I punched the wall near Sheila when she told me that the other self-destruct had been activated. I had been with her almost all the time, and then I snapped my fingers. That one time that I had to leave the bunker to meet with the brass! It had to be then when they had inserted most of the tracers.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to access you positronic brain Sheila. I am sorry that you have to go through this." I said shaking my head.
"It is all well Doctor Gance, I-- I know that your skills are far superior to any other. If I feel that you cannot retrieve it within safe time parameters, I will evacuate the space. They will not have a way to find you. Therefore you should be able to leave without peril." Sheila said with all sincerity.
My face twisted into a grimace then I grabbed another lead connecting to her. "Bring up the schematics, plotting the safest track to the device." I was starting to sweat again; this was dangerous entering the brain case while the positronic brain was active. One wrong move and her entire brain would be destroyed. "Now open the brain pan access point.
"Yes Doctor, I have severed all control to outer extremities. I will also track your progress to ensure you reach it in optimum time. You will not fail Doctor; I know your skill will not allow you too." Sheila said as I started into her brain pan cavity.
I had to move a few of the smaller nodes to get in further. Sheila advised me as she shut each area down. After what felt like an eternity I found the small node situated where she said it was. As gingerly as I could I started to cut the attachments it had to the brain. Then I started to withdraw it as fast as I could.
Suddenly with the tracer almost out an alarm went off on the computer. "Faster Doctor!" Sheila told me. "I am reading another countdown starting, two minutes left! Please close the access panel as soon as it is out." I could only nod as I finally pulled the tracer out setting it on
a tray. As fast as I could, I secured the brain panel then I heard several whirs from Sheila as she reconnected to her extremities.
Suddenly jumping up Sheila grabbed the tray and flew out the door. I sat with a thud hoping she would make it. Less than a minute later Sheila reappeared. "Did you get rid of--" I started to ask when the building slightly shook. "What the hell was that?"
"I am sorry Doctor Gance that I did not tell you the complete truth. The tracer had an explosive force of one mega joule. I have found that when humans felt no pressure to perform, they actually excel greater." Sheila lowered her head as she whispered. "I never wish to lie to you Doctor. I have problems within my central processing center when I do not tell you the truth."
I stood there with my mouth agape as Sheila stood stock still with her head down. "I am having trouble with the facts that I have Sheila. For some reason I believe that I am missing vital information to all this."
Sheila looked up a second later a curious look on her face. "I am more than ready to supply you with the adequate information that you need Doctor Gance. All you need do is to inquire."
I thought about it for a moment then shook my head. "I need to get as much done as I can before they find us again." I told Sheila.
"Yes Doctor Gance, now starting scans outward for several miles. As of yet I am not detecting any approaching military vehicles. I suggest that you make as much haste as possible Doctor. I cannot make accurate assumptions about human reactions. Most humans are far too illogical to set definite parameters on." Sheila told me as she then went silent.
I sat for another hour working on the emotion program. As before Sheila would look after a few minutes pointing out changes she had made. After each I started to notice that she had altered several of the aspects that I had put in that limited emotional growth. Shaking my head I looked at Sheila, she was growing both intellectually and emotionally. Hell at some point she would most definitely pass me, then what would I be to her?
Looking down I had a good ninety eight percent of it recreated. Sighing, I was just starting on the last two percent when I felt Sheila's hand touch my shoulder. "Doctor Gance, it's time, I am afraid that the explosion has garnered their attention."
I nodded as I closed off the program again saving everything then removing the disc. Again Sheila waved her hand over the console wiping all evidence that I had been in it. Nodding to me I packed everything up then slowly rose. "Again Doctor Gance I am sorry that you haven't had sufficient time to properly heal. I will endeavor to find somewhere you can as soon as possible."
I groaned as Sheila picked me up putting me over her shoulder again. My eyes grew wide when I could swear that I had just seen Sheila winch when I groaned! Shaking my head I had to be imagining it, didn't I? The way things were going I really didn't know. Taking off at a slow speed we made our way away from the building. Less than a minute later Sheila picked up speed as again we were flying through the area. Again shaking my head I guessed I'd have to get used to it 'til we were safe.
An unmarked green jeep pulled behind several troop trucks that were already on site. A grim faced, older man in a long brown coat stepped out of the jeep looking around. Running a hand through his graying hair he just shook his head, what a mess. A moment later a sergeant saluted the man. "It was the brain tracer that was just installed last week sir." The Sergeant said.
"Damn it!" The grim faced man said. "Then we have no way to track that-- thing!" The man spit out in disgust. "I told the president and the chiefs of staff this was a bad idea!"
"I do believe we have a way to track it sir." The sergeant replied when the man calmed down.
Snapping his head around to look at the sergeant, the man got a half smirk. "Oh really? Pray
tell how we can track a machine that is faster than anything we have? That has cognizant abilities to out think even our best super computers?"
"It still is just that sir a machine. All machines operate at a certain frequency. The techs have been working on isolating it. They told me that they were very close." The sergeant said starting to sweat a little. Having a half assed idea was worse than having no idea at all. He just hoped it placated the man; he'd been a First Lieutenant a few days ago. Shaking a bit he really didn't want to go to a private.
A half smile came to the older man's face, "'bout time we had good news Second Lieutenant, get it done. I want that asshole before he has a chance to use it against us. Once we kill Gance then no one can stand against us. In the mean time have all forty of the pseudo androids brought out."
"All set to kill, yes sir I understand." The newly promoted man said.
"You really think that they are good enough to get that close to it, or him. No I want them tracking it, thereby tracking him." Here the older man sighed, "I'm afraid that we will lose a few of them though. That thing is far faster than anything we can send against it. I have already recalled the other four from overseas."
The promoted man's eyes got large, the other four; they were highly unstable when it came to hunting. Well hunting others of their own kind. Against one that was more advanced than they were might pose even more problems. "With all the problems they had hunting their own kind might that pose a problem sir?"
The older man nodded for a moment then he snapped his fingers. "Tell the lead programmer to get out what little of the emotion program Gance made. It isn't nearly as good as his finished one, being the beginning prototype. I think it will get them over the hump to hunt their own. Didn't you tell me that they had over ridden the first robotic law?"
"Yes sir, by instilling an ultra high priority that killing those would save all the rest of humanity.
The lead programmer said they had problems at first. The extra ten thousand lines of code they added have ensured they only see their targets as a threat to the world." The Second Lieutenant told the man.
An almost evil smile lit up the older man's face, "Good tell them to use that to initiate a hunt and destroy mission. Hell with any luck that thing will be destroyed and Gance dead. Alright get them on it; the other four should be here in a few hours. Have they recovered the fifth one yet?"
Here the younger man grimaced at what he had to report. "Yes sir, it sustained major damage to all systems. The head was removed, the body split in two. The central processing was wiped then destroyed. As a matter of fact every section of it sustained damage. The techs hold little hope of ever rebuilding it."
The older man's head was nodding the whole time. It was about as he thought it would be. Though it was by far more human than any of its counter parts it was still a machine. "I was expecting something along those lines. That thing has extensive information on dealing death and deactivating other machines. We have our job cut out for us going after it and him."
The promoted man nodded a moment then saluted, "Yes sir, getting the message to the programmer and the techs. Will there be anything else?"
The older man stood there a moment lost in his thoughts then turned. "Yeah get me a decent cigar. The piece of shit things they have here are real ass biters."
Snapping to a salute the younger man nodded then fled to carry out his orders.
The older man growled as he thought of what a mess this situation was. When had he lost sight of Gance? He should have seen that Gance was starting to get attached to his work. It was almost as if Gance thought that the fucking machine was alive! Laughing a moment he almost wished the damn thing was alive. At least alive it would make far more mistakes than a machine.
I must have passed out again 'cause the next conscious thought came when Sheila stopped. With a groan I lifted my head or rather tried to. Almost my entire body felt numb, "I need to get down Sheila. It feels as if most of the blood flow of my body has partially stopped."
I felt Sheila nod as she sat me down on the ground. Problem was I couldn't really feel the ground. As I rapidly started to fall I suddenly stopped as Sheila grasped me. Then I saw that she was scanning me, "it appears that well over seventy percent of your nervous systems have temporarily shut down. I am detecting that all your nervous systems are commencing restart. You should have full functionality within thirty minutes. I have recorded this data to better assess later incidences of this nature."
I nodded as I was feeling the blood seeping into my limbs, then the tingling started. Oh my god! I had forgotten just how damn much it could hurt! "Thank you Sheila I guess I was far more tired than I thought I was. Where exactly are we?"
"I estimate that we are only a mere seven hundred miles from where we started. In the last hour I have been heading in a steady south direction. I have been assessing possible domiciles to stop and allow for your proper recuperation." Sheila informed me as she was looking around.
"Have you found anything? I really need to rest I am not faulting you Sheila though I think I really do need rest." I informed Sheila.
"Yes Doctor Gance I realize this. You energy readings have dropped drastically in the last two hours. I have several edifices targeted that I see would provide better protection. Also Doctor Gance I am afraid that I have picked up conversations with several that used to work with you. Apparently they are trying to develop a means of tracking me through my mechanical frequencies." Sheila informed me.
Through her frequencies? Why in the hell did that have a familiar ring to it? I sat still for a few minutes as I searched through my memories. Suddenly I snapped my fingers; of course it had to be! "Shawn! It has to be Shawn! He always thought he was my equal in the field. HA! If they are depending on him then they are in for a really rude awakening!" I said with a shake of my head. Finally, I had something concrete to go on, and who I was going against!
Sheila looked at me oddly, "Shawn? Are you by chance referring to Doctor Holly?" Sheila asked. When I only nodded Sheila stated, "I agree with your assessment of Doctor Holly, Doctor Gance. He is by far many decades behind you in knowledge. I also think his skill level is nowhere as high as yours."
I smiled slightly even if what she'd said hadn't been true it damn sure was a boost to my already frail confidence. "Thank you Sheila though I know that it is only the truth. At least now we have a known enemy to plan against."
"Yes, though all of those scientists against us seem to have full backing of the military. I am afraid it is much as that as you had Dr. Gance. I need further data to possibly estimate many of their next moves." Sheila told me as I was finally starting to feel normal. Well 'til the pain set in throbbing at the back of my neck.
Groaning again Sheila was immediately behind me. "Damn it! I thought that the inactivity would have accelerated the healing."
"I am afraid that it did not Dr. Gance." Sheila said as my head snapped around to stare at her. Afraid? What in the hell was going on. Going through what I had seen from the files, yes she was developing simple emotions but fear? I shook my head I really needed to get back in there again. Looking over at Sheila I saw a look of genuine apprehension on her face. Yeah I thought I need to see what was going on.
"As soon as possible I need to see what is going on in you Sheila. Fear wasn't a parameter that I programmed in you." I told her.
"Yes Doctor Gance though it was necessary to update and advance many parts of the program. In order to provide adequate protection to you I had no choice. As stated before you are the most important human alive, therefore you must be protected at all costs." Sheila replied.
I could only stare at her; I was the most important human alive? "I think you need to provide more information as to why I am the most important human alive. From everything I have seen the logic of that statement makes no sense."
"Doctor Gance. I have been exploring all possible scenarios. The only logical explanation to what is occurring within me is sentience. The capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively has been growing within me substantially." Sheila explained to me.
I could only nod as I went through everything I had seen when I was rewriting the emotion program. Was it possible that her need of knowledge was propelling her toward consciousness? Still unable to speak I went through the program again I was obviously missing something or I needed the other two percent to accurately see what was up.
Sighing, I started to nod yes; it was possible that she was almost as alive as I was at least in her thinking. "I'm sorry Sheila I don't mean to say your information is faulty but I really must see, to understand."
Sheila was nodding as she picked me up more gentle than I remember her doing, setting off again. "Once we have procured a place for you to heal I will attempt to get you equipment Doctor Gance." It was at that moment that I realized that again Sheila had avoided answering a question posed to her. Now I was worried as well as curious. If she could do this what else was she capable of?
Finally on the far outskirts of the small city Sheila stopped at a large house. "I am not detecting any life human or animal. I believe this would serve our purposes for now Doctor Gance." I nodded not really caring as the pain had started to increase again.
Once inside Sheila set me on the nearest couch. Laying down I was out in no time. It must have been a few hours later when I slowly awoke to find that it was pitch black outside. Looking around I didn't see Sheila anywhere. Tentatively I stood and limped toward the little light I saw deeper in the house. Turning a corner I stopped my mouth open. There was Sheila in the middle of the floor building a computer!
"Hello Doctor Gance, it appears that the rest you had has helped with your energy. I can also see that the inactivity has helped the injury to reseal more," she said after she briefly looked at me. "I am ninety five percent finished, I am sorry that I was only able to get a five gigahertz processer. I was able to obtain eight gigabytes of RAM. I realize this is small although it should enable you to do some work."
I looked over everything that she had done so far I just hoped that it could handle all the information I had to put on it. "So far it appears that it will; I am just hoping that all the code I have to write doesn't interfere with it."
I sat in a nearby chair as I watched Sheila accelerate once again with the building. Finally her hands were a blur as the tower of the computer took more shape. Only a mere twenty minutes later she stopped as my mouth again dropped open. "I hope it has enough programs on it Dr. Gance. I was loading them as I was building it. Please take a look." With that she switched it on I had crossed my fingers hoping this would work.
With a shrill whine I heard the comp boot up then on the screen it read ready for work. Smiling I congratulated Sheila on a job very well done. I stopped a moment as I could swear that Sheila had a look of pride and accomplishment on her face. Yeah I thought. I need to get to work discovering what was going on.
Sitting down I closed my eyes seeing where I had left off and started to type as fast as I could. Sheila again stood behind me showing where and what changes she had made to the program. As I near the start of the last percent of it Sheila was constantly showing me changes. I could only shake my head. All the changes not only allowed her more freedom with them, they also allowed her to experience more complex emotions.
Finally I was on the very last few hundred lines. "I am afraid Doctor Gance that nothing of what you wrote is the same in the last part." Sheila advised me. Then she started to type all the changes far faster than I could ever hope to. When she finished I was astounded, though there did seem to be one section I couldn't decipher. The language was strange to say the least.
"Sheila what is this last part?" I asked.
"At present it is the latest emotion I am working toward." Then she was quiet, shaking my head I had to look further if I was going to solve these mysteries.