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NEW YEARS DAY - 2374
15 December, 2005
Drunk, his pants halfway down his ass, Ricky wanted to piss against a dumpster in the alleyway and the only way he could was to force Monty to read the headlines from the tabloids on the newsstand aloud.
"My Baby's Father is an Alien... I Ripped Her Heart Out and Stomped on IT... I'm Pregnant with Star's Love Child... Fifty-Year Legacy of Clinton Death Squads... Waterworld Remake Flops Yet Again... Two-Headed Frog Signals End of Civilization as We Know It... The Quack Doctor Who Cut My Tits Off... Gay Man Has Baby But Can't Breast Feed... New Evidence of Gunman on Grassy Knoll... Images of WTC Reveal Alien Intervention..." he droned through the headlines without emotion. Ricky's new bladder still wasn't working quite right. It wouldn't let Ricky relieve himself until it held three liters and then, it unleashed its liquid load under garden hose pressures. The Doctors couldn't explain it. Ricky didn't help the problem. His new piercing that passed through the head and shaft of his cock sprayed urine up, down, sideways, and forward like a garden sprinkler. The stream seemed to go on forever with Ricky moaning in relief and punctuating his relief efforts with loud and malodorous farts. The newsboy held a paper over his face and silently laughed. Watching a drunken Ricky misbehave was the big entertainment for the night.
"Will you stop reading that shit," Ricky snarled. He jerked his manhood back inside his skintight trousers. The cock ring made a stupid looking bulge in the fabric. The newsboy smiled when he saw it and rubbed pizza grease off his hands onto a T-shirt that announced he was fifteen years old and a virgin. Ricky ignored him.
"Ah Ricky, how could you say that? This is great shit. It’s the first day of a new year - 2374. Where else but here could you find out about love affairs of the rich and infamous or alien insemination of white slave women with humongous tits? Where else would you find stories about alien vaginas raping men because Mars needs women? Where else would you find those intricate conspiracy theories exposing our governmental privates for the world to see?" Monty smart-assed at Ricky.
"Blow me, ass wipe, where else would you find such a succinct, isn't that the word, statement like eat shit and die or piss off you bloody dickhead?" Ricky barked in short, cropped syllables. His body reeked of booze, drugs and dirt. Monty looked at him and formed his thumb and index finger into a circle. He brought the two fingers against his lips and sputtered out a sound that was vaguely reminiscent of Ricky's last bowel movement – the ultimate Bronx cheer had survived hundreds of years of mankind’s advancement and civility. The newsboy hid his face and convulsed in silent laughter.
"I thought... I thought, I heard you take a shit in public again or did you just blow the rest of your brains out of your bleeding, hemorrhoidal arse... Ah needs me some good score. Mah buzz is wearing off," Ricky slurred his words. He shuffled towards the car. Monty had the key in his pocket. Neither Monty nor Ricky noticed black clad strangers moving next to the newsstand. Hoshi, the newsboy did. He grabbed his money and tried to run but a huge, leather-covered hand at the end of a strong arm grabbed him and covered his mouth so he couldn't warn anyone. His arms and legs flailed against empty air and non-existent ground. Whoever or whatever held him didn't budge. He twisted his head up and saw his captor's silvery jaw. Reassured by the sight of metal, he relaxed and leaned against the toughness of his captor. Two black-clad soldiers who stood a head taller and more than twice the weight of Monty and Ricky surrounded them. Monty just shrank from them. Ricky hitched his trousers up for effect and prepared for a fight.
"You fucking dipshits man enough to want a piece of me?" he yelled and swung at the nearest soldier. He never stopped swinging. He spun and hit the ground with a thud. One of the soldiers lifted his unconscious body off the ground as if he was a rag doll. He put one arm under Ricky’s waist and pushed. Ricky’s stomach decided to relieve itself of all the homemade hooch drugs Ricky consumed. He puked his guts out onto the gutter. When Ricky finished his retching, the soldier threw him over his shoulder. Monty, less drunk and much less abusive than Ricky, just shrugged and let the second soldier put handcuffs on him.
"Dushawn Montgomery Faddis and Richard Boogalatte Greenway, you have been selected for a better life than this, a much better life than this. I'm happy to inform you that you’re being forcibly conscripted into both the armies and the space corps," the hooded figure announced. The newsboy laughed aloud and hugged the speaker who held him.
"Conscripted? When did the government institute forced conscription in this country?" Monty whined. The two soldiers laughed. The first soldier loaded the limp body of Ricky into the back of a black Hummer.
"Who said we're the government?" the shadowy figure asked to no one in particular. He patted the newsboy's bony shoulders.
"Newsi dude, you finally got a little muscle on them scrawny bones of yours. You want to do something other than sell newspapers on the street corner?" the man asked. The second soldier loaded Monte into the rear of the Hummer.
"You know I want to do more than stand on this corner and watch the moral degenerates drink and drug themselves into oblivion. Theah ain't nuthin' left in this slum fo me. Sure as hell I'm goin’ wit’ you. Ain't no one goin' to let no half-breed Chinaman like me get ahead in the world. Take me... Take me body and soul. I'll be your little boy, your lover, your slave, anything you want. I’ll keep that big metal body of yours so clean with just my tongue," the newsboy answered. The hooded figure laughed and lifted the kid in both arms as if he was holding a baby or a small child. The newsboy wrapped his sinewy arms around the man's neck and pulled tight against the big, broad chest of the shadowy figure. He lay there like a baby against its mother.
"Aw Lieutenant Bob497, you got a lover boy there. He's so sweet," teased one of the soldiers. The newsboy hugged and kissed the big man’s head and neck. As he did, he pulled the hood from his head revealing a shiny metal head.
"Aw, Bobby-san, I just love your big, powerful arms, your huge manly chest, your thick fleshy pole, take me so I can worship your body as it deserves." The newsboy planted a big kiss on Lieutenant Bob497's lips. If robots could blush, Bob497 would have turned deep red. He stuck his metal tongue deep into the newsboy's mouth and waited until the newsboy ran out of breath.
"Hey, it's Bobby-san 497 to you, boy... you little smart-aleck," he hugged the kid and returned the affection. Then he turned his attention to the soldier. "And no, Newsie is not my lover. He might be the prodigal son I never had but lover, no... We have a great non-sexual history going back many years. How do you think a newsstand like this could exist in the slums? Newsi here's my best recruiter in New Phoenix," he answered.
"Recruiter?" the soldier asked. The other soldier gave him a hard nudge with his shoulder as he got into the Hummer.
"Yeah stupid, he recruited me. I was a bigger drug addict and male whore than either of these two assholes we just drafted. If Newsi hadn't recruited me, I'd be in jail by now wearing a diaper over my abused asshole and drooling on someone's cock for my next meal. It's his turn to get out," the other Soldier answered.
"I'm going to give Hoshi here the body of an Adonis. That’s the Greek god who was so beautiful that he fell in love with his own reflection," Lieutenant Bob497 laughed. The Newsboy's eyes popped open in mock disbelief.
"Greek god? Greek god? I ain't no half-breed, olive-eating, goat-fucking Greek. I'm a half-breed – a gook-chink, Viet-jap, rat-bastard, half-breed motherfucker. I don't need no pretty face, just big dick to fuck da fat ladies whit. You betta make me big and strong, Bobby-san. I know your Momma and she spank you if you don’t listen," the newsboy answered. The two soldiers laughed. Smiling, Bob497 set him down on the passenger seat of the Hummer and strapped the seat belt around him.
“It’s Gleek Gob, Gleek Gob, not Greek God, Hoshi. You have to get the accent right. If you don’t I’m going to give you the body of a Gleek Gob and the genitals of a mosquito,” Bob497 answered. The newsboy folded his arms and harrumphed. The two soldiers loaded Monty and Ricky into the middle row of seats in the Hummer and sat behind them in the last row of seats.
"Newsi recruited you in this hell hole? But you're so strong and healthy. I can't believe you lived in this slum," the first soldier studied the other trying to see any flaws.
"This is your first assignment with the Special Forces and the space corps, isn't it? Where are you from?" Bobby497 asked as he sat in the driver's seat of the Hummer.
"Yes Sir, I grew up on a wheat farm near Calgary. Our farming cooperative supplies most of the wheat for bread in the Americas. I learned about the Special Forces through my homeschooling classes on the intranet," the first soldier answered.
"Do you remember a Cousin Greg who came to work with the computer-controlled combines?" Bobby497 asked.
"Cousin Greg? He used to stay in my room and tell me stories of outer space and soldiers at war. Mom and Dad hated him for that. They might have complained but he kept those combines running like clockwork. We'd be bankrupt and begging without those monstrosities,” the soldier answered. The other soldier broke up giggling and chuckling. Lieutenant Bobby497 put on his best "you are in it deep, sucker" face and fixed his gaze on the soldiers.
"Your Cousin Greg is one of the Primes, like me. He’s still out there reprogramming Combines and filling the heads of young boys with robots and space. He’s the best programmer among the Primes. In fact, not only did he program the original robotic Combines years ago, he downloaded his consciousness into all of them. Each one turned into a mini Greg. It took us years to get his personality kinks out of those machines. We had so many men tied up in fixing Combine programming that we decided to use them for recruiting purposes. Hence, your cousin Greg used to visit to reign in the idiosyncrasies of his original program," Lieutenant Bobby497 enlightened the soldiers. HE climbed into the driver’s seat and drove the car towards the highway.
"That might explain why the Combines worked for some people and not others. What was the kink in the machine, so to speak." the soldier asked. The other soldier and Lieutenant Bobby497 laughed aloud. The soldier looked at them in distress. He realized that he had just dug himself into the punch line.
"I thought you knew. He reported how susceptible you were to his advances. Cousin Greg is hot for teenage boys. He never did get his fill of cute, humpy young boys to involve in all sorts of nasty sexual things. He programmed his face into the tractor seat, his tongue into the gearshift, and his cock into the steering wheel. I've been told that the steering wheels on those combines were always a little sticky," Lieutenant Bobby497 lied merrily. The soldier didn't know how much was true and how much was false but he stupidly looked at both hands front and back. The car broke into mean sniggering and nasty chuckles. The soldier turned beet red. He didn't vocally admit to the fact that Cousin Greg not only slept in his room, but also shared his bed and enjoyed each other's bodies but his look said everything. Monty, who'd been sitting in the last seat keeping quiet, spoke up.
"Did you ever hear the story about Raul the Prince of the Gypsies? He was the victim of people’s bigotry, don’t ya know?" he asked. The first soldier, Lieutenant Bobby497 and the newsboy broke up in laughter. They all howled the name Raul in long wolf-like howls. They knew the joke but the second soldier didn't.
"Raul? King of the Gypsies? No, I haven't," the soldier answered. Again, gales of laughter filled the car as Lieutenant Bobby497 drove down the highway. Raul howls echoed off the walls of the tunnel they were passing through. After a few minutes of silliness, the soldier interrupted.
"Wait, stop, don’t say it. I just remembered the joke but we called him Omar the goatherd," the soldier said. He actually smiled. It was one of those dumb-as-shit smiles that cattle get on their faces just before the hammer lands on their stupid skulls at the slaughterhouse.
“And forever after he was known as?" Lieutenant Bobby497 asked waiting for the punch line. The soldier raised his index finger into the air imitated a sorrowful, high-pitched voice.
"Omar the goat-fucker fucked one goat and ever-after was known as... Omar... the goat... fucker," he said drawing the words out in long, despairing tones. The three sober men laughed and hooted their approval. He felt emboldened. He was a trusting soul who wasn’t used to the daggers and knives of sharp wits and snappy repartee.
"Did you ever hear the joke about the man who walks into a bar with a duck under his arm and says - I can fart the national anthem?" the soldier said. Lieutenant Bobby497, the newsboy and the other soldier went silent. Only Monty spoke up.
"No, but it you hum a few bars I can fake it," Monty said. It was the wrong punch line to the wrong joke, not only that, it stepped on the Lieutenant’s attempts at humor. No one laughed. No one said anything for a moment, then they all broke up into soft laughter at eyed each other.
Lieutenant Bobby497 cranked up the speed. The highway was a straight shot of only a few hundred miles to their home base underneath the Gravity Elevator. They drove about fifty miles in twenty minutes. They were expected. The road was supposed to be clear. As they passed an interchange, a police car moved in behind them with his headlights blinking, his flashing emergency bar strobing red and white, his four-ways flashing yellow and siren screaming. Radar alarms flashed all over the Hummer’s dashboard too late to warn them of his presence. AS fast as they were traveling the policeman was gaining on them.
"Damn, this piece-of-shit car is supposed to be faster than anything on the highway. What the fuck is this asshole doing out at this time of night?” the lieutenant cursed even more profanely as he thought about the road ahead and signaled the base that they had trouble. It only took a minute for the cop to catch up with the Hummer and wave it over to the side. Lieutenant Bobby497 was not pleased.
“Well, we're going to have another recruit if that jackass gets out of his car. Get ready to secure his police car when I grab him and hold him." The two soldiers snapped a quick “Yes Sir!” and readied their equipment.
"Show him a little leg... Bat your baby blues at him... Tell him the fire is in his eyes..." Ricky suddenly slurred his comments into the car. Monty started to tell him to shut up, but he only carried on louder. The soldier nearest Ricky punched him into unconsciousness with a hook to his jaw.
"Fast thinking! I'm deaf and dumb as of now," Monty said to the soldier. He waved his fingers convincingly in the air. The cop pulled ahead of their Hummer and blocked it from going forward. He turned his spotlights onto the front of the Hummer. Lieutenant Bobby497 pulled his hood tighter over his face to hide his silvery countenance as the motorcycle cop walked back to the side of the car and pulled off his helmet. Lieutenant Bobby497 read the license plate on the cop car and the cop’s badge number. He silently transmitted them to C&C for identification. Then he scanned the cop’s body. The cop was six foot six, two hundred and eighty-five pounds, young, good-looking but a little chunky from one to many donuts. He had one bad disc, flat feet, a repaired left knee, arch supports and odor eaters in his boots. He wore the standard issue bulletproof vest, jock crotch rot and toe fungus. The Hummer was marked as a military vehicle. Most cops would never have stopped it.
"Do you know how fast you were going back there, sweet thing?" the cop demanded. A little vein throbbed on his forehead. He finally flashed his light onto each of the occupants of the car and then returned to the Lieutenant.
"One hundred, forty-five and a half miles per hour, Officer Hayes," Lieutenant Bobby497 said in a calm voice reading the name off his badge. The cop just glared at the answer.
Without warning, C&C flashed the cop’s full name into the Lieutenant’s mind – Jefferson Davis Coatesworth-Hayes. The Lieutenant burst into laughter as the cop’s pudgy little fists waved up and down in the air.
"Settle down, giggles, let me see your driver's license and registration," the cop asked. Lieutenant Bobby497 hesitated. Again, the clerks at C&C were on a speakerphone reading the information aloud and mocking it.
“He just turned thirty years-old yesterday. His mother was Elspeth Maria von Coatesworth of old Virginia, a renowned horse breeder, and his father was Philbert Justin Thackeray Hayes of New Islington, Now-a Yawk, nicknamed Philsie. The Hayes family was famous for breeding championship poodles. Proper society mavens hailed their marriage as the great merging of two grand old houses, dogs and horses,” the clerks giggled madly. They didn’t know that the lieutenant was face to face with the object of their derision. The Lieutenant yelled at the cop.
"There’s no time to lose, officer. No! Time! To! Lose! Military emergency, I have to get these men to the Gravity Elevator. It’s an emergency." On the communications circuit he could hear the clerks winding up for round two of their mockery. This really annoyed the Lieutenant.
“They named their daughter Mitzi Queenbee Coatesworth-Hayes and she married and divorced Billie Joe Jim Bob Boozierre, a steroid-enhanced goalie for the Fairmont Frogs, a soccer team in the Southern-booger League. Mr. Boozierre reportedly had a twelve-inch endowment as attested to by various bimbos, hangers-on and soccer groupies.” The clerks laughed hysterically. The Lieutenant blasted a message back so powerful that their speakerphone shorted out and burst into flames. The Lieutenant involuntarily shook his head to clear the broadcast from his thoughts. His movements seemed suspicious and odd to the cop.
"I don't care if the world is coming to an end and God Almighty is appearing in the east. I clocked you at almost three times the speed limit. Hand over your driver's license and registration," the motorcycle cop demanded.
“Well you see, Officer Hayes,” he muffled a giggle at his name. “We’re removing these ne’re-do-wells from your beautiful community. Just a few MP’s doing you guys a favor, you know. And, um, well, um I kind of left my wallet back at the base. We were hoping to get some professional courtesy from y’all," he said.
“You fucking guys are all the same. This shit has to end. Hand over your driver's license and registration,” the cop declared. He stood there waiting for the Lieutenant to respond. The clerks at C&C reestablished communications and told the Lieutenant that the cop was his to recruit. What, in fact, they told him was that Aaron Burr Dudley Do-Right, as they snidely called the cop, was approved for conscription. The Lieutenant switched C&C to a text channel and then sent himself a reminder to discipline these two clerks when he got back. By the time he did, the cop knew that something kept preoccupying his subject. He decided that the man in the car was a complete idiot.
“Get a grip on your sanity, retard. Hand over your driver's license and registration,” he demanded.
“You know, Officer, you’d look good as a fashion model for jockstraps and thongs for men,” the Lieutenant said. Monty just put his head in his hands and hid his face. He didn't say anything. The cop turned scarlet, crimson, red and purple as the vein in his forehead thumped in anticipation of an imminent stroke. He scowled at the Lieutenant.
"Get out of the effing car and assume the effing position," The motorcycled cop demanded. As the lieutenant slowly opened the door of the car, both soldiers collected themselves and prepared for action.
"Maybe you should call your superiors," Lieutenant Bobby497 said halfway out of the car. The motorcycled cop pulled his gun out and held it on Lieutenant Bobby497.
"Just assume the fucking position, moron. All of you military pricks are the same. You think that you can break any law, abuse any policeman, act like total fucking assholes, and then walk away laughing. We’ll you’ve met your match in me," he said. His face was livid red and his eyes bulged dramatically. Lieutenant Bobby497 was three inches taller and easily fifty pounds heavier. He turned, set his hands on the roof and leaned against the car. The cop tried to pin the Lieutenant against the car with his body weight but the Lieutenant was too strong for that maneuver. He didn't move.
“You know, officer, you should give up those donuts you eat every day. They add ten pounds of ugly fat to your waistline,” Lieutenant Bobby497 mocked the cop deliberately. The motorcycle cop whipped a handcuff onto one of Lieutenant Bobby497's wrists and tried to pull the Lieutenant’s arm behind his back. He yanked down hard but the Lieutenant didn’t move. Frustrated, the cop fastened the other cuff to his own arm.
"This is how we treat smart-assed speeders who drive around with drunks and drug addicts in their cars... You didn't think I knew these guys, did you? I sent them to New Phoenix and you're driving them back to my town," the cop shouted. He started to beat the Lieutenant with his nightstick. It just made a dull thud against the Lieutenant’s metal body. The Lieutenant just stood there for about two minutes letting the cop whack away on his back. Growing more and more frustrated with eat blow, the cop beat on the Lieutenant mercilessly.
Finally, the Lieutenant turned and grabbed the cop's wrist. He lifted the cop’s body high into the air. The cop reached for his gun with his free hand but the nearest soldier relieved him of his weapon. The cop struggled and started to kick. He landed a boot squarely in Lieutenant Bobby497 crotch without effect. The lieutenant shook him like a rag doll. The two soldiers watched. The newsboy leaned out of the car.
"Don't kill him Bobby-san, he doesn't know what you are, how good you are. He just stupid cop used to writing tickets," the newsboy pretended angst and consternation. The motorcycle kicked and clawed at the Lieutenant who still held him above the ground. With his free hand, he gouged at the Lieutenant Bobby497's eyes and head ripping the hood off to expose the Lieutenant’s metallic head. He stopped brawling and stared at the robot.
"You're a fucking robot, aren't you? None of your kind are allowed on Earth. You electronic bastard, the Chief of Police will be pleased with I deliver you to him,” the motorcycle cop yelled as he struggled to get free.
"And you, asswipe, are not supposed to be busting my nuts with your stupid, fucking speed trap. This is a military vehicle, moron. You should have thought twice about stopping us. Now, if you have more than one active brain cell in that fucking thick skull of yours you'll apologize, forget about me and my friends, and we'll all drive on our way," Lieutenant Bobby497 yelled back.
"You over-muscled, sorry excuse for an eggbeater, when I get done with you, you’ll be lucky to be a motorized toilet brush in the public bathroom of a whore house. I know your secrets, you electronic bastard," the cop began to struggle again, kicking punching and flailing at everything or anyone around him. He landed a couple kicks directly into the Lieutenant’s crotch and punched the Lieutenant’s metal head with his bare hand. Clearly, he intended to hurt his captor. The Lieutenant’s metal body just absorbed the blows.
"Now be nice, Bobby-san. He was just doing his job catching speeders. We’ve had a crime wave of speeding recently. It’s been so bad, awful really... This is the big crackdown on the crime of our time," the newsboy smirked. The two soldiers enjoyed the cop’s predicament but dared not criticize their superior officer. Monty wasn't about to say a word and Ricky was still out cold.
"No he's not doing his duty. This arrogant little fucker is freelancing the fucking speed trap. His Captain thinks he's back at the stationhouse catching up on paperwork. Pull his car off the road where nothing can hit it and put a locater beacon on it. I know two fucking clerks who can retrieve it up tomorrow," Lieutenant Bobby497 roared. He shook the cop again never letting his feet touch the ground.
"How do you know I’m freelancing?" the motorcycle cop panted. His eyes betrayed his fear for only an instant then he recovered his exposure. Hitting and kicking a metal body didn't feel too good anymore.
"I radioed your Station house and asked your Dispatcher when I talked to my communications center. The General has already squared your new assignment with the Chief of Police," Lieutenant Bobby497 barked back.
"You can communicate like that?" the motorcycle cop asked. He stopped his thrashing and struggling.
"Of course, I can do that. I'm a highly computerized robot, you silly ass. What do I look like, the Oracle at Delphi?"
"Waht yah gointo do wit him, Bobby-San? Can ah watch while you beat him to bloody pulp. I wanna see bloody pulp. He try kickin' your nuts in, you gointo kick his nuts so hard his teeth fly out," the newsboy rattled on. Lieutenant Bobby497 laughed and hugged the newsboy with his loose arm.
"Don't be so bloodthirsty, Newsi. What good is his body beaten to bloody pulp?" Lieutenant Bobby497 laughed and ran his free hand over the newsboy's hair. He hugged the kid to his chest. When he did, the cop's feet just about touched the ground but Lieutenant Bobby497 yanked him up again. The cop grimaced in pain.
"I could just smack his face into the ground. Give those cheeks and jaw a nice case of road rash. Imagine Jefferson Davis Coatesworth-Hayes’ pretty-boy looks with embedded sand and gravel, a permanently dirty face for him to look at every morning... It would do wonders to bring out those brilliant green eyes. Do you know that I could squeeze your wrist tight enough to amputate your hand?” The cop quit struggling and fixed his gaze right on Lieutenant Bobby497's silvery eyes and their coal-black pupils.
"Please sir I'm not worth anything to you with a crushed wrist," the cop said. The Lieutenant set the cop down on his feet but still held his arm high enough to hold him steady.
“I have another option. I could just stand here for a day or two with you hanging just like this. After all, I am a machine and I don't need food, water or even clothing," said. The newsboy started to say something but Lieutenant Bobby497 stopped him. He squeezed the cop’s wrist harder. The cop's face contorted in pain.
"As I said before, if you have more than one active brain cell in that thick skull of yours, all you have to do is say the right thing and I'll quit hurting you," Lieutenant Bobby497 stood as impassive as a statue.
"Yes, you're right. I was wrong. I shouldn't have been out here with a speed trap. I should have offered you an escort, and... and, I apologize for kicking and hitting you... and I apologize for calling you names," the motorcycle cop said. Lieutenant Bobby497 lowered his arm slowly and let the cop free. The handcuffs still held them together. The cop rubbed his shoulder and elbow. He searched his pockets for the handcuff key.
"What else do you have to say," Lieutenant Bobby497 asked. He hoped the man had the smarts to join him voluntarily.
"Brazen Boy!" the cop bellowed. Lieutenant Bobby497’s body shut down completely. The cop quickly unlocked the handcuffs from his wrist and had his gun halfway out of the holster. It took exactly three seconds for the Lieutenant to reactivate his robotic body and come back to life. He grabbed the cop in a bear hug and held him so tight that he could barely breathe. The cop glared at the robot, angry and defiant.
"How the fuck did you do that? You're not supposed to be able to turn yourself back on," the cop blurted out. His voice was high as he gasped and struggled.
"That's definitely not the word I wanted to hear and I think that you knew that,” the Lieutenant scanned the man’s body like a lie detector. The cop tried to break the bear hug but couldn’t. He almost head butted Bobby497 but realized that he’d only hit metal. He let his body go limp. He knew from the look on the robot’s face that whatever he said was a closely guarded secret. Confounded by the revelation, he figured it was better not to use force to get out of this situation.
“You programmed a bypass around the failsafe, didn't you?” the cop said. His expression hardened and his physical reactions slowed below normal. He needed to survive this bear hug.
“Tell me how you knew those words?" Lieutenant Bobby497 demanded. The motorcycle cop didn't answer so Bobby497 shook him hard.
"You will tell me how you know those words or you will cease to exist as a person," the Lieutenant adjusted his arms and began to crush the cop’s body like a snake. Breathless, the cop refused to answer. The Lieutenant closed his eyes. As he did, both soldiers reacted to his radioed commands. Officer Hayes realized that these soldiers had radio implants and the robot controlled them. They got the police car off the road and everyone but the Lieutenant and the cop into their car. They readied flares for the helicopters. Officer Hayes could feel his body weakening under the relentless assault from the robots arms. Fog appeared at the edges of his vision. When Lieutenant Bobby497 opened his eyes, he looked directly at the cop.
"Officer Jefferson Davis Coatesworth-Hayes, your Mother is Elspeth Maria von Coatesworth, your father is Philbert Justin Thackeray Hayes, and your sister is Mitzi Queenbee Coatesworth-Hayes nee’ Boozierre. You, sir, are a single white male with no girlfriend. You are estranged from your family because you refused to marry the girl your parents chose for you and you took a job as a common policeman instead of following in your family’s business,” He paused to let the significance of how much biographical information he knew sink into the cop’s thick skull.
"How do you know that?” the cop asked. His voice sounded weak and odd in his own ears.
“Officer Hayes, do you know what Sun Tzu once said?" Lieutenant Bobby497 said.
“Sun Q, Susie Q, Sing too?" the cop answered remaining defiant. He struggled feebly to free himself.
"Sun Tzu, not Susie Q, you moron,” the newsboy yelled out of the car. The soldiers quickly moved to shut him up. The Lieutenant rolled his eyes.
“Sun Tzu said keep your friends close and your enemies closer," The Lieutenant answered. He didn’t wait for an answer. “You're a dangerous, little man, Officer Hayes. Consider yourself on special assignment to the military from this moment forward. DO not pass go. Do NOT collect a hundred dollars.” Lieutenant Bobby497 crushed the cop into unconsciousness.
“Tie him up so he can't harm himself and strap him to the front passenger seat. There are two clerks on crap-duty who will pick up the patrol car in thirty minutes. We’re going to be long gone before they get here," he told the two soldiers. They quickly carried out the Lieutenant's commands. Newsi got into the back seats and sat between the two soldiers. Monty sat with the unconscious Ricky in the middle row of seats. Monty knew that forced conscripts often ended up as embedded controllers in spaceships or satellites or as the control systems of complex machines. This cop might have saved his ass from that fate. He realized that the cop had tried to shut down the robot and the robot had reanimated itself. That was precious knowledge for someone with nothing to bargain.
The Hummer resumed its trip down the highway. At every lurch, the newsboy would grab the two muscular soldier’s private parts for stability. They would slap his hand away. Monty sat ahead of them listening to the scuffling and fussing. Ricky and the cop remained unconscious. In ten minutes, they reached the entrance to the Gravity Elevator. Once inside, they followed the featureless tunnel until it opened onto a garage-like bay. Lieutenant Bobby497 motioned for all of them to enter a security chamber. Monty and the Newsboy walked under their own power. The two soldiers carried the drugged out Ricky and the well-tied motorcycle cop into the security chamber. As the doors to the security chamber slid closed, the rear wall opened into a laboratory. The Laboratory overlooked the computer chamber of the North American Facsimile Accelerator. They were the only humans in the facility. A host of silvery robots staffed the computers. The computers four football fields of floor space. A half dozen conversion chambers waited on their left. Oblivious to the equipment, Hoshi spotted a coffee urn and started to drown himself in caffeine and donuts.
“I swear that kid lives on caffeine and sugar. It’s no wonder he stays so thin. Youth does have its advantages,” Monty said to Lieutenant Bobby497.
“Maybe it does, but Hoshi’s been snorting golden horse for a month now. Caffeine lessens the withdrawal symptoms. He thinks I don’t know about it. In another few months he’d be dead from it,” Lieutenant Bobby497 answered. Monty voiced a silent “O” with his lips. The Lieutenant shrugged.
“Hey dick-weed, make me some Oolong tea and make yourself some Ooshort or that scrawny Darjeeling you like so much,” Lieutenant Bobby497 yelled at Hoshi. The kid laughed hard then pretended to be angry.
“Ooshort, are you joking about my height? I’ll make you some of that green Toe Fungus tea from my green toe fungus. Then you see what side is up. You better make me a tall robot. I don’t wanna be no coffee machine for some rich and fancy couple. And don’t forget I want a cute ass,” Hoshi retorted. The Lieutenant grinned and winked at Monty. It was his way of saying there is more here than meets the eye.
“No, you’re not going to be no coffee machine, you’re going to be a bidet,” the Lieutenant joked. Hoshi harrumphed and started stuffing donuts into his mouth.
“So this is the North American Facsimile Accelerator and those are the infamous conversion chambers where you make toasters and as the rumors have it - assail minds and obliterate desires,” Monty said. He was only half joking. The rumors concerning robotic processing terrified him.
“No, we’ve never deliberately turned anyone into a toaster. Sometimes the human mind is intractable and just can’t be tamed. You and Ricky will make good soldiers when I’m finished processing you. Plus, I’ll probably create a robot persona from your minds and send the two of you to one of the large Freighters that are nearly ready to make planet-fall. ,” Lieutenant Bobby497 remarked. The soldiers started to undress Ricky. His body was a mess of track marks and scars.
“I thought you would turn Ricky into a controller without a body?” Monty asked.
“Not necessarily, we usually don’t turn men into controllers just because they started out as druggies. I can adjust Ricky’s addictions and give him a purpose in life. Most men from the inner city are drug addicts. The process is a little uncomfortable but nothing more than that.
“So you want us to agree just like that, huh? What do we do, stand naked in the chamber while you transform our diseased minds and drug-ridden bodies?” Monty asked sarcastically.
“As a matter of fact, yes you do stand naked in the chamber. The cleaning robots will burn your clothing and any other useless junk you have. We’ll supply everything you need after the processing. So how about getting undressed and standing in the chamber. You’ll feel like a new man when you walk out of the chamber. I guarantee you’ll be buff, humpy, fat-free and handsome,” Lieutenant Bobby497 said. Monty weighted the alternatives and started to remove his clothing. He still had muscles and tight abs. His body looked to be about twenty-two or twenty-three. His face looked much older. He meticulously arranged his clothes on the back of a chair. This was something that Bobby497 had seen before. When reduced to just the clothing on their backs, many men took great care with even the filthiest and most bug ridden possession. As he undressed Monty thought that this robot seemed to be on the level with all of them. He seemed to be fair and understanding. If this quantum horseshit worked, Monty would be free from the upcoming withdrawal. Hoshi on the other hand started to buzz on caffeine and sugar.
“You mean I get to look like one of these two soldiers. They big strong boys but do dey got big, man-sized units like black boys or cheesy little units like white boys?” the Newsboy whipped his pants off to his knees and waved his hips at the Lieutenant. His cock made smacking noises as it bounced off his bare stomach.
“Hoshi, you are a rotten little horndog. Have a little modesty. You should be happy I don’t turn you into a space-faring garbage scow. You’ve been smoking sausages of any size, shape and race since you were five years old. Now I’m giving you a chance to be a good solid citizen. How about behaving dog? Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” Lieutenant Bobby497 said. He folded his arms and watched the kid carelessly drop his clothing and kick off his shoes and socks.
“I ain’t no gift horse. I’m a stallion,” Hoshi flexed his arms to show off his young muscles. His smile was engaging but his body was something else. Gangly, scrawny, lanky, undernourished, all those words fit to describe his build. The only parts of him that seemed grown up were his genitals and backside. His big black eyes sat in the middle of a round face framed by stringy, black hair. His dark-olive colored cock poked out of and tiny patch of black hair. Monty put his arm around the kid’s shoulders and pulled him over towards the chamber.
“It’s time for a change, kid. This old life is no good. Whatever is on the other side of that chamber has got to be better than what we had,” Monty said. His own words didn’t assure his ears. He wondered what it sounded like to everyone else.
“I’m scared, Monty,” the kid said softly.
“So am I kid. So am I,” Monty said. He hugged Hoshi’s head to his chest and then let him step into the chamber. The soldier fastened Hoshi’s arms and legs. Monty gave Lieutenant Bobby497 a hard and stern look before he stepped into the second chamber and let the soldiers fasten his ankles and wrists. They watched as the soldiers undressed Ricky and fastened his unconscious body into a third chamber. When they finished with Ricky, they left the chamber.
“You doing the cop now, too?” the one soldier asked. The Lieutenant connected his artificial brain to the Facsimile Accelerator and began to share his recent memories of their capture with the machine.
“No, He’s my special project. I’ll take care of him,” Lieutenant Bobby497b answered. The soldiers left him tied to a chair. The Lieutenant started the Facsimile Accelerator and several hundred small lights on the control panel began blinking and flashing in eight or nine colors.
“Relax you’re going to enjoy being this. You’re getting order and logic in place of random emotion and chaos. Plus, the quantum enhancement of your bodies will make you stronger, bigger, better looking. The biggest change that you’ll notice is that the human brain is massively redundant while the quantum brain is not. Your memories will be serialized. That’s the big change to your mind. One of the benefits is that I’ll remove your addictions and repair the damage that the drugs did to your bodies. I’ll enhance your reflexes, your muscles, improve your health and make you productive members of society. This conversion will make your body live a longer and more profitable life. Part of you will become a robot with a body similar to mine, assigned to the Space Corps and sent to terraform a planet with one of the Federated Freight and Transport Guild’s giant spaceships. Each of your incarnations can update its master memory module back here on Terra Prime just to keep the other incarnations informed. That’s it, easy as pie.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re just a robot,” Monty said. He noticed that the room wasn’t cold. The newsboy didn’t say anything. He tugged at the rings that held him in place. Apparently, the explanation hadn’t allayed Hoshi’s fears.
“I once had a body just like yours. I lived, ate, walked and screwed around just like you. I am not just a robot.”
”But you don’t have a body now. Do you. Is that our fate? If you once had a body like mine, or anyone else’s, why you don’t have it anymore. Why are you just a robot,” Hoshi asked. His voice shook with fear.
“Simple, my human body died 152 years ago. Your bodies will last one hundred to one hundred and fifty years.”
“So all you really are only a consciousness, a memory in a machine, and you can be in any machine you need, huh?” Hoshi asked. His comment surprised Lieutenant Bobby497. He didn’t think that the kid was that perceptive or eve observant.
“I am more than that, much more than that. Another Bobby operates this Facsimile Accelerator. I was the controller on the first twenty-five Space Freighters that launched out of our solar system. It’s my mind functioning either as the control computer or as one of the MECH robots onboard. In another incarnation, I assumed control of the stock exchange for North America and the current air traffic control for airline flights. I, personally, have access to all of those memories and more. Eventually, you’ll have a history like mine,” Lieutenant Bobby497 said proudly. They wouldn’t remember this conversation. Very few people or robots knew exactly who or where the original Bobby, Bobby001, existed at any time. Those few that knew this were Prime Robots and had active Tachyon Entanglement Memory Storage.
“But your designation is Bobby497. Doesn’t that mean that you are the 497th robot with the name Bobby?” Monty asked.
”Sure, but I invented that numbering scheme. I wrote the rule before I created my first robotic body and then I wrote the program for the first robotic body and inserted my mind into it. As a result, I can designate myself any number I my little electric heart desires. I am Bobby001 and I answer to no one but myself,” Bobby497 explained. Monty’s eye grew wide with recognition that he was face-to-face with the Father of all robots. Hoshi didn’t quite get the meaning and Risky was still so stoned it wouldn’t have mattered if a bomb went off next to him.
“I guess we should bow in the presence of a legend,” Monty said.
“You are more than what you seem, Monty. You’ll be an asset to us now and in the future,” Lieutenant Bobby497 answered. All of the lights on the machine signaled green and the Lieutenant activated the Facsimile Accelerator. The quantum fields began to form in each chamber.
“Hi guys, glad you could join us. I’m your guide to the wonderful world of digitization,” a voice chirped gleefully inside both Monty’s and Hoshi’s heads. It sounded just like Bobby497.
“I’m going to begin with the process of quantum departicularization of your minds, and then I’ll adjust your bodies and reintegrate of your minds. This will occur synapse-by-synapse, concept-by-concept and thought-by-thought. You minds are massively parallel and they must become massively serial. All the memories of your lives, such as they are, will be imprinted into permanent memory modules,” the North American Facsimile Machine informed them. Then it hummed a little elevator music. Their memories, minds and consciousness of the three men drained away into the vast storage arrays of the Facsimile Accelerator. There they were reordered, sifted and categorized. Then it reassembled then into serial format and imprinted them onto their base memory modules. Without realizing it, the control program of the Facsimile Accelerator let them see the alterations to their once-human bodies with electronic eyes. The Facsimile Accelerator and its quantum field rebuilt the wasted and never-used muscles and reflexes in their bodies. The computer’s analytical power enabled DNA sequencing and enhancement. The final bodies looked quite similar to their old bodies, but beefier and healthier.
A Robotic Surprise
While his electronic counterpart controlled the Facsimile Accelerator work on Ricky, Monty and Hoshi the Newsboy, Lieutenant Bobby497 turned his attention to the cop who stared angrily at him.
“Officer Jefferson Davis Coatesworth-Hayes,” he paused and rolled his eyes adding, “god what a name. I’ll bet you got beat more than once in grade school over that moniker,” Lieutenant Bobby497 asked as he removed the gag.
“What do you care? All you are is a piece of metal with a good program,” the cop replied. The Lieutenant put his hands on the cop’s face to see if he had any broken bones. The cop jerked his head away from the metal hands.
“I hit your head hard. I want to be sure that I didn’t break any bones. The last time I remember seeing your ugly mug was passing out,” the Lieutenant answered.
“Hit me hard? That’s a helluva description. You nearly broke my skull with that head butt. And just for your information, Robot,” he made the word robot an insult. “I go by Officer Hayes, if you don’t mind. I hate my full name,” the cop acted tough. The Lieutenant resumed his examination.
“I’m not going to hurt you. I want you intact and alert. You got one of the hardest heads in the galaxy,” the Lieutenant replied.
“What do you want from me Robot?” the cop said in confrontational tones. %%%
“First and foremost I want to know how you knew the shutdown word. That’s a very closely held secret,” the Lieutenant asked. It was hard to read emotions off the robotic face. The cop realized that there was more to this robot than the typical automaton.
“What are you going to do if I don’t tell you?” the cop asked.
“If you resist, I’ll use the Facsimile Accelerator to dig through your memories during the quantum departicularization of your mind. I’ll rip the memory out of its hiding place causing irreparable damage to your psyche. After that, when I rebuild your mind, you’ll only be useful as a simple-minded robot and a human ground pounder, nothing more, nothing less. I’ll know what you’re hiding and you’ll be a toaster. All you’ll be is a sad footnote in the records of the Facsimile Accelerator. That a sick sad end to this little episode,” the Lieutenant said. The cop just sat and stared at the ceiling in thought for a moment.
“I guess having a shutdown switch could piss you off. It puts you at the mercy of someone else. I doubt you could fuck up my mind anymore than it is,” the cop said.
“Helpless is a relative term and fucked up mentally is too,” the Lieutenant said. He unlaced and removed the cop’s big, black boots. The cop’s feet were sweaty and aromatic. The cop hoped that the robot couldn’t smell the odor. He didn’t know just how sophisticated the Lieutenant’s robotic body was. Not only could the Lieutenant read the temperature rise in the cop’s body and the anxiousness in his breathing and heart rate but also he really could smell the cop’s feet.
“Holy fucking limburger, those puppies need air,” the Lieutenant waved his hands and laughed. He threw the socks and shoes into the trash. “By the way, brazen boy is a shutdown command that works for all robotic devices if you know how to use it. You don’t just blurt it out. You have to use it in conversation and make a suggestion as to the desired behavior. No human is supposed to know about it. In fact, only a few robots know of its existence,” the Lieutenant explained. He crossed his arms and waited for the cop to say something. The cop stared at the Lieutenant and wiggled his toes. The Lieutenant began to monitor the cop’s physical parameters. He needed something to tell truth from fiction.
“I don’t know how I know it. I only knew it worked because I tried it on a MECH unit a few years ago. I was as surprised as you when the MECH unit shutdown completely. I used it on you because I knew I couldn’t beat you. You’re too strong. I picked the wrong fight and I lost and I knew it. Are you happy now?”
“So you really have memory gaps. I’m a licensed phrenologist and psychologist if you need those type of problems handled,” the Lieutenant said half sarcastically, half offering a solution. He continued to remove the parts of the cop’s uniform and gear not held by the bindings.
“Most of my childhood is a blank. As I said, it’s a vague memory from my childhood. I remember words and I’ve had visions,” the cop answered. His physical reactions indicated he was telling the truth. This minor enigma was worth exploring.
“Well Officer Hayes, tell me how you lost your memory. Tell me everything you remember, your dreams, your visions, any other words, all of it,” Lieutenant Bobby497’s brow actually wrinkled. The pupils of his eyes narrowed and his metal face assumed a puzzled expression. The flexibility and expressiveness of his facial took the cop by surprise.
“All I remember is waking up in a hospital bed when I was fifteen with everyone staring at me. The accident supposedly occurred at my Dad’s farm during the Triangle Fault Earthquake.
“I remember the Triangle Fault Earthquake in 2358. That was a big one. It caused lots of damage,” the Lieutenant said.
“I don’t remember the earthquake. I only remember the farm from after the earthquake. My visions are composed of glowing discs, hairy male torsos, a basement shower room and a set of stairs leading to an attic. The doctors told me an electric transformer blew up. It killed my Uncle and threw me against a wall. All my memories before that are blank or merely random thoughts and incoherent dreams. They said I suffer from concussive brain injury induced amnesia syndrome,” Officer Hayes said. His voice was soft and reflective. A light on the Facsimile Accelerator’s control panel blinked and beeped for their attention. The Lieutenant activated it. His counterpart in the machine spoke aloud.
“C&C records show that he has no uncles, great uncles or even male cousins on either his mother’s or father’s side of his family,” the machine said. The Lieutenant’s eyes narrowed. He addressed the machine.
“Would you access the historical databases and search the yearly Robotic Equipment Repair reports. Look for anything out of the ordinary for those years. In fact, check on all of the Officer Hayes’ friends and acquaintances for that period. See if there is any robotic involvement.” He turned his attention back to Officer Hayes.
“This doesn’t make any sense. You don’t have male relatives and your parents bred horses and dogs. They didn’t farm or raise cattle,” the Lieutenant repeated what he heard from the Computer.
“Who was that?” the Officer Hayes asked. He thought they were alone.
“Me, it’s my incarnation as the Facsimile Accelerator. What good are fifty-thousand parallel processors if you can’t use them? Tell me, what was your Uncle’s name, do you remember that?” Bobby497 answered.
“Sure I do. The name on his headstone is John Carter Shamus O'Malley. My parents used to drag me there once a year for memorial services. When I became a policeman, I checked all of the databases and the death certificate and the Medical Examiner’s report were all in order,” Officer Hayes answered. Bobby497’ eyes popped open. What a fake sounding name, he thought.
“Why do you think that you remember the words ‘brazen boy’ selectively,” Lieutenant Bobby497 asked.
“I don’t know. The shrinks just said that amnesia is a bitch and told me to get over it. Of course, they are assholes and weasels. I’ve searched for years and found nothing, absolutely nothing from my early life that’s out of the ordinary. Regardless, I can’t remember anything but those images and those words. Now you know the sad, sad story of my life – no childhood, nearly killed in the Triangle Fault Earthquake and now forcibly conscripted into the military as a robot because I set up a speed trap on the wrong road and the wrong night,” Officer Hayes said in sarcastic tones.
“Look, Officer Jeff Hayes, regardless of your past, I’m still going to process you in the Quantum Chamber. I know I can retrieve your memories and cure your amnesia. To do that, I’d rather have you a willing participant while I rummage through your mind than an unwilling draftee. You’re record shows that you are intelligent and resourceful. I’m going to untie you. You can’t escape. I’m in complete control of this facility. Hell, I am this facility. If you fight me, I really will turn you into an expensive cappuccino machine. Toasters are so passé,” the Lieutenant made the offer. He waited for Officer Hayes to accept.
“I guess that a career in the military and outer space is better than chasing speeders,” he answered.
“And knowing is better than not knowing,” Bobby497 added. Officer Hayes’ shoulder slumped submissively.
“I’d almost sell my soul to the devil find out what happened back then. Everything in my life points to that event as a critical event but I can’t figure out why,” Officer Hayes said.
The Lieutenant unlocked the cuffs and untied the rope. Officer Hayes stretched his stiff arms and legs then stood up. Without warning, he danced around lifting his feet off the floor.
“Cold,” Officer Hayes said laughing at himself. The Lieutenant was busy punching commands into the computer.
“The floor’s cold and you took my shoes and socks off. That’s all,” he repeated.
“I heard you the first time,” said the Lieutenant. They watched as a MECH robot appeared through a roller door and drove a cart over to the three quantum chambers holding Ricky, Monty and Hoshi. It loaded them onto the cart and hauled them out of the room.
“You’re not going to complete the conversion process on them?” Officer Hayes asked. %%%
“Actually, Bobby025 has that job. He’s more familiar with that job than I am right now. They won’t know the difference. He won’t restore their memories of your abduction. That’s too dangerous a memory to have floating around. Someday I’ll reveal their few lost moments but right now, they won’t even miss them,” Lieutenant Bobby497 said.
“So I’m not only physically dangerous, the knowledge of me is perilous. I feel notorious,” Officer Hayes smiled. He opened the buttons on his shirt and pulled it back off his arms.
“Don’t be too proud of being notorious. Six months ago, someone embedded a virus in a recruit and the Facsimile Accelerator missed it. The virus hit the air traffic control system and the two airplanes at the same time. You probably read about the crashes. What you don’t know is that I lost three robots with one persona, one of my best friends. I can’t even get into his memory backups to restore him. I’m hoping your memory loss has a link to that computer virus. It’s a long shot but it’s just the type of anomaly that should happen in a causality violation,” the Lieutenant answered. Officer Hayes stopped and thought for a moment. He’d just heard more information on the vulnerability of the robotics systems in the world than most people knew in their lifetime. This robot is looking for help with a problem, he thought. This robot is looking for an investigator.
“Isn’t having multiple of your mind confusing?” Officer Hayes asked. He dropped his pants and pulled his T-Shirt up over his head. He had a chunky build with lots of muscles and small beer gut.
“You get used to them. I’ve had multiples for a hundred and fifty years. We don’t argue. We mostly think alike and we work well as a team,” said Lieutenant Bobby497.
“Since you are going to take my mind apart, I guess that I should ask how quantum departicularization works. What should I do to make it less risky to me? After all, you’re not ripping into my suppressed memories?” Officer Hayes asked. It seemed a reasonable question.
“Be calm and help me as I work. Remember that all thought is electronic. Assemble sufficient thought and you attain some form of consciousness. Most animals are at least self-aware. Most animals have attained rudimentary consciousness. For some unknown reason, Homo Sapiens developed art, music, language, poetry, philosophy and altruism. There is a quantum signature to each of these activities. Each mind is unique and generally not in synchronized with another mind. The Facsimile Accelerator merely places your mind and mine in the same quantum state. Once that happens, I can read all of your neuronal activity, memories if you need a name, and then make copies of it. The departicularization part merely sorts these neuronal activities into a time-stamped order,” the lieutenant opened a lock box and put all of his military weapons and paraphernalia into it.
“I think I understand that. I’m not much of a scientist. You basically read all my thoughts and then impose a rewrite on my brain. I worry that if you find I’m some sort of danger, you could simply destroy my mind and take possession of my body. What’s to prevent that? As pathetic as my life has been, it’s still my life,” Officer Hayes said. He folded his arms over his chest. He wanted to hide the fact that he was seating nervously. His statement took Bobby497 off guard.
“In human form I could harm you. However, in my robotic form, I can’t. Robots are hardwired not to harm humans. You’ll find the programming when you are downloaded into a MECH robot. You’ll still be human today and you even after all my work, you can still harm another human. As a robot, I don’t have that option. Robots aren’t entirely as free as humans are. It’s a fine philosophical point of distinction.”
“Philosophy and metaphysics makes my head hurt. I’ll just take your word for it,” Officer Hayes answered. Then he added, “I heard you tell Monty and the newsboy that you would remove their addictions. That’s more than a simple rewriting of memories. I also heard you say that you could rebuild their bodies. If you gave them muscle I would guess you gave them the reflexes to use those muscles.”
“Of course. Your body is stronger, older and in much better health. You’ll appreciate the enhancements more than they will. Now it’s time for you to step into the quantum chamber and trust me,” Lieutenant Bobby497. Officer Hayes dropped his shorts on the floor and stood naked. The man was hung like a horse. He walked proudly to the quantum chamber with his cock and balls swinging back and forth. Lieutenant Bobby497 thought he might have been just a stud chipmunk because of his arrogant manner of law enforcement. However, site of his thick cock and heavy balls changed the Lieutenant’s opinion. Officer Hayes fastened the rings around his ankles first and then his left wrist leaving only on arm free. The Lieutenant fastened the last ring and then went and stood in the remaining chamber.
“One last question, will my designation be Jeff or Jeffrey?”
“You are our first Jeff. Your robot designator will be Jeff001. You human name will remain Jefferson Davis Coatesworth-Hayes. Your parents stuck you with that moniker. I can’t help you there. I do know a competent attorney and a judge who will let you change your name legally, though.” Both men laughed. The Lieutenant answered stepped into a chamber and let the Quantum field build around both of their bodies. It enveloped their human and robotic body bringing them to the same quantum state. Almost immediately, Officer Hayes felt the presence of two Bobby497’s in the energy field. They seemed to play with each other like brothers for a moment, and then he thought they began to ask him questions. As he their questions, his memories began to flow out of his head.
He could almost picture his mind in several dimensions as redundant and amazingly detailed memories of the same event appeared and merged into a single event. Each event was stored in a memory module. He felt the years of his life melt away. For all his torment and anguish, his life had been good, not great, just good. The mental vision he had of his mind slowly closed in on a wall that he knew was the earthquake. Both Lieutenant Bobby497 and his counterpart operating the Facsimile Accelerator stopped unwinding his memories. They seemed to be standing next to him in front of the wall.
“That’s not amnesia, Sherlock,” the Lieutenant answered.
“No shit, Jeeves, you mean to tell me that a semi-competent doctor told him he had concussive brain injury induced amnesia syndrome, that condition isn’t documented anywhere in the medical literature. I checked,” Bobby001 controlled the Facsimile Accelerator answered. Their image of the memory block resolved into a vault with combination locks on it.
“It’s not a simple hypnotic block. That’s for sure,” Bobby497 said to his alter ego. They giggled at each other. Officer Hayes tried to talk to one of the Bobby’s but he couldn’t find his voice.
“Not even a complex hypnotic block. It looks artificial. At least that’s my guess,” the Lieutenant laughed and poked his alter ego in the shoulder. Officer Hayes tried again to talk to them. He caught Bobby497’s attention.
“Wait, wait,” Bobby497 said as he activated Officer Hayes’ voice. “Sorry, we usually don’t let the subject into any discussion. But as you can see, this is unique.”
“Why would any do this to me? What memory was so bad that they would block it out like this?” Officer Hayes asked.
“Well there’s no sense in asking you if you have any idea what’s behind that block. Usually suppressed or repressed memories are amorphous blobs with the bad stuff leaking out like rats scurrying away or rabid dogs chasing themselves. This is unique in my experience...” Bobby001 said. They all gazed at the image that they kept digging out of the policeman’s mind.
“Those combination locks are man made, aren’t they,” Officer Hayes asked.
“Yes, this block is a man-made construct. It’s very dangerous. We can stop, if you want. I can make you whole enough to function better than before. Then you won’t have to deal with this.” Lieutenant Bobby497 answered.
“No, I want to know my past,” Officer Hayes answered.
“Hey, pussycat, lock us down and isolate us,” Bobby497 ordered. His counterpart in the Facsimile Accelerator sealed them inside one of the computers and left them alone. Bobby497 started to run a computer program to find the combinations on the vault door. One by one, it twisted the dials and released the locks. As it opened the last combination, huge bolts holding the vault door closed slid out of their locks. Officer Hayes’ hands trembled as he went over to the door and opened them. He stepped into the portal.
“I’ll go first, after all, it is my mind and if it destroys me it should be my choice,” he said. Lieutenant Bobby497 monitored Jeff Hayes as he waded into his earliest childhood memories. He gloried in the ordinary and happy childhood experiences that fifteen years earlier some agent had blocked from his mind. The Lieutenant collected and analyzed them as Hayes relived the memories of a wonderful childhood. Slowly, cautiously, Jeff Hayes let his boyhood memories pass before both of them until he reached the final card game with Uncle John. He laughed as his youthful counterpart and Jimmy lost their clothes and stood naked. He relived the revelation that Uncle John was a card shark and finally, their erotic shower with Uncle John deliberately touching their bodies and laughing about virgin detectors. Then suddenly, abruptly, his memory stopped. After that, there was nothing but a blank from the time of the shower until he woke in the hospital.
“What the hell happened? There’s nothing there, no trauma, no physical contact, nothing. What the hell happened to me?” Officer Hayes muttered. He made the mistake of believing that memory is serial and contiguous.
“There’s a gap in the time sequence. You don’t have enough experience to analyze it,” Bobby497 explained.
“What do you see that I don’t? It’s all seems so clear and precise,” the young Jeff spoke to him, not the older, troubled policeman.
“Watch,” Lieutenant Bobby497 presented a memory from the card game with a time track on it. “The human mind is a superb clock. Look closely, your mind records more than you remember. See the information here and here. You’ve learned poker now, so you’ll recognize the ‘tells’ that you didn’t see. You just think you don’t remember them. That’s because memory is nostalgic with age. You want to remember the good and forget the bad,”
“That makes it sound so obvious.”
“It all seems so intuitively obvious once you know how to do it. That’s the trick. You’re one of the most observant persons I’ve ever processed. Watch the shower sequence again. This time, watch like you’re a detective and not a kid sneaking unmentionable peeks and copping forbidden feels of your best buddy and his hunk of an uncle.” Bobby497 instructed.
“You noticed,” Officer Hayes blushed sort of, not his body but his mind blushed. He still didn’t realize that this construct was a mental image and not a physical body. The Facsimile Accelerator still held his body in a quantum field. He played back the poker and shower sequence with the Lieutenant’s help and together they discovered the glowing medallion and Uncle John’s touch. The Lieutenant showed Jeff how to twist the memory to get a look at the medallion. When they did, Bobby497 was surprised. Jeff Hayes wasn’t.
“Fuckity-Fuck and the seven little Fuck sisters - Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck,” burst out of the Lieutenant’s mouth.
“Nice to see you’re still a little human. By the way, that eight Fucks not seven," Jeff Hayes reminded him.
"She's the effing bastard child of the family," the Lieutenant said angrily. He quickly regretted his outburst. "I’m guessing that you recognize the medallion and beyond that, you know what this is all about.” For the first time since he stopped the speeding car and confronted Bobby497, Officer Hayes sounded confident. He didn’t give the Lieutenant much time to answer.
“So I’ll tell you what we ought to do. You finish processing me with the Facsimile Accelerator and restore my mind to my body. Then we can go find Uncle John and discover what happened in the gap between the shower and the earthquake,” Officer Hayes said. He hoped that he was now an ally and not a captive.
“It’s much worse than that. We’ll never find Uncle John or any evidence of him. There has to be another body buried in his gravesite, not that we have to prove it. Uncle John was a robot. I can see the evidence in your memories. We need to find your friend Jimmy. He’s the secret that had to be protected, a secret not possible in for another two or three hundred years. He doesn’t even know that he holds the secret, either,” the Lieutenant mused. Officer Hayes replayed the memory of his childhood. The anomaly hit him like a ton of bricks, Uncle John had reprogrammed a robot and that robot was Jimmy.
“He’s perfect. You saw the memories from our camping trip when we fooled around with and masturbated together. He was human, flesh and blood. No way that kid's body was robotic. I wish I could say I knew where he was, but I lost track of Jimmy after graduation,” Jeff Hayes said.
Lieutenant Bobby487 began the reinvigoration process. As with the others, he gave Jeff Hayes a better body, thinned the beer belly, gave him new reflexes and the ability to use them. When he returned Officer Hayes’ memories and personality, he added the ability to examine any memory in detail without passion. Not many men were as observant as Officer Hayes was. He would make a fine addition to the robotics corp. When Jeff Hayes woke, he was standing inside the quantum chamber with the silvery form of the Lieutenant facing him. He studied the Lieutenant’s robotic body. It looked just like a human body in every detail. Pleased by what he saw, he rubbed his improved body and flexed once or twice searching for the old, familiar pains but they weren’t there anymore. He sensed the slight echo of the connection to his memory module.
“It’s a shame you lost your human body in an accident,” Officer Hayes fished for a response.
“I never told you I had an accident,” Bobby497 answered. His eyes narrowed.
“I just guessed at it. Now tell me about that medallion. You recognized it,” Jeff Hayes beamed.
“OK, you win that point. Now I want you to think back to that last day when you and Jimmy were walking along the railroad tracks. What did you say was odd about Uncle John?” Bobby 497 asked.
“I remember. He talked about neural implants, crystal balls and some cause or violation,” Jeff Hayes said as he examined his memories of Uncle John. Bobby497 waited for the epiphany. Officer Hayes slapped his head.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... Uncle John thought I was his target. He didn’t know who he was looking for. In fact, he was as surprised as Jimmy and I were when the medallion glowed...” Jeff Hayes put a hand to his chin and leaned his weight on one leg.
“Think back to when he tried to put the medallion on you the first time, what did he say? Don’t just remember, put the memory on a time scale,” Bobby 497 instructed. Jeff fidgeted as he thought back into his memories and analyzed what actually happened. Finally, he snapped his fingers and gave Bobby 497 a finished look.
“Do you know what I’m going to say?” Jeff Hayes asked.
“Not completely. I guessed some of it when I recognized the medallion.”
“Uncle John said that he was a causality violation and that his target had neural implants he had to reprogram. I made up the joke about crystal balls because Uncle John grabbed my nuts and fondled them. That was how he discovered I wasn’t his target. I popped a boner and let him jerk me off. I didn’t want to tell Jimmy about that. Jimmy must have been his target. That explains his behavior in the shower,” Jeff Hayes said. He felt good. This was a nice piece of detective work.
“Good, good, you’re an excellent detective. Now think about what all this means. You’ve seen an organic robot so real that you can’t distinguish it from the real thing, a medallion that can’t exist, and an Uncle who never died,” Bobby497 dropped the final clue.
”Well then, where did the medallion come from? ...Oh shit ...before you tell me that... who or should I say what is Uncle John?” Jeff Hayes asked.
“I suspect that Uncle John was the first organic robot. If so, he’s no robot that exists today. I know all the existing robots and all the designs. He’s just like Jimmy. Like I said, we won’t know how to build him for two or three hundred years.”
“So they are both causality violations? No wonder that virus worked on those airplanes,” Officer Hayes answered.
“And Jimmy didn’t do that,” Lieutenant Bobby497 added. “Well, detective Hayes of the Space Corps, your first assignment is to find your former friend and help me deprogram him. He might be the computer virus that could destroy everything we’ve built - science, space flight, communications, business and most of all, robotics.”
12,387 words more or less
FUTURES YET UNKNOWN
Ten Stories by Dave Fragments
*An Alien serial murderer and a furry detective with fleas.
*Murder on a world with altered humans.
*Disturbing apocalyptic visions *Monstrous dystopian societies.
*A man on trial for betraying the human race to robots.
*Devils, demons and ghosts.
*Survivors of a plague war.
*Cyborgs trying to be human.
*Six friends in a strange sinkhole.
*The truth about a world drowning in rain, without sun, without hope.
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