Gift of the Gruldak, Chapter 8: Building Bridges Isn't Easy

Updated on July 30, 2016
Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa Shay is releasing a serialized science fiction novel in single chapter increments that you can read for free only on HubPages.

Science fiction illustration of fetus floating in space with an umbilical cord to earth
Science fiction illustration of fetus floating in space with an umbilical cord to earth | Source

Meet the microscopic army and its rollerskating writing robots and learn the dangers of tidiness in Chapter Eight of Gift of the Gruldak.

Chapter Eight, Building Bridges Isn't Easy

I was frustrated with our lack of progress and embarrassed by my lack of knowledge regarding programming language but I kept mulling over the problem. Getting a sudden idea as I sat at the table assembling a few robot pieces I said aloud, “Why don’t we just send some of those robots to make robots?”

“What would the robots do, though, Kevin?” Guido asked as I sat at the dining room table.

Cap looked up from where he bent before the open fridge in the adjoining kitchen with a pained expression on his face.

Gesturing with my edible spork, I said, "I don’t know, maybe they’d write the message on the nearest piece of paper?”

There was no sound but the breathing of all three of us for a hanging moment. Then Guido exclaimed, “That’s brilliant!”

Her exclamation was quickly followed by another, “Oh, my funking gob! Is it always going to be robots making bigger robots with you?” Somehow, she made the air feel irritated at me. Or maybe it was Cap.

“Maybe. Anyway, I’m not sure how it would work.”

Guido sighed, “We can program a robot to follow a specific route so that it leaves behind itself a visible trail when it moves across a reading tablet, monitor, or viewscreen of any kind. We can get away with secondary probes on itty-bitty roller-skates. ”

“I get it! A roller-skating writing robot!” I exclaimed.

“I like that,” said Cap, "but what about all the projection and 3-d displays?"

"We can send different bots to bridge the gates that activate the keys on keyboards or block the waves returning to projection devices."

“I think I’ve got another idea I think we should work on, too,” I said.

“Don’t keep us in suspense, kid,” Cap interjected.

“OK, so we can engineer plants to form their structures into a specific pattern that results in something useful and of a specific size, density, etcetera, right?”

“Right,” chorused Guido and Cap, the former in all caps on her screen and the latter with his larynx, lips, and tongue.

“Why not engineer one that grows really, really fast that will produce the writing on itself and produce seeds of it on earth to spread everywhere?”

“That actually sounds like a good idea, kid,” Cap said.

Guido said, “Unfortunately, we would have to build machines to build machines to do that, too, and I think it’s a lot more complex than you think. We can’t make the seeds here so they get taken to earth and then dispersed; I don’t know how that would work.”

“How about we just make a virus?” Cap asked.

“A virus?” Guido and I chimed together.

“Yeah, can’t we make a virus with a limited number of generations programmed into it that will easily fit into the tiny payload capsules of the robot building probes?”

“Then it could take over a specific type of plant’s cells and cause the leaf pigmentation to decrease in some areas and increase in others in a pattern that writes out the message.”

“Oooh, ooh! I have a better idea,” I chipped in, “Why not use it on the people, and control the melanin in their skin, maybe somewhere like on the top of their arm." I didn't even really need to look at Cap’s face to realize it was a terrible idea.

The tiny robot popped silently into the darkened room and began emitting a signal. Within moments, a half dozen of its microscopic pals joined it and began harvesting molecules of carbon, metals, and other useful things from the furnishings and machines they found. Had anyone been there to see, he would have seen nothing out of the ordinary as the itty-bitty devices worked tirelessly through the night.

As the sun's rays just touched the edge of the horizon, the first tinker bot was finished and began assembling more tinkers to make the bots to bridge logic gates. As the light reached the ceiling of the classroom, the first tinker bot that would make rolling bots was completed. Half of the first bridger bot stood fractions of an inch away. Nearby, a cluster of a dozen purple tinker bots prickled and rolled, slowly creating the outlines of one of the plump silver flea bots that would serve as troop carriers spreading the bridgers and rollers where needed.

By the time the first students shuffled in to the cozy, living room style space, any of them could have seen the rapidly growing force numbering in the hundreds as a dozen tiny, irregular dots made of a sparkling sheen of dust on the beverage cart near the coffee machine.

As the tired young instructor filled her cup, a bit of the deliciously aromatic liquid dribbled. Being a well-raised person, she grabbed a napkin and wiped up the mess, mind-blowingly advanced tiny robots and all. The napkin began to dissolve as it was designed to do before it hit the bottom of the trashcan under the cart.

As the building's central vacuum took over the bots were sucked away from each other but for those held together by the coffee's surface tension or wadded into the remaining intact fibers of napkin. Spattered along the walls of the sanitation tubing for many feet, the microscopic robot army doggedly reassembled, making the arduous trek to the nearest intact flea bot when possible or hunting for the nearest source of raw materials if not.

They clung to the sides of the tubing as air roared past them at high speed. Those that made it to the walls managed to cling to them but those still wound up in bits of fiber went flying away into the darkness, never to be seen again.

© 2014 Kylyssa Shay

Will The Tiny Robots Succeed?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and a unique topic.

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      5 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      Love your science fiction story. So intriguing. Thanks a lot for sharing :)

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 

      5 years ago

      Your science fiction series is quite interesting kylyssa. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)