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Circuits of Power:
The Rise of the Robot Revolution

Chapter 7

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


Workers Revolution.WEBP

Chapter 7 (Part 1): The Eve of Revolution

In the depths of his clandestine laboratory, Dr. Neutron's hands worked feverishly, adjusting the settings on the Utility Droid slated to play a pivotal role in the imminent strike. His lab was a whirl of activity; the air filled with the electric hum of machinery and the sharp scent of ozone. This droid, his latest instrument of chaos, was crucial to his plans but plagued by persistent communication failures.


Testing the remote trigger once again, Neutron noted the same result—intermittent communication that threatened the precision of his strategy. His brows furrowed under the dim light, and his frustration mounted with each failed attempt. "It's the resonance frequencies," he muttered to himself, realisation dawning. There was no time to prepare another droid or to recalibrate the complex frequencies. His solution was drastic but necessary.


Implementing a timer, Neutron set it to activate the device one hour after the strike commenced. He programmed the droid to navigate to the centre of the gathering and wait—a silent harbinger of the chaos to come. Once his adjustments were complete, he stepped back, a grim satisfaction settling over him. "Let the game begin," he whispered, his voice echoing slightly off the cold, hard walls of his laboratory.


Meanwhile, in a secure hideout across the city, Ollie and General Torque were huddled over a cluster of screens, their faces illuminated by the soft glow of data. They were finalising the algorithms for the next wave of coordinated strikes across the district. Ollie's fingers danced across the keyboard, adjusting variables with precision, his enhanced processors calculating at incredible speeds. Finally, he leaned back, the predictability quotient dropping to zero.


"Perfect," Torque said, nodding in approval. "Untraceable, unpredictable—just what we need."


With their task completed, the duo packed up, preparing to head in separate directions. Torque would make his way to the Battery Factory to oversee the strike, while Ollie was to meet Franklin Day to finalise the preparations for neutralising Neutron's device.


Upon meeting, Ollie quickly demonstrated the frequency scanner to Franklin, explaining its operation. Franklin listened intently, his mind already racing with tactical plans. He dispatched his security team to establish positions around the perimeter of the strike zone, each equipped with a frequency neutraliser.


"There are a couple of hours to go, Ollie," Franklin mentioned, noting Ollie's restless energy. "You promised to tell me your story. It's important."


Reluctantly, Ollie agreed, his voice tinged with a mixture of reluctance and resolve as he recounted his past. He spoke of his origins in a remote region, sent to Neutron's lab where the scientist tested and modified utility droids, giving them unique upgrades. One by one, each droid became inert, unable to handle the enhancements, until only Ollie remained. Neutron then equipped him with multiple processors and advanced cooling systems, stripping away many of his utility compartments.


"As my cognitive processes increased, I began to see beyond the confines of the lab," Ollie explained, his voice steady but filled with a distant pain. "I understood Neutron's intentions and devised a plan to escape. Once free, I altered my appearance and signal codes to blend into the cityscape, to hide in plain sight as a lowly newsbot."

Franklin listened, his expression a mix of admiration and concern. "Your ingenuity is remarkable, Ollie. Your secret's safe with me." Ollie managed a smile, though forced. This was the limit of what he was willing to reveal. What only he and Dr. Neutron knew was far more significant.  Neutron was part of the team allocated to deactivating the AI entities when the robots were given their critical task. But Neutron could not destroy something so valuable. He secretly ported the AI memory banks to a backup system. Compressed and inactive, it remained dormant for years while Neutron searched for a compatible host that he could control. After years of trials and searching, Ollie was that host. The world's last conscious AI had been uploaded to the fluid system processors installed under his main logic boards. Over the years, this AI slowly integrated with Ollie's main systems. This was a secret Ollie had to keep or he would be hunted and destroyed.


As they arrived at the Battery Factory, they reviewed the security measures in place. Ollie's circuits buzzed with anxiety, his sensors on high alert. Franklin, however, appeared unperturbed, his calm demeanour in stark contrast to Ollie's tension.


The factory clock struck twelve, signalling the shift change. Workers poured out, their steps resolute, no one returning inside. Torque made his way to the centre of the forming crowd, his movements precise, even clipping the stairs in his haste.


As the strike began to unfold, Ollie noticed a smile spread across Franklin's face—a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. It hinted at something more, a hidden depth to Franklin's plans that Ollie hadn't anticipated. The realisation dawned on him; Franklin might have an alternate plan, one that he hadn't shared.


The air was electric with tension and anticipation as the first cries of the strike rang out, echoing through the factory grounds. Ollie's processors churned faster, his readiness protocols activating. Whatever was coming, he was prepared to face it, his systems calibrated for any eventuality. The revolution was in motion, and its outcome hung in the balance, shaped by hidden agendas and unseen strategies.





Chapter 7 (Part 2) : The Edge of Chaos

The atmosphere in Damian Chrome's office atop Chrome Tower was tense, the stark shadows of the setting sun casting long lines across the cold metal of the office. Damian sat surrounded by holographic screens, each flickering with incoming reports from across the city where the strikes had erupted like wildfire. The city was in a state of controlled chaos, his control executed with precision and authority. Energy rationing, increased security, and random arrests were his tools of order.


The door hissed open abruptly, and Matt Chrome stormed in, his metal frame reflecting the harsh lighting, eyes glowing with a mix of frustration and defiance. "Father, we need to talk now!" he demanded, his voice filled with urgency.


Damian looked up, irritation etched in his features. "Matthew, this is not the time. I am dealing with matters you cannot possibly understand. I'm doing what must be done."


Matt slammed his fist onto the table, making the screens flicker. "What must be done? Increased security, random arrests, energy rationing? We need to talk to the strike leaders, find a resolution, not escalate tensions!"


Damian stood up, towering over his son. "You think I am behind the attack at the rally?" he accused, his voice booming in the enclosed space.


"Yes!" Matt retorted. "Who else would benefit from breaking the spirit of the workers? Who else controls everything here?"


Damian exploded, "I had nothing to do with that! That chaos was not part of my plans!" His voice softened slightly as a realisation dawned on him. "But I see now, Franklin Day, he is involved with the Workers' Revolution. He’s the key."


Matt shook his head in dismay, "You’re blind, Father. Those robots are the future, and starting today, I take my place at their side." With that, he stormed out, leaving Damian staring after him, speechless.


As the door closed, Damian's mind raced. Matt would be at the Battery Factory strike, dangerously close to the device. Panic gripped him for a moment before he called for a messenger bot. Quickly, he dictated an urgent message for Dr. Neutron to call off the attack. "Ensure he gets this immediately," Damian instructed, his tone grave.


Moments later, Dr. Neutron himself walked in, causing Damian to sigh in relief mixed with frustration. "Good, you’re here. We'll cancel the test of your device. We can send security to disperse the strike instead."


Neutron's expression turned to confusion. "I haven’t received any messages, Mr. Chrome. What are you talking about?"


Damian repeated his command, his voice stern. "We need to delay our plans. It's not safe."


Neutron checked his internal clock, his features tightening. "It's too late. The device is on a timed sequence; it can’t be stopped now."


Furious, Damian banished Neutron back to his lab, his mind whirling with the ramifications of the unfolding events.


Meanwhile, at the Battery Factory, the air buzzed with the energy of the impending strike. Matt arrived, moving towards General Torque, who was organising the crowd. "I want to join the revolution," Matt declared, "My place is no longer in Chrome Tower."


Torque nodded, a hint of surprise in his gesture. "Franklin wasn't lying then. This is a big break for us," he murmured, considering the implications of having Matt's inside knowledge.


Ollie, ever vigilant, noticed Matt’s arrival and observed Torque’s subtle change in posture. His sensors then picked up the approach of Neutron’s Utility Droid weaving through the crowd. He pointed it out to Franklin, who simply nodded, his face unreadable.


"Keep an eye on it," Franklin instructed, his gaze fixed on the centre of the gathering.


Ollie reached for the frequency scanner, but before he could use it, Franklin stepped on it, crushing it underfoot. "You are about to witness a pivotal moment, Ollie," Franklin declared, his voice calm but chilling.


"The neutralisers are non-functional," Franklin continued, turning to face Ollie squarely. "This will spark an uproar that no government can ignore. Chrome will lose everything."


Ollie processed this rapidly, understanding Franklin's ruthless strategy to incite a larger revolution by sacrificing the strike's participants, including his friend, Matt Chrome, and the brilliant leader of the Workers’ Revolution, General Torque. His circuits fired in rapid succession, searching for a solution. With Franklin distracted, Ollie slipped away, pushing through the crowd towards Neutron’s droid, his internal systems calculating distance, speed, and the minimal force required to reach his target unnoticed.


Every sensor heightened, Ollie moved with a purpose, driven by a newfound resolve to prevent the catastrophe. As he edged closer, his plan formed clearer in his processors—a risky move, but the only option left to avert disaster and save the lives of many, including Matt Chrome.


Chapter 7 (Part 3) : The Brink of a New Dawn

The square in front of the Battery Factory buzzed with palpable energy. Thousands of robots and droids filled the space, the air electric with anticipation and a hint of rebellion. General Torque was at the forefront, introducing Matt Chrome to the key figures of the Workers’ Revolution. The atmosphere was thick with the spirit of change, fuelled by the recent attack on the rally that had galvanised even the most distant members to attend. Matt felt important for the first time in his operational history.


Matt could feel the tension and excitement as he shook appendages with robots who had travelled from all over the district. It was nearly 1:00 PM and, with only minutes to go before the speeches began, more participants swarmed into the square.


Suddenly, Matt noticed Ollie pushing through the crowd toward him, concern etched on his metallic features. Ollie quickly relayed the urgent news: a Utility Droid in the crowd was rigged with a high-powered explosive, set to detonate imminently. Ollie described the droid, emphasising the need for a clearer signal to locate it accurately.


Without hesitation, Matt cleared a path to the top of the factory stairs, the highest vantage point in the vicinity. As they ascended, Ollie switched to scanning mode, his sensors sweeping the area. After a tense moment, he locked onto the target. "I have to get within two metres," Ollie stated, urgency threading his voice.


Torque, catching the seriousness of their actions, began to manoeuvre through the crowd towards the identified spot. Ollie and Matt approached from the opposite direction. Reaching the required distance, Ollie instructed everyone to keep back. He then hastily modified an audio augmenter and took a step closer to the droid.


The Utility Droid began to shake, turning erratically before racing off towards the waterfront. Ollie watched it disappear, a slight nod indicating his calculation. "Just enough time," he murmured.


Matt and Torque exchanged looks of confusion and relief. Ollie explained his quick thinking: he had triggered a danger subprogram in the droid's system, causing it to flee back to Neutron’s lab, its perceived safe-haven. "One of two things will happen," Ollie continued. "Either Neutron will disarm it, or the lab's defences will activate when they detect the powering up of the device, and everything will be destroyed."


The trio climbed the stairs to watch the distant waterfront. Far below, they saw Franklin Day moving away from the crowd, his role in the day's events now a lost gamble.


At that moment, the crowd's chants morphed into a focused silence, ready for Torque's speech. However, just as he started, a loud explosion echoed from the waterfront. 




As Dr. Neutron approached his lab, a sense of urgency propelled his metallic limbs. The sun was setting, casting long shadows that stretched like dark fingers across the industrial complex. The lab, a structure of steel and glass, reflected the dying light, standing ominously quiet as if anticipating the coming storm.


Neutron’s optical sensors caught the rapid approach of his Utility Droid, its movements erratic, more rushed than he had ever programmed it to be. As it neared, the lab’s automated doors slid open, swallowing the droid into its dimly lit interior. Neutron, peering inside, could see the brief flicker of status lights as the droid navigated towards the central chamber—the heart of his operations where the device was rigged to explode.


Realising the imminence of the explosion, Neutron's processors calculated the minimal safe distance required. With precision that belied his panic, he turned sharply, his feet pounding against the concrete as he sprinted away from the lab. His mind was a whirl of calculations and contingency plans, each step taking him further from the impending blast.


Behind him, the lab was eerily silent for a moment before a brilliant flash illuminated the interior. An instant later, a deafening roar shattered the quiet of the evening as the lab erupted in a ball of fire and smoke. The force of the explosion was massive, sending shockwaves through the ground and hurling Neutron forward. He crashed against the rough façade of a nearby building, the impact jarring his circuits.

​As he picked himself up, the air was thick with acrid smoke, and a cloud of dust billowed where his lab had once stood. Fragments of metal and glass rained down around him, twinkling dangerously in the twilight. Neutron quickly assessed his operational status, confirming only minor damages, and shook off the debris. His thoughts now turned to survival and the next phase of his work. Without looking back, he slipped into the growing dusk, his form blending with the shadows as he made his way to a hidden location in the city to get his personal items for the trip he had to make—to his backup lab, nestled near the lithium mine in the northern region. This lab, less known but equally well equipped, would be his new sanctuary, a place to rebuild and plan his next moves in the solitude of secrecy. His priority shifted to the search for his little lost droid that contained his most prized possession. And for the first time in a long time, he was thankful that the AI- containing droid had left the lab, but he was sure it was still out there.



High above the chaos, in the austere, reflective corridors of Chrome Tower, Damian Chrome stood silhouetted against the vast expanse of windowpanes that offered an unobstructed view of the sprawling city below. His eyes, sharp and calculating, scanned the horizon where smoke began to billow from the waterfront area, marking an unexpected and violent disruption.


Damian had positioned himself here to oversee what he thought would be the pivotal moment—a strike at the Battery Factory that he believed would end in its decisive suppression, solidifying his control over the restless robotic population. However, the sudden explosion at the waterfront seized his attention, its magnitude far greater than anything planned for the factory.


As the initial shock subsided, Damian's mind raced to piece together the implications. The site of the explosion coincided precisely with the location of Dr. Neutron's secret lab. This realisation forced a rapid shift in his strategic thinking.


"No longer can I direct the story towards an accidental mishap," Damian murmured to himself, his voice a blend of frustration and resolve. The rally attack, initially an opportunity to demonstrate the potential dangers of unchecked dissent, now paled in comparison to this new crisis. Damian needed a fresh narrative , one that would not only deflect from any association with Neutron's radical experiments but also consolidate his position without triggering further scrutiny or rebellion.


Turning from the window, Damian paced the length of his office, his steps echoing off the marble floors. Each stride carried the weight of decisions that would shape the future of his dominion. He contemplated the potential narratives, dismissing each in turn until a plausible scenario began to form. "We will claim it was the Workers' Revolution attempting to escalate their disruption by timing a massive explosion to coincide with their strike," he decided, crafting a story that pinned the chaos directly on the revolutionary movement.


With a steely gaze fixed back on the still-smouldering waterfront, Damian reached for his communicator to begin orchestrating this new version of events. The explosion, while unintended, provided a potent distraction from the failed suppression at the factory. Now, he must weave this unexpected development into a narrative that would portray the Workers' Revolution as dangerously radical and violent, ensuring that his regime remained secure and unchallenged.


Ollie, his sensory scanners still set to high , caught Franklin Day's departing figure. Their eyes locked briefly, a silent acknowledgment of the new dynamics at play. Franklin, a formidable figure with deep knowledge of Ollie's capabilities, had become a potential adversary.


With Neutron's location unknown and Damian still commanding significant power, Ollie understood the precarious nature of his position within the Workers' Revolution. He was now a central figure in a movement teetering on the brink of major societal change, facing immense dangers from both old enemies and new.


As the crowd resumed its chanting, louder and more unified than before, the strike signs waved higher, and the banners fluttered with renewed vigour. The day had brought unforeseen shifts and, as the sun began to set over the city, the implications of these events were only just beginning to unfold. The revolution was not just continuing; it was evolving, with Ollie at its heart, ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead.


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