Friday, September 12, 2008

The Robot who had an Organic Eye (a short story)

Once upon a time, in the land of machinetopia, there lived a robot who had an organic eye. He worked in a quality control factory along with hundreds of thousands of others like him. Everyday, he inspects hundreds of pieces of machine parts in exchange for a few platinum wafers so that he can in turn buy grease to keep himself from rusting. His organic eye made him see things very differently from the rest of the robotizens. His organic eye made him feel special. But that also made him feel he doesn't belong to this robot land.

One day, he started to wonder where he got his organic eye. He thought that place, wherever it would be, will surely be completely organic. And that place will be where he truly belongs.

So he used all of his spare time to look for evidences of the organic land. He swept the sky with his gigascope looking for any strange objects and signs of organic land. And he started saving up grease if ever the time for his journey comes. But as years pass without any sign, he started to lose hope.

One day, as he was looking at his gigascope, he saw a green speck of light in the northern hemisphere. He zoomed the scope with the highest magnification, but all he saw was a lighthouse. But when he looked at the scope using his organic eye, he saw something different. He saw not a lighthouse but some tall brown trunk with small, green, paper-like objects on the top. And whet seemed to be the green light was actually small, flying and glowing objects. He found The Organic Land!

His hope rekindled, he started packing up the grease that he saved and began his journey using the green light as his guide. He journeyed over mountains of metal scraps, under tunnels of steel tubes, beyond a graveyard of rusted robots and saw many things he has never seen before. Everyday, the green light becomes bigger and bigger as he comes closer to organic land. But then, his grease supply was also getting low.

And then finally, he was just a few miles away from the green light and from organic land. So he took out his gigascope and took a last look from afar using his organic eye.

But what he saw shocked him. There were all sorts of oozing matter, moist marshes, fluids with varying colors from greenish to reddish, and sticky and elastic juices. He began to think he will become rusted upon contact with these things. And he was frightened.

He was terrified so much that he just ran as fast as he could to where he came from. He ran for hours and hours until his joints began to creak and crackle. When h e sat down to get some grease, he found that he had used up all that he saved.

He was lost in nowhere land, with only a vast desert ahead and a place of total decay behind. With all the strength he has, he summoned all courage and decided to proceed to organic land.

He walked toiling, with creaking joints and rusting sole. He walked slowly and in pain, while the rust slowly takes over of his body. Inevitably, rust took over all of his metallic structure. And his body fell forward face down to the ground, disintegrating into many rusted pieces; his arms, his legs, his body and his head. He never reached organic land.

Indeed, the organic gods (if there exists) might have felt pity for the wretched robot. In a twist of fate, a mild gust of wind blew on his head strong enough to make it tumble and roll forward. And it rolled in a specific position that his organic eye has a complete unobstructed view of the organic land; it’s oozing wetlands, its green lights.

And there, as it was stuck on his rusted head, his organic eye looked on intently; a few times blinking and sometimes shedding a rustic tear. And it dreams on wistfully ever after.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Autopsy of a Black Hole

It IS a small world after all.

If it weren't, I would have moved my orbit millions of light-years away from you.

I was a dead planet on a stagnating galaxy - looming in the horizon, oblivious from anyone. Yet I was content with my place in the universe. I was happy as I was alone.

You were not aware (not even slightly) of my entity. Yet I was fully aware of you. I was the Hubble Space Telescope -- floating alone, observing silently. You are the Crab nebulae - full of dynamism and change. And you're just mirrors and lenses away.

One fateful day, our orbits aligned; our stars came close; an equinox of two distant bodies. At that very short instance you caught a glimpse of my small planet, in all its bleakness and aridity.

I was the noble gas, Helium -- inert and unreactive. You were a proton, accelerated million times around kilometers of superconducting tubes, attaining infinite energy. I was not even the real target. I was just a single atom that leaked and got lost on your path. Yet, you hit me head-on, split second, and then you simply move on.

The collision time was that of a very, very small magnitude - like a femtosecond pulse in a laser experiment. Ultimately, the fear of anti-supercollider advocates materialized in me. That small strange sub particle created enough energy to initiate a big reaction in my essentially inert subsistence. Like a white dwarf with its trademark large radiance, my vitality burned rapidly and violently.

All existence converged to a single point. And what remained was a singularity of broken dreams, wishful thoughts and infinite regrets. It disintegrated with what was left of the very miniscule memories of our ultrashort but very radiant coexistence. And just like any matter-antimatter interaction, what occurred was an annihilation--only in my case, there were no splendid fireworks of escaping photons of light, heat and energy. My whole universe imploded just like that.

Then I became a black hole-- sucking anyone's energy including my own. I lost all meaning and desire of existence. I just sucked and sucked on everything. Eternal darkness became my final dwelling.

Meanwhile, stars shine brightly in the skies of your happy little planet.