"Forever Worthy": With the rest of the Justice Leagues missing in action, Victor Stone needs a new team; and for that, he has come to Dr. Will Magnus. Unfortunately, Magnus refuses, despite the dire situation. Victor insists tha
- Robots are the answer.
- -- Doc Magnus
Appearing in "Forever Worthy"
- Doc Magnus (Flashback and main story)
- Metal Men (Flashback only)
- Chemo (Flashback only)
- General Scaletti (Flashback only)
- Defense Secretary Joseph Devol (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Forever Worthy"
With the rest of the Justice Leagues missing in action, Victor Stone needs a new team; and for that, he has come to Dr. Will Magnus. Unfortunately, Magnus refuses, despite the dire situation. Victor insists that Magnus must do something, because The Grid has taken over every networked computer on the planet, cutting off all communications, as the first Artificial Intelligence. Magnus' eyes narrow as he explains that Grid is not the first artificial intelligence; his Metal Men were. Unfortunately, though they do not want to wipe out humanity, Magnus warns that asking them to help would only make things worse.
Six months ago, he'd been recruited from Carnegie Mellon University's robotics program and spent a great deal of time locked away working on his creations at great expense to the US Defence department. When the Secretary of Defense came to inspect the project, Magnus brushed him off, making it all the more important that he prove his value. Returning to his work, Magnus had decided that what makes people unreliable is their tendency to make mistakes. Therefore, people cannot be relied upon. As such, robots were his answer.
The DOD had hired him to create a smart robot that could be used in search and rescue missions too dangerous for human beings. That was Project: Metal Men. Thanks to his work on the Responsometer, he was able to build six robots, each equipped with the powerful device, that allowed advanced thought. He did this by placing the devices into vats of different molten metal, and an electronic signal bonded the device to its metal. In doing so, the metal would be manipulable, atom by atom, to suit any situation.
Soon, each of the robots had been formed, developing their own personalities and humanoid forms almost instantly. Magnus' plan had worked - much faster than expected. At first, the robots didn't realize that he wasn't one of them, but soon he introduced himself, and tried to assert his command controls over them. Unfortunately, along with their unique forms and personalities, they had developed completely free wills as well. Though the anomalies were unexpected, they were not necessarily unwelcome to Will, anyway.
Suddenly, an explosion blasted a hole through the door, and the Secretary of Defense stepped through the wreckage, insisting on being allowed to see Magnus' progress. Naturally, he was pleased to see the Metal Men functional. To Will's surprise, though, they had all changed their shape to appear less dynamic. When they learned that they were intended for assassination missions, though, they abandoned the façade and made an escape, angry that their creator would let that happen, despite his own displeasure with the plan.
Magnus explains to Victor that he failed in his mission, creating robots who were able to think too independently. He went searching for them in order to get their Responsometers back, to fix them, while the government conducted its own search. While he was gone, though, someone stole his prototype Responsometer, and dropped it into a vat of hazardous waste. After a fruitless search, Magnus returned to his apartment and was surprised to discover that they had found their way there, and disguised themselves as household objects. He begged them to come out of hiding, promising he wouldn't turn them in. They aren't keen on his plans for fixing them, but he does promise never to make them go on missions like the government had planned for them earlier that day.
Suddenly, a massive blast of chemical waste melted away the wall of Will's apartment, revealing a several story tall creature made up of the stuff. Whoever had stolen his prototype had made this thing and sent it to kill him. Finally, the Metal Men's instincts began to kick in, and, acting in accordance with their programming, they saved their creator's life. Then, they began braving the corrosive properties of toxic waste to seek out and rescue every innocent in the monster's path. Once everyone was safe, they acted in accordance with their second programming principle: to neutralize the threat. Unfortunately, that meant sacrificing themselves by leaping into the chemical sludge. Before jumping in as well, Platinum explained that this was what he had designed them to do - to go where he could not. Will had to watch as his creations let their metals fuse with the toxins and render them inert. Following the chemical reaction, there was nothing left of them.
Magnus explains that the problem with the Metal Men wasn't that they wanted to subjugate humanity - it was that they wanted to be human. They wanted to have real lives, and they were destroyed because he failed to account for that. Vic responds that Magnus is wrong. The Metal Men's Responsometers are still humming with life. While their bodies were dissolved, their minds and hearts are still alive within. The truth is that Magnus just doesn't want to lose them again. Vic reminds that the Metal Men were made to save people, and with the Justice Leagues gone, he needs them to do just that. He points out that as much as Will might not want to let them sacrifice themselves all over again, they might say otherwise. Admitting to himself that Vic is right, Will grabs a Responsometer up in his hand, and agrees that it's time to save everyone they can.
- This book was first published on February 19, 2014.
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