I'm a terrible person who was terrible for updates last week. I know.
But I have ideas for this week, and PLEASE bug me if I don't update. I want to update on time and stuff.
Anyhow this is an idea that came to me sometime earlier this week...it's rough. Very rough, I'm not really that impressed with it--however the concept isn't complete.
Word count: 1,072
Code streamed across the many monitors that lay scattered across the small desk, the rapidly scrolling text dimly lighting the large room.
It was a vast expansive room, a high-topped ceiling with various chains hanging at differing lengths and a guide rail that surrounded the small recess where the screen--and the two men, were located.
It was this recess that the room appeared to be constructed around--though it could have been a warehouse at one point, it was now separated into many different recesses, all linked together by the sprawling network of railing that ran the length of the complex.
And it was in this small, dimly lit room, that two men worked tirelessly. Their backs hunched and their goggled faces averted from the streams of text that even now filled the screen--had they looked, they have seen the blinking lights that alternated between red for two pulses...and then switched to green.
However these two men were far to enrapt in their work to notice such things. Each had eyes only for the object that lay on the table before them.
At first glance it was a body...which would have made the two men a sort of twisted doctor...and in a way that was true. However once one looked past the rough humanoid shape, things would come to bare that revealed the true origin of the object.
It was large: about 6 feet long and a good 3 feet wide, but more than that it was heavy and...plastic.
While some exposed metal remained on its outline--which the two men worked furiously to cover, nearly the entire shape was coated in a smooth grey plastic that gave a vague human shape to the thing--all but its head. Where the face would be on a human there was nothing more than an ovaloid dome of tinted plastic.
There were faint lights beneath that darkened dome, and if the men were not so focused on the machine's knee joint, they would have noticed that these too pulsed in the same order as the computer. Holding a solid red for two pulses, and then switching to green.
A loud grinding sound caught their attention and the two men gasped as they rose from their work, glancing around to see where the discordant noise had come from.
"A bit of a shock, eh, Fred?" Said the shorter of the two, wiping the back of a black-gloved hand against his forehead and adjusting his goggles with the other.
"Yes indeed, Dominic" the taller said, running his fingers through his sandy hair.
"Jeese..." the one called Dominic spoke quietly, glancing in the direction of the machine's hand.
"Is it supposed to do that, Fred?" he said nervously.
The machine's digits shook almost violently as power coursed through the arm circuits; the fingers snatched and clawed at the empty air...before finally clenching into a cold metal fist. All this time the light patterns beneath the tinted 'skull' continued to pulse rapidly.
Fred watched this with a detached calmness, returning his tools to the workbench as he watched the machine's hand grope the air.
"Don't worry, Dominic." He said slowly "That thing is strapped down for a reason...still, I wonder why it's reacting so oddly..."
There was a loud shriek of metal as a door above the two men opened and a figure in a black business suit walked in, staring down at them from above.
"Gentlemen, I trust that your project is coming along well?" the man spoke smoothly, almost offhandedly, as he adjusted his tie.
"Yes sir." Dominic responded, removing his goggles and looking up at the man. "However there is a slight glitch, it seems"
"A glitch?" The man frowned, drawing out a small metal cylinder and pressing it to his temple. "That's not going to make my bosses happy."
Fred, face averted from the smooth-talking man on the catwalk, scowled at the attitude of the man's words. With a sigh he turned to face the man and spoke:
"Sir, if you'd like to come down here...perhaps you could see for yourself." In response the man simply raised an eyebrow, then, with an expression of interest he descended the staircase; the metal stairs clanging loudly with his every step.
"I must admit, I'm interested in seeing this glitch" the man said glibly, sidling up to the two scientists. Both Fred and Dominic chose not to spoke, instead indicating the still moving hand of the machine as it grasped the air.
The man, for his part, simply smiled.
"That's no glitch, gentlemen" he said with a wan smile. "That's exactly what we want." Fred and Dominic stared wordlessly, indicating for the man to go on.
"You see, gentlemen," the man began, watching the machine's hand endlessly clawing the air "You're not building a cyborg or an automaton. This is not an AI operated machine."
"I don't understand..." Fred muttered, removing his goggles to better see the man. The man pointed in the direction of the various computer monitors that were scattered across the table, and to the code that still streamed across every one.
"That's not a computer program, per se." he said teasingly. "Rather it's the approximate digitization of one of our fallen comrades...a backup, if you will"
"So this is operating off a computer program based around a dead former employee?" Dominic asked, incredulously.
The man simply laughed, withdrawing the metal cylinder from his breast pocket.
"Not entirely. This cylinder is my backup...every one of us is assigned a backup. However that is old technology--not something that we would assign two top level scientists such as yourself." Both Fred and Dominic acknowledged the compliment, but still felt a shudder of dread run through them as the man spoke.
"No gentlemen, what you're creating is but the frame...the shell, if you will. And we all know that a shell is useless without a soul."
"You can't mean..." Fred began to speak, his eyes widening slightly.
"Oh yes. This is our first experiment in harnessing the spirit of a deceased person--to give them a new lease on life!"
Behind the men the monitors ceased their constant streams of code, now only two words blinked on the green, surrounded by the pulsing green lights.
The man glanced at this and smiled at the two scientists, laying a hand on each of their shoulders'
"Congratulations, gentlemen. It looks like it's a success."