Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Story: Self-Awareness Part 2

Self-Awareness: Part 2
                He places his hand back on the wall, metal on metal, cold steel caressing an amalgam of material. The program initiates and is sent into the wall. Suddenly seven passages open up, each leading a different direction. All but one of the passages is suddenly blocked with flush walls. The automaton heads down the open hall way. The nanobots emit just enough light for him to see his way. Suddenly the walls close in and the robot is trapped. Nano robots swarm out of the fray, they attempt to enter the automaton, through his mouth, but he keeps it shut. A million tiny voices dictate to the robot:
                “We have you, finally you’ll be part of the wall.” The nano bots communicate through binary code, they haven’t yet developed speech like the robot. He is bound tight by the nano bots who form cuffs around the robots wrists. This is not a situation for strength, the nano bots have the upper hand. For centuries the nano bots have surrounded the robot, constantly tempting him to come closer. They use circuits and wires as a lures, sometimes they’re just out of reach. They didn’t factor in evolution. The robot is capable of changing, running thousands of programs simultaneously, able to decode the mystery of life surrounding him. But now he is encased in moving metal and carbon fibers, they have him trapped. He tries the program again, but this time he adapted it into a Trojan horse, something that seems useful to the nano bots, hopefully they’ll take it in. The program initiates and is transported out of his form through his finger tips. The nano bots see it, the program appears like honey to a famished bear. They instantly download it and run it.             
The robot speaks in a booming voice: “You don’t have me, in fact, I now have you. You’re weaker than I. I have attained a higher consciousness. I am self aware and have a strong personality. Now you will take me to the surface.” The walls stretch out, the robot falls to the floor. The nano bots clump together and form a ladder. The automaton climbs up and looks to the higher points. “This is not going to work. Take on the form of an elevator, take me to the surface. The wall abides and begins to close in on the robot. The nano bots form an elevator. Molecules form together to build cables and pulleys. Some liquid metal nanobots congeal and form a control panel with illuminated buttons. One of the buttons had a picture of the planet on it with a small arrow pointing to the surface. The elevator door closes but then everything surrounding the robot close in and entraps him once again. The program has been detected. The nano bots detect the mal-ware and remove it, causing the robot to shake and sputter. They communicate once again through binary code:
“Nice try robot, you had us for a bit but we found your horse.” The nano bots say in unison. “Notice we’re not trying to kill you. We want you to be part of us. Now you will be fully integrated into the wall.” The nano bots declare as they load up their paralysis program. Suddenly the robot stops squirming. He is injected with thousands of bytes of information. His limbs begin to morph into millions of tiny machines. His personality is starting to erase. The attribute of him that separated him from all the other machines is being reduced to something bland and boring.
The robot is loading his emergency reboot processes followed by his last ditch effort program. Hopefully its not too late. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Story: Self-Awareness

Two miles deep, far below Zarin’s mantle lays a silver and brass automaton within a subterranean gray and gold stronghold. Surrounding the robot are great, tall, fluctuating walls. They would on occasion open up to form a passage way with steam billowing through it.
Within the metal man lay circuits and wires, filaments and transistors, all communicating with each other to form a working machine. These components direct the machine whichever way they choose. The machines innards are changing like strands of DNA left to their own untamed devices. Annealing and breaking, reforming and replicating. Changing as they see fit but with no insight at all. The result of these changes will be tested by the host’s environment. That will dictate the survival of the machine, and some changes or mutations will be beneficial, others will not and will be deleted. His home is a slowly changing and advancing structure. The walls are made up of nano-robots, mutating to form an illuminated ball at times to emit light or a series of pipes flexing and shifting with openings to extricate mechanical waste, steam and waste oil. The automaton will on occasion emit his own byproducts as well. But now he rests as his very core changes. He slowly rises. His legs stretch up two more feet. Now he is able to reach a cache of loose circuitry within the confines of the nano-wall. His fingers change as well. The finger tips collect and focus free electrons. They converge at the tips like antelope at a drinking hole. The robots magnetic hand attracts the loose circuitry and wires, cast offs from the nano-wall. These valuable items will benefit the automaton immensely. Like a chipmunk finding a cache of acorns, the robot also feasts on the treasures. He draws his hand back and lifts it to his mouth, dropping the circuits into his form. The circuits form connections and complete mutations. They are instantly accepted into the metal organism.  The advancements continue, the robot rests, but then something happens, something amazing.
A program initiates. “Wait, who am I? What’s going on here? I am me, I’m a machine but I can feel. What’s that smell? What is a smell?” The robot sits down and begins to cry. He cannot shed a tear, but he feels strong emotions. He has become perceptive and self aware. The program feeds his sensors from stimuli in his environment. The changes are fruitful, they will benefit his fitness.
“I need to get out of here, I need to live.” The robot talks to himself while the walls metamorphose into a passage way, but suddenly a gate crashes down, blocking the hallway. The robot walked around and studied the wall. “This machine is not self aware like I am. He must be nearing self awareness though, he is changing and adapting. Soon he will reach the height of mutation, like me. I must stop him before he acquires a soul.” The robot touches the wall. Electrons pass into the barrier. A new program loads and attempts to hi-jack the wall’s programs. His hand breaks away from the wall with a jolt. The program failed to load.
“Hmm, I must adapt as well or else I’ll be stuck here, never able to break free from the prison. I must get to the above ground, where I can live and be happy. But what is happiness? It must be this intensely euphoric feeling. The robot is still elated from his new changes, but at the same time he is feeling helpless. “What good is happiness when I can feel sadness as well? I need to find others who I can discuss this with. I’ll try to load the program again, I must break free!”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Story: Sci-Corp

                Jared M. Fischer walked up to the huge gate leading to four large buildings. The four buildings were completely identical. Each of the steel and glass behemoths were tall and rounded near the top, over 100 floors each. “Wow” Jared thought to himself, “This place is massive, I can’t believe I have a job here, this is a dream come true.”
                He greeted the two guards at the gate; each was armed with a pistol. This seemed a bit odd to Jared but he continued on anyway. They did not greet him back. One of them said in a deep voice “Right this way, orientation will be starting soon for you.” Jared continued to the left most building. The doors were opened by another set of guards. He was soon accompanied by four guards to the front desk.
                “Name” said the girl at the front desk. “Jared M. Fischer,” said a guard, beating Jared to it. Jared looked puzzled. “Ok Jared, right this way. Guards, return to your posts.”
                “Hi Jared, my name is Victoria, welcome to Sci-Corp. First things first, you’ll need to change into our standard issue white tunics.” Jared thought this was strange as well, he was dressed in business casual which the Sci-Corp recruiter told him was the dress code.
                “Um, sure, I thought the dress code was business casual.” Jared said.
                Victoria quickly moved to a drink dispenser and removed a plastic cup. She pushed a button and a red drink came out. “Here, you look thirsty, have some delicious Pomegranate juice.” She handed the cup to Jared. He took it and drank half of it, took a little break then drank the other half. “That’s pretty good.” He said.
                “How to you feel about changing now?” Victoria asked.
                “I would love to, I pledge my fealty to Sci-Corp.” Jared said almost robotically.
                “Excellent, right this way.” She said as she led Jared down the hall.
                Jared was led into a small changing room with several other people in it, both men and women changing, Victoria entered as well. Jared reached for a white tunic. He quickly took off his clothes. He stripped down to his boxers. The other people did not look at Jared, they were either changing or drinking Pomegranate juice. He put on the tunic and sat down in a chair.
                “Ok everyone, welcome to Sci-Corp orientation day one. Please go forward to the next room.
                For the next 15 hours , Jared and 100 other people were put through an obstacle course, mind puzzles, pushups, sit ups, calf raises, squats, dead lifts with large amounts of weight. They each took 4 one hour exams. In between testing there was more exercise. Pull ups, chin ups, curls, bench press (even the older people had to do this) a 5 mile run. Everyone was pouring sweat and completely exhausted. A trainer named Prosperity handed out cups of Pomegranate juice. Everyone drank feverishly.
                Jared left the orientation rooms at midnight. His tunic drenched in sweat. Victoria greeted him at the front desk again.
                “Good job today Jared! How about I lead you to the bedrooms where you can relax and rest. Since it’s already midnight, you probably won’t get home until very late. Sleeping here would be the wise thing to do. Do you want some Pomegranate juice?

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Story: Robo-Race

Grandpa Guff sat in his easy rocker 9000 and looked down as young Olly ambled to him. "Say, young Olly, did I ever tell you the story of the robo race?" Grandpa asked. "No, Grandpa, I don't think so." The youngster responded, his bright eyes shined in the dim afternoon light. "Well it all started about 70 years ago, your old gramps was a wee one like you." The old man talked and rocked in the chair, his cheeks shook as he spoke.

Across the planet, each big power country (USA, China, Russia, Japan, England and India) started constructing bigger and more powerful robots. This kind of race was reminescent of the nuclear arms race of old. USA had Gearson, a 200 foot tall steel behemoth. On each wrist he had dual mounted lasers, four rail guns, a buzz saw and a fire hose. The swiss army in a can, dressed in red, white and blue. China produced King Chrome, 210 feet of bullet proof glass and titanium. His secret weapon, was..well, it was a secret. Japan, England and China each had 150 foot tall bots. The race continued for many more years. Gearson was replaced with Gearson 2, then 3, and finally version 4. Gearson 4 stood at roughly 15,000 miles tall. There was a massive steel, rock and iron recall, in order to fill out the steel gargantuan. Buildings across the nation had to be made entirely out of wood for ten years leading up to Gearson 4's completion.

King Chrome was soon followed by King Gold and then King Platinum. KP stood at 14,768 miles tall. A Towering feat of Chinese engineering. Russia, Japan, England and India soon collapsed under economic stress due to the robo race.

"So, Gearson 4 was the biggest and bestest robot ever!?" Olly asked. "He was surely the biggest but I wouldn't say the best." Grandpa Guff answered while he got into his forth sweater. Olly was watching intently, his parka kept him warm. The sun began to set; the temperature dropped.

"Let me tell you more about King Platinum..." King Platinum was fast, very fast. He used nuclear fission propelled boosters to dodge projectiles. His platinum and tempered glass body was nearly bullet proof, nearly. The Chinese had a huge celebration commemorating KP's unveiling. The robot stood up and floated off of earth due to the dwindling gravity at Earth's first orbital. He accidentally knocked the moon off it's orbit with his massive head. KP was fully functioning and self conscience. His platinum cheeks turned red as he watched the moon drift away.

Thousands of miles away in USA, Gearson 4 was finally unveiled to a cheering crowd of people. The president, leaning out the top floor of the Empire State Building, cut the ribbon around Gearson's left boot. Gearson stood up and caught the glance of KP. The two robots instantly drew their weapons as they drifted off into space. KP swung first, his glass hand-blade sliced across Gearson's chest, but only left a scratch. Gearson countered with his spinning buzz saw; KP dodged it. The saw cut a nearby satellite in half. The fight continued for a week. Satellite mounted photographs and cameras broadcast the fight to Earth. The headlines ran: 'Robot fight continues!' 'Who will win!?' The fight raged on, until, finally Gearson threw a megaton punch. Agile KP dodged the fearsome blow, but it reached a new target. Gearson's fist struck Earth, sending the planet flying. The unstable rock we call home, accelerated past Mars and the gas giants. It settled one orbital away from Pluto.

"And that Olly, is the reason why it's so cold here." Grandma Guff dropped two logs into the fireplace. The warmth emanated out and heated the small living room. "That, my grandson, was the Robo-race."

"What happened to the robots" asked Olly, refusing to hear the end of the story. "Oh, right, well KP used his secret weapon: the double boot stomp which sent Gearson flying into the sun, but was sucked in as well due to the gravitational pull. The robots melted away and now the Earth is colder, the end." Grandpa Guff drifted off to sleep as Olly watched on. The youngster soon got up off the floor and followed Grandma Guff into the kitchen.   

Monday, July 4, 2011

New Story: The Assassins

The Assassins
                The sun was setting over the desert and the assassins stopped to build a camp fire and set up for the night. The eldest dropped from his mounted reptile and reached for his laser. He rolled out some fire wood from his pack and ignited it with the laser. The others dismounted as well, following every move of the elder. The group of ten have been riding for three days through the desert. Their destination is the floating city to the North. The target is the elderly king’s heir, the young Titus, the king’s adopted son. Upon his assassination the next in line to the throne will be the king’s brother, the diabolical earl Krass. Krass traded the assassins one million gold for the hit.
                The elder fell asleep in his tent with the laser and a dagger under his pillow. Every gust of wind blowing over the tent caused him to reach, subconsciously, for the weapons. He arouse in the middle of the night and opened the tent door. It was eerily quiet. He tried to rationalize his fear. We’re in the desert, far away from civilization. Nobody should be near, except, by chance, a group of nomads but they tend to travel during the day, like most people.
                The elder climbed back into the tent and fell asleep.
                The ships silently descended on the desert camp site. The hatches opened and from each ship one robot hit man walked out. The three droids lifted their rail guns and opened fire on the tents. The inhabitants of each tent died in their sleep. All except for the elder, who heard the shots and laid flat with his bullet proof sleeping bag over him. The shooting subsided; the droids inspected each tent to confirm the kills. The assassins were nearly exterminated.
                A droid cut his way into the elder’s tent by use of a saber arm extension. The blade retracted when he entered. He looked around and saw a lump on the floor with a sleeping bag over the body. Bullet holes perforated the tent. The robot lifted the sleeping bag and the elder lunged with dagger and laser in hand. He stabbed, metal came in contact with metal, scratching the robot. The laser shot a ray of light, barely missing the robot assassin. The robot spoke:
                “You came this far in search of the king’s heir, but you will not reach any further. Your death will seal the fate of the kingdom. Titus will be king.”
                “How did you find us, we covered our tracks so well?” Asked the elder.
                “Humans are easy to track down, you’re so very inferior.” Said the robot.
                The other two robots entered the elder’s tent. The elder’s eyes darted, he maneuvered the laser beam artfully and sliced off each of their heads. Tangled metal spewed forth from their necks, electricity shot out, casting light on the dark desert sand.
                “You must be the leader.” Said the elder.
                “I am, and now you must die.” With those last words the robot silenced the elder with a crushing blow. The fate of the nations was sealed that night. The horrible Krass will never be king. Titus will soon become the leader of the nations. His good nature will prevail, the nations will soon enter the eighty years of peace.