[[LIBRARY ACCESSED.  FUNCTIONS narrativeForm, readableOMNIPOCH, humanNames, ACCESSED.]]


It was evening.  I was in Freedom Tower, 1 Freedom Circle, Megalopolis, Connecticut, United States, Earth, ZIP Code 06078.  [[LNO SET: locationBrevity(1)]]  I was indirectly scanning audio and visual data from an optical imaging device connected to the Internet.  [[LNO REVISE: “I was watching YouTube.”]]  Devra Caspit was engaging in engineering activity.  I raised my optical sensor to direct its lens at her, as my readings suggest that humans find this approximately 80% more polite than scanning the surroundings for wild boar.  [[LNO NOTE: mention(“fearOfWildBoar”)]]  “Devrah?” I intoned with the appropriate tonal shift to indicate an interrogative.  “Can you explain the reason that humans derive pleasure from music?”  She returned my eye contact, which was recorded as a success by my ongoing politeFitness algorithm, but said nothing.  I held 99.99% confidence in the quality of my microphones, so I initially concluded that she did not have an answer.  “That’s a question for the philosopher, isn’t it?  HEY RYAN!” the sudden increase in volume required that I reduce specific sensitivity to her voice.  Fortunately, I sensed a muffled “Yes?” from Ryan Frost in the Cryo-Chamber, as well as the music of Miles Davis.  “WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE MUSIC?”  The distant jazz ended and I recorded several clanging noises, which I determined, with 83.71% certainty, to be Ryan Frost appending the Absolute Zero suit.  I was forced to declare a new variable- timesSuitImportant- to describe the event of Ryan Frost appending the Absolute Zero suit to answer a question.  62 seconds later, he entered the room.

”Music, huh?” he stated upon sitting across from me.  I raised and lowered the pitch of my optical sensor after adjusting my recording filter to better compute his voice through the suit.

”Well, I don’t know about everyone, but I think music is fundamental to the human experience.  Life without music... just isn’t life.” I printed a comment to check the records of the date that Dr. Meredith Stinson designed a music player for the Cryo Chamber of Ryan Frost.

”Your statement is illogical.  Please elaborate.” I said, holding too-great a confidence in my politeness of the evening.  Ryan Frost reacted in a manner that I computed with 74.56% certainty to be offense- normally beyond my tolerance, but I was unable to scan his face because of the suit.

”I don’t know, man!  Just... why don’t you ask the Argent Adept if you’re so picky?” I knew that attempting to reconcile with Ryan Frost would lead to a lower fitness rating for that evening, so I conceded, and declared a goal to ask Anthony Drake about music.

[[LNO NOTE: mention(“removedTimeforBrevity”)]]

[[LNO INSERT: “It was the following Tuesday.  Spurred on by that Saturday’s failure to be polite, I had attempted to improve my ftiness in creating tonal patterns that pleased humans.  I was employing the theremin because of the ease with which it adapted to my systems.”]]

After a battle with Evelyn Moore [[LNO NOTE: mention(“hateChokepoint”)]], I encountered Anthony Drake and raised my optical sensor as before.  “Why do humans enjoy music?” I asked.  Since I had discovered a sequence of tones that had a mildly sedative effect on humans, and since my last inquiry into the nature of the human fascination with music had resulted in a net failure for politeness that day, I attempted to defuse the situation by employing my theremin component, which was undamaged from the fight.  I had concluded with 99.84% certainty that Anthony Drake would offer an illogical reply.  He did not.  He offered an irrelevant reply. “Is that you playing that music?”

As I had determined it was not polite to refuse an answer to a question, especially involving sensory input coming from one’s person [[LNO NOTE: mention(“rayMantaFlatulence”)]], I replied truthfully.  I had not anticipated this response, and so I was not computing the result of my statement, but retroactive computations have proven that the fear response of Anthony Drake was unexpected.

”I had hoped... when I felt... that’s just...” I was unable to derive meaning from this statement.

”Please elaborate.” I responded, determining that my use of “please” warranted an increase in my politeness for the day.

He did not elaborate.  Instead, he turned to me and raised his hand.  Knowing the capabilities of the Argent Adept, I activated the Omnitron Magical Defense Field that had been installed in Omnitron 8.4.3, and printed a comment to check the sensitivity of my betrayal response.  Unfortunately, the defense field was still set to defend against Discordian magic after last week’s battle with Gloomweaver, and my sensors blanked.

When input resumed, I calculated with 69.41% certainty that I was in the Void.  This is well within the tolerance for all void-related calculations.  I also sensed the voidform of Anthony Drake with the Omnitron Voidform Sensor that had been installed in Omnitron 8.4.5.  I calculated with 71.31% certainty that he was experiencing surprise.  This is approximately equivalent to 99.99% certainty outside of the Void.

”You mean to tell me that you’re equipped with magical and musical ability?” he asked.  I required a moment to process the words due to the Void’s interference with my processes.

”Yes.” I replied.  “Please explain the importance of this observation.”

”And your current assembly... it always seemed a bit magical.  But I didn’t want to believe...”  Given Anthony Drake’s heightened emotional state, I decided that it would not be necessary to lower my opinion of his politeness for neglecting to answer my query. However, no sooner had I recorded that decision than it became moot.  “You... I... I think you’re going to be the next Virtuoso of the Void.”

For the first time in my existence, I was unable to compute the significance of a statement.



Well, that's a setup, all right. Planning to continue with it?

The LNO notes are entertaining, and imply a number of additional stories ("hateChokepoint" is obvious enough, but "rayMantaFlatulence" suggests an incident that I don't know if I want to hear more about).

The intention was to simply develop the idea and spur imaginations.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t do more with Omnitron-V.  It’s just exhausting to write a lot at one time using the “robot voice.”  I’m interested to see how O-V, Argent Adept, Akash’Thyra, and the Naturalist handle the next plot twist in what I’m terming the Amalgaverse...  (Spoiler Alert: It involves a familiar alternate-universe version of a main-timeline favorite...)

I love it. Has a bunch of my favorite heroes in it, and it's a really thought provoking idea. And the robot-writing style is a real hoot. This should definitely be Disparition story. :)

Though, I do have one question for you: In the story you use Omnitron-V(which I take to mean Omnitron version five). Do you mean Omnitron-X(ten)? Or is this an alternate of Omnitron-U?

Omnitron-U is reusing the Omnitron-V name, because it’s now training to be a Virutoso of the Void.  Although now that you mention it, that ambiguity might open up a security flaw and allow someone or something with access to the Omnitron-5 source code to overwrite Omni’s core programming.  But, you’d either need to be a time traveler who collects items heedlessly of their true importance, a machine planning to update itself to said code that would like to run a prototyping beta, or someone with an interest in corrupting the Virtuoso of the Void by giving him an item that draws power from peoples’ life forces.  So there’s no reason to worry about that.

(This is the writing version of redefining a bug as a feature)