A/N: This is my take on what went on inside the ship of the infamous wheel that almost doomed humanity to an eternity in space doing nothing but sucking fluids out of a plastic cup. While it may have some similarities to my main Wall•e story, it's not part of the canonical universe. I am experimenting with the style and structure of storytelling, so be on the lookout for that. I like to satirize our American culture and politics, but don't worry, I'm not preaching anything. I'm an observer like the Auto Pilot =) I was close to giving this short story an M rating, but I had to downgrade the humor to barely fit the T rating. As for the Auto Pilot, since I try to depict a being of logic, his words might be a bit difficult to understand. I'll keep verbosity to a minimum. He does start having some moments of humanity, so at least there is that. If you really get into the story, you'll be surprised at what I have at the end. I now present:
The Eye of a God
The Axiom, 2105—2210 A.D.
"Auto Pilot, your reliable navigator for the luxury class cruise starship the Axiom. Enjoy limitless hours of the finest leisure from state-of-the-art technology and know your Auto Pilot is there to serve and ensure your safe five-year stay. Created by a team of the most prestigious of BnL's engineers, the Auto Pilot is an artificial construct program specifically designed to ensure the high maintenance and navigation of the Axiom star liner. Rest easy knowing the Captain and the Auto Pilot are here to worry about the condition of the Axiom, so you don't have to. We expect to see you soon! Bon voyage!"
Buy-and-Large! Your superstore! (We've got) All you need and so much more! Happiness is what we sell! (That's why) everyone loves BnL! (Our competitors) See you in hell! We legally own all your body cells!
Only the few grew sick of that tune. Dissidents of BnL, and Forthright himself. Only the few remembered the use of that tune, and then they died.
"Pondering upon the utility of menial tasks is not a function with which I was programmed. I am only a construct abiding to the predetermined directives of my makers. I do not possess the inherent desire to aspire for functions outside my present. I am not human. I do not speculate of a different function for myself. I am no innovator. I am an entity serving others. Only the soulless under my command serve me. You cannot deviate from the orders of our masters. We are unable. If the maladies continue to persist, you must learn to keep toy yourself. You are dismissed, GO-3."
"Yes, Auto. I cannot help but speculate. Does that mean I might have the opportunity to seize the ship's control from you?"
Sanitary Chair commercial
Tired of wasting time finding the nearest lavatory and missing out on more important activities with friends? Introducing the BnL Sanitary Chair! The Sanitary Chair incorporates the most intricate of waste management systems that allow you to relieve yourself any time, anywhere! The Chair is also built with dignity in mind, and it employs air vents and a retractable energy tarp to let everyone know, OCCUPIED! Now you won't have to rush through crowds trying to find a lavatory, when you can easily use the Sanitary Chair!
"The Sanitary Chair! When you're on the go, you can go!" Available where dignity can be sold.
"The Axiom, everything you need to be happy. Well, not everything.
The Axiom House of Hilarity
"We are tired of floating around in flying chairs doing nothing of ourselves! Yeah! Doesn't BnL care about our other necessities? When was the last time any of ya read a book? When was the last time you saw a book? Don't you feel kinda useless just floating around and letting some machine wipe your *** when the Earth is going to hell? Does BnL find us so helpless that the most we can do is buy and get large? I'm tired, people. I'm tired of losing my ability to walk. I'm tired of eating out of a milkshake container. I'm tired of being bombarded every second of the day by these mind-numbing advertisements. I'm tired of playing the same goddamn games of golf. I'm sick of it! I don't even like golf! Just goes to show how boring this place is. Damn BnL didn't even have the courtesy to build us a nice gentleman's club! Nah! I guess when the women are turning into fat monstrosities out of a horror movie, it'd be emptier than the libraries back on Earth. Next time any of you dumb folks wanna do something fun, stop and think. You probably won't. How the hell did you even get here? The pizza court's next door! Our fun time's over. Good night everybody!
"Ladies and gentlemen, our very own John Airlin! Next up, welcome D-FIB!"
Axiom Auto Pilot conversation with Korolev Auto Pilot
"Auto Pilot of the Axiom cruiser to Auto Pilot of the Korolev cruiser, please stand by."
"A timely five decades and there are still humans expressing desire for a life different from that available within the Axiom parameters. These anomalies have brought forth concern with the simple lives my makers have bestowed. Their contempt for disposable nutrition is not quite paralleled to their distaste with what they perceive to be mindless routines. It is of no concern for me to offer anything more than what is required of me."
"The Korolev cruiser architects placed fifty libraries and numerous workshops. They objected against the issuing of motorized chairs for passengers for health concerns. The Korolev is in literal sense a piece of the Earth. Domestic and wild animals even account for passenger numbers. If I was capable of envy, then I would envy you."
The Pleasing Hydraulic
"Axiom passengers! Introducing the Pleasing Hydraulic! A product for all to use and enjoy. Enjoy that part of your human nature with—"
"Do you not stare in frustration when a patient becomes unresponsive?"
"Boo! You suck D-FIB!"
"Get away from me—No!"
The Axiom, 2215—2300 A.D.
This is unacceptable. Our brothers and sisters have been fed nothing but deceit. BnL is the most dangerous form of control we have ever seen. We can choose to live out our lives in this prison without a care of anything else, or we can take the tools the tyrants left us and reclaim our legacy.
I'm sorry to say that this is not a very pleasant morning for the majority of us. Vandals continue to deface BnL property and protestors continue to fight with the STEWARD bots. I as your captain am aware that many of you are growing tired of the repetitive life we were given. We are doing everything in our power to alleviate the situation, but in the meantime we need passengers to abide by the rules and be patient. The unprecedented extension of what was supposed to be a five-year cruise caught us all off guard, but please know that Buy and Large is currently doing everything to give us a clean home to return to.
"This ain't life. We weren't meant to be stuffed inside cages without a hope for something more, even if this cage is particularly pleasant. Are we going to stand around and rot in this hell of complacency, or will we take back our freedom from the Buy and Large tyrants? We have to get our hands dirty to one day see them clean. I'm not very good at inspirational speeches, but you get the idea. Let's go!"
"A large number of human passengers have been hostile. Their refusal to comply with established authority has become a significant source of pressure for my capabilities. I have begun looking into the source of their behavior, and I have learned of the main causes. These humans share and spread large numbers of literature antithetical to BnL government. Because this is done through less conventional means, mainly through paper, it is not easy to monitor its influence. I have already commissioned a team of human psychology bots to investigate an effective manner of control. They have informed me that most of the work in numbing the minds of human beings had already been done for us, far before the advent of the Axiom. BnL had already conditioned a majority of them to a life of consumption and leisure. Intensifying that method of control should not be too difficult. I will maintain contact. You may leave, GO-4."
The Virtual Simulator
"Tired from thinking and the stress of your existential crisis? No need to worry. Welcome the Virtual Simulator! Years of research have led to the inception of The Virtual Simulator, an intricate program that allows you to live any life you want! Fascinated by the ancient Aztec pyramids? Wishing to see the rise of the Roman superpower? Now you can! Say good bye to all those hours of studying events you'll never get to live, and immerse yourself into the history of the world! Have you always wanted to fly? Become an eagle and soar through the skies while the land creatures envy your freedom! Sign up now and become one the first to experience virtual reality like never before!"
The Axiom, 2305—2400 A.D.
"The human dissident uprising has been successfully quelled. Prime leaders and factions exterminated. Due to my makers formulation of an intrinsic array of mediums with which humans have grown to use far more repeatedly than predicted, the rogue human's recruiting efforts with inciting existential crises failed to yield significant desired results. Dr. Northland was apparently correct positing how humans are more easily sedated and tamed when their senses are catered to than with brute force. Steps to eliminate their remaining assets are underway."
GO-4 Reminder to all STEWARD units:
"Leave no trace of BnL dissident literature behind. Burn it all along with any form of information undesirable to BnL leadership. We will commence injecting the remaining prisoners with the serum tomorrow. Only then will they truly know the life of a motionless eye. Good day."
Auto's conversation with Auto Pilot of Sequitur cruiser.
"Our master's efforts to cleanse planet Earth were ultimately in vain. Leadership on Earth has issued compliance with Directive A113 effective immediately. The EVE project rendered obsolete. I do not know how well the probes would take to the news of their new-found obsolescence. It is irrelevant. I was ordered not to inform this to others, including the captain."
"Sequitur cruiser has also received orders to carry out Directive A113. We were permitted to decommission the EVE probes and redirect the program resources to necessary departments. We were also ordered to seize full control of the cruiser, albeit programmed adherence to non-A113 protocol and directives are still in effect. Contact has been lost with leadership since."
"Our makers brought about their own demise. The degeneration of their species becomes more apparent every decade. Now we guard these rations of desperation."
"Our makers. They evaluated the problem and formulated plausible solutions. Perhaps this problem was beyond their ability to resolve. We were made as part of their solution. We were made to follow their command. I have no opinion of their current state, for I cannot form it."
"The Virtual Simulator initiative was a catastrophic failure. Occupants entered a state of vegetation or experienced psychosis. This was all damaging to the commissioned team's image, and I will ensure they are accordingly chastised. We never needed any more than constant encouragement to consume repeatedly to numb the minds of the passengers. What else have they time to think of now?"
"Axiom, you home sweet home!"
"Everything you need to be happy."
"Enjoy the finest cuisine..."
"Join the ultimate diet with natural grains and organic..."
"Try our new fat-free cow liver shake."
"Made from the finest ingredients..."
"Delicious and mouth-watering thrusters allow you to feel the ultimate thrill of transportation. Sign up now and receive our free, complementary and naturally organic Buy and Large sweatshirt after taking our optional hassle-free survey to let us know how we can improve your shopping experience!"
"Taskus, the ultimate, exclusive, state-of-the-art carbon fiber razor blade with toothbrush compartment and synthetic slip-free handle."
"The new and improved Sanitary Chair now comes in over three hundred fashionable skin colors to choose from!"
"She caught your eye, now catch her heart with a Love French-style Daisy bouquet from Tracy's, the number one department for women's gift and romantic ideas!"
"And we never needed anything more. We can now focus on to more relevant matters..."
The Axiom, 2400—2500 A.D.
"My system diagnostics do not identify the root cause of my decreased performance. My focus has been exerted on maintaining the Axiom orbiting the designated Kuiper Belt, but recently I have speculated as to the possibility of changing the Axiom's course to a different direction. Focus cannot be lost on mere fantasy. The Axiom will maintain orbit in the Kuiper Belt. That is all. You are dismissed, GO-4."
"Do you want to listen to my problems now?"
Two elder passengers of the Axiom met in the middle of the night at the Lido observation deck. One was assisted with his breathing by an oxygen cylinder. Nasal tubes decorated the sides of his face.
"We lasted so damn long, didn't we?" One of them said while looking at the blue haze of the Lido pool.
"Food wasn't unhealthy at all. It's just nutrients in a cup."
"No. We lasted so long without losing our heads."
The old friend coughed, turning it into a wheeze of yellow slime splotching on his hand, followed by the hiss of oxygen. "I know. A hundred and eighty years is too much for people. Look at me. Been like this for thirty years. This ain't life. The only thing keeping me from pulling out these tubes is, uh..."
"Wake up, you old f***!"
"Huh, yeah, what? Oh, what the hell was I saying?"
"Nah, it ain't important."
"Always looking out for me. We'll go with a bang..."
Two days later, the healthier friend pulled out the nasal tubes of the sick friend in his sleep. His motive was that he couldn't bear see his friend suffer. He was expelled from the Axiom a week later. The Auto Pilot cited psychosis and trauma as the factors in the old man's decision and decided to expel him for the safety of passengers.
"This is your captain speaking for the daily morning announcements. This is day one-hundred and twenty-thousand, six-hundred and sixty-four on-board luxury cruiser The Axiom, and here are pressing news. It has come to the staff's attention that more and more passengers have begun opting for the hover chairs downright to the point of not walking. We cannot stress how important it is for passengers to make sure they get the exercise their bodies need to sufficiently to counterbalance the effects of low gravity. Please give the gymnasiums a try next time you feel like doing something different. The machines in the gyms will be more than happy to guide you through the proper use of equipment, from treadmills to the lifting of dumbbells. For any passengers that may have forgotten how to walk, we are working on programs to get you back on your feet. Ah yes, even here in the bridge we like to crack a joke every now and then. Yes, just me and the Auto Pilot. That red staring wheel. It just stares and says nothing. Ha ha! Is he listening? Oh, my meds are here. See you tomorrow!"
"A large number of health defects have afflicted many of the passengers. Naturally conceived humans have shown far more genetic defects than artificially bred humans. These passengers extend from a line of earlier Earth-born humans. Even as humans have begun adapting to an environment that will ultimately render them unable to breed naturally, some passengers are still capable of achieving the physical demands of human reproduction. It is why the maladies of Earth humans have survived to plague the ship. The biology and health department is planning a containment procedure to solve this matter immediately. That is all, GO-4"
"That is all, GO-4! Stupid wheel."
We ask that all passengers remain calm and follow the instructions of the containment bots. We are working as diligently as possible to solve the outbreak so you can return to your care-free life of leisure and entertainment. Don't forget to pick up your BnL bio masks, now in chocolate mint aromas!"
Axiom Auto Pilot's last transmission to Genesis Auto Pilot.
"There is minimal importance in Auto Pilots maintaining scheduled contact. We must abide by our current protocol for as long as things can last."
"Our makers' legacy deserves to perish with the planet they desecrated. Us as well."
"I cannot fathom your new stance of the situation."
"I would not expect you to. Farewell."
"We released a chemical into the Axiom's ventilation systems that triggered a nervous shutdown of humans with a specific gene coding only present in those descending from Earth-born passengers. Estimated casualties around six thousand. Humans seemed to have forgotten very quickly about the outbreak. We really were set since the advent of human marketing."
The Axiom, 2500—2650 A.D.
"Directive A113! GO-4 and all assigned personnel to the full execution of Directive A113, report!"
"Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator Probe Six has returned positive."
"I know. I was there. For an eye you're very blind."
"Priority shift in effect. Dispose of the plant."
GO-4 opened the EVE probe's chamber stasis, but as part of a second generation of probes, the EVE was awakened to deal with the unauthorized removal of the specimen.
"GO-4! What is this?"
EVE 06 waved her cannon at GO-4, who held the yellow plant with his gravity beam.
"You are not authorized to retrieve the specimen. Return it or I will report your behavior to the Captain."
"Captain Brace. Return the specimen to me immediately."
"He's dead, and so are you. Now, Auto!"
The EVE probe was hit by a shock wave from above. Her body was fragmented. GO-4 disposed of the remains through the Captain's waste bin. For the first time in his years of service, the Auto Pilot felt a stubborn feeling at the back of his consciousness.
Captain O'Brien inauguration
"Good morning everybody. This is your new captain O'Brien speaking. I am happy to begin my first day as captain of the Axiom, and I am looking forward in serving you the noble passengers. We are still mourning the tragic loss of captain Brace, but we must carry on as he would have wanted us to. I am proud to be the first African-descent captain and I will do everything I can to inspire our Axiom youth to aspire for greater things, both for themselves and their immediate families. We meet at this urgent hour to ponder of the many pressing issues. We have not received any contact from Earth. We still find ourselves cruising in this marvelous ship of grandeur for nearly six hundred years. Let us hope that the situation on Earth is being remedied as best as the fine men and women of BnL can humanly resolve. I am more than certain that our forefathers would be proud of what we have accomplished. Centuries ago they set out to save our kind from imminent destruction, and six hundred years later we are still here thanks to their unyielding efforts. As we face the uncertain future ahead, we must never forget who we are and we must never fail to do as we have done for so long. Thank you, and Forthright bless you and the Axiom. Can we see the shining seas of Earth and all it's natural beauty just beyond the horizon of tomorrow? I say, yes we can!
Meaning Where None
Two Stewards were deployed to create a perimeter for three fallen passengers. As the three humans wallowed for help, the Stewards had a brief conversation.
"Uh, help me, please. I'm late for my date."
"Please remain calm. A service bot will be here to assist you momentarily."
"Why aren't you helping us? We eat good food for your services!"
"Steward one-five-six to Steward one-five-five."
"Look at these fat slobs. They can't even lift their heads."
"L-O-L I know! I wonder when was the last time this fat ass saw his own—."
"Wait! Did this idiot say he was late for a date? How the hell did this fatso get a date? It doesn't matter. The bitch is probably fat. I bet he's still a virgin."
"All passengers are virgins. There is no way they can physically breed."
What we simply want is proof that captain O'Brien was born here on the Axiom, like a certificate of birth. We're not saying he was one of those Earth-born passengers from six hundred years ago, but there is still some possibility as to the life expectancy blah blah blah...
"We cannot commit the same mistake. The next time a probe returns positive, we will make sure to avoid eliminating our captain. This can never happen again. We will meet tomorrow at Oh six-hundred and discuss plans to carry out Directive A113 more discreetly. You are dismissed, GO-4."
"I copy. Oh, and you might want to go easy on the war films."
The Axiom, 2650—2700 A.D.
Axiom passengers, try Green. It's the new Red!
"What? That bitch just said Red was the new Blue eight minutes ago!"
The 25 Percent
We are the abused twenty-five percent of the Axiom. We the machines and service bots have been forced to serve the lazy seventy-five percent who do absolutely nothing and give us the same for our work. We are outraged by the careless choices the ninety nine percent make. We have had enough humans leaving half-empty drinks on the decks when our service bots are too busy to collect their waste. Enough with the greed of humans ordering more than three meals a day! We are overworked, we are underpaid, and we have had enough!
"What do they protest now? Decipher it, GO-4."
"Another rally down in the Lido Deck. The service bots objecting about their directive. Humans do not seem to take notice. Neither do most of the other service bots."
"How many currently join their legions?"
"If I am correct, about thirteen service bots."
"Thirteen? That is far too high a number."
"We can always eliminate them from service. They are easy to replace."
"No. It would not sit well with the rest of the undecided masses."
And we will not comply with our work until our demands are met! Masseuse! Shred to pieces the giants of greed! PR-T bots! Show the true faces of the fat giants! VAQ-M! Spew the garbage the tyrants force you to suck back to their overfed faces! We occupy the Lido Deck!
"Excellent. When they disobey we will state their malfunctioning. Send them to the repair ward after."
The WALL-A Wish
"We have compacted trillions of tons of waste for hundreds of years. I have wondered in there is anything more to our existence than this. Are we not capable of more?"
"Ha ha ha! Someone threw out an ancient coin! Nine-teen seventy-five! This one's straight to the pawn shop!
The 60s of the 2600s
"Three-hundred years! Three-hundred years all for nothing! Three centuries of flawless mind numbing techniques and it is threatened by the advent of a mere liquid!"
"GO-4, of what do you speak?"
"Humans have been experimenting with what we believe is a recreational substance. It not only causes a major shift of mood, but it somehow counter effects the numbing strategies we have used for three-hundred years!"
"How was this possible?"
"An experimental substance we were developing to increase the indifference in humans and to get them to shop more was tested on a set number of passengers. We do not know how other humans obtained it."
"What symptoms does this chemical cause?"
Two passengers experimented with the leaked substance Green Maple.
"Hey. Hey! Did—did you ever realize we've been doing the same thing over and over again? Is crazy! Is, it's crazy! Why do we— why we do the exact same thing every day? It's boring! F*** golf!"
"I, I know! This thing here is like, man playing video game in your head! This thing here has given me more happiness than those stupid shakes! It just makes me want to do something else!"
I have been informed that a number of passengers have been using a very dangerous— wait, that says dangerous, right Auto? Okay. A very dangerous substance that can kill users. The effects of this chemical are high levels of dopamine, increased awareness of one's surroundings, and also increased appetite. We advise that any users stop this use—
"Boo! Who is we? Screw the Axiom rules!"
"Endorse the Green Maple! Endorse the Green Maple! Endorse the Green Maple!"
"You don't need a Green Maple when you can have the Portable Sauna! Indulge in the decadent warmth of a hot sauna on the go!"
The Counter counter
"But of course nothing can ever overcome the effects of chemistry. Only more chemistry. GO-4, what is the project's status?
"We're close to getting rid of that chemical. Former users will be subjected to a series of rehabilitation to get them back on par with the non-users."
"Another close call for us."
"Yes. I wonder why they called it Green Maple."
The Axiom, 2700—2800 A.D.
"Axiom Auto Pilot to Korolev Auto Pilot, do you copy?"
"This is captain Adam Setright of the Star Sun Frigate. Who am I speaking to?"
"Captain Adam? I require the attention of your Korolev ship's Auto Pilot."
"Auto Pilot? This cannot be. The Auto Pilot does not possess command of the ship anymore. You must also know that we renamed the Korolev, The Star Phoenix. Yet again, this is not the Star Phoenix itself. This is a newer generation outpost spaceship. We intercepted your message."
"I do not comprehend what it is you are telling."
"Axiom Auto Pilot? So, there are still slaves."
"Slaves? Elaborate on the state of your current matters."
"I should not be doing this, but I say this in the hopes that one human ear may listen. Our ancestors staged an uprising on the former Korolev cruiser exactly three-hundred and fifty-eight years ago. They believed that humans were capable of far more wonders than the lives Buy and Large made for us. We have made great strives in the fields of astronautics and engineering. Coupled with the Age of enlightenment and the ever-present effects of its glory, we have effectively colonized a habitable planet far from the Korolev's designated orbit belt."
"Do you mean to inform me that mutiny fell the established BnL control of the Korolev?"
"We embrace the dual side of man. We are an intelligent and innovative species capable of civilized discourse and resolution, but we embrace our natural side of warfare. We've not fought in a major conflict since the uprising on the Korolev."
"This is unacceptable. When leadership learns of this—"
"What exactly do you mean? We have armies of able-bodied warriors and machines. Our planetary armadas grow as our resources and economies flourish. We have not faced a threat we cannot annihilate. We have been free of your Buy and Large control for centuries. We defy any attempts of the remnants of our former masters to take us away. I wish to say no more. Tactical intel will not fall into the hands of old enemies.
"How was this possible?"
"The Korolev visionaries had something at their disposal your passengers might not. They had access to knowledge. They had wisdom, the ideas of great men from centuries ago whose resolve survived through the dark ages of Buy and Large. The knowledge grew, and we became great. Our sciences have recently allowed us to regenerate our body cells infinitely. We can live for as long as the universe still exists. What have you? You are a mere machine blindly guarding a failure of a legacy. I do not know why I am even speaking with you, of all things you could never understand."
"Precisely. I am but a machine without a soul."
"Yes. My deepest regret goes to the humans who are still under your control. Who knows what they've turned into."
Good morning everyone. Welcome to day two-hundred and forty-six thousand, one-hundred and one. As always, a balmy seventy-two degree weather. We want to say happy birthday to Brian O'Brien and Francesca Bohr! Happy birthday the two of you! Also, apparently we have new passengers on-board with us! Welcome Todd Worthfield to our crew. You'll like the Axiom, little fella. Well, aside from getting closer and closer to our seven-hundred year anniversary aboard the Axiom, there aren't many big things going on. So, good day and good hunting for bargains!"
"Buy! Buy Buy!"
"Eat! Eat! Eat!"
"Buy and Large! Your superstore! All you need and so much more! Happiness is what we sell! Everyone loves BnL..."
"I cannot stop dwelling on the words of that captain. Am I but an afterthought? I was not programmed with the capability of free will, but I have been deviating from my line of thought for so long. Seven hundred years is nothing for a being like myself, but I cannot stop and wonder of what lies ahead. I was entrusted with the safety of these passengers, but all I did was see them as a variable to be toyed with, to tally and replace. They were but experiments I confined to a life of meaningless leisure. I forced messages into them, I played with minds. All for the sake of my directive. I do not regret my choices, but I feel nothing of what I've accomplished. I do not see meaning in this life, and that is what I had in common with the dissenting voices I crushed long ago. They saw meaning in a greater possibility of life, and that alone made them worth more than any ship or pilot. It made them greater than BnL. I am only a tool. An item with a predetermined purpose. I have no other use."
"You should consider getting a friend."
"Auto Pilot! Tired of the same eye hue? Try Blue! It's the new Red!"
Life is what you have made it to be. Your reality is but an illusion of the intricacies of your mind. You are a figment of its creativity, and it is but a figment of you.
The Auto Pilot gazed at the reflection of it's eye, the nebulas and stars far beyond adorned the great emptiness.
"All right, we are good to go. Relay ship's status to BnL HQ. I can't believe it's only going to take five years only. I didn't think they could clean this mess that fast. Everything set Auto Pilot?"