Monday, June 26, 2017

Artificial Imperfection Scene 11 (Ellie Strikes Back)

In today's scene, Zamler's flashback let's him see himself in a different way. 

If you want to start at the beginning or catch up on any missed scenes, click HERE

Scene 11

Zamler’s thoughts drifted back to a familiar lab. He recognized it as one he'd worked in years ago, or rather his creator had worked in it. Monitors, wires, tools and parts were everywhere - much like Becca’s station. It was hard to believe his creator, a man of his discipline and high intelligence could allow his lab to look so imperfect. Yet, somehow, regardless of the mess, Zamler missed this place.

Then he saw her again - his wife, Tess. No, she's not really my wife, but the wife of my creator. 

This time her hair was white, and the wrinkles had deepened around her eyes and chin. He guessed her to be about sixty years old. If only I could talk to her.
She sat in front of a monitor with the hairless head of an A.I. unit sitting left of her keyboard and attached to a computer via a wire. The unit looked similar to one of the many clone-like ones on Mars - pale and plain with a plastic face void of distinguishing features. Perhaps those details weren’t complete yet.

Tess typed fast on the keyboard. “I’ve almost finished loading this one's brain core.”

“Good,” said the real Zamler as he turned toward an A.I unit standing to the right of his desk. “How do I look?

Zamler recognized his body - a mere shell, un-moving with dark eyes that stared into nowhere. He’d never seen himself deactivated. It’d been years since he’d even thought of himself as artificial, but the sight of his lifeless body shoved reality in his face.

Tess came over. “Hmm, he does resemble you, however, your nose isn’t that thin.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that your nose is wider than the one on this unit,” Tess said in a teasing tone. “In fact, he looks about ten years younger than you.”

“Are you saying I’m old with a have a big nose?”

Tess giggled. “Don’t be so sensitive. We’re not young anymore. Besides, he doesn’t have to be exact, does he?”

“Mr. Zamler!”

A student’s shout brought him back to the present. The young people stared at him with worried looks.

“Are you alright?” Nick asked.

Zamler thought fast. “Yes, of course, I was just searching my videos for something regarding Olympus Mons. The search took longer than expected.” He hurried and found some footage in his memory banks that he had taken while walking around the base of the giant volcano.

Zamler had linked himself up to the class computer and transmitted the video to the screen.

The student’s watched the video with looks of amazement. If only it compared to seeing it in person.

“I know you can’t go outside, but what if we went there in a shuttle instead?” Nick asked as if he read Zamler’s thought.

The whole class erupted in wanting to go there in a shuttle, except Ellie who rolled her eyes again. Zamler liked the idea of taking them in a shuttle to see it, to experience its massive presence.

“It might be possible.” He paused, remembering the shuttle wreck. However, he could get a human pilot. “I’ll look into it.”

The students smiled and spoke excitedly amongst each other.

Ellie stared at him in a knowing way. It was possible Becca told her things - like how Suzy crashed that shuttle. Yet, she didn’t say anything.

The video ended and a tone rang in the building.

“Study your notes for the quiz tomorrow,” Zamler said. “Dismissed.”

The students filed out of the room. All except Ellie. She lingered by the door, eying him like a cat looking at a mouse.

She marched up to his desk. “I don’t feel like studying.”

It was just one absurd thing out of her mouth after another all hour long. It was all he could do to stand it.

Zamler stated the obvious. “Then you will fail.”

“Oh, somehow, I think I’ll be getting an A on that quiz. Anything less and I’ll tell Adam about how you glitched today.”

“What glitch?” he asked.

“That three minute pause where you blanked out. You can’t fool me. That was no long search. You’re malfunctioning.” She stared at him as if she could see inside.

There no way Adam could find out about it. Zamler couldn’t believe it, but he had no choice, but to give into this childish, irrational, air head. 


You too can watch a video about Olympus Mons.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Once again, can we shoot her out an airlock?

Pat Dilloway said...

Olympus Mons is huge.

Liz A. said...

Too bad he's not good in the ways of people. It would be interesting if he could find a way to make Ellie do what she's supposed to.

Gina Gao said...

This is so exciting. Can't wait to read more!