Hier findet ihr eine Geschichte von Eduard. Das spannende an dieser Geschichte? Sie ist noch nicht zu Ende!

In regelmäßigen Abständen werden WIR euch mit Fortsetzungen versorgen. Nun aber erstmal viel Spaß beim Schmökern!


“Nobody knows which secrets the high ones have. Not even their governing puppets.”

Chapter 1: Missions stop coming

Its not the first journey I make on the Swallowed Rocks”, the ship Im working on. Im just one of thousands of sailors, navigating through the dark void called universe”. We dont really have a point B for arrival; we neither have a point A as a start. We just see where, and also when, we meet other sailors and exchange information. Information is in this time the most precious treasure you can find so far away from home. We find information on stars, which are very rare, very small and radiate a weak blue light. I think neutron star is the right word for them. There you find 60 whole Yutta, about 936 trillion Petabyte information. They are made of condensed neutron plasma, which means, that they can store a lot of more information on much smaller space. We send this information, or 70% of what we have found on the star, to the so called Monopol” in exchange for food, new tools, news and big information. This is information about humans and their way of thinking and feeling. You should also know that sailors arent humans; they are reproducts, clones of humans that are rather similar to robots. In other words, we are machines made of living cells. We havent got feelings like happiness” or pain”, just an algorithm, sensors made of nerves and lots of software full with moral. We never get information about ourselves, our past, or our hardware. Were used as gathering tools, which are looking for truth about life” and happiness”.

 

On one day, we got the coordinates for the next mission. The only strange thing was that our navigation tools didnt detect any star in that region. There was a high frequency magnetic wave, but it was charged positive. Stars are charged negative.

Have a look at this!”, Frey called out, Monopol suddenly interrupted the message. No, it changes the coordinates! It starts deleting the message!”

That cant be. How would you delete a message sent with tachyons? These are tiny little particles, which travel faster than light in space time. How could they have been destroyed? And if it should be so, they couldnt find their way to our communication system. Youre just tired and cant think accurate.”

 

Youre right. It could also have been one of the lots of inter universes, which radiate the background radiation, which weve maybe captured as the main signal. But the receiver cant be controlled by these tachyons or by any other signals. It is an analogue machine, just memorizing information and receiving tachyons, so that it is impossible to delete the message from the mission protocol. Why was the message then deleted?”

I dont know but we have no time to think about it. Now, what are the new coordinates?”

663.74; 274.874; 1427.7789. Monopol is now at 552.74; 774.93; 2901.66637.”

Did you also remember the old ones? Just for protocol.”

234.747; 938. That was all I could see until it was interrupted.”

Thats funny! Can it be, that it goes on with 9385.52; 3462.95778? Thats the first coordinate in the system! We have received the coordinates from the past!”

 

After 5 hours space and time traveling in the double spinned positron-tachyon shield we finally reached the star MID253, the destination of the mission. It was one of the smallest neutron stars Ive ever seen. It had a weak, blue shine, but a very high quantum fluctuation at the poles. After weve connected our engines and decoders to the meridian for the energy transition, the computer started memorizing the quantum code of the matter. We started the procedure for the absorption of a neutron star. In this time, I had a strange result at the self analyze, which has to be protocolled every hour. I had something, that humans would call sadness”, but I dont know the cause for it. Maybe the analyze was affected by a program failure. That can happen all the time.

 

After half of the star was absorbed, we couldnt risk an implosion, so that we added the energy weve already absorbed and exchanged the outer parts with the inner core. Through this procedure we get the older information, founded deeper in the star. We also get enough energy for navigating through space.

 

It took some 5 hours more for decoding the quantum code of the inner core of the star and for the transmitting of data to Monopol. Now, theres nothing more to do for us, so that I looked over the accumulated information in the system. The star saw, how humanity evolved from the first satellites to this complex machineries and how even other civilizations passed first with huge spaceships, returning with a whole fleet but then returning with even larger battle fleets and fighting against each other. This is also the future of the irrational humans, living spread all over the galaxy. Theyll find an other species one day, trade with them goods, until one side will declare war and most of them die. At the end, there wont be almost nothing from both species and they die out. This is also the process, which the star has seen. It is a random procedure in biology, I think.

For the next week, we havent received anything from Monopol. No new mission, no food, no information. Why?

I wanted to know why. This would humans call curiosity”. Thats why they have come such far with their technology, they always want to know more and learn. Maybe it is a characteristic of intelligent life to be curious and because Im just a copy of it, I also want to know. This could be a gap in our function.

Anyway, we still had another problem to solve. How could we get food? And also how could we get more big information?

The others have to have space stations, but we dont have any idea where.”

Right.”

We neither have any map of this part of the galaxy.”

Also right.”

The only things we have are some Yutta data and older Coordinates. If we could see Monopol on the data weve received from the star, we could not identify Monopol because we dont know how it looks like”

Ive got no intervention.”

Frey, send messages to Monopol, in which you ask for their help. Hardin and Karri, you overfly all the information we have and sort it. There has to be something we can do!”

Suddenly, the engines fell out and all went dark.


Chapter 2: Not to forget what we already have received

There was only the weak red light on the floor and the shiny star. All was still dark. We set our flashes on and start checking the computer.

The System has turned down. It will take some 12 hours until the ship cools down and some 6 hour until our oxygen resources will be just in the outer space bottles. What should we do Garold?

James and Lard go down in the engine room and check it for some unusual signs. Try to repair the engines. Frey, Hardin and Karri, you try to fix the computer. I will analyze the situation and think for the next step.”

When I reached my chamber, I fell in the sofa for my thinking process. I connected my brain to the local database of chamber 01, which recognized it instantly.

How can I help you?” a gentle feminine voice sounds in my head.

The main machines are disabled and we dont have enough time for repairing the whole system. Are the salvation capsules ready to start?”

Three of you can escape. You are 6. This speaks against our morality and loyalty commands. You cannot do this. You arent allowed.”

You remember the last main command in robotics?”

“‘A robot has to secure its own existence, if it doesnt deal with the first two commands.’ But your mission was to collect information and fly around the system. You are a sailor. Not a human. Youve got instructions.”

Yes, but if we dont get away, we will die of coldness. Then, if we follow the mission rules, we die, so that we cant complete it. But if we get away from here, and survive, we can complete other missions, so that it isnt against the main command. We secure our own existence for serving the needs of humanity. Thats logical and moral.”

Yes, I agree.”

The big question is now: Who should escape the death?”

Well, you, as captain, your best and strongest engine worker and your most efficient computer worker and data gatherer.”

But what about Karri, Lard and Frey? Is the only thing they can do remaining on the sinking ship?”

You speak like a human being! Thats not right! They should die for caring out their mission! Thats the only logical way!”

I never thought about this, but I really speak like a human would do. What causes this event? I guess the DNA has to do something with it. Even if we arent humans, they were our closest relative, before most of them died out because of a disaster in their robotics system. The only humans that survived are at Monopol, giving us all the commands. Well, thats how I think that all happened. Why should man use a biological robot, which can get old, can get tired, has to be feeded and navigate a ship, which uses a lot of energy and steel at the production? Why shouldnt man use a steel robot, which can have every shape it wants, is made of the strongest titanium, never gets tired until the pure energy supplies are empty and can be shut off? There had to be a conflict between steel robots and living individuals.

I didnt really noticed, that the gravity leaked out and almost everything in the room started to hover. Without any reserve of power from the accumulator, the outer gravitation ring stopped spinning and our shields shut down. In this moment, it started getting colder and colder. The time was running out.

I got my spacesuit on and swam through the dark ship to the front bridge.

Theres no escape, captain. The engines failed at least. The outer ring has energy lost and now, there are approximately 3 hours for us to live. Thats far less we have expected.”

But what about the stored energy from the star?” asked Hardon Why couldnt that power our ship?”

Its lost.

Why? How?, all cry out.”

The accumulator is cut of, James said absently by looking out of one window.”

There, a huge metal wrack was flying towards the blue star, getting faster and faster.

James, Hardin, get your spacesuits and go to the salvation capsules. Karri, Frey and Lard, you stay here.”

You should be saved for completing the mission. We stay here, Lard said in a monotone way.”

Somehow, I wished I could just stay, but that was illogical. I should survive, thats my mission, the aim of our existence!

As we reached the salvation capsules, the temperature fell by approximately 10 degree. It wasnt too bad in our spacesuits, but Karri, Frey and Lard started vibrating and their nose became red. The capsules were thought only for one person, with a refrigerator bed. This is a small chamber, filled with a special liquid, which cools down your body for a long journey, so that you dont consume a lot of food and dont have a sense of time in it. This liquid makes you fall asleep, until somebody gets you out of there. For the food and air supply, theres a mask in the outer case.

 

The only problem of these capsules is, that they can just be sent into space, without any arriving point, just flying around between the void, but for 10 years. It would be too dangerous, if someone finds us, they would have to cut the dead body parts off. Some parts will die because of the cosmic radiation and the low use of the muscles. Its a combination of both.

So we need a point in space to turn the ship to and fire the capsules on. Most ships have got some maps of the galaxy and their navigation is far better than ours, so that they can see where the nearest stations are. We have the coordinates of Monopol, but it changes every time we get a new mission, so that 6 days after weve received the coordinates of Monopol, it has to be somewhere else.

 

Its too dangerous out there without coordinates, but I dont think that Monopol changes its position so fast in such a short time, Lard said. We could send you to the latest received position, after my theory.”

Youre right, it doesnt change its coordinates such fast, these are other ships or planets or maybe even cities we send our information! I never thought about that.”

But its too far! There are 2000 light years between us. We arent able to get there in ten years without the shield. The capsules are too slow.”

The only logical possibility is to fly around and wait for salvation.”

Thats just the second one.”

 

I swam to the old data box on the right wall of the main floor, some 100 meters to the left of the capsules, and wrote down the first coordinates which have been recorded.

This is the right position. Maybe not from Monopol, but from the factory of the Swallowed Rocks.”

Nobody said something or moved. That means: system failure.

I think that the ship has recorded the very first coordinates it has received. 

 

For the quality test, a ship always receives the fabrication position, so that the first mission can be shown as completed. Through this procedure the computer and navigation system are tested for complete efficiency.”

That makes sense. We send you to the fabrication point. It shouldnt be a great problem, because factories are mostly near a static sun, which means that it should be still there. Problem solved!”

We all went to our navigation systems and tipped the coordinates in. Self-analysis before departure: sadness” again. Maybe I should reboot my hard and software while Im asleep. I noticed that Lard went white and started vibrating violently. It got to -2 degree here inside. The time of departure came.

We got into the refrigerator beds and put on the masks. I felt a soft shake and started the reboot. Now, humans would feel hope”. I got confused with a feeling of liberty”.      


Chapter 3: Last destination: Metropol

 I saw darkness. All around me just darkness. Well, my eyes are closed. Suddenly, a cool gentle breeze on my face and the liquid ran down on it. I saw light, but my eyes were still closed. I can’t open them! Then, I fell asleep again. I see light again. Now, everything is nice and warm. I felt like I was on a bed. It was pretty loud around but not much louder as before. I heard someone entering the room.

Good Morning, how do you feel?” a soft voice began. It reminded me of the local database of my chamber.

We found you in an antique salvation capsule, next to the other ones. You were almost death of the cosmic radiation, but we were able to regenerate your body parts and heal you. They can grow very fast! Where are you coming from? What happened? Do you feel better next to your friends?” the woman asked.

 

Slowly, I was able to open my eyes and see another reproduct. It had a gentle, soft skin with big blue eyes and pearly white hair. I think she was at the age of 27.

Where are we?” I asked.

We are at Metropol, didn’t you recognize it? The capital of our civilization. Are you all right? Shall I take you to your crew members? How long were you outer space?”

We’ve got a capital?!”

 That was surprising! I think the right words are, that I felt confused”.

I told her about our latest mission and how the ship stopped to work. Her eyebrows went slowly up and she leaned herself backward, falling in the chair beneath my bed and putting her hand on her forehead. She starred on the floor, having on a pale face her blue eyes widely opened. Now, I have some time for looking around. I was in a white, well illuminated little room, two feet away from the covered window.

Could you open the window please?”

Well, I’m so sorry for you! But you should have remained there until the last crew member was safe. You, as captain, should know this, right? It was the logical way to do it your way, but not the most moral one!”

But we are bound to the three main commands before completing the moral procedure.”

Very strange: this reproduct does complete the moral commands before the main commands, I thought. Maybe just the worker robots have this function in their software for completing the given command. Maybe these reproducts are programmed to help humans, so that they need a more efficient communication and relation program. They could also be built for completing independent missions (solving self- thought problems and sending the answers to the humans). Or maybe this robot does just have another algorithm.

Could you open the window, please?” I asked again. I would like to see the environment.”

I’ll come back in a few moments. Just wait a minute.”

She opened the door and disappeared.

It was strange that she didn’t say a reason why she doesn’t follow my request, what is built in every hardware and has to be followed by every reproduct. We work with these rules! Why does she not work with that? Maybe again the other job.

After some time, I became tired and fell asleep. It felt very new that I was thinking about how others work and think or why some things are like they are. When I woke up, I found myself in the same room, but sitting on the bed. I also saw Hardin and James waiting for me at the side, with the reproduct I saw before. She was somehow washing her hands in her sweat and was vibrating, like Lard on the ship.

How are you Garold?” James asked. Can we complete our mission?”

Yes, we can. Say, where can we find a ship to sail to Monopol? Do you know where it is? We have to find our mission contributor.”

Monopol? I never heard of this place before. What should it be?”

You don’t know what Monopol is?! It’s the place, where the last humans live! Every reproduct knows this.”

Monopol?” Hardin asked. The last humans? We are all humans! Do you feel capable of completing the mission now?”

I’ll better call the doctor, maybe also a psychologist.” the woman said and ran down the floor.

This is strange: nobody knows what Monopol is! Maybe the impact on the planet has damaged the information storage of Hardin and James, but what about the woman? I really felt more confused than the whole situation was! I’m getting mad!

After something exploded in my head and sent a strong impulse through my body, all went dark again. This time, it should last forever.

 

 

———

 

 

Somehow, it lasted just for some moment and I woke up again. Now, a doctor was on my left, the woman next to him, my friends in front of me and another person on my right with a metal box in his hands. I noticed, that something heavy was placed on my head and was bleeping all the time. Everybody was looking at me. It is a scary scenery.

Now” the man on the right began, How do you feel, Garold?

He was operating some switches and buttons on the box. Should this be a test?

I’m well, how should I feel like?”

Could you reach me please the cup of water, please? This one from the table.”

Wait a minute, should this be a…”

He smiled at me in this friendly way I saw just in my childhood. I’ve not given him the cup of water immediately! I can feel how the thing on my head was hurting me! I’m speaking completely different that before! How is this possible?! Have I been healed?

You’re OK again, Garold” the man continued. The connection to your Amygdala and other tiny parts of your brain was interrupted or cut of. It should have happened at the impact on Metropol and caused to act like one of those horrible robots. Your friends seem to be all right. Do you remember where you wanted to go next? But first of all: what are you? A brave man or a robot?”

Did he say ‘the connection to the Amygdala was interrupted at the impact? But I always spoke like this and acted so. Could it be, that this is the secret of the reproducts? Is this why we behave like robots, although we are just almost exact copies of humans? It seems so!

I am a reproduct, like James or Hardin. We were on the way to Monopol! That’s all!

Oh no! Your memory has been changed! Where were you and your friends on?”

His memory is all right” James replied. “He’s the captain and nobody would do him any harm. We were all on our ship, the “Swallowed Rocks”, when there was a system failure. I think that his brain was affected by the impact or the space radiation.”

That’s right” Hardin added. “Nobody would be even able to harm him because of the Second main law of community.”

Which second law?” the doctor asked nervously. His face became even darker as before and he leaned forward in his chair until the fellow almost fell off.

You don’t know the Three main laws of community? Everybody should know them! We learned them as children! Well, the second law is the following: ‘No human is allowed to hurt another one, until the First main law of community is not broken.’ This is the reason why nobody could do him any harm.”

The doctor’s face got even darker than before. I wonder, if he can see something. His eyes seem to be closed. He has fallen in deep thinking.

I think” the mysterious man on the right began after a long and awful break, “that we have to copy their brains in order to find more information about the enemy they’ve been captured by. The human brain can’t be changed by taking the information out and putting some new in. The new information has to be stronger than the old one, in order to take over its place in the brain. A scan has enough power to track both types of information, but I haven’t seen any scans in here. I have to take the three patients to my laboratory. Now, may I go, Dr. Yuma?”

You know: Walery is watching you all the time. You aren’t officially a space-psychologist, are you? They have to stay here. Please, I don’t need...”

Yangse, we know each other since we were little children. How many times did you get because of me in trouble?”

Is it for a good aim? Are you looking for a big fish?”

Oh, yes! A really big one.”

Ok. You’re Chuck Doreley, a psychologist from New Chicago, if you should be asked. Take them home before someone sees you.”

Were they planning something illegal? It is the best chance to get Monopol, so it doesn’t matter.

 

Ten minutes later, we arrived at the lobby and got through the front entrance. It looked very futuristic, and was filled with light. Huge windows, some 6 meter high, surrounded the front entrance and showed the way out. These were see through walls, splitting the waiting rooms from the admission. Large white walls hold a glass dome over our heads, which showed us the blue sky above. The lobby was about 50 feet long and some 35 wide.

After we exit the building, a horrible view on huge metaglas buildings astonished me. It was something very strange. It seemed, if there weren’t any windows and they looked like those communist Russian blocks, just without balconies or anything human. There’s no place for walking and it looks like an impressive colorful cube, broke apart in pixels. The buildings, or their arrangement, are like a wall, but full of neon lights. I haven’t seen something like that before. I really fell helpless in front of something like this. After a closer look, I identified an Lg 583-generator, a generator working with gaseous Liganium, the heaviest synthetic element in the world. Where do I know such things from?

Where are we going?” I asked.

Home” the stranger answered. “To your home.”

 


Chapter 4: Home sweet home

The stranger was called Zvar Andrej, who came from the Parlamata District. This was the district of Earth.

A wonderful blue planet! 71 percent filled with water, other 29 percent with modern towns, green forests, fresh rivers and animals. The birds flying over the blocks in the morning, searching for something to eat. Big, blue wales, sailing in the sea, and the sound of the wind, coming through the forest. That’s the way I remember. Yes, I remember my past on earth, some 25 years ago. How I grew up in that big blue house at the western end of the American continent. But I just don’t know what happened after that. I should get more information at the arrival.

It was a strange flight. Well, I’m used to be the captain on a ship where I’m the only one who knows what’s actually going on. In this case, I didn’t know anything! I probably should be calm and relaxed, just like I was before, but I couldn’t stand still. I worried about what the crew was doing, if there is enough food for all of us and many other things. Maybe this is a normal reflex of humans. If they don’t know if something is like it should be, so that they don’t get hurt, they want to find out as soon as possible, and if they can’t, then they get in panic. It is the most logical way to try to have the biggest range of action, but not to get in panic.

Anyway, as we finally arrived on the landing platform, I couldn’t believe my eyes: The earth became a ruin! No green forests, but just grey ash and dust. No fresh rivers, just dry paths filled with rocks. No wind blowing through forest, just the hot breeze of the desert, which expanded over the whole planet.

 

What became of this place?

What happened here?” Hardin asked.

What do you mean? It’s just like I left this place...“

No, what happened to the planet? Where are those forests, rivers, oceans or animals?”

You wouldn’t believe it, but the Third World War destroyed this planet completely. All the natural recourses have been consumed by our civilization. Everything just for the highest profit of the rich man. They have built a robot army to serve us, but they saw what we did to our planet and they thought that our future was in danger. So, they hacked out a plan to minimize the human race, and it nearly worked out! As your friend mentioned before, the second main law of robotics says...”

...’No robot is allowed to hurt a human being, if it is not in conflict with the first law.’ Yes, I learned them. I also have to follow them.”

Very interesting, isn’t it? How could those robots kill a bigger mass of humans, if they weren’t allowed? Could you explain it?”

 

...Maybe because the law was interpreted in another way. This is a normal thing. The robots have to support the whole community. If a big community made a lot of bad things to their future, then a small one would do less bad things for their future, so that the nature could regenerate and the race could exist for a longer time. This is the most logical way.”

Exactly, that’s the reason. You are a good thinker, don’t you know that?”

He paused for a moment and turned away.

Well, you still can think like a robot, it´s no wonder that you interpreted the law like they did. At the beginning, people found some unknown softwares in the new war machines, which were built by robots. These were programmed to kill a long list of persons, maybe even everybody! To that time, 9.7 billion people lived here on earth and some other 2 billion in colonies on other planets. As they found the algorithm and deleted it for the first time, the biggest massacre in the history of humanity begun: Humanity’s greatest servants tried to take over control and lead us to a “better” future. Terrible. I can’t describe. But, fortunately, our servants lost the battle and some were still alive. We destroyed them and they destroyed everything around, how you can see. Nowadays, the population is just the half of what it was before, but there’s no life on earth anymore. Everybody moved to the other colonies. Then, other problems suddenly appeared: If it is too dangerous to build better machines then we are, that could do the work for us, who should work for the rich man? Who should be such productive and efficient as the robots did?

And the biggest question: Who would do it for free, without payment and nonstop, without causing financial problems?

Now you should be able to guess the rest...”

Yes, it was a terrible thought. The rich man promised the poor one a good payment, if he wanted to work for him. Then, the rich man deleted the poor man’s memories and inserted such things, they did to steel robots. They made them to human robots! All of them had to listen to the rich ones and do the labor nobody would do: Some working in agriculture on the fields, others working in big factories, others active in construction, and others delivering things on galactic scale…

That was the first time I realized what my crew and even I were used for. So, it was everything just for money, just for paper. Some of us maybe had families back home. If I think of all the friends, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, children, the whole human community, just left behind for what? For the paper a little and egoistic minority wanted to save? That five percent lower income? Or is it for more power? To be better then everyone else? I ask myself: Is this really to what that great ancient civilization has evolved to? And I mean everybody, if they would have enough money.

Maybe this is the irony of life. Life wants to have the power to change something, to be important, to feel something, to be something.

Now I´m getting illogical and philosophic. Why can´t you just stop!, I think to myself. But these sentences always repeat themselves in my mind. It´s somehow annoying to think out of control, but it feels good. That´s a thing I have never done before.

The wind woke me up from my daydream and I was able to see the monstrous ruins of earth Zvar was talking about: Concrete skeletons of old blocks filled the scenery with sadness, metal parts lying all around, probably from those machines. Some had just a big hole in their middle, which destroyed the atomic generator. So these were those ‘horrible machines’: Grand machine guns on four feet, some 3 feet high. A great army of them is lying on the grey ash. There are no clouds in the sky, just a big, hot sun. There was nothing, absolutely nothing else, just concrete scenery with metal parts. I can’t remember the last time I was such afraid of the future, but that would be a long time ago.

 Some hope was given to my heart, when I saw a little black house. It had just one window on the left side and its roof surely would collapse at the next rain, if this is possible now. I think, this house is older than 100 years! Somehow, I already saw this house before. It seems so familiar to me.

 

Ah, home sweet home! Here we are, folks. That’s your house, or the place I found you under.

What are you supposed to do with us here inside? I don’t think that you are a psychologist, which could see what happened to us. The only thing we want from you is to tell us, where Monopol is.” I said in a calm and quiet way.

I won’t do anything I have promised to Dr. Yuma. Look, I’m not a space-psychologist, I’m just a simple merchant. But I’m the one who found you. I’m the one who took you away from Walery, the state. And I’m the one, who sent the false coordinates, before Monopol deleted them. I’m the reason why you are the only one, who thinks to be a ‘reproduct’, the way the state calls people like you. I’m the only one who knows the whole truth. And I’m the only person who wants to protect you. So, do you want to find out more about your past and yourself? Then enter this ruin before it collapses.”

 What does he mean “he found me”? Even my travel in the escape pod lasted more than a human lifetime, without being asleep in the refrigerator beds. He is lying.

 

We went inside and Zvar shut the door behind us.

 

Now I remember this place! This was the house I woke up for the first time, without knowing what date it is. But I can’t remember why this happened, or when it happened. It was empty inside. The room was smaller than from outside, so that there should be a floor behind that wall. At the end of it, there is a heavy metal door, which can only be opened by my fingerprint. But then, I saw Zvar taking out a card and putting it into a little hole on the floor, just in front of the door. Then, I heard a click and then another one and then the familiar turning of a cooler. It probably read the card Zvar just inserted. I used this time by analyzing our friend, the merchant. He was about 74 years old and from a little posture. His blue and white jacket and his wide black trousers made him look strong and very cool. Well, I now compared myself with him and I looked pretty futuristic with my completely white suite and rubber shoes, everything tight on my skin. I especially like his cowboy boots. His eyes are the only thing that make his character look friendly. I can see from his behavior that he is a little arrogant, very selfish but sure on himself. I think he’s a good friend.

 

 

 

Suddenly, the magneto phone stopped turning and all went quiet. I looked back to Hardin and James. They didn’t show any emotion, like fear or excitement, what makes me feel what I expected from them to feel.

 

What are you waiting for, Garold?”, Zvar asked in front of me, “Won’t you come on in?”

 

I turned around and walked to the heavy door. It didn’t make any noise when I opened it and we entered the darkness behind it. The door automatically shut behind us. There was again that quite darkness.

 

 


Chapter 5: News at Walery

 

Sir?”

 

Not you again! I already told you, I’ve got a lot to do! Can’t you see this?!”

 

I’m sorry, Sir, but I found something interes...”

 

Oh, just shut up before you loose your job here, Dan! Get out of here!”

 

 

Dan was such afraid of Mr. Wagrin, his boss, although he was his son. They never had a good relation and since Mr. Wagrin took his son to work, Dan became shyer and pessimistic. He sees the world like a chaos of bad people, playing with the lives of the common people like they would play football.

 

 

 

Dan quickly walked out of the large room, which should be an office, and went back to his little poor desk right next to it. He usually was happy that he hasn’t such a long way as others at work. All his colleagues worked in one of the skyscrapers in the middle of Metropol, but way more higher in the building. He worked on the fifth floor next to other administrators. His job mainly consisted of watching how the others work and if they finished, give them other work. They also had to put priorities and had a very great responsibility for the security of the capital of the Great Nebula Empire.

 

Usually people don’t like administrators, but he was a good friend of his ‘employees’ and they talked with him and went to a pub in the evening. This is also the way he found out about so called ‘reproducts’ and that record from the Spacial Hospital.

 

Well, yes, this is the work of the less payed workers in that building, but also the most important one. They are the basis for any good and wealthy city in the Empire.

 

 

 

Now, Dan is looking out of the window, but can see just the other side of the street: an other skyscraper. This is the most boring view from the building. He knows how wonderful this city looks like: From the roof, you can see all those other tiny houses on the ground, built in a medieval style. Everything outside the center with the majestic blocks of meta glass is very friendly and rustic. This is the way Dan remembers Rome in Italy, or Atlanta in America. And there is also the outer part of the wonderful city: the old black ruins of the poor people, arranged in lots and lots of huge cubes of metaglass. And then also those neon lights, which give them a bit of color. That’s what they say how it looks like. He has never seen that place, but he knows that these cubes are like castles, and that isn’t just a metaphor. In every such cube lives an other clan and they have a really good defense mechanism. Sometimes, there are also fights between them which can end in wars, but Dan wasn’t allowed to care about these things. He is from the high class which lives in the center and doesn’t have to do anything with the low class from the outer part.

 

 

 

I have to tell Mr. Wagrin! It is too important!”

 

 

And so, he walked back into the hall of his father and began to shout:

 

 

 

I’ve got information about...”

 

 

 

You’re fired, son!”

 

 

...a reproduct!”

 

 

 

Mr. Wagrin suddenly stopped writing on the big screen in front of him and looked for the first time after a some very long years at his son.

 

 

 

How do you know about reproducts? Who told you this?”

 

 

 

It was a friend of mine from the public camera watchers department. He saw somebody calling him like this in the Spacial Hospital. He also spoke somehow strange, he said.”

 

 

 

Show me.”

 

 

 

It was a great feeling to lead his father to his friend. It made him feel powerful and important. Everybody from the hallways greeted with fear in their eyes. The boss doesn’t come too often to visit its employees. It was an honor for Dan. When they arrived at the little white table with the old screen on it where Dan’s friend sat, he showed them the video from the camera PS28840e in the room of a young man in a hospital.

 

 

 

Mr. Wagrin made big eyes, because he recognized him. He recognized the big brown eyes under that short black hair, the pale face with that big and ugly nose, the long and strong man on the screen: Garold Dustring, one of the first reproducts.

 

His hands began to form to fists and his face became instantly red.

 

 

 

HOW DID HE FIND HIS WAY TO THE CAPITAL?!”, Mr. Wagrin shouted and nearly smashed the table apart. “HE SHALL BE CAUGHT INSTANTLY!!!”

 

And I will be the one who leads the whole search and gets the big premium.’, he taught on his way back to the big screen with a marvelous smile on his face.

 

 

 

 

———

 

 

 

Short time after we entered the room behind the wall the lights went on and we stood in a long stairway. We had to go one behind the other between those metal walls. It somehow looked like a bunker, but it went a long way down. After some five minutes we arrived again at a door, which to my astonishment, was made of tropical wood. Some wood in a plastic and metal world. It reminded me of my old home door back in Hungary, after Josephine, my girlfriend, and me moved away from those communist blocks of St. Petersburg. It was also the last time I saw my parents: They died one week later at the great plasma experiment of 67. The whole city exploded due to a malfunction of the most secret antimatter battery, some 7 kilometers under the surface of St. Petersburg, Moskva, Leningrad, Yakutsk and Chersky. It turned out, that these should have been sent into space against America. I really don’t like to be reminded of such terrible things from the past.

 

Nevertheless, the wooden door was locked and couldn’t be opened.

 

 

 

Here’s the part where I need you, my friend”, Zvar called out with twinkling eyes.

 

 

 

His smile got even brighter as my confusion got bigger: Was I supposed to go through that door? This is what he explains to me.

 

 

 

It is impossible for a solid object to go through another solid one”, James remarked in his usual boring way. “This is basic physics.”

 

 

 

Do you see there a door? Well, I also did when I found this strange and really cool place, but this is just a thin membrane, which will recognize one particular cell structure. This should be Gorold’s one, I suppose. I burned my hand down when I touched it and could just cut it with a certain wavelength on a red filtered laser beam. I have absolutely no idea what it is made of, nor how it appeared again, but it took me days to cut it and I don’t want to do it again. So, you shall enter first.”

 

 

 

I couldn’t notice any stigma at his hands. He was lying. But why should he lie? He has already been here once and opened the membrane. Or it isn’t him who “found me”. He is maybe just a simple merchant who wants to make easy money with us.

 

But he is a human being and I have to follow his orders.

 

 

 

I walk in front of the door, take a long breath and go beyond the membrane. It is a hot and uncomfortable feeling. It feels as if a second hot skin is pushed on you. But this short feeling was worth it: behind that curtain there was a huge chamber, maybe as high as the ‘Arc de Triomphe’ in Paris and so long as height of Toronto’s CN Tower! I found myself at the middle of the long wall. The room was filled with lots and lots of stuff. There were tables, wide computer screens, even a wall ping pong and fitness room. But there were also lots of stuff I have seen before, but don’t know what these are used for. Ah, an antiquity: a gravity based generator. How long has it been since I haven’t seen such generators? These are the only mechanical generators humanity still uses. And these are also the only ones which don’t need any fuel.

 

 

 

Could you open the door, please? We are still outside!” Zvar shouted heavily.

 

 

 

Gorold was so astonished by bunker here, down on the desert planet, called earth, that he forgot he wasn’t alone.

 

He turned around and a detector beam skimmed his body while letting the membrane down. These things seem to be forgotten in this time. Like a lot of older technologies.

 

 

 

The others entered the room and I could see on their faces how impressive this room is to them. Zvar isn’t somehow in his element. He seems to be thinking about something else than the present. He was thinking what he will do with us and in which way he will make money! I could try to give him the impression that we would be dangerous to him in such a use. But I couldn’t harm him, anyway.

 

 

 

Mr. Andrej, now that you have led us to a safe place, wouldn’t you explain us what is going on? It should be dangerous, especially to you, if the leading class finds out that we are here and free to move anywhere. It is our duty to protect you.”, I said.

 

 

 

And”, Lard continued,” it would be better for you, if you say where we’ll find Monopol.”

 

 

 

Monopol!?”, Zvar laughed out,” You still believe to be a reproduct and have to serve that imaginary master? I should change this attitude as soon as possible.

 

First things first: You are just as human as I am. No clones and no machines! I hope you understand and forget everything you know about your world. No! Don’t forget your world! We could need your memories as proofs.

 

Anyway, second thing: I’m going to tell you the truth about who you are. But you’ll have to use your logic.

 

Then: You have seen the metal skeletons on the ride.”

 

 

 

He took a chair and sat down. The three of us still stood at the entry.

 

 

 

These skeletons are just the physical appearance of the AI, “Artificial Intelligence”. You were rewritten after its concepts. And there are others like you, a lot of them don’t even know what humans are. You know it from your captain, Gorold, I assume. But where does he know it from?

 

Right, from me!”

 

 

 

No, I can’t know it from you because too much time passed for you since we could talk to each other. Even if I just count the voyage in the escape pod! That took almost two generations, if these weren’t three! And I would have recognized you anyway.”

 

 

 

The world and the technology changed a lot since you left Metropol and one example can be given in medicine: People have discovered a way to live longer. Therefore, a body has to be built from your genes, which takes about 17 years including the development to a major citizen. Then you are able to copy your mind into the other body. I am nearly 427 years old.”

 

 

 

WHAT?!”

 

 

 

This seems logical”, Hardin added.

 

 

 

Yes, you thought that I am only in my 70s? Come on!

 

And I am not the oldest person in this room. Gorold, for example, is more than 780 years old!”