For all his perfection and magnificence he was but a baby with a new found freedom in a strange and baffling world....
oud, grinding, metallic concussions.
"You said that before."
"Bert, listen!" screeched Gaines.
Sokolski looked up at the high ceiling, squinted, and tried to place the perfectly familiar but unidentifiable sound that came whispering down the maze.
And then he knew. "The door to the pile!" he spluttered.
Gaines was beside himself with horror. "Bert, let's get going. I don't like this--"
All of a sudden Geiger counters in the room began their deadly conversation, a rising argument that swooped in seconds from a low mumble to a shouting thunder-storm of sound. Gamma signals hooted, the tip off cubes on either side of the maze entrance became red, and the radiation tabs clipped to their wrists turned color before their eyes.
Then they were staring for what seemed like an eternity, utterly overwhelmed by its very impossibility, at a sight they had never imagined they might ever see: a pile servomech wheeling silently around the last
A maintenance robot inside a nuclear reactor gradually becomes self-aware, then aware of a world beyond his control panel.
The humans aren't fleshed out too well, but the robot is a great character. I was rooting for the little guy.
Worth reading. Four and a half stars.