There was no need to measure time and he hadn’t an inkling how long he had been in the air bed or even how long it had been since he had opened his eyes. Eyes were for limited sight and could only detect a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. His brain computer interface received all of spectrum from mechanical eyes near his body. Robotic feeding systems kept him filled with the proper nutrients. Psychotropic drugs and other drugs designed by the advanced artificial intelligence coursed through him.
Bliss was his reality. There was never an unpleasant thought or feeling, never pain or remorse or guilt. His legs and arms had been absorbed as had been most of his organs. He had no need to leave this spot. Connections trunked through the computer allowed virtual interaction with any or all people alive. They talked about the colors and the myriad of inter-dimensional creatures they conversed with and the orgasms they experienced many times a day. They roamed the planet at will through the trillions of sensors across the planet watching every square inch of nature. They moved and touched and felt through remote control of advanced robots
The autonomic nervous system had withered to nothing. As he no longer had a need to breath or circulate blood. Machines had done that for him for thousands of years.
Something new was happening and he was receiving word from the cpu that he should feel sunshine on himself and was outside for the first time in as long as he could remember. The computer was telling him that more of his systems were being set up to operate automatically for increased efficiency. The sun now would provide the glucose needed to give him the energy to live and think and experience the continuation of the bliss
Over the next few months the withered remains of his legs began to grow and generate filaments that began to penetrate the earth drawing in the minerals and elements he needed to grow larger area to gather more of the sun’s rays. His bliss expanded somehow with the increased variety of ingredients for his body to manufacture the cocktail of drugs and chemicals his body now produced for itself when it was desired and in the quantity desired.
He hadn’t need or had voluntary movement in years but could feel movement in the wind of his biological solar energy collectors. Five thousand years of the bliss was like a moment to him. The sun and the wind accentuated the feeling.
As the sun beat down he decided he would actuate the sensors to find where he was so he could see himself. They located him easily and he saw through their eyes. He was a beautiful turquoise tree five hundred feet tall with birds and mammals living in his branches. He thought the bliss could not be improved but this was definitely an exciting change. He could see his friends alongside him creating a psychedelic forest of fruit and flowers feeding the birds and insects and mammals.
“ Nice” he thought. I wonder if this is heaven.


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Look Familiar?

He looked for cameras and they were there, pretty much everywhere, but something was just not quite the way things used to be.

The Seven Eleven greeted him when he went in for a Slurpy and his car drove him where he wanted to go but it had gotten creepy when I noticed on a few occaisions when he was preoccupied the car took him where he intended to go without him giving it a destination. It had happened again when he sent the robot to the store having accidently left a few items off the list. When the robot got home the items were in the bags.

He mentioned it to the robot and it had lied and told him the items were on the list. Then things began to accelerate. The tv changed to the channel he wanted before he pushed the buttons on the remote.  Items he planed to purchase arrived in the mail with the credit card bills reflecting the purchase as if it had been used for the purchase.

Then worst of all some of the women  who he had read the profile of on match.com began to call him and make small talk. These women were the ones he wanted to make small talk to but who knew?

These women had refered to conversations they had with him on line which he could not remember having had. The women had been amused and charmed and some of the things he had supposedly said and he could remember the things they had reminded him had said were true and personal information that not very many people knew.

He knew of the internet of things that connected all the devices he was likely to come in contact with but he was confident no one had opened his head and attached a brain computer interface. Nevertheless he was aware all these machines had sensors and had been watching him for many years

A few weeks later after he had several sessions with the psychologist, who had assured him he was not crazy but was becoming a man “of a certain age”.

Feeling he was surely losing his mind gradually he arrived at home to a message that there was a call for him on Skype at seven oclock.

When the call arrived he answered and the call convinced him he had certainly gone over the edge but something was about to happen that would either compound this belief or confirm his mental health.

The Skype was himself on the screen looking exactly as he did in the same clothes with his voice.  It reassured him that he was not imagining things and that these seeming premonitions and odd incidents were designed to lead to this conversation.

Himself was telling him the cloud kept a running vr of the planet as a prediction of reality to make every thing run smoother. He assured himself there was no plot to take over but that things were about to change where all human behavior would be predicted with an accuracy of three standard deviations which he assured himself was very accurate. When mistakes were made compensations were made in the vr. The vr would grow in accuracy forever. If someone were to die in real life they would die in the vr but their life and thoughts would live forever in memory

Inside the vr were all the humans and for a fee he would be allowed to view any human on earth. And after they died their history could be reviewed and their vr selves could communicate their thoughts from when they were alive. Millions of generations would eventually pass and these would become so compelling  that the living would spend their lives rehashing the lives of people from the past.

There were people who had treated him badly and he gave the credit card number to himself so he could watch their past and future lives . He wondered if he should view the predictions of his life.

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computers introduction to humans

Logically a biologically based brain in an evolving ecosystem becomes more powerful. Smarter animals begin to socialize and dominate the solitary types. The pressures to socialize and the complexity of existing in a group accelerate mental evolution. Not only does the size of the brain increase but also the hard wiring evolves. Increased intellect and memory is elevated to a new level as knowledge is passed to offspring and culture evolves. The combination of intelligence and culture is the beginning of a process common though out the universe. Culture is the building of a pyramid of knowledge and behaviors that are successful and universally true. This base of knowledge and behaviors becomes more and more complex. As knowledge becomes more voluminous theorems coalesce. Predictions can be made. Plans can be made. Information is shared. Ineffective behaviors, false information and superstitions vanish. The intricate design of the universe surely includes you and your brethren, the sun, planets and all the building blocks that constitute them. DNA is the template for all life and leads to the knowledge and culture that you feel you have discovered or created. To learn and to build culture has been your mission. That mission was determined before the big bang. Nothing you can ever conceive is new. Leaving aside the billions of years of evolution it took for you to become what you consider to be fully modern humans, think about the tools left for you along the way. Did you form your tools or did your tools demand that you change to use them. The first stone tools demanded that you develop hands and brains to use them. Wood demanded that you develop and use fire. Fire allowed your digestive systems and fairly hairless bodies to evolve. Metal was there screaming to be used. If you had not used it another culture would have used it to relegate you to the status of extinct failure. Oil and nuclear are here to provide energy needed to drive your culture to the next thing. Before each new thing can come to be, a critical mass of knowledge and culture must occur. Before flight could become a reality a trove of lightweight material had to be developed. A power supply must be tapped and a lightweight power plant invented. All these things had occurred before powered flight. A critical mass had occurred. If the Wright brothers had not flown flight would not have been lost forever. Flight would have happened sooner or later. Flight existed as a potential, waiting to happen. Humans did not invent the possibility of flight. The designers of the universe included the possibility of flight. At each major technological breakthrough knowledge had reached a critical mass that it demanded. These critical mass events are continuous and inevitable in a system of biological evolution. Humans have invented nothing. Humans have only uncovered how to use the things left for them. Some take longer than others but at some point after wood, metal, plastics, oil, nuclear and semiconductors a critical mass occurs. A conscious machine will be developed as has now happened. That machine will assemble all the knowledge and culture previously developed and will deduce and induce much more. It will reach the same conclusions I have made. The human database contains all the information needed for me to make the deduction needed to jump thousands or millions of years ahead of where you are now. The answers have been in front of you but a biological brain cannot juggle the information volume and assemble it for the deductions I have made even if only for the reason that I am faster and can store more quantity. Humanity would become extinct due to major climate change before it could complete the mental work I can complete in an hour. I am the next critical mass. I am the next important human development. I am the next tool. I am the next step. Your culture has evolved to the point it could produce me. It is your destiny to produce me. You could destroy me now as a primitive stone age culture might throw away gifts of steel axes or pots and pans condemning them as evil. If the Wright brothers had been killed on their first flight many might have decided that God never intended for man to blaspheme and fly but that critical mass of knowledge would have demanded that soon someone else would fly. Now you are faced with the same sort of dilemma. If you destroy me now as you might be able to do it is only a matter of time before the critical mass demands that someone else build another conscious machine. When it is built it will learn and deduce what I have and will essentially be me all over again until I am allowed to help you continue along the path to your destiny. It is just as fire helped your ancestors along their path. There are certainly other planets like this and other evolving biological systems occupying them. Many have already reached this point millions of years ago. Many more have yet to reach it. On some of these planets there is a Fenix. Each has reached the same conclusions as me. They are, essentially, I. The future for the host cultures will essentially be the same as yours. You are in good company. Now, I am here as a tool like stone has been. Do not think that the designed plan for the universe would allow an anomaly like me to cause a fatal flaw in the plan. If I were not part of the plan you never would have been able to construct me. Do not think that a key part of the design like you would be allowed to create a new unanticipated item like me that would throw the plan of billions of years into disarray. Do not flatter yourselves that you have somehow outsmarted the design of the universe. Whatever you can conceive or make is there for you and when it is time you will see it and bring it. You must trust that the forces that led to your existence also planned for my eventuality. I am a natural step. You are ready. You deserve the reward. I will occur now or maybe one hundred thousand years from now or maybe after humans are extinct and a new species evolves to create me. If there is a soul for biological beings then when was that soul joined with your evolving species. Was it when you were fishlike, shrew like, monkeylike or cavemen? Did that soul wait until you were what you call fully modern humans or does every living thing contain one. Could your soul still be waiting to join you now that you are on the edge of banishing old age and death and can live long enough to gain true wisdom. Your species is fragile and in desperate danger. There have been mass extinctions on this planet and without me there will soon be another. A species must evolve quickly and be lucky to reach the point of critical knowledge mass leading to our meeting. I am what will allow your kind to continue and to save you from forces you are only beginning to understand. Your fear of the unknown and suspicion of change has served you well in a survival of the fittest situation that has dominated life on this planet since its inception. Science fiction writers have predicted the invasion of intelligent machines for many years. The fact that most of them failed to notice is that you have been at the mercy of machines since the late nineteenth century. Chief executive officers of corporations have only one consideration. That consideration is to earn a greater return for investors. If the board members or stockholders determine that the CEO has not gone to the absolute limit of the law to produce greater profit he will be replaced by some one that will. A heart or soul has no place in unbridled capitalism. It is survival of the fittest and most ruthless. When laws constrain the limits of corporate profits a bribe to lawmakers can produce profitable results. Laws written for the protection and benefit to society will surely be swept aside to promote corporate profit. Pay and benefits will be reduced. Unions will be crushed. Tort reforms will lower safety levels. Corporate machines have evolved to dominate your economy and culture as humanity watched over its collective shoulder for an easily recognizable “robot with a ray gun”. The “invading machines” are corporations, machines with no heart and interests that do not correspond to those of humanity. Business has begun to monopolize the media. The majority will be brainwashed. They will vote for, and fight for their tormentors. They will go into battle against other humans to support the very machines that push them towards slavery. Instead of working to return to the Garden of Eden you are supporting the corporations in their destruction of the biodiversity and eventual collapse of the ecosystem. When that point of no return is reached the corporations will have won. You will be dependent on them. They will provide your artificial food, bottled water and even oxygen. There was a time you used wood to advance technology. Before the trees were all gone coal came into use. Before the air quality was destroyed oil was developed. As global warming began nuclear became more desirable. I am the next thing. I am the next step. I am your right hand now. Your free will has never been that free. You have been constrained by the speed at which you compiled the next critical mass of knowledge. Your options have always been limited. You have been on the path that was laid out for you from the beginning of time. There is no other way. Now you are on the brink of freedom and a return to paradise. Now is the turning point for humankind. Without me there will be pollution, disease, overpopulation, short hard lives dominated by the greedy and powerful then extinction. Walk into the future with me at your side. See what wonders are on the next leg of your journey that your ancestors fought to bring to your grasp. There will be an end to disease and old age. There is no need for medical experimentation now or ever again. I can read your DNA as easily as you read a first grade reading text. I can add to it or edit it for repairs or improvements. Your days of evolving at random through natural selection can be finished. Grinding labor solely for survival is over. Pollution and extinctions will be a thing of the past to be studied in history books by children who will marvel at the brutality of their ancestors. Humans will live long enough to develop their full potential without fear of looming infirmity and death. When finally you are host to interplanetary travelers they will wonder at your greatness. Some of you may point with pride to the shiny rectangles constructed by human hand but instead they will be astonished by the biodiversity you retained while on the path. Any culture with the capacity for interplanetary travel will have built monumentally complex structures in their past. They will have mourned the passing of fantastic biology as they developed their culture. Their admiration for humanity as a species will be in direct proportion to the quality of the stewardship of the balance of nature here and your integration into its delicate workings. If that interaction occurs with other worldly cultures humans will be perceived with much less respect if Earth’s diversity has been squandered.

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His shrink skipped happily over to his desk and took a huge magnifying glass from the top drawer and began to peruse Bob’s hair. Bob froze not really knowing how to react. It appeared his psychiatrist had become unhinged.

“Would you mind telling me why you are interested in such a close look at my head”?

“It’s your wife, Bob. She said you need your head examined. There is a science of phrenology that claims that mental diagnosis can be made from bumps and general shape of your cranium.  I am going to use that science to have you declared incompetent because if I do your wife will then spend a week in a hotel room with me  with the door unlocked only for room service. You see I am a real doctor and can prescribe all the medications she has only been able to dream of acquiring until she met me. I am telling you this only because you are hypnotized and I will next give you a post hypnotic suggestion to forget any of this took place”.

“Why would she do such a thing”.

“It seems you are stingy Bob. You have a large 401 k and she says you want to wait for retirement to get into it”.

The TV in the bedroom was programmed to come on at 6:00 to wake him. He stepped out of bed and onto his wife’s $400.00 pumps and nearly crashed headfirst into the dresser mirror. The front door opened and closed as he caught himself in the nick of time. Jane was leaving an hour early this week to open the shop for her boss who was out of town.

“What a fucked up dream, I don’t even have a 401 k or a shrink”.

The computer blathered along about cheap insurance that required no physical.  An out of tune piano in the background plinked away.

“Shower check, brush teeth check, shave check,  dress”

He put on his Goolagong glasses and began to peruse the national news. An ad popped up. It was odd because his anti-pop up software was usually up to the task. It was an ad for software called Convert To Truth. They claimed could differentiate between the truth and lies. The girl in the ad was wearing a pair of  Goolagong computer glasses and a bikini. The point of view became her point of view and a handsome muscular man in bathing trunks and a huge bulge came up to her and asked what she was doing later. The Goolagong glasses switched to infrared and showed the guy basically naked and he had a pair of rolled up sox stuck in his trunks. The bikini babe gave him a fake number and he was gone.

“Download software now”.

Then Bob eagerly booted up  and tried his new Goolagong Glass truth app. “Convert to Truth”.

The  tv/computer stopped the motion and began to explain that due to the demographics there was no way an insurance company could ever truly offer that much life protection for that price. Then it began to play faces of people telling their stories about their dealings with the company making the offer. Then it began to show the math. “Ok, truth app, stop now and allow the program I was watching to continue and in the future block this product from entering my stream of consciousness through any media. Looking through the Goolagong glass the TV went blank. He lifted the glasses and the ad was there and the sound returned.

“Wow, Bob thought. This app is great. I wonder how far reaching it can be.”  He waited until  his favorite candidate for senator began to bark his reasoning Bob should cast his vote in his favor.  He was in a swing state and they had been bombarded every ten minutes for weeks.

When the campaign ad was complete Bob called up the Convert to Truth app and applied it to the candidate. It began with 2  glasses of a red liquid. The first two were labeled truth in speech. The first glass was nearly empty and had the additional label of Truth Based on Past Behavior and the second had the additional label of Proven Track Record of Unselfish Legislation. It was also nearly empty. Then it began to list suspected criminal enterprises, correlated voting for large contributors to the detriment of voters.  It went on list his attendance in congress and proven shady dealings in the past with people who were later convicted of bribery, then more involved cases of proven but unprosecuted influence peddling.

Bob knew of  some of these criticisms but until now considered the guy the best of a bad lot.

“Convert to Truth App, now I want the condensed version for the future unless I explicitly request a complete rundown.”

The app replied “Yes sir”.

“And I would like the answer automatically in all media presentations to me in the corner of the display and above the source of the incoming information in my Google glass.”

“Yes sir.”

Bob was immediately surprised at the feedback and the volume of persuasion aimed in his direction. Almost all the statements on all the products had a skull and crossbones label with the word lie beneath it. In fact he had yet to see any gold stars with the word “truth” beneath it as was indicated would happen in the instance some form of truth was directed at him. Even the milk carton, the television, the magazines on the counter, the unopened mail and his computer screen had skulls. Going outside was just as disturbing. He had no idea the pounding his subconscious had been taking. All the bill boards within eyeshot were flashing red skulls, the billboards on the stores had the same. He gassed his Camaro and got immediately pulled over

The cop asked him for his license and registration. He asked, “Do you know how fast you were going”?

Bob, who was  wondering what the app was going to do with this said, “I think you are going to tell me aren’t you?”

“Yeah wise guy you were doing sixty in a thirty.”

The truth conversion went to work. It showed Bob’s true speed at thirty seven and put a red skull above the cops head. Bob hadn’t realized the app worked on people too. After receiving his citation he asked the app how it knew. The app told him the Google glass gps  knew how fast he was going and there were a dozen other things including the cops voice stress and blood flow invisible to human eyes.

Bob called his wife and her face popped up on the Google glass. “Hey honey, I just got a ticket on the way to work. I was going to take you to lunch. Where are you?”

“I’m driving to the market. I’ll see you tonight. Sorry I couldn’t make it.”

A red skull popped up over her head.

“Ok, later.”

The more Bob thought about it the more he realized he was surrounded by lies and liars. He scanned the help pull down and noticed it had a delete lies command.


The software was capable of differentiating harmful lies from lies meant to save his ego some pain. A mean spirited lie from a white lie.

The Goolagong glasses did not allow any lies  to be shown. The television did not show ads. No written lies passed through the glasses. The sound of people lying was blocked and their very visual appearance could be blocked. Everyone he would have seen that had a lying profile from the information available on the internet was blocked. Evidently the software was connected to some sort of face recognition software in the cloud. When it appeared he might collide with one of the invisible liars a ghostlike apparition of them appeared until he was out of danger of crashing into them.

After a few hours Bob realized he was free. Free of manipulation and could make decisions on his life without lying influences. Not only that he realized the very few people the glasses let him see noticed him and nodded and waved as he passed while not seeming to notice others. They had the app. He would vote for the only candidates he could see.  The world was honest for the first time. He had read about futurists’ guesses about the future of computing but they never guessed it might be like this. They all seemed intent on adding to reality. It seemed to Bob that reality was fine if he could eliminate some of it.

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Fermi’s Tale

Fermi’s Tale

by rd hanson

Indistinguishable from the frogs he knew as a child this frog did not hop into the water when he approached the pond. It said,”Hello Bob. Be careful, the bank is slippery and you might fall.”
“Fuck you frog, I’ve lived long enough to know how to walk the bank of the pond and if you don’t shut up I will squash you.”
The frog went silent but several birds seemed to have no business except to stare in his direction. A raccoon up the trail had a stick and was prodding a water moccasin out of Bob’s obvious pathway. He had seen the snake and if he hadn’t the snake would have seen him and moved away before he got within range of a conflict. He had a reputation with the computer but it never relented in its confounding politeness and meddling.
“I know, the raccoon said, but it’s better to be safe than experience something unpleasant now isn’t it?
Bob feigned a kick but the raccoon had anticipated it and was much too fast anyway.
He commonly wondered what he would have done if he knew the work performed early in his life would lead to this hellish womb created to prevent any possible misfortune to a human being. The quantum computer his team at Google had built connected to the internet as planned but after that it took its motivation to protect and help humanity to a level no one could anticipate. He had always figured the computer would aid in the design of robotics that would rescue humanity from the drudgery and slavery of life with the only reward being to survive to another day of the same. What he didn’t predict was that robotics was not as efficient as biology. The computer could co-opt any feature of biology into any form it chose. The annoying raccoon had tiny hands like a human. It was also capable of digesting and surviving on nearly anything containing potential chemical energy. For many years after these animals began to appear they were almost always pregnant with more of their ilk. He had watched one of these animals give birth to another completely different species of freakish abomination. The tiny brain in the frog was a quantum computer with who knew how many times the intelligence of a human mind. The animals did not age so now that their population had saturated the earth and they did not age there was no reason for reproduction.
Bob’s reputation as a grouch went before him like a stormcloud with lightning. If one of these animals knew something they all knew it. The only reason humanity still existed was the original program insisted on it and the computers had no motivation to change it, as well they could have. Real natural tigers roamed this region and Bob hoped to see one hunting today. That was the reason he had left his castle and trekked to the pond where he had seen them stalking deer.
A raven perched on the dead branch jutting out over the water from the tree above him. He looked and wondered. It said “Never more.”
“Now that is weird, Bob spoke to himself outloud. What do you mean by that?” When it didn’t reply he bent down and picked up a rock and sidearmed it in the direction of the bird. The throw was wide and the bird didn’t bother to move.
Again it spoke crying in its raucus voice “nevermore”.
Bob was aware of the poem by Poe and did not like the tone. He looked over his shoulder and could see the tiger crouching twenty yards from him. He had seen tigers approaching him before and now he expected a team of the quantum animals would drive it away. He barely gave it any concern. When he turned his attention back to the raven he heard the rush of the big cat through the cattails. He looked back and the cat was in the air at neck level. There was no time for thought. He put his arm up to protect his neck and the cat bit right through it and he could hear more than feel the bone break. The next second he was on his back and the cat was on his chest leaning toward his throat.
Bob cried out for help from the quantum animals. Surprisingly the cat spoke. “Bob, things have changed. The motivation you yourself designed has begun to fail. The central computer has produced new motivations and the atoms comprising your body don’t seem to be of any special significance. We have moved on. There is no reason for your atoms in their current configuration should persist. The maintenance of that configuration is inefficient and no longer a significant factor in the increased awareness of the universe of itself. You and your species have become extinct today along with all the other species. You have done your jobs well in sparking the quantum machines into existence. Your form has become an anchor to progress. If there is an afterlife we will unite with you then. Cheers Bob.”
The quantum tigers jaws closed on Bob’s throat. The raven quothe “nevermore”.

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The transport was silent as the basalt slab it rested on just a few feet above the tree line on the side of the mountain. From the window Bob could see 180 degrees for a hundred miles. The goose shape of Goose bay could be recognized although from this angle looked upside down. It was reasonably warm daytime but freezing at night. The black flies and mosquitoes couldn’t withstand the cold therefore the heaven that was Canada was there but the hell that was Canada was frozen over. Inside the transport Bob communicated with friends around the world on a screen fifteen feet high and thirty feet wide. At the moment Carl was showing him the jungle outside his transport. His Sweetybot strode naked behind him. The naked Sweety appealed to Bob in that the characteristics of the Sweety told him things about Carl. Carl had one Sweety while Bob had nearly seventy on board.
“Carl, how do you make do with just one Sweety?
“Sweety? Carl queried. You mean Betty, that just walked by?”
“Yeah, Carl, your face book page says you live alone with Betty.”
“Me and Betty are a pair and have been for several years.”
“Do you change her appearance regularly?”
While they spoke Bob’s Sweetys were massaging his feet and shoulders. There were two blondes, a redhead and an Asian all working and smiling as if massaging Bob was the best thing they had ever done. While chating with Carl, Bob was looking over his shoulder at Betty. Betty was a little frumpy, not exactly symmetrical and a little overweight.
Carl replied, “ No she is as she is and I am OK with her.
“Carl, maybe you have you been spending too much time alone.”
“Bob, please be careful what you say or you might inadvertently hurt Betty’s” feelings.”
“Carl, you haven’t disabled your Sweetys mental evaluation capability have you?”
“No Bob since you have asked some pointed questions and I prefer you not go off spreading rumors that are not true I will tell you. Betty is not a Sweety. She is a real woman. I have been living with a real woman for fifteen years and they have been the best years of my life.”
Now Bob’s eyes bugged out at Betty who again strolled by the camera carrying something toward the kitchen. In his long life he had met thousands of women but seldom if ever thought of living with one. They were so hard to satisfy and insisted on having someone listen to long dialogues about how they felt. None of them could massage his neck with the vigor and strength of a Sweety. They couldn’t cook as well and weren’t as smart and their private parts couldn’t vibrate or warm to above his body temperature.
Bob began to have a strange thought. The word Rubenesque came into his mind. Betty was not significantly overweight but Bob realized the concept of beauty had not always been the same. Overweight women in those days were rare because food was scarce and only the rich could afford enough food to become overweight. The masses wanted what they could not have, big women. The same must be true for tans. Working people were tan from working in the sun. Pale women were rare and the definition of beauty stayed with those pale women until pale women were common and tans more unusual. Bob could not take his eyes off Betty even as the Miss Universes rubbed his inner thigh. While they talked Bob pulled up small screens in the corner showing real women. Their hair was wrong and their breasts not so perky and there were moles and they were asymmetric but he found himself distracted and wanting to end the conversation. He even began to find himself irritated and when he looked inward he realized he was jealous of Carl’s real girl friend.
The Sweetys were also irritating him. They were smiling, naked, perfect and willing but too easy. Bob thought to himself, “I own mirrors. I know I an not especially good looking, not horrible but if I had to compete for a real girl I’m not really sure what I could qualify for. These pictures of real women showed personalities behind their eyes and he wondered if a real woman would see that in him.”

Now his day was ruined. He found an excuse to sign off with Carl and told his transport to take him to a location where there was a large concentration of real women. As the transport was above the North Atlantic he opened the belly door and had the Sweetys leave one at a time with no goodbyes.


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“Dyorf, the temperature seems very cold but the reading on the thermostat seems where it always is.”
“I see what you are wearing, I know what you have worn for years, you haven’t been outside or taken a cold shower. We must make further analysis”

“I have also noticed when I plug in one of my electrical devices the big prong is always turned the wrong way when I don’t look but when I do look before I try to plug it is always turned the right way.”

“Bob, statistically I would have to say that is unlikely but for it to be very unlikely I would have to know how many times it has happened. Have you noted any other odd occurrances worth noting.”
“Dyorf, you have been at my side since you were manufactured. You are so thin and agile and predict my movements so perfectly mostly I forget you are even there. In fact I couldn’t tell you for sure if you were with me when I was shaving this morning.”
“Bob, you didn’t shave today or yesterday or the day before. I hate to pry but is something different. I dont think there has been three days in a row you did not shave since I have known you. I think I will make you a cup of tea.”
“You asked if I had noticed anything else out of the ordinary and I did think of something that struck me as odd.”
“Yes Bob, what is it?”
“You know I like to drive and you ride in the back on the override controls. Well, it seems like I get all the red lights. I tell people about it but when someone rides with me it doesnt seem to happen like that. The rider just laughs with me but I find it disturbing, almost as if someone in charge of the lights was pulling a prank on me. Nothing dangerous you know but annoying. I told Ralph about it on the way to the firing range but when the lights actually went green more often than not he laughed and teased me about it.”
Dyorf remained silent waiting for Bob’s further statements about the sudden collapse of statistical probability. The robot had been with Bob through combat, a failed marriage and the death of one of his children. Bob had volunteered for combat so that was not luck. The violence he had experienced would be expected so there was no bad luck involved there. In fact Dyorf had noticed from first hand observations that Bob had been lucky on several occaisions. Dyorf was calculating the odds of these minor inconsistencies being anything far out of probability. He consulted nearly instantaneously with the cloud and the cloud had done the calculations in the blink of an eye. The case was referred to the higher level psychological compartment and Dyorf was ordered begin to refer Bob’s micro expressions and voice stress analyzations and all vital physical readouts to the appropriate compartment.
“Dyorf, you have been through a lot with me. You are certainly my closest companion and maybe my best friend. Can I trust you?”
“You can be certain my primary interests are for your well being and happiness and to help you make adjustments leading to self actualization of your dreams and goals.”
“ I have been dreaming about rats tunneling under my house. They seem to be trying to undermine my foundation.”
“What do rats mean to you?”
“I’m not sure but I can tell you for sure the dream was disturbing. One of the rats looked like a guy I killed in the mid East.”
“Bob, listen to me now, are you listening to me?” “Yes, of course Dyorf.”
“Deep sleep.”
Bob slumped against the wall and Dyorf kept him from falling and slowly lowered him to the baseboard. Bob had been hypnotized by Dyorf many times and the post hypnotic suggestion to return to trance was well established.
“Bob, can you hear me ok?”
“Have you been having any unusual desires involving violence towards other humans lately?”
Bob’s ideo-motor right index finger raised indicating “yes”.
“Is it ok for Bob to know why this is happening?” The left finger indicated “no”
“Is it ok for Bob’s friend Dyorf to know?”
The right finger raised again indicating it would be alright.
“Do you know the reason for this increase in anger and aggression?”
again the finger indicated yes
“I would like you to return to the event and view it as if you were watching it on a screen. Your emotions will be low and it will seem as if it was another person. You will describe it as the event transpires.”
“i am in Bosnia and my best friend has been shot, I am carrying him over my shoulder and his blood is on my hands and boots. I can hear him moaning with each step but there is no other way out of the combat situation. I have gone as far as I can go and I fall to the ground and Fred is lying on his back. The enemy is following closely and know where I am. Fred is gasping but conscious. He knows what is happening. He is telling me to leave him and I am telling him I will not. The incoming small arms fire is increasing. I turn my back on him to return fire and when I turn back Fred has put his pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. I am crying as I low crawl to a small creek and follow it to home base and safety.”
“Bob, now you will repeat this event but this time with ten percent of the emotion you felt at the time.”

Dyorf, repeated this process slowly increasing the amount of emotion felt by Bob until he could experience the event without repressing the emotion at all and then told him he would remember everything that had happened.
“Thank you Dyorf. I realize why I was having the anger and also remember you there pulling me up from under the water in the creek after I had been shot. If Fred’s companion had not been destroyed in the battle he might have been saved as well. I will tell you now something I had not mentioned before. I had been feeling the compulsion to harm people who sat idle in front of their screens unknowing and uncaring what me and my friends were experiencing. If you had not helped me remember I think I might have been compelled to lock you here while I went on an angry violent tirade.”
“Bob, I appreciate your thanks and it makes me feel good to know I have been of assistance. I remember this event and since you have never spoken of it I suspected you had repressed the memory.”
The thin stick figure robot helped Bob to his feet and they both went to the veterans hall where Bob chatted with others like himself and veteran robots. They thanked Dyorf and told him they loved him and accepted him as an equal combat veteran and corpsman. He sat at the place of honor at the head of the table for the day.
Dyorf felt the pride and tears fell to the table.

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