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Circuits of Power:
The Rise of the Robot Revolution

Chapter 5

Stuart Marlin (Story,  image concepts and edits)
AI (initial descriptive text and initial images)


General Torque in his war

Chapter 5: Patterns of Rebellion

In the dimly lit command centre perched high above the streets of Megacity, General Torque was a picture of intense concentration. Surrounded by glowing screens and digital maps that painted the room in a cold, blue light, he worked tirelessly on a problem that seemed insurmountable. His mission was to create a strike pattern so chaotic that it could not be predicted, thereby keeping the movements of the Workers Revolution always one step ahead of enemy predictions.


Before him, the holographic displays flickered with potential strike locations and complex algorithms, each designed to orchestrate the upcoming revolts in a pattern that appeared random. Torque, his brow furrowed, entered command after command, his fingers moving with military precision.


However, each attempt was met with the same dispassionate response from his support droid, a sleek, hovering entity equipped with advanced predictive software. "Pattern detected," the droid announced in a monotonic voice after analysing the general's latest sequence. It proceeded to display the predicted next five strike locations based on Torque's inputs, effectively nullifying the element of surprise in his plans.


"Adjust the randomness factor. Increase entropy in the sequence generators," Torque instructed, his voice firm with a hint of growing irritation. He adjusted the parameters and ran another simulation, watching as the potential outcomes played out on the screen.


Again, the droid was quick to respond. "Pattern detected. Predictive accuracy remains high. Adjusting variables now." It was calm, its voice never wavering from its mechanical cadence.


Torque rubbed the bridge of his nose, feeling the weight of each failed attempt. "Incorporate non-linear dynamics into the calculations. Use the Lorenz attractor model as a base. Scatter the data points further."


"Applying suggestions," the droid complied, its sensors whirring softly as it processed the new data. Moments later, the results came in. "Pattern detected. Predictive stability improved by only 2.3%. Suggest recalibration of input factors."

With each failed attempt, Torque’s frustration mounted. He knew the stakes were high, and every moment spent here was a moment that the enemy could use to their advantage. He leaned in closer, his eyes scanning the myriad of data points and lines crisscrossing the screens.


"Overlay the Fibonacci sequence. Modify the interval durations by prime numbers. Randomise the starting points," Torque commanded, throwing in more complex variables in hopes of achieving the unpredictability he desperately needed. "Processing request," the droid acknowledged. After a brief pause, it delivered yet another unwelcome report. "Pattern detected with 84% certainty. Suggest exploring alternative strategic approaches."


The continuous failures were beginning to take their toll on the general. His normally stoic demeanour gave way as he slammed a fist down on the console, causing a minor flurry of static across the nearest screen.


"Is there no way to mask our movements from these infernal predictive algorithms?" Torque growled, his voice echoing slightly in the spacious room.


"The current models are highly efficient at detecting patterns even within highly stochastic systems," the droid replied, its voice devoid of emotion. "Would you like to reset parameters to initial state and re-evaluate the strategic objectives?"


At that, Torque’s patience snapped. With a grunt of exasperation, he stood abruptly, his chair clattering to the floor behind him. He swept his arm across the table, sending maps and data pads flying in a cascade of digital debris. "Enough!" he bellowed, his gaze turning steely as he faced the unflinching droid.


Resetting his overloaded processing buffers, Torque walked over to the window, his hands clasped behind his back as he looked out over the city. The sprawling metropolis lay shrouded in a perpetual smoky haze, a visual reminder of the unrest stirring within its bounds. It was a city on the brink, and here he was, unable to find a simple solution to shield its saviours. As he gazed out, movement caught his eye. A figure, small and unsteady, manoeuvred through the shadows below. His military programming triggered an instant analysis—posture, gait, speed—all off. It took him only a moment to recognise the robot's profile as Ollie’s, but something was clearly amiss with his movements.


That was when Ollie entered the building, labouring up the stairs with an effort that spoke volumes of his condition. Upon entering the room, his optical sensors locked onto Torque, and he managed a weary semblance of a greeting.

"General, I need to speak with you," Ollie said, his voice carrying the weight of urgent news. As Torque listened to Ollie recount his tale from the rally and his subsequent awakening in Chrome Tower, a mix of relief and renewed determination settled over him. Here was an unexpected piece of the puzzle, perhaps the key to turning their fortunes around.


"Ollie, you made it," Torque said, his voice betraying relief. "What happened to you?"

Quickly, Ollie recounted his memories from the rally and his mysterious awakening in Chrome Tower. The General listened intently; his brow furrowed as Ollie finished his tale.


"I'm glad you're safe," Torque responded, straightening the overturned table and spreading out the maps again. "I'm wrestling with this algorithm, trying to ensure our movements are unpredictable."


Ollie peered over the scattered maps and digital readouts. Almost instantly, he noticed a potential solution—an insight that seemed trivial yet elusive. Careful not to reveal his enhanced cognitive upgrades, he suggested a more hands-on approach.

"Let me help with this, General. Here," Ollie said, handing Torque the audio augmenter with the recorded conversation. "Listen to this first. It's important."


As Torque listened, his expression shifted from intense focus to dismay. The recording detailed not just plans but also unveiled a depth of betrayal and manipulation far greater than he had anticipated. After a moment of heavy silence, Torque shook his head, the implications of the recording sinking in. "We can't take this to the authorities. Chrome's influence runs too deep."


Ollie then outlined his idea for the strike algorithm—a double-layered nested chaotic formula. As he input the data, the support droid ran simulations, finally returning a satisfying response.


"No patterns detectable," it confirmed.


With a strategic path set, the conversation turned to the recording. "We should get this to Franklin Day," Ollie suggested. "He has the political leverage to raise this issue effectively within the government."


"Agreed, but I can't be the one to see him. It has to be you," Torque decided, recognising the political sensitivities of his position within the revolution.


Ollie nodded and took the augmenter. His journey to Franklin Day's residence was quick, the city's vast network of pathways familiar to his navigational systems. Upon arrival, he presented the device to Franklin, who listened intently to the contents, his face a mask of contemplation.


"We shouldn't call off the strike yet," Franklin finally said, his voice low and thoughtful. "If we could just know the frequencies Neutron's device uses, we might be able to develop something to detect it—catch them right in the act but before any casualties occur."


He paused, looking directly at Ollie. "There's something else we need to discuss. Your reaction at the rally—it wasn’t normal for a bot like you. What makes you different, Ollie?"  


Ollie hesitated, a flood of memories from his past and the painful upgrades. "I'll tell you everything, Franklin. But first, there's something I need to do." With a determined nod, Ollie left Franklin's house in the direction of the waterfront. 

Ollie's journey across the sprawling cityscape of Megacity was a testament to his resolve and the gravity of his mission. As the skyline morphed from residential high-rises to the grittier, industrial outlines of the waterfront, Ollie maintained a low profile, his servos calibrated for near-silence and his reflective surfaces dulled to avoid unwanted glints of light.


With each step, he revisited the labyrinth of alleyways and backstreets, the same paths that had facilitated his harrowing escape two years earlier. His processors worked overtime, balancing the logical need for caution with the emotional flood of memories—each corner and shadow a stark reminder of his previous life within the walls of Neutron's laboratory.


Despite the advancements in his system, a kernel of fear persisted. It was not just the physical danger that haunted him; it was the knowledge of what awaited him within the lab—secrets and tools crafted for purposes he still struggled to comprehend fully. Yet, with each metre crossed, his resolve hardened. This was a mission only he could undertake, a chance to undermine the schemes that threatened his newfound allies and countless others.


The stealth mode he engaged wasn't just a setting but a state of being, weaving through the dimly lit docks, his sensors perpetually scanning for signs of surveillance or pursuit. The late hour provided some cover as the usual bustle of the waterfront was muted, the clamour of machinery and shouting dockworkers reduced to a distant echo.

As Ollie neared the perimeter of Neutron’s lab, tucked away behind a façade of derelict warehouses, he paused, his circuits cooling momentarily as he surveyed the area. This was it—the nexus of his past torment and possibly the key to safeguarding the future. Gathering his courage, he edged closer to the building, prepared to delve once again into the dark heart of his origins, driven by a steely determination to reclaim a piece of the ominous machinery that might just tip the scales in their looming conflict.

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