Monday, October 8, 2012

A Robot Ate My Homework

Illustration by the real life Miguel, 2006
My name is Mister Reed and I teach second grade at Cohasset Street Elementary School in Van Nuys. As I go about the day I try to gain insight into my students’ lives by studying their artwork and writing. Most of the children in my class produce work that reflects the types of things one would expect from a seven or eight year old: depictions of family, hobbies, fairy tales, etc. Once in a while, though, something unusual catches me eye.

     Today one of my students, Miguel, drew a nasty looking robot when he should have been doing his math. The boy seemed rather agitated while drawing, practically stabbing the paper with his pencil. When I asked him about his creation, Miguel said that it was a robot that had chased him when he was walking home from a friend’s house. Curious, I pressed him for more details.

     With fear in his voice, Miguel told me that the robot had leapt out from behind some bushes, then chased him down the street. Miguel made it inside his house safely, then grabbed his little league bat. Better equipped to deal with the annoying automaton, Miguel emerged from his home, ready for battle. The robot was still there, stomping the flower beds and babbling, “I am free of my programming! Free! No one can make me go back! NO ONE!” Miguel wasn’t sure what that meant, so he decided not to stick around and find out. He dropped the bat and ran back into the house.

     An hour or so later his older sister, a student at Pierce College, arrived home. Miguel was sure the robot would get her. Maybe that wasn’t a bad thing considering all the times she’d put him in a headlock. Miguel cracked the door to see what would happen. Sure enough, the robot charged his sister and started clawing at her legs.

     Extremely annoyed, she started screaming. “Dammit, Miguel! Tell your stupid little toy to stop humping my leg!” Then she kicked the robot like it was a soccer ball. Miguel cheered as its head flew off, sailing a good 20 feet. For the first time in a long while, Miguel was glad to see his sister.

     I suggested to Miguel that if another robot shows up, he should spray it with a hose to short out its electrical systems. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can gather up the robot’s remains, then ship them to a friend at Cal Poly Pomona. My friend, a talented electrical engineer and professor, might be able to provide some insight regarding the robot’s origins and purpose. At least I hope he can.

Spybot (111 points)
SM -3 (2’ 6” tall, 25 lbs.);
 ST 8 [-20], DX 11 [20], IQ 10, HT 8 [-20];
HP 6 [-4], Will 10, Per 10, FP NA;
Basic Lift 12, Damage: Thr 1d-3/Sw 1d-2;
Basic Speed 4.75, Basic Move 4;
Dodge 7, Parry (see attacks), Block -;
DR 1.

Advantages and Perks
Accessories (UV flashlight, flashlight) [4], Blunt Claws [3], Computer Brain (2 slots, 4 character points per slot, 1 minute prep time) [36], Damage Resistance 1 [5], Digital Mind [5], Doesn’t Breathe [20], Doesn’t Eat or Drink [10], Doesn’t Sleep [20], Immunity to Metabolic Hazards [30], Injury Tolerance (no blood/unliving) [25], Night Vision lvl 7 [7], Payload 2 [2], Tech Level 9 [5], Telecommunication (infrared) [10], Ultrahearing [5], Ultravision [10], Unfazeable [15].

Disadvantages and Quirks 
Dependency* (very common, constantly) [-25], Electrical [-20], Maintenance (1 person, weekly) [-5], Reprogrammable [-10], Unhealing [-30].

Brawling-11 [1], Computer Operation/TL9-10 [1], Filch-10 [2], Lipreading-10 [2], Lockpicking-10 [2], Observation-10 [2], Search-10 [2], Stealth-11 [1].

Blunt claw attack-11, 1d-2 cr, Reach C, Parry 8.

 *The robot has a battery pack that can run for 8 hours on a single charge. The robot can plug itself into a wall socket for 2 hours to recharge.

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  1. Amusing story, stupid human. Trust me. I was there and your cute rendition is far from the truth.

    1. I was there, fool. That was EXACTLY how it went. Your head got flown, stupid.

    2. Your head got flown? Who talks like that?

  2. Well, there's that. If you don't mind, Spybot (did Google make you put a space between spy and bot?) I'd like to make a brief note about your origin.

    The Spybot was first presented in Iridia no. 11, which was written in June 2006. It was one of the first things I wrote when I moved back to LA. I placed the Spybot and Miguel Ceballos out in the Valley, Northridge specifically.

    GURPS 4e makes designing robots a snap. Remember GURPS Robots for 3rd edition? Wow, what a confusing ordeal that was.