Forged Hope Entry Story

Here's the story for my Forged Hope entry.  More pics and description of the process to follow.

Some things you make because you want to. Some things you make because you have to.
 --The Forge Father

A variant of the utilitarian “First One” design, Bernard is designed as a long­range search and rescue bot. As word of The Forge Father spread, many survivors attempted to reach his Settlement. The Wasteland is treacherous and dangerous place, not fit for travel. Bernard was created to bring these pilgrims into the fold, supplying water from his internal leg reservoirs and guidance to The Forge Father’s Settlement. A patient and resourceful guide, Bernard has saved hundreds in this manner.

But Bernard has a tremendous range. The half­life of his fuel cells is well over a thousand years and his e­Brain has been programmed with adaptable algorithms with archives of survival techniques. Bernard has often wandered far from the Settlement. Far beyond, unfortunately, the range of many travelers he encounters. For occasions such as this, The Forge Father has also seen fit to equip Bernard for another duty: mercy. When encountering a pilgrim beyond hope, Bernard can engage the surgical systems of his lower abdomen. In a matter of minutes he can retrieve all of the water from any poor souls he’s calculated are not capable of reaching the Settlement.

It has been many years since Bernard regularly returned to the Settlement. In the beginning he’d return with a traveler at least every other day, and often to refill his water supplies. Now he returns less than once a year and makes his base on a rocky outcropping with a good view of a vast desert and a wide valley, often used for travel. He’s adapted his own equipment, acquiring a jug to supplement his leg reservoirs for water storage. His prize possession is a shiny scope used to scout for pilgrims. It is kept impeccably clean, its mirrored surface can signal travelers he’s spotted from miles away.

As he ranges further and encounters fewer travelers he’s capable of helping, Bernard has been using his water to nurture a tree near his lookout spot. One day Bernard hopes this tree will be a lush, green and shady place for weary pilgrims to rest. Until then, he keeps one eye to his scope, watching the horizon.

Helping those who can be helped with those who can’t.
-- Bernard