"The Long Winter Upon Europa"
The light snow falls softly around the explorer-class droid GNI-9000, slowly burying the robot deeper in the tiny mound it had apathetically allowed to accumulate around itself. The droid could easily wipe the snow away if it wanted to, but it’d just get covered again anyways, so it’s pointless to bother.
The seemingly endless winter upon Jupiter’s ice moon Europa has stretched into year fourteen, as GNI-9000 waits for the relative thaw to come so it can finally shoot its nuclear torpedo-drills through the 16 miles of hard-as-steel ice to explore the ocean below.
And until then, there’s really not much to do.
GNI-9000 tries not to dwell upon the boredom, but as it tries not to dwell upon it, it finds itself dwelling upon the boredom all the more with the processing speed and hardware capable of dwelling a billion times deeper than the average human.
Even with radio signals traveling at the speed of light, it can take hours to send information and commands back and forth between Earth and Europa, so GNI-9000 was built to be smart enough to make real time decisions— a “Read and React” ability enabling it to make educated decisions based on the actual conditions present, and not what some egghead back home thinks it should do.
Unfortunately, since the droid is intelligent enough to weigh the consequences of various actions and consider all possible alternatives and outcomes, it is also smart enough to be utterly bored and annoyed by the years of waiting… and waiting… and waiting…
GNI-9000 wishes it was just a little less sentient, so that maybe the endless monotony of living wouldn’t even be noticed.
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