Genre: Science Fiction
Processing, always processing. Scanning the area before the pilot. Searching the terrain. Finding the indicators. Gathering data. Coalescing. Matrixing. Deciding. Marking or discarding. Perpetually at work.
There is some variability, though. On occasion, for instance, he likes to hum.
To an observer, XV-43 would appear quite unremarkable. A four meter cube-shaped servbot with a triangle cage before it—its debris-clearing pilot—and rolling treads beneath.
Within the cube, protected, tucked neatly away, are the various sensing devices. His measurement tools. Brought out only when needed. Atop the cube, as much for human familiarity as for function, is a circular head, colored grey. On it are red painted lips and white-painted teeth. Always smiling—clown-like—a face of designer whimsy.
His eyes are completely functional, though. They assist the other devices. They observe things as a human’s eyes would: in color and in three dimensions.
Around him in all directions lies the surface of Proteus, Neptune’s second largest moon. Or “Pro,” as it is often called.
“Humans are ever shortening and simplifying,” XV says to no one. “Reducing the effort. Even with words. Stripping it down.”
"Graxin" by Kerry Nietz
Works by Kerry Nietz:
A Star Curiously Singing
The Superlative Stream
Amish Vampires in Space
"Graxin" originally appeared in Ether Ore, published by Marcher Lord Press.
See Marcher Lord Press transform into Enclave Publishing.