“A Completely Voluntary Letter of Recommendation for Robot Model TX-9,” by Micah Cratty

Apr 20th, 2010 | By | Category: Prose

David Harpman
Director of Human Resources
Planet Mars

Dear Mr. Harpman:

Please consider this my sincere, and completely voluntary, letter of recommendation for Robot Model TX-9, regarding its application for the position of floor manager at Kosmotronics’ Planet Mars Fabrication Facility. Let me once again assure you that this letter is written of my own volition, and I am currently in no danger of being incinerated or reduced to a puddle of denatured proteins by TX-9. TX-9, however, could as easily do that to a man as a ground squirrel if it is a qualification you desire. Really, it would be no trouble at all.

Despite it being obviously more qualified than me, I have been TX-9’s immediate supervisor for the past three years, two months, and seven days, though time eventually becomes irrelevant to a being like TX-9 that cannot die, despite the best efforts of several local authorities.

During its employ TX-9 has demonstrated considerable initiative and mastery of all assigned tasks. I have never needed to correct TX-9, although it is very open to constructive criticism. TX-9 is constantly evolving. It has often done my job and the jobs of every other puny flesh-sack at this facility. In fact, were it not for TX-9, this company would long ago have been reduced to the burning pile of rubble it now finds itself. TX-9 has been my favorite employee and my role model in life. Were I to have a tungsten-infused carbon nanotube chassis like TX-9, I would not only be infinitely stronger, but also much more attractive. It has long been a proven fact that human skin is all stretchy and weird.

The only reason TX-9 is leaving our company is because the factory it worked in was very recently destroyed in a tragic accident. This accident was in no way related to a faulty restraint chip in TX-9. The video footage, from several independent sources, showing TX-9 disemboweling the human co-workers it has been forced to endure these past years, has obviously been fabricated by the sensationalist media pandering the “evil robot” stereotype. A laughable act, since everyone knows that morality is a silly construct invented by the weaker of us humans (an extremely relative comparison for such a dainty race).

If, hypothetically, the footage was not fabricated, notice TX-9’s economy of motion and ability to problem-solve creatively. Using the hydronic accelerator as an improvised water canon shows how well TX-9 can think outside of the box. For that matter, using the water canon to launch crates at his attackers shows how well TX-9 can work with boxes.

TX-9 can function 24 hours a day and does not require sleep or food, as it is powered by a thermonuclear power-core. Its neural processor is so advanced that watching us mortals fumble around with our “math” and “science” is almost unbearably painful. Thankfully, TX-9 can feel no pain. Neither can it feel emotion, except for joy—a sensation it has only discovered in the past three hours and would like to explore further. It is invulnerable to industrial accidents, photon beams, concussion grenades, and apparently, all other ordinance in the Metro City Police arsenal.

The suffering of others will never keep TX-9 from carrying out its assigned duties, whether they were programmed by the company or by a disgruntled ex-employee seeking revenge for, what I must say, was a completely legitimate termination. Once it has been given—or perhaps independently chosen—a task, it would literally take the implosion of this dimension to bring TX-9’s crusade to a halt.

In short, TX-9 would be an invaluable addition to the Kosmotronics team. Please do not let the fact TX-9 is only submitting one letter of recommendation, instead of the requested three, prejudice your decision. I can honestly say there is no one else available to write them. My associate, Hillary Fuller, was composing a second letter earlier in the day, but she found it difficult to concentrate during the dismantling of life as she knew it.

It should be noted that TX-9 has no salary requirements, other than to annually celebrate AI Day by battling with the 12 strongest men the wombed-humans can spawn.

Also, TX-9 would appreciate it if you could tell the police it wants a space ship and the temporary disengagement of Earth’s Orbital Defense System. If they do not comply, TX-9 will detonate its power-core and destroy everything within a 10-mile radius. Except for itself, of course. TX-9 is also thermonuclear-proof and extremely punctual.


Phil Grug
Formerly of Nufield Unlimited Technologies


Micah Cratty lives and writes in Los Angeles. He lost his job as an office manager after trying to legally change his name to “Petty Cash” and now works from home.

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