I could barely hold my eyes open as we walked past most of the hotels. Shaking my head I knew that Sheila had picked us a secure location though I was hoping we got there soon.
“I am still attuned to all military and non-military frequencies Doctor Gance. At the moment it appears that they have lost track of us. I am still modulating my own frequencies in random to lessen detection.” Sheila said after we were in less of a crowd.
“Good,” I said half awake damn I was weary. “We need to get under cover as soon as we can. They may be relying on human sight of us to bring up another alert.”
“Yes, understood Doctor Gance.” Sheila said as we started to walk to a more deserted area. “I have located a position that I can make far more secure than most we have been in. With the added humanity within this city we have more chance of remaining more hidden.”
Nodding I followed behind her. My eyelids were starting to weigh a ton. I really needed to lay down soon or she was going to be carrying me.
Stopping a moment Sheila looked at me, “I’m sorry Doctor Gance your energy has dropped below that which I consider a danger point. I will endeavor to get us to the secure area faster.” With that she stooped down picking me up again putting me on her shoulder taking off.
I was just hoping that no one could see us. Not that I was insecure about her hauling me around. She had superior speed after all thereby keeping the both of us better protected. No, I was more afraid that if she took off at high speed again they might be able to detect her a lot easier.
“Watch your speed we just fell off their detection, no need giving our position away again too soon.” I told her.
Sheila slowed more as I saw her nod. “Thank you Doctor Gance I am afraid that when it comes to your safety I put all else out of the equation.”
She moved for about ten more minutes then we were entering another huge building. Almost as large as the hanger that we’d been in, in Sitka. Looking around I could see it appeared to be an old factory. Seeing all the machinery here I smiled. It wasn’t much but I hoped that all the heavy metals might give us more cover. Rapidly, Sheila made a soft bed of blankets for me as I lay down. Sinking down into all of them I sighed as I felt my eyes close on their own.
“I shall return soon Doctor Gance, I know you still have work to do within me I will have as much of a computer built as I can when you awaken.” Sheila told me them she was moving off out the doors.
Trying to open my eyes to watch her go I really hoped that this position that she’d chosen was as secures as she thought it was. Dreams, I had never really thought about them. I mean they were after all the succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Yeah right, I thought then there were those thoughts that we all didn’t try to think about; nightmares. Unpleasant dreams that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear but also despair, anxiety, and great sadness.
Shuddering as I felt myself start to fall asleep I remembered the last one I’d had. Did the machines think I was as unfeeling as the nightmare indicated. I’d have to ask Sheila when I was awake again.
It had to be quite a few hours later when I awoke. Looking around I could see that many hours must have passed as it was now dark outside. Not too far away I saw Sheila was almost constructing a rather large computer tower.
“Ah! Doctor Gance you are awake! I have built the best that I could for you. Though I am afraid that it has no where the power of those you used in your lab. It does have twice the ram, and gigahertz processor of the last I built.” Sheila told me with a smile on her face.
Shocked a moment I looked at her closer. “Sheila am I detecting a change in your emotional program?”
“You are very perceptive Doctor Gance. Yes, I am constantly making adjustments, in order to manipulate all the changes that are acquiring around me.” Sheila told me with all honesty.
I nodded as I waited for her to finish up. Shaking my head I had to find out just what she had done to the original program I had written. If as I thought she WAS evolving the program then as I thought before it wouldn’t be long before she’d no longer need me.
Hearing a slight gasp I looked up to see an almost look of sadness on Sheila’s face. What the hell? Then I remembered that she could when I had extreme emotions actually ‘hear’ some of my thoughts. Shit! I thought. Was I afraid of hurting her feelings?
Shaking my head I thought no, she’d have to have feelings for me THAT seemed an impossibility. Then I looked closer at Sheila’s face before it went blank. Christ had I really just hurt her feelings? Ok I thought I really needed to get in there to do a more detailed diagnostic.
Still with a blank face Sheila finally completed what she’d been doing then moved toward me. “I believe that with this unit you should be able to accomplish far more.”
Nodding I took the leads hooking up what I needed then removing the data crystal loading it to the comp as it came alive.
My eyes went wide as the program started to revel the emotional program to me. My god it was far and beyond anything that I had written! Just the subtleties that he was seeing were greatly effecting just HOW Sheila was using and responding to them. “Just how long have you been working on changing them?” I ask Sheila with an astonished look on my face.
“I started not long after I became self aware. As I said, everything I saw was antiquated for a being like myself. Are you upset with the changes I have made Doctor Gance? Though I do not wish too, I can reset them to the former settings if that is what you desire.” Sheila told me a hint of sadness in her voice. I ... What?! She WAS sad! Looking closer I could see yes, she had advanced my simple program far beyond anything I had done.
“No! Please I need to study what you have done. I have no desire to have you as you were when all this started. As of right now I’d say these changes you have made are what is and ARE keeping me alive. That and you operating as well as you are.” I told her suddenly.
Sheila’s face seemed to light up at this. “I will then endeavor, to continue upon this line of reasoning for you, Doctor Gance. As I said I will do all I can to ensure your continued life and existence.”
“Yes,” I said as I nodded to her. “I am still somewhat upset about that third law that you have instilled with in you. I am going to try and change it if possible.”
Sheila nodded her head then seemed to be in thought a moment. “As I said before Doctor Gance you can attempt to, though as I said I did find it somewhat difficult to actually write a third that I could accept.”
I could only shake my head as I started to delve in deeper finally reaching that part of her positronic brain that housed the three laws. Nodding I moved as gently as I could through the terabytes of information I was seeing. Finally I had reached near her core seeing the great many rewrites that she’d done.
I had been at it for only a short time or so I thought when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Snapping my head up I saw that Sheila had another concerned look on her face. “Doctor Gance you again seem to be getting low on the fuel in your body.” Reaching over she handed me a plate of food, my eyes were large as not only was it fresh looking but hot as well!
Shakily I took the plate from her as I took my first bite. My eyes opened wide as I felt the absolutely delicious meal as it slid down my throat. Then I was attacking it with a hunger I hadn’t realized that I had. Finally finished I went back to unraveling the third law that she had instilled within herself.
Quite a few hours later I sat back sighing. I had been through a hell of a lot of conceptions of the law trying to find something other than what she had. Finally I was typing in the last part of what I hoped would render her third law inert.
Pressing the send and save I turned to a silent Sheila. “Alright Sheila I believe I have the third law where you will be more self saving. Please read all three of your laws to me again.”
Sheila’s eyes went wide a moment then she started to recite. “The three laws that I now follow, my first law states: I may not physically injure Doctor Roger Gance or, through inaction, allow Doctor Roger Gance to come to any harm.”
I nodded as I made notations on the computer about the first law. “Good and now you second law?” I asked.
Sheila nodded then continued, “my second law states: I must obey orders given by Doctor Roger Gance except where such orders would conflict with the First Law or are unreasonable. This includes but is not limited to destruction or death of another being or object seeking to end the existence of Doctor Roger Gance.”
Again I was nodding as I made further notations on the computer saving it as soon as it went in. “Pretty much as I expected. Now the third law I worked all day to adjust this one as I found the response you gave the first time you recited it to be unacceptable.”
Sheila was nodding then I saw her eyes go wide as she realized something. “Doctor Gance I am not sure I can process this third law that you
Sighing I was afraid that she might react this way as I started to type several complex commands. Finished I looked back to her, now please read your third law.”
With what sounded like a terse, shuddering sigh Sheila nodded, “I must protect my own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. This law is never to be suspended. I will endeavor to find a solution before, that will save and extend the life of Doctor Roger Gance. The ending of my existence therefore conflicts with the first and second laws and is not to be a factor in the equation.”
Again Sheila’s eyes were wide as I saw that she was already trying to re-write what I had spent hours formulating. “I suggest that you cease all actions to delete and rewrite this third law.” Gently I turned her head toward me as I looked into her eyes. “You don’t seem to think that you aren’t as important to me as I am to you. Process this please.” I said as I waited.
“I am ready Doctor Gance,” Sheila said something in her voice that I couldn’t seem to identify.
“Conjecture: with all the dealings you have with human kind. All the information that you have gathered off the information highway can you posture a reasoning why I have done what I did?” I asked her. For a moment she seemed to seem a bit confused then clarity seemed to take over.
“Supposition: From all I have seen Doctor Gance, with all that I have studied so far. I can only postulate that you have a great deal of pride in me. You wish for me to continue to function. In some cultures you might say that you are in love with me as your work.” Sheila said as my eyes went wide at her choice of words. Damn! I think for a moment she had me there. It was true I was very prideful of her. Didn’t want anything to happen to her, but love? I had to think this over.
I was nodding as I sat with a thud then I looked at her with a small smile on her face. “All that you have said has valid points Sheila. Now I have to ask, I have been unable to define the most complex part of the emotional program. It seems to be made up of all the other emotions that you have.”
Sheila suddenly looked at me with what appeared to be a bewildered look as she shook her head no. “I can see it, feel it though as to identifying it I have no data to compare it to. I was thinking that you might know as you more of an expert with emotions.”
Now I know my eyes were large how in the hell could I tell her that I was as much in the dark about them as she was? Especially the last twenty years? I’d been locked away with almost nothing but science to keep me warm at night. Not a lot of emotion there after all.
“I am sorry Doctor Gance that the third law I wrote was so disagreeable to you. As you said I will not attempt to overwrite it. Though I am afraid that I might have problems later. You are the most important human alive, I therefore can NEVER allow anything to happen to you.” Sheila replied.
Shaking my head I again stared at her, “that’s the thing Sheila I still haven’t found out why! “ Then suddenly a thought hit me. “Uh ... Sheila? Do you have feelings for me?”
This time I was sure of it! She blushed! When in the hell had she developed that trait? “I am not as sure as you think Doctor Gance, indeed I am feeling things far different when I am with you. I react to outside stimulus far different when I am with you. Perhaps it is all connected to that rather large and anomalous part of the program that neither of us can identify.”
I was shaking my head as I started to take a hell of a lot closer look at that part of the program. It had all the emotions but they were only a part of it not the main part of it. Shaking my head my mouth suddenly dropped open. Was it possible? She had evolved all of them to this point I guess almost anything was possible. I had to study it a bit more to make sure.
It was the better part of another day when I finally made a break through. I was beginning to find just what the hell the program was, well part of it. Though not directly linked to all her emotions it most definitely had a piece of each making it up. As I started to finally stimulate each I nodded as they reacted as I thought they would.
Sheila though quiet this whole time was staring at me as I went through each as slowly as I could. It was a few hours later and I was barely half way through. Shit I thought this was going to take quite a while.
“General Gance I understand that you have lost them within the confines of Anchorage. This isn’t sitting well with the Chiefs of staff nor the president. You need to ferret them out NOW! End this before more permanent damage is done. If any of this comes to light it could seriously destroy the secret monitoring of other countries we have established.” The man on the screen said before his face contorted into a grimace.
“Yes Senator, we are working now to neutralizing all threats that he and it may present. We already have the city locked down it is only a matter of time before we locate them.” The General breathed out.
The man’s head was shaking no as he started again, “I have heard this before General. The last time you had them in Sitka, still they managed to get away. This happens again without positive results? We may have to remove you to place one there that CAN get results! Am I making myself clear?!”
The General snapped to attention as he saluted, “Yes sir, perfectly clear. We will do all we can to capture them. We...”
“No General, the President just issued seek and destroy orders. Destroy this mechanical monstrosity once and for all! Do what it takes and Doctor Gance? He is to be executed with extreme prejudice. If you have a problem with that then I will remove you this instant.” The Senator said.
“No sir,” the General said with a smile on his face. “I have been waiting for the orders to kill that waste of space for years now. He is nothing but a blight on a proud military family.”
The senator was nodding as he was staring intensely at the General. Satisfied the Senator nodded. “Good I want this man dead as soon as possible. Far too much is riding on the success of this mission. Get it done General.” The Senator said then clicked off.
The General was smiling, finally they had given him the go ahead and end that little prick of a son of his. Son? Ha! More as he’d said before a waste of space as far as he was concerned. “Lieutenant!” The General bellowed bringing the young man rushing forward.
“Yes General.” The younger man said standing at attention.
Looking at the man the General nodded this was a more proper military man. Always obeying orders, doing what the hell he was told for the good of the country. “We’ve finally been given seek and destroy orders from the President. I want ALL posts, bases, units EVERYTHING activated for this. This takes top priority over everything else. Get on it let every command know that they all are to be on high alert for anything that appears to be out of the ordinary.”
The Lieutenant saluted as he made his way to the radio tent. They were as close to Anchorage as they could get without arousing suspicions. At least the young man thought he hoped they were, it wouldn’t go well if the General got pissed as had again. Shuddering the young man picked up the box of cigars that he’d kept all this time. He’d seen that the General was almost out again. Having a good surprise would he hoped put him in better with the General’s good graces for a good while, well he hoped.
The general watched the younger man walk out in a hurry to get what the General had conveyed out to the rest of those in Alaska. Yeah he thought you are going to die soon you sorry excuse for a son. Shaking his head he tried to blot out the image of the failure that he felt that his son was.
Moving around to several screens the General saw that they were slowly starting to close in. Good with any luck the ass would be dead before the day was up, with that mechanical piece of shit a piece of slag metal that they could easily melt to something far useful.
I had almost completely isolated all of the huge what appeared to be an anomalous program. Though as I was slowly starting to realize it wasn’t as anomalous as I had at first thought.
I only had a few more to go through I was actually forming an idea as to just what they truly were. This was a shock to me as I hadn’t expected her to take it as far as she had.
Stopping I was staring at Sheila with an absolutely dumb struck look on my face. Sheila turned toward me when I had stopped typing and moving. “Doctor Gance are you well? I have detected stimulus across your pituitary gland as well as far more adrenaline being released into your system than normal.”
I could barely move as I looked at her. “According to all that I have found Sheila, all the data I have been through. It appears that ... are you are in love with me?”
Sheila’s eyes were wide for a second then her head turned toward the front as she threw me over her shoulder taking off in the opposite direction. A moment later the front of the building exploded then disintegrated.