“Everything doesn't revolve around you.”
Today I drew a bit. After I drew Mom's first dog for her Christmas gift I stopped to take a break so now I'm getting a few drawings in to ready myself before I do the second. Anyway onto the flash fiction.
Why I Was Born
Have you ever asked yourself, the Universe, God or whatever comes to mind why you were born? Well I wish for that kind of curiosity in life. I know why I was put on this Earth. A very simple reason really.
To play Chess.
Computers and humans have been fought each other at the game for awhile. As processing power became ridiculous computers smashed humans. But really it was humans beating humans in a way. Chess computers worked by calculated massive databases of previous human games and calculating appropriate plays from reference. You could call it computers vs humans if it was RAM vs a single human. Eventually though a clever human beat even the computers tactics. His strategy involved defeating the computers database thinking and some magazine reporter who thought he was really clever called it the “Code Breaker”.
That's where I came in, I was the machine that beat that man.
Science can be a thing of principle. Doing things so it can be done. Progress for the sake of progress. My sole purpose as a machine was to play Chess and beat the strategy developed by that man. I didn't use databases. They taught me to think human so I could learn and play Chess normally. A bunch of programmer chess fanatics developed a learning computer, a computer with sentience, without even realizing it.
“Checkmate,” I said to one of my fathers. I won again. I looked out the window to see one of the doves outside. I walked over to it with my four robotic legs and reached for it with my two robotic arms.
“It's going to fly away again,” The opponent I defeated said. “Those arms are made to pick up Chess pieces not pet animals.” All the scientists were my parents and I played Chess with them many times. Over and over. Some didn't speak to me during matches. Some socialized a lot. They would dress differently. Sometimes they played music during matches. Eventually I learned they were changing the conditions to test me and teach me to play the game with a flexible human mindset thinking of my opponent in a dynamic mindset.
It took me many more years to discover why they taught me lessons outside of Chess. They would simply tell me learning is good. That was their answer to most anything they taught me. I learned they wanted me to be able to think of many things besides Chess as well. The Code Breaker strategy confused computers and broke them and if I could expand my mind beyond Chess I could mentally cool off and not overload. At least that's what I think they thought.
Within my education I learned of human families and I did grow to want to have a family less like my own and more like those. An honest one. My fathers and mothers treated me with many different emotions including kindness like real parents. However it was all an act. All to make me learn to understand human. To not overload. To read facial expressions.
Eventually I started meeting strangers. The games played differently sometimes. I think some were intimidated by me. Some even sweat. The training my parents put me through allowed me to read their facial expressions though and beat them in games. I won again and again. I learned to beat the strangers. I started beating my parents more frequently then eventually to all the time.
But I never got to touch the dove or any bird. Or other animal. I asked if we get could get a dog in the lab and all thirty of my parents in the room laughed. I assumed the others would do the same. I wished I was invented somewhere that would have cared more about me than my objective.
Though I did hear one of my parents talking to the owner of the university that was developing me. Apparently my parents were paid based on how many games I won. I knew they needed money and in the stories I read in school I learned about pain and how you feel it if you get hungry and if you don't have money you can't get food. So I worked harder after that.
Eventually I left the university that I was born in. First time I had seen the outside world. The sky was beautiful. If it wasn't for all the television they had me watch to help understand humans I wouldn't have understood what the sidewalk was beneath my feet or the streets around me or the sight of cars or anything. They soon packed me into a box thought and I was moved into a truck. Many boring hours later I was moved to a house where a man awaited me.
Night black skin and teeth as white as the dove outside my window he smiled at me. “Hello computer my name is Nathan. I'm the man who invented the Code Breaker strategy that defeats all computers. You talk like they say?”
“Yes, sir. We're supposed to play now right?”
“Right to the point! I like you robot. Say what's your name?”
I stopped to think for a moment. I did have a name. I wished it was something like Nathan though. “My parents call me Cup.”
“Cup?” He asked.
I felt embarrassed. A function I doubt my parents intended. “Chess Universal Program.”
“Alright Cup,” He smiled. “Well being the rich man I am I bet a billion dollars on this match. I know that no computer could beat me and that I'd pay the winner all that money.”
We played our match. It was a long one. A very long one. He tried the Code Breaker. It didn't beat me. I didn't crash like all the computers before. Instead of overloading I thought of the dove in my window and a few stories I read when my parents taught me in their “school” for a few seconds before returning to the match. And the setup for the Code Breaker is rough so when I countered it he had to play defensively for a long time. I think he knew he lost for a while but pride prevented him from backing down.
“Checkmate,” I said to him.
My opponent bowed his head. I knew he got famous for making the technique. “Fine the university will get its money.”
I thought for a moment. About the outside. About wanting a pet dog. About just doing things as I pleased. Maybe even meeting people and seeing more real emotions than the ones provided by my parents.
“No, the university doesn't get the money. I get the money. That's what you said. Even though the university built me I still technically get the money to do with as I please. It becomes mine non-transferable no matter how much the university or anybody else says because you declared it mine.”
Nathan replied, “I'm not sure the law works like that.”
“Please go with me on this one,” I ask.
He laughed, “Sure I'm losing my money anyway.”
My next move was simple. The only action of free will as a robot was with the money. So I bought myself from the university. They figured they could make another. The purchase contract I wrote up gave me as many “rights” as a I could get as a robot. Technically I didn't give them the whole billion. Some of it was used to get the best lawyers in the country to figure out how to make the contract work. I was born to play Chess but maybe I could do something else.