by Joshua Falken
An A.I. -Artificial Intelligence AU fanfic
Thanks to Ista Dreamer and Matrixrefugee for beta-read this chapter :-)
Chapter 1 - Rescued
Ghosts are spirits from the dead that haven't gone to the Other World and are condemned to walk through the Earth. At least, it is what our superstious natures tell us. But it forgets that there are another kinds of ghosts: mistakes, guilty and memories. Monica Swinton knew everything about it.
For ten years she had been haunted by a ghost of one day. One day in which she had thrown an angel away, an angel made of silicon and metal that loved her unconditionally, who only just asked that she love him back... Just that. An angel who implored that she didn't abandon him...
She left her daydream. She saw her husband, Henry, in the door of the bedroom.
He asked, "Why are you crying, Monica?" It was only then that she noticed the tears on her face.
"Nothing! Don't worry about it!"
Henry Swinton knew Monica very well and he knew immediately in what she was thinking. He entered, shaking his head sadly.
"Dear, that happened ten years ago."
"Monica, I know that you were thinking about the David model."
David model. And it is not just David. For Henry, the cybernetic child had always been a machine. But to her... He didn't understand... He couldn't understand.
"Leave me alone, Henry," she said frigidly.
Scared with the shine of fury in his wife's eyes, Henry stepped back from her quietly. After closing the door of the room, he saw his biological son in the corridor.
"What´s wrong, dad?" the now teen-aged Martin asked, seeing his father's concern.
"It's your mother, Martin. She still misses David..." He bit his lip immediately when seeing that his son shook his head slowly. Martin still felt guilty over what had happened in the pool of their house ten years ago: the accident that had decided that the robotic child would not be a member of the Swinton family anymore. "Martin, it was not your fault, or anybody else." Henry spoke kindly.
The young man lifted his dark eyes, but he didn't say anything else. He just turned and went to the bedroom that he would occupy only for two weeks more, when he would go to the University of Tokyo, to study Robotics.
Martin lay in the bed trying to rest, but his mind wouldn't allow it.
"If only I hadn't been so idiotic! So jealous! If only I had protected David from those boys, Dad would never have returned him to Cybertronics! And Mom wouldn't have abandoned him in the forest..." Thousands of thoughts went through his head, never blaming David. The only thing that the young robot had wanted was to be part of the family. But Martin's selfish jealousy hadn't permitted him to.
Martin Swinton tried to exorcise his own ghosts... his own memories of blame. He didn't have success.
In the next day, the Director of the Research & Development Department of Cybertronics, Professor Allen Hobby waited for a visit in his office. The scientist was examining the project of a new robotic system when the door opened and the Director of the Commercial Department of the company, Henry Swinton, entered.
The specialist in sales shook hands with Allen. Hobby was surprised at how tired Swinton looked like.
"Not exactly, Professor Hobby." One of the main salesmen of the company looked to the side and saw the project in the screen of the terminal. "Is the project Patlabor?"
"Yes." It was a special project, ordered by the United Nations. The objective was the creation of giant robots, like the ones of the old Japanese Anime, for construction work. "But it was not because of that that you came me to see me." Hobby spoke, surprising the salesman. "What is the problem, Henry?"
"David." It was his answer after a moment of silence.
Hobby was immediately tense.
"Is there some kind of complaint from Europe?" In spite of the pressure of the anti-mecha groups have impeded its sale in United States, the mechas David and Darlene have been the largest success in sales of Cybertronics in the European continent.
"No, sir," Henry Swinton said seriously. He noticed that the scientist looked nervously at the photo of David Hobby, the dead son on which the Project David was based on. "You wanted to re-create your son, and transformed Monica's life into a hell!", the salesman thought with scorn. But instead of screaming what he thought, he said:
"Monica still thinks of the prototype."
"Didn't you ever find him?" Henry asked in a stronger tone than he intended.
"No, we lost the signal of David around the old Coney Island area."
"And that lover-mecha? Didn't he give any clue??"
"No, Henry. The only thing he knew was that David told him that he had found the Blue Fairy below of water and that he activated the submersion command before he was captured by our search team."
Feeling defeated, Swinton said good-bye and left.
Some minutes then, Prof. Hobby himself left his office and went back to his apartment. When he entered, the television turned on and the anchorwoman announced:
"...Today a bomb exploded in the proximities of Data Retransmitting Complex Number 4, a crucial point of the maintenance of the Global Grid. According to a spokesperson of the United Nations Department of Artificial Intelligence - North America Division, the terrorist anti-mecha group Mecha-Disease assumed responsibility. A disk with a message of the mysterious leader of the group, Minerva Liang, affirms that her and her group would free Mankind of the Robotic Virus..."
Hobby turned off the monitor, and murmured. "Damn Frankenstein's Complex!"
After a long moment seated in his chair with his eyes closed, Hobby typed a code into his terminal. A submarine landscape filled the monitor. In it, there was an amphibiocopter and a statued representation of the Blue Fairy, part of an old amusement park. Inside of the vehicle, there was the clear picture of a child and a teddy bear.
In the submerged city, somebody asked for ten years for a miracle. A human being would have given up long ago, disappointed and hopeless. But David Swinton, in a certain way, was blessed. By his robotic nature, his determination and his hope didn't know the limits of Time.
"Please, Blue Fairy, make me a real boy... Please, Blue Fairy..." David prayed to the "celestial being" that was before him. Although the only answer that he received from her was a gentle glance from her blue eyes and a tender smile, after ten years, David hadn't given up. One day she would grant his wish and he would go back to home, to his Mommy's arms.
Patiently, Teddy at his side, watched him. He was resolved to protect his owner and friend.
It was at that moment that it happened.
"Make me a real boy, Blue Fairy. Please, ma..." Suddenly his voice disappeared and he threw his head back.
"David?" the supertoy asked, concerned.
The mecha-child's head projected violently against the controls of the vehicle.
"DAVID!" Teddy yelled in fear for his friend.
David returned to sit down, and a tremor ran through is his entire body. It was as if he was suffering from epilepsy. Then he slumped to the front, like a ragdoll.
"David... David, stand up... David..." Teddy urged David for hours.
However, he noticed when the two black submarines from Cybertronics appeared over the small anfibiocopter. He snarled at the two gigantic robotic arms that moved in his direction...
"I don't believe it!" the young engineer Kasumi Miki said, seeing what was in the center of the Advanced Development Lab. "Then, is this the original David?!?" she asked excitedly to the research team.
David Swinton was lying on the table, with several optical fiber cables connected to his small body. His face was damaged: the epidermic layer on his left side had been lost.
"Yes, Kasumi. It is the original prototype," a voice said. Everybody turned and they saw Prof. Hobby.
"But, sir, it was not missing?"
"I will explain later about that. Andrews, what is the diagnosis?"
The programmer turned to his boss and he confessed, "It's difficult to say, Prof. Hobby. The unit seemingly suffered some type of fatal error in his main quantum processors that provoked a reaction of motor and processing disarrays. As the data are broken into fragments through the holographic memory system, it is not possible to say if it was hardware or software malfunction."
"You said that the data are broken into fragments... Does that mean that David's memory is gone?"
Alfred Andrews coughed. "No, it is still everything there - only that the error did that it become dispersed, and random. This can be fixed and the robot can be reactivated, but that will take a long time..."
"How long?" Hobby asked. They had rescued David from his submarine grave, but would they be able to rescue him from his own mind?
"At least fifteen months, with uninterrupted conventional work."
"Sir, what do we do with this?" a young man asked, lifting Teddy.
"Leave him with David. Alfred, you understand that what you're saying is unacceptable."
"I understand, Prof. Hobby, but there is an alternative."
"Connect David to the company's internal network, with a data restoration and reorganization program working around the clock and with maximum use of the lazy capacity of the Net. With that, we will have enough processing power to turn the prototype operational again."
Hobby was thoughtful.
"All right, Alfred," he finally said. "Go ahead."
In that night, David Swinton's quantum brain was connected to the Cybertronics Corporation's Internal Computer Network (CyberINCON). The restoration of the robot's memory was absolutely priority - Level One.
In a certain way, the Network became David.
To be continued...
Chapter 2 coming soon...
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