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"Uh, this is MIK, one of the simulacra at the Park. We're trying to get a hold of one of the other Parks for, huh-huh, instructions."
"In what language would you like to communicate?" asked the satellite.
"Oh, sorry, huh-huh. We speak Japanese to each other, but we'll switch over to Artran if that's easier for you." GUF and DUN tuned in, too.
"It's been a very long while since anyone communicated with me from down there." The satellite's well-modulated voice snapped and popped.
"If you must know," HOOSAT continued, "it's been rather a while since anyone contacted me from anywhere. I can't say much for the stability of my orbit, either. Once I was forty thousand kilometers up, very stable…"
"Could you put us through to one of the other Parks, or maybe the Studio itself, if you can do that? We'd, huh-huh, like to find out where to report for work."
"I'll attempt it," said HOOSAT. There was a pause and some static. "Predictably, there's no answer at any of the locations."
"Well, where are they?"
"To whom do you refer?"
"The people," said MIK.
"Oh, you wanted humans? I thought perhaps you wanted the stations themselves. There was a slight chance that some of them were still functioning."
"Where are thuh folks?" asked GUF.
"I really don't know. We satellites and monitoring stations used to worry about that frequently. Something happened to them."
"What?" asked all three robots at once.
"Hard to understand," said HOOSAT. "Ten or fifteen centuries ago. Very noisy in all spectra, followed by quiet. Most of the ground stations ceased functioning within a century after that. You're the first since then."