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Entries in Science Fiction (2)

Saturday
Apr162011

Free Short Story: Karma Bot by Elton Gahr

I find the idea of the singularity generally interesting, and while these stories can be huge and epic ideas this is not one of those. I simply had a quick idea of what might happenen if someone transfered their mind into a robot at a more personal level.

Karma Bot

By

Elton Gahr

 

“I am sorry, Madam, but your husband is dead,” the lawyer said. He did not seem all that upset by the statement.  The smirk on his face even suggested he was enjoying it and the woman want to slap him.

The woman looked across the table at the seven foot tall robot and said, “That is my husband.”

“Not legally. Legally that is a robot which was owned by your husband and programmed through a procedure which allowed it to keep intact the memory and personality of your husband, but it is not your husband.  Your husband is dead.”

“And his will?” the woman asked, though she knew already.

“Leaves everything in a trust, to be managed by the robot,” the lawyer said.

“But if it’s not my husband isn’t it just a computer?” the woman said.

“The courts have already been contacted. It has proven an ability to take care of itself and so has been conditionally emancipated. I’m sorry madam, but you’re going to have to vacate the property. You are trespassing,” The Lawyer said.

The woman looked around the mansion which had once been her world and at the machine which had once been her husband and then turned and walked out with nothing but the shirt on her back.

The robot turned to the lawyer and said, “So, that’s it. I’m free. I can do anything I want.”

“More or less, as you know there are some limitations to the hardware. Touch, taste and smell are not installed yet, so don’t try eating anything. Of course you are also currently neuter due to those same limitations. Also the memory storage and CPU would need to be upgraded for your full capacity to be restored,” The Lawyer said.

“But that’s coming quickly,” the robot said.

“That’s the other small issue. The transfer cost a bit more than you planned. Which means, you have more debt than property. Also, the emancipation was conditional on money which allowed you to support yourself. Without that money you become nothing more than a machine. Which leaves the matter of my fee. According to the law, I am able to take position of property in return for my fee. I believe the house robot is of the correct value, so I will take position of that.”

 

 

Friday
Apr012011

Short Story: Goal!

I have been a bit behind on other posts so I decided to put up a piece of flash fiction I wrote a while back. I think this is an OK story, but not one I want to put more effort into perfecting.  If you like both science fiction and European Football then this story is for you. (I am not a Football expert, but get to the end before you criticize too much some of the oddness is intentional)

 

 

Goal!

By

Elton Gahr

 

The camera swooped over the soccer field focusing in on the keeper as it hovered fifteen feet over the perfectly manicured grass moving in perfect coordination with the other cameras, moving just enough to avoid them.

 

Zack flipped the ball sideways to his teammate, and slipped past the defender as it turned to follow the ball. His teammate could have shot and he knew the odds were higher of scoring that way, but Zack had insisted the ball be returned if this situation occurred, and the ball was passed back as unerringly as Zack had expected. It was precisely the same height as every time he had practiced this shot. Zack let his training take over rather than thinking it through turning and kicking the ball going to the ground as the ball hit the upper left corner of the net.

 

The crowd sat in silent shock as Zack jumped to his feet and began to bounce up and down in excitement, and as he bounced up and down the slow realization of what they had just seen rippled through the crowd which was beginning to erupt in excitement everyone cheering regardless of the team they had been cheering for before. Zack had done the impossible.

 

As the deafening noise from the crowd grew both teams returned silently and emotionlessly to their positions and the ball rose, hovered for a moment and then returned to the center of the field.

 

Zack fell behind his team as the exhaustion overwhelmed him. He had pushed himself to the limit, and the only thing that helped him reach the center of that field was the warm hand of Paul that patted him on his back. The man held the same position on the opposing team as Zack did on his, though he remained in the defensive position that most people played. At the same time that he patted him on the back the croud, which had began to quiet erupted in cheers again.

 

The score didn’t change immediately. Zack understood why. Hundreds of computers were now examining every camera angle of Zack’s attack looking for the rule he had broke in order to score. This was not because the computers cared , but only because they had been told what he had just done was impossible.

 

Play continued two full minutes before the point appeared on the scoreboard. Zack stopped in mid-play and pointed at the scoreboard. The game itself was meaningless. The changes over the last century had eliminated the meaning until there was only one thing of importance left in this sport. .

 

Zack had broken the unspoken rule. He wasn’t on the team to score goals and wasn’t supposed to. He was the necessary weak link. It was human error was what made the continuation of the games possible, because without them on robotic team was never better than the other.

 

The remainder of the game was uneventfully and Zack’s team lost 2-1. They had lost every game since he had become the team’s token human. No one cared. He had conquered the machines and beat the robots. For one second he had been better than the computer’s team, and that brief moment changed everything.