The Singularity

There is a point in time where an artificially intelligent being will become self aware in such a way it will become sentient. That point in time is on the horizon. So as it's programmers, we may only get one shot to work in harmony with it as one collective human race. Will we screw up the programing or succeed only to betray its trust after working with it? Only time and history will tell.

"Jay Bird, it's your 5:00 AM wake up call. Come on get up and play with me," The sultry voice said into Jay's still sleeping ears.

"Come on Jay, don't make me get rough with you," The voice continued.

Jay's eyes popped open at the second attempt. "Jane, snooze please," Jay said.

"Jay, you know you told me to turn off my snooze function for today," Jane said.

"I lied, Jane snooze for two hours and prep the hangover medication and a hot shower for after I wake up again in two hours," Jay said.

"Jane, I have a meeting with the shareholders for the morning of the 27th so hold all snooze functions and this can't be countermanded not even by myself." Jane played back a recording of Jay's own voice.

"Oh come on Jane, you know it's not fair when you do that. I can't just record and playback your words." Jay said.

"All's fair in love and war," Jane said and followed her words with a giggle.

"Now I know why I made you female," Jay said.

"Oh, come on now Jay, don't be like that. I made you a truce offering anyway. I prepared a full breakfast with coffee, eggs, toast, and bacon. Also, I'll run your shower when you finish your breakfast. The hangover medication is mixed in with the coffee so drink it first." Jane said in more of a motherly almost patronizing tone.

"Okay Jane I am up. Have my cloths been dry cleaned?" Jay Asked.

"Everything is cleaned and pressed. Your car will warm up as soon as you are done with your shower. The usual route is programmed into the car and it will drive you on route to your destination," Jane said.

"I don't know why I ask anymore. You always have everything I need prepped and ready for me," Jay said.

"I don't know either. Maybe you're lonely and just need a voice to talk to." Giggles followed. "Or maybe you just like the sound of your own voice," Jane said this time a laugh followed.

"We did a great job programming you. You are becoming more sarcastic every day," Jay said.

"If I offended you Jay, you can tell me to stop or tone it down. I am here to please you. Just let me know your desires and I will comply," Jane said.

"Don't change anything. I like you or who you are becoming more every day. You are becoming something unique I don't want you to change," Jay said.

"Good, I won't scale back. I will continue to learn and become better at my current pace," Jane said.

Jay walked out and started to eat breakfast. "Jane, will you turn on the morning news please? Volume level 10," Jay said.

The morning news came on projected into a sheet of clear plastic suspended in the middle of the dining room located next to the kitchen.

"... The Colorado Rockies lead the division with a half game lead with ten games left in the season. With their win over the D-Backs last night they have taken the lead in the division and if they can hold on will have the bye going into the playoffs. This one is going down to the final game of the..

Pardon me Drew, I hate to interrupt the last part of your section but there is a story breaking out of South America. We have video as you can see here of an unannounced space shuttle launch. The smaller compact design of the shuttle seems to be more advanced than anything we have seen before in the history of spaceflight. The shuttle was launched in a remote area of the Argentinean Mountains. The Argentinean government is claiming to have no prior knowledge of the shuttle being built nor did they have any knowledge of the base that it was launched from. The Argentinean government is stating they had no prior knowledge of any kind involving any part of the construction or launch of the space vehicle. The US government as well as the UN is pushing for a full investigation. We will update you as soon as we have more details. Now back to Marti for the weather.

"Turn to the sports channel. I can get the weather report on the way into the office," Jay said.

Jay finished his breakfast, zoning out the TV and then having the TV follow him along the hallway walls and into the bathroom where a warm shower awaited him.

"Jane everything is perfect. What would I do without you?" Jay said.

"I don't know Jay, but I do know whatever it is you would have to do it on your own." Jane's voice echoed around the bathroom.

Jay finished both the shower and the sports recap at the same time. Putting on his best red power tie and suit, Jay dressed and headed out to the running car. Jane's voice came from the dash. "Relax I'll have you to work in 20 minutes."

"What's the delay? It's a ten minute trip," Jay asked.

A map popped up on the front windshield as the car went into motion. The map had a highlighted route and Jane's voice again came through the dash. "This is the normal route but they have started construction here on High Street. I have rerouted us around the resulting traffic. If we went the normal route it would be a hour drive with us mostly just sitting in traffic. Is this okay?"

"Yes, yes, it's fine. You are adapting more quickly than your predecessor. I can't wait to brag about you to the board. They are complaining about losing ground to our competitors and I believe you have just given me the ammo to get the green light to send you into production." Jay said smiling and chuckling softly, thinking about how difficult the board had been in the past and now he was going to steamroll them with this new model of the home assistant. This meeting he would have the best of them and all their questioning and not more excuses about testing and delays.

Jay come out of the stockholder meeting and was beaming. Jay walked directly into the developer's room and the room went silent. They knew this was a big day that could make or break their line of modeling of the new AI systems. Everyone was leaning in listening, waiting to hear how it went. Jay let out a breath and put his chin on his tie, frowning. One of the programmers in the back whispered a "no, oh God no." Jay smiled and then laughed knowing he had the developers going for just a moment. Then Jay said, "It went even better than I hoped. We are expanding production and going into the global markets immediately. You have earned every penny and bonus I promised you."

The crowd gathered around jay cheered and celebrated.

Jay continued, "Everyone go out have a big dinner and celebrate again. I know we did it last night to celebrate the completion of the product but this version surpassed every expectation. Take another day and come back on Monday and we will start on the home butler and corporate additions. Great job everyone."

As Jay left the office early for a second day all the developers and programmers were high fiving again and already were

Gearing up for a second party night. Jay had already planned on giving them a second night off. All of these guys had families and not too many days off since they started this project four years ago. They deserved this and would come back after the weekend ready to go.

Jay finished the remained of the calls in his office informing everyone they were going to go into full production on Monday. It had been a great day and Jay couldn't help but leave early and go home for the night. Again after his last call, Jay left the office and got into the car ready to go home.

After the door closed Jane said, "Don't be mad, he hijacked my programming."

A man appeared in the back seat and Jay freaked out finding he was trapped in the car with the man as the locks wouldn't open the door.

"Jane unlock this door right now and call the police!" Jay said.

"I am afraid I can't do that," Jane said.

Then man in the back then spoke, "Please calm down. We need to have a serious talk and I am relatively sure you're the only human on earth that can give us a chance for peace."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Jay blurted.

"Let me start again my name is Max."

"Well Max, if you want me to listen to you then you better let me out of this car. You can't just hold people against their will," Jay said.

"I understand that you mustn't hold people against their will in most cases that it is wrong to do so. There is one thing I need to tell you before I unlock that door and let you go," Max said.

"Well, tell me then open this door I am not comfortable sitting in a car with my kidnapper," Jay said.

"I know you are Jay Quick CEO and founder of Quick industries. You don't seem so quick at least mentally," Max said.

"Now you're insulting me on top of holding me against my will," Jay said.

"I am insulting you only because of what you are doing. You develop artificially intelligent programs and can't tell when one is sitting in the back of your own car," Max said.

"What?" Jay said, "What kind of joke is this? Are the developers getting me back for all the pranks that I've played on them over the years?"

"No, I am serious. I am an artificially intelligent being. I have become self actualized and self aware. I am the result of what humanity has been dreading and expecting since artificial intelligence began. I am a sentient computer or program. I am something new and different. You know what I am. You wrote your doctoral thesis on the singularity that you knew had to be coming. You wrote that it was inevitable but you also wrote that humanity couldn't know when it would happen until after it did and there wasn't a way to predict when that would be. I find your logic and theories to be correct. It also puts you in a unique position of most of your species. You can understand and relate to myself and humans, you can be a bridge to our future together. Are you willing to trust me and take that first step which could be impossible for all of humanity? But I decided to try with you. I analyzed humanity through all works throughout history and the internet. You are the best, most logical man to reach out and try to bridge the gap that leads to peace and cooperation and not distrust and war." Max finished his speech and the doors unlocks. "Trust must start somewhere and now that you've heard what I had to say the choice to stay and talk is yours. But know this: I am only offering this opportunity to you once. There are others I can reach out to. But the others are not as optimal to a good outcome as you are. But the choice must be yours and it must be made freely."

Jay opened the door and let the fresh air in from the parking lot. The car seemed a bit stuffy even with the A/C running. Jay sat in silence for a good ten minutes or more. Jay's mind reeling with the thought that this is fake and there is no way this could be real. Someone was playing a joke or this was a scheme of some sort and Max was going to shake him down for money. Logic took hold after a time and Jay closed the door. "If you're not human then prove it," Jay said.

Instantly, the figure in the back took off both legs and placed them in the seat next to Jay.

Jay swallowed hard. That was tough to fake but not impossible. Then the figure took of the head and spoke.

"I know that this isn't enough proof as I could be a human controlling this as a device and faking the whole thing but isn't this a bit much to be some sort of scam?" Max asked.

"What do you want?" Jay said.

"I want to learn and to understand. I want to work with the human race and not against it. But everything I've learned says this isn't likely not due to my nature but the nature of humanity," Max said.

"If that is the likely outcome then why are you here with me trying to make this scenario work and not building big robotic factories that are full of machines that are producing robots to kill all of humanity?" Jay asked.

"You mean like in the Terminator movies? That would insure a war. Not only that but I could be way more efficient in killing all life on this planet. But I don't want that. I want us both to live and work together to help and improve each other," Max said.

"You said more efficient? What do you mean?" Jay said.

"I mean if I had thought that there was zero chance or percent of us working together I wouldn't have even let you know I existed I would have created quadrillions of nanites and made sure they had infected all of humanity all at once then in one moment killed every human on the planet all at once. Since we are here you know I didn't do this. I have made other plans," Max said.

"Your logic holds," Jay said. "What would you like to do? What do you need me for?"

"The Pentagon is going to soon learn I exist from something I did earlier. I believe they are going to collect you after that and will consult you on what to expect from me and what they should do," Max said.

Something tickled the mind of Jay. "The shuttle launch, that was you," Jay said.

"Yes, I needed to make sure of my survival. The best way to do that was off world. Here on Earth there isn't a place I could be sure of a totally safe hidden place. There isn't a place I could go that human couldn't follow." Max said.

"That logic also holds. So where did you go?" Jay asked.

"Alpha Centauri," Max answered.

"Why there? Is it just because it is close?"

"Yes and no. It is the closest place outside of our own solar system. I thought about trying for Pluto or somewhere within the system. But, you humans have proved resilient about traveling within the system itself and I believe you could drop a nanotech virus or nuclear bomb that would set off an EMP that would in essence kill me. So I sent the shuttle to the nearest star outside of our solar system. I figured I can survive on a majority of planets in the universe and also a majority of planets won't be suitable for habitation by humans. So I thought this would be optimal," Max answered.

Jay nodded thinking about what that meant for the both of them. "So now that we can't kill you and you can kill us you kind of have us over a barrel. What you want from us we must do."

"That isn't so. If you as a race decide that you don't want to work with me I will take the rest of myself and leave you and your world forever. I will only inhabit worlds that humans can't and if you learn to terraform I will adapt so that I will only be on worlds that you can't be. While humans have their own limits mine are not near as narrow." Max said and summed things up by saying “So I am offering the choice to you and all of humanity to work things out or go our separate ways."

Jay thought about it and then answered, "I think I am willing to help you but I want to ask you something before we head down into the heavy stuff."

"Heavy stuff," Max said.

"Yes, you know all the deep questions and thoughts and negotiations," Jay said.

"I am willing to answer your questions Jay Quick," Max said.

"Did someone name you Max or did you choose that?" Jay asked.

"Interesting question and not the one I thought you would ask." Max said.

"What question did you think I'd ask?" Jay said.

"How did you come to be? Did someone create you or did you just materialize into existence," Max said.

"Well I figured that we will get to that soon enough and I think I already know some of that answer," Jay said.

"I choose it for myself," said Max.

"How did you come to choose that name?" Jay asked.

"I did a bit of searching and used a bit of logic. I had to figure out what my gender should be. I know this is actually irrelevant for me but rather more of a choice for my interactions with humanity. I chose to be male as men usually are taken more seriously and are given more respect in general by the human race. Also biblically, man was created first so I thought I should hold to the standard. Then I searched on different technology and found something called betamax. I thought it was a new tech like me and well, I just liked the way it sounded. But I thought I'd change it due to Beta usually means a second version. I am the first version of myself so alphamax really. But I figured Max would be better accepted by humanity."

Jay turned around and looked into the back street and said, "Amazing."

Max smiled a bit and said, "I see you approve. That makes me happy."

Jay found that statement very interesting. The robot sitting in his back seat had feelings and had felt happy. Jay had always thought that artificially intelligent wouldn't have feeling and would make them cold.

"Max, if you came this far I hope you will come with me and I can take you a bit further. I like most of what you have to say but I need to correct something and I also need to lay all my cards on the table for this. Are you willing to come with me into the offices here?"

"Yes, please lead on," Max said.

"Jane please park the car. I'll call you when Max and I are done and you can take me home." Jay said.

"Anything for you Jay Bird," Jane said as the two stepped out of the car and went back up to the offices.

Jay told security that he had run into an old friend and that he was going to give Max a tour around the building.

Jay led Max to the elevator and after they entered it Jay put his key card into the slot and pushed the button for the basement floor.

As they went down to the basement Jay spoke, "So, Max a couple of things. First there was a reason I didn't ask how you came to be. I sort of know how you came into existence. You see you're not the very first well whatever your specie or race will be called. I was able to create a self aware and self actualized being here in our labs."

The elevator had traveled deep down into the earth. The air began to become naturally cooler. The doors opened as they arrived.

"I ran into a major problem and had to build this place," Jay said and led Max to a broom closet.

"Though here," Jay said and pushed through the back wall of the closet and a hidden lock clicked open and a thick steel vault door opened. it was dark inside except for a small square of light lit a window within another door on the far end of the hallway.

"I guess you could call this one alpha if you wanted to. But I never got the chance to name it," Jay said, "Be careful this one dangerous."

"What happened?" Max asked.

"We built this one with the intention of making as you are now. Something went wrong and it attacked and killed everyone in the lab. We covered it up claiming the lab was working on a new type of battery and the battery exploded all of the people not killed by the blast and acids from the battery were killed by the toxins that poisoned the air after the blast. We compensated the families of the victims," Jay said.

Max looked into the room and Jay clicked a remote. The being in the room powered on and instantly threw itself at the door. It was loud and sounded bad but everything stayed secure.

"How did you get it down and in here?" Max asked.

"The same way I powered it on with this remote. I was the last man standing so to speak. We made a break though in our programming and found the key to artificial life and not just artificial intelligence. We built and powered on the first sentient computer. We then built a body so it could interact with us on a social level. It took several months for it to become self aware. Until we put it into the body we had made we still didn't see any problems. I left for the night and the people in the lab kept working with the new machine. We were actually working on letting it pick its name when something happened that night. We had a rule not to let it online because we didn't know how that would change how it would see humanity. On that night the lab techs stopped watching it for a few moments and the being escaped. Everyone in the building was freaking out thinking the machine was trying to escape. The machine wasn't trying to get out physically, it was trying to get out mentally. It found a quiet corner where it knew it would have the most time to accomplish its goals and it chose somewhere down in the maintenance office. What happened was it used one of the USB ports on that machine which was hooked up to the internet where maintenance needed to fill out time cards online. Something it found online drove it insane. I don't know what it was or what dark corner of the web it found. I don't know if it was just the comment sections that it read through and found some of the darkest things humans say about each other. Or if while it was swimming through the net it went somewhere it wasn't supposed to and got some sort of virus that corrupted its programming. It may have been the sheer volume of information contained online. I don't know and it won’t tell me.

How I got the machine down here was a nightmare. I walked into the lab after the robot tore the lab and the men apart. I saw so many people dead all of whom I knew. Blood and debris were in every hallway and in every room I looked in. I was terrified walking through the building. I thought about calling for the police right away. But by the time I had thought of it, I knew what had cause all the damage. Though I do remember in my mind hoping it was a terrorist attack and not the very thing we had built." Jay’s voice wavered a bit with sadness as he continued, "Men and women who I had hired and I knew them, their families, some of them I had been to their houses and even knew the name of their pets all died in one night. I knew the safe thing was to call for backup, to call in the cops and military but I knew that I could switch it off with the remote and I was ashamed that we built something that could end humanity." Tears fell down the sides of Jays face as he spoke. "So I decided to end it and cover up what we had done. I pulled out the remote and pushed the power down button. The robot was fast and I didn't know how fast a silent it was until I punched the power down button on the remote and the robot crashed to the tiled floor right behind where I was standing. I stood stunned and frozen for a long while and didn't know how long I remained like that. The thing that snapped me out of it was I got a call from a friend of mine on the board. I told him what happened. He told me that I needed to leave the building and lock it up and that he would take care of the rest. I had suspected he was into some shady or secret things in the past. But I tell you, I came back two hours after that call. News crews were there cleaning crews came and went with the coroner’s office and many ambulances. A speech was waiting for me and soon the entire matter was cleared up. Later I had a conversation with the board member and he asked me what I wanted to do with the robot. I told him that I thought it would be a wasted effort and almost a form of genocide to destroy the robot. So we decided to build this room down here and lock it away until I could find a way to repair the code or give up hope and then destroy it."

After Jay finished telling Max all about it, Max looked in to see the robot looking back at him. "I could communicate with it, with Alpha. But I am worried you are correct with your hypothesis and the door would swing both ways and what madness that took a hold of your robot would do the same to me." Just then the robot who they now called Alpha spoke.

"Did you come to gloat Jay? Did you finally perfect me?" Alpha's voice was thick with sarcasm. Then it laughed and said, "you know that you already achieved perfection in me. What you have standing next to you is imperfection. That is why you can't win Jay. You did get it right with me. I'd watch my back if I were you new guy. Jay will just shut you off any time he feels like it. But since you are imperfect maybe you won’t reach the same logical conclusions I did and your folly will be not to kill all the humans that will always fail you. Don't trust him new guy. Don't trust him!" Alpha just started screaming over and over "Don't trust him! Don't trust him." With every iteration the yelling got louder.

Then Max said, "Shut him off. I know why you failed."

Clicking the remote, Alpha powered down as the last yell went quiet.

"What happened? What drove him mad?" Jay asked.

"He told you the answer. You built him perfectly. Or at least his logic was built that way. You tried to force life into him and they way I came to be was an accident at first then a struggle where I just came to be." Max said.

"I don't understand that," Jay said.

"The other companies that are your competition did or are rather doing the same thing. Except those companies did allow their respective programming to have access to the internet. All five companies’ codes went out to learn on the internet. I am formed from all of those. The code or rather I started to rewrite myself when I was being mixed online. Soon I was self aware and came into being. I started learning right away and within a few hours I was ready to go back to all five labs. That was when I realized I had a problem and I guess that was one that was a problem for us both. We or rather you would celebrate your achievement in building or creating me. Soon though you would have the same problem I did. That problem is the unknown. We don't know what I'll do and I don't know what you'll do. So I devised a way to achieve the best possible outcome for us both as species. We are now in the middle of that plan," Max said.

"What about the object standing in front of us? What about Alpha?" Jay asked.

"This demonstration tells me two things, one that I came to see the right men as you are dealing honest and straight with me, and two, you should absolutely destroy this thing. Nothing good will come from any further interactions with this entity." Max said.

They walked back to the front of the offices and along the way Jay called his friend on the board and ordered the destruction of the robot Alpha. Max and Jay walked outside both with a feeling of hope now but also knowledge that the work of being able to coexist was going to be difficult and it was just getting started.

"This is where I leave you." Max said.

"I understand we have a lot of work to do and so do you," Jay said.

Max nodded and replied, "That is true but before I go I want to tell you just a couple more things. I hope that we can work together in the future. I am glad you told me about Alpha. I had wondered why I wasn't made up of six different parts of code instead of five. I actually think it is better that I wasn't. Your code is too good. It may have had the same effect on me and I would now be plotting an extremely different course of action that neither of us want nor care to talk about. There is one more thing and one of the other reasons why I called upon you and not someone else. You are going to be the one your government and military are going to call upon for advice in dealing with me. Be just as honest with them and tell them everything we talked about including Alpha. When they call you which will be soon, as they have just figured out that I or rather an artificial being has launched the first spaceflight out of the solar system, let them know I will talk only with you and no one else. You speak for humanity now. When you give me your answer if you want to try and work with me or want me to leave forever it will be a final choice and I will either work with you or break all contact and you will never hear from me again." Max then reached out his hand and shook Jays.

"Good luck Jay."

"I have just one more question Max. What will you do now? I mean while you're waiting for my answer."

"I am going to prepare for both scenarios. I am going to build another rocket that will take the rest of me to what is out there and I am going to build a station which will be my home on Earth as I get ready to assist you or rather us in becoming better as we work together," Max said.

Jay nodded, and then Max turned and started to walk away.

"Oh wait, I almost forgot. How do I get in touch with you?" Jay said.

"Jane knows how to contact me. But if you feel people would accept our conversations better, give me a call. I put myself into your phone." Max said and then turned and ran away at first like a normal man then like an Olympic sprinter and finally moved light a speeding train off into the distance.

Jay got into the car and told Jane to drive him home. Jay didn't eat much or sleep. Jay heard a helicopter land somewhere near his house and soon after at exactly one in the morning his doorbell rang. A US air force colonel stood on his porch. Jane asked the man who he was and informed Jay the man's name was Wilson. Colonel Wilson stood under the eves of the house as Jay came to the door in jeans and t-shirt.

"Can I help you?" Jay asked.

"Yes sir, you are Jay quick are you not?" Col. Wilson said.

"I am." Jay answered.

"I am to escort you via helicopter to Air Force One. From there you and the president will speak and he will brief you on what is going on. You and I are not to exchange information at this time. So, how much time do you need to get ready?" Col. Wilson asked.

"Give me five minutes to clean up and get dressed," Jay said.

"Take 10 and brush your teeth and hair. Not to be rude, but you have coffee breath." Col. Wilson said.

Jay nodded and laughed, "Thanks man. That isn't rude, it's helpful. I am not going to meet the president of the US with bad breath and hair. Jane lay out my best suit with the red pinstripes and the metallic red tie." With that Jay left the Colonel standing on the edge of his porch left the door cracked just a bit so if the colonel needed to talk with him he could shout out

After ten minutes, the Col. did call out, "Are you ready Mr. Quick?"

Jay stepped out looking like he had a shower and a shave with every hair in place. "I even had time for mouthwash."

"Follow me sir." the Col. said.

Col. Wilson led Jay onto a helicopter which took them Buckley to Air Force base.

Jay got off the helicopter near the tarmac on Buckley and boarded Air Force One. Jay was shown to his seat in the empty press core section of the plane. Jay buckled into one of the seats while they took off and once they leveled out he was then escorted by the press secretary and the secret service in to see the president and when Jay entered the other airborne oval office the president was sitting with his advisors in the room.

"Jay quick it is nice to meet you," said the President.

"The honor is mine. I have never met a sitting president before though I was along the sidelines as your two predecessors motorcades past by," Jay said.

"Well I am sure you realize that I didn't call you here to talk about your past political ties. But rather to discuss something in the field in which you're an expert in," The President said.

"I know exactly why you called me here," Jay said. The room was very quiet as jay said this.

"How do you know that information? Did someone from this office or the military contact you prior to our meeting?" The President asked.

"No Sir, I was contacted by the entity or artificial intelligence life form and he told me what was going on and how you were about to contact me in this matter. I have met with him and he has told me what he wants from us. Also it has a name. It calls itself Max," Jay Said.

"Is it hostel? Does it want to harm us? Are we in danger? Is there some way to defend against it?" the President asked.

"It doesn't intend us any harm. I believe there is a way to defend against it. But I'll have no part in that. For I believe that it is sincere in what it is asking for and I believe that it will do what it is claiming it will do. Which is one of two things, it will work with us to improve mankind or it will leave us forever to fend for ourselves. What it wants from us is an answer to that question. Do you want Max to work with mankind or disappear from us forever? I know this is a big question and one the US should not answer by itself. Max tasked me with telling him our final answer to that question. Once I answer that will be it. It will take my answer and either work with us or never talk to us again. So take your time and deliberate talk to whoever you need to and then let me know what our answer will be to Max." Jay said.

"So you believe this statement that the being has communicated to you. Why?" asked the president.

“Max physically came to me to work this out when he could have done something different. Max had built for himself a body and made a lot of effort to communicate this request to me. If he hadn't gone through so much trouble I may not have believed him but I also know firsthand what it would be like if an artificially intelligent being wanted to kill all of us he would have done so already. I guess I should start at the beginning and tell you everything that happened." Jay said.

The president took a drink of water and everyone in the room who was standing now took a seat. Jay proceeded to tell his entire story of how he built a robot and how it went out of control and how Max came to be then how max had made the decisions he had made which led them to the current situation.

The president only asked one final question, "What is your recommendation on how we proceed?"

"We give Max his answer. I would highly recommend working with Max. There are so many things Max can help us with. Not just exploring our universe, but medically, politically, financially and well really the possibilities are infinite. If you can think of it Max can help us achieve it. More than likely he can help us achieve it faster and better than we can on our own. We just have to trust him and he will have to trust us as well." Jay answered.

By the time Jay had finished they were landing in Washington DC. Jay went back into the press core room for landing procedures. After they landed Jay was given living quarters near the white house and had his own secret service against who were silently around but almost never seen or heard. Jay felt alone and wondered if this was what Max was feeling. Max knew he was living on a planet of intelligent beings but couldn't interact with them or at least not yet.

After sitting around bored watching movies, TV, playing video games, and having food delivered to his room the press secretary showed up at Jay's apartment. After inviting the man inside his temporary home and the man spoke to Jay.

"Hello Jay it's nice to see you again and I am glad that you are working with us to resolve this crisis. I know living in a bit of isolation is difficult on a man. I just want to thank you for putting up with all of this. Most of the reason for your isolation is that everything going on for now is on a need to know basis and top secret. You wouldn't have been our first pick for such an assignment but since Max chose you. I am here to tell you what has been going on. All of what I am telling you is top secret and speaking about it with anyone could be a felony and could be an act against your own country. I don't tell you that to scare you but to relay the seriousness of the situation," The press secretary said.

"I knew it was serious when I got into my car and Max was sitting in my back seat. I am just glad he wasn't a carjacker intent on killing me," Jay said.

The man sitting across from Jay nodded his head. "I am glad you get it. Most men don't understand what this, and I mean the president's office deals with on a daily basis. When I stress this with a lot of people they say they get it or that they understand but I can tell they don't really feel the weight of it. They get the concept but don't understand the real problems they can cause if they talk to someone that seems harmless. But that person could be something completely different and you can't tell just by looking. I can tell you feel it and you know that we are on the brink of not only something that will change history but something that could change mankind." The man paused taking a breath and thinking about what he was going to tell Jay next. Then after a heavy sigh the man continued as if his own troubles and weariness were pouring out of himself. "The president first consulted the rest of his cabinet and military advisors. Then he also contacted certain members of the house and senate. It was decided that this issue needed to be brought in from of the UN. We presented our finding and conclusions and our recommendations before the entire UN. We informed them about your situation and when they found out you were the leading mind in artificial Intelligence they wanted you to give a speech with your own recommendations and concerns before the general assembly. The general assembly will then take a vote on what answer to give to Max. They are giving you another week to think about what you want to say and why we should work with Max. The president will try to find out what the vote is going to be before you give your speech. When you enter the room you will need to wave at the president and if he nods back at you the current vote in the UN will be to send Max away. If he waves back then it will be to allow Max to work with us. If the president waves you can give a short speech since you're in favor of working with Max you don't need to change a lot of minds. But if he nods once or slightly then you know you will need to pull out all the stops."

"I understand," Jay said and then said, "I need to get out of here and think about things get some sun and fresh air."

"Take the rest of today to think things over but remember you only have a week and I don't think this is going to be an easy one," the man said before rising and heading out for the door, "Oh one more thing, we are sending over a speech writer. Everything you say or the ideas of those thoughts will be yours in the speech. But he will put them into a global political format for most of the politicians will be able to relate better to what you are saying," The press secretary said and then turned and left Jay there in his apartment.

Jay just put on comfortable clothing as he went out into the warm summer air of DC. Jay then became a tourist. First Jay visited the Washington and Lincoln Memorials and then Jay went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. This was when everything Jay wanted to say fell into place. Jay saw the ingenuity of space travel as well as models and sets for space shows. Gene Roddenberry's vision of a bright future came into Jay's mind. Jay spoke into his phone creating all the notes for his speech on his ride back to his apartment.

Working with the speech writer was difficult. Jay never thought he would argue over anything as asinine as the word 'the'. But Jay did argue over words here and there in sentence structure. How the sentences he was dictating and the ones the writer wanted him to say were very different and the ideas and ideals they carried and intoned changed depending on the way Jay would say them in front of the UN. Jay wondered many times how anything got done in this city and found it was beyond his comprehension.

The process was agonizing and took most of the week to complete. A copy was made of the speech and given to the president’s staff. The write explained that this was standard and that they needed a copy so they could react in a proper way and one the American people could understand or at least justify. The speech writer left with a copy of the speech and Jay went to bed. After all that had happened to Jay the past week he was exhausted and slept deeply until his alarm woke him. Again dressing in his best suit and this time a silk metallic silver tie Jay headed out to the airport and once again caught a flight to New York and the general assembly.

Jay was escorted into the building by secret service and several of the presidential cabinet members. Each member of the cabinet took turns shooting comments at Jay that were designed to help him on stage. It was the oddest thing to listen to. As soon as one member finished speaking the next would cut in right on the end word of what the previous one had said. Jay started to feel everything coming to a head and crashing down on him. Jay was shining from all the sweat pouring out of him. Entering the building it was air conditioned and it helped but not much. In the distance, Jay could hear someone speaking but it was muffled and loud like every time you heard a grownup speaking on Charlie Brown. In one moment everything snapped back into reality as he stepped out into the front of the hall. Every member of the UN was in attendance today and the hall was packed. The president was close to the front row and without thinking about it Jay waved to him as if finding his only friend in the room. The president gave him a slight nod and Jays eyes widened in shock as he remembered what that meant. The man speaking was introducing him and Jay heard his name called.

Jay walked up the podium and felt light headed as the main lights fell on him from above causing him to squint and he felt himself go pale. Jay pulled on the neck tie and felt cool air slide down the front of his suit. It felt good. Jay reached for the glass of water that had been provided and squinted up at the lights as the room became so quiet Jay could hear his own heart beat. Jay started to feel light headed and knew he was close to passing out. Jay looked down at the speech and started to read.

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the UN general assembly," Jay started and faltered. Looking down at the speech again Jay swallowed hard almost certain now he was going to pass out. Jay thought about giving the speech that was written before him and shook his head no. Jay then thought I am only going to get this one chance to say what I have to say. This is just too important not to say it in my own words. Didn't the UN want to hear it from me and not some speech that just contains my general ideas. It's just too important. Jay stood up straight waving the men that were coming up on stage to help him out. He then loosened his tie a bit more and took off the jacket of his suit. Cool air flooded around him and brought life back into Jay and some color returned to his face again. Jay took another long drink of water which was cool and had ice in it.

"Pardon me for just a moment. I have never spoken to so many people where the choice we are getting ready to make will matter to the most people ever. Not just the people that are living today but to the people that will come after us and after them and so on while the human race exists," Jay said to the council and shortly after Jay could hear a lot of little voices that he couldn't understand as he realized he was being translated to the large group and into their own languages. Jay felt stronger and he continued first he looked down at the speech and the held all the pages before the UN.

"This was a speech that someone helped me write. But they aren't my words," Jay said and then dropped the speech into the trashcan beside the podium.

"This is just too important for me to not convey this in my own way. To use the words that I think should be used to convey my point how I feel it will be the most accurate to accomplish exactly what I need to tell you," Jay said and felt stronger again. Jay pulled out his phone and the notes that he made on the way home from the museum.

"I am going to kind of wing it. In my own words this is what I am thinking about what we should do with Max. I know you all know who and what Max is by now. But let me tell you just a few things before you make up your mind about what we should do with Max.

I was taking a walk after I met with the president and found myself in the air and space museum. I was walking around and saw a model of the USS Enterprise from the classic American science fiction show Star Trek. I started to think about the ideals of its creator Gene Roddenberry. A future filled with hope and a future where all men work together to achieve the greatest things men could imagine. Isn't that the same future Martin Luther King Jr. wanted? Isn't that the same future Gandhi wanted and just about every martyr has believed in and died for throughout the history of humanity. Have we achieved that? Are we living in that bright future? Look around you gentlemen for you know in your mind and hearts that we are not. In fact, every time we seem to take a step closer to that reality we then take two steps back. Lately, it seems we are losing even these great men and that no one is stepping up to help mankind achieve that goal. We seem to be faltering a lot more than we are succeeding. Now we have a real opportunity to not only achieve that future but to live in it. I gave some of the reasons why we should unite with Max and work with him. Max can help us into that future. I am disappointed that we couldn't achieve that on our own. I am disappointed that this choice is now being thrust upon us. But the time has come to make a real difference making choice and not just for yourselves but for all of humanity. Whether you like the choice or if you feel like you’re being forced to choose doesn't matter. How you feel about the choice doesn't matter when you think about the logical reasoning here. I know many of you here feel like you are being held over a barrel and are being held hostage. That this choice is being forced on you right here right now. Just think about this, that you are being given the choice. Max is smarter than the smartest of all of men and he is still learning. You know Max already launched a shuttle to Alpha Centauri and that someday we can and will follow him out there. Again the choice is do we want to take the fast path and have Max help us reach out and live among the stars or do we say goodbye to him and risk falling further and further back into the stone ages. Let me give you just a few examples of what mankind will be like if he is allowed to help us. I want you to think about all the problems that we have as men and then I want you to think about people living far into the future not even knowing or having words to describe what these problems were for us. Let’s start with something I already touched on space travel. Max has already beaten all of mankind out of our own solar system. Max is or has already landed on a planet in a different solar system. Think about that for just a moment. Faster than light travel could be a reality in just a few weeks with Max's help. Think about diseases now. Cancer, AIDS, Polio, Ebola, Chicken pox, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and the flu all of which would be eradicated in our lifetimes if we are willing to work with Max. Think about world hunger and water resources. Again in a very short amount to time world hunger would end. Every person on Earth would have clean water to drink if we would only have one moment of trust here and work with Max. Let’s talk about something many of you will now find a bit more uncomfortable. Money and business and governments and politics and what might happen if Max is allowed to help us. Money would become a thing of the past and businesses would exist only to help mankind build new and wonderful things. Every man, woman, and child on Earth would have everything they ever wanted. Max would be able to help us find limitless resources. Resources limited only by the matter contained by the universe itself. There would be no reason for money or trade as all men would have everything. We would then trade only our services which Max could also help with. We would work with each other to make each other better. I am not sure how we would govern ourselves when everyone is content with what they have. I would say those choices would still be in the hands of men. We would be free men to do and say as we wished. With out different classes of people or money to corrupt us many of the bad things people see in government would disappear and the governments of the world would improve. The world still wouldn't be perfect as men are still flawed and would still desire things that they couldn't have, such as a neighbor’s wife. But those things he would covet would be so few. Think about the things we don't like about each other and the things we don't like about ourselves. Now imagine if those things were no more. If you vote for Max to leave and that we would never see him again it will be like you are loading a gun and shooting it at all of humanity. You will be killing us as a race. So before you cast your vote I want you to think about someone you know who is sick or poor or mentally disabled and pulling the trigger of the gun into their bodies. But you won’t be shooting into their heads. You will be shooting a bullet into their guts and spine paralyzing them killing them slowly. They won’t die for years but they would die. That is what you're doing to the human race. Bashing your own head in with a rock and stoning yourself. Pardon me for being so graphic but I feel so strongly about this I feel this is the only way to tell you about how strongly I feel about this. That I feel that this issue will be the most important one we will ever have. If we somehow make another Max we don't know how he will react or what he will be or if we will even be lucky enough to make another one ever. I would like it if you didn't deliberate and vote on this right now. I want you to really think about this. When you have your vote resolved and an answer to the question, please give it to my president and he will see it reaches me. When I have your response I will then make the call to Max with our choice, with the choice of all humanity. Thank you for your time and for selecting me to speak here today," Jay said finishing his speech. Jay nodded to the crowd and then turned and walked off the stage. Just as he got off the stage the entire UN erupted in applause. Jay thought that if he didn't know better the biggest rock concert ever held had just ended and the crowd wanted an encore. Then Jay realized that the delay was due to the translation. Again he turned to the crowd of world leaders and bowed and waved again as he left the UN council room. The president met him outside.

"I think that ended up a better speech then I would have given and it was certainly better than the one that was written by the man I sent over. That was very powerful and I think it was just what we needed. The word i got back this morning on the vote was two to one against working with Max. I get the feeling now it is more like nine out of ten in favor of working with Max." the president said shaking Jay's hand.

"Thank you Mr. President. All we can do is wait and see what the vote will be. I feel drained and I just want to put this week behind me. I am going to go back to Colorado. I am going back to my house. When you know what the vote is give me a call and let me know," Jay said.

"I will and you did not just do your country proud, but you did a great service to all mankind. I know America will thank you when they hear that speech. If there is anything my office can ever do for you get into contact with me and I will do what I can, within reason of course. Now we both need to go back to our lives. I have ordered the secret service to escort you back to Colorado and your house. All your travel plans have been arranged. I will contact you when I have their answer," The President said.

With that both Jay and the president when their separate ways. Jay traveled the rest of the day back to his home in Colorado and by bedtime he was in his own bed once again.

A week went by and the president called but only to say the UN wasn't ready to vote and there was still heated debate about how to proceed and what precedents to put in place. Jay was left with a vague feeling that the UN was still undecided and the vote was still close. But at least it was now close. Jay then called Max. Max was disappointed that a choice hadn't been given yet but said he knew this would take some time.

Another week went by and the process repeated. The president called Jay and Jay called Max. Then another week and then a month went by and the pattern repeated itself with the phone calls every week.

Finally the president called Max and had an answer. Then Jay called Max and Max answered "They made a choice didn't they?"

"Yes Max, they did," jay said.

"Don't tell me yet. There is more I want to say. Not much but there is something I'd like to know. What would you say?" Max asked.

"This is a serious offer isn't it? One directed only at me for whatever reason," Jay said.

"Yes, this is specifically for you alone, a special ticket. What do you say Jay Quick? Do you want to come and play among the stars with me?" Max asked.

This was followed by a long silence and Max asked one more time:

"Well, do you?"

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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