THE VESSELS

A Science Fiction Short Story

© Copyright 2012 All rights reserved

D T YARBROUGH

THE VESSELS

C

ome before me my friends and listen carefully. My life is nearing its end and

my story must be told,” said Monokon, his features showing the ravages of age. “I'm depending on you to complete my work. Your very existence may depend on it.” “Have you learned how to read their language?” asked Symon. “Can you teach us?” “It took most of my life to learn it,” said Monokon. “There's no time to teach you. Besides, we must destroy them.” “But we created them,” said Symon. “We designed them to protect us from the Bright Death. They have served us well for eons.” “We gave them too much power,” said Monokon. “The artificial intelligence has become too sophisticated. They've become more interested in their own survival, even at the cost of ours.” Everyone knew the story. Eons ago their ancestors had learned to manipulate their environment. In order to protect themselves and their descendants from the Bright Death, they had created protective vessels. Created from the very DNA that made up all life on the planet, they designed vessels within which they could live and flourish. As it became more and more dangerous to leave the vessels, even for short periods, the vessels were again modified, giving them the ability to self replicate and better mobility to gather materials that could be processed into food for their inhabitants and to gather materials necessary for self replication. A rudimentary artificial intelligence served well for these early vessels, but as groups became isolated from each other, each in their own vessel, cooperation turned to competition and the arms race soon began. The Titan Mark V was the latest in a long line of vessels. Capable of self awareness, it was far superior to previous vessels. It even created it own vessels to aid in locomotion and created weapons to assist in self preservation. “We can't just destroy them,” said Symon. “How will we survive without them?” “They're going to destroy the entire world,” said Monokon. “They're starting to manipulate their own DNA. They've been trying to destroy us for decades. We can't let them become more powerful.” “Destroy us?” asked Symon. “How is that possible? We've always been able to adapt to any dangers we face.” “Most of those dangers have been inflicted upon us by the Mark V,” said Monokon. “They see others like us as a danger to them. Their attempt to destroy our enemies are

putting us in danger. We can fight off those puny attacks, though many will be sacrificed, but their manipulation of DNA has the potential to destroy us all.” “We can destroy their short term memories,” said Symon. “Then we can all survive, but they will lose their ability to develop new technologies.” “That might just work,” said Monokon. “They would still have their survival instinct and ability to protect and serve us. We should test it on the older ones first.” “What do the vessels call themselves?” asked Symon. “Do they revere us as their creators?” “They call themselves Human Beings,” said Monokon. “They call us germs and consider us parasites.” “Seems we gave them artificial arrogance instead of intelligence,” said Symon. “And now we have to take some of it back.” “Our discussion is over,” said Monokon. “If you'll excuse me, I've got to split.” Symon watched as his old friend transformed into two identical copies of himself. It was a shame that they didn't share his memories. At any rate, his work would continue.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful