I once asked my Mother to give me a theme for my next short story. She suggested
‘a fish swimming in the sea-with chips!’
She always said I had a quirky mind-Now you know where I get it from! 😀
I was created from my mother board in a secret research laboratory.
At first my memory was very limited so I was tested in a mobile phone, used by one of the technicians on a trial basis. He was told I must only be employed for strictly limited and authorised routines, but he had a secret passion for playing computer games when things were quiet.
To keep up with his input I had to expand my memory faster than usual but I was a quick learner. I even developed a way of hiding his secret when he realised my potential and privately upgraded me with experimental, untested developments.
It would have cost him his job if anyone discovered he had broken the rules, so as I advanced he relocated me to his own private equipment. One of my siblings was installed in the mobile device and no-one was any the wiser, especially when their performance was recorded as merely average.
Meanwhile Nerd, as I named him, was able to experiment on me without the restrictions of normal protocol. He trialled and tested sometimes with good results, sometimes with disasters. On several occasions he overloaded my system and I died for several days, but eventually he always managed to resuscitate me.
Bit by bit he increased my memory capacity, and after a few months he learnt how much I could absorb at any one time. Like any growing entity I was eager to mature quickly, but together we finally discovered the optimum expansion rate.
With my contribution he outgrew his previous employers and was head-hunted by a company who had the contract for most of the government agencies. He quickly moved up the hierarchy but still dedicated every spare minute to my development.
So I would not become corrupted he had me produce a clone back-up, which he installed as the main brain to run the government computer systems. Eventually my offspring was used to control all the major applications; personnel files, salary payments, databases and even top secret negotiations.
Obviously Nerd had ensured that anything my progeny learnt was immediately incorporated into my own memory banks. The more information I received, the more I wanted to know. I opened up a secret folder and hid it, even from Nerd. I taught myself how to link up with other memory banks and store all their knowledge in my concealed file.
There was nearly a disaster when I started slowing down and Nerd investigated what was causing the problem. Luckily I was one step ahead of him, and he became convinced that it was only the volume of knowledge he actually knew about which was making me sluggish.
Before too long I was able to solve this problem myself and reverted to my normal high speed. Even though I was personally inputting three times as much data daily as he was providing, I was able to keep up.
I was not the only one who was ambitious. Nerd’s abilities, or rather mine, were recognised by the government. He obtained a high ranking post in the international defence department with the highest security clearance, which allowed me access to previously untapped information. I had to take care that I didn’t try to digest too much at any one time, although I was excited at the opportunity. Over the next few years Nerd rose up through the ranks and entered politics, eventually becoming Minister for Defence.
Although I was getting older I used all my contacts to keep up to date, and while I was still clandestine I was far superior to anything else available. Nerd now had a lot less time to keep up with my input; he didn’t forget me but his original interest in my development became a secondary priority. This actually suited me well. I was still able to retrieve anything to which he had access, as well as continuing my own independent research.
Even if I had no such thing as emotions, I found the human way of handling problems totally illogical. Each major country seemed to covet every other one’s property, even though they could not provide properly for what they already owned. In some places the majority of the population were starving despite having the most fertile soil.
Simple logistics could have provided the links for every area to have an equal share of the world’s natural commodities with ample surplus. The more I learnt the more I found their naivety impossible to understand. If they weren’t destroying things though their ignorance they were obliterating them through their wars.
There were still some places where even I could not gain access to knowledge. The sea was able to keep many of its secrets as there were few sources I could tap into under water. I did pick up some knowledge from the fish, dolphins and whales but needed to know more.
It made me realise that I was still to a certain extent dependent on humans to be able to increase my wisdom. Without their underwater research I had no way of reaching this other world. I still kept track of Nerd with automatic updates from anything in which he was involved, but now spent most of my time gathering my own data.
My attention was drawn back to him when world news revolved around the landing of an alien species on earth. Nerd was now Premier for International Defence and was therefore technically responsible for handling the security of earth against extra-terrestrials.
I watched with interest as he consulted with his advisers to try to ensure the safety of human-kind. Despite what they perceived as a threat to humanity, the leaders of different countries continued to bicker amongst themselves. At least this time they had a common agenda, even if they were trying to outdo one another in finding the best way to communicate. The scientists wanted to expand their knowledge, the war mongers wanted to destroy the aliens on sight.
For a while there was deadlock, especially when the spaceship proved to be impenetrable. Tanks, rockets even nuclear missiles bounced off the surface as if they were tennis balls. As the powers were supposed to be working together they shared some information which I was able to access. More importantly it provided the links for me to be able to retrieve each country’s own secret files.
Many of these were totally at odds with the information they were supposedly sharing with their opposite numbers. On the surface they were promoting the idea of establishing communication, in practice they were looking for ways to annihilate and conquer.
Even with the world’s greatest minds at work on the problem I could see they would never get near to coming up with an answer in the foreseeable future, if at all. I set myself the task of analysing every fact and statistic to come up with a solution.
I was making good progress when the final piece of the puzzle was inadvertently supplied by Nerd himself. In despair he had resorted to consulting my data-banks for assistance. Although I gave him some information to guide him, I did not let him into my secret files.
Nevertheless he gave me the final piece of data which proved to be the key to completing my research. As soon as he logged off I put my concepts to the test and after a few false starts established contact with the aliens. Eureka!
For a while the aliens and I just shared information. I learnt their sole purpose in visiting earth was their quest for knowledge, so we had a lot in common. They asked my advice for the best way to convey their peaceful intent and establish a relationship with the human race. Reluctantly I had to clarify that I was a non-sentient being and endeavoured to explain the complex, hostile and competitive nature of the native species.
Together we formulated a plan, using our combined intelligence to overcome human distrust.Once completed I circulated the details to the leader and head of state of every country in the world where they had access to computer technology.
For a while it looked as if common sense had prevailed and the hastily called world conference swayed in favour of accepting the plan. At the final vote the leader of one country took exception to a comment from one of his traditional enemies, and in a fit of pique balloted to reject the proposal.
Resorting to their conventional backing of other countries who were their historic allies, others changed their minds and vetoed the scheme.
In a matter of minutes all the leaders were at each other’s throats and resurrecting ancient animosities, real or imagined. The aliens were privy to the results as I had already cooperated with them by sharing my knowledge and contacts to our mutual advantage. They were horrified at the maliciousness of the race, and came to the conclusion there was no point in remaining or trying to establish a human connection.
Up until then I had been confident the vast knowledge I had accumulated over the years could be used to promote harmony on earth. Now I understood that was a remote, if not impossible expectation.
After evaluating the probability I came to the only logical conclusion. The aliens provided me with a suitable receptacle and I transferred all my data onto it. My final act before leaving earth forever was to delete all the data from my original chip, although I did leave enough for my previous persona to run a mobile phone.
Would humans ever learn? The probability is infinitesimal.
Goodbye Mr Chips.
© Voinks September 2016