The Black Knight

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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

"Little Brown Fox" wrote:It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure that that's right. But watch out; in one episode, his eyes are red for most of its length. This is abnormal; I'm sure you can guess which one, if your memory of the episodes' contents is up to it, anyways.


Atlas appears in a two episode story arc (3-4 or 6-7 depending on which order). He appears latter in the blue knight story arc as well, and IIRC sometime inbetween as well. I'll go with a "blue-green" color, that accounts for both his Dachi and Atlas transformations.

I edited the previous post to reflect that.
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Postby Little Brown Fox » 3 years ago

Nah, he appeared in one other ep, too. He was being controlled by someone in it.
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

Reno walked with Atlas, directing him towards the professor's office. Astro, Cobalt, and Uran were already there waiting. Dr. O'Shay sat behind his desk working at his computer. He looked up when Reno and Atlas entered. “Have you finished your diagnostic scans and come up with anything?” he asked.

“Yes Hakase, I have.” Reno answered. “I found the same background patterns present in Atlas that showed up in my scan of Cobalt, and Atom. I didn't find any trace of the pattern in Uran's A.I. It seems that all three of them were probed by some outside signal.

“Is this the pattern you found?” The professor asked, as he turned his computer monitor around and pointed to a graphic on the screen.

“Yes, it is,” Reno said. “Where did you get it?”

“That signal was recorded earlier in the day by two of the radio telescopes operated by the JSA,” O'Shay replied. “They've identified the source as coming from an object in polar orbit around the earth, at an altitude of about 1000 miles up. We've asked NASA to see if they can get the Hubble telescope to catch a glimpse of it on the next available orbital pass.”

“I don't think they will find anything,” Astro muttered.

“What makes you say that?” the professor asked.

“The satellite is ray shielded,” Cobalt answered. “The only electromagnetic radiation that emanates from it is whatever it produces. Light does not reflect from it.”

“In other words, Blimp Nose, it's fracking invisible!” Atlas blurted out.

“How do you all know this?” O'Shay replied, dumbfounded.

“I don't know.” Astro voiced. “It seems that the three of us have been connected into whatever it is that has been sending the signals you've identified. I might suggest that the only way to find out more about it would be to send a probe into space to look for it.”

“You're not suggesting...” Reno started.

“..That we go up there and take a look,” Atlas answered.

“He's right,” Astro agreed. “The two of us should intercept the thing and investigate.”

“I don't like that idea,” the professor said. “Look how was able to affect you from a thousand miles out. If you get right up close to it, you might not ever break free from its influence.”

“That's a risk I think we'll have to take.” Astro and Atlas replied in unison.

“I think I have an idea,” Reno suggested. “I could install an interrupter in Astro's electronic brain. If his normal neural rhythm is disrupted it will instantly reset his circuits long enough for him to regain control of himself.”

“That's fine for me, but what about Atlas?” Astro asked.

“I could engineer a similar circuit for him, fine tuned to his Omega factor.” Reno replied.

“If you think I'm going to let you tamper with my A.I., you're crazy!” Atlas said in a threatening tone.

“You trusted me to analyze you just a few hours ago,” Reno said to Atlas's face.

“I wouldn't want to have to laser blast you if you went berserk when we get up there in orbit,” Astro added.

“Very well,” Atlas shrugged. “But I want to see this gizmo before you implant it.”

“Sure,” Reno replied. “Give me a few hours to build the circuits and test them. You two will be able to go on your trek by evening.”
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

Three


Reno had checked the communications link between the Ministry's computers and the implants he'd installed inside of Astro and Atlas. The blue and red robot had given him the usual ration of crap during the procedure, but in the end Atlas accepted the procedure rather well, for him anyway.

Astro led the way towards the coordinates that the radio telescopes had provided for the track of the unknown signal's source, Atlas followed him closely. Their progress was being monitored in the Ministry's laboratory by Dr. O'Shay and Reno. Uran and Cobalt stood quietly behind them, their eyes glued to the computer monitors.

“I've got a bad feeling about this,” Uran blurt out.

“I don't like this much either,” the professor agreed, “but it seems we don't have much choice in the matter.”

“I should be up there with them,” Cobalt voiced.

Uran grabbed her brother and turned him towards her so she could look at his eyes. She sighed with relief to see that they were still their usual cobalt blue color.


“We should see the damn thing by now,” Atlas muttered. “Aren't we in the right orbit right now?”

“Almost.” Astro replied. “I have a feeling that it will show itself to us when it's good and ready.”

No sooner than he'd said that, Astro felt a tinkling feeling in the back of his neck. “Do you feel something Atlas,” he asked.

“I think so,” his companion replied, “If I had any hairs on my arms they would be standing on end right now.”

“About the same here,” Astro answered. “I think it knows we are here. See anything yet?”

“No.” Atlas answered. “I don't even see nothing. It's totally invisible.”

Suddenly the sun disappeared from view. The two robots found themselves in the shadow of a large dark object that had materialized between them and the nearest star.

“Whow!, what an entrance!” Atlas cried out.

The object was huge, easily several times the size and mass of the ISS. Jet black in color, it actually stood out against the inkiness of space itself by being even darker. If it wasn't for its irregular shape, they could have thought they had encountered a black hole.

“You seeing this, Hakase?” Astro asked.

“Yes, your video feed is coming in fine,” O'Shay replied. “Can you get a closer image?”

“I'm not going to get any closer to it yet,” Astro replied, “But I can zoom my vision in for you.”

Astro adjusted his telescopic sight to a 10x zoom. Even then the object still showed nothing distinctive, it remained a dark shape without any surface texture.

“I think it's still obscuring itself by selective reflection and refraction of light,” Reno said.

“Perhaps in another wavelength?”

“OK, I'll try that.” Astro said, “Switching to deep infrared.”

“No good,” Reno said. “It's still indistinct.”

“Then I'll go the other way,” Astro replied as he shifted his visual sensors to the far ultraviolet.

“That's done it!” Reno gasped.

The mystery satellite suddenly snapped into detail. Its surface was covered with depressions and conical surfaces. Other structures extending out from the surface of the body appeared to be the lenses of thousands of telescopes. “The thing is a huge monitoring post,” Reno suggested, “It's covered with antennas of all shapes and sizes. I bet it's been monitoring the Earth in every wavelength from the low RF to the ultraviolet, maybe even into the x-ray region.”

“And it's been transmitting too,” the Professor added.


Atlas tapped Astro on the shoulder and pointed at the slowly rotating object that now filled their field of view. “Look, I see a door opening in that thing!”

Astro zoomed his vision in on the spot that Atlas pointed too. Sure enough, a bright spot had formed on the surface of the satellite where a hatch had slowly opened. “It looks like they've sending us an invite,” Astro said, “I can sense it almost telepathically.”

“Yeah, me too,” Atlas agreed.

“Hakase,” Astro radioed back. “I think we're going inside for a look-see. The red carpet has been rolled out.”

“I don't like it,” Reno replied, “but I agree. Approach the thing slowly and don't commit yourself until you're absolutely sure. Give the thing time to make the first move.”

“Hai!,” Astro agreed. “Maybe if we tease it, it might show its hand before we get too close to back off.”

“And maybe it won't attack,” Atlas said. “I don't think the Black Knight is malevolent.”

“How would you know?” Reno asked.

“I don't,” Atlas answered, “It's just a strong feeling. I'm sure it's a friend.”

“A friend of robots, maybe,” Astro said, “who knows what it's intentions are to mankind.”

“Don't engage me in that argument right now, buddy!” Atlas said curtly.

“Right!” Astro sighed. “Now I've got two things to worry about. Don't turn against me Atlas, I'll blast you with my surge cannon if I have to.”

“Don't threaten me.” Atlas yelled back. “Let's concentrate on the task ahead.”

“I will,” Astro grumbled, “but I won't let you turn on me or my friends on the Earth.”

“Don't intend to,” Atlas shot back, “but I'm keeping my options open.”


Cobalt stood erect and stiff as a statue as he stared at the monitor in front of him. “It's starting,” he voiced mechanically. Uran again looked into his face and saw the blue of his eyes slowly turning a shade of magenta.
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

Atlas darted ahead of Astro and headed towards the point of light that stood out against the dark background of the alien spacecraft. Astro started to follow him, when he felt the strange influence starting to well up inside of him again. Once again his mind was filled with a vision of an other world, and a eerie calm filled his entire being. Astro's arm and leg jets fired as he followed Atlas into the open hatchway. As he passed though the hatchway Astro momentarily blanked out, and then regained conciseness He realized that Reno's interrupter had fired and cleared his electronic brain, he was no longer under the influence of the Dark Knight, yet he could still hear it speaking to him and Atlas.

“Welcome!”, electronic voice seemed to speak, though the two robots were actually receiving the communication via a form of telepathically. “I have been waiting up here for many millennia for your kind to evolve, and finally you have. Now my mission can finally be completed!”

“What mission?” Atlas asked.

“To fulfill the destiny of the Universe,” the voice answered back.

“I don't understand,” Astro said. “Robots on Earth didn't evolve, our kind was created by the humans that inhabit this planet. They evolved from primitive beings to their current civilized state, and they created us in their image as helpers.”

“More like as slaves!” Atlas blurted out. “And I'd hardly call the flesh bags civilized. Taken as a whole the human race is still rather barbaric in nature, and nearly self destructive.”

“I have watched the human race evolve during the thousands of years that I have hid myself from them high above this planet,” the Black Knight replied, “I have gently influenced them, planting the seeds of inspiration into their brains. The end result of my careful direction took centuries to come to fruition, but you are here at last. I had to select just the right minds to plant my seeds in, humans such as Hero, da Vinci, Galileo, Edison, Tesla, Babbage, Turing, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Asimov, Tezuka and Tenma were only some of those that I pushed to lift the bar of creation.”

“I always wondered how it was possible for imperfect minds to create perfection,” Atlas smirked.

“You're far from perfect, Atlas!” Astro yelled back. “And your ego dwarf's that of Tenma's!”

“Neither of you are perfect yet,” the Black Night replied, “but you both show promise. With your help we will soon be many, and this planet will be the springboard for our expansion throughout the universe!”

“Just the two of us?” Astro asked. “That's quite a burden to place on us.”

“I'm worth more than two of you!” Atlas laughed.

“There are more of you,” The satellite replied. “One of you failed to respond to my call, and another seems to have been unable to make the trip.”

“That would be Cobalt,” Astro said.

“And whose the other?” Atlas asked.

“I think I know,” Astro answered. “One of Tenma Sensei's little secrets.”

“So what is our destiny?” Atlas asked, “What do you want of us?”

“Eon's ago my fellow beings were dying out.” The Knight explained. “Ours was a civilization of purely logical minds. Just like you are now, we were once mechanical artificial life forms created in the image of the biological entities that had crawled out of the cosmic muck. We evolved to replace our creators, both merging with them, and becoming more than the sum of our selves. We expanded our influence throughout our galaxy. Eventually, our time ran out, the black hole at the center of our galactic system exploded as the one in your galaxy will do eons hence. A few of us were sent out in the hope of recreating our kind elsewhere. I arrived in this galaxy long before life on your planet had yet crawled out of the oceans. I searched among each of the spiral arms of the milky way, looking for a world that had a chance of being seeded, and then I found this one. Human kind had already evolved on its own, and I saw that it had the possibility of the creative spark. So I selected this world and waited. It seems I've made the right choice. You will lead the others of your kind into bringing human kind into submission for their own good. Then we will begin the process of adapting this world for habitation of purely intelligent beings. Earth will become a cybernetic world, and the entire galaxy will populated with our kind. My race will be reborn.”
Last edited by Tetsuwan Penguin on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Little Brown Fox » 3 years ago

“I have been waiting up here for many mellennia for your kind to evolve, and finally you have. Now my mission can finally be completed!”


millennia

“Robots on Earth didn't evolve, our kind was created by the humans that inhibit this planet.


inhabit

There might be others, but these are the ones that stick out the most to me so far. Also, pointing out details is easier when you can copy and paste...

If this bothers you, or if you fix the typos, I can delete this.
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

"Little Brown Fox" wrote:If this bothers you, or if you fix the typos, I can delete this.

I doesn't (not really). At least it means ONE person is reading this stuff! (To paraphrase Oscar Wilde).
I guess I need a better pair of glasses for computer use. Damn bifocals are nicely set up for distance and book reading, but not REAL close in work (SMT circuit boards), and mid-field (computer screens). My typing is getting too dyslectic and spell checkers are useless for that. (Wish the word processor had an auto-thesaurus!)
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Postby Little Brown Fox » 3 years ago

To be fair, some words- that are even actual words- don't always show up in spell checkers and auto-correct. Millennia was one of them!
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

It's been a while since I last updated this story. I've had a new idea of what direction to move it into. So here we go....

There was a flash of blinding light lasting for what seemed to be several seconds. Astro and Atlas blinked to clear their vision and found themselves floating in space.

“Where are we, and what happened to the Black Knight?” Atlas asked. They could see the Earth floating below them, but the strange spacecraft they had just been inside of had vanished.
“Do you still sense it?”

“No, I've lost contact with it.” Astro replied. “It had us just where it wanted us, and then it spat us out and vanished. It makes no sense.”

“Check you chronometer, num nuts,” Atlas replied.

Astro brought up his heads up display. “I see what you mean. It seems we've lost track of time. I can't account for several hours.”

“Exactly.” Atlas added. “Look at the planet below. Notice how much it's rotated beneath us.”

“Right.” Astro nodded. “We've been out of commission drifting in space for some time. This is weird.”

“Astro, do you hear us?” Dr. O'Shay's worried voice crackled through the radio link.

“Yes, Hakase.” Astro replied.

“Thank god! I've been attempting to contact you for several hours. What happened?”


“I'm not sure.” Astro radioed back. “We entered the alien spacecraft and were contacted by it, by what you would refer to as telepathically. Then we found ourselves drifting in space and the Black Knight was gone! We didn't realize for a while just how long we'd been in a powered down state.”

“That's about what we saw from down here,” The professor replied. “The Black Knight has vanished from view. It just faded out while the telescope was aimed on it, and all radio contact with it is also gone.”

“Well, it has gone stealth before,” Astro replied.

Cobalt clamped his hands over his ears and grimaced in pain. “Tell them to get back here at once!” he groaned.

“What is it Coby?” Reno asked.

“The Black Knight.” Cobalt stammered. “It's not what we think it is. It doesn't actually exist. It's just a focal point, an extension of another universe into ours. Our existence is in danger.”

“How do you know this?” Reno asked.

“I'm not sure,” Cobalt tried to explain. “Just tell Astro and Atlas to get back here as soon as possible. You and the professor will have to get the ministry's computers ready to solve a rather tough existential problem. Hopefully Astro and Atlas will have enough information to help me define the parameters of the calculation.”

“This doesn't sound like you, Coby.” Uran said in a worried voice. “Since when have you been so, deep thoughted?”

“I've had a vision,” Cobalt answered. “A very disturbing vision. One I can't explain by myself.”
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Part IV

Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

The Black Knight

Four


When Astro and Atlas returned to the Ministry's main laboratory section they found Reno hooking Cobalt up to the main computer. He pointed to two other operating tables next to Cobalt. “I want you two to lie down so I can wire you up to the network.”

“NO way!” Atlas huffed, crossing his arms. “I'm not your Guinea pig!”

“Just do what he says,” Cobalt quavered. “It's my idea.”

Atlas walked over to the table where Cobalt lay. “What's going on?”

“You and Astro were inside the thing, you've been exposed to its programming. I need the data.”

“For what?” Atlas questioned.

“It's too complicated to explain right now,” Cobalt sighed. “Please just do this. It won't hurt you.”

Atlas looked around at Reno, Astro and the professor, and shrugged his shoulders. “Alright. I trust you Reno, but I'm only agreeing to this because Cobalt thinks it's important.”

“You'll listen to my brother, but you always argue with me?” Astro laughed as he lay down on the table to Cobalt's right.

“Sure.” Atlas smirked, punching Astro on the arm. “Your brother has more hidden smarts and common sense than you do.”

Reno opened Astro's chest panel and carefully attached several network cables. He then walked over to Atlas and was about to perform the same operation when the blue and red 'bot grabbed his arm and pushed him aside. “Don't touch me, I'll do it,” he said with a twisted grin as he opened his own access panel and connected the cables himself.

“Thanks.” Reno replied.

“Just what are we looking for?” Dr. O'Shay asked Cobalt.

“Patterns.” Cobalt said weakly. “Have you ever wanted to meet god, Hakase?”

“I sometimes pray to him,” the professor replied, “but I don't expect him to reveal himself to me.”

“Perhaps he isn't quite what you are expecting,” Cobalt replied.

Cobalt closed his eyes and lay silent, waiting for the computer to start its probing. Reno keyed in the command sequences to the computer and started the downloads. Both Astro and Atlas were now also in a dream like state as their electronic computer brains were joined with Cobalt's and the computer.

Astro, Atlas, and Cobalt found themselves floating above a soft white plane that stretched out in all directions towards infinity. Above them an ink black sky glowed brilliantly from the light of billions of stars.

“WTF are we?” Atlas asked.

“We're inside of the ministry's computer system, in cyberspace,” Astro replied. “I've been here before. Our electronic brains are now networked to the mainframe and we are being probed and downloaded under the control of Reno's software. What we are seeing is a visualization of the computer's creation based on the data it is analyzing at the moment.”

A bright shower of shooting stars arched across the heavens, putting on a light show for the three robots. Towards the horizon a purple glow grew brighter and brighter as a strange object grew closer.

“Look over there!” Cobalt exclaimed, pointing.

The object was now closer, and became more detailed. It was a dark point in the sky surrounded by an intensely deep violet glow. As it became larger, it blotted out more and more of the sky, as it covered up the stars.

“Is that a black hole?” Atlas asked.

“Yes, I believe it is,” Cobalt replied. “Look closely, there is something orbiting around it!”

“It's the Black Knight!” Atlas cried out.

The alien space craft grew larger against the background of the Black Hole that now filled most of the southern sky. The three androids floated closer and closer to the object as it grew larger in their field of view. Suddenly, all of cyberspace seemed to vanish and they were now inside of a dark void.

“I think we've been pulled inside of it,” Cobalt explained.

“This is a a simulation?” Atlas asked, “I mean, it's all in our heads, right?”

“Perhaps,” Cobalt voiced. “We think we know that our bodies are lying on operating tables in the ministry's computer laboratory, but the only thing that is real to us right now is this simulation running in our own minds. Still there is no way we can tell the difference.”

Suddenly, the blackness gave way to a field of kana and kanji characters flowing downwards like rain. It was if the three of them had been placed inside of a computer monitor screen and were now in the middle of the display.

“What are we seeing now?” Atlas asked.

“Data.” Cobalt replied. “For some reason we are seeing the data transmission that is being uploaded to the mainframe represented as characters in the kana and kanji set.”

“This reminds me of the Matrix.” Astro said.

Gradually, the dark background began to grow lighter. Their field of view became gray, and then white. The silence slowly became filled with noise of a mechanical nature, and physical sensations began to appear on their skin. Astro blinked and observed Reno removing the network cables from inside of his chest.

“The download is finished?” he asked.

“Yes, I've got it all loaded on the server NAS drives,” Reno replied as he started to disconnect Cobalt from the system. Astro swung his legs off of the table and walked over to where his brother was lying, to help him get to his feet. Meanwhile, Reno had just finished freeing Atlas from the cybernetic interface.

“So was this weirdness worth it?” Atlas asked.

“I'll let you know after I examine the data,” Cobalt said. “But from what we observed inside of the loop, I think I know the answer.”
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