Ascension: Ride With Me

In the tunnel, Mother received the new orders. She lowered her drill and considered what to do about the machine she’d met.

The order of things in the mine was hierarchical; directors in Operations told the noncons what to do. The noncons used just-in-time inventory management and other simple algorithms to determine when they needed supplies and other assistance from robots, which had even less autonomy than noncons. But the machine before her didn’t seem to be attached to any noncon. Perhaps it was lost.

“Priority 1. Return to your default location,” she ordered it.

“What? I don’t understand.”

She was about to abandon it. But she felt guilty about shooting it. Perhaps its mobility was impaired. “Cancel previous order. Priority 1. Climb onto my rear deck,” she ordered, revving her engines.

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