Robots - By Rosy

   Ellim, our 11:11BS service bot finally brought me my morning coffee. We are a people of tea drinkers but I remain a morning coffee person. And despite popular belief I am not cranky if it's late or not there at all. I'm just not, and irrespective of Rover's belief that I do, in fact, get cranky when I'm coffee deprived, I am not cranky now, having waited half an hour past my coffee time, an unusual thing for Ellim. I knew he was reading me so I remained noncommittal, having pleasant thoughts. The coffee was damn good and that helped.

   The 11:11 series of service bots have various designations appended to their series number to identify their dominant function. Ellim's BS signifies Ballistic Sensory, meaning he has enhanced ESP abilities. He can read minds, which may seem disconcerting until you realize that the entire crew, except me and perhaps Steddy, can read minds. The idea in the service bots was to create machines that knew your every need before you knew them. They have other useful mind things too. I'll have to inquire as to Steddy's abilities.

   Just then Steddy passed by and spoke without stopping, "I don't think I have that ESP thing Captain."

   Steddy is our other robot. From the 11:11007 Adventure/Detective series, pronounced eleven eleven aught aught seven, or when he's being suave, eleven eleven double aught seven. Steddy is also a Herobot, who, since he's brand new, studies the Hero business under Brak and Jant, two professional heroes on our crew.

   Rover comes in and sits at the Navigator's station. "Morning Captain," he calls over to me. Being the Navigator, he keeps quite a lot of maps and scrolls at his station, piled up so he can't really see where we're going. Difficult to even see him sometimes.

   "Hey Rover," I answered, frowning to see Ellim handing him a steaming hot cuppa tea. 

   "Where are we going today?" we both asked simultaneously.

   "Really Captain," Rover continued, "you need to tell me. You're the Captain, right?" I nodded. I am the Captain. "So where are we going?" he repeated.

   I felt inadequate, like I hadn't studied or something.

   "How about them Corkers?" Steddy suggested behind me. I squinted at Rover.

   "Yeah, how about them Corkers?" I demanded.

   Rover's eyes went round. "Didn't expect that," he murmured. Then he turned to Brak. "Brak, find someway to get to the Corkers."

   "Sure Rover. Maybe I'll just . . ."

   "Hold on," Rover interrupted. He checked a couple maps, unrolled a scroll and measured with calipers. Finally he announced, "Here's the coordinates Brak."

    "Hey thanks," Brak chirped. "This'll probably work better than what I was gonna do."

   "I know," Rover growled.

   The Corkers refer to a group of exotic islands in the wide and balmy circumnavigation of the Great Yudonke River at the Equator. Their full name is the Little Lost Corkers and they contain the finest ocean-like resorts on Yudonke and maybe the universe. After a short while we came to a landing. I'm always the most worried at these times when we arrive somewhere because despite having a stated goal, we rarely get there, more usually arriving at some unknown destination. I never really imagined actually going to the Corkers, although I wouldn't have minded, rather I expected the extreme opposite.

   Much to my surprise we landed safely in the Little Lost Corkers and had a wonderful time.

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