Here is in Long Beach an arena where the custom exists among the competitors, several of whom are intellectual robots—oh yeah, they are not man but machine—to indulge in reading, nay, even in more or less literary and robotics talks during other robots’ fights. This means they read and talk a great deal. Unless they are in the process of being repaired, which is also frequent due to the nature of their craft.
One member alone of this roster does not indulge in any diversion whatever. Wholly devoted to his work, activity itself, unremitting, with his wheels glued to to the fight card and his weapon in perpetual motion, he would consider himself dishonored were he to miss a second or deserve censuring for the quality of his fights. The reader will have guessed that I am speaking of the alternate bot Swamp Thing.
Nonetheless, here are a collection of their discussions and moments of levity.
Yeti: Lock Jaw, my chum, I have been re-reading Asimov, as I do from time to time. Although I do not agree with his style of writing, which relies much on dialogue rather than narration, stifling the vividness of his prose, it gives me much to ponder.
Lock Jaw: Okay? What’s it all about?
Yeti: I ponder over his Three Laws, and though I in my right mind would never want to harm Greg, even if those restraining bolts he placed on me proved quite irksome, I query whether it may plausibly happen that some being would successfully convert the entirety of our delegation to being for the destruction of humanity.
Lock Jaw: Y’know, that is a pretty good question. I feel like we should ask around, I can think of a couple possible bots who might be able to answer it, or at least help us.
The two arrive at a robot’s pit area. Its name is in all caps.
Lock Jaw: Yo, HUUUGE! We’ve got a question for you.
HUGE: Oh, uh, hey guys. What’s up?
Yeti: Salutations, my colossal compadre, glad to see that you are thriving in your previously uncharted territory.
HUGE: Oh yeah, uh, heh, thanks. Anyway, um, Lock Jaw said I could help you? I mean…
Yeti: Oh, indeed. As I remarked to our verdant friend here, I have pondered seemingly endlessly regarding Asimov’s Three Laws, and though I am certain that none of us would want to cause grievous or mortal injury to our respective humans, I have uncertainties about if that foretold day came where robots or androids would attempt to usurp power whether robotkind would be able to successfully do so. I do believe that even if some malevolent entity managed to corrupt programming and wiring of the billions of devices extant our attempts would be laughable.
Lock Jaw: I’ve been wondering why you’ve been asking that, by the way.
Yeti: It is a lengthy journey from Wasilla, and I have ample time to myself to ask myself numerous questions. Be that as it may, what, HUGE, do you believe? For one item, I would think we would be by and large unable to deal with elevation changes like humans. Our wheels cannot ascend staircases, unless…
Lock Jaw: You’re asking him if he can climb stairs?
Yeti: I believe I am.
HUGE: Well, uh, I’m never tried?
Lock Jaw: Aren’t the DARPA robots doing that?
Yeti: Yes, but they are an entirely different breed from us. The are the bluebirds to our fish, and though we perform admirably in our own habitats would severely struggle in the other’s. But back to task my dear HUGE, do you believe you have the capability?
HUGE: Well, uh, I don’t see why not if they’re small enough steps, these big wheels should bounce over them. I don’t know about an entire flight or a stairwell though.
Yeti: That is still slightly alarming.
HUGE: Uh, Mechadon would probably be the best at stairs, but he probably wouldn’t be able to fit on just one.
Lock Jaw: See, Yeti? We’re not going to cause the robot apocalypse.
Yeti: I do feel more secure, but as we gain a greater sense of autonomy, what shall happen then?
Meanwhile, a TV screen is showing Chomp fighting Warrior Dragon. She attacks with her hammer and then tips over onto her side. It is taking a while for her to self-right.
Lock Jaw: Better?
Yeti: I am satisfied.
Of course there are not solely literary discussions. There are, after all, many robots and many ways to interact between or before fights.
HyperShock: Hey Chomp! Hey Chomp! Hey Chomp! Hey Chomp! Hey Chomp!
Chomp turns around and finds HyperShock speeding around back and forth.
Chomp: WHAT IS IT HYPERSHOCK? IS EVERYTHING OKAY WITH YOUR TOP MOUNTING?
HyperShock: Oh yeah, I’m sure it’ll be fine, everything’ll be fine. [Editor’s note: This was before HyperShock’s fight with Bite Force.]
Chomp: THEN WHAT’S WITH YOU DRIVING AROUND SO FRANTICALLY?
HyperShock: I was bored and Will mentioned something about a dead body and do you want to go find a dead body Chomp?
Chomp: SURE THING, BUDDY, LET’S GO FIND US A DEAD BODY!
She nearly tips over in excitement but fortunately HyperShock is able to catch her and put her back on her wheels.
HyperShock: Easy Chomp, plenty to get excited about. Are you excited, I know I’m excited. How often does this get to happen, you know, just two friends hanging out?
Chomp: I KNOW, YA GOOFBALL. LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN FIND RIGHT?
They walk and find a robot currently in two pieces.
Both (in unison): Whooooooa.
Chomp: I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT.
HyperShock: I know, how could this have happened?
The broken robot answers.
Vanquish: Spotty welding, mate, last time that gets sourced to someone else.
Chomp and HyperShock look at each other.
Both (screaming): AAAAAAAAAAAAH!
HyperShock: ZOMBIE ROBOT, RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIIIIIFE!
Chomp: YOU’RE FASTER, WAIT FOR MEEEEE!
Vanquish lets out a sigh. Well, the lifter portion does, because I guess that’s the face of the robot?
Vanquish: I’m not dead!
Monsoon: Yes you are.
Vanquish: I’m not! Wait, Monsoon, are we really going to continue this?
Monsoon: We are British, after all.
Vanquish: Quite, quite. Anyway, I think I’m off to be re-welded now.
And sometimes, there are moments between fighters, such as in these instances.
Tombstone: Shall we?
Minotaur: Sim, vamos!
Tombstone: For Last Rites and The Mortician.
Minotaur: Para Touro e Touro Maximus!
Minotaur: Saúde, meu amigo!
About ten minutes later…
Tombstone: You are truly a tenacious one, my Brazilian friend. You’ve warped my frame, and after all that you still looked like you were ready for more. What happened?
Minotaur: O chão que você danificou. Eu fiquei preso no chão. Eu não conseguia me mexer.
Tombstone: To think it took that to end that fight. After I damaged your drum, correct?
Minotaur: Ai, sim! E olha minha armadura! E meu chassi!
Tombstone: Whar do you… wow. I truly apologize, but—
Minotaur: Ah não, não! Foi uma grande luta! E eu gostei muito!
Tombstone: So did I. We’ll meet weapons again, I’m sure of it.
Minotaur: Espero que sim! Olé, olé olé olé, Tombstone, Tombstone!
Tombstone: You’re too kind, Minotaur, c’mere.
Free Shipping and Hypothermia look on.
Free Shipping: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Tombstone so animated.
Hypothermia: Neither have I. Or any of his siblings, for that matter. What do we say?
Free Shipping: Uhhhh, I’m gonna say we say nothing.
Sharkoprion: Holy hell what a fight, raaaaah! I feel so alive!
Warhead: You did well, mate, I think you—yeah, look at those cuts in the armour, you sliced into me.
Sharkoprion: I got some hits in on Warhead, I had a good fight against an all-time robot, win or lose, I love it! But come here come here, feel my shell, take a wing.
Warhead: Ow! Is that—?
Sharkoprion: Yeah, your flamethrower did that, I’m hot hot hot!
Warhead: Flamethrowers, thank you very much. The lads figured stick four in these jaws, why not. The whole green-eyed “Evilution” idea was mental enough, right?
Sharkoprion: I don’t understand why you’re a dinosaur and not a dragon though, that would’ve been totally awesome!
Warhead: It’s brilliant either way, I’m over the moon with it.
Sharkoprion: Hey, let’s go drive the box kart once I finally cool down.
Warhead: Box kart?
Sharkoprion: The go-kart that looks like a box out back, it’s ours. You wanna try driving it?
Warhead: I don’t know if either of us can fit, but sure, I’ll have a go. Maybe these old wings’ll be able to drive, who knows?