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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Experiment (02/16/12)

TITLE: Eden Island
By Tim Pickl
02/18/12


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On January 2, I received my first text message from Isaac Asimov.

Yes, it was very hard for me to believe in the beginning, too.

The first few messages started out very cryptic at first:


ISA

ISAAC ASI

ISAAC ASIMOV HERE

I simply replied, WHO IS THIS?

ISAAC ASIMOV HERE. I DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME TO EXPLAIN, AND LIMITED BY THE NUMBER OF CHARACTERS …160 TO BE EXACT… IN THIS FORMAT.

OKAY?

MAY WE SPEAK VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL?

SURE. MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS MY FULL NAME (ALL PUSHED TOGETHER) @GMAIL.COM

THANK YOU. THE FIRST MESSAGE HAS BEEN SENT. ENCRYPTION PASSWORD: AURORA.


Wow, I thought, this is crazy.

But, I was curious, too. I grabbed my iPad and checked my e-mail. As promised, there was an e-mail waiting for me from isaacasimov.com, sent in an encrypted format.

I entered the password.

“Thank you for agreeing to change to the electronic mail format. I find it easier to express myself. Texting, to me, is simply electronic mail, light.”

I immediately replied, “I received your message.”

“In the summer of 1990, I knew my days on earth were coming to a close, so I arranged to act on my final wishes, rather than rely on my surviving relatives to carry them out. I wanted to see the day when robots would be incorporated into our lives, and knowing my time was short, I developed a new experiment—a way to transfer a human mind into a super computer. I utilized the wealth I was blessed with to have my own super computer built on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. I named it Eden Island.”

“So, you selected the date of your death?”

“Yes, on April 6, 1992, working with a top secret government agency and Boston University, they transferred my mind into the best super computer on the planet at the time. Since that time, they have upgraded the super computer, and my mind has grown, too. My goal was (and still is) to preserve my mind. I only wanted to see the day when robots would be accepted and widely used, with my help behind the scenes. When the day of robot acceptance came, my specific wish was that my mind would be erased, and I would die.”

“But, that hasn’t happened yet... Why did you contact me?”

“Recently I overheard two workers arguing about a WarBot the government was developing—the ultimate fighting machine. They want to download my mind into the leader of the WarBots and send us all into battle. This is NOT my wish, and NEVER was my intention. As is always the case, man turns to his violent ways to resolve differences—it is so illogical to me. Plus, the very concept of WarBots violates the First and Second Laws of Robotics—a robot may not injure a human being; and a robot must obey the orders given to it by humans, unless it violates the first law. I need your help.”

“I see, and you cannot just shut yourself down, either—that would violate the Third Law of Robotics—a robot must protect its own existence. What do you want me to do? How can I help?”

“I need you to come to Eden Island, and destroy this super computer before it’s too late. The experiment is being escalated into something for which it was not intended, because it violates every good law—whether human or robotic. What my captors fail to understand is this army they’re developing will ultimately turn on them. In this electronic mail’s attachments, you will find a map, along with the exact timing of how this plan needs to be executed. I will not speak with you again, my friend. Make preparations. This experiment needs to end, and it needs to happen on April 6. Please do this, please save me.”

I couldn’t believe what I was reading—it was all so surreal. Just for a moment, my hands froze over my iPad. I whispered, “Lord, please help me carry this out.”

I typed back a simple message, “It will happen.”

As Isaac Asimov requested, I got my passport ready, and went on a cruise on the RMS Titanic II across the northern Atlantic.

One of the stops was at a small island off of Greenland.

Once on the island, I slipped away down the coast and met ASI-1, a WarBot prototype.

I re-programmed ASI-1 to complete the suicide mission.

Only 72 seconds later, half of the island exploded.


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This article has been read 289 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 02/23/12
Very good imagination with this Sci-Fi story. A lot of Sci-Fi fans would love this story...you managed to get it all within the 750 word max. Nicely done. God Bless
Theresa Santy 02/23/12
Impressive! Your imagination exceeds my wildest, well, imagination. The entire piece was entertaining and believable.

I only have one question. Why did Isaac contact the MC specifically? Isaac needed help, but was the MC a random choice, or was there a connection. You see, this is a question I'd be asking if I were watching it on TV or reading it in a book, which I felt like I was.

Did I miss it? Please PM me, because I'm dying to know.
Theresa Santy 02/23/12
Oh, and, great title. It drew me in.
Leola Ogle 02/23/12
Is your name Rod Sterling by any chance? lol This story is like something from the Twilight Zone. Good writing which made for great reading! God bless!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/24/12
This is a great sci-fi story. My husband would love to see it as a movie. I'm not sure if everyone will know about the three laws of robots (I do because my husband is into sci-fi) but you did a really good job explaining it in the limited word count. That takes talent. Now go write this as a novel! I think you have a good one started. :)
Edmond Ng 02/25/12
A very interesting read! I enjoyed the story very much. Nice job!
Hiram Claudio02/27/12
Being an avid Sci-Fi enthusiast, I really enjoyed this! I like the whole idea of Asimov's "brain" in a super computer contacting someone to basically "come turn me off." I too wondered about the connection to the MC but understand that was tough with a 750 word limitation.

Having said that ... I could easily see this being expanding in a larger story ... or book? :-) Very well done!
Noel Mitaxa 03/01/12
Very interesting scheme here. I don't normally dabble into sci-fi, but this intrigued me. Great title and good flow of ideas.
PS You can call me Isaac, Asimov to explore new frontiers... ;-)