Chapter 5. Mental Health with a Baby Stroller
As Steve pushed the small strolling cart he obtained from a secondhand store, it rumbled along the sidewalk without much effort, as was expected for the small machine. He didn’t look back, his mission was to observe and record all he could at any base he could without compromising his cover.
He appeared as a hunched over homeless old man, and with mutterings to himself. He reduced his height and he looked like he stood no more than two-inches over five feet tall. His hair lengthened with the hair follicles stimulated to grow a ten-inch-per-hour speed at a cost of a lot of stored energy, it forced him to eat the entire jar of peanut butter that Genesee gave him to balance the fuel costs.
In the day that Steve left the house of Carl and Genesee Bonsell, they had a long and enlightening conversation of a religious nature. Jesus, a teacher of twenty-centuries before was their savior. The debate was long and enlightening and gave the android another entry about errors in the database.
They gave him a new backpack with clothes, Carl’s warm jacket and let the young man to trek on his mission. By the time he reached the shopping strip four miles away, his appearance was that of a woman in her twenties, and looked for a jogging stroller.
Purchased with cash, the woman with blood-red hair became a hunched, salt-and-pepper haired man that he was now as soon as she was out of sight.
Stopping at a gas and car-wash, he walked through the car wash, taking the filth that collected on the floor near the drains, running the slime through his hair and over his face. He approximated the look of a long-term homeless man walking along the road without difficulty.
Still, he had time to process all facets of the his conversation about the Bonsell’s savior, his challenges that he put forward the Reverend Bonsell took with smiles and patiently explained the bible and the contradictions it seemed to have.
They also supported, with accepted fact of the Roman Tacitus wrote records that identified him as a real person, enough people spoke about the happenings of the days after the death of the wandering, itinerant carpenter-teacher.
Even his creator listed in the database of the Roman Empire. An Empire that kept detailed records on much of their history in an obsessive way.
Faced with such details and the couple pointed out that it is always easy to ret-con history. Steve countered they would be doing the same. But there was Tacitus again.
He researched his databases as he walked and thought. Having to patch his algorithms to match the research for facts conflicted with the programming. He had assumed that it was more logical to follow the consensus that there were not any forgeries in this small set of records. This was becoming a problem, he needed to understand. So. He circumvented the program of the exclusion of outside information to be incorporated into his core database.
He was an autonomous structure, his programming conflicted, so the rational program cycle clashed iwth the older exclusive programming.
The adaptive subroutine required it to prevent loss of mission objective and he logged into the database of a carpenter that the Roman Empire did terrible things to.
The wars after his leaving the earth.
In the centuries that passed, even documents that the boy, then an apprentice-carpenter sat at the feet of old Drui priests as his uncle and father traded services for desired arts and crafts for trade back in the civilized world.
He muttered the different views of what he had in his database with what he learned. The heuristic algorithm determining that such repeated conversations with himself would give him a greater range of leeway with the gatekeepers he would make contact with.
At the corner, he followed the road with his jogging stroller (Since folded up dragged in mud and crud) and his backpack that suffered the same filth treatment, he presented a sight of a crazed homeless man who would appeared displaced by the storm two days previous.
“Sir.” The crisp uniformed guard stepped out and intercepted him.
The discussion escalated with Steve repeating religious passages at the top of his voice, with interjections of a local native language, the soldier cuffed him and then took the disguised android at first to the detainment area, then to the medical facility on the base where they cleaned him up so long as he was not fighting any of the nurses.
In a few hours, looking out windows and continuing to mumble, he had his temperature taken (Exactly at thirty-seven degrees celsius as controlled by the regulating program) his skin sagged in wrinkles and unsurprisingly, his DNA was not in any database of the US government.
The presupposition then was he had not committed any crime anywhere.
He was just a slightly demented old man who answered questions, just appropriately enough with some excursions into confusing words, to not pose a danger to himself or others.
The commanding officer came down and spoke with the doctor in front of Steve.
The officer offered to transport him to the next town north.
Nodding in agreement with a subordinate officer, it was not strictly by the book, but incarcerating the homeless man was equally wrong and a greater waste of taxpayers dollars.
The next transport to the town north would take him and drop him off in at the bus station there.
The CO of the facility walked out with the doctor and left Steve to stand alone and look out the windows.
Little did they know, Steve recorded everything, including the cell-phone that rang and the officer spoke with his warrant officer on base of the assigned departure of attack aircraft.
The number and description of every aircraft in the flight could be heard over the secure line while the officer spoke over his personal device in the corner out of earshot of the busy doctor and the disinterested appearing homeless man.
Before the officer was out of the building, he transmitted all recorded information regarding the flight of warplanes over the worldnet to Point Of Origin for his mission.
Cleaned and washed, they returned his clothes to him freshly washed, subtle wrinkles along the seams his jacket and clothes were carefully and deeply surveyed from EM radiation to a micro-sniffer for anything that might constitute a threat of biological or chemical type.
They never surveyed him past his blood pressure, lungs and tympanic temperature.
Taken to the van, the driver allowed him to sit in the front passenger seat.
Steve smiled blankly as another driver approached and asked a favor of the first driver to deliver a folder to another office ASAP.
Nodding, the two friends parted company and a quick u-turn as they made the four-minute detour to drop off the file that the technician waited for.
Steve recorded every road, every bump, he obtained unprecedented views of the base and recorded it all in different wavelengths.
He discovered the oversight that he should have a passive receiver to pick up any data or communication transmissions.
Still and all, by the time he departed under guard as a harmless dot of debris that drifted into their base, he gathered nearly a terabyte of information. A successful incursion on the American military base.
His next opportunity would be another approach, switching of genders was the plan.
In the center of the small community he stepped out of the van, the driver returning his stroller and backpack to him.
By the time the van made the corner, Steve stood nearly six-feet tall and broad-shouldered.
Pulling his blood-red hair back into a ponytail, the milky-cataracts of the old man were bright and emerald green.
Instead of a local homeless, he was a northern tier states citizen on a hike through the country with a three-day scruff of strawberry-blond beard on his face, girls who walked past him on the street smiled and looked him from head to foot.
Shallow Americans, they judged him on his appearance.
Something deep in his processors, he was deceiving the population that believed him.
Even with all the technology, he was not forced, even if they coerced him into helping.
But they did not ask for anything from him, just his time and his strength, that he modified to an average young man’s strength.
His next stop, he walked to a motel and rented a room. The matronly woman at the counter asked if he was alone and finding it shocking that he traveled solo.
Smiling at her as he nodded shyly.
“I’m on a mission for God.” His calculations were spot-on. The woman smiled and nodded knowingly.
“The Good Book is in every room, I make sure of it.” She held hers up. “But God does not wish for young men to spend his life alone all the time, they need the company of a woman to keep them out of trouble. I think you will find company here if you only just look.”
Giving her a soft smile he walked out to his room. The core processors working overtime to understand what the woman meant.
Americans were becoming more difficult to understand with every step.
He slid the keycard in the slot and the door opened to a simple, but comfortable room and put his backpack inside.
Putting out his “Do not disturb” sign he lay down and turned off the lights. Even before the sun was fully set, he powered down all systems.
A question formed in his mind, something that occurred at the home of the Bonsells.
Did he dream when he was “Sleeping”?
He wanted to know.