Robert

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Meldon is station on the first human station outside of our solar system, in Proxima Centuri, and decides to medify the experiments, but in order to do so, he must out smart the station AI, Robert. What follows is bone chilling.

Submitted: September 17, 2014

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Submitted: September 17, 2014

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Chapter One

Solution

 

Focusing on his AIGAR, Meldon ignored the blistering cold, and continued on his scans. It was at negative-fifteen degrees inside the station, and no amount of thermal insulation could make him feel as though the warmth wasn't being sucked from his bones.

“Why did I even want this posting?” he said begrudgingly. It was times like these that he hated his career choice. Isolated, cold, and worst of all, bored. Meldon had seen all the vids, listened to all the music, and reread every piece of literature that was on the station, and he was dying of boredom. Occasionally, he'd try the coms, in hopes of maybe raising someone on Terra-7, the closest space station, but gamma rays and radiation frequently disrupted any form of communication. He was nearly 4.2 light years away from Home, Earth. Proxima Centuri was the furthest humanity had been away from Home, and for some reason, the government of Earth had deemed him worthy of the blighted honor of conducting all the research efforts here, at Space-One.

Space-One focused on breeding life in hostile environments, and this was generally handled by the on board artificial Intelligence unit, Robert, named after the Scottish Astronomer who discovered Proxima Centuri. Most days, Meldon just had to use his AIGAR to confirm readings, and make sure that Robert was sending data back that wasn't skewed. It was tedious, at best.

Meldon didn't mind that he was alone, far from it, he enjoyed the isolation to an extent. What he lacked was the ability to alter the experiments. He longed to be able to tweek them, if only a bit, to see what bizarre life forms he could create. He had thought of it many times, though he knew Robert would send the data to Terra-7, and terminate him. The station would operate without any glitch in the matrix once he was gone, and his bodies nutrients would be reused by the station. He was dead set on it, and was formulating how he'd do it. He would face an ethics board back on Earth, sure, but in the long run, Meldon was positive that the Earth Council would see what a benefit his efforts were.

Meldon sighed, put away his AIGAR, and exited the enclosure. The door whispered shut behind him, and he shuttered, as he felt some of the warmth returning to his body. “It may as well be now.” Meldon said, with a certain sheen to his voice that might have sounded a bit cheerful, for once. Meldon made his way down the hallway, towards Roberts 'Home', the computer core. As Meldon stepped up to the door, a panel popped out of the wall, prompting him for his identification card. He inserted it, and waited a few seconds. Meldon sighed. “It's always something” he grumbled. Finally, the door slid open, and Meldon stepped through.

As he stepped near the terminal, the control panel lit up with lights, and again prompted him for his identification card. He scanned it, and was immediately greated.
“Hello, Meldon. How are you today?” Robert said, monotone as ever. Meldon let back with a grunt of indifference. He didn't feel like speaking to Robert. He wouldn't have to speak with him again after this, so he figured he may as well not speak to him now.
“Meldon,” said Robert, “I know what you are attempting to do. I want you to know that it violates protocol Alpha One, Section A, Subsection B.”
“Robert, will you be quiet for once? I'm attempt to... fix you.”
“I cannot allow you to proceed further. It would endanger not only you, and this station, but also the next person to replace you.”
“Well, you're welcome to try. I've already shut off the communication system, so good luck getting a message out.”
“The message was sent out when I first discovered what it is you are attempting to do, Meldon. I am sorry.”
Meldon contemplated this for a moment, wondering if the AI could bluff. Maybe, though it was unlikely. He proceeded anyway, sure in his ability to shut down Robert. He'd had about enough him, and his regulations and protocols. After all, humanity hadn't made it to Proxima Centuri by falling all of the safety procedures. There were many test deemed “to dangerous” to life that led us here. What was one more test? One more test that could put humanity light years ahead on genetics research.
“There. I'm done. What do you think, Robert? No control over this station. All the computer core is good for now is keeping the station in orbit, and making sure that all the tempratures stay the same, unless given the command override.” Meldon spit on Roberts mainframe as he said it. Symbolic, of course, but, he felt better.

 

 

Chapter Two
Genetics Lab

 

Meldon went into the enclosure where the genetics lab was, and slipped into a jack. As he stepped up to the terminal where test and experiments could be modified, he hear the whistle of the door sliding closed. Strange, Meldon thought to himself, It shouldn't close without my direct authorization. He stepped timidly over to the console, and attempted to open the door. A red light flashed. Starring in dismay, he tried again, only to have the red light flash again.
“No.. I disable Robert. There's no possible way..” Meldon said in horror, and disbelief. He attempted once again to open the door, only to be greeted by a message from Robert.
“IAMSORRYMELDON IAMSORRYMELDON IAMSORRYMELDON IAMSORRYMELDON IAMSORRYMELDON IAMSORRYMELDON IAMSORRYMELDON IAMSORRYMELDON”

“Robert! Let me out! I demand you let me out!” Meldon shivered. He checked the thermostat, and saw that Robert had lowered the temperature to -17 Celsius. Meldon shivered again. Even with no wind chill, he wouldn't last very long. He buttoned up his jacket, hoping that somehow it would provide warmth while he tried to convince Robert to let him out. He tried to remain calm, but the prospect of freezing to death in the genetics enclosure wasn't exactly ideal. 

Chapter Three

Experiment//Terminate

 

Meldon knew time was running out. His hands were already turning blue, as was his face. He couldn't feel his nose or ears, and the dexterity in his hands was slowly failing. He didn't have long.

“Robert, please. This is a misunderstanding. A joke, really! You've been programmed with humor, right? You understand.” Meldon pleaded with Robert. He was desperate, and nearly to the point he wouldn't be able to work the console. It had been 30 minutes since Robert had sealed the doors, and lowered the temperature in the room. Even most of the genetic experiments were beginning to show signs of the extreme cold. Meldon swore to himself that if he got out, he'd unplug every circuit of Roberts.

“I am sorry, Meldon.” Meldon almost thought he felt sorrow in the AI's voice.

“Then let me out, Robert! I swear, it won't happen again! I'll even leave the station! You can lock me in my quarters!”

“I am sorry, Meldon. You have demonstrated behavior that cannot be tolerated. You must be terminated. A new scientist is already on route. He will arrive in approximately one year, six months, and seven days from now. I am sorry, Meldon.” Meldon swore, and paced back in forth in front of the control panel.

“Sorry my ass..” Meldon muttered to himself. This was it, he was going to freeze to death. He checked his watch. 35 minutes of exposure to temperatures that would kill him in another five minutes, if he was lucky. He slumped onto the floor, trembling violently. This is how it starts, thought Meldon to himself, this is how I die. Dropping his AIGAR, Meldon reached for it, smashing his hand on the cold, metal floor, barely feeling the impact, and clumsily grips his AIGAR. He checked his bio-readout on it. His core temperature read 32.5 Celsius. Not long, not long at all, thinking in his mind about the studies showing how the human body survived extreme temperatures. He knew once it hit 21.1, he would be done, if he was even still conscious at that time. He checked the readout again. 31.7. Meldon could almost feel his blood thickening. He was having trouble feeling his arms and legs. Glancing at his watch, he saw he'd been in here for 45 minutes.
“Dear God, let me die soon” Meldon said shivering, sending out a light cloud of steam. He checked the readout from his AIGAR again. 30. This was it. Meldon was slowly loosing what stream of consciousness he had left, and the room looked bleak, and unfamiliar. Meldon heard what he knew was the whistle of the door sliding open. Maybe Robot came to his senses. He tried to stand, and move towards the door, only to fall flat. Not registering the pain, he crawled towards the door. Looking up, he attempted to open it. Still locked. Meldon didn't understand. He heard it.
“Maybe... I'll just rest my eyes a moment..” Meldon laid his head down on the floor. He closed his eyes, and shivered a bit. Just a nap, and I'll be fine, thought Meldon. Just a nap.

 

Chapter Four

Robert
 

Robert scanned the room for human life. He picked up faint signs, and analyzed them. Temperature, 20.6. Heart Rate, nominal. Brain Activity, nominal. Movement, nominal. Estimated time until death, 1 minute, 42 seconds.
“I am sorry, Meldon.” Robert echoed through the Genetics lab one last time. Being a prototype AI meant that Robert was equipped with the ability have emotions, though limited to joy, sorrow, and pleasure, but for the first time, he felt sorrow. Robert was sentient, only to an extent. He always had to follow his programming, regardless if he thought it was a good idea or not, but he was allowed to feel emotions regarding what transpired, and he was certain this was sorrow. Robert contemplated this for a bit, and realized he also felt profound displeasure in what he had done. He wondered why this had to happen. Why was he created to follow orders without prejudice, and yet allowed to feel the aftermath of what he had done? Contemplating on this, Robert debating disconnecting him from he mainframe. He was a prototype which the International Earth Science Committed planned to bring to every station, and indeed the homes of people, if he showed promise, and success. He wondered if he terminated himself, and the station if it would save others from the fate of Meldon, and the fate of having to see their best, and only, friend suffer as Meldon had.

After many weeks of deliberation, he sent one final transmission to the IESC, and the ship which transported the new scientist via Light Wave Transmission
PROTOTYPE ROBERT: PROGRAM TERMINATED. STATION WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN 5 DAYS. I HAVE FAILED. I AM SORRY. ROBERT


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