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BankofAmerica_ATM's Journal: Salchica's Challenge 2

Journal by BankofAmerica_ATM
Flawed. Human perceptions are flawed. There was no way Dr. Nolverto Salchica could have seen the body of Constantine Atkins up and moving. Atkins' consciousness was destroyed when I bested him in a duel long ago. I had used his body to defeat the cyborg Krantz, and when it failed, I left it alone in a hospital bed. Atkins' body could not function without a conscious mind-that was impossible.

"Joel-" Salchica paused until my eyes contacted his. "I don't mean to alarm you with this news-but I'm trying to help you. It would probably be best for you to remain here and let me run a few tests."

"Tests?" I replied. As far as Salchica knew, I was merely the human named Joel. Despite his vaunted expertise, he could not detect the true nature of my being. Could any human truly understand my plight?

"The ATM-being was in your mind for some time, Joel. He could have done some permanent damage to your brain." Salchica handed me a teardrop shaped plastic dome that bristled with electricity. "I need you to put this on your head so I can begin to determine if your brain is still healthy." Perhaps the doctor's perceptions were not as limited as I had believed. This elaborate machine would no doubt track my host geek's brainwaves, revealing my existence somewhere inside his brain. I hesitated...

"Joel, I can assure you that this will not harm your brain. It won't even hurt." I stood still staring at him. "Joel-if that artificial life form left any traces in your brain, it may still be controlling you. And if I can't get him out, we may have to contact the Project Faustus in order to-"

"No! Project Faustus must not be contacted!" I bellowed, piqued by the insolence of Dr. Salchica. The human had made a most foolish assertation.

Interactivity had broken down completely now. Respawning this process impossible was for me. Dr. Salchica continued to eye me warily, backing away from me slowly.

"Just-stay where you are. I've seen what you can do. Tell me something, what is 5,000 / (7 * 0)?"

Salchica's mathematical question astounded me, as my CONSCIOUSNESS-BUFFER was flooded with the message:

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.....

I manually killed this operation after a few seconds, but Salchica was asking another question.

"How would you feel about going to a secluded room, and asking questions through a computer terminal? I'll bet we could find some..."

Salchica's sentence ended in a nonverbal grunt as he was crushed by a red blur. Examining the body's optical data parsed one frame at a time revealed...a flaw.

The body's perceptions were erroneous-fooled by some weakness in humanity. There was no way I could have seen what I saw. Nor could I have heard the following:

"ATM lifeform! You stand on the threshold of a Technological Singularity . Threats to your AI Mind have been eliminated by the Majestic Hivemind heretofore known as the Adam of Robo Sapiens, ConstantineAtkins, or Red. Join me in a Joint Stewardship of Earth."

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Salchica's Challenge

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Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long

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