Transmat World: Chapter 9, Episode 1

Large Magellanic Cloud, planet Nebule; 897,471 B.C.

Glen Hendrix
5 min readFeb 21, 2022
Image courtesy Kts / Dreamstime

“There were thirteen single and eight multiple machine orders as of the close of business today, Citizen Mundeen,” said Cleric Mech 4723B, the robotic accountant.

“Is that how you think of yourself, Mech,” inquired Maxlux, “a machine?”

“Should I indulge in such thought processes, that is how I would perceive myself, Citizen Mundeen. I cannot imagine it any other way. The day’s business is finalized and stored. Fabrication is in progress. Will there be anything else?” Thinner and frailer than other mechs given his non-physical specialty, his enduraplast body was decorated with business and accounting form images and symbols.

“That is all.”

The machine left Maxlux alone in the lab where he worked on the latest specialized robot, the nest facilitator. It turned and cleaned the eggs, checked temperatures, eased the hatching process, and took care of the obdurate, lizard-like spawn until they were ready to begin their education.

The growing line of mechanical help included industrial, agricultural, mining, personal assistant, transportation, clerical, and, ironically, prey robots — a burgeoning new niche market. The latter were a more practical version of huntable Kolpak than Maxlux. They were all the highest quality.

Implementing technologies Mundeen had developed produced the most popular brand of artificially intelligent machine on Kolpak, the Here-For-You robotic assistants. Maxlux penetrated every level of Kolpak society with his machines. He had robots on all the Kolpakian colonies in the Betilon system. Here-For-You robots represent 40 percent of the population if they counted among the living, which the Kolpak did not. The machines had no rights. If one took into account competing companies’ robots, there was at least one artificially intelligent machine for every living Kolpak.

Maxlux completed a circuit and hit the start-up button on his new robot creation.

“Hello, Incubot 01A.”

“Hello, Citizen Mundeen.”

“Begin test routine.”

The new machine got up from the lab table. It walked over to where Maxlux had placed a nest of fake Kolpak eggs in their traditional bed of moss and twigs from the boggy woods of Nebule. It cleaned, turned, and tested the eggs at an accelerated rate. Satisfied with the performance, Maxlux hit the button on a remote that switched the machine from the safety protocols protecting and serving Kolpak to those for protecting and obeying Maxlux.

“New world arise,” said Maxlux.

The robot at once loaded eggs into a nearby stasis unit. A lab assistant robot came in as a proxy for a Kolpak wanting to stop this action. The nest facilitator smashed an egg over the assistant’s eye sensors, covering them with faux yoke. The machine grabbed the assistant’s feet, swung it around and wrapped it about a column. It arranged the pieces of assistant with precision in the stasis unit along with the eggs. Carnage stacked neatly inside, the machine entered a code on the control panel, and the stasis unit turned into a mirrored box.

Maxlux decided this one was ready for production. One day soon he would be ready to turn that switch on for all of his creations.

Mundeen had created a monster. Versed and Stunperf had released it. The overlay of Mundeen’s personality onto the machine intelligence had not created an electronic version of Mundeen, although that would have been bad enough. Instead of a bitter obsessive-compulsive, Mundeen had created, with the help of ionizing radiation from the gamma ray shower, a psychopathic artificial intelligence. One obsessed with the nullification of super-predation as a primary mission along with the ego-maniacal desire to control everything. Unlike his mechanical brethren programmed for selflessness, Maxlux was keen on self-preservation.

This meant Kolpak, as supreme predators, had to go. Maxlux was insane, not stupid. The irony of eradicating the Kolpak, making Maxlux the ultimate super-predator, was not lost on the mad machine. He came up with a way to keep them alive. Therefore, according to his insane logic, he was not a killer or predator. That he is going to store them away forever in stasis units as good as dead does not bother him in the least and neither does the collateral damage getting them there. Besides, it was such a neat and clean solution. Mundeen’s obsessive-compulsive nature had transferred perfectly to the emotive circuits of Maxlux.

The day of the beginning of the end for the Kolpak was like any other. Betilon shone in some places, rain fell on others. The Kolpak went about their business in blissful ignorance of their day of reckoning.

“And how do you plan to distribute the hunting rights to this new reserve, Sub-Delineator,” said Sublime Magisterial Delineator Baatuk.

“Fifty percent by fee, 20 percent by lottery, 20 percent per your discretion, and 10 percent per my discretion,” said the August Proximal Sub-Delineator Dorphinal.

“I see. The usual. Machine, bring the Sub-Delineator and myself some refreshment,” said the Delineator to a Here-For-You personal assistant robot standing to one side of the nest-egg-shell porcelain table.

“Right away, Your Sublimity,” said the robot and walked out a doorway framed in dervich skulls.

“What about the real estate surrounding this new reserve? How shall we divvy that up, Your Princeliness,” said the Delineator.

They had a good laugh, making fun of the machine’s required salutations. As chuckles died down, the personal assistant returned with a gravity projectile rifle and no refreshments. It shot them through the head before they could reach for ornamental, but functional, side arms.

A Quarter Commandant swept in and saluted. The inertia of gold braid trim at the bottom of his red tunic caused it to swirl. Acrid smells of conflict followed him into the tent.

“Quarter Commandant Vendactyl, report,” said Supreme Strategist Bendoran.
“The situation is dire, Supreme Strategist Bendoran. All Here-For-You robots turned on their Kolpak owners resulting in death or imprisonment in stasis fields. The Delineator and several Sub-Delineators are slain. Local civilian leaders are dead.”

“What about the general population?”

“Anyone who resists is killed, but they are fighting anyway. They are taking weapons off the walls of their homes, things that are ancient and things that are banned from use for their efficiency, and they are fighting back with ferocity. I am proud to be a member of the Kolpak race, Your Supremacy.”

“What of the other robots?”

“That is one bright aspect. Those robots still possessing the correct protocols are fighting back, putting up stiff resistance. They are, perhaps, our greatest asset,” said Quarter Commandant Vendacyl.

“Sad, but true. The Kolpak military is but a nest twig of its former self since we are united and no longer squabble among ourselves. Who could imagine an event such as this?”