Love Letters to the Universe #19: Scout’s Honor

19 Mar

Dear Universe,

Everyone wants a companion, someone with whom to commiserate, someone with whom to face the long nights and enjoy the pleasant days. Loneliness is perhaps the most wretched feeling known to the hairless monkey. In part, it was with great hopes in avoiding this feeling that I set out to write these letters, to you, my darling. The writer always brave (and some would say foolhardy) sets pen to paper in the hopes that someone will listen, and truly hear the spirit behind the words. Our motivations for reading are similar as C.S. Lewis said in William Nicholson’s Shadowlands: “We read so that we know that we are not alone.”

Much of the attraction of the robot myth centers around this idea. We love the idea that we might create some intelligence that will live sympatico with us. We would then be able to share our experiences with it. As naive as it may be, this dream is acted out in science fiction as much as the alternative, where we create our own automated destruction through our hubris. This companion robot myth stems from our belief that we ourselves are at heart good, loving and faithful creatures. If our sentience is invariably linked with our capacity to love, then would not sentience display, embody and even need such love whether it was artificial or not?

Hence, we come to the final model of our Robot showcase. His story embodies that question, one that is asked countless times in myth, the answer of which is evident in each of our lives.

  1. The Scout

Primary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Connection (North)

Epithets: The Companion, the Samurai, the Pack Leader, the Ranger

Mythic Examples: Phil Coulson (of Marvel’s SHIELD), Alfred Pennyworth (of D.C.’s Gotham), Chappie, Samwise Gamgee, Captain Li Shang (of Disney’s Mulan)

Description: Some of our best and most beloved stories contain this ultimate companion. We have countless robotic characters that develop a true bond with humans that inspire us. More so the flesh and blood members of this archetype carry the weight of the world on their steadfast shoulders. In Samwise Gamgee’s case, literally so. How fondly do I remember Samwise’s support of the heroic Frodo as he struggles with the pull of the ring of power. He lists off the things of home in the shire to inspire a drive to survive. He forages in a barren land to make the best stew he can. He hesitates only for a moment to leave the shire, to leave the comfortable routines of all he knew behind to follow his friend into certain danger. When Frodo can no longer walk, he lifts him and carries him up Mount Doom. Samwise embodies the orderly practicality of life in the shire, but his connection to those he cares for is absolute. He is the robot with the mother aspect of the north.

Because of the Scout’s feminine aspect he is more at home in natural environments than any of the other robotic types. He finds order through connection, and his purpose follows that order will ensure connection, as well, and he will endeavor to maintain that order diligently and without question. Thus, scouts love camping, hunting, hiking and any activity where they can feel their connection to the order of nature. They enjoy the company of animals and will often be a veritable cornucopia of facts concerning habitats and wildlife. They make great caretakers of said wildlife and can be a great advocate for the environment and all other life.

Although the scout will generally like other people, they do not always understand other people. This will lead sometimes to a removed and cold demeanor when the scout encounters others who are outside his normal reference point when it comes to attitudes or experiences. A provincial creature, the Scout enjoys simple pleasures with a small coterie of trusted friends. The Scout will keep these happy few for a long time as he does everything to prove his steadfast loyalty to them.

As a small child the scout is torn between his desire to connect and to flee the messiness of human connection. He will often be quiet, and shows respect and admiration by steadfastly following around older companions. When the world becomes overwhelming, the Scout child will curl into a fetal position, connecting back with himself. Here lies the danger, as the Scout grows he must decide whether he trusts the world enough to continue interaction. If not, he may disappear into the wilderness or the wild of his own thoughts and routines.

The young Scout will believe that he is a wildman, and thus, will often be covered in bruises, as he does not have the natural intuitive savvy to judge whether a feat is safe or even advisable to attempt accomplishing.

Many Park Rangers, Guides, and Veterinarians are scouts as they enjoy nature and those in their presence, both animal and human feel reassured in their competent company. The sense of connection to their community or nation will also lead many scouts to enjoy serving in protective and emergency services. The Scouts are attracted to all things martial as well, as they enjoy the orderly nature of the lifestyle and the many interesting weapons and devices used by those in the military services.

The scouts at heart are honor-bound. Honor for them is the currency with which the hairless monkey navigates relationships. He will become resentful if his honor is ever put into question, and will be highly suspicious of those whose behavior is motivated by reasons beyond their understanding.

The friendly neighborhood postman is most likely a scout, so is the grandfather patiently training his grandchildren the joys and routines of fishing. Of course, the hermit-like logger living out in the woods may very well be a scout, too. Although, the scout may tolerate mess better than most robots, he is never truly happy with chaos and can be quite worn out by disputes. The order he establishes is that which he feels connected. He will defend that thing, be it family, community, nation, or property against outsiders with uncompromising diligence.

In relationships the scout will be faithful, but loves to have someone else make the difficult decisions, especially as the language of relationships can often be intimidating or downright indecipherable for the scout. Thus, he likes women who are good at keeping order, nurturing, and stating what they expect. He would proudly serve at the heroine’s side, or be the first officer in the Matriarch’s familial army.

Naturally conservative, yet surprisingly gentle at times, the scout can be the ultimate companion, taking time to make sure that everyone in his family, unit, or community is safe, happy and peaceable.

Ideal match: The Heroine or the Matriarch

Challenging types for the Operator: The Champion, The Enchantress.

The Shadow Type: The Mercenary- If the Scout fails at connecting to those around him at an early age, then he will become the Mercenary- being only honor bound by his word, or for the corporation that for which he works. His attraction to martial things will also lead him to a strange zealous connection to his people or nation state which depending on said nation state, could be disastrous. The armies that have decimated people’s in countless wars are full of scouts blindly following orders. “And why should I not?” Asks the shadow scout, as he has been taught to feel no connection to his enemy and knows who he is because of his connection to his squadron or movement.

But, when the Scout has fostered a connection to his own humanity, he will feel connected to all of mankind. He will then protect the innocent, bravely going first into dangerous situations for the betterment of others. Who could ask for a better companion?  And when the Scout robot transcends his programming in the name of love for his fellow living beings, could there be a nobler act?

And, so we have spoken together now about all four of the robot types: Operator, Scientist, Detective and Scout. I hope this discussion has pleased you. For, I am but a hairless monkey transcending his programming, telling the universe of my love.


Trav

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