CoT Part 25: Church of the Machine God

The Fated Hour (5)

Now that things seem to be somewhat stable at Guardia castle, the group heads back to the End of Time to tie up any more loose ends. Robo observes that everyone seems to be much more cheerful now that Crono is back but wonders about something Gespar said about the “birthplace of machine” in 2300 A.D. Robo wonders if he too might have a hometown. Since they have nothing better to do at the moment, Robo, Frog, and Magus board the Epoch and travel to 2300 A.D. to search for Robo’s birthplace. Once in the future, the group finds the Geno Dome a large factory near where Choras stood. When they are inside the facility they find the way locked but Robo activates a nearby computer to see if they can gain entry. Before Robo can get very far though, a voice comes over the facility’s intercom and demands to know who is trying to enter their sanctum. The entity’s tone changes however when it recognizes R-66Y or as they call him “Prometheus.” The entity then acknowledges that he’s brought two “fleshlings” with him and welcomes the trio in.

Robo and the gang then find themselves travelling down a moving walkway down a long corridor. It’s no pleasant ride however, the mysterious voice comes back on the intercom and says that it would like to test the capabilities of the humans. Then, the group is constantly attacked by robots as they move toward the inner factory. After defeating several waves of aggressive robots, the group finally reaches the end of the walkway and are allowed into the main factory. When the group enters the factory proper, the voice comes over the intercom once again and commends them, then saying that it is looking forward to meeting them. No way that can be interpreted as ominous, right? As the group begins exploring the facility, the voice decides to chime in again, it relates how Lavos brought devastation to the world 300 years ago and at its current rate, humanity is doomed because of the despair that consumes them. Deeper in the factory the group comes across another computer terminal which Robo accesses. The terminal contains details about the factory including information on how best to move about. Once of particular interest is an entry claiming that one must collect two figurines in order to gain an audience with “Mother Brain” (not that Mother Brain, but could you imagine?). Odds are that the voice that keeps speaking to the group in the facility is that of Mother Brain so it might seem prudent to collect these figurines and speak with her.

As Robo, Frog, and Magus continue to explore the facility, they stumble across a chamber where people are being carried down a conveyor belt leading into a machine to be processed somehow. Frog and Robo are horrified by this and Robo runs to the nearby computer terminal in order to put a stop to it. The security on the terminal is too robust however and Robo says that they must shut it down at the source in order to stop it. Once they leave the room of horrors Mother Brain’s voice comes over the intercom system again telling them that the word would be at peace if it wasn’t for humans and wonders why they continue to struggle against their inevitable fate. With a new sense of urgency motivating them, the group gathers the two figurines needed to enter Mother Brain’s chamber and head toward the door. Before they can manage to enter however they are stopped by another R-Series robot.

The new R-Series greets “Prometheus” and Robo seems to recognize the robot and calls her (it’s painted pink and is wearing a bow so I’m going with it) “Atropos.” Atropos requests that Robo join her now that there is no need to pretend that he is on their side anymore. She claims that Prometheus was given a special mission; to live with and study the humans. Robo seems to be confused, but Frog is incredulous about this. Atropos insists that it’s true however, and wants Prometheus to help her eliminate the humans and go see Mother. She then then starts to move toward Frog and Magus but Robo obstructs her and asserts that he will not allow her to harm them. Atropos claims that Robo has been damaged and offers to fix Robo but he turns it around on her and claims that she’s changes and isn’t the robot that he knew before. Atropos then insists that Mother Brain has upgraded her so that she can eliminate humans more effectively and tells Prometheus to step aside and let her do her duty. He then corrects her, insisting that his name is “Robo” and refuses to move, this prompts Atropos to attack Robo. Frog and Magus try to intervene on Robo’s behalf but insists to them that he should handle this himself and prepares for a one-one-one duel with his old comrade. Atropos uses many of the same techniques as Robo but ultimately is no match for the more experienced robot and is defeated. As her systems are failing, Atropos seems to realize that she’s betrayed Robo and Mother Brain has manipulated her programming. She then gives Robo her ribbon before shutting down for good.

As the group approaches Mother Brain’s chamber, her voice comes over the intercom system one last time telling the group that the Lavos spawn will soon leave, seeking out new planets to feed on. This will allow this planet to finally be able to heal so long as there are no humans left and robots can dominate the world. So the group seems to be dealing with yet another rogue AI in its “destroy all humans” phase. Wonderful. The group places the two figurines on stands on either side of the door to Mother Brain’s central chamber and finally confront the program. Three monitors project a hologram of the AI program in the center of the room as it addresses the group. Mother Brain offers to “restore” Robo and dispense of the filthy humans in order to bring about her glorious metal future but Robo naturally rejects the offer. He tells her that his memories and friends are too valuable to lose and that he prefers to see the future that they bring about. In typical rogue AI fashion, Mother Brains scoffs at this and commences to trying to destroy all three of them. Robo, Frog, and Magus emerge victorious against the genocidal program allowing Robo to access the main systems of the factory, shutting it down for good.

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