– ICR-0024 –
– Wednesday – 23:23 Eastern Time –
InfiniTech Construction Robot 0024 was finishing a lateral run of perimeter tunnel for sub-basement three. It had taken four days to run the length of the building at a depth of eighty three feet and four inches. The passage way it had left behind it was exactly eight foot square and it had accurately prescribed a perfectly straight line from one corner support to the other.
If ICR-0024 could show any pride in its work, right now it would be beaming at a job well done and looking forward to a celebratory lubricant change.
But ICR-0024 was just a pre-programmed, unthinking, none sentient drone and now it was pausing in order to process its next set of instructions. It sent its electronic acknowledgement of completing its task back to the central computer and awaited the next assignment. The central computer sent back a new task list with detailed instructions on exactly where to go and what to do next. The lights on the front of ICR-0024 blinked rhythmically as it processed the instructions.
The next task was to tunnel perpendicular to the tunnel it had just dug and meet up with the tunnel that ICR-0063 had excavated on the opposite side of the buildings foundation.
It slowly rotated through ninety degrees while the molecular converters charged up ready to extract the earth and rock from its path and convert the material into its component atoms that could be sent back to the central holding repository and reused for the construction of the rest of the building.
As it turned the floor started to give way slightly. Pieces of the rock floor started to collapse falling into the hole beneath the floor.
If ICR-0024 had been given some form of sentient programming it might have sent a message back to the central computer to notify a foreman that there was a collapse in the structure, but ICR-0024 was not that clever. It was however clever enough to compensate for the collapse of the floor by adjusting its anti-gravity field and stay adrift above the ever expanding hole.
With that it went about its business and began the next tunnel on its to-do list.