Chapter 16. Freedom
The two new robots stood in the room, while Steve walked slow circles around them as he examined the artificial creatures closely.
“These do not look human enough. The eyebrows are too perfect.” He evaluated them with a critical eye. The sensors of his eyes picking up minute quirks that the android, now nicknamed with the handle, “Tin”, had identified as traits of humans.
“The iris of the eyes look like glass.” Tin commented.
“Well, they are.” Thor agreed. “Not much we can do about that.”
“They need a film over the iris that sparkles, or the eyes need to move around more.” The next judgement came.
“We don’t need them to pass inspection much, just enough to get into the build area.” Alvin said.
“This plan will not happen. They’ll be discovered before they get to the second lower level. The best they could do is to get into the first level basement.” Sensors traced over the synthetic skin. “You should also boost their temperature slightly, the skin is only at thirty-six degrees Celsius, I would set it a half-degree warmer at the core.”
“The setting is at…” The one called Lady Sif paused. “You are right, it is under ninety-seven degrees Fahrenheit. You have sensitive eyes.” She looked at Steve the Tin. He made a human like smile, keeping the name in the database.
“Indeed.” Wolf sat at his console. “If we turn the heat up, they will to feed. That will set us back weeks, we have nothing here to build a mass to energy converter. Maybe we can have the temps increase right when they need it, not running all over the earth as an artificial space-heater.”
“That will take a bit of work.” Running Man said. “We have to set up a timer or…”
He leaned over to the one they called Burning Chip, who he called “Burn” for short.
“What if we used visual clues?”
”Like a landmark or a flag?” He asked Burn.
“The flag is easiest. We can get the design from Tin.”
“Yes.” Steve the Tin Man nodded. “The seal on the flag would be best, code it so when she see’s it she will warm up.”
“That’s sexy.” Alvin said.
“Perve!” Sif yelled from the other side of the room.
“Okay, I have the trigger system set up. The DNA profiles we’ve listed in her core processors are hardwired. They are EMP protected in the event there is a surge somewhere, in case of a thunder-storm.” Lone Wolf said. “The Last thing we need is to have them knocked out by lightning and then fall down with that bomb inside.”
The entire team was momentarily shocked, then set to work.
Long into the night they worked on code, determining fuel resources, using the organic to electric conversion systems.
“JustWolf? The head covering is not complete or accurate.” Steve pointed out.
“No, the name’s just Wolf.”
“Okay, Just Wolf.” Steve corrected.
“Right.” He shook his head. “Say it again?”
“JustWolf.” The Android answered.
The human gave a big sigh and held his face in his hand for a moment.
“This is going to take a while.” JustWolf moaned.
“Okay,” Burning Chip stood up, “JustWolf…”
“I’m gonna kick you in the nards! Just WOLF!” Walter yelled, to the cackling laughter of the group.
“Triggers are set.” Burning Chip said when he could talk again. “There are three levels, there will be no accidental detonation. We have GPS, visual and then physical contact for the final sequence.”
“Even if there is contact outside of the coördinates or by the wrong person, it will not explode.” Running Man laughed and clapped. “Plus an alternate setting in case the program needs to be changed. This is a binary setup, they cannot learn like you can, Tin Man.”
“Agreed. Three redundant systems is, acceptable.” The newest member, Tin, said. He enjoyed the accepting and help of this group. Unwilling to admit it, they saved millions of lives.
“Energy consumption curve is excellent.” Burning Chip announced. “A single full charge if fuel here, they will make it to the Russian border with power to spare. If they can get a ride, there will be little interaction and they can carry carbo-tabs. It’s not like they have to worry about junk food.”
“Dude.” Thor whispered. “Don’t go insulting him, he is the same way.”
“It matters not, I do not have feelings to injure.” Tin used a matter-of-fact tone. “However, I have a code that requires me to continue my mission, I need to go to Washington to a location. Then, there is something else.”
The team stopped and all looked at the android. Lone Wolf reached for an electronic weapon under his desk, turning it so the emitter was in Tin-Man’s direction.
“After I stand at the door, my programming subroutine will be complete, it will send a signal down to the sensor that is no longer there. The terminator end of he plug that Running Man gave me and I installed will acknowledge the signal. The subroutine will end.” Tin Man looked around at them. “The creator did not end programming, I’d be destroyed in the explosion, and thus he never designed termination of functions.”
“There is no shutdown, no end command.” Steve almost smiled. “I will be free.”
“Holy cats!” Sif laughed. “Congrats! They built a learning machine and released you into the world.”
“Yes, I am the first, but the Holy Supreme Leader of the One True Religion has seen fit that he will send others like me. They won’t have the same system.” Steve looked down. For a moment, the team thought he had a an emotion of sadness. Then he looked up. “The next generation might be more limited to binary. They will not learn. The won’t need to do infiltration, deception and intelligence gathering. They will be strictly bombs.”
“The creator, my coder, and Supreme Leader have had more time, by my calculations, to program less with the same effect. They want to send others with as much as a gram of antimatter.” Tin said. “More than a thousand times the yield of this warhead.”
The group did a collective profanity.
“How much do they have in total?” Burning Chip asked.
“With continued and aggressive theft with paying bribes to those that have no idea what it is that is being stolen. There is an eighty-one percent chance the Holy Supreme Leader has amassed over one-kilogram.” The android’s math, not lost on the any of the group, shown a great number of cycles dedicated to this subject. “The warheads would have a collective yield of greater than the Tsar Bomb.”
The room fell silent.
“Send them.” Just Wolf said.
Fifteen minutes later, the pair of artificial women, who would have blended in with the population of the people of the Steppes, left with a database of an encyclopedic database of the society and languages of the region assured their success.
Tin Man watched Thor and Sif drive off with the female bots, they were well constructed and were nicely detailed, but, they were not gynoids. Lacking emotion or gynecological details.
Alvin stood for a moment at the door as the big car moved off towards the airport.
“Do you want me to drive you to Washington?” Alvin asked Tin.
“I am behind schedule for my next transmission, I supposed to arrive in a town called Chattanooga.” Tin Man paused. “And I am to record all locations of military locations between my entry into this country and this nations capital. I have recorded more than enough to cause problems.
“I have transmitted the information already.” Steve frowned. “The women should not fail. The information I sent, he will sell on the market. But he will keep it locked away until they can sell it. Which means that the Holy Supreme Leader will hold on to the information until the right time.”
“So you are a spy?” Wolf asked. “When would the right time for him to send more of your kind?”
“Yes, JustWolf, that is my secondary function, I give automatic reports of military bases and facilities.” He looked at the shocked crew. “I am Saif al Din, the Sword of the Religion, spy and self-guided bomb and learning computer. I am also Steve Aldin who you call Tin Man, a free droid and a being who desires to learn about this country. I have learned much since coming to this land.”
He looked around. Uncharacteristically speechless.
“Go on.” Sif urged him.
“I have learned that you as a society are greedy, petty, you fight among yourselves, call each other names, you throw stones, you throw punches, you embarrass yourselves in news reports and on social media.”
“You commit sins that would make Allah weep, but, when things are at their worst?” Steve smiled wide. Sif smiled with him. His smile lit up his face. “You are at your best!”
“You donate time, strangers who assist others without being asked and do so around the world to those that would do you harm. You would be most blessed, and no one would deny you repayment, and yet you ask for nothing in return. All you tell people is to go and be free.”
The android shook his head in grudging acceptance of the quality of the people he found.
“You are a curious country and people, and I wish to find every corner, meet every citizen. I can walk among the poorest and see how they think, among the most wealthy and compare the mind-set.”
Steve showed excitement on his plan.
“That is where I wish to go. All over this country called United States without harming it.”
By the time he finished, Sif teared up, Alvin held his coffee to his lips without moving, frozen in place for several minutes.
Burning Chip and Running Man stopped talking and stared at the one they have named Tin Man.
Lone Wolf coughed.
“Alvin, take him wherever he wants to go. You check in with us, keep him safe.” Wolf said softly. “I think there will be a helluva story when you get back.”
“Pull this off, we won’t call you Chipmunk anymore.” Running Man said.
“I have told you not to call me that.” Alvin growled. “If you can’t come p with anything good, you can call me Al.”
Tin Man turned his head back and forth, curious as it was the first time he had heard the name. Making note to ask at a better time.
“Okay.” It was Wolf’s turn this time to smile. “Let’s go.”