Report #00011: The Six Million Gold Mechagnome

I knew repairing Bott would be difficult, but it turned out to be a much more complex task than even I expected. The truth is, I didn’t “repair” him at all… I rebuilt him. Very little of the original Bott still exists beyond the metal, gnome-shaped shell that houses all his internal components. I incorporated functionality from the Field Repair Bots and the Scrapbot, and also used a modified version of the MOLL-E. Instead of functioning as a portable mailbox, the new Bott is able to access my bank vault.

His brain was the most difficult part. Bott’s brain was the source of his malfunction. This is something I cannot repair, cannot upgrade, and cannot simply re-wire and work around. I was forced to redesign it… meaning I also had to reprogram him to be someone other than who he was before. Functionally, there is no longer a “Bott”. He answers now to the name “Jeeves”. Emotionally, this was very difficult for me to do. It was also difficult from a more practical perspective… simply the engineering angle… and took everything I’ve learned as a quantum mechanical engineer, gnome, tinkerer, mage, and dwarf. There is a lot of me sitting in that little bronze head right now.

The complex wiring and Perpetual Power Generation Core Abby built Bott’s brain with had to be thrown out. The PPGC was a proto-type, and was abandoned after Bott was officially judged to be a failure. Even if I had planned to improve that system, I would have had to start with redesigning it. Instead, I chose to build my own proto-type… the MechaMind. The MechaMind uses a complex system of gears made in different sizes and metals… each of the metals found on Azeroth except saronite. These gears are carefully crafted it dodecagrams. Each point of the dodecagram represents something:

Five of the points represent the Titans themselves, who created the Earthen and the mechagnomes.

Four of the points represent the elements of earth, fire, water, and air.

Two of the points represent the arcane and shadow energies that permeate the world around us.

One point represents the Light.

These star-shaped gears interlock in ways standard gears do not, allowing smoother movement of the clockwork systems… which, of course, increases output while reducing wear and tear.

I still needed to find a way to allow Bott… or Jeeves… to access bank vaults, interface with vendors, and have some semblance of a personality. That last point is key, as it seperates him from just a high-quality machine. I also still needed a power source for him, one that would not have to be refueled very often. I decided to solve several problems with one runestone, in a manner of speaking.

The dodecagram gears are inscribed with runes. This process took the longest, as the placement of each rune and each gear had to be taken into account. As the gears turn, the runes work in different combinations to open a constant, purposeful flow of arcane energy in the MechaMind. It is both the power source and the programming.

It may also be the answer to my fears about arcane addiction, which I will address in a future report.

The new system is not without flaws, and I have taken certain precautions to prevent the overheating problems the original Bott suffered from. The remote used to turn on and summon Jeeves also has several gauges I can monitor him with, and his body is built with a countdown chronometer that makes him deactivate himself after about ten minutes. Watching the gauges on the remote lets me know when the cooldown process has gone on long enough that it should be safe to reactivate him, which seems to consistently take about an hour.

I laid the two… Bott and Jeeves… out on the upstairs floor of my house and then called several of my friends and my brother, Friginne, to be there when I finished the final step. I had disabled the movement and speech capabilites and kept the new “Jeeves” connected to the old “Bott” brain so that I could have a few minutes with him before making the final switch to the new system. After excusing myself and leaving everyone down stairs for a few minutes, I went up to have a few words with Bott and tell him the truth.

You can’t tell a truth like that in only a few minutes. I couldn’t risk having the old brain activated for very long. I told him as much truth as I could… that we live in Ironforge now, but not why… that Abby couldn’t fix the problem with him and he’d been packed away, but not what had become of Abby… I told him what I could. I told him as much as I had to so that I can still live with myself, even though he doesn’t know any of it now that the process is complete. He doesn’t even know that I told him I love him.

I told him because he was never told before. He spent forty-seven years packed away without ever having been told the truth. I spent seventy-eight years not knowing what I am, or why I just don’t seem to work right when you stand me next to a gnome. I told him because he’s still my little brother, and I want better for him than I had. He’s the only truly wonderful thing I ever saw come out of Gnomeregan. He’s the one reason I don’t just completely forget that I am part gnome.

After I told him, I shut him off, disconnected the wiring, and I admit I cried. Then I went downstairs and introduced my friends to Jeeves.

I haven’t given up on Bott. The old parts are still packed away. I can’t preserve them forever, but if I can reverse-engineer the schematic by drawing what’s there it may be possible for a solution to the problem to be found, or an upgrade designed. Until then, he’s serving some purpose instead of simply sitting in a corner.

And the addition of the rocket thrusters simply looks amazing!

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~ by Fizzy Stouthammer on 02/27/2010.

 
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