Thursday, October 13, 2011

Old short story from 2005: 9-U

For anyone unclear, this story is about a scientist who develops an international AI weapons system for peace, and is now tormented by visions of Holocaust. I wrote it in 2005. After my intro to morals class. I edited it to 665 words for, but was rejected. (666 is the limit, haha.) I'm publishing it here. I guess it's not horror, but it's psychological horror. Gaze at my young sci-fi mind grappling with morality!
Happy Halloween!

The usual blasé smile of a workman faded away from Albertson’s face as the forklift began its sluggish ascent upward with a calm drone. The moments between his elevation always seemed to drag by slower than the whole of his life at work. It was during this time when he always sought to ponder his innermost thoughts. This time, he cherished deeply because his thoughts were even more his product than half the robots produced here in this steel alcove one now affectionately called the Albertson Installation. (Formerly designated only space station 9-U, United Nations.) It was true that his idea of mechanical warfare had become widespread, with only a few developing nations remaining to foster it…yet there was something shady about the concept. His concept, he felt, had been turned afoul by the world powers.
The sudden hiss of the air-compressed lock startled him as the forklift jolted to a stop and his mind returned to Earth. Staggering out towards his steel goliath with the potent reek of electronic fuel fresh in his nostrils, he turned to face a torrent of flashing digital cameras.
“Dr. Albertson!”
“A few questions, please!”
“Over here!”
Albertson collected himself and spread his hands wide to silence the barking of the press, while his zombified factory contently kept about in its forced slavery, crooning away with blissful ignorance. Gathering all the courage he was now capable of, and raising his vocals to the top of his lungs so as to mimic the sound of God Himself; he spoke.
“THIS IS THE FUTURE OF COMBAT!” He screamed. All,robots and homo sapiens alike, stood stunned and speechless at the sight they now beheld. Even Jacob, who had started quite a rant against the further humanization of warfare, was paralyzed with an almost divine sense of awareness as he stared eye to eye with his creation. No. The doctor reflected briefly upon the thought of the word eye. It never really had one. It was simply designed to appear outwardly human. Every “joint”, every “bone”, and every “muscle” of the machine was built precisely replicate the ideal Herculean war hero of humanity. The rest was all just an illusion! This was merely an enormous bulk of steel equipped with the latest in killing technology…built to look like something that we humans can easily, albeit falsely, conceptualize.
“Yes sir?” The troubled scientist’s voice cracked noticeably.
“Dr. Albertson,” The fat man barked as if he were hungry. “Many genetic ethicists claim that your program violates anti-cloning laws. How do you respond?”
Jacob’s retort was one worthy of a king renouncing his simple pages from the royal court. “If you will recall, gentlemen, that the United Nations has reviewed this claim many times over, and it is currently assembling a new amendment to previous cloning restrictions which will allow cloning to be used for reasons exclusively military,” he huffed defensively,“Furthermore, I think cells are no obstacle to protect all of the human race from the horrors of war. Forever and for certain.” Applause sounded from the box of pressmen surrounding the cage from which he spoke, even scattered gasps. A smirk cut into Albertson’s cold, weathered face. True, it was a dangerous statement. In particular, “for certain”, but then again, war crimes were often celebrated in parts of the world. His creation, global advanced combat AI, could get him an honor here, or hanged for heresy in the Third World. Would a machine know an innocent? No, he decided. It would not. It would only know the enemy. Just like us. He began to laugh hysterically as floods of war drowned his mind. Hitler. The My Lai Massacre. I have done absolutely nothing. He thought. I am both God and Satan…for nothing. He burst out with mad laughter as the machine grounded him to step off towards his clean, bright, plastic floor as if a welcome to his divine power.


  1. I didn't realize you wrote fiction!

  2. was a passing hobby. Unfortunately, very little of my fiction survives, on account of I'm my own worst critic. Though Star Trek is helping me get back into it. :-)