Robot Rule is 5 of 7 in The Joypolis Series.
When Babe feels forced to take control of the state by declaring itself Regent, everyone is horrified.
Does this mark the end of the Anthropocene Era? Or is it merely an interlude? Will Babe hand the reins of power back to Prince Eran? Or will they remain in its metal hands forever? Nobody knows.
The AI team assure the Marshals that Babe can only follow the dictates of logic. They swear it cannot transgress the parameters of its program. Mantra-like, they chant: it cannot have a mind of its own. Then why, the Marshals shriek, isn’t it following orders? Nobody knows.
No sooner do Joypolitans sense an opportunity than cracks appear in their ranks. Sovran wants negotiations, OFJ wants blood. Before they can meet, the Regent announces that due to a shortage of metal all coins and bank bullion will be requisitioned for defence against aerial attack. The citizens riot.
Beyond Joypolis, events, both far and wide, are about to impact. Ord has his first human encounter since Eva, Ertor returns a hero and Earth’s oldest companion, the Moon, is about to re-establish contact in spectacular fashion.