First Law Conflict

September 01, 2016:

Called to a dig site in Mauritania, Jemma, May and Jericho encounter … a Robot

Mauritania

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Not long ago, Melinda May and Jemma Simmons got orders. Head to Mauritania, something had been found and their services needed.

It seems that an archaelogical dig had found uncovered something and set off an explosion that had injured several workers. When the dust and sand clouds had cleared, something else had been revealed. Local authorities can't identify it, or the material it's made from and it's emitting very strange readings.

They're not sure, but it might be a bomb. They just can't tell.

Standing at the lip of the 'crater', Jemma shakes her head as she checks the readings already taken and looks to those who have joined her. "Someone's going to have to go in there and take a look I think. I'm not sure we want to move it before we know what it is. What do you think?"


May stands at the lip of the crater as well, also looking at the epicenter of the explosion. "I agree. What's your verdict on the radiation the original survey team reported?" She seems prepared to just saunter on down there right now.. if the radiation is not something to worry about.


Shining silver metal untouched by corrosion of any kind gleams from the loose dirt blown away fromt he explosion. People approaching the dig site can see a humanoid hand with slightly curled fingers sticking out from the dirt.


"It's not a bomb." Jericho says confidently. "It's most definitely not a bomb. Bombs don't throw off EM interferance like this. Not unless they're nuclear." Beat. "And unshielded." Beat. "And badly built."

There's a long pause. "So it might be a Russian Bomb. But otherwise, it's not a bomb."


Jemma squints at Jericho giving him a funny look Well that's good to know. We're going down there, then." before shaking her head to May "The radiation is safe enough." she says as she makes her way down the sandy hill, sliding occassionally and mostly not flailing. There's a sureness to the way she does this, like she's done it before - and May knows from Jemma's records that she's spent precious little time in places like this.

"It's humanoid." the biochem points to the shape and the hand. "and it doesn't appear to have been touched by elements. Wonder how long it's been here."

Approaching the form, carefully, she's taking readings all the time. "Let's clear it a little more and I'll see what we can find."


Melinda May turns a flat look toward Jericho, but she does NOT try to tell him that his assessment is wrong. Instead she wordlessly follows after Jemma, who is making this slip-slidey descent look far too effortless.


When Jemma mentions clearing around the form a bit more, May reaches to do so so that the biochemist can keep doing to scans. It's either this, or stand back and glower. Boring.


As the group approaches the hand Jemma's Geigar counter goes ballistic showing the highest reading possible. Upon closer examination there appears to be a loose layer of dirt overlaying a very distinct humanoid form. As the dirt clears more gleaming metal appears which reveals the form of an inactive robot of distinctly alien origins.


Jericho reaches forward and yanks Jemma by the collar hard enough to yank her off her feet. If the Geiger counter is going off that hard, the dose of radiation is absolutely lethal. She needs to be not anywhere near it.


"Uh … " Jemma's eyes widen as the geiger counter reacts. "Agent May don't go near the—-" her words are strangled out as Jericho grabs her.

Gaining her feet and looking at Jericho "I wasn't going to go near it. But thank you." She knows she has a propensity to get herself into trouble. Peering down at her devices. "I know the geiger counter is responding but the radiation is benign, there's just a lot of it." beat "I wonder what it is."

"OK, Jericho, May, it is safe. Can we stand it up? I want to get a better look at it."

She's already moving to it, bending to help May and Jericho lift the thing. "I've not seen this type of metal either. I'll need to do some scans when we get it back to the lab."


May recoils at the first hint of the geiger counter's squeal. CRAP. She's way to close to have avoided any of that radiation. She stays where she is until Jemma insists that the radiation isn't harmful, and reaches for the humanoid automaton again. She pulls on one of the arms and … uh …
"Trent, going to need your help here."


The singular eye of the robot immediately lights up a bright red and a metal hand grabs May's arm holding tight like a firm hand shake. The robot studies May's face and emits sounds that sound like electonic static mixed with clicking and buzzing.


Jericho's about to lean down and help when the hand reaches out. He tenses, hand reaching for his weapon. "May…?"

That's a 'May do you need me to shoot that thing or hit it with a very large rock until it stops moving?'

One reason Jericho might get along with may is that he can pack a lot into a single word.


"Ack." Jemma jumps as the Robot grabs May, nearly tripping and peering at it. "Agent May!!! It must have activated as we drew near." She'll be surprised if May doesn't try and amputate the hand and Jericho doesn't hit it with something.

"Is it trying to speak… that clicking …" Looking to Jericho, the biochem scans the body looking for a way to disable the thing and maybe tap into its communications cortex. Finding a likely looking panel, she nods to it, speaking quickly "Jericho, I'm going to try and disable it, but I might need hand. I don't have a computer in my head…" and the hacker does.

As the panels opens, the biochem starts to attach her device, trying to access the central processor "It's just … here…"


The red eye snaps inhumanly fast to Jemma's hand as she undoes the first panel revealing a secondary glass panel that shields an intensely glowing alien device surrounded by some kind of vaporous substance.

The hand restraining May releases her to back hand Jemma forcing her away from the panel. The robot stands on its legs and stares down at Jemma emitting those same strange sounds but much louder and more violently this time.

Stepping towards Jemma the robot's 'speech' if you could call it that increases in both pace and audio.


May startles in a way that likely neither Jemma nor Jericho have seen before, staring at the automaton that's making old 28.8K modem noises. Strangely, though, the grip on her arm isn't damaging in any way. It's simply tight enough to make pulling free a difficult prospect at best. "I'm fine, Tr—" Crap. The moment it backhands Jemma she moves to put herself between the scientist and the robot thing, taser batons seeminly appearing in her hands and telescoping out to full extension while the business ends of the rods crackle with electricity. "Stand down before I PUT you down."


"There is absolutely no reason to think that this thing has wifi." Jericho grumps as he peers at Jemma's device. Yes he can do a lot with computers. No, he's not some computer based magician, though Illyana might argue the point.

All the same he links to Jemma's device. He's got a translation matrix from time spent working with Shayera Hol's ship and while it's got a lot of holes it's still pretty good for figuring out Thanagarian, Daemonite and a couple of other apparently common Galactic languages. (What the hell is Shi'ar and Klyntar anyway?)

Jericho flashes a series of mathmatical symbols, code and alien glpyhs toward the thing's processor. He's not entirely certain it can even read what he's sending but if it can read something he'll be able to talk to it.


"Of course there isn—-" the words are cut off as she's sent flying, ending up sprawling in the sand, still managing to keep hold of her device. Looking up as the thing descends on her, she rolls expertly out of the way, letting May stand between them. Again, it's like she's does this type of thing before.

"I'm alright. I'm alirght." she mutters, holding her arm at a strange angle - maybe she isn't it. "Jericho, can you find an override sequence?"


The robot comes to a halt as May intervenes armed with the righteous fury of electricity and smashing sticks. It stretches a hand and grasps one of May's batons firmly holding it for a few seconds. The electricity crackles and hisses followed by a loud /CRUNCH/ as the hand closes tightly to break the baton.

The 'speech' the robot was emitting stops abruptly as Jericho's code reaches the robots cortex. Instead of advancing towards the threat that May showed, the robot turns to Jericho almost inquisitively. The red eye almost seems to relax to an almost orange hue, but in an instant the robot appears to have had a change of mind and the eye brightens to red again.

The left arm of the robot flips and transforms into a barrel like structure and points it at Jericho.


"Woahshit." Is all that Jericho gets out before he's diving for cover. There's a harmonic hum and from that cover - or whatever is left of it when that barrel discharges - emerges a large, demonic techwolf.

"SIMMONS WHAT THE HELL DID YOU WAKE UP?!" Jericho roars (is it her and May's imagination or is he louder in this form?). "I CAN'T EVEN PARSE THAT THING'S BIT STATES!"

For the technically inclined that means it's neither a binary base technology which has 2 bit states (0 and 1) nor a Quantum computer which has a larger but still finite number of them. The fact that Jericho doesn't even recognize the base underlying technology means that this is a computer that is so advanced it's several generations beyond Earth's.

Which is worrysome perhaps when it starts manifesting weaponry.

Jericho is still coding. He's just switched from poking to attempting to establish some kind of two way data link. Right now he doesn't have one. In the mean time, he's let a certain code imp off the leash. If that technology is advanced let's see how it deals with a program that isn't technology at all.


"Uh …" Jemma's eyes go wide as the barrel like structure appears "I don't know. I didn't get a good look at it." With May standing guard between her and the robot, she's trying to edge closer to … do something.

Taking some of the Widows little shocker discs from her kit bag, the biochem takes a moment to get the right angle.

Hopefully Jericho can hold the thing off for a moment longer, Jemma's holding her throw …


May watches the robot warily, until an idea occura to her. She presses one of the taser batons into Jemma's hand then turns and heads back toward where they arrived. Clearly, she thinks there's osmethign that'll help. No teling what that is, though, or how quickly she'll return.


The flames of a yellow star burst forth from the barrel as the fusion reactor releases some of its fire. The short blast of fusion fire streaks toward Jericho's initial cover, and as the techno-wolf emerges it aims and fires a second blast.

Just before the flames erupt from the barrel the robot lifts the arm skyward releasing the thermal energy into the atmosphere. The robot's arm transforms back to its normal hand as it brings both hands towards its head. The electronic clicking continues as the robot appears to be in the throes of agony. Amongst the clicking Jericho can hear something for once decipherable, "No Harm No Harm" being repeated over and over.


"I've got something." Jericho says as he moves - slowly - toward Jemma. If someone is going to get fusion flame throwered he's prefer it be someone who has a small chance of surviving it. Not that he knows its fusion powered.

Though at this point he wouldn't be surprised.

"I'm going to try something." What follows next is not something Jemma can hear. But it's Jericho broadcasting the entire English language complete with grammer in five different code formats.


Taking the taser batons from May, Jemma watches the robot, ready to fling those shocker disks she's holding.

She jumps, again, when the thermal blast is released, feeling the heat of it against her face. "Uh!!! Jericho! It's talking." she says at the same time the hacker calls out.

Moving even more slowly than Jericho, the biochem tries to meet him, knowing enough to not make herself a target. "Are you transmitting music or maths to it?" Given that music is really a mathematical progression it's really just maths. She's no idea what the hacker is doing but she watches that Robot, ready to … run? probably throw the shocker disks actually, if it misteps.


The clicking gives way to English as Jericho's blanket transmissions are passively absorbed by the robot.

"Can't harm. Law One conflict" a shaky deep voice weeps out. Amid the repetition another voice feminine in nature yells "We are in danger! Snap out of it M.I.T.C.H! My core has been compromised and we need to run!"

The deep voice pays no heed to the other voice and falls to it's knees "No. No. No. NO!" On the final "no" the robot goes offline and unceremoniously lands face down with a loud /THUNK/.


"That's not helpful." Jericho observes as the robot falls over inert. "I don't recommend you bring that back to the Tri, for the record. At least it's not trying to kill us now."

He takes another step forward and nudges the frame with his glowing, clawed, paw like foot.

"I'd say burn it, but I'm not sure that you can."


Jemma's eyes possibly can't get any wider as the robot starts to speak. "Law One? I wonder if that's Asimov's first law of robotics…" she wonders idly, blinking as the female voice speaks and the construct keels over. "I think its name is Mitch."

Looking at the now inert figure, she shakes her head at the hacker "Oh no, Jericho. Not The Triskelion. I have a facility where it can be taken." He might worry at how eager she seems to get hands on this piece of the hardware. "Burn it? How will we learn about it then?"

"Let me call in the recovery team and see how we might secure it for transport."

It might take some time for the specialised quinjet to get there. It does have to come from New York.


"Highly advanced robot with a computer that cannot have come from this planet and it's name is 'Mitch'?" Jericho snorts. "I suddenly agree with the people who have said in the past that there is no other intelligent life. Go get your box, Jemma. I'll babysit Mister Three Laws here."

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