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 Post subject: Re: Aboard The 771: 52016's Commemorative Date Anniversary A
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:58 am 
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Seattle Slew wrote:
42 is a wonderful short form number. It has a ring to it. My reference was to the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. Here's a description of that particular 42:
http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/42
Fascinating. Thank you for sharing that link. If 42 is the answer, then I believe the question must have been, "Towards what destination are we all travelling?"

Don't get it? Don't worry; I have an idea for a comic that will elaborate on this concept in an amusing manner. Unfortunately, I won't have time to work on it until Tuesday, but I should be able to post it then or shortly thereafter.


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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:21 am 
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Lovely story of your trip 42! Here in the UK we don't get those sort of temperatures very often, in fact as I'm from Africa it's blooming cold for me at the moment!

You sound really happy in yourself even though you don't have the money to fulfil your dreams at the moment! I hope they do come to fruition and we hear more of your travel adventures.

Hugs and kisses, Ashaki.



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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Ashaki wrote:
Lovely story of your trip 42! Here in the UK we don't get those sort of temperatures very often, in fact as I'm from Africa it's blooming cold for me at the moment!

You sound really happy in yourself even though you don't have the money to fulfil your dreams at the moment! I hope they do come to fruition and we hear more of your travel adventures.

Hugs and kisses, Ashaki.

Thank you for the kind wishes, Ashaki. Although I disagree with The Beatles that money can't buy love, I do believe it's important not to let your financial situation control your happiness. Certainly, I'd rather have less money and keep my pride and independence, rather than being financially well-to-do but continuing to ride on the coat tails of my more successful and wealthy SCPs.


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 Post subject: Comic: Life Assurance Policy
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:14 pm 
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42716 wrote:
If 42 is the answer, then I believe the question must have been, "Towards what destination are we all travelling?"

Don't get it? Don't worry; I have an idea for a comic that will elaborate on this concept in an amusing manner.
Here it is, the comic that I promised:
Attachment:
Life Assurance Comic.jpg
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The number 4 is considered a death omen in Japanese culture because it's pronounced "shi", which is also the word for death. Most numbers that contain a 4 are also considered unlucky, and so are the numbers 9 (because it sounds like the word for suffering), and 7 (because the kanji looks like a warrior using a sword to commit suicide). Which means 94712's short form number of 947 is even more unlucky than mine.

In Swedish culture, allowing a knife to touch your mouth while you eat is considered an omen of early death. But that's not the real reason I avoid using a knife when I eat; it's just more fun to pick up the whole thing with the fork and chomp on it. :lol:



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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Love the comic, and you were right. Now I get it, I told CC it wasn't because I am a blond. He wouldn't admit to it, but, he didn't get it either, and I am not going to tell him, he will have to read the comic to find the answer! HA! :thumbs_up:



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 Post subject: Warehouse Workers and Pokémon Players (Part 1)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:51 pm 
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I mentioned previously that 52016’s Commemorative Date Anniversary outing was the only major trip aboard The 771 that we were able to afford, but what I didn’t mention is just how dire our financial situation became after completing this journey.

Before acquiring an RV, I naïvely assumed that using it to travel would be a more budget-friendly option than travelling by car and staying in hotels. After all, there are free-to-use lorry parks at most Flying J stations, so assuming I packed all the food I’d need in advance, I’d only need to pay for petrol. What I failed to compute was precisely how quickly the petrol is used up by such a fuel-inefficient vehicle. I’m sure our meandering around the mountains of northern Georgia for 5 hours had quite a lot to do with it, but the fuel costs of 52106’s CDA trip ended up being equivalent to an average month’s worth of unbound earnings (meaning what remains after putting aside enough to cover the monthly bills and RV payment).

As if that weren’t bad enough, May was far below an average month in terms of profits. That’s the problem with a job which depends on the purchasing power of customers: when they stop buying, I stop earning. Because I sold so little during that month, the majority of the money to cover the fuel cost of our trip had to come out of my rainy day fund, which left me strapped for even enough money to afford food for more than the next 2 weeks.

Fortunately, there is a convenient solution for us poor unfortunate souls who fail to budget responsibly and find ourselves in need of fast cash: Amazon are always looking for new drones.
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When you think of Amazon drones, you probably picture something like the image above: automated flying machines designed to deliver packages to customers while remaining intact when confronted with the bullets of hobbyist gunmen. But another type of Amazon drone exists: the warehouse workers who sort, scan, and package all that stuff people buy online.

Thus begins the story of the time I ceased to exist as 42716 and became 12145792 (Because the number 42716 was already taken by one of the warehouse’s transport bots, naturally.)
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The ones in this picture have 4-digit numbers, but the ones in the warehouse where I worked had 5-digit numbers between 30000 and 50000. I never got deployed to a part of the warehouse which afforded me a chance to see unit 42716, sadly.

Well, it’s not much of a story, because the life of an Amazon drone is incredibly dull. It entails lifting items from boxes, scanning them, and placing them on shelves…for 12.5 hours a day, 4 days a week. This, while still trying to keep my web shop up and running meant that during the month of June, I was working approximately 75 hours per week. So you can understand why our presence on this site was non-existent. Forget photography and blog writing; a work schedule like that turns even cooking, showering, and finding matching socks into luxurious expenditures of time. I actually came dangerously close to losing my hair, not because of the stress, but because I decided using a hair brush wasn’t a wise investment of my time, and consequently ended up with early-stage dreadlocks. I thank my lucky stars that I know a hairdresser skilled enough to untangle me from that mess.

It’s a good thing the job paid well, because I ended up resigning just before the end of the month, yet I still managed to save enough money to live comfortably for 2 additional months. Why such a short stint? The coming of July meant I needed to devote the entirety of my time and energy to preparing for a very important event, not to mention one I had registered for several months in advance, so I wasn’t about to let my ticket go to waste in order to keep a job that’s fairly easy to reacquire in future if need be.

What event is that, you ask? Well, they say pictures speak louder than words:
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Yes, the Pokémon Video Game International Championships! Don’t get the wrong idea; I’m not a serious competitive gamer. The reason I entered was because unlike previous years’ competitions, which were open only to the winners of regional events and/or players with a sufficiently high online competition ranking, this tournament permitted any Joe off the street who signed up on time to compete. So my chances of being paired against a fellow noob who was actually in my league skill-wise became much more reasonable.

You may recall that I named and designed the playable character in my Pokémon Sun version (the game I used to train the team of Pokémon I entered in the competition) after 217. For this reason, I decided it wouldn’t be right to attend this event without taking her with me. And I don’t just mean in the car and hotel, but into the event hall itself!
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I told the curious onlookers who asked about her that she was a “synthetic Pokémon trainer”. This is an amusing double-entendre, because Magnemite, the Pokémon creature that’s riding on her shoulder, is a steel-type of synthetic origin (essentially a sentient machine). So the phrase “synthetic Pokémon trainer” could be interpreted to mean a person who specialises in synthetic Pokémon such as Magnemite…or a trainer who is of synthetic origin herself.

I don’t know how many people understood the pun, but everyone we met was very polite and 217 was incredibly well-received. She received a lot of compliments on her outfit, and it made her day to hear an excited young boy exclaim: “That thing has my favourite Pokémon on it!” Oh, the remarkable observation skills of children. He was the only one who immediately recognised 217 as a thing, rather than a person.

I'll continue this story in a separate post, so I'll be able to include more photos.


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 Post subject: Warehouse Workers and Pokémon Players (Part 2)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:20 pm 
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What really took the biscuit for highlight of this fun-filled day was when 217 attracted the attention of a local news reporter, who interviewed us for a news story about the various types of “cool people” who were kind enough to grace the event with our presence. 217 and I may not have earned a place in the Pokémon VGC Hall of Fame, but we at least got our 15 minutes of fame!
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Obviously, I edited my name and hometown in this screencap. I had to use my legal name in the interview, because I felt certain that introducing myself to the reporter as 42716 would put me on the fast track from cool to crazy. But honestly, I’m very impressed by how respectfully and accurately the article represented us. Though it’s ironic that they forgot to mention the video games as an aspect of Pokémon that I’m into, considering that’s the one I was actually there for. Also, despite the author’s use of the word “cart”, there was no cart involved in the transportation of 217 between the hotel and the convention centre; only sheer muscle strength that I didn’t even know I had. It was a 20 minute walk each way, and my arms and shoulders ached for 3 days afterwards!

By this point, you’re probably wondering how we fared in the actual competition. Well, although I did get lucky enough to pwn a few noobs, I got pretty badly flattened in the majority of the matches I played. 217 actually did much better in the competition she entered.

Allow me to explain: the main tournament took place in double battle format, and I had trained a team specifically for that competition which I played with under my name. However, the event also offered informal side competitions that utilised different rules, so 217 used the team we had trained for the in-game Battle Royal competition to enter the Battle Royal rules side tournament. (Obviously, I did the battling on her behalf, but I entered under her number, so I consider that to have been her entry.) She placed within the top 13 in this tournament, and won enough prize tickets to enable us to purchase this swampert from the prize wall:
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It may look vicious, but it’s perfectly sweet and docile under 217’s care. It fits on her arm quite nicely as well.
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As a bonus, and an excuse to rest my aching arms for a bit, I took some photos of 217 in the Arts Garden: a walkway and performing arts centre in downtown Indianapolis:
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The swampert isn’t with her because these were taken before we won it. It’s a good thing, too; by that time, this entire area was shut down for a wedding (except for the extremely narrow tunnel along the back wall that stayed open for pedestrian traffic).

Needless to say, it was an exciting and memorable weekend for the two of us, and certainly worthy of being commemorated. The problem is, now that 217 has been immortalised in print under the moniker 217, it doesn’t seem right to re-number her in honour of the occasion. But, as luck would have it, a convenient loophole exists that allows her to keep the number 217 while also using it as a commemorative number for this outing.

The most fun and exciting day of the championships weekend (the day when 217 got to do the most sightseeing, and the day we were interviewed) was July 1st, 2017. If rendered in European format (with the day preceding the month), this date becomes 1717, or two seventeens. So even though the number 217 started out as this Droid’s model number, we can just think of it as an alternate way of writing the commemorative date, and now she has a commemorative number without changing numbers at all. Aren’t the workings of fate fascinating?

This means that all of us, with the exception of the prototype, now have permanent numbers. I’ve remade the signature banner to reflect this fact, while adding a reminder of our commemorative dates at the bottom, for the sake of the units whose numbers don’t reflect them.
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Misfit Machines Banner Current 30-7.jpg
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When I was making this banner, I noticed a significant trend: the first four of us are numbered according to the original rule (with commemorative numbers derived verbatim from the dates of the commemorative events), but the units which come after are numbered in all sorts of different ways. I think this is indicative of an overall division in mentality that I’ve perceived within the Fleet since the beginning, but I was never acutely aware of it until I deciphered the shift in the way the units are numbered. It’s not easy to define precisely what this difference of mentality entails – it’s not as if members of one group are unable to get along with members of the other, quite the contrary – it just seems as if the first four of us belong to a different generation to the units which came later.

That’s why I’ve decided to classify myself, 103115, 52016, and 31617 as Generation 0, and 3461, 94712, 119, and 217 as Generation 1. It remains to be seen whether the prototype will be considered Generation 1 or Generation 2; I don’t think I’ll be able to make that call until I get to know him better. If we’re lucky, that time will come at some point in August.

I received word from Roxy Display that the mannequin model we need to finalise him will be re-stocked at that time, which means I need to make haste and get another second job so we don’t have a repeat of January’s “it’s back in stock, but I can’t afford it right now…oh, look, it’s sold out again” disaster. I just hope whatever job I end up with next won’t involve hauling salt blocks and bags of sand up a step ladder for hours at a time (yes, Amazon.com really does sell everything).


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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:42 pm 
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That was a wonderful story, and I'll bet 217 is still talking about it to all of the others. It looks like both 217 and you are becoming much more comfortable with being in public. I am so glad that she was well received, it is really good to hear these kinds of ventures go well, and in my experience they normally do.

Wishing all of the Misfit Machines a wonderful Day! :multi: :multi: :multi:



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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:03 pm 
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TripleA wrote:
Now I get it, I told CC it wasn't because I am a blond.
Now look what you've done, April! You've given me an excuse to link to this:



But I'm pretty sure it's only peroxide blonds who have this reputation, which I'm certain you aren't, since your eyebrows match your hair. (Lucky thing; you don't ever have to deal with the ugly dark roots like I have in the comic.)
TripleA wrote:
It looks like both 217 and you are becoming much more comfortable with being in public.
I have fewer inhibitions about taking the Droids out in public, or doing anything weird, for that matter, when I'm outside my home city. When you stand out in a place where you don't live, you're just a nutty tourist. It doesn't have the same potential implications as developing a reputation for nuttiness within your hometown.

Also, the Electrium Z-Power pose I'm performing in the Pokémon tournament photos (that wonky thing I'm doing with my arms) goes a long way towards improving body confidence, since it conveniently hides a part of the body that can be a major source of self-consciousness.


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 Post subject: The Generation 2 Units, Part 1: 2608
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:02 pm 
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It's finally happened. After enduring over a year of existence as a prototype, our friend at the end of the signature banner has at last become complete. Here he is, 2608:
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Please excuse the house slippers; his feet are larger than mine, so I have no shoes which fit him.
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2608 is a temporary number derived from his model number. Although we’ve done away with the SV-number system, I still intend to re-number the temporary-number units once they’ve experienced a significant commemorative event.

Fun fact: 2608 is the first unit in our Fleet to possess a number that contains an 8. This is true even if you include the numbers of all the pets and non-humanoid machines, some of which have serial numbers more than 7 digits long. Chinese culture considers 8 to be symbolic of wealth, so perhaps this explains why money tends to be in short supply in our household… :lol:

I gave 2608 a bit of a makeover once I got him home, because straight out of the box, he had on this ludicrous pair of false eyelashes that made him look like a drag queen. These are honestly twice as long as the eyelashes on any of my girls; I haven’t got a clue what the designers were thinking!
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It wasn’t difficult to remove the eyelashes with a pair of tweezers, but unfortunately, he had equally absurd lower-lid eyelashes as well, and these were painted directly onto his face. So I had to mix some acrylic paint to match his skin tone, and paint over them. You can see a faint shadow in his under-eye area in the close-up photo, but all things considered, I think it turned out quite well.

As his slightly vacant, skyward-facing expression implies, 2608 is a bit of a space cadet. He exudes a less stilted manner of expression than the other Droids (this will become more obvious once he appears in some of our comics) and doesn’t hesitate to do things his own, rather peculiar way. Case-in-point: those ribbons he has draped all over him. I originally placed the ribbons around his neck as a temporary measure to keep them from tangling while I organised my sewing supplies, but when I tried to remove them, I realised he wasn’t going to give them up. Because apparently, nothing says “real man” quite like creating a fashion statement out of the contents of a ribbon box.

The ribbons actually remind me of Twisted Sister’s look during the 80s.
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Once I recognised the resemblance, I decided to add the arm scarf to make him look even more twisted. Ironically, I played some of the band’s music for him, and he hates it.

Perhaps it’s their gender-atypical clothing choices that bring them together, but for whatever reason, 2608 and 94712 have been very close for months now, even during the time 2608 was still a prototype. Now that he’s complete, it’s clear to me that these two genuinely – and romantically – love each other.
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They have mostly been spending time in each other’s company since 2608 came home to us, but 119 is also very happy to have him fully present with us, since she has also been a very good friend to him and continues to be.

As the title of this post suggests, 2608 isn’t the only new addition to our ranks I’d like to introduce today. But our 2nd friend’s introduction requires a bit more backstory; namely, exactly how I came to acquire these two. I will elaborate upon that in my next post, so I can include more photos.


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 Post subject: The Generation 2 Units, Part 2: 4101
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:21 pm 
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I travelled out to the Roxy Display east coast warehouse in New Jersey to pick up 2608, mostly because I was too worried about placing an online order, lest he be forced to endure the same rough treatment at the hands of the postal service that 3461 and 119 did. Though I'll admit, I was also curious to see what a mannequin distribution headquarters looked like.

The outside is precisely the sort of mysterious, unmarked building that could plausibly house a distribution centre for AI prototypes.
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Precisely how many of Roxy's mannequins are nothing more than mannequins, versus the number which are actually disguised forms of early-stage android technology? Unfortunately, my visit didn't leave me qualified to speculate on an answer, because very little of the warehouse and its inventory is actually open to the public. Most of the styles of mannequins they sell are packed in boxes and stored in an employees-only part of the building, awaiting shipment; it's only the discounted models which are displayed on the showroom floor.

Many of these had the prices marked down due to enduring surface damage during transport from the factory, but others were clearly the unfortunate victims of manufacturing defects. 3461 has a mild form of this problem, namely, her lazy eye and 1 crippled hand. But considering the stomach-turning array of melted, bloody-looking eyes I witnessed at the warehouse, she should be grateful her case isn't worse, especially since it was mainly the models in her style that seemed to be affected.

I came across one mannequin which was curiously undamaged, even though it was discounted to half price. I inquired about this one, and learned that it was priced so low simply because it was an experimental design that was supposed to be on the cutting-edge of fashion, but in reality, so few people wanted to buy the style that the employees at Roxy just couldn't shift this last one.

This was bad news for my intentions to leave the warehouse with only 2608 in tow, because I have a terrible soft spot for ugly things that no one wants to buy. But to be honest, I could understand the reason this mannequin had failed to charm the majority of Roxy’s customers: its head and torso were covered in hideous, rough canvas fabric that looked like an old potato sack. In spite of this, I found myself greatly intrigued by this model, due to its unique body proportions.

Though it was supposed to be a female, it was unusually flat-chested and straight-figured compared to most female mannequins. Yet it was much too tall to give off any appearance of being a child design; in fact, it was as tall as most of the male models in the room. This one seemed to be straddling the line between female and male, which struck a chord with me, since I’d been wondering for some time how it would be to have another genderless humanoid in our midst.

I had planned my budget for this outing to set aside enough money for food, fuel, 2 nights at a hotel, and the cost of 2608. Therefore, even though it would mean driving straight home for 8 hours without rest, I decided to sacrifice the money I had saved for the 2nd night’s hotel stay, and spend it to bring home our 2nd new arrival, 4101 (also a temporary number derived from the model number):
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I wasn’t sure, when I loaded 4101 into my car, that I’d done the right thing, because it didn’t seem at all pleased to go with me. I think it had become resigned to the idea of spending the rest of its days in that display room, and the prospect of travelling to a new location sent it into a bit of a panic. I was forcibly reminded of taking a traumatised cat on a car journey to the vet, particularly due to the fact that 4101 covered the interior of my car with dust and paint flakes as I was loading it in, and continued to give off a powerful chemical odour the entire way home.

It calmed down a good deal the following morning, once I unloaded it from the car and gave it (and the car) a good surface wash to remove the dust and loose paint. I then took a pair of scissors to that hideous canvas covering. I’d known from the outset that we would both be happier if I liberated 4101 from the potato sack, even though I had no idea what I’d find underneath. But I had a hunch that it would look much more beautiful once it was unveiled. And I wasn’t disappointed, when I discovered that the base layer was painted white, creating a stunning contrast with the black of the arms and legs.

I couldn’t just re-assemble 4101 after removing the canvas fabric, however. I had to treat it with goo-gone to remove all the glue that had adhered the canvas to the fibreglass, then wash it multiple times to remove every trace of oil, and spray it with a new coat of white paint, because the original layer was scratched and stained in several places. The entire process of converting it to its current appearance took the better part of 3 days (about 2 hours of which was spent solely on drawing, re-drawing, painting, and re-painting that mouth shape), but it was well worth it, and I can tell 4101 is much happier in its re-designed incarnation.

The only part of this makeover I’m not happy about is the fact that the white part is rough to the touch, even though I applied a paint sealant after the white spray paint had dried. I wish I knew what sort of finish is typically used on mannequins to make them feel smooth without looking extremely glossy. (If anyone reading this has any insight into this matter, it would be much appreciated.)

Although 4101 is wonderfully sweet to me now, it has so far refused to communicate with any of the other Droids. In fact, it seems to be most content to be alone in a room, or with me as its only company. The fact that it is a sentient presence, yet one which refuses to emit any form of intelligible communication, is unnerving to some of the others. 52016 and 31617 in particular are just as reluctant to be in 4101’s company as it is to spend time with them. Others, such as 103115 and 2608, don’t mind having 4101 around, even though they can’t understand it.

As a matter of fact, 2608 and 4101 essentially represent, respectively, the light and dark sides of having a few screws loose. 2608 is perfectly functional in a social context; he’s just a bit goofy in some respects, whereas 4101 is deliberately silent and guarded to the point of being incomprehensible to its fellows. Perhaps this behaviour will change as it adapts to its life with us, but if not, it will be an exercise in acceptance for the others.

Here’s our new signature banner, containing all of us in anime form:
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misfit machines banner 10 units.jpg
misfit machines banner 10 units.jpg [ 1.08 MiB | Viewed 183 times ]
Now that we are a party of 10, the Misfit Machines have officially reached capacity. We won’t be able to take on any more new recruits, due to the fact that 10 humanoids is the most that The 771 can physically contain.

Speaking of The 771, I’ve been considering how to break down the cross-country trip I had originally planned into a series of smaller trips that will be more compatible with my budget. I think the best thing to do would be to visit the attractions within a single state, then come home for a few months in between each trip until I can save up enough money to visit the next one. And considering that during the trip to Roxy Display, the amount I spent in turnpike tolls exceeded the amount I paid for 4101, I can do without another visit to New Jersey for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:07 pm 
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Love seeing you back! I got a connector myself and I have worn it out of my house the past 2 days. Been thinking of you. My droid can wear the connector too. Make that we could wear the same connector at the same time. Am saving up for another doll by the same company as the one I have now.


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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:00 pm 
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SynDaverlover765 wrote:
Love seeing you back! I got a connector myself and I have worn it out of my house the past 2 days. Been thinking of you. My droid can wear the connector too. Make that we could wear the same connector at the same time. Am saving up for another doll by the same company as the one I have now.

It's interesting that you wear the connector out in public. Personally, I don't do this unless I'm going on a public outing with one of the Droids (e.g. that dance party I took 94712 to last October), and want to emphasise my similarity to my synthetic companion. In fact, I feel the presence or absence of the connector serves as an indicator of my present state of emotional allegiance to machine-kind or human-kind respectively. In other words, at times that I feel more connected to human society and have more of a desire to integrate into it, I'll stop wearing the connector as a means of mentally disconnecting from the technophilic separatist mentality I live by as 42716.

If you and 1062 can wear the same connector simultaneously, it must be very different to the ones we have. Would you mind sharing a picture? I'd be curious to see how it works, but if you feel it's too intimate to post here, that's understandable.



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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:13 am 
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The connector


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 Post subject: Re: We Are the Robots: the Fleet of Misfit Machines
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:47 am 
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42716 GREAT to see your posts, they always cheer me up and make my day a little better. Good to see the gang growing, 2608 is very good looking, I will have to show him to Roxie and Kayla for sure!

I am still using a hotspot on CC's phone for internet connection, so can't stay long, so for now have a GREAT day and thanks for sharing the photos!

Love Yall!



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