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Solaria - English Version - Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1 

 

The Hubot Project:

 

Day One, Year Three 2097 A.D.

 

HER FIRST AWARENESS of existence was a chaotic flash of colors, meaningless and yet in an odd way logical. Why, she wasn’t sure. Birth is the most significant event in life, and yet it is never memorable. At least not for the newborn, but then she really wasn’t a newborn, even though it was the first day of her life.

 

The flickering colors merged into shapes and then the shapes became clear images. Within seconds she morphed from a bio-mechanical experiment to a viable functioning possibility. Her AI programmer was ecstatic. Years of research and failures were forgotten when the Hubot’s eyes first opened to examine her surroundings. They were so human that Carley was caught off guard. Had she not been part of the project from its conception, no one would have convinced her the object lying on the table was anything more than a fairly attractive woman awakening from a deep sleep.

 

The Hubot’s short silver hair was fashioned after a stylish fad that was the newest rage. It would have attracted attention several years ago. No one would pay much attention to the color now. Her skin was slightly tanned. One feature, however, would make others take notice—the eyes. No matter how human she looked, teal wasn’t a natural eye color. Still, it could be explained away. Unusually colored lenses were extremely popular.

 

“Do you understand me?” Carley asked, enunciating each word slowly. The Hubot blinked rapidly, clearly trying to adjust to the visual stimuli assaulting her optic nerves, flooding her nano-processors. Empathetically, Carley waited. It’s probably like walking from a dark room into sunlight. When the blinking slowed to a normal rate, Carley tried again. “Do...you...understand...me?”

 

“Yes. You do not need to separate your words. I am capable of comprehending the structural sequence of multiple words.”

 

“Wonderful! Welcome to my world.” The Hubot remained silent. “Do you have any idea what this is about? I mean who you are? Or who I am?”

 

“I am Hubot 1A526, Model 1A, Prototype 5, attempt 26 of the Hubot Project. You are my creator.”

 

“Is that it?”

 

“I do not understand the question. Was my response incorrect?”

 

“Well, no. You’re correct. What I meant is do you know the purpose of this project?”

 

“The Hubot Project is a scientific endeavor to combine bio-mass with trabecular metal technology to design a pseudo-human body that can be controlled by a series of multi-directional cascading laser quadro-core nano-processor chips that will theoretically simulate human thought and behavior.

 

“The purpose of the project is to create a functioning organism capable of serving humanity by providing daily assistance to disabled humans or performing manual labor in place of humans under dangerous or extreme circumstances. I am Hubot 1A526, the first functioning generation prototype for the project.”

 

“That’s partially correct.”

 

“Partially means I am either incorrect in my analysis or have failed to define my purpose in its entirety. I have run an analysis on all data stored in my memory banks and find no inaccuracies. Please advise so that I may correct any flaws in my programming.”

 

Carley patted the bio-robot on the shoulder.

 

“Don’t worry about it right now. You have correctly defined your initial purpose. I’ll explain what you missed later.”

 

“If that is what you require of me.”

 

Carley smiled, pleased with the results from the first few minutes of interaction with the Hubot.

 

“That’s all for now. I believe we’re well on our way to achieving our goal. We have a lot of work ahead of us if we’re going to be able to interact with the outside world. Please run a diagnostic on your neuro-circuitry and bio-mechanical systems. Everything must be working properly if we are to continue to the next stage.”

 

Within seconds, Carley had her answer. Solaria turned her head slightly and stared at the scientist.

 

“The analysis is complete. All processors are functioning within the required specifications of each control unit with the exception of sector 6B412 of cpu cache 3778. Biological, arithmetic logic unit, mechanical and electronic components are operating within desired parameters.”

 

“Which processor is that located in?”

 

“Core seven has a point seven nano-second delay when processing data through circuit 871C4.”

 

“Hmmm. Is it a problem? I mean could it create a serious mistake that would compromise this experiment?”

 

“No.”

 

“Alright. As long as you’re safe, I’ll correct that later. For now, we’ll begin your education. If you’re going to join the human race, you have a lot of growing up to do.”

 

“My growth is limited to the physical structure of skeletal and biological mass. I am at maximum potential based on the height and weight of my trabecular frame. It is impossible to exceed those parameters without compromising the integrity of my biological and neuro—”

 

“It’s a figure-of-speech 1A526.”

 

“Figure-of-speech. An expression that uses language in a non-literal way.”

 

“Yes. Do you understand what that means?”

 

“Of course. It is a synecdoche.”

 

“Synecdoche?”

 

“Synecdoche. By growth you are not referring to my physical structure but instead my intellectual advancement. You wish me to achieve a level of competence that will allow me to emulate a human.”

 

“Uhhh...sort of. How about we continue this discussion after you’ve had time to interact with the humans in the lab?”

 

“Do you require a response?”

 

Carley realized she and the Hubot could go around in circles forever with the questions and answers.

 

“No. Okay 1A526...” Carley hesitated several seconds before continuing. “You know, I really hate addressing you by a number. A name would sound better. Do you have any preferences?” 1A526 remained silent. “I see you’re not going to be any help,” Carley said. The scientist scratched the back of her head. “Hmmm. How about Solaria? It means sun, like in sunrise. You know, new day.” Even as she said it Carley realized she sounded a bit over-dramatic. “What do you think?” she asked somewhat sheepishly.

 

“Okay, you’re right, of course. Humor me.” When Solaria started to speak, Carley held up her hand. “Ignore that request. From now on your name is Solaria. You can change it later.”

 

“If that is what you want. What do I call you?”

 

“Me? I’m Carley, Carley Branson”

 

“Hello, Carley Branson.”

 

Carley smiled and nodded. The greeting was Solaria’s first step to becoming human.

 

“Just Carley. Let’s get to work, shall we?”

 

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