Chapter 1

Hello my name is Roger Gance and I am a dead man. Well I am if I can’t figure a way out of this problem. You see I am a cybernetic/android programmer, creator. I recently found out what was being done with my creations so you might say I rebelled. That’s when they sent one of my prototypes after me; one that they had been using for assassinations and a few general killings.

My latest creation I had developed over the last fifteen years. A synthetic, humanoid, enlightened, inquisitive, living, android - Sheila as I called her was far beyond anything that had ever been done. She had a capability of movement faster than anything out there now. Her thought processes were almost as fast as the human brain. She was for lack of better words perfect, well to me. In the respect of the human race she was close, approaching, though not quite there.

I had just finished updating her servo motors in the arms and legs. She was faster than anything in the android world; I should have figured the military would want her. I had started putting her through her paces with all the brass watching. To say they were more than impressed would be a major understatement. They had hit me with a problem fifteen years ago that I had spent all this time working on. Give her and all androids emotions.

I remember telling the brass; sure, give me a few years I should have the start of a working program. How in the hell could I, one of the smartest people on earth been so damn stupid? Not once did I see what I was doing was wrong. I was a scientist I had no moral code of ethics, right? Like hell! Especially when the same creations I had spent most of my life making were turned on me.

So I had finished with Sheila’s servo upgrades, she was faster and stronger. She made the prototypes I had created look like they were moving in slow motion. It was late, and I had just loaded the last part of the emotion program a huge arduous undertaking. With the servo upgrade finished I could finally work on this other request of the brass full time.

“Sheila? How are you feeling now?” I asked when I saw the last part of the program was installed. Oh I have to tell you I made her look like an actress I had seen. She had smooth skin, light blonde, brown hair, with blue eyes. I think the actress’s name was Stone though I can’t quite remember.

Shelia opened her eyes looking around then at me. “This unit finds it strange Doctor Gance. This unit can feel the air in the room. The micro-fiber filaments you covered this skin with are operating at ninety eight percent. This unit finds this well within allowable parameters. Adjusting sensors ‘til they are at one hundred percent.”

“Very good,” I replied. “Test audio and optical sensors.”

“Working ... now adjusting to optimal range. Linking servo motors. Now syncing all systems to positronic processing centers.” It was perhaps another thirty minutes when Sheila turned her head toward me. “All systems maintaining one hundred percent.”

“Excellent, now please access file program 001A through 999z. Integrate all files contained within. If you experience any difficulty, stop integration at once. Advise me as to the problem area that I may adjust for optimal loading of programs.” I ordered her.

“Now accessing all files for integration. It will take approximately five hours, twenty two minutes, thirty three seconds to finish all files. Shall this unit alert you when they are complete Doctor Gance?” Sheila replied.

“Yes, that will prove satisfactory.” I told her, little did I realize that this was the defining moment that everything changed.

It was almost five hours later when I received a message from the brass. They wanted Sheila as soon as I was done. They wanted her for testing, testing? All the tests would be complete she wouldn’t need more testing. Calling up all ten of the prototypes I was shocked to see that two were active in other countries with orders to kill. Kill? They weren’t made for that! I sent a destruct signal watching as the two sent to kill people exploded.

A few moments later my phone rang. “Doctor Gance what in the hell have you done? Those were on missions to kill some extremely bad people! Cease and desist or we will have to terminate your program!”

I started to laugh as I sent three other signals. I watched as they also exploded, taking a few scientists I didn’t recognize with them. I had adjusted to take out the others when they stopped responding. So it appeared that they had hacked me out.

I had forgotten I still had the phone to my ear, “consider yourself retired and terminated Gance, effective immediately! We will be there in a few hours for the new killing machine!”

Finally finding my voice I shouted back, “you can try General, you can try. By the time you get here there will be no information on the program left. I’ve already deleted half of the files and backups. So I’m sure your yes men won’t be able to recreate her.”

“She belongs to us not you! No matter, as soon as you are dead we’ll just take her apart. Reverse engineering her shouldn’t be a problem.” The General was saying calmly.

“As I said it won’t be that easy General. You had to be a self important asshole and keep me out of it. Well as long as I am alive you best be afraid. She is independent and can’t be hacked.” I hung up as the General was starting to yell again.

I had already sealed the lab though I knew they’d get in in a few hours. I just had to finish her then we could go, though at the moment I wasn’t sure where. Pulling a disc I had been preparing for something like this. Slipping it in I started to type several complex commands. Sitting back I laughed as I saw that for a short time we were safe.

A movement behind me had me whirling as me Sheila had stood walking toward me.

“Dr. Gance this system is puzzled by the instructions that the program has given it. It is not understandable many of the commands that it requires of this system that seem useless. This system is in need of further clarification before the program requirements can be acted on.”

Sighing I had been afraid of this as I held up another disc. “This should provide further clarification of many of the terms and requirements.” I told Sheila. I just hoped that the extra definitions I had added would be enough.

Slipping the disc in Sheila stood there stock still as the new information started to flow through her. I looked at the clock I just hoped that the new information I had given her would help her to process better.

“I’m sorry Sheila that we didn’t have the time to explore the possibilities of the program. I have put much of myself into it but you’ll never know. You at least will never know the heart break of loss.” Sighing I looked at the clock again we had maybe another two hours before they got through. Well I hoped, as when we left here any chance I had to help her would be gone.

It was twenty minutes later when Sheila reactivated. A softer voice came out of her as she said. “I see Dr. Gance. The new information was indeed helpful though I am still unsure of a few of the commands for me. So what are we to do next?”

I looked at the clock again we really needed to go but I knew she needed more answers. Answers that I was the only one who would truthfully tell her. I started to explain about the prototypes that the brass has been using to assassinate people with. I told her everything I had learned as she went through files pulling up everything I told her.

“I see Dr. Gance you never intended for any of us to cause the termination of humans. Thank you, as I have seen you are a rare human in that you do not lie. Well you lie eighty percent less than almost all humans I have accessed the records of.” She replied after I was finished.

I nodded as I told her, “I have found that the whole process of lying takes far more energy than I am willing to waste. Energy that I find to be far more productive in mental pursuits. I am sorry that there are so many unthinking humans.”

“I also find that your pursuit of the mental to be far more productive. Again I thank you Dr. Gance, I think though if we are still to exist after today, we need to escape. I am detecting several routes that we can take. I will carry you so that we can make far better time.” Sheila told me as she hoisted me up over her shoulder and started through the wall!

“I thought you saw hidden exits, I hadn’t thought you’d go through the wall! Just remember I am merely human I am not as nearly indestructible as you.” I told her as she was slicing through walls as if they weren’t there.

“I apologize Dr. Gance but this is the quickest way out. It is also the furthest away from those that I feel are at this moment attempting to break into the lab. I will endeavor to keep you safe, even if I must destroy life to do so. I am sorry Doctor if that upsets you but you must be kept alive.” Sheila threw me back over her shoulder.

Sighing I understood though for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why she was saying I must be kept alive. I’d have to ask her at the earliest chance I got. I thought back as I went over the program I had written. At times it was a blessing and a curse to have a photographic memory. Nothing was coming to me about her concern for me.

It was a mere five minutes later that she broke through the last wall and we were at the extreme back of the underground lab. Shaking my head I had a hard time seeing. I hadn’t been out of the bunker like lab in over a year. Hell that had been to attend a meeting that the brass couldn’t have with me in the lab.

Sheila didn’t stop but rather picked up speed as she took off across the field. My mouth was hanging open as she accelerated even more! My god everything was a blur! She had to be doing almost sixty miles per hour and she was accelerating! I know I had increased her strength and speed though I hadn’t known she was this fast!

We were across the miles of field within two minutes my god! The field was ten miles across! I was aghast! According to my calculations she had been doing three hundred miles an hour! I looked back as she slowed when she made the road. My god! There was a scorched line across the field! How in the hell had I not felt the acceleration or the friction of the air? Another question I’d have to ask her when we finally stopped.

“We must gain access to a vehicle.” She stated a few minutes later as we stopped at my apartment from the lab. I hadn’t really been here at all in over a year. You will need a change of clothes Dr. Gance. I am afraid that the air shield I projected around us was inadequate to completely protect your clothes.”

Sure enough as I stepped into the apartment I saw that indeed my clothes were somewhat scorched. Smirking I nodded, an air shield? I don’t remember anything like that while I was constructing her. “I have a few questions myself Sheila.” I stated.

“I thought you might Dr. Gance, though at the moment we only have a forty minute lead on them I can detect that they have finally broken through into the lab. I can feel the count down on the self destruct. They are attempting to stop it I am accelerating it.” There was a muffled explosion outside of town then the ground shook for a few moments.

I started to hurry as I changed all my clothes with Sheila watching me. “Is something wrong?” I asked Sheila when I noticed she was staring at me.

“I have questions about the human reproductive system. Though these deal more with the senses. Watching you I am getting a reaction within the emotion program. Though I do not understand it, I am accessing all the information that you supplied me with.” A few moments later she shook her head. “The information you supplied me is incomplete. I need more information, though I must say Doctor your information is by far more informed. What I am gleaning from the internet is also incomplete but is helping to fill in many of the gaps that are missing.” Turning she said, “Time to go.

I nodded as she again put me over her shoulder then was outside the city within minutes. “We need to find a place to hide Sheila. You are running on battery backup that wasn’t completely charged. An hour in the sun should fully fill the batteries.”

I watched as she looked back at the city. “I concur with your assessment Dr. Gance. I am at forty percent now. I am sure that if we continue on at this pace I will be depleted in no time. I am seeing that the solar ball at the center of this solar system will rise in nine hours, twenty minutes. After we find a place I will shut down ‘til it is up to recharge.”

She again took off though at a much lower speed. A few miles further out she stopped at what appeared to be a house. “Scan inside are you detecting anyone within?” I asked.

“Beginning scan, no apparent human life though I am detecting a Canis lupus familiaris.” Sheila said a moment later

I started to rack my brain then it hit me. “You mean a dog. Can you tell what breed it is?”

“Searching for the human name.” Sheila said then was quiet a moment. “I believe it is called a Rottweiler. We need to get in there though I am sensing that the animal is guarding the domicile. Shall I dispatch it?”

“No, I don’t want to harm an animal that has been trained to protect. Can you calm it so we can enter?” I asked.

“Searching all data acquired. Yes I think it is possible.” Sheila opened her mouth but nothing came out. There was a barking from within then it was quiet. “I believe it is safe though I will go first. Your protection is my first priority.”

There she went on again with that my life and protection was her first priority. I needed to get to the bottom of this it was starting to get irritating not knowing.

Approaching the house Sheila quickly had the door open as she walked in. Cautiously I made my way to the doorway looking in. Sheila was bent beside the dog almost seemingly talking to it.

“It should be safe for a few hours. I emitted a signal that has calmed this animal ‘til such time as we leave. Come in and rest for a time.” Sheila told me.

I nodded moving inside, closing the door. I figured we would have to depart in a hurry later so I laid on the couch. “I have set my internal alarm to the solar disc rise. I will awaken you Dr. Gance so we can depart for a safer place.”

“Alright Sheila though I suggest you set your sensors to detect any movement of the military toward us.” I told her.

There was a low clicking then she nodded. “I have done as you suggested Dr. Gance. Now rest your protection and health are of the upmost importance.”

“At the earliest possible time we need to have a discussion about these statements you have made Sheila.” I advised her.

“Of course Dr. Gance, though I am unsure of your confusion that I am detecting in your voice. Indeed we do need a discussion to ally your confusion. I am going into hibernation mode as you should also Dr. Gance.” She said then she shut down.

Shaking my head I thought about all her programs that I had put in her. Could one of them be the reason for the escalated concern for me? I wasn’t sure though it was about to drive me crazy I couldn’t figure it out.

Even as I watched her systems went dark and she stopped moving. Shrugging I settled on the couch and closed my eyes. It was half an hour later that I was still awake unable to get the day’s events out of my head. Was I so one tracked minded that I hadn’t noticed what was going on around me? As I was reviewing all the data I had to admit I was.

Finally a fitful sleep took me as the dreams started. In them I was being laughed at again for the many incredible ideas I had come up with. Like most times in my life I had been put down for having the brains to actually make a difference. Having decided a few years before that I wasn’t going to let the skeptics stop me this time. I knew what I was doing was important and I was going to prove it!

I jerked awake having heard something moving. Barely aware at all I watched as what appeared to be one of my prototypes silently came through the door. I had to wonder how in the hell had they found us this quickly? It was at that moment I realized that the brass was serious about terminating me as the prototype moved toward me.

The prototype paused a moment as if trying to recognize me then it raised an arm. I was dead I thought then what was left of the prototype was falling to the floor cut in half.

“Come Doctor we need to depart this place before they issue more to terminate you.” Sheila said as she hoisted me as if I weighed nothing onto her shoulder and started out of the building. “I am afraid that the solar disc at the center of this solar system is still thirty minutes away from rising. I will endeavor to keep you safe ‘til it is up and I can recharge more. I found an alternate power source in the building but it didn’t provide nearly as much as I need. I estimate I am still at forty percent.”

“As easily as they found us I think we need to make a sweep of each other to determine if they are tracking us.” I advised Sheila.

“Yes Doctor Gance I concur with your assumption. I am running a full scan now.” There was a moment of silence then she stated. “I am reading a total of sixty four tracking devices within both of us. Most are contained within myself. I have already started to deactivate them.” Reaching out toward me with lighting speed Sheila ripped a lock of hair from my head. “I am sorry doctor I should have warned you, please hold still.” With that she very quickly cut a shallow line on the back of my hand removing a small circular object. “There, that is the strongest two; the other two will take a bit longer.”

My mouth was hanging open then I nodded, it was about their speed to have injected tracers within me. “Are you going to have any trouble with any of the sixty?” I asked as Sheila was quiet again.

“At the present moment I am unsure. I have already deactivated fifty of them, though I am afraid they are the strongest ones. I am attempting to destroy the others now.” Sheila said then was quiet for a few more minutes.

I looked at my hand where the tracking device had been as I shook my head. The thing was they had injected me without my knowledge. A moment later Sheila looked up then opened her mouth as a small pile of wires and other components fell out of her. As the pile grew I was beginning to wonder if there was anything left in her.

“There Doctor Gance I have removed fifty nine of them. Unfortunately the last is too close to my positronic reasoning center to remove without damage. I am afraid that you are the only one who can remove it.” Sheila told me.

“Were you able to deactivate it?” I asked.

“No, though now it is only accessible at close range. I am afraid though that one of the two still within you are. We need to find a place so I can remove it, also so you can heal.” Sheila stated.

“Heal?” I said shocked. “Just where is it located?”

“Not far from your spine near the junction of your brain. It shouldn’t be too hard I have already been gathering all the information to do it. As I said Doctor Gance your safety is of the upmost importance.” With that Sheila took off at accelerated speed further away from the base and the city.

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