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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #1653823
Science Fiction with a twist

Percy Goodfellow
A source of power begins to run out.
WC 959

Once, in the distant past, there was a Robot World on a planet deep in the galaxy. The creators of the robots were stricken by a plague but before they died they put their bodies into a suspended state and sent an SOS to their home planet, a hundred light years away. They received a reply that help was on the way but not to expect it for a thousand years. The reverted to a state of suspended animation and to maintain their bodies for such a long period, they created a robot factory. In this factory the mature robots made new robots, as well as life globes. A life globe was constructed of an aluminum base for conductivity, some wires for routing the current and a fine tungsten filament which glowed brightly with life force, once it was activated by energy.

Each new bulb and each newly manufactured Robot had a service life and shared a common serial number. The bulbs were animated by energy from a dynamo and routed into a warehouse with long banks of connector strips into which the globes screwed. Once the bulb illuminated so did the awareness of the robot. The robots spent most of their time maintaining the facilities but when they had extra processing time, devoted it to making the complex a better place.

Now the energy that animated these amazing machines was an electrical force and as everybody knows such energy has a polarity. It can flow directly or alternate but has a definite positive and negative pole. The banks were connected to a super computer, which had a wireless connection to each robot. Once a replacement machine was created, a new bulb was twisted into the bank and energy from the dynamo, switched into it. As the bulb illuminated, awareness flowed from the big computer and into the micro computer brain of the newly constructed service unit.

The implied mission of the Robots was to keep the lights turned on, maintain the suspended animation and make any improvements necessary to cope with unanticipated developments. This last part they called making the world a “Better Place.” So every day the computer chugged away and the robots did their assigned duties. They early on became obsessed with this polarity issue. For reasons known only to them, they equated it with a concept of good and bad.

In order to reconcile this matter, one of the first problems they chose to address, on their own, was a definition of “Good.” This was because “Better” was an operative word in their mission statement. They defined good as a process of optimization. This was any action they took that improved matters over what they had to start with. This raised another questing regarding what an “Improvement” was. They reasoned that if they did nothing there would be an outcome and any action they took that fudged this outcome in their favor was an improvement. Simply put, that an improvement was a manifestation of good. They divided Good into three categories. The first they called “Plain Old Good,” which was any kind of enhancement. The second they called “Better” which was the comparison of two courses for achieving good, one of which was more optimizing than the other. Finally they came up with “Best,” which was the optimal solution given three or more options.

This is where the polarity issue reared its head. If good was a positive force, what was its negative corollary? Going back to the drawing board they reasoned that if good was an intervention which changed an outcome for the better, then bad, must be the opposite. That if the intervention made things worse than doing nothing, it was bad. This worked. It solved the polarity matter and they reprogrammed the main frame to incorporate the new understanding.

Now once the Robots understood what good and bad were they wanted to know more about their creators. They reasoned that since their creators made them the creators must be good. Further, that since their awareness was animated by the energy of light that it must be good too. However, if the light was good then where was the negative polarity? They answered the question by concluding that in the elements making up the globes and body parts, there was corruption and this corruption led to wear and tear and this was the reason a Robot had a service life and had to be replaced after the passage of a finite interval of time. They concluded that the light was good and had a positive polarity and the elements were bad and had a negative.

Now anyone reading this is going to realize the flaw in the Robot’s logic. The energy of the light had a polarity. It had a positive and negative pole. Further that the universe and the elements contain dark energy which also has a polarity. To say the light was positive and the elements were negative was sheer poppycock. The bodies of the creators were made of many of the same elements as the parts on the robots. The energy that animated both had properties that were positive and negative. The vessel that contained this energy had the same negative and positive attributes. The consequence of reprogramming the computer was disastrous. Without polarity, the energy created by the dynamo could not flow back to the storage source. Without polarity the elements lost adhesion and quickly deteriorated and the whole place fell apart.

An eon later when Christian missionaries discovered the ruins, they studied long and hard to determine what had happened. For the life of them, they could not figure out what caused the robot world to perish.

WC 959
© Copyright 2010 percy goodfellow (trebor at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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