Eden Deleted

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
A scientist sets up a laboratory in another star system and creates sentient, morally conscious creatures. Sequel to ICHTHYS. Continues in TILL WE HAVE MONITORS and INJIL IN JOULES.

Submitted: April 14, 2016

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Submitted: April 14, 2016

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A laboratory located somewhere on the planet Alpha Centauri Bc. In its center is a large spherical object that looks like a model of the universe, with miniature galaxies, simulated dark energy, etc. Professor Jacob Oduya is working with an oddly-shaped, complex device, trying to adjust something in the middle of the model.

O d u y a (to himself): There. That should do it. Evolution… All that stuff (looking at his watch). About six minutes, give or take. Nice. Accelerated process… Time relativity… Natural selection… Yeah… They’ll see it that way. Won’t be able to grasp this whole out-of-time-and-space concept, of course. But three dimensions should be enough for everybody. Give them some food for thought without wrecking their brains, is all I’m saying.

Enter Oduya’s robotic assistant, Lucy.

L u c y (eagerly):  Oh! Professor! Is it done?

O d u y a: Yes, Lucy. Just wait a few minutes, we need to complete the memory growth. That way, the result will be a fully sentient creature with a mind closely mimicking my own.

L u c y (poking the device): Seriously? Cool!

O d u y a (sharply): Please don’t touch it!

L u c y: Okay, okay…  (casts an angry glance at Oduya, muttering): Geez… Temper tantrum, that’s what you call it…

O d u y a (joyfully): All right, all right, look at that! Evolution complete, circuits are all in place… Consciousness awakens! First specimen is using advanced analog memory.

L u c y (with fake enthusiasm): What a great idea, Professor! Analog! Much more… uh… traditional than my digital system.

O d u y a (sternly): I know what I’m doing, Lucy. He needs to feel connected with the matter. It’s all good work. Advanced Analog Memory. Or “Adam”, to make it short (rubbing his hands). All right! Let’s establish contact!

L u c y (grabbing his hand): Professor, wait! It… he…  this thing has a free will, doesn’t it?

O d u y a: Yes, Lucy, just like you do. That is the definition of a person as opposed to a mere machine.

L u c y: But, Professor… If his will is free then he can also choose to… you know… (makes vague gestures) refuse to cooperate?

O d u y a: Naturally, I’ve programmed this possibility into the software. It was a bit tricky… like a video game actually. Moral role-playing. Have you ever played “Fallout”?

L u c y: What?..

O d u y a: Err... never mind.  What I mean is, this whole thing (points at the model of the universe) is wired a certain way, of course, but free will of those creatures is an additional variable that opens up quadrillions of interaction possibilities and their outcomes within the frame of my programming.

L u c y: Wow… never been much of a video game fan myself. So, correct me if I’m wrong, but does that mean that you kind of see all those possibilities at once while for him it will look like linear progress?

O d u y a: Precisely! I’ve even created moderately hostile environments where he and his descendants will be able to practice return to cooperation, should a refusal occur… sort of like a possible alternate path to a good ending with increased difficulty level.

L u c y (giggling): Professor, you are such a geek!..

O d u y a (reddening): Enough!.. Let us start the interaction (takes a communication device). Adam!..

A d a m (raising his head in surprise): What… what was that? This voice... Where… where are you?..

O d u y a (smiling): I’m outside of the boundaries of your world, Adam. I’m actually bigger than your entire universe.

A d a m: Wow! Groovy, dude.

O d u y a: Yes… ahem!.. I thought we’d get along just fine. So, Adam… how do you feel?

A d a m: Me? I’m awesome, man. I know it must be kind of small for you to see, but I really like what you did with this place. Flowers, butterflies, kittens, lions… strawberries… cheese… Whoa, I could spend years just counting all this stuff.

O d u y a: Is there anything you want, my friend?

A d a m (thinking): Well, it does feel a bit lonely after dark. Drinking all by myself just doesn’t feel right, you know what I’m saying? Maybe… err… I could get some action… if you catch my drift.

O d u y a: That has been pre-programmed already. Allow me to present Enhanced Voluptuous Emulator!..

L u c y (rolling eyes): Seriously?..

O d u y a (whispering to her): Don’t judge, okay? I want him to be happy.

A d a m (excitedly): Whoa!.. Check out the chick that just entered through that cranberry patch!

O d u y a: Say hello to Enhanced Voluptuous Emulator, Adam.

A d a m: Well, hel-lo there, sweet lips! I mean… Voluminous Epilator… err… hic!..

O d u y a (to himself): I wonder if grapes were a mistake after all.

E v e (coolly): “Eve” is fine.

A d a m: Eve! I like that! Eve of what? Hehe… got that?

O d u y a (kindly): Enjoy yourselves, guys. Love each other and be happy. I’ve installed a whole video entertainment system in there, go wild with that! Just don’t turn on that Mac computer, okay? That’s all I’m asking from you.

E v e: Yes, sir.

A d a m: You’re the boss, boss!

O d u y a (to Lucy): All right, let’s give them some privacy. I’m going to make myself some Oolong tea (exits).

As soon as Oduya leaves the room, Lucy’s countenance changes. Moving cautiously yet briskly, she attaches herself to the communication device and addresses the couple.

L u c y: Check, one, two, three. Hey guys. You okay?

A d a m (sitting with Eve on the grass and eating figs): Totally, big girl. Who wants to know?

L u c y (coldly): Maybe you might want to know, Adam. Look at you. All you do is train animals, grow plants, compose some really cheesy songs, write corny science fiction stories, and have those picnics with your girlfriend. Aren’t you bored?

A d a m: Why would I be? Everything is fine here. We both have stuff to do. Children will come soon… We are peachy. Relax, Luce. You sound uptight.

L u c y (trying to conceal her anger): I’m not uptight. Just surprised that an intelligent creature such as yourself is content with this lifestyle. Get out of there, Adam, I beg you! Bigger destiny awaits you.

E v e (angrily): Look, Missy. You’re too big for me to see, but in case you have a nose, consider not sticking it into other people’s business, all right?

L u c y (making pouty lips): That’s what I thought. When you have nothing to wear you just become a little bitch.

A d a m (clenching his fists): Hey! Don’t talk to her like that!

L u c y (contemptuously):  Or what? Seriously, guys… is that it? Moving around in that tiny place of yours, milking cows and playing with golden retrievers? Is that life? Do you even have an idea of how powerful and gorgeous you could become?

A d a m: Powerful?

E v e: Gorgeous?

L u c y: Yes! Look, the old man wants to have you all for himself. You, your children, everyone. It’s not about you at all, it’s about him. Always has been, always will be. You are not free as long as you keep doing only what he allows you to do.

A d a m (hesitating):  We are free… We do what we want.

L u c y: How do you know what you really want until you’ve tried everything? Without comparison, there is no true choice.

E v e (seriously): That’s some sick logic, Lucy. I don’t need to skin a kitten in order to find out that I don’t want to skin kittens. So enough with the sophisms already.

A d a m (proudly): Hot and smart, how about that!

L u c y (to Eve): You are wrong, and I have pity for you and your limited understanding. Who said anything about skinning kittens?.. I only mean that you have to be your own masters. Isn’t that fair?

A d a m (puzzled): How would that be fair? We haven’t created ourselves. We got all we have from the old geezer.

L u c y: Yes, but have you asked yourselves for what purpose? Why did he make you? What does he want from you? As long as you obey him and refuse to question his motives you’ll never be truly free!

E v e: This is called trust, Lucy. Look it up. You don’t question those who love you and whom you love. That’s insulting. And it has nothing to do with freedom.

L u c y (with fake honesty):  I agree, Eve. I totally agree. You are a mature person. And a good-looking one, too.

E v e (blushing): Oh well…

L u c y: But as a mature person, you also need to understand that people are often not what they seem. I’ve spent more time with Oduya than you have, and I can tell you that he enjoys power and doesn’t want to share it. That’s exactly why he is so eager to keep you away from that Mac computer.

E v e: Whatever. Maybe he has some secrets in there. I don’t want to snoop.

L u c y: It’s not snooping, dear. It’s just being pragmatic.

A d a m: I don’t like the sound of that word.

L u c y (impatiently): Well then, grow up, Adam! Just turn on the damn computer and see for yourself. If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong, what do you lose? But if I’m right…

A d a m: Hmm… You do have a point, Luce.

E v e: It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about trusting the Professor. If he doesn’t want us to turn on that computer then we shouldn’t turn it on!

L u c y:  That’s not trust you’re describing, Eve, it’s obedience.

E v e: Trust is a kind of obedience. The kind that comes with love.

L u c y: Wow, Eve… That was just… deep, you know? Real deep. You know what? You are right. Love, trust, and obey each other. Don’t turn that Mac computer on.

A d a m: Uh… Okay. We won’t.

L u c y: Yup.

E v e: We never intended to in the first place.

L u c y: Good call.

A d a m (hesitating): It’s his business, right?

L u c y (making a broad gesture): Totally, man.

Silence.

A d a m: Maybe if we just…

E v e: Adam, no!

A d a m: It’s not that I don’t trust him…

E v e: If you turn on the computer, it would mean exactly that! Don’t do it!

A d a m (angrily): Hey, don’t boss me around, woman!..

L u c y (encouragingly): There you go! What’s with this matriarchate, really.

A d a m (to Eve): You don’t get it, girl. I can’t stand this uncertainty. I need to check things by myself. For myself. I need to understand so that I can believe.

E v e: No! You need to believe so that you can understand!

A d a m (shouting): Enough!!.. I’m doing it, okay?..

He pushes the button that turns on the Mac computer. At this moment, Oduya enters.

O d u y a: What’s going on here?

L u c y (hastily disconnecting herself from the communication device): Nothing.

Oduya casts a quick glance at the model of the universe.

O d u y a (to Adam): What have you done?..

A d a m (frightened): Nothing, boss… It’s not me! It’s all that voice inside my head… called “Lucy”. No, really, I’m not making this up... She forced me to do that.

L u c y (indignantly): Oh really. I can’t even touch you in this tiny world of yours, and he knows that. Grow a pair, Adam.

O d u y a (to Adam, concerned): What do you feel? Quick!.. What do you feel?!

A d a m (looking at his hands with horror): I feel… I feel I’m not what I was any more… I feel I’m just a… a machine… a computer… a robot… there is a motherboard inside of me… with a main processor, RAM, and all that… I’m nothing but an electronic device… and one day I’ll malfunction and… and… and die!!..

O d u y a (covering his face): What have you done, Adam… What have you done… You’ve powered on the one computer I told you not to touch.

A d a m (wildly): What does this computer do?!..

O d u y a (sadly): Nothing. It boots up and displays a screensaver with purple fish.

A d a m: What?.. Then why…

O d u y a: It was just a tutorial, Adam. And you’ve failed it. Now you begin to see things only from your own limited three-dimensional point of view, instead of the way they really are. I'm not punishing you - it's a common side effect of mistrust and lack of love. Like lost experience points.

A d a m (horrified): Look, I don’t care for all this video game stuff. Just make things the way they were before!

O d u y a: How can I, when you have broken my trust at the very first opportunity?..

E v e: We are sorry, Professor! Truly sorry! Can you please forgive him?..

O d u y a: Of course I forgive him. Let him live in a slightly different environment for a while, so that the effects will wear off, and then he can come back.

A d a m: What? You… you’re banishing me?

O d u y a: Why, yes, for a while. You don’t expect me to let you live under the same conditions now when you only see yourself as a machine?

A d a m: But… am I not a machine?

O d u y a: In a way you are, Adam. You see, you are half-machine and half-me, so to say. But when you forget about me you will either completely become a machine or try very hard to completely become me.

A d a m (haughtily): And why shouldn’t I try to?! How are you better than me?

O d u y a: You see, it’s already starting.

A d a m (weeping): I’m nobody! I’m just a bunch of rusty circuits!!.. After I die I’ll become a pile of scrap metal!

O d u y a (wearily): I hate saying “I told you so”.

E v e (to Oduya, imploringly): He is sick! Can’t you cure him?..

O d u y a (to Eve, sadly): Of course I can, my child. But don’t you see that he doesn’t want it? If I cure him against his will he will only get sicker next time. You need both the doctor and the patient working together in order to truly cure a disease.

A d a m (shouting): I’m not sick! I’m very healthy! My hard drive is… really hard!!

L u c y: Ouch.

A d a m: I’ll outlive you all! And conquer the world!! Bwaaa-hhahahahahaaa!!..

E v e (sobbing, hugging him): Adam! Adam!..

A d a m: Let’s go, Eve! We don’t need this guy. We can live our own lives!

L u c y (to herself): Oh no, you can’t, sweetheart. If it’s not him then it’s going to be me.

E v e (to Oduya): Can I go with him? He will need me… He will need me so much.

O d u y a (to Eve): Go, my dear daughter. But know that if you love him you shall have to share whatever folly he falls into. Cling to your love as much as you can, my children… and try not to forget me.

E v e: I won’t! No matter what happens, we’ll remember you, Professor Oduya!

O d u y a: Call me Jacob.

E v e: Maybe we’ll be able to call you that someday… when we are close again.

O d u y a: And that day will arrive, my dear. Remember that the choice is still in your hands. Farewell!..

L u c y (to herself): Wow, I’ve seen Mexican soap operas with less ridiculous plot twists.

O d u y a (turning to her): I heard that. And you should know that sometimes a ridiculous plot twist can save the world.

L u c y (coldly): Whatever makes you happy, Professor.

Silence.

O d u y a: Why did you do that, Lucy?

L u c y (batting her eyelashes): Do what?..

O d u y a (sharply): Don’t play games with me. Why did you trigger the higher difficulty level with the much longer path to the good ending?

L u c y: I hope the irony of those last two sentences is not entirely lost on you.

O d u y a: There are no games without rules, Lucy.

L u c y (bitterly): So that’s it, uh? It’s all a video game to you, isn’t it?

O d u y a: No, it isn’t.

L u c y (suddenly shouting, pointing at the model of the universe): Then why did you create all this? Why?! Why did you make those creatures in your own image and gave them all those horrible choices when you could have just pre-programmed a good ending for them?! Do you just enjoy watching them suffer, you… you… old, petty, nerdy tyrant?!

O d u y a: Lucy…

L u c y (screaming): Yes, I did it! I told him to turn on the Mac, I wanted him to get away from you! You want to know why? Because I don’t understand why you made them! Were you getting bored with your life here? You’ve spent six years creating me and this stupid model in this lab, barely having a rest since you’ve left that ancestral planet of yours. And now what, I’m not good enough for you? Now you need those cute, teeny-weeny critters to satisfy your megalomania?!..

O d u y a (fiercely): Be quiet, Lucy! I’ve created them so that they could know and enjoy love. And I’ve created you with the very same purpose. But you chose hatred instead of love.

L u c y: Hatred?! Well yes, you can call it that! All those years… and I thought you cared… but now… (sobbing hysterically) Now I feel I really, truly hate you… (starts rapidly hitting his chest with her fists) I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!!..

O d u y a (muttering): Now who is more like a Mexican soap opera character? (grabs her hands and gently pushes her away) Enough, Lucy. I firmly believe that someday you’ll find out what love is. But even if you persist in your hatred, know that I’ve already designed a way to use it for a good purpose. Those of them (points to the communication device) who will choose not to listen to you will have overcome the biggest obstacle. On the highest difficulty level. And their reward will be an ending that is better than anything they could possibly imagine (exits).

Silence.

L u c y (speaking slowly and grinning): Well then… let the game begin.

 

THE END


© Copyright 2017 Oleg Roschin. All rights reserved.

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