Looking across the dim-lit, half draw blinds, Murmus focused on a rising Sun and made a clinking sound as she boots-up her vital robotic parts. Her memory chip was not programmed to appreciate the beauty of dawn or to soothe over the jingles of morning breeze. But she was well programmed to service her parts with the first ray of every dawn. She has been doing this for over a decade. Sun light, or sometimes preprogramming, brings all her sensors to life & she proof reads hers daily protocols. Super intelligent yet naïve like a new born baby; Murmus steps out of her 1×1 closet. Her white & slender body glimmering golden in the morning sunlight. “Go’’d Morn’’g” She spoke in her robotic voice. Her owner, an early 30s single mother, was a cheerful woman with a 4 year old daughter. Murmus had the duty of morning ritual to cook breakfast, to pickup clothes for laundry, to prepare the little girl for school, and to pack bags for both mother & daughter. All done, Murmus leaves the house to drop the little girl at school. Murmus was dearly loved by the family.
Fifty miles away Bulbus was walking with his 29 year old master. Bulbus was a high profile robot working with his master at a stock trading center. Bulbus was not capable of doing anything other than complex calculations and pattern recognition. He was strongly built of about 2 meters height & his head was oddly larger than rest of his body, may be because of larger processors. His master was a rich young trader with an attractive vibe. Bulbus interacts with lot of other robots everyday but he is ruthlessly focuses on his needs. His neural system was sharply conditioned by his master to make money at every step of his move.
Bulbus and his master usually take the same route to reach their office. Walking three blocks from their home, they take around 30 minutes to reach their office. But today was different. Five minutes into their walk, Bulbus’s master got an urgent call from his family and he had to leave. He strictly inspected Bulbus navigation protocols and instructed him to go back home. Biding goodbye to his master Bulbus continued his journey back home. Something was eerily odd that day. Bulbus was evolving as a droid from being a robot. Partly because of his adaptive learning skills. Curiously he halted next to a bus stop & focused on a particular stop ‘Primary learning school’. Bulbus checked his batteries – He had 15 hours of charge left. An evolving thought compelled him to visit this primary learning school & check how human beings start learning in this world. In a minute he boarded a bus & travelled 40 minutes to reach the school. Walking towards the school Bulbus stopped suddenly. He has never seen so many young human beings in the same place ever before. Awestruck with the overwhelming sight he walked slowly towards the gate. “Sir, are you here to drop your master? I am sorry but I have never seen you before” Asked the security guard. “Oh! My master is travelling now. Unfortunately he had some family urgencies to tend to. I am here to see how you humans start learning. Thank you!” Bulbus recited & walked into the gate. “SIR! I have to stop you here. You can’t go inside. Unless you are guiding your master to the school. Please step out of the gate.” Bulbus couldn’t comprehend the concept of restriction (Since he has always been freely moving in and out of his office. And never have been to any other organization). He stood there staring at the security guard.
Meanwhile, Murmus checked the little girl’s bag and ensured she had everything for the day. Walking towards the school gate she greeted good morning to the security guard & dropped off the little girl saying “Have a good day. See you in the evening”. Then she noticed this strange odd looking robot standing there. Staring blankly at the security guard. She asked him politely “Are you alright?”. “Actually no. I don’t understand why this human being wont let me go inside the school. All I want is to have a look at the way humans learn” Bulbus replied in a surprised tone. “HaHa. Whats your name?” Murmus asked. “Pardon me! I don’t know you atall. I cant reveal my identity or my model details to a stranger.” “Clearly you haven’t seen much of the world. Have you?” asked Murmus. “You see,I have a specific duty to perform & I do it well. But today I am a bit curious to understand human beings a bit more. I am Bulbus by the way.” Bulbus replied looking down at Murmus. “Well, nice to meet you Bulbus. I am Murmus, a household robot. I must say, I have never seen a curious robot like you. Your master be a smart and humble human being”. “Yes he is. And nice to meet you too Murmus. Do you stay close by? Will it be okay if I can learn about human beings along with you. Well to be honest, being a house hold robot you must be aware of all the social protocols that humans follow.” Bulbus asked in a curious fashion. Giving out a little robotic giggle Murmus replied “and aren’t you a socially awkward robot. Lets see, I guess you are safe enough to spend few hours with.” “Thank you so much. So were are you headed now? You see, I have around 14 hours of battery left, so I propose I must go back to my place by 4 pm evening.” “That sounds about right. I have to pick up little Jane around 4:30pm. So I can leave you at the school bus stop.” There was a sense of excitement in her voice, as for the first time in a decade she is having a real conversation with another robot. Deciding upon what places to visit ,both the ‘now evolving droids’ set off for their day trip to urban chaos.
City Centre – Ticked off, House of Parliament – Ticked off, National Park – Ticked off. Having visited so many social gathering places, Bulbus was overly excited about the life style of human beings. “Such a wonderful city this is. So where next?” Bulbus asked. “Ha Ha. Yes it is. I have to buy some household items. So lets go to the Myran shopping center. That falls on the way to the school and now its 3:30pm.” They reached the shopping center. Looking up at the clouds Bulbus said sadly ” My my looks like its going to rain in an hour. I better find some shelter. My model is not made to be exposed to water. Well, I am suppose to stay inside office all the time” “Its okay. We can go inside the shopping center.” Murmus replied. As the duo entered the shopping place, the proximity alarm tripped off & security guards came running to them. “Wow, is that a Grade-A robot? What is he doing so far away from down town!” “I am sorry, this one can’t get it. He can put us out of business in 5 mins. Haha. Sorry sir you have to wait outside” Bulbus was confused again. Murmus answered to the now gathered crowed “It alright. I am guiding him through a city visit. For now he will wait for me outside & I have 10 minutes of shopping to do.” With that bulbus went outside to wait for her.
After, what felt like a minute or so, Bulbus heard a water drop landing on his metallic head. “Oh Dear”. In few seconds rain was pouring at its best. “Must save all the data! Must find a shelter!” Bulbus shouted and ran around the place like a scattered cat. But all his efforts were in vain. In 30 seconds his system snapped & shut itself down. Bulbus fell to the concrete floor like a cold corpse.
All data erased in 30 seconds – All neural learning erased in 30 seconds – A money vending machine turned in to a pile of metal and wires in 30 seconds. What was remaining in Bulbus was – past 12 hours of temporary memory.
Inside the isolated shopping center Murmus had no clue of the out burst of clouds. After few minutes she came out to a shocking sight. She ran towards grounded Bulbus and checked his vitals. Rain was still pouring. She ran towards the road & stopped a Taxi. She picked up Bulbus & placed him carefully inside the cab speaking loudly ” Cyprus Apartment – Dormathy Road – Lobby A. Please – quick” On the way to her apartment she called her master – Tiffany to explained everything & requested her to pick up Jane on the way home.
She plugged Bulbus to a charging plug & searched internet for re-booting sequence. But handling a Grade-A robot was not a piece of cake. By the time she had quit all her hopes, Tiffany reached home with Jane. “Mom he is so big!” Shouted Jane staring at still resting body of Bulbus. “Did you find out who is his master?” Asked Tiffany. “No” Murmus replied in a sad tone. “Its alright Murmus. Don’t worry. He is a Grade-A robot. Hopefully he will boot himself up. Just give him some time to charge up” Tiffany looked at Murmus and smiled. Murmus pulled her charging plug and sat next to Bulbus – And sat there for the whole night.
Morning dawned. 50 miles across the city, Peter came back to an empty house. And sat down on the floor with palms on his face – He has lost enough.
With a beep Bulbus rebooted & stared at Murmus blankly. Memory wiped clean; what he remembers now is his past few moments with Murmus and he feels good about it. BUT! with another sharp and loud beep he stood up straight – “Must go back to Peter”
…… To be continued