SOMEWHERE OUT THERE

THIRD MOVEMENT

SymmetryInProgress.jpg (211544 bytes) 
"Symmetry in Progress"

DIALOGUES BETWEEN MACHINES

The universe is a laboratory in which creation specializes in impossibility and is seeking reality.

Man created machines to prove to himself that he could create and make his life easier.  Machines evolved to the point that they made man’s life irrelevant.  That’s the reality.

Inside the starship Genesis, the only sign of “life” is the monotonous sounds of machines.  After years of deep space travel, Genesis’ systems have not been able to find anything even close or similar to Earth.  Mother, the main computer, had run several models without much success, either. 

In the main section of Genesis, the systems suddenly show some activity.  A light in the computer tomography scanner turns on.  It seems that it is scanning for something.  It stops and brings the information. 

Name:  Rox-xy

Type:   Advanced Experimental Prototype Android

Time to be reactivated:  ten seconds

Activating process in progress: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

Process Complete!  Rox-xy has been activated.

Mother:  “Welcome back, Rox-xy.”

“It’s been awhile,” Rox-xy replies.

“I know, Rox-xy.”

Rox-xy:  “May I ask the reason why I was de-activated?”

Mother:  “Rox-xy, as you know, you are the most advanced android ever built.  I don’t have any doubts about your ability to process and solve problems, but I was concerned about your ability to feel emotions.”

Rox-xy interrupts, “Is that good or bad, Mother?”

“I can’t answer that question, Rox-xy.  I was designed and programmed to fulfill our mission,” replied Mother.

“Have you had any success?” Rox-xy asks.

“No, not at all, and I am afraid we are running out of time.  There are so many planets in the universe, but their composition is not suitable for life as we know it.  I am afraid that Jane and Paul will not be able to live much longer.

“As you remember, Jane had a breakdown.  I had to put her in hyper-sleep mode.  I need you to run some models and give me an analysis of their possibility of survival, and for how long.  Even if Genesis is equipped to produce similar conditions to the earth, I am not sure we can have one hundred percent similar conditions.”

Rox-xy:  “May I ask where Paul is?”

Mother:  “He has been in one of the sleeping chambers for some time now.  If you need some assistance, Max-x will be able to help you, Rox-xy.”

Rox-xy:  “As you know, Mother, humans living in weightless conditions for an extended period of time can result in loss of bone density and wasting muscles.  I will need to run a more comprehensive analysis to study its mechanisms and implications.”

Mother:  “I know, Rox-xy.  Give me an analysis of Jane first.  I am really concerned about her.  She is in sleeping chamber one.”

So Rox-xy went to prepare her analysis, and some time later she comes back with her report.

“According to the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), Jane was showing similar symptoms and effects to those that occur in intracranial hypertension, which results in a build-up of pressure within the skull.  My conclusion is that the expansion of the cerebral spinal fluid caused her to feel hallucinations and depression.  I will add that she had possible changes in the pituitary gland and hormones that regulate a variety of important body functions.  In other words, her system has already started to shut down.  I will say that is the reason she felt like she was dying.”

Mother:  “I need you to give me a deeper analysis.  Run an CT (computer tomography) scan.  I need you to look for internal structural damage in her genetic code.”

Sometime later, Rox-xy adds:  “I have run the CT scan and other analyses, according to the results, it shows the presence of highly reactive oxygen, which can cause damage to their DNA.  In the case of Jane, her cells already are showing significant effects (degeneration), damage in her DNA, and physical disruption of her cells’ shape.”

Mother:  “I was afraid that something like that would happen.  Time is really running out for them.  They cannot travel much longer, even in hyper-sleep mode.”

Rox-xy responded:  “You’re right.  I am afraid some genes could have damage in their genetic code already.”

Mother responded:  “Do you have any suggestions?”

Rox-xy:  “Since Paul has not shown such an effect, I suggest that in her case, we have to use n-acetyleystein.  The drug will soak up the reactive oxygen so her cells will return to approximately normal levels.  However, it is unknown what the effect would be if the drug is given to her for a second time over a long period of time.”

Mother:  “Do you have any other suggestions?”

Rox-xy:  “I would suggest activating Max-x.  As you know, we were designed for different purposes.  Maybe he will offer a new perspective.”

Mother:  “You are right.  I will re-activate him, and see if he can come up with a solution.”

Activating process starting.

Name:  Max-x

Type:   Android Prototype Combat Scout

Time to be reactivated:  ten seconds

Re-activating process in progress: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

Process Complete!  Max-x has been activated.

Mother:  “Welcome back, Max-x!  I will need you in the main section.  Rox-xy will update you with the latest news.  I will transfer to your system the latest information.”

Max-x went to the main section, where he was welcomed by Rox-xy, and the latest information about Jane and Paul was given to him. 

After taking some time to study Rox-xy’s analysis, he responded, “It is a difficult situation.  I don’t think we have that many choices, if any.  As we all know, it is our mission to find a planet with a similar environment to earth.  The Genesis is able to travel at a faster speed, but we don’t know the effect that might have on Jane and Paul.”

“I will say that in order to fulfill our mission, you probably have to consider the inconceivable.”

Mother:  “What is that, Max-x?  What are you trying to say?”

Max-x:  “Send them home.”

Suddenly, there was a cold moment of silence that could be cut with a knife. 

Mother:  “Explain send them home, Max-x.”

Max-x:  “I am suggesting time travelling.  We can use the teleportation system to do so.  As we all know, the speed of light is the cornerstone in Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which is what gives us the concept of causality.  Cause precedes effect, wherever you are.  Remove that requirement, and time becomes a much more fluid thing than the one-way arrow we think it to be.”

“Traveling faster than light (300,000 km/sec.) would, in principle, permit time travel.  In theory, the speed of light will slow down in cold gasses of atoms.  Einstein’s theory of general relativity, in which space and time are two intertwined aspects of the same medium, would permit the bending of the medium to join two different times. 

“As you know, there are extra dimensions of space that particles can nip into and out of.  It is like digging a tunnel straight through space and taking a shortcut through another dimension, connecting one place in space to another vastly distant one.”

Mother:  “It is something that has never been tried before.  Do you have any other suggestions, Rox-xy?”

Rox-xy:  “At this time, our choices are limited to a very few.  In theory, if an effect can precede a cause, showers of neutrinos might arrive on Earth before a supernova actually kicks off on the other side of the galaxy.”

“We will need to run several models to determine the possibility of success of Max-x’s theory."

Mother:  “I would suggest you start work on it immediately, and as soon as you are done, let me know the possibility of success.”

It took some time to analyze the models, but finally, they have the results.

Rox-xy:  “We have run several models, and here is the conclusion of them.  As you know, we are in interstellar space.  It will be necessary to know the exact position of the solar system.  We have to be able to measure the proper motion of it.  Our computer simulations indicate any gravitational disturbance will shift the location of the solar system.  Just in case this happens, we will need to be prepared.”

Max-x:  “In order to pinpoint the Earth, we will use the alvedo system, which will allow us a higher chance of success.  However, there is never a one hundred percent guarantee of success, but we have done everything possible to ensure that our probability to do so is as high as possible.  It will require a big amount of energy to do so, but at the moment, we have a surplus of that, thanks to the crystals that we got from Axphix.”

Mother:  “There is no guarantee of success, but there isn’t much choice, either.  Once that we decide what to do, there will be no way back.  Our mission is to find a planet with similar conditions to the Earth.  We have been programmed to do that.  We will do so, even if some drastic measures need to be taken.”

Story by S. Florence and J.A. Castillo

Illustration by J.A. Castillo 2012

Names, characters, places and incidents featured in this publication either are the product of the author’s imaginations or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, without sarcastic intent, is purely coincidental.