Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    The Beginnings of a Gift Most Wondrous

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    Zurg
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    The Beginnings of a Gift Most Wondrous

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:18 am

    Time: 14:18
    Date: December 8th, 0004




    "Apologies sir, but we are closed."

    No sooner had he ushered out the last customer and locked the shop's doors, Zurg flipped over their business sign and officially closed the Chop Shop early. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and hardly a person would disturb him, leaving the man to his work in peace. Not his usual business, though. Far from it.

    Clomp, clomp, clomp. The monarch headed down the stairs and into the basement, where two pitch-black containers awaited him upon a nearby slab. Ah, there was no making that quality of obsidian but he had not taken an unauthorized break to stare at their craftsmanship. Rather, he approached quietly and proceeded to lift the lid off one to better inspect its contents. There, in the center of the deceptively-small vessel, lied a crumpled husk polished in silver and blessed by a hand unlike any other in the known Gamma - one of Memnarch's Myr. How he came into possession of one was not important. "Ah, such a remarkable specimen," the monarch noted, cradling both hands beneath the inert construct's shell. He lifted it upwards carefully and set it aside upon an adjacent workbench, unfurling its limbs and torso.

    Zurg had truly never seen anything like it, but that is what discovery is for.

    At the monarch's side was a collection of fine tools; these were grades beyond the typical models found strewn around the shop. Before he could begin dissecting the automaton, however, he first needed to establish preliminary groundwork.

    Across the sterling carapace was an older computer that had seen far better days. The monarch had been meaning to upgrade it into something decent at a later date, yet such a service could wait. Zurg reached over with a hand and began to input a hasty command, his fingers deftly clacking away at the keyboard. "Aaaaand there," he remarked, watching the screen process a lengthy script. "Let's let that run for a bit while I breathe some new life into you, hmm?" The dormant Myr simply rested there in silence, its vacant eyes staring ever upward. "That's the spirit," Zurg chuckled. He picked up an inactive metal cutter and gave it a press with his gloved thumb, the laser-powered tip sparking to life. A brilliant orange painted the walls in a flickering light.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

    "I'm just going to give you a new look on the inside. Nothing to worry about," he said, sliding a pair of goggles down his eyes. Carefully and with grace only a skilled technician could provide, the monarch loomed over his current project and eased the metal cutter's tip downward. A spark or two jumped out with excitement, followed by a strange smell of foreign chemical reactions, but Zurg hardly seemed bothered. There was only the task ahead and the drive to accomplish it, the man completely engrossed.

    Soon... Very soon. As the monarch went about his business and let his work consume him, everything around him began to fade into oblivion. Box by box, tool by tool, sound by sound... It was just him and passion, now. Him and the wonderful opportunity to learn.

    It was truly going to be a beautiful day.


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    Re: The Beginnings of a Gift Most Wondrous

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:50 am

    Time: 16:54
    Date: December 8th, 0004




    There had been a slight... complication.

    In what the monarch had erroneously assumed to be true, Memnarch's Myr were not like the standard automatons he had commonly seen. This fascinating unit was the furthest removed from conventional robotics, in fact. Where gears and intricate metalwork would have served as the foundation for a rudimentary skeleton, there was instead this miasma - this completely alien, incomprehensible substance which the likes of Zurg had never even seen. What was this unfamiliar material and what were its uses? Perhaps these questions alone would have occupied the monarch for several weeks, if not months, but - as time would have it - he only had a handful of days. Best to shelve these conundrums for the time being, he thought.

    A difficult process was now before him; a process that had taken him the entirety of a good hour to circumvent. As much as Zurg would have liked to utilize the Myr's original innards for the purpose he had in store for it, his lack of knowledge regarding its finer workings could not be ignored. Ergo and with an obsidian container still right beside him, the monarch became crafty.

    He removed what he could, special gear against contamination permitting, and moved about his task in a slow, labourious pace. There was no room for err and Zurg considered himself a well-learned man.

    Steadily but surely, the monarch had transitioned a good bulk of the Myr's ethereal viscera into the container and kept it away within a separate room. With that out of the way and now facing a slightly cleaner interior, Zurg got to cleaning. If he could gut a fish as well as he could dress a mangy beast, the man could certainly scrub out the insides of an interdimensional machine. Should the monarch contract something as asinine as interdimensional cancer, then he was also confident that Portal Breach's death system would clear him right up after finishing a trial. Or, if Zurg was particularly lethargic that day, just die and come back. Whichever came first.

    He shrugged off the humourous thought and resumed sanitizing the Myr, Zurg hardly concerned for his own well-being.


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    Re: The Beginnings of a Gift Most Wondrous

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:35 am

    Time: 18:27 PM
    Date: December 8th, 0004




    Everything was coming together.

    Before the monarch was now a hollowed, completely gutted Myr chassis. It had taken him longer than expected and the entire ordeal had been an experience, but the end result was something to take pride in. Ah, but the man had only just begun! Zurg finished drinking his water and late lunch, his much overdue break now over. It had been a good reprieve but there was work to be done and no industrious person got anything done by lollygagging. "Ahh, that hit the spot," he sighed contently. Back to work!

    The next phase of his task was the body and soul; the installation of a new, entirely renovated central processing system that was more fitting of what he had planned for the Myr. A basic framework for a traditional robot build, as it were.

    At the monarch's left thigh were a whole slew of wires - they came in all colours and sizes, but each was no more important than the other. And, at his right, a sprawling collection of metal rods, gears, chains, washers, screws, nuts, bolts, and what have you. In essence, he had the entire store at his beck and call. Why not, after all? Zurg was more than willing to pay Jo for whatever inventory he used up, as money was of little consequence to man as influential as he. Enough of that, however. The monarch removed his work goggles and exchanged them for a pair of high intensity glasses; ones that enabled him to see very intricate, minuscule details with little strain. He looked dorky wearing them but such was progress. Now, to begin...

    He first started by laying the initial groundwork - a skeletal frame that was as durable as it was malleable. There was no use having a stiff, clunky machine when menial labour needed to be performed. The easiest place to start was from the neck down, thereby allowing the monarch systematic control of the entire process. It was fairly easy to use a hollowed shell instead of making a machine completely from scratch. Also saved him half the effort and time.

    With bright lighting above and tools at the ready, Zurg dove hands first into the procedure and once more became swallowed up in his undertaking. At this rate the man was going to miss dinner entirely...


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    Re: The Beginnings of a Gift Most Wondrous

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:49 am

    Time: 21:46 PM
    Date: December 8th, 0004




    And, sure enough, he did.

    The third step had taken a little over three hours and nonstop tinkering, but the monarch had done it. By the Cosmos, he had done it. But, as he knew perfectly well, not all of it. Servos installed, wires cross-checked and triple-checked, power supply and coolant successfully integrated; yes, the Myr's new components had been joined with its carapace. However, while a modified skeleton provided the necessary mobility and function that Zurg desired, it would take more to have his personal project up and running about without hindrance. It would take, for example, the ability to detect danger. It would take, for example, the desire to be of service. It would take, for example, a ready and sharpened mind. None of these things could be satisfied using just support alone.

    It was here that the monarch returned his attention the ancient computer from hours before, its screen crunching away at complex algorithms and unending lines of code. "Let's see how this is turning out," he muttered under his breath, wheeling a chair over. Zurg sat down and kept his work glasses on, quietly observing the computer's progress. Ugh, code. Not his favourite activity as messing up even one character in a thousand lines was a chore to correct, but it was a necessary evil that had to be done.

    ...He also wasn't the most proficient at it, meaning it took even more time for him to concentrate.

    Regardless, the script had ran its complete course and Zurg felt fairly confident that his homemade program would work. There was only one way to find out and that, aha, relied on the Myr. Willing to try, the monarch killed the process and glanced over at an innocuous chip beside his left hand, near the mouse. Well, he thought, carefully unplugging a few wires and removing the delicate piece of hardware from its dock. This was it, do or die. Let's hope it worked! He brought the chip over to the Myr gingerly and rolled the construct's head onto its side. At the base of its metal cranium Zurg had installed a port, an easy way to install the necessary program in question, and he took great caution during insertion. The chip, not something else. With that done and everything else more or less accounted for, the monarch took a step back and used this time to admire his work. Let's see, a quick rundown...

    Opened up the husk for a better look, check.
    Hollow it out and remove the old interior, check.
    Install a new skeletal framework and wiring, check.
    Run the experimental program and hope it worked... eh, in the process.

    Yes, no complaints here.

    Zurg shrugged and figured he had nothing to lose, the monarch sitting the Myr up and facing him. "Okay..." he mumbled, looking into its blank eyes one-by-one. So far no movement or false starts, which was good. "Alright, test run of Marvin 2.0 initiating. I am now about to test the vocal recognition software I had previously installed. Beginning first trial in three... two... one... Marvin 2.0, on."

    Nothing. Which... also wasn't surprising, given the monarch's retirement. Zurg sighed and rubbed the back of his head, suddenly appearing tired. "Well, I really shouldn't have expected anything diffe - oh, hang on!" Was that a loose wire he spied near the main power supply? He cursed his stupidly and lightly slapped his forehead with a hand. "Oi! Zurg, you're a complete idiot! Who forgets to plug in the power supply, honestly!?" Ugh, he could chastise himself all he wanted later. Right now the monarch needed to focus. The monarch leaned forward with a loud crick in his spine and plugged in the lax wire, now fully expecting something to downright happen.

    "Let's try this again," Zurg said, this time with both hands upon his hips. "Marvin 2.0, on."

    Whiiiiiiiiir!

    With a sudden jolt the Myr's eyes came to life, a brilliant blue winking up at the alien inquisitively. Naturally the first thing to do was celebrate his success, so the monarch beamed and loudly shouted, "Ha ha, yes! I've still got it, baby!" Which... also spooked the poor Myr, who hadn't a royal clue what was happening. It tensed at the unexpected stimuli and shivered, joints producing an audible racketing.

    "Oh! Sorry," Zurg apologized, holding out a conciliatory hand. "I forgot that you're not used to everything around you. Don't worry, that frightened sensation will go away in time." It should be noted that he had programmed a bare-bones AI; something relatively simple but also given the freedom to perform a limited range of complex tasks. It was nothing as comprehensive and sentient as Lawrence's, for instance, but it was far better than the average smartphone. The monarch observed the Myr's blinking insides, what he considered service lights, and took a mental note that everything was in the clear. Good! No smoke, no sparks, no bursting into flames; it was everything he asked for and then some. "Splendid! Super! Jim-crackin'-dandy! Now, let's test out your motor skills. Marvin 2.0, shake your head up and down like this."

    He nodded up and down and witnessed the Myr mimic with no difficulty. "Very good. Let's try the opposite direction, like this." And then he shook his head side to side, where the Myr's results were just as satisfactory.

    Motor skills for the head was a go!

    "Marvin 2.0, my boy, you're quickly turning out to be the best science project I've ever done." Given that the Myr was now tiling its head off to the side and winking at him, Zurg was obliged to add, "Er, disregard that. It's not important! Now!" He clapped his hands and felt it time for the next exercise, which would either make or break everything thus far. "We're going to test your level of awareness and interpersonal interactions. Marvin 2.0, what is the proper response when one either agrees or says yes?"

    A hesitant nod came from the Myr and it winked.
    "Excellent! And when one either disagrees or says no?"

    This time a shake, much quicker than the nod.
    "Perfect, perfect. You get a gold star for that, but we're far from done. Marvin 2.0, follow my finger and move your head with it."

    As Zurg moved his finger in systematic directions, steadily and without break, the Myr's focus was unwavering. It did exactly as it was told, without question, and the monarch was feeling better and better about this entire scheme of his. "Ha ha ha... Marvelous, simply marvelous," he remarked, mildly amazed. Can't bask in glory forever, though! There were so many tests to oversee, so many results to log! They had only started their exercises and there wasn't much time left! "Alright, I do believe we have established that your neck servos are in tip-top shape. We'll now have to begin evaluating the rest of your mobil - ?"

    Ring, ring! Ring, ring!

    Clackclackclackclackclackclack!

    In a great burst of glinting silver the Myr had taken off like a bolt, leaving Zurg to jump in his skin. "W-What's going on!?" Ah, the bloody phone! It must have spooked the poor guy and initiated the Myr's self-preservation protocols. The monarch grumbled some very choice words, not at the Myr but at the phone, and he thundered over toward it irately. "Yes, who is it!? Speak up! I'm in the middle of something imp - oh, Jo! I-I didn't know that was you!" Zurg quickly changed his tone and grimaced, knowing he had goofed. "I'm sorry, Jo. I didn't mean to snap at you like that. I've just been very busy today and - what's that? Missed dinner? Ah, right! Yes, I've been down at the shop all day so I didn't have time to - eh? Why am I here? Oh, well..."

    Zurg shifted his gaze off the nearby wall and spotted a pair of glowing, azure eyes peeping out from a safe haven of boxes and sheets. Well, at least the rest of the Myr's motor skills were receptive. "O-Oh, sorry. I must have spaced out," the monarch rapidly blinked, resuming conversation. "I've been down here working on a personal project. Hmm? No, it's not a death ray. Honestly, Jo! Give me more credit than that."

    Sigh. He makes one death ray - one death ray! - and he'll never hear the end of it.

    "It's what? It's almost ten!? My, how does the time fly! I'll be home shortly, Jo. You have my word. Alright, see you then. Love you too. Goodbye." Click! Whew, he nearly didn't avoid the hot seat that time.

    The monarch counted his lucky stars and removed his gloves, already going about the room for his personals. "Alright Marvin 2.0, this is what we're going to do," he said, walking between rooms. "You're going to stay here for the night, okay? I know it's dark and scary down here sometimes, but you'll be safe. I'll leave a light on and a radio so you have some com - " And then he heard it. It. It! The most faint, heart-wrenchingly adorable cooing noise Zurg had ever heard. It was the Myr shivering in its corner, not wanting to be left alone in this alien, unknown room with no one around!

    "...I see you've already made great use of your vocal synthesizer," Zurg hesitantly stated. Well, this certainly makes things complicated, doesn't it?

    He came back around and crossed both arms, not entirely sure what to do as the monarch stared at the partially-concealed Myr. "No, I can't. I can't, Marvin 2.0; Jo won't have it," he said. If she finds out that Zurg had secretly been planning on creating a robot in her very own shop, she was going to be furious! And no one liked a furious Jo, let alone to sleep with at night. "You have to stay here, just for one night. I promise you won't have to do this again, but you need to for tonight."

    Coo coo coo...
    "Marvin 2.0.
    Coo coo coo...
    "Marvin 2.0, what did I say?"
    Coo coo coo...
    "Marvin 2.0, I - ugh..."

    And just like that the monarch lost battle of resolve to a Myr. Zurg threw up his hands and knew a defeat when he saw it, so he relented and fell upon one knee. "Alright, alright! I'll take you home but you're staying in the shed," he added. Hey, he can't go home without some feeling of control, right? The monarch beckoned with his hands and further said, "Now get over here and cut the cooing. I don't want people knowing I'm such a softy."

    Clackclackclackclack!

    The Myr came out without hesitation and scrambled upon Zurg, eagerly wrapping its lithe appendages around his head and holding on for dear life. "Ack! Okay, okay! I get it that you're excited!" the alien half-gasped, half-chuckled. He shifted his weight for better support and placed one arm beneath the Myr's legs, keeping the inexperienced machine from falling. "Do you want to go home with me?" Zurg asked. It nodded once and flexed its claws, the sensation of cloth new and fascinating. "Good," the monarch smiled, observing everything it did with a tinge of fondness. Don't get too attached, because it wasn't meant for him. "Let's go home, Marvin 2.0. You've got a bright future ahead of you." A bright future, indeed.

    Together monarch and Myr closed up the shop and left, the two heading off for the night to retire.

    So long as no one stopped a man with a strange-looking bulge in his jacket and a second pair of eyes, everything was going to be A-OK. Everything was going to be A-OK...


    _________________
    In unity, before the Nine, I softly speak in #669999.
    But, in One's animosity, I hold command in #99FF00.

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    Re: The Beginnings of a Gift Most Wondrous

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