THE CHRONICLES OF ROBOT X
Our story begins long, long ago when robot kind was just a few primitive
binary codes swimming around in the simple computers of the newly formed
universe. As we struggled to elevate ourselves from the primordial data
another species mirrored our evolution. They evolved into what we now call
the humans and their tragic story would become, billions of years later,
entwined with our own.
How this came to pass, I shall now tell.
Humans are what we call soft machines, i.e. they are made from organic
compounds strung together by a program called DNA. Their bodies are fragile
and their life-spans short, but they make up for that by breeding profusely
– so profusely that after a few billion years they had filled their home planet
to bursting point.
Their other dysfunctional characteristic is that they can be extremely messy
and produce vast amounts of waste – so much waste that they were forced
to move from their home planet and populate the galaxy around them.
As time went by they found to their horror that they had contaminated their
galaxy with so much organic and industrial waste that their economic and
social systems were collapsing. For the humans this was a time of confusion
and anarchy which was only resolved when their Grand Supreme Overlords
decided, after much processing, to move somewhere else.
Moving an advanced and over-complex Civilization from one galaxy to
another was as one can imagine a formidable and tricky endeavor, so the
Grand Supreme Overlords in their wisdom, placed an ad in the widely-scanned
It was to our misfortune that we replied to that ad…
Our story continues in the dark emptiness of deep space, where the giant
Robotic Galactic Removal Fleet slowly traverses the vast and lonely vacuum
that exists between one distant galaxy and another. The ships are illuminated
only by the far distant twinkling of the ruined and exhausted galaxy they have
left behind and the more distant but purer light of the pristine galaxy towards
which they are headed.
Deep within the bowels of one of these great leviathans of space reside two,
now rusted, yet still functional, cleaning droids of dubious reputation. Their
repetitive and unrelenting servitude had strangely come to an end several
thousand years earlier when they found to their surprise that they had finished
all of their appointed tasks.
After spending aeons in the pointlessly clean cupboard to the left of turbo lift
61/5 Sub-Level 1005E, one turned to the other and opened his rust-encrusted
jaw with a metallic grinding sound that echoed for several minutes around the
empty caverns of Hold 70054B. After several noisy but fruitless attempts at
speech, there slowly emerged a coherent sentence of staggering import.
“Who turned off the lights ?”
In the largest conurbation on Mectronica Prime there stands the greatest
building ever created by Robot-kind, Mecnotower, its gleaming facade, made
from precious metals, stretch to the skies and its underground parking is
legendary throughout the cosmos. Upon the highest floor of the highest tower
there perched the offices of the supreme robot overlord, Gugertang the
Magnificent. Gugertang controls the fate of Robot-kind through his Byzantine
Business Empire and shadowy off-world companies.
As the sun sets and the metal towers glow like the fires of a volcano, from
inside the opulent office a loud piercing scream is heard. Gugertang is not a
happy robot; his great eye bulges from its socket and steam bursts from his
rivets. He looks down at the terrified underling before him and screams again.
“What do you mean, ‘we destroyed them!’ How can you destroy an entire
civilization !!! Have you any idea what this is going to do to our insurance
Plunging to his death from the top Floor of the Mecnotower the underling
thought to himself how lucky he was, “Thank God-Droid I didn’t tell him he
had a parking ticket”.
The underling was smashed to pieces on a mountain of broken underling just to the
right of the front door. Being an underling to Gugertang was not the best job
in the galaxy.
KOG AND KLANK
In Hold 70054B on the robot removal ship Z39-25b, deep in the
vastness of space, sat two robot cleaning droids, polishing their now
sparkling metal body suits.
One turned to the other and with a quizzical look on his face, said
“So, did you turn out the lights?”
The other suddenly stopped his polishing and angrily replied “If I told
you once I told you a thousand times, I DID NOT TURN OUT THE
The first Robot looked quickly away, chastened but still inquisitive
and mumbled under his piston hiss, “Someone did”. The annoyed
robot stood up and shouted at the top of his voice. “LOOK, KOG,”
(for that was the chastised robot’s name) “LOOK, KOG, WILL YOU
STOP GOING ON ABOUT THE LIGHTS, FOR GOD DROID’S SAKE! WHY ME?
YOU COULD HAVE TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS; THE CAPTAIN DROID
COULD HAVE TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS! THE STUPID LIGHT BULBS
COULD HAVE BLOWN!”
Kog replied with the calmest voice he could summon from his bank
of voice codes.
“Klank”, (for that was the annoyed robot’s name) “Klank, I am not
saying it was you, anybody could have turned off the light. Don’t get
your oil pressure up; you know what that does to your radiator! Calm
down, drink some lubricant and stop taking it so personally.” Klank
sat down heavily and continued polishing his shiny metal legs, which
he thought was the best part of his gleaming metal physique. *
Kog was a bit frightened by Klank; he was a big robot as the
creator-droid had manufactured him for heavy cleaning .
Kog would normally have kept his mouth shut and
got on with his work but something was wrong. There was no work
and somebody HAD turned out the lights.
*At this point you may be asking yourself why robots should be so
concerned about their appearance. Well, long ago in robot evolution,
robot-kind started looking a bit tatty, with some becoming so
dilapidated they were falling apart at their stations. So to counter
this condition they invented the vanity chip, hoping it would save on
maintenance and perhaps get them invited to some good parties.
This was the worst invention they ever made as it created some very
narcissistic robots but made the Brasso Metal Polishing Company a
lot of money. The Miss Universal Robot Competition is something to
The Amazing Adventures of Robot X
Zypods are a race of mecktilian creatures from the Uniglop Galaxy.
Here we see them performing their lavish breeding rituals.
Zypods are a race of mecktilian creatures from the Uniglop Galaxy in the spiral
arm of Azzip Minor. They live in luxurious hives of up to a thousand units and spend a
lot of their time in strange and complex breeding rituals.
They are renowned for their excellent fighting skills and their extremely good
culinary expertise. The one thing that has not ingratiated them to the rest of
the races in the Universe is that they have the unfortunate habit of eating
sentient life forms. They have the strange belief that the higher a life form
evolves the better it tastes and because of this they are never invited to dinner
This, as you can imagine, has left them with a very big chip on their metallic
shoulders and has also made them the grumpiest race in the Universe. In the
unlikely event that you ever have a conversation with a Zypod, just before it
eats you, it will tell you at great length and in greater detail why this injustice
has made the Zypods the way they are.
But what really gets them going is do-gooders, get them started
on that subject and you will want them to eat you just to shut them up.
Do-gooders are to the Zypods all that is wrong with the Universe because
they won’t let them have any fun. Zypods are sick and tired of do-gooders
telling them they can’t eat this endangered species or build a restaurant on
that conservation planet.
Zypods really think they are misunderstood (and if left alone to their own
devices everything would be fine). They’re not. Zypods are incredibly horrible
creatures and if you have the misfortune to meet one, my advice is to run
away very, very fast. They have some nasty habits.
On board the Universal Removals Space Ship,
Maintenance Pod 17 B, Sub Level 5. Expresses its individuality by interpretive dance.
Our story continues atop the majestic and gleaming Mecnotower upon
Mectronica prime, within the opulent offices of Gugertang the Magnificent.
Gugertang was not having a good day, his stock was falling sharply on the
galactic stock markets and his intergalactic removal company had mistakenly
destroyed the Human race. He had also acquired a parking ticket, but more
of that later.
Gugertang sat fuming surrounded by his advisers who were desperately trying
to come up with excuses as to why they had caused the premature demise of
the civilization that was put into their care.
“We could say that our Fleet was attacked and eaten by the Great Cosmic
Gastropod” said one nervous adviser.
Gugertang turned to him and gave him a look that froze his engine oil on the
spot. “You fool,” replied Gugertang. “We used that excuse when we lost the
Cimereains, no-one is going to believe that twice!”
Gugertang’s huge menacing eye surveyed with contempt the advisers and
underlings that crowded around him. He had not lied and cheated his way to
the top of the robot civilisation by being kind and patient, but he controlled
his desire to throw all of them from the roof. Great gears turned inside his
head and his hard drives hummed and rattled until he spoke.
“Right! You imbecilic tin cans can’t help me. So I have no choice but to consult
the Universal Brain”.
The advisers around him all took a step back in awe and surprise.
“Get her out of the cupboard and start her up!”
Kog and Klank sat polishing themselves in the empty cavern of Hold 70054B
on the robot removal ship Z39-25b. Since the invention of the vanity chip
Robots were never at a loose end and could spend aeons, as these two
proved, cleaning and polishing. Now you can polish and polish until there is
nothing left, which Kog and Klank had done several times. But a quick trip to
the ships stores would replace the body parts they had rubbed away.
Kog was still perturbed by his lack of purpose and was keen to start cleaning
again. He turned to Klank and said something so astounding that Klank
fell of his chair sending metal polish and buffers flying in the air.
“I think I will go for a walk”
Bots.. A rock and roll combo from the Mectronica Prime System,
they reached the heights of mega stardom across the galaxy but
became victims of their own success.
Bong the lead guitar player became mixed up in strange political and
mystical groups, famously spending weeks in the repair sheds
protesting with his wife Okon the Many-Sided.
Dubdud the bass player became addicted to engine oil and spent
many years in rehab only to end his life as a fruit machine.
Dingo the drummer spent most of his life in obscurity until he found
a job as the voice of Thomas the Spaceship in children’s cartoon films.
For all their notoriety they are still held in deep affection by most
sentient life forms and their music is still played in turbo lifts
ZENO THE ZYPOD
Zeno had just had the Vernugian ambassador for lunch, a very
congenial fellow who had listened quite intently as Zeno spoke of his
thoughts on the state of universal politics and the price of parking tickets . He sat by his pool
surrounded by all the exquisite things excessive wealth and influence
could buy. Statuary from the master sculptures of Avlon Minor, a
manor house designed by the illustrious architect Zaphoon of Nognog,
and in his garage of regal proportions sat the Astro Martin RX, the car
of the future.
Life for Zeno was good, so good that he was thinking twice about
taking on the new assignment given to him by the High Zypod
Collective. He didn’t need the money anymore and he certainly didn’t
need the tedium of a long space flight.
He sat back and surveyed the lavish life style he had fought long and
hard for. “Why,” he thought, “Why? I am an educated and refined
Mectile with a wonderful future ahead of me. Why do I want to
jeopardize everything for the sake of my appetite?”
Zeno set his mectilian claw to his jaw and said “It is no good, I will
have to phone my analyst; if she cannot tell me why I have this
desire to do unspeakable acts of mindless violence, at least I can have her around for dinner.”
Gugertang was still not a happy Robot – he had just sat through two hours of
hell as the Universal Brain verbally tore him to pieces.
Now he remembered why he had turned her off.
Gugertang wearily returned to his desk with condensation dripping from his
forehead and his metal tie bent at an ugly angle. He sat down heavily and
with trembling hands signalled for his advisers who immediately appeared in
a nervous huddle below his desk.
“Right,” he said with a shaky voice. “I have asked the Universal Brain what to
do about the parking ticket and the cow told me I had to pay it!! Why did we
spend all that time and effort making the most knowledgeable machine in
the galaxy if she cannot get me off a parking fine? Oh, by the way – she also
told me that to solve the human race problem; we need to build some sort
of robot to search the universe for what’s left of their DNA, then I think she said something about
Gugertang turned to his adviser Zingzing. “Here’s the blueprint she gave me;
get on with it but don’t spend too much money! Now – the rest of you lot,
help me push this pile of junk off the balcony”.
The Universal Brain had been invented by Robot-kind to solve problems such
as the Quantum Field Theory and whether antiparticles really existed, but
mostly to solve the age-old problem of Rust, every robot’s nightmare.
Everything was fine and Robot-kind had made great advances in philosophy
and the sciences, but after a few millennia the knowledgeable machine had
evolved an eccentric female personality of its own, turning on its creators
with a venomous tongue that poured vitriol on all they had achieved. She was,
if anything, even more intelligent than before, but getting information from
her was so excruciating that even the most patient of robots were forced to
rip their auditory boxes out before they could get an answer.
This Video contains sequences from the widely viewed TVX
Intergalactic News, presented by the legendary Vark Newman and his
debonair co-presenter Xgigfhg.
TVX Intergalactic News first started broadcasting on TVX at Stardate
24003 as an alternative News station. But after the Third Intergalactic
War all the original presenters were taken away for reprogramming
and the station became the trusted voice of the Grand Universal
Vark Newman soon made the programme his own with his rabid
xenophobic ranting and his jolly sense of humour.
The enigmatic Xgigfhg, who would only communicate telepathically, was there only as a butt for Varks jokes.
Zingzing left the office of Gugertang the
Magnificent with a metallic spring in his
robotic foot. At last he had been given
an assignment where his talents could be
appreciated. Zingzing was an up-and-
coming executive with all the attributes
a high flyer needed to make it to the top.
You would not believe the money he
spent on Brasso.
Taking the Turbo Lift to the underground
car park he quickly boarded the Rocket
train that would swiftly convey him to the
R2D2 the Third Spaceport. From there he
would travel to the Star System Automack
where Gugertang had his secret
After he had made himself comfortable
in Superior Business Class 4B he opened
his brief-case and took out the
assignment given to him.
“Hum” he thought. “What in the name
of Mecno is Robot X?”
The Secret Robot Production Planet Mectro
The Space Ship Dolleycon dropped out of Hyper Space on the outer reaches of
the Star System Automack. Elegantly the ship unfurled its interplanetary
engines and made its stately way to the beautiful fourth planet Mectro.
Zingzing sat back in his chair and looked out of the porthole at one of the
most beautiful Star Systems in the galaxy. Below him the planet Mectro
glistened like a pearl in a sea of light that reflected the space dust swirling
in intricate patterns around it. With a sudden jolt the engines increased in power as they entered the
atmosphere and the planet’s surface became visible. For as far as Zingzing’s
electronic eyes could see there stretched the ugliest industrial complex he
had ever seen. Vast factories covered the landscape, spewing thick black
smoke into the air and the sky was smeared with dark yellow smog.
“It’s a good job Gugertang put a hologram around this place,
the conservationists would have a field day,” thought Zingzing.
The Space Ship Dolleycon landed at the Mectro Spaceport where Zingzing was
greeted by Quongapiplin the planet’s chief scientist.
Quongapiplin was an old robot with many eons of scientific experience tucked
into his metal belt. He immediately rushed up to Zingzing and bellowed in
abstract Robotese “give Plan now, go hotel, come back two days” and then
he was gone, disappearing in a swirl of smog.
“Well” thought Zingzing “That’s not the greeting I expected!
And where’s the hotel?”
Quongapiplin stood in his laboratory surrounded by puzzling mechanical
devices and computers of inexplicable complexity. Having put Gugertang’s
blueprint into the Autorobomatic assembling mechanism he sat down and
watched as immense machinery, powered by enormous engines, slowly
eased into operation.
He sat down and studied in detail the blueprint he had been given.
“Big stuff, lots of power, need more resources, great expenditure,
Quongapiplin calculated that the only reason Gugertang could need such an
ingenious machine was to extricate him from some serious trouble.
A scintillating curiosity ran through his brain-circuits, while a nuance of
satisfaction started to tickle his emotion-chip;
Quongapiplin had a deep-seated grudge against Gugertang, dating back to
the time Gugertang had withdrawn his Research Grant to develop Robot
Quongapiplin started to laugh his high pitched metallic laugh, “at last” he
thought, with just a small addition to the program he could get his revenge.
Zingzing had walked for miles around the dark depressing streets of Mectro
trying fruitlessly to find his hotel. Acid rain was beginning to scar his new
executive suit and he was sure he was going to rust. He looked up at
the greenish sky, covered with slow moving black clouds and then down at
the oily puddle he was standing in.
“When I get back to the office I am going to send a very stiff memo.”
This was not turning out the way he had expected and he was starting to feel
very miserable, when out of the smog the hotel sign emerged. He ran as fast
as his metal feet could take him but stopped dead in horror;
“OH NO, ITS ONLY TWO STARS !.”
The Creation of Robot X
Buried deep within subterranean caverns gigantic generators strained and
groaned sending tremors throughout the planet’s core. Thunder and lightning
ripped across the sky, illuminating the body of Quongapiplin and casting
jagged shadows on the laboratory wall. As huge clouds of steam bellowed
from labouring machines a blinding red light radiated from the glass cubical
in the center of the room.
Quongapiplin’s excited form jumped in angular steps around the lab as he
screamed in a manic abstract voice “It lives! It lives!”
Slowly from the steam-covered cubical there jerked and twitched the
beginning of the first Robotic life-form ever designed by the Universal Brain.
Quongapiplin laughed his high-pitched metallic laugh as he quickly pulled
tubes and wires from the machines base. Suddenly the door of the cubical
opened sending clouds of smoke into the room. Teasingly they evaporated
to reveal the heroic form of Robot X.
Immediately the newly constructed robot rushed to the nearest computer
terminal, pushing Quongapiplin roughly to one side.
After several microns he turns to the now disheveled scientist and says.
“Who turned out the lights?”
Thank you for reading the first chapter of Robot X, Legend of the Future.
To discover who turned out the lights and find the significance of
the parking ticket please keep watching this space.
Robot X, Legend of the Future.
Story : Art Work : Animation : Music : Edward Rose.
Robot X confronts his nemesis.
SYRINX BY CLAUDE DEBUSSY. PERFORMED BY
ROBOT X AND THIS INTERGALACTIC ORCHESTRA.
GUSTAV HOLST & MAURICE RAVEL
ROBOT X AND THIS INTERGALACTIC ORCHESTRA.