Bewilder Bird was the first to act. He pinned the Troublebot to the wall with his shoulder. Ellis was next. She pushed an abandoned flight case as hard as she could against the robot’s legs. Bewilder Bird jumped out of the way and the Troublebot was trapped. The Troublebot couldn’t reach far enough with its arms to grab Ellis.
We will never truly know if the Troublebot’s inability to grab Ellis was due to a flaw in the design and construction process. However, no one involved in the design process, it appears, visualised a situation when a Troublebot might need arms long enough to grab a small child in order to prevent itself from being pinned to a wall by a discarded flight case.
Whether or not the problem here was one of human error, flaws in the design process, or shoddy market research and product testing, the Troublebot now found itself in very real trouble.
With a shout and a swoop, Falcon Boy leapt onto the crate and started jabbing at the robot with a mop he had found. Ellis kept pushing and pretty soon the Troublebot’s logic circuits were close to collapse. It couldn’t work out what to do to escape.
Should it grab the small child pushing the crate? Or smash its fist into the face of the annoying man with the hairy top lip? The Troublebot couldn’t decide and ended up doing neither. It was Bewilder Bird who made the decision for it.