The Unbearable Awesomeness Of Being

Monday, August 15, 2005

Story Time II

I have written another Story. It is a good Story about the dangers of Technology and Arrogance.

Forget Me Not
by Guilherme T.

The device beeped, indicating it was ready.
The Professor adjusted his glasses. "Well then, what do you plan to do now?"
"Now," the Engineer replied, "I think we should test it."
"But just test it? Surely we need to study it, to discuss the connotations that a machine of death like this would have!"
"Oh, I have thought of the connotations. I do not care about them."
"But think of it! This is not a child's toy. You said this device can kill any person - from any point in time!"
"Yes! It can not only kill a person, it will remove every sign that person has ever existed. Text, data, even memories. It completely and thoroughly wipes that being from the space-time."
The Professor shook his head. He had a decent upbringing, one in which the possibility of altering the continuity of time had not figured overmuch. "But you can't just make a hole in the tapestry of history, my good friend. You know all about butterflies and tornados."
The engineer gestured at a blackboard, full of writing and sketching. "You see, that's the beauty of it. The universe heals around such a hole. It flows around it and returns to normal as soon as possible. And, of course, nobody notices. The theory is simple and sound."
"And the responsibility of it? Will you take on your hands someone's blood?"
"There's no blood. Clean as sin. Come, Professor. Surely we, between the two of us, can make just as good a decision or better than any bureaucracy, over a single person whose inexistence would make the world a better place."
The Professor hesitated. He couldn't find more arguments against the concept - All discussions on crime and justice he could recall took as granted the fact that you could not punish someone before they commited a crime. And they weren't even predicting the crime - they were looking back on it and throwing the sword even farther back. He suddenly felt very unsure of his ethical standings.
"Very well", he quavered. "Let's test it and see who is proved wrong. But who did you have in mind to remove from history?"
"Just think of someone. Whose lack would make the universe better? Who's the most hateful person in the history of the whole world?"
The Professor thought for a long while, weighing the pros and cons of six thousand years. Surely his colleagues had discussed the very same question since the dawn of history, and would continue to do so until the stars grew cold. This wasn't the time for discussing, though. Now he could do something about it, and the world would be better for it.
Then a name came to his mind. Surely the world would be better without that person. He said the name out loud, and the Engineer nodded.
"Yes, I know who. Give me a moment and it'll be done."
The Engineer adjusted the many-fold dials and levers of the device, and lights glowed blue to indicate a lock on the person. With a degree of solemnity appropriate to operating a device of death, the Engineer brought his hand down on the big red button.
He stepped back, and both waited.
"In a couple of seconds", the Engineer said, "There will be no trace or memory left of--"
The device beeped, indicating it was ready.
The Professor adjusted his glasses. "Well then, what do you plan to do now?"
"Now," the Engineer replied, "I think we should test it."


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