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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Mystery · #2314322
This is a mystery about a woman and a robotics competition.
Behind the green door was a pail full of soapy water. Gigalda had been religious about cleaning her new apartment, especially since she began her career in robotics from home. Her robots had so many delicate parts, so many easily broken. Not to say that they were frail, but you wouldn't want to run any under a faucet of wood chips.
As she stood there with the soapy bucket in her hands, she began to think of that year's Robotics United Championship over at Sherryford-Shropfordshire - Sherryshire for short. It had been a rough week. After re-programming the operating system of her robot from scratch for the fifth time, she'd discovered a mystery bug. Something that would never have happened if she didn't have a looming deadline of only 29 days, 8 hours, and 23 minutes. Twenty-two minutes.
"This robot had better be SPF-15," said Gigalda. "I love it when robots break."
What was this mystery bug? The bug which could break her chances of robotic gold? A little backstory is in order. About ten years prior to that day, the Robotics United Championship at Sherryshire was formed. It started out as a group of hobbyists home from school on holiday in one of the hubs for robotics in the United States of Dernia (USD). It wasn't that hard to get in back then. All you needed was a wire crimper/snipper and maybe a knowledge of basic programming. At first, there was not that much interest.
Over the next two years, however, the competition exploded, being written about in major newspapers around the world. Then came the international entrants, the TV show, the awards.
The competition got so popular that the founders wanted to find new ways of making it challenging. They did this by adding categories. One was gymnastics, the second was linguistics, and the final was forensics. Gigalda had chosen gymnastics, a formidable selection, seeing that a machine could barely think on its own, much less pull a triple backflip.
The problem was specifically with the triple backflip. Every time the machine would go up in the air, it would make one revolution, then two. Suddenly, however, it would fall out of the sky, landing flat on its head. All of the other moves - the side flips, the flash kicks, the split kicks - were in the bag. It was just this one.
Gigalda thought about this long and hard. What could she do? She thought about her programming history, all of the different projects she'd completed, and in record time. This one was going to be a challenge, however. She ran through another diagnostic and went through the sequence again. After a while she pulled out the big guns and used a fancy diagnostic program that she'd purchased months prior. After fiddling around with its controls and then reading its manual, she found the issue. The front of the robot was programmed to do three full revolutions, where as the back of the robot was sent for two.
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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2314322-Behind-the-Green-Door