A system reminder popped up, indicating that another “day” had passed.
Venus No. 3 marked the last observation of the day, stored it into the shared system, and returned to base. Venus No. 2 was already beside the transfer machine. Venus No. 1 logged the data and time, checked the gravity and slightly fine tuned it. Meanwhile, the system showed that there was already a difference of 1 “hour” between it and an unadjusted clock.
To be honest, there was no difference between “days” and “hours” to them. Even though they were using quantum clocks, this method would not produce an error larger than a second in three billion and seven hundred million years according to the system’s database. This program that had come preinstalled with the system was just to record data. The endless universe they faced was always the same. It was never ending, and nothing existed but darkness. The only thing that was mutable was that the difference between the two clocks kept increasing.
To them, “time” was meaningless.
Having such a system reminder was just so that the machine could operate normally. This was the final planet that they could reach before their initial energy ran out. Although the environment had not yet reached the standards needed for self-circulation, the system was fortunate enough to be be able to barely start operations. Since the self-circulation survival system could only run at half its maximum capacity, the robots were forced to go dormant once every now and then in order to store enough energy to power their movements. Coincidentally, this cycle was a “day”. The system reminder was the signal that they needed to activate dormant status.
The energy of the three robots was stored into the shared storage system. Most of the energy from the shared storage system was supplied to Venus No. 1, while the remaining portion was transferred to No.2 and No.3 for exploration activities. Venus No.1’s core system was a library. It recorded all sorts of information on Earth, from the changes of Earth to the movements of the celestial bodies. More importantly, it had research data on the human species, as well as that never adjusted clock. They were the only proof that the civilizations on Earth had existed before the explosion of the solar system.
That was why the results of the calculation of the three robots’ artificial intelligences showed that their sole purpose, the only objective they needed to accomplish was “survive”.
Venus No.3 had been the first to awaken from its dormant state because its core system was the simplest. Compared to the library program in No.1 and the exploration program alongside the “Human Emotion” program in No.2, the initial design of No.3 was to become a “tool”. Most of it were just small programs for hardware. It also had numerous sensory devices. Of course, the three robots were able to assemble together if the conditions allowed them to, but the final goal of the initial project was to help humans escape the solar system for autonomous survival , so Venus No.1, No.2 and No.3 were designed using human standards. They had the appearance and body of a young human man. No.3 looked the most childish, but at the same time, it was also the strongest.
No.2, on the side, had also finished its startup program. In comparison, No.2’s body seemed a lot smaller, but the design philosophy for it to explore meant that it was quite a bit more agile compared to the other two robots.
No. 2 let out a sound. Information transfer between the robots took place via the electronic signals in the shared system. However, even if the sparse atmosphere on the planet allowed for sound transmission, No.3 would still be unable to extract any effective information from the mechanical language. Despite that, No.2 would still run this small program once every single time it woke up, walk out of the base with No.3, bring up the labelling information from the previous day, and prepare for a new day of exploration.
The awakening program for No.1 was a bit slower, but it was already standing beside the other two robots at this time, even though it would only record the most token amount of effective information off on the side whilst No.2 and No.3 explored.
Today was the 173rd “day” of exploration.
The previous day, No.2 had already completely explored sector z-b23. It had found a silvery white mechanical hull on a planet that had something akin to a self-circulation system. There was a robot inside the shuttlecraft that looked different from him. However, the results after scanning the surface of the planet showed that this planet should not have allowed for self-circulation. The program judged that it might have been due to the design of the compartment, which sacrificed some of compartment’s exploration abilities in order to allow it to self-circulate in extreme conditions. In these sort of circumstances, the conditions for self-circulation must be very harsh indeed. Being unable to move meant that any slight change in the environment would cause circulation to collapse upon itself. It was either that, or the surface of the planet had some sort of special energy that supported circulation. Regardless of either situation, it wasn’t a planet suitable for the Venus robots to move to. The possibility of that sort of special material existing was too low, and the planet was too far away. Right now, the current energy that could be stored through self-circulation was not enough to support the three robots from reaching this planet. This risk was judged to be too dangerous by the Venus shared system that executed “survival” as its highest commandment.
Due to proper operational procedure, exploration today was still going to start from Sector z-b23 in order to check if data from the previous day was different. A special ping turned up on the radar. This was a situation that had never occurred before. No.2 turned on its visionary device, then connected to an external equipment named “binoculars” in order to detect the location of the unusual signal.
What the device focused on was the robot he had discovered on the distant planet’s surface during the previous day. Since it had been discovered in Sector z-b23, the system had stored it as robot z-b23. No.2 was confused about the image that he “saw”, so he started up the shared system, and sent the image shown by the “binoculars” to the processors of No.1 and No.3.
No.1 looked at the appearance and characteristics of robot z-b23 and judged it to be similar to the Dr. Wen that had created them. However, there was a difference in age. After No.1 brought up Dr. Wen’s data, the processor showed that the robot’s characteristics matched Dr. Wen’s data when she was 16 years old.
“A 16 years old young female robot,” No.1 added this supplementary information within the “robot z-b23” entry within the library program.
After basic information analysis was complete, No.1 began to handle the unusual signal. The robot z-b23 held a long green rod-like object in its hand that ended in a yellow circular object at the top. The program displayed that this object was similar to a plant that had long been extinct on Earth – the sunflower. However, what did not match with the recorded information was that this “sunflower” seemed to be even brighter than what was recorded in the database. No.3 also sent over information showing that the temperature of this “sunflower” was higher than what was recorded.
“This is… light?” This was the first time that No.1 used a question mark to show a queried result. This wasn’t a good sign for a robot. It could mean that the entire system was about to collapse if a result that was different from the predetermined “yes” and “no” designed into the system appeared.
No.1 tried to immediately sever its connection with the shared system in order to end the analysis program, but No.2, who had the highest authority for the shared system, seemed to have given the orders to “continue”. Therefore, No.1 was unable to terminate the analysis program, and could only run it to its end.
Unfortunately, there was not much information about “light” within No.1’s library program. The Sun had already been exhausted in the era that they were created in, so they did not have a direct understanding of “light”. The most detailed information was the final message sent from Earth by Dr. Wen, “Remember, there has to be light. The Sun is light.”
No.2 and No.3 could only know that No.1 was analyzing the information through the shared system. This analysis lasted until the system reminded No.1 that only half of its energy is remaining. Only then did No.1 send a message full of query and colons:
“She…? Planted… the Sun…?”
No.3, who only had version 1.0 of the “Human Emotion” system installed, showed a “confused” reaction and noted the slight possibility of danger. However, No.2, that had the version 2.0 installed, actually showed a sliver of “excitement”.
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