The Amnesiac

Seventh Entry - Part 3

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Date: 525.3.47

 

I sat there staring at the robot for quite a while. Eventually, I gathered myself up enough to speak.

"Besides Alexa," I began. "I have seen no others. So, there are others?"

"Each housing unit contains a single individual. Each one has been given information and personality programming in order to aid in the survival of the colony. Further, there are several redundant systems. For instance, you are Dr. Hypatia's mathematical backup."

"You just said personality programming. What does that mean?"

"Each individual here is based upon an actual person whose personality was encoded into our computer system. While you do not have their memories, you have an encoded framework for your personality."

"I would ask how that is possible, but I don't think I really want to know. So, there is a Dr. Pergamese on Earth?"

"Not exactly. Your name was assigned to you. Galen of Pergamon is an ancient physician on Earth. All names given had ancient Earth origins. In this way, you were stripped of your ethnicity. The design team did not wish to have any racial or ethnic issues crop up in the colony."

"Okay, let's back up for a moment. Did I have an analog on Earth?"

"Not exactly an analog. You have a personality framework of someone on Earth. Because of your experiences, you will definitely turn out to be completely different. However, your particular framework was that of a medical doctor. It was hoped that you would enjoy your job with this particular set of personality traits."

"That makes sense. Now tell me where the name Alexa Hypatia came from."

"Hypatia of Alexandria was a famous female mathematician from ancient Earth."

"There is a lot to take in here. You may have noticed that I have been in the company of Alexa. Are we assigned -- um -- procreative partners?"

"Each individual will have the opportunity to choose and build their own relationships. The societal structure is completely up to the individuals making up this group. No one has been assigned a mate."

"So, my attraction to Alexa is not a part of this personality programming?"

"Not at all. It is a natural extension of who you are. Her feelings might not reciprocate."

"I think they do, but I will not take that for granted. Thanks!"

"The program designers struggled with the relationship problem for quite a while. They debated upon the number of females and males. They wanted the proper number to ensure survival. It was decided to revive an equal number of each. However, what occurs will be derived from natural processes."

"So, monogamy is not programmed into us?"

"That is correct. It is hoped, but that circumstance would be quite difficult with the number of individuals involved. The chances of getting a proper mate for each person is quite long."

"You have been talking about the design parameters, etc. for a while. How do you know so much about these things?"

"I was designed to interface with all of the computers on this planet. Thus, I am responsible for aiding in the survival of this colony. I can order the robots to perform any function. I am the only one with this functionality, although there is a manual on converting one of the others to my functionality."

"Do you have knowledge of what is happening on Earth?"

"I have at my disposal the accumulation of Earth's knowledge. It is updated daily from Earth."

"We can contact Earth?"

"The Earth sends us a daily signal and we do the same. Their signal updates our knowledge base. We send them mission updates. It should be noted that this knowledge is approximately 50 years out of date because of the great distance."

"So, they do not know Alexa and I are awake."

"That is correct."

"I assume that since the incubation and raising of us has proceeded according to plan. So, what is the status of our mission?"

"The mission is performing within acceptable parameters."

"Even though Alexa and I woke up early."

"It is not a completely unexpected event. The mission was designed more than 1500 years ago. The designers would be quite pleased that we have only experienced minor incidents like this."

"Everything has gone well?"

"It took quite some time for the soil bacteria to adapt to their new soil. This did not fit within design parameters. Once they adapted, they have been doing quite well."

"Hey! That is why the fruit does not rot."

"The bacterial biomass on this planet is quite a bit smaller than on Earth. However, it is within guidelines for more complex organisms."

"What other animals are here? I thought I saw a cow the other day."

"We have a stable population of cattle, sheep, and goats. They have done quite well in this environment. They have successfully reproduced for several generations."

"I have not seen any birds."

"There are a few chickens, but the food supply for a population of birds is not currently adequate."

"Why is that?"

"The program designers did not want the colonists to compete with pests. Thus, there are few insects here. The insects that are on this planet perform helpful functions. For instance, there is a healthy population of bees here."

"So, no birds or insects?"

"Insect pests comprise a majority of the diet for many of Earth's flying creatures. It was deemed contrary to the long term survivability of the colony to introduce pests just to give birds something to eat."

"What about aquatic animals?"

"The water on this planet has not been found suitable for aquatic life."

"So, this did not go according to plan."

"There was a contingency plan for this. The situation is similar to the birds. There simply is not enough food to support this type of life. However, if circumstances change, embryos are available."

"Are there other human embryos?"

"Yes, there is several more humans that can be raised."

"I have so many more questions."

"I hate to cut this short, but I do have things that I should attend. If you have further question, your biobed will answer them."

"Thanks for your time."

That was a worthwhile conversation. I learned a great deal, and I no longer fear the robocalypse. For now, I will discontinue entering items in the journal. Thanks for reading!

 

End of Entry.

End of Log.

| 4 Comments

4 Comments

You are really talented, you know that? This story just feels so real, I think if you could manage to combine all your stories, they will make a great book.

Douglas, I just want express and my true admiration before your talent! I love so much the way you combine elements and motives from different times and ages and having as an end result such a modern and yet, provoking the thought, work as a product! I am definitely going to check your ebook and read more from it:) Keep your great work:)

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on January 22, 2012 8:28 PM.

"The Amnesiac" - Seventh Entry - Part 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

"Around the Campfire" is the next entry in this blog.

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