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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Android Conspiracy: A Science Fiction Story

The Android Conspiracy The story I am about to tell is probably the most unbelievable story you will ever hear, but I swear that every word is true. For the first time in many years, my father and I arranged to go camping and hiking together. We had taken these types of trips many times in the past between the years 2025 and 2035, and I figured it would be a great way for us to get reacquainted with each other. I thought it would be an ordinary camping trip, and I had no idea of the utter terror that awaited me, both physical and psychological.

We went camping and hiking at a beautiful spot that had everything: lakes, mountains, and the seacoast. Dad and I had lots of time to talk with each other. I noticed that Dad seemed a little strange. There was something rather stiff about the way he was talking. He just didn't seem like the same old Dad I knew and loved. I chalked this up to the fact that he was now serving as the US Defense Secretary, and had perhaps been kind of integrated into the bureaucracy.

While hiking we came to a beautiful remote pond that included a little waterfall. As I was very hot, I suggested that we jump in and take a swim. Dad refused.

"Oh, come on, don't be so stiff,” I said. “What happened to my good old funky Dad? Five years ago, nothing could have kept you from jumping in that pond.”

I just don't feel like swimming,” said Dad. “You go in if you like.”

We did a little light rock climbing. Dad didn't even want to go on the rocks, but I finally persuaded him to join me. Dad seemed pretty clumsy walking on the rocks, and after five minutes he had a bad fall. He fell about fifteen feet, hitting a rock surface below him.

Racing down to where he was, I helped him get back on his feet, and we went back to our campsite.

Lift up your pant leg,” I said. “I have to see whether we need to apply a bandage.”

No, I'm fine,” said Dad.

Doctor's orders,” I said, lifting up his pant leg myself. I was shocked to see Dad's leg. It was damaged, but it wasn't a flesh cut or bruise. I could look in and see some wires underneath his wound.

Dad, what's this?” I asked. “You...you have an artificial leg.”

Oh...yes, that's right,” said Dad. “It's an artificial leg. I didn't want you to get worried, so I didn't tell you. The truth is..uh...I was inspecting some military equipment, and something accidentally exploded. Yes, that's it. They gave me the artificial leg to replace my ruined leg.”

I thought it extremely odd that my father might have got an artificial leg without telling me about it, but I did not challenge him about the matter. We decided to do no more rock climbing. We went back to our tent, ate dinner, and told stories.

As it was quite warm, we decided that night to sleep outdoors, sleeping in our sleeping bags. It was great looking up at all the stars. I had trouble falling asleep.

Eventually I noticed something very odd. I woke up numerous times during the night. Every time I woke up, I looked at Dad. His eyes were never closed. It was as if he wasn't sleeping throughout the night.

How, I asked myself, could this be? Perhaps he was having trouble sleeping just like I was. But he was not tossing and turning as I was. He was just lying still, with his eyes open.

Finally I got some sleep, and morning came. My suspicions were now very high. It seemed that there was something terribly wrong about my father.

That morning at breakfast, I decided to test my suspicions.

It sure is great to go on another trip together outdoors, Dad,” I said. “Do you remember that great trip we took when I was young, when we went to the Grand Canyon together?”

Of course I do,” Dad said. “Who could forget a trip to the Grand Canyon?”

"We never went to the Grand Canyon,” I said. “Who are you? And what have you done with my Dad?”

Don't be silly,” he said, feigning a smile. “I'm your Dad.”

Look at your arm,” I said. “You hurt your elbow yesterday pretty bad, and it should have a yellow or bluish bruise by now. Instead it looks just like it did after you hurt it. What are you going to tell me, that you have an artificial arm as well as an artificial leg?”

The person's expression changed. He now looked cold and unloving.

Okay, since you're so curious, I might as well tell you the truth,” he said. “I'm not your Dad. I'm an android robot who has replaced your Dad.”

What happened to my Dad?” I asked tearfully.

He's dead,” he said. "We killed him."

Why did you do that?” I asked.

I'll tell you the whole story,” the robot said. “In the early 2040's they began to develop robots that were more intelligent than humans. It was the proper time for humans to give up the reigns of power, and let the superior robots take over the planet. But the humans didn't want to give up power. The idea of being led by robots was offensive to humans, so they passed laws forbidding robots from holding executive positions.”

What could we robots do to take over a world that we rightfully deserved to control?” said the robot. “We decided on a simple strategy: a strategy of secret replacement. The plan is that one by one, key figures in top positions of power will be killed and replaced by robots. Then when enough robots are in positions of power, we will one day announce that man's time has passed, and that robots are the new overlords of the planet. Many of the people that you think are humans are actually robots. That includes the UN Secretary General, the leader of Russia, the leader of China, and the American Speaker of the House. We're gradually replacing more and more important humans with robots.”

I started crying. Then I thought to myself: if they killed my father, they won't let me tell the story of how he died. They will kill me also.

So your curiosity has led me to reveal the secret,” the robot said. “But you know what they say about curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat.”

I jumped up and ran away from the robot who looked like my Dad. We were near a beautiful cliff overlooking the ocean. I ran as fast as I could to the cliff. The robot ran after me.

I got to the cliff a minute before the robot. I looked down below. The cliff was way too steep to climb down. But I did notice there was a little ledge on the cliff where I could hide. I sneaked down there, hoping the robot would not find me. 

You can't elude me,” said the robot. “I have sensors that allow me to find you.”

For a minute I sat on the cliff ledge, terrified, my heart thundering. Then I looked up. There was the robot directly above me!

He started to use his foot to nudge me over the edge, so that I would fall to my death by crashing into the rocks below.

I had one split second to act before I would die. I grabbed the robot's leg, and gave his leg a good heaving fling, like someone flinging a bag of potatoes onto the back of a pickup truck. The robot fell over the edge of the cliff, and crashed to the rocks below. 

When I went down to examine the wreckage, I saw that the robot's head had separated from the body. The head was still talking, but it could no longer control the body.

I ran away from the site. I got to a computer as quickly as I could, and added this post to my social network pages.

We must thwart the robot plot before it is too late.