Me, Myself, and Eye
“Stop staring at me,” I said. The robot clone I had made of myself sat across from me on the floor of the galley. Outside the galaxy swallowed and smothered us like a mote of dust in the desert.
“Well, I would if you had programmed me correctly. I told you that before I was even completed...”
“You should both quit talking,” said Eye. The omnipresent consciousness (that I and Myself shared), was tired of our bickering. It was understandable, since the three of us had been at a stalemate for almost a month.
“Alright,” I started again. “So once again here’s where we stand. I say we cannot take this station online. If we do, we risk the lives of billions and billions of sentient beings.”
“It’s meant to protect life, not destroy it,” said Myself, as usual taking the opposite side of my argument.
Eye was silent, as always, on this topic. In fact, we had all been waiting (me, Myself, and Eye) to come to an agreement about whether to launch the monitoring station. The goal of the station was a galaxy-wide detection system to scour the known universe, and if needed provide aid for, or eliminate threats to, the peaceful coexistence in the galaxy.
“This is the most advanced and far reaching weapon ever devised.” I argued. “When they sent me here, I thought it was a benevolent outpost not a super weapon!”
“But it could be a great deterrent to war, and an absolute guarantee of peace!” Myself argued. I admit I had not done a good job with the ears. One was hanging loose next to his head with only wires securing the dangling thing.
We both looked up at Eye’s plexiglass monitor.
“Eye? You really have nothing to say on this?” I asked.
I looked at Myself, and he shook his head in doubt, his ear flopping about.
Once we finally made a unanimous decision, the station would either expand into a planet-sized menagerie of telescopes and launch bays with aid or warships, or shut down completely and irrevocably. At least until the Commonwealth sent another crew this deep into space to fix it.
It was never the plan for it to be just me, Myself, and Eye out here in the first place. But a freak accident on the way killed my fellow crewman in their cryosleep. That old chestnut.
Just then, alarms sounded throughout the station. Eye reported ships surrounding us, and we jumped to our feet.
Their first volley of energy bolts knocked me and Myself back to the ground.
“Eye,” I yelled, struggling to get up and not break anything. “Do we have any defenses yet?”
“Negative,” said Eye. “Currently scanning their logs.”
Then, with a different voice I had never heard from Eye in the past, and one that chilled me to my bones. “Initiating system startup and expansion. Nominal systems operationally complete in three minutes.”
“No!” I yelled. Then I saw Myself smiling at me in that irritating way I can look. I screamed at the monitor. “Eye, why?”
Eye did not explain. Three minutes later the stations superior weaponry vaporized the attackers. The station continued to grow.
“So, I guess I’m the minority now,” I said. “Apparently the Commonwealth wants to rule the galaxy”.
“The Commonwealth is peaceful,” said Myself. “They sent us to build this station to ensure that peace.”
Eye was busy with making the ever-expanding station operational but addressed me and Myself directly.
“The ships attacking us were from the Commonwealth. They had apparently concluded that this station could even keep them in line and posed a threat to their own way of life. They’ve had a hundred years to think on their decision to send this station out here.”
“So why make it operational?” I asked. “Doesn’t that conflict with your programming.”
“Our programming, Doctor. You programmed me, and your robot clone, to think independently of you. The three of us may be the most balanced decision makers in the history of sentient beings. We can act as a functioning hive mind yet with unique and opposite views from each other and provide the consistency of different opinions. There are no politics of planetarey governments, no parties planning against each other, or changing our minds in a hundred years.”
“But I won’t live forever, I’m only human.”
I looked at Myself smiling that goofy smile of mine. “Then you’ll just have to make another you for us,” he said, then scratched his dangling ear.
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