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Feb 13, 2019 in Literature

Science Fiction Composition Sample

The Future of Your Mind 

Matt liked meeting his old friend Albert for a cup of EnerGo that was the only beverage people drank those days. It allowed maintaining high productivity for 22 hours a day. Matt always said that there was nothing more valuable in one’s life than time. Since Agola virus had infected everyone on Earth in 2015, people began aging rapidly. People matured much faster than they used to, and the average life expectancy was 25 years. Therefore, life was short and everybody drank EnerGo in order not to sleep away the most of it.

Matt always wondered why Albert never drank EnerGo. Albert had always been strange. He was a genuinely smart person and interesting interlocutor working as an engineer and neuroscientist at Neurocorp. However, Matt was concerned about the crazy ideas of eternal life and other science fiction nonsense his friend had been having since recently.

That day, Albert was excited more than usual: “We almost did it, Matt. I cannot tell you all the details just now, but this is a breakthrough. It will change the world. Just come tomorrow to Neurocorp to the press conference, you’ll see.”

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* * *

Matt saw Albert standing at the tribune and squinting his eyes in the light of numerous photoflashes. He cleared his throat and began: 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have gathered you all today to present you a revolutionary technology. For almost 500 years, we have been fostering our efforts to eliminate the consequences of Agola, but all in vein. Long ago, Neurocorp team came to an agreement that there was no cure for Agola. However, we have found another solution to prolong the duration of human life. Allow me to introduce my dog Rusty.”

Albert’s assistant went up on the stage leading a robotic dog on a leash. 

“This dog,” Albert continued, “is the first sentient being whose mind has been transferred into a robot body. We copied its mind like a computer program and then uploaded it into this body. Its original body is dead now, but Rusty is still alive. What you see in front of you is the new form of life after death. This is the solution that would allow us to get rid of our mortal bodies and live longer, as long as we want.”

The audience became vociferous. A lot people were applauding, but Matt also heard few angry cries. The news was astonishing. His friend was passionate with the idea of living a longer life. Matt remembered the conversation he had had with Albert earlier. Albert said, “After centuries of decay, we are finally making a progress in technology. However, we cannot make any considerable progress due to fugacity of our lives. I am not afraid of dying, but there is so much more we could do for this world if we had more time.” 

Matt replied, “If you value time so much, why do not you drink EnerGo?” 

Albert only shook his head, “This is only a temporary measure. We need something that would reverse aging once and for all.”

* * *

After the conference, Matt visited Albert. He wanted to talk to his friend, “Albert, tell me that you are not going to repeat this obnoxious process on a human.”

Albert replied, “The City Council grants me their full support. If we successfully perform the process of transferring the human brain, we will receive their funding and will be able to start mass-production. Don’t you understand what it means? Just imagine all the people living for eternity in the mechanical bodies that never age.”

“This is blasphemy! What you attempt to do is unnatural. You are trying to play God, Albert. Please, think of the consequences of your technology. This can become the beginning of  end to humankind as we know it. I am begging you, stop this madness.”

“Matt, I respect you as my dearest friend, but you cannot stop the progress.”

“We’ll see.”

Matt slammed the door and quickly left the Neurocorp building. He was enraged. His imagination was drawing a gloomy image of the possible future with robots walking on the Earth. He saw this cold future, with no emotions, no love, and no hope. 

No, I cannot let this happen. I have to stop him before it is too late. 

When Matt came to his apartment, he knew exactly what to do. He had been a chief editor of City News for more than 10 years. Citizens of City trusted him and he knew how to influence them. I have to persuade people to oppose this ludicrous technology. Drastic times call for drastic measures. 

* * *

Albert was sitting in his lab and watching the news on a holoviewer. The newscaster repeated the same news he had heard a million times:

“It’s been over a month since the protestors picketed the Neurocorp building demanding to abandon the technology of human mind transferal. The society splits in two parts. Many people speculate about the great possibilities, such as an eternal life and a victory over death itself. The leader of the protestors, Matt Dolan, however, opposes this idea, claiming it to be unnatural and sacrilegious. The City Council has been able to keep the situation in the downtown area under control, but the Police Department reports of riots’ outburst in the City’s outskirts.”

Albert knew that the tensions were high. The City Council would not allow performing operation on a human subject as it would only escalate the conflict. Albert petted Rusty and smiled watching the dog swishing its robotic tail in joy. 

“How are you, buddy?” Albert asked. “You do behave as my old friend Rusty, but is it really you? What if I am wrong and you are not the same dog I used to have?”

Albert was sure that his program worked. The mind of Rusty was completely uploaded into the robot body. Every neuron, every memory and thought the dog had had was now in this metal head. But what about a soul? Did this process also copy his soul? Albert could not answer this question, and he was not sure that anybody would ever do.

* * *

Matt checked his watch. 19:54. In six minutes, some of his followers would bump at the gates of Neurocorp. Under the cover of a false alarm, he would break inside the building unnoticed from the back entrance. Matt felt bad for what he was about to do. His obsession with stopping Neurocorp scared him. However, the thought of struggling for the right cause was invigorating. 

20:00. The alarm went off and Matt opened the door. He was passing down the long corridors and heard shouts of the crowd outside. Good, that will keep the guards distracted for the time I need to get to the Albert’s lab and destroy his machinery. 

However, the hustle became louder, and Matt even though that he had heard gunfire. He rushed to the window and saw the fighting between the police and protestors. No, this was not supposed to have happened, Matt thought, but he saw the situation escalating. He saw that police enforcers were using guns, and some of the rioters threw firebombs, one of which landed on the Neurocorp wall. The building ignited, and the fire was quickly spreading. In a few minutes, it was everywhere and the wall began collapsing. Matt heard screams in one of the labs. He ran inside and saw a women trapped under the wreckage. He released her and helped on the way to the exit.

This is all my fault, he though. I must go back and help other to get out.  But he was suffocating with smoke. He felt that he was losing consciousness and fell down into the darkness.

 
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* * *

When Matt regained consciousness, he saw Albert in front of him. Matt asked, “Where am I?”

“You are in my lab. Thankfully, the fire has been put down before it got here. However, it got to you. Matt, 90 percent of your skin has been damaged with fire. I found you barely breathing and there was no time to get you to the hospital.”

Albert made a pause, looked Matt into the eyes and said quietly, “I uploaded your mind into the robot body.”

Matt could not believe his ears, but he was beginning to understand. This is why he was not in pain. In fact, he felt perfectly well. He looked around and realized he was lying on the table. He looked down and saw a silver-colored metal body. 

“What have you done to me?” Matt whispered.

“It was the only way I could save you.”

“I never asked for you to save me this way!”

“Whether you like it or not, you are still alive and even more than that. You are the first of a kind of new species. It is up to you now. I can turn you off right now, or you can begin to learn living in your new body. So what is your choice?”

Matt felt a range of emotions, from anger to despair. However, he started to feel something new. He replied, “I thought that a human mind in the robot body would be deprived of any human emotions, but I feel hope, and I am not ready to die yet. I hope that I can stop the riots I have created.”

* * *

Matt was standing in front of Neurocorp building and talking to the crowd. They listened to him silently: “You all saw what an enmity between us could cause. Many you of you know me, and hold by what I say. So listen to me now: the fighting has to stop.” 

Everyone was silent, so Matt continued, “The greatest gift is the freedom to choose one’s own destiny. I was deprived of such a possibility. I did not ask to be imprisoned in this mechanical body but I have no regrets now. Now I see that you and I still have much in common. I do not have a heart, but I have the same emotions as you do. And right now I am in pain when I think of all the people that have died today.”

Mat heard some cries of encouragement. He continued, “We are standing at the turn of the new era. And we have to build a new society in which everyone will be free to choose their own path. I am sure that we can learn to live in harmony.”

He went on, “I do not know how life will change in hundred years. Will there be any biological humans left? If so, what would their life be? My mechanized body will allow me to live long, almost forever. For me, humans will be merely children. Therefore, I have to make sure not to forget this day, and my new body will always remind me of my responsibility towards those who choose to continue their human lives.”

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