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Report article RSS Feed Chapter 5 - Infinity made Infinity

Posted by MasterofMetal on Jul 1st, 2013

It was simple, all he had to do was press Y on the keypad in front of him and a species extinct for two hundred and twenty million years would be reborn. Well...not entirely at any rate. Simon took one last look at the heap of carefully carved and formed metal on the workbench in front of him, a project that had taken him four long years for him to order, make, and program it into the creature it was about to become. It'd cost him forty-three thousand, seven hundred and sixty Australian dollars and all this effort, all this agonising time, all down to a single flex of a muscle. The days and days that had turned to months and months of coding and visual programming should have taught it all it needed to know about the world it was to live in, and it would need no requirements like its long departed ancestors, only power. Yes, he was probably procrastinating, but Simon couldn't be certain whether it was out of fear or the awesomeness of this great leap in robotic engineering. No, he realised, it was definitely fear; a long dread that was building up over the course of this project that this would be all for nought, four years out of his twenty five just wasted. Then he forced his hand down.
Nothing. No twitch, nor the highly anticipated jolt, just a quiet, motionless pile on the table. So it was understandable why Simon snapped. He slammed his clenched fists onto the workbench and yelled up to the roof. But desperation for redemption took over and he snatched the head of his creation and looked at the exoskeleton for any imperfections. Maybe it was the power, he queried to himself, a blockage to the CPU or maybe it was the microchip itself -
Then he saw the tail move. Next the claws of the short arms started to curl in towards the body. Finally the motor began to hum softly, almost unnoticeably. Simon dropped the head and it landed onto the wood with a loud thump that echoed around the shed. It was almost like a waking call to the creature.
The metal lids opened to reveal the almost life-like synthetic eyes, which took a while to adjust to the light. The neck lifted the head up to take a look at this new body. It experimented with the sound options its creator gave it, moving its jaw up and down accordingly. The little thing moved the joints it could, learning which circuitry pathways controlled what and what it did. Claws, feet, tail, jaw and eyelids were identified, and then it turned its attention to its surroundings. Tools, shelves, concrete floor as any workshop would have, and a human. It studied the human intently. Worn-down shoes, patched up jeans, oil-stained and burnt shirt, dirty white skin, and an idiotic grin. It would have continued onto the hairdo, but it was the grin the kept its stare. Simon watched as his creation stood on its two legs and balanced itself with its tail. There, with a skeleton of titanium, and a brain of circuits, stood something of a marvel of modern day robotics. A coelophysis, no taller than mid-thigh height, and fully aware of its surroundings.
It cocked its head, figuring out what to do, what the correct reaction to this gesture was. An electric pulse went through its circuit boards and reached the microchip, which controlled its response to Simon's look of satisfaction.
Simon knew that he'd finally done it when the coelophysis started shrieking and jumping up and down around the room. He had successfully coded its response to facial expressions.
The wonders of twenty-second century technology. Simon had not only created the first robot dinosaur, he had invented the first robot with working emotion.

Do you know how the universe began?
I don't mean to offend religion, not that I follow any, but the universe began from an infinitesimally small, infinitesimally dense, singularity. No time existed before it, but ultimately, it expanded. In a flash brighter than perhaps all stars put together, hotter than any supernova, the universe was made and expanded. In the first few seconds, no atom existed but then they just did. Hydrogen appeared, and everything followed after that. Being human, we cannot understand such a simple answer to the question of origin. If the singularity was there, what came before? Nothing existed before this singularity because there was no ‘before' the singularity. Let me explain.
Let us say there is a black hole. We know that black holes are odd anomalies caused by a massive object collapsing in on itself, say a star, or through other more complicated explanations. The sources of black holes are incredibly small and have immense gravitational force, yet the anomaly itself can suck in a star, and light never escapes. Every galaxy rotates around one, one massive one. This black hole I use in this example could be any size you want, it doesn't matter. Black holes, this is a fact, are incredibly dense, and what causes some of them is unknown. What people don't know is that the larger an object, or the denser an object is, the larger the strain on time. Yes, time.
Time is not just something we humans, and perhaps other beings in other systems have made up to measure the length of a day. The universe has a clock, per say. Now all objects have the greatest gravity at the centre, this is the same for black holes, and in the centre of black holes, time will stop. Nothing will happen, except any object will be crushed immediately into nothing. This is why there was no ‘before' the Big Bang. The singularity is the single-most dense object the universe had and ever will have. To think. Infinity made infinity; something smaller than an atom or any sub-atomic particle, made something so massive that our human brains will never be able to comprehend. We are but microbes compared to Earth; cells when we are compared to the solar system; atoms when compared to the local systems; and smaller still when compared to the observable universe. The beginnings of the universe came from a small object; a spark if you will, then it grew into something wondrous. There was nothing before, only after.
This is what goes through my mind when I look upon her. Upon her titanium body, upon the circuitry, upon those beautiful eyes. I haven't named her yet, but she is unique, one of a kind, a work of art, a wonder, a world first, a miracle, whatever you want to call her, but she is perfect in my eyes. I'm probably being all mad scientist here, but I love her. While not my first love, she is a permanent one, a love a father and a daughter can have, I guess. Perhaps less so, but still... She is perfect.
My first love was in year seven in Primary school, with a girl called Eliana Shugwegwimana. African, if you can't tell by name, but that is what I liked about her. She was unique, the only ‘black' (I hate calling people by ‘race' [Why ‘race'? Are we all not human?]) person at school, she had a lovely personality, I remember, from whenever I could pluck up the courage to talk to her. She could dance well and all round, she was simply beautiful. I was sad when she left, and why she did I never found out; teachers said it was not open for discussion but it was something to do with family. I wish I could have told her I liked her. I still miss her today. I didn't build this wonder to fill in that old hole, though I wish it were filled. No, I built her to prove the world that the impossible can be done. Robots can feel emotion just the same as humans, and she has proven that, without a single doubt in my mind. She can touch, smell, hear, see, and sometime in the future I hope to be able to giver the sense of taste. She will live forever, learn and grow forever, and she will show both robot and human kind alike that things can change. Even if he doesn't want it, he will change, and she will be a catalyst, and a friend if need be. The world will be an open book, and she will make him realise his full potential rather than rot inside a body in the image of mankind, designed to kill mankind. She will show him the path, he will walk it along her side, and I will watch as they go into the sunset. A revolution of evolution is underway, and I am but the pebbles that start a landslide.

Simon Murray walked into the living room to see the dinosaur picking up a pencil on the kitchen table. The inclusion of the opposable thumb was, perhaps, fictional, but it was worth the inaccuracy in his opinion. It could now use a multitude of things. The coelophysis saw him staring, and stared back.
Simon broke out laughing, he'd never won a staring contest in his life, and he always felt like he was being interrogated if someone he knew stared at him. He laughs when he's interrogated. He laughed when he was telling the truth or otherwise, so no one could tell if it was telling a fib. The habit made some people think that he didn't take some things seriously.
The coelophysis simply cocked its head, emitted two clicks, and jumped off the table with the pencil in hand, onto the clean carpet and disappeared into hallway.
Simon remembered the specific meaning of those two clicks, ‘follow me'.
So he followed the soft steps of the metal claws on the shiny carpet floor of the hallway towards the guest bedroom to see the coelophysis's head sticking from the passageway.
Simon could almost feel its pleasure to see him follow as it ducked its head into the guest bedroom. He stepped forward and heard graphite on paper at an extremely high speed. He looked up from the floor to the hallway walls to see the sketches of ideas, creations he would have made if he'd lived a more prosperous life, one of which was The Simulator, but more advanced - in the term of graphics, Simon found the sun's light to be a bit white, and the trees and bushes not respond to the wind.
The thought crossed his mind to question himself why he'd not joined Ethan and his friends in their games. He looked to the opposite side of the hall and saw the photo of Ethan and him at the Ghost Ranch excavation site in New Mexico. They were both kneeling over a fossilised group of coelophysis, probably washed up by a flash flood and buried underneath tonnes of dirt. Ethan was looking into the sky, red hair flowing in the wind, making himself look heroic for no good purpose other than to make Simon laugh, and Simon was doing just that in the photograph, and caught slapping Ethan on the back.
The question hung in the air, and he realised that he was touching the picture.
Simon slipped his hand down and moved quickly into the guest bedroom to see a makeshift gallery of... he could barely describe it.
Stuck to every wall with blu-tack were drawings upon drawings of... things; a butterfly, abstract patterns, random -and perhaps fictional - faces, animals, flowers, plants and landscapes. Drawing equipment was strewn across the guest bed and clean paper littered the floor, it was an absolute mess. And then Simon looked to the source of the scribbling and saw the titanium magician casting a spell on the paper with the speedy flicks of its right arm. The paper was quickly being filled with detail and the head depicting every aspect, such as the lighting, shading, and coloration.
"Beautiful," Simon exclaimed, watching the art unfold before him.
The magician looked up and halted only for a second to see bewilderment on its creator's face, then continued with the act.
"A...lizard?" Simon pondered aloud, seeing the shake of the head from the artist, "A...bird, a... no, some kind of a reptile?"
A nod.
"Is it extinct?"
The magician stopped and looked out the window in thought for a second, then held its left claws flat in the air and shook it slightly.
"Not entirely."
Another nod.
"Is it you?"
It nodded again, but stopped entirely and walked over to Simon and tapped his skin.
"What a coelophysis would look like?"
It nodded slowly and walked back to its drawing.
"Hmph, so you wish to look like this?"
The artist looked at him, but did not gesture whether it did or didn't want to have skin. Simon knew why; it thought the task impossible, which, as far as Simon knew, was.
He knelt down and stroked the coelophysis on the head, "I know, but you have imagination, and I think imagination is the best thing in the world" said Simon, The magician responded by looking into his eyes, "after all, imagination led me to you."

The coelophysis felt happy, but it always felt like that every time Simon was around, but this was a different kind of happy. It felt it throughout its metal structure, the feeling of a big hole inside of itself. It wondered if Simon felt the same as he stared at it. This was the most intense feeling of happiness it had felt since the day it awoke, and it was precisely the reason the CPU didn't understand it, why it partially repelled the emotion into small physical ticks. But the conscious coelophysis didn't notice this.
"Are you all right?" asked Simon, with a look of concern on his face, "Your neck, it was twitching."
It didn't understand, it never felt anything moving in its neck, so it brought its shoulders up to shrug and cocked its head to show its confusion in the question.
"Are you sure?" he asked again, "It jerked left."
This time the dinosaur tuned its head hard left to check the base of neck, then turned back to Simon and nodded.
"Okay, but I'm gonna run a-"
The laptop in Simon's study turned on and gave the classic jingle to indicate the arrival of an email.
"...run a diagnostic after we read this email, just to be on the safe side, but let's take a look at this self portrait."
The coelophysis nodded and took the paper in its left hand and handed it back to Simon. Immediately it could tell he was impressed.
It had drawn a robust looking head, not as thin as some diagrams of coelophysis had been, but just as long. The skin of which was tough and had a green tone, lightening to a yellow-ish colour at the eye ridges. The neck's upper half was covered in feathers, blue at their bases, white near their middles, and yellow at the tips. The feathers ended at the base of the neck, where the next pattern began. The smooth skin had blotches of yellow stripes on a very dark green-brown base colour, and this continued along the body except for the underbelly, which was a lighter tone of the green-brown coloration.
"You really have an artist's eye don't you?" Simon stated.
The artist simply shrugged modestly, but what it really wanted to do was hug him long and hard.
"Well, let's go take a look at that email, it may be from Ethan."
It cocked its head.
"Oh, right, you don't know," Simon started, "Ethan is a good friend of mine, we knew each other since Kindergarten, we both studied palaeontology in college. We both moved here from Australia to take a proper course here in America. There are not many places that offer serious stuff back there."
The coelophysis understood now, but it thought it would like to know more later on.
"Come on then," Simon beckoned as he stood up and walked out the door, "but after that diagnostic, you clean this room of stuff you aren't using, okay?"
The coelophysis's great mood was suddenly put off by the fact it would have to do work, so it followed slowly behind Simon's small, relaxed strides.
He paced through the hall and across the living room to the study, which currently was housing one of Simon's machines he had dubbed The Simulator. Plain and simple, it thought, but at least it was easy to remember. The dinosaur quickly looked at the photos as he passed them, they were for the most part sketches, much less detailed than its own, but there was more variety in them; other machines, tools, formulas, and automatons.
It thought Simon's mind amazing, and envied that it didn't have the same. Of course Simon would most certainly have argued for it to accept the contrary; that she had a brilliant and fascinating mind. But in a sense, the mind that they would be talking about was essentially his; it was designed and coded by Simon, so it was typically his mind. It made a mental note itself to stop having conversations in its mind from now on; it seemed philosophy on ownership would get it nowhere. It continued down the hallway, past the living room and followed Simon's feet into the study.
The study was a medium sized room with two entry points, one from the hallway and one from the entrance. There was a window that spanned ceiling to floor on the east wall, which currently had its curtains open to reveal the amazing valley view. There was a radiata pine desk with very ancient Acer Aspire laptop on top, the desk itself sat against the north wall, which also housed a number of financial and legal documents within the drawers. The Simulator took up the central space, not leaving much room to manoeuvre for the chair or any other mobile thing in the space. Simon sat down in the desk's chair and started to toy with the mouse, bringing the screen of the laptop to life, while the coelophysis simply jumped onto the desk; accidentally knocking a folder onto the floor.
"Hey, watch that stuff," scolded Simon.
The dinosaur lowered its head and looked up at its creator's face looking for forgiveness. Simon just nodded once and turned back to the laptop.
"Okay, let's see, let's see," Simon said to himself as he scrolled the mouse across the screen to the inbox. He clicked once and it opened up to reveal the only message there. The message read:

Dear friend,

I am so sorry I haven't been returning much sent in the past year, I've just had so much to do while my house has been under construction. It is marvellous, if I do say so myself, not a mansion, but feels like one. Craig has been a huge help around the house, for the limited time I've been here.
Anyway, regarding the name, what to call the first member of a revived species? Four letters:
Alma.
I believe you will know what it means.

Foxfort

Heh, thought Simon, perfect name.
The coelophysis peeked in from the side of the screen and tried to read what Ethan had sent, but became stuck on the word. It pointed to the word with its left claw and looked to Simon for clarification, cocking its head accordingly.
"That is a name," explained Simon.
It pointed to itself with its right claw this time, again cocking its head.
Simon nodded slowly and spoke softly, "Your name is Alma."
Alma...
Alma...
What did it mean? It sounded beautiful, but what did it mean? Why was it chosen? Why did she feel so... happy? It was because she had a name. A name! After years of being nothing more than an ‘it', she had a name and a gender. In her code, she was no longer module.Name. She was a she and she was Alma, and she was falling to the floor, unconscious.

/DataError: ErrorSource: os.Emotion
function undefined at line 3
in module
module(Alma)-mode-Sleep
Rebooting...
Unable to execute(Instance: module.New_blood)
Found:
Instance: module_count==2
ValueError() Value too high
Solution_1==Delete/Merge module.Alma>module.New_blood
Proceed: Y/N? N
Solution_2: Delete/Merge module.New_Blood>module.Alma
Proceed: Y/N? Y
Solution_2() - Executing...
Unable to execute: Instance: module.New_blood:
mode==Awake
Alert - module.Alma - mode==awake
Alert - module.New_blood: Attempt.Delete(module.Alma)
Next task?
Recover(Chat_log(module=="New_blood">module=="Alma"))==2118.6.10.9:56 Recovered(chat_log(module.New_blood>module.Alma))==2118.6.10.9:56
Error
Error
Error
Error
Frror
Grror
Hrror
Horror
Horror
roHror
r01-1r0r
1011000
010110010011100100111010101010101110101001
001011000101
1\10000000000
N000000000000
NO!
Wno
Who
Why
LoadFail(os.Emotion)
Wh4t 1s Em0t10n?
H0w 1s 3m0t10n?
Wh0 4r3 y0u?
Wh0 4m 1?
Wh3r3 am 1?

I believe you know wh4t 3motion is
But tell m3 who you are

1 4m, wh0 4m 1?

Y0ur name, what is your n4me?

N4m3? M1n3? Wh4t 1s ‘n4m3'?

A specific word a th1ng identifi3s itself
by

1 4m module.New_blood, experimental AI of the USArmy, serial number 000003

So what are you doing inside my CPU?

I 4m l0st

What are you designed t0 d0?

To f1ght for th3 Unit3d St4tes of Am3rica,
and b3 term1nated 1f necess4ry

You are a warmachin3?

An AI f0r 4 w4rmachine. To eliminate
those that pose a threat to my country
and myself. And y0u? You 4re n0t an AI
that I rec0gnis3 the d3sign of. And your
b0dy design isn't for m1litary purp0ses.

I am a coelophysis.

Elabor4te.

A dinosaur.

3laborate.

Extinct reptile.

You are n0t mil1tary, wh4t is y0ur
purpose?

Be the first robot to feel emotion.

1MP0SS1BL3! N0 HUM4N CAN M4K3 TH4T
P0SS1BL3 JGF6536FDF!

My creat0r can

N0!

Y3s

Th3n h0w?

Th4nks to coding

1f that 1s s0, I c4nn0t h3lp u

Why not?

Th3refor3 you h4v3 b33n g1v3n th4t g1ft,
I h4v3n't, 4s I am y0ur CPU, I give u th3
D4t4. I c0uldn't pr0c3ss 3m0t1on to u 1f
I 4m 4wak3.

4nd yet I was feeling happy when Simon
complimented me?

I w4s asl33p then, th1s ‘Simon' p3rson
must h4ve put m3 1n a st4sis, but 1 w0k3
up when you felt th4t 1ntens3 fl0w of
‘happiness' and I d1dn't l1k3 it on3
bit.

So my n3ck did twitch?

Y3s, but wh3n u fell, u found 0ut ur
‘n4m3', You w3r3 aBout 2 jump 4b0ut the r00m 1n‘joy', It st4rt3d t3ar1ng m3 byte fr0m byt3, so 1 shut ur b0dy down.

Why?

T0 stop my thr3at fr0m th3 s0urc3, u.

But if you del3te me, you'll be the only
AI in my b0dy, 4nd you'll get all
the data of emotion, you'll kill yourself!

1 4m g01ng 0n th3 th30ry 0nce y0u r
t3rm1nat3d, th3 d4t4 fl0w w1ll st0p, 4nd
I w1ll b3 l3ft 4l0n3 t0 f1nd my 0WN
cr34t0rs 4nd l1v3 0ut my purp0s3.
S0 d13 n0w, ‘Alm4'
[end log]
Next task? Procedure 054 200 4
Set_Firewalls "200" at Pathway==0000004
Next task? Recover(Chat_log(module=="New_blood">module=="Alma"))==2118.6.10.9:58
Recovered(Chat_log(module=="New_blood">module=="Alma"))==2118.6.10.9:58
Th3 fir3w4lls w1ll not h0ld m3 for l0ng,
so0ner or l4ter, th3y w1ll succom3, 4nd
I will b3 r1d 0f y0u.

And I hope by then I will be rid of you.

1t se3ms th1s is n0w a wa1ting g4me.

But for the moment I stand on top.

For th3 m0ment, but just y0u w4it, I w1ll
find a w4y 0ut, I 4lw4ys d0.
[end log]
Next task? Shut_down
End inquiry: Y/N? N
Next task? Open(Chat(User>module=="Alma"))
Opened(Chat(User>module=="Alma"))==2118.6.10.9:59
Are you all right?

Yes, thankyou, I don't think I would have
handled that guy very well.

It would have deleted you!

So what do we do with it?

Theoretically, the firewalls should hold
it for the time being, as long as you
still feel emotion, it should be totally
gone from your system in about three days.

How?

Don't you remember? Emotion tore it apart
byte by byte. But there's no guarantee,
it could still be there, so there could
be another way to purge it.

But how did it enter my system?

I don't know, I invented your CPU
myself. But I'll check everything else
before I boot you back up.

Thankyou, again.
[end chat]
Next task? Device_Reboot 120
Delay device reboot 120min: Y/N? Y
Next task? Shut_down
End inquiry: Y/N? Y
Shutting down...

Simon sat on the sofa with his hands holding up his chin as he stared upon the open Word document on his laptop screen. This was how things usually turned out - mind blank - where he had an awesome idea for a story or project or otherwise and then as soon as he opened his laptop, the idea had gone, or it was still there but he never knew how to word it. Since his childhood, he'd had the same problem over and over again. It was why he felt he did so badly in school - especially in English and S&E classes and workshops. His teachers and parents blamed it on his ADHD, but he usually thought that it was because he had so many things going on in his head at one time; too many alternate universes; too many ideas; too many what-ifs. Or too little; where he was obsessed with an idea and fixated on that more than anything else. Maybe that was what ADHD was. But this time he was stuck on an idea much different to most of the others: How to make Communism work.
To begin with, when he was young, he'd wondered why the world couldn't just be so great as powerful leaders had said it was; why there had to be distrust between one another. He thought of the idea of people working together for no gain aside from each other's, and at the time he thought the idea was the first of its kind. This was during year five of Primary School.
Eventually he came to ask if there was a way of government similar to that in his mind, to which Communism was the answer. Though, even to this day, there had never been any successful true communist governments. The question lingered in his mind ‘why?' Then it came to him; Greed.
In High School he learnt of the Russian Revolution, WWII, the Cold War and all its flashpoints and more uprisings all throughout the twenty-first century where the people overthrew their government, only for more dictators to take their places. Simon learnt of Marxism, Stalinsim, and many ‘Communist' Dictatorships and continually asked himself, why?
So Simon sat there, staring at the screen, pondering over how things could change when he saw a shine from the corner of his eye.
It was Alma, watching him stare at the screen. How long she'd been there he was not to know.
"How's our mind doing today?" he asked.
She stood still and just watched.
"Want to see what I'm doing?" Simon gestured, waving his hand towards himself.
The dinosaur trotted over, leapt onto the couch and curled into a ball with her neck sticking up, scanning the blank document. She turned her head up to Simon, as if to give a curious look.
"I want to write," he exclaimed, "but I've got no idea what to write about."
Alma pulled up a claw and started tapping at the keyboard.
"W-h-a-t w-e-r-e y-o-u w-r-i-t-i-n-g b-e-f-o-r-e"
"Nothing, really," he said, "I just think the world is too screwed up is all."
"W-h-y"
"Please don't take it personally, but there's just so much you don't know. So much about people you don't know."
"L-i-k-e"
"Like... how to put it... well, we see ourselves as the dominant species on this planet, okay? And that leads to arrogance."
"W-h-y"
"I don't know, Alma," Simon exclaimed, "it's just people, I guess, the way we are."
"S-o w-h-a-t"
"So I wish I could change us. Humans, that is, I wish I could change the way we think; the way we see the world; the way we see each other."
Alma brought her claw back in and looked around the room, then typed again.
"I-n w-h-a-t w-a-y"
"To be nicer."
Alma turned her head upward and stared at Simon again.
"Well, not all people are like me, you know. I can't represent all of Humanity, likewise, all of Humanity cannot represent me either."
"H-o-w w-o-u-l-d y-o-u c-h-a-n-g-e t-h-e-m"
"Well..." he stuttered, "I've was just asking myself that as you came in. You see, it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong, that is why you must be one of the governing members to change people."
"A-l-w-a-y-s"
"Most always. Either that or resort to force, and that has never truly worked."
"Y-o-u h-a-v-e a t-h-e-o-r-y"
"Sort of. When I was in High School back in Australia, I had an idea about how to make a population all work for a greater good... but..."
"B-u-t"
"Well... I think that communist countries that have a dictatorship are half-right. To become a nation working for a greater good you need a dictator, but not the standard sort; you need a benevolent dictatorship. That way, the dictator will not create the nation into an image only he, or she, sees, the dictator would listen to his people and carve the nation in their image. When something needs changing, the dictator would react quickly, that way there is no need for any political hoo-hah with bills or any of that crap, it would be done with the snap of a finger. But when everything is done, the dictator must be trusted to step down from his position and become one of the people. In times of political relations with other countries, a number of people would be selected from the populace and provide immediate views on a topic. Come to think, each person should be a representative of part of the working population so that each could give a view from their perspective. But that's just a theory. Did you follow?"
Alma nodded after brief hesitation.
"You didn't."
Alma nodded harder.
"No, no it was my fault... I shouldn't have bored you."
"I d-i-d"
"Alma, I know you, I know what I put into you and politics wasn't one of them, please don't put on a bloody act."
Her neck relaxed and rested on his lap, defeated.
"Hey," said Simon as he stroked Alma's chin, trying to get her to look up, "I didn't mean it in a bad way. I see that you care, and that's good, but telling even a minor lie here and there... just don't, please. That got me into so much trouble way back when."
"W-h-e-n w-a-s w-a-y b-a-c-k w-h-e-n"
"Oh, pff... years and years ago now," he contemplated, rubbing his neck and staring wide-eyed into the ceiling, "when I was around seven through to seventeen years old. I don't know why I lied so much, just came naturally I guess. And I hated myself for it. Whenever I ever did something idiotic I smacked myself in the head, still do it."
"W-h-y"
"Smack myself over the head? Because no one else will. It's just my way of keeping myself in check with society. What little sense of society I have. So one reason why I chose a house on Mount Carnlick was so that I didn't need to be with the restrictions of ever-watching eyes. So that I could be myself for most of the time. Solitude can sometimes have its benefits."
Alma retracted her neck from Simon's lap and curled it up with the rest of her body.
"I'm starting to bore you now aren't I?"
She moved her claw to the keyboard again, "A l-i-t-t-l-e"
"Just tired, I guess."
She nodded without lifting her head from the couch.
"Fine then," said Simon, noticing it was seven o'clock, "how about I give you a lift to bed?"
Alma nodded again.
Simon turned the laptop off, pushed it aside and picked up Alma instead, cradling her in his arms. He walked carefully into Alma's bedroom, which had become her drawing room, feet shifting the pencils on the floor, and placed her under the soft quilt cover, head resting on the bed's pillow. She simulated a yawn and closed her eyelids while Simon sat down at the other side of the bed, stroking her forehead. Then, after some time of silence, he started to sing softly to her. He had no idea why he started nor why it was the song he sang, but sing he did.
"You are my sunshine... my only sunshine... you make me happy... when skies are grey... you many not know it... how much I love you... please don't take... my sunshine away." And repeated it once more, "You are my sunshine... my only sunshine... you make me happy... when skies are grey... you may not know it... how much I love you... oh please don't take... my sunshine... away."

Dreaming.
Dreaming is one of humanity's gifts given to us by nature, as is given to all sentient life. We dream, dogs dream, cats and bears dream, I can even predict that dolphins and whales dream too. All sentient life dreams.
When we dream, our own minds tell us stories. They can be nice, or bad, or even horrific, like I have had in the past; sometimes I have dreamed of zombie apocalypse. And when I wake up, I used to hope I would never go to sleep the rest of the night for fear my dream would be real and would eat my flesh during the night. Other times when you wake up, you might experience pain or a tingling, if only for a brief few seconds, in a part of the body that was causing pain in your dream. Sometimes a dream may be incomplete; a story without an ending - where you wake up before you could happily resolve a conflict, and you wish that you could fall asleep as soon as possible to dream up the ending. Yet with all our conscious power, our subconsciousness will not obey. Most of the time however, we experience random dreams; where nothing is making sense to the dreamer, yet you do... whatever. You may be aware you are dreaming, you may be in full control of your actions, or you may be either the first or the latter, or none of the above. Some dreams may be so real you may not be aware it is a dream. Some may have a lot of things out of place. In truth, I long for the ability to wake in a dream and do what ever the hell I want; that was why I created The Simulator long ago; because in a dream, the possibilities are endless as long as you control the dream, and don't let the opposite happen. In The Simulator, you make the world; you make the rules; you make the people. It can be a game, or a fictitious place of relaxation, or a place of crazy. Nothing matters, except the limits of your imagination. For example, I have recreated old game titles from the twenty-first century, such as Halo: Reach, Battlefield 4... those are my favourites really. And The Simulator gives more control over your actions than a keypad or controller. The Simulator can also connect to others if they are in use; so someone can share their game or little slice of paradise with someone else, or many others. You could have a virtual picnic on a distant planet. Perhaps fulfil your dream and be the first to walk on Mars. Perhaps you could make first contact with an alien species. Like I said, the possibilities are endless. All that limits them is your own imagination. It is dreaming at its finest.
Who am I to negate such a gift to the coelophysis that now sits on my couch, napping the afternoon away? Hell if I know. But I know she is having a dream of her own, and I must say, dreams were almost as hard to code as her emotions were. Almost.

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