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Birth of a Rogue Modron
...a short story by Seamus

TimeIndex 2234864.338:45

War... Nordom had been in four wars in the 203 cycles he has been a Duodrone. Next spin he'd be in his fifth war. Thousands of Tanar'ri would invade his homeworld. Every 50 cycles the Tanar'ri tried to do this. Next spin would be no different. Because his status was IDLE at the moment, he had some time to think. Nordom thought about the Tanar'ri. He was puzzled by two things. Why did the Tanar'ri attack? They lost every time so far. This time it would be no different. Somehow, he could understand why the Tanar'ri kept attacking. A race that chaotic would probably never understand how futile their effort was. What puzzled his mechanical mind, was the fact that their attacks were so punctual. Why not attack at random intervals, why after exactly 50 cycles were completed? It was the only orderly thing about the Tanar'ri he could think of.
His superior, a Tridrone, approached. How magnificant this creature was. Tridrones were almost certainly the most orderly creatures in the universe. His respect for the Tridrone was endless. The Tridone said: "We must prepare for the coming war. Take your position". Nordom nodded...

TimeIndex 2234864.339:63

His "position" was the machine-shop. Nordom's task has always been to repair damaged Modrons. In war-time he often needed to repair other creatures. Normally Nordom only met Monodrones, Duodrones and Tridrones, but today he would see other mechanical creatures. He had recieved very clear orders on which creatures would revieve aid first. 50 cycles ago, a winged mechanical cube-shaped creature entered the machine-shop, together with a Tridrone. Both were citically wounded, and Nordom could only repair one of them in time. His orders were to repair the winged creature. This troubled him for a while. Surely, no creature could be more perfect, more important than a Tridrone. Nordom regarded this as an act of self-sacrifice from the Tridrones. However, if he had to choose between a Monodrone and a Duodrone, his orders were to repair the Duodrone. Maybe the understanding of self-sacrifice was what made Tridrones superiour to Duodrones. Nordom was far from this, he knew. But he didn't mind. All that was important now was completing his task. The first wounded Modrons would be brought into shop soon, he knew.

TimeIndex 2234864.339:98

All went well so far. The fatality rate of his shop in this war was 16.43 %, well below the estimated 21.17 %. He looked at some of his twelve Monodrones. They provided him with the right materials at the right time. It was all the limited Monodrones could do, but they did it well.
Suddenly Nordom realized he thought too much. He had worked for a Wizard for a while, and although the Wizard had always been good to him, the chaotic Wizard had quite an affect on Naam. It made him question some things he had always taken for granted and this had made him distracted. When he returned to his own kind, he had realized how wrong he had been. Questioning The Orderly Truth only made one more chaotic, which resulted in inefficency.
Nordom continued his work, no longer distracted.

TimeIndex 2234864.340:02

The door swung open and two new wounded were brought in. It were two Duodrones, like himself. He analysed their condition. It took him only 13.21 seconds to figure out their condition. One Duodrone, was had a broken fuel-pipe, the other had a non-functionial breathing mechanism. Nordom order his Monodrones to get the desired replacement parts. After a short while the Monodrones got back... emptyhanded. All fuel-pipes and breathing mechanisms were "out of stock"...

TimeIndex 2234864.340:04

Nordom was disappointed. The Duodrones would die soon. Then Nordom figured it out. He could take a fuel-pipe from one and put it in the other, or vice-versa. But which one would die, and which one would live? Luckily he had Modron regulations. In his mind, Nordom began to complete a checklist.
- Operate on the modron which outranks the other: Equal rank.
- Operate on the modron which had the greatest percentage to survive the procedure: Equal chance.
- Operate on the oldest modron. Equal age.
Both modrons had been born on the same TimeIndex! "What?! The chance of that is next to zero", Nordom thought. There were no further regulations.

Now Nordom was faced with a dilemma. Which one would live and which one would die? Nordom froze. Quickly he began thinking of any differences the Duodrones might have. He had six seconds left to make his decision or else it would be too late. Five.. Still nothing. Four.. Maybe one had been operated on before.. Three.. Two.. No, they hadn't. One.. If only....

Zero. Nordom had no more time to heal the two duodrones. All this Modron logic, it had never failed him. Until now...
There was was no logical solution to this problem, Nodrom knew. Then it hit him... The only way to heal one of the Duodrones was to choose one at random.
At RANDOM.............................

TimeIndex 2234864.342:33

The war was over. Nordom's superior entered the room. "You have done your job adequately, Nordom", he said. "Your fatality rate in your shop was 2.35% lower than in the average shop." All Nordom could say was:

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