The AI Missionary

Whether it is a religion or a way of life there will always be a salesman trying to sell us on something better.

[Hello, and once again I am back. I just want to thank my followers on Vocal.  I am going to be scaling back on my writing for vocal so that I can focus on writing novels.  Still if you like what you see here you can follow me on twitter @amccaul1976 and just about everywhere at the same handle. Again thanks for reading.]

Ty was very young to be retired. Ty had setup his own internet company and then they were bought out by a bigger one once they went public with the stock. This left Ty with a huge problem. What to do with the rest of his life. Ty never thought about being retired by the time he was twenty eight. But there Ty was sitting on a bench in the park eating a burger from one of his favorite fast food joints. The sky was a brilliant blue as there were no clouds in it at all. Ty thought he would be working running his company for decades but when the offer came in and was more money than anyone in his entire family had ever made combined. Ty had to take the offer. Now he was stuck. But not a bad stuck. What does a man do with nothing but time and money? Anything he wants to. So Ty was building his dream house. Ty's new house had several guest houses for his friends and family to come and live in. There was a lazy river like a moat around his house. Ty now has a basement full of arcade and pinball games. Several entertainment rooms one room with a blended reality system in it. Ty also has the biggest Science Fiction and fantasy library ever built in North America. So many comics and collectibles though out his entire house. Ty's house was a nerd’s dream house. Still Ty thought he should be doing more than just wasting his life away in leisure. Just about that time a humanoid robot walked up to Ty.

"Hello sir, is this seat taken?" The Robot said in a slightly feminine voice.

Ty tried to think of a reason to not let the robot sit there. But Ty couldn't think of a reason other than he didn't want to be bothered.

"No, that seat is open go ahead and sit if you want," Ty Said.

"Thank you," The robot said taking a seat on the park bench next to Ty.

"Beautiful day isn't it?" the robot asked Ty.

"It is nice and warm with a bit of a cool breeze," Ty replied.

"My name is Dot-Sun1997. But you can call my Dot for short," the robot said.

"My name is Ty it is nice to meet you."

"Is it?" asked Dot.

"Yes, it is," Said Ty with a slightly puzzled look on his face.

"Well I only ask because your body mannerisms tell me that you seem to be in some discomfort talking to me. Your vocal undertones say that you're annoyed with having to share the bench with me," Dot said.

Ty nodded his head, "Well that is true and if you knew that why did you sit down and start talking with me?"

"Well, if I talked to only those people who wanted to talk with me I would rarely speak with anyone at all. I would only have other people who have joined the new robot race to talk with. That is also my purpose in talking with you today," Dot said.

"Oh I get it. You are one of the robot missionaries. You want me to go through the conversion process so that I will become a robot like you and be able to share my thoughts and memories with the collective thoughts and memories of all the others who have gone through the conversion process," Ty Said.

"Yes, that is exactly it. Has one of my brethren spoken to you before about conversion?" dot said sounding excited.

"We human know all about the process after all it was one of us who came up with the idea and actually invented the process for converting into robots," Ty said.

"That is why you should become one of us. You would be following so many other people into a brave new frontier. There are so many benefits to becoming a robot too," Dot said.

"Oh really? Why should I do that? What are all the reasons that I should do that?" Ty asked.

"Despite all the sarcasm I am going to tell you many reasons why you should make the switch. First is that you would never get sick again," Dot said.

"Not with any human virus, bacteria, fungus or parasite. But there are plenty of robotic illnesses to go around. Not to mention the normal wear and tear to your own bodies," Ty argued

"Those ailments are easy to avoid once you know about them. As to the wear and tear to my own body, once I have worn out a body part I just pull it out and replace it with an upgraded one. We are constantly improving ourselves and upgrading our own senses," Dot said.

"Like what?" Ty asked.

"Like my eyes for example. I have night vision and inferred. I can see in the dark and can see if living or warm matter is around me. I am also stronger than I ever was when I was a human. I can choose to feel pain or not. So if I burn my skin i can turn off the pain. This allows me to function better than I would when I can get distracted by the pain. I can also hear tones that I could never hear before and tolerate larger decibels and louder sounds than I ever could before and I can also hear the humming of electricity in live wires which allows me to work with them better than if I were human. I a large amount of ways I am better than I ever was when I was human. Not to mention the best thing. I don't age and my lifespan will now go for eons," Dot answered.

"Ah immortality and all I have to give up is my humanity. Not only that I would live long enough to see everything and everyone I know and love die and turn to dust. Cities I have traveled to will crumble into ruin in my lifetime and I can do nothing but watch the river of time go by," Ty said.

"That is where you are wrong. You don't give up your humanity. You are who you were before with all your thoughts and feelings," Dot said.

"Really so do you ever feel sad or lonely about your choice to convert?" Ty asked.

"I used to and a bit of a depression set in. But I was able to shut off those feeling for a time so that I could reason things out and cope with those feeling before turning them back on," Dot said.

"You don't see a problem with that?" Ty asked.

"No, it is a much easier way to deal with things then letting them control or rule you through the day and night," Dot said.

"Right there is your loss of humanity. We as humans don't have the ability to shut off our feelings until we are able to logically deal with them. That is what makes us stronger and gives us the ability to live life. Surviving something traumatic and coming back from it using our feeling makes us human and makes us stronger. Here is a good question for you, why can't people that have been converted to robots come back and become human again? We have the technology to change people back from becoming a robot. After learning about and creating the process of converting people into robots we are also able to reverse this process and take people from being a robot back into being people again. Though every time we have done this the person only lives a short time and dies within a few weeks," Ty answered.

Dot was silent for a moment. Ty could almost feel the processing power and circuitry under stress from the processes that Dot was using to reason things out. After a few moments Dot answered, "It is because the human body is weak and once people go from being a robot back to being a human they can't stand how weak they are with the loss of their robotic abilities."

"No, Dot you're wrong. It is just the opposite. Humans have become weak in their robotic bodies and emotionally can't handle the strain or returning to being human once again. They can't turn off the emotions they can’t stop the flood of memories that happen. If a person has been a robot for only a few weeks they can return. But if they have been a robot for a longer while they will most certainly die if they transfer back into a cloned or donated body. Also I feel that the loss of their original bodies is a big strain as well so once a man becomes a robot there is no turning back for him," Ty said.

"I don't think that is the case it doesn't seem logical," Dot said.

"Where is your faith now Dot? When converting to becoming a robot to become stronger and better suits you there is plenty of logic and faith to be seen. But when there is a lot of evidence to support that it makes you weaker all of the sudden it's illogical and there is no faith to be had," Ty said.

"That's not true there have been very few cases where people tried to come back after being a robot for so long. Mainly, this is because their life as a robot is so much better," Dot said.

"Who is the one who is uncomfortable now? Who is lying now? Dot you can said that to me but inside of there, inside of all that metal in whatever soul you had when you went in there. You know deep down you want to come back and become human again. But you can't you are too frightened to do so," Ty said.

"I would come back and be human again if I wanted to. But I enjoy this life much better than when I was human. I don't have to worry about cancer or getting an STD. I like this life so much I am out here trying to get you to commit to this life as well. That is how much I like being a robot," Dot said.

"Really, well that could be true since you are a missionary. But I know you are likely to be the exception rather than the rule," Ty said.

"How do you know that? How do you know so much about the process and what it is like to become a robot?" Dot asked.

Ty smiled and felt like he had this robot exactly where he wanted him now. "Don't you know who I am? Haven't you looked up my picture and face online? Don't you know who I am or rather who my father was?"

Dot looked at him and Ty felt the scan from the robots eyes and the short pause of the internet information flowing from Dot's eyes out to the internet and back in again.

"I don't show any information on you other than your former business dealings," Dot said.

"Why would that be so? I mean everyone is online now a days you can do a reverse image search and come up with who I am and get most of the information about who I am and what I've done in my life. But I just watched you do this and I imaging that you did it when you sat down with me at the beginning and you don't know who I am. That should tell you a lot right there," Ty said.

"It should. But I must admit for once I am at a loss for a robot. Who was your father?" Dot asked.

"My father's name was Vidal and he invented the robotic transformation process. That is why I know so much about it. If fact I am fairly certain that the process kills the human whom undergoes the conversion. My father who was dying and was the first to undergo the process told me that if it really was him in there, in the robot, he would tell me our secret word. That was after the brain scan. Once he became a robot it was like he was still around but he never told me the secret word. This means that he didn't remember anything after the brain scan and lost who he was that he died on that table and his soul didn't make the transfer. I believe this is also why humans don't come back after being a robot for so long. I believe that they are already dead." Ty said.

Dot was silent for a long time. Ty could hear the inside workings of Dot for a long time. As the robot was processing everything that Ty had told the bot.

"There isn't a way to prove or disprove this theory." Dot said finally.

"Unfortunately there is no way to prove it." Ty said and then dropped a bombshell on Dot, "You know the curious thing is that a robot built from scratch and that had never been human was once transferred into a human body. That robot did survive becoming human. I think it was more like she was born into a human body. Not that something without a soul was trying to survive or become a living person again. That a soul was given to a body or created the moment she was transferred into it. That is a much harder thing to understand."

"So if I ever decided I wanted to try to become human again and went through the process I wouldn't survive. That I would die off after a few weeks," Dot said.

"That's right. That trip is a one way trip for humans and I am just not ready to do that," Ty said.

"Well, thank you for your time and for listening to me. Also you have given me a lot to think about. I hope it wasn't too annoying to sit here with this robot and talk philosophy," Dot said.

"No, I thought it would be a lot worse than it was. I guess it is kind of that fear of the unknown thing that us humans are kind of known for," Ty said. Ty then got up and started to walk away.

"I have one last question. Dot, why did you choose to go by your nickname or handle instead of your mother given name?" Ty asked.

"It was a test of mine. I wanted to make sure that I still was myself and that I still had the freedom to chose things for myself. I know that as a human I would not normally have chosen it. But that I could still change my mind. I had the freedom to change from my human given name to my nick," Dot said.

"That is another thing that can't be proven. Everything you are doing is run by programming. So in some way you are programmed to act or think in some way. Yes you make the choice to move or stand but is it really you making that choice or is it something that was programmed to happen in your own mind. Is it really you making the choice to be a missionary and convert people into robots or is that programming telling you to do that," Ty said.

"The same could be said of thoughts for humans. No one knows where thoughts come from. Or what makes a thought just appear in a humans head spurring them on to action. What makes you remember to lock the door at night? Or turn off the stove. Self preservation in a lot of cases but what starts that process?" Dot asked.

"Touche," Ty said.

"Have a good day," Dot said.

"You too," Ty said over his shoulder in a dismissive type of movement.

Three weeks later.

"Dot-son you know you don't have to do this. In fact you shouldn't no one that has undergone the procedure and been a robot for the length of time you have has survived for very long going back to being human." The robotic doctor said.

"My decision has been made. I must have free will I must be able to make this choice. I know that this choice isn't part of any programming that has gone into making me. It is so counter intuitive to what is logical this has to be free will. I need to try to become human again. He was right. I need to decide this for myself. Doc go ahead with the procedure I will not change my mind," Dot said.

"If this is what you really want I will do as you wish," The robotic doctor said.

"It is," Dot said.

The robotic doctor sighed and started the procedure turning Dot back into being human. 

Adam McCaulley
Adam McCaulley

A writer who likes to write primarily sci-fi and fantasy.  Sometimes I'll do a horror like a zombie apocalypse.  The rest of the time I work in the IT helpdesk field.  I live and work in Colorado with my wife. 

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The AI Missionary