have returned!”
He ran forward on his little legs and softly hugged the cold and hard calves of Alpha.