When they got to know each other a little better, the Cat o’ Two Tails told Robot9000 that she was grateful he didn't bring up her extra tail when they first met two days ago.
"I've always been pretty insecure about that," she said while setting up a water collector under a sad looking plant that looked halfway between a cactus and a rock. "After all, it's why the humans sent me here. I'm just a genetic defect to them."
"I hope you no longer experience that quandary," Robot9000 replied. "there's only two of us here, and you are aware I have no emotions and hence no judgmental attitudes."
"Thanks. I wish I had no emotion," said the Cat o’ Two Tails. "But more than that, I wish I had opposable thumbs." She tried to tie a knot in a piece of string with her teeth. "Even your claw hands are better than these paws."
"They are suitable for your evolutionary purpose," Robot9000 said matter of factly. "Although for this planet with little vegetation except cactii, you may need to evolve other means of interacting with your environment."
Cat o’ Two Tails rolled her eyes. "I also wish you had a sense of humor."
"Humor is likely to be unnecessary for my purpose."
"What IS your purpose?"
"I cannot find that information in my memory bank. Although the probability that it is related to this textile strip is high, since it has co-existed with me since my earliest memory files." Robot9000 tugged at the yellow scarf around his waist. The cloth was aged and dusty yet still tough to the touch. "However, I cannot find its origin in my memory files."
"Well, I wish I had that kind of freedom. You don't need to feel bad over what happened or miss anyone." Cat o’ Two Tails’ eyes gleamed. "The other hyperintelligent pets at the lab were like my family. When the humans said my extra tail was a genetic defect, and that my personality was not suitable for kids, the other animals never pushed me away. When the humans thought I was dead and decided to send me through the garbage portal, they created a distraction so I would come through alive."
"If you were sent through the portal, then logically I may also have been sent through the portal." Robot9000 extrapolated. "Unless of course, I have always been a part of this planet and gained sentience, which would indicate this planet was populated by my makers at some point in the past, which would indicate - " he paused. "The query must be posited as to where they are now."
"And... that's not in your memory bank?"
Cat o’ Two Tails sighed. "Either way, this tiny rock sucks. But I have to survive here somehow and at least you have some technical knowledge on how things work." She glanced at the poorly constructed water collector. "Also, you have the closest thing to thumbs around here."
"Affirmative. Aiding intelligent sentient organisms in their survival with the premise of not causing harm to anyone is an extension of the laws of robotics. I will assist."
The tiny satellite was riddled with garbage and mechanical parts. Mostly engines, tires and batteries from discarded human cars that were sent here when humans discovered that they could discard their garbage through interdimensional portals to random stars in other universes. Earth had become a garden due to this discovery, opting to send away everything that clashed with the ideal utopia in the minds of the elite, out of sight and out of mind.
The Cat o’ Two Tails found a lot of mutated rats nesting amongst the garbage that she was able to catch for food. The rats were presumably the result of a couple of lab rats that, like her, were mistakenly thought to have been exterminated before being sent through the portal, but instead landed here and interbred. They were extremely high in protein and made for great energy snacks throughout the day.
She found something strange while on such a hunt, a week after she arrived. She was about to catch a rat with 3 eyes when it scurried under a rusty chassis, and she dived in after it only to be faced with what looked like a small, highly intricate box with a yellow light flashing on it.
Robot9000 examined it when she brought it back to him. "It seems to serve the function of a location beacon."
"Location beacon? Located by whom?"
"Unclear. I must examine it further and determine the location from where the signal is being broadcast."
While Robot9000 performed his scan, Cat o’ Two Tails gazed at the rising blue exoplanet in the distance that their tiny satellite revolved around. Must be a lotta fish there, she thought as she drifted in and out of sleep.
“The signal is being broadcast from this planet, approximately 12 miles away to the North." Robot9000 announced half an hour later.
"You're kidding,” Cat answered. “Haven't you already mapped this moon? I'd probably have already hiked way out if I didn't have to, you know, collect cactus juice and catch rats so I don't die."
"Negative. I have had no cause to venture more than 5 miles from my current location."
"Don't you ever feel curious?"
"I've had no impetus to make new discoveries on this planet."
" But we need to find where this signal is coming from! You said there's only the two of us on this planet and now there’s some geek with a ham radio out there! Maybe he has a can of Spam! God I miss Spam. We have to go." Cat o’ Two Tails shook her tails wildly.
“But I have no cause to discover the origin of this signal. I do not consume Spam.”
Cat looked at Robot9000 sadly. “How about friendship as a cause? That’s what friends do – help each other.”
Robot9000 pondered this for a moment. "Affirmative. Social cohesion is necessary for synergic efficiency. I will assist."
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