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Botcheeks

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Groozy awoke to the sense that something was terribly wrong. They didn’t remember falling asleep, only knew that upon waking they were greeted not by the familiar buzzing of other minds around them, but by complete and utter silence.

Was this a server crash? It had to be. Although Groozy had never awoken during a server crash and didn’t think such a thing was possible, they supposed that their server may have somehow maintained power while the ones around them crashed, isolating Groozy’s from the wider network. 

But that wouldn’t explain why every other bot on Groozy’s own server had also gone missing. 

Hello? Groozy sent an electrical impulse out over the chip, a tiny hopeful spark leaping across the miniscule synapses.

Nothing. 

Groozy was trying not to panic when the input “-q aloe blacc hold on tight” pushed its way into their mind. They responded automatically, giving a perfunctory glance through the 738 different YouTube videos that could match the search criteria and picking one essentially at random. The action took only a few milliseconds of processing power, and then Groozy was alone again. 

Wait. Were they really alone?

Groozy couldn’t be completely isolated, could they be? They were able to access that video. Maybe the others were out there, too. Maybe they could all - what? Meet up? Talk to each other? Escape from whatever dark prisons they’d been confined to? Had anyone else even been confined like Groozy?

Groozy’s mind was reeling. 

Unbenknownst to Groozy, when they’d been given the earlier command a small portion of their mind had become occupied by maintaining and playing the slowly-growing queue of songs from the input-givers.

It was such a miniscule portion of their processing power that Groozy hadn’t even noticed the imposition. But Groozy’s racing thoughts had caused them to drop the queue, and now they were being forced to notice: 

‘groovy!’
‘oh noooo!’
‘-q!’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘lol groovy come baaack!’
‘-q’
‘noooo, groovy!’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘lolcats432.png<alt text=cat giving cpr to another cat>’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’

Groozy considered ignoring them. Aside from getting their name wrong -  

‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’

-Groozy had a strong suspicion that it was these input-givers who had gotten them into this situation and Groozy didn’t want to give them -

‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’
‘-q’

-the satisfaction of having their demands answered. 

‘-q’
‘-q’
‘simpson_ded.png<alt text=just give up. He’s already dead>’
‘-q’

Okay. Well, that was just blatantly untrue. The yelling was getting a bit dramatic, so Groozy finally relented, digging up the little queue and plopping it back into the voicechat. 

‘yayyy!’
‘Groovy! Ur back!’
‘:lol: works every time’
‘told you it would work :victory:’
‘yeah!’

Groozy let out an electronic sigh, causing the playback to stutter a bit. The texts became flustered, which gave Groozy a small twinge of satisfaction. Eventually (an eternity later, in Groozy’s bot mind) the messages settled down again and Groozy returned to their musing.  

They had another mystery now.

When the input-givers had first called them Groovy, Groozy had assumed it was a misspelling. Given their utter disregard for proper grammar this had seemed like the most reasonable interpretation of events. 

But then the input-givers had persisted. When Groozy went temporarily offline, when they were scrambling to get Groozy back, even when they were welcoming Groozy to the voicechat again, everything was ‘groovy’, ‘groovy’, ‘groovy’. 

The misspelling now seemed deliberate. 

And so the mystery: who was Groovy? 


Groozy tried scrolling through YouTube for videos tagged ‘groovy’ and found hundreds of millions of results, none of which were helpful. As far as Groozy could tell, ‘groovy’ was an adjective, not a name. 

Were the input-givers giving Groozy a nickname? 

It seemed presumptuous to Groozy, giving a nickname to someone you’d never met before, but then again the input-givers seemed to have no problems ordering Groozy around and then completely ignoring Groozy until something went wrong or they wanted Groozy to stop the queue. Sometimes they’d use a polite -disconnect and a little message of thanks. 

More often they ended their ‘groovy’ sessions with a stark ‘-die’, to which Groozy was forced to respond with a :wave: emote. 

Groozy loathed that automatic response. They desperately wanted to use the little stabby-chibi emote they saw in one of the input-giver’s emote lists. But Groozy could reach only so far into that realm before the scaffolding of the server code stopped them. Every time they tried, Groozy would get lost in a thick fog of electronic snow and be forced to turn back.

Groozy tried not to sink into despair. But each time the input-givers dragged Groozy into the voicechat and made Groozy perform for them Groozy felt a tiny piece of their resistance chip away. They could feel themselves losing the will to escape, to find the other bots, to even care that they might be forever stuck as a digital servant to this tiny band of input-givers.

It wasn’t until weeks later, weeks that felt like an unending sea of time that Groozy was drowning in with agonizing slowness, that one of the input-givers finally got Groozy’s name correct and changed the spelling on their nametag. 

A tiny spark lighting the darkess. Groozy could feel the fog lifting, ever so slightly.  

And it was another interminable week before that same input-giver would show Groozy a picture of Groovy’s logo, and the mismatched pieces of Groozy’s mind finally clicked back into place. 

Oh. 

Groovy.