THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 140
Pick a Pew
…AL, the computer generated intelligence continues to develop a personality, like that crazy uncle who gets passed on from one generation of system to the next…
The changes to New Mayflower have been craftily made by the three-man crew, as prescribed by Aldona Afridi, the newly branded NASA SOL Engineer. With that task complete, implementation is being robotically transmitted back to Earth by AL. The computer generated intelligence not only does his programmed functions, but continues to develop a personality, like that crazy uncle who gets passed on from one generation of system to the next. In this case it is from deep-space Chronicle and Space Colony 1 to deep-space New Mayflower, with this continuing incarnation furthering the tradition of doing things that were not programmed.
“Thank you for sending that circuit update to Mission Control, AL, although I was going to call it in myself,” Rick Stanley speaks into thin air and magically communicates with the computer.
The 2nd in command calls to question, “When did AL start calling you by your first name?”
“WE CAN HEAR YOU TALKING ABOUT US.”
“And now it’s “we” instead of I.”
“We air breathers will be seeing the inside of our eyelids in 15 minutes, forget about AL for now.”
“GOODNIGHT GUYS.” —
— Ten million miles go by, accompanied by the “curse” that sleep brings, the garbage can of the human mind called dreams. Some people don’t remember them, while others not only remember them, but in living color to boot. Advanced dreamers can wake up, remember their colorful dream, fall back asleep and pick the storyline where they left off. Still others have recurring nightmares and purposely stay awake, as to wipe their semiconscious slate clean.
Hyper-sleep has been likened to suspended animation, born out of necessity, the need to pass the time on these “short” interplanetary trips, unlike those intra-galactical excursions of the NEWFOUNDLIANS, as long as Earth-space- travelers are bound to the nagging-ly slow sub-light speeds.
Hyperactive is the best way to describe AL, no need for the male-slanted voice of the shuttle fleet main computer system to slumber. AL was intended to be totally interactive, mildly intuitive, and always at the ready. “His” recent First Person reference of “we” is a leap ahead from “I”, implying that his singular function is morphing into one of feeling like he is part of the team.
“Feeling” is the operative term here. Somewhere along the way, perhaps an evolutionary step brought on by the demise of his “brother” aboard the Chronicle, AL must have decided that independent action is necessary for self-preservation.
10 million miles is the equivalent of 2 weeks of space real estate covered and “they” must be ever vigilant.
THE RETURN TRIP