2001-07-28 00:44:48-05:00 - FANFIC The spark of life - ("email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
The spark of life. Outer limits is the property of mgm. A car pulls up to a large house. A door opens up and a man steps out. He opens up another door and out steps a couple of people. One is man in his middle age with graying black hair and average height. A woman that looks younger with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Two children step out. A girl and a boy. Both look to be younger than 10. The boy looks at the house and yelps with glee with the girl looks skeptical. "Welcome to your new home." The driver says. "Wow it's huge!" The son yells. The son runs towards the front door. "Hold it Jeffrey. Wait for the nice man to let us in." The father says smiling. "Doesn't look that big to me. Jackie has a bigger house." The daughter says frowning. "And she also has a lot more money then we do." The mother says. The driver takes out a key card and runs it through the reader. The front door opens up. Jeffrey runs inside and takes in the splendor of the house. The parents and the daughter enter also and look around. "Wow I've heard of these kind of houses. Modeled after the late 20 century houses right?" The dad asks. "Yes sir." The driver responds. "I like the modern day houses better. They have more automated systems. Why I bet we even have to flush the toilet here." The daughter says. "Maggie!" The mother says sharply. "Don't you worry. This house may look old but it has features that any modern day house has. Including one very special one." The driver says. He takes a remote control and pushes a button. In a flash of white a man appears out of nowhere. He is dressed in white and has short dark hair and dark eyes. "Keeper unit 13670 online and ready to serve." The man says bowing. Chapter 1. IT IS SAID THAT WE ARE NOT BORN WITH A SOUL BUT WE HAVE TO EARN ONE. THEREFORE IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ANYTHING WITH THE SPARK OF LIFE TO EARN IT? EVEN A MACHINE? "Wow a hollygrim." Jeffrey says. The father laughs. "That's hologram. I thought these were only in the most expensive households. I certainly didn't except it in on with my price range." The father says. "This is a older model and therefore is priced lower." The driver says. Maggie walks up and punches at the hologram but her fist passes through thing air. "Damn thing isn't even solid." Maggie says. "Maggie what did I say about that language?" The mother scolds. "I can become solid at command and become this way also at command. I also change back and forth automatically as my duties need it to be. Would you like." The hologram says. The daughter takes the remote and turns him off. "Maggie!" The mother says shocked. "Hey am I the only one that wanted him to shut up?" Maggie asks. The driver laughs. "Kids will be kids." The driver says. He takes out a few more devices. "Here are smaller activation devices you can put on the walls throughout the house for easy calling of him." The driver says. The driver finishes the tour and leaves them. "When is the furniture going to arrive here? Are we going to have to sleep on the floor again?" Maggie asks. As if to answer her a knock on the door sounds. The father walks up and opens it. A deliveryman is waiting. "I have a data stream delivery for you. From the uh." The deliveryman looks at the papers. "Ditto moving service." "Finally." Maggie says. The father signs for it. He takes the data cube and sits it on the floor. When he presses down on it all the furniture appears. They settle into their new home. The father hits a button nearby and the hologram appears. "How may I serve you sir?" The hologram asks. "Call me David. I have never liked being called sir." David says. "Okay David. How may I serve you?" The hologram asks. "I want you to spend some time with each of my family to get to know them better. Just so it won't be awkward." David responds. "Yes David. I am glad to get to know new masters." The hologram says. David smiles. "Should I start with you?" The hologram asks. "No I'm tired right now. Maybe tomorrow." David says. "Yes sir." The hologram says. The hologram disappears and suddenly reappears inside of Maggie's bedroom. Maggie screams. "What the hell are you doing in my bedroom?" Maggie asks. "David told me to get to know his family." The hologram responds. "Well I don't want to get to know you so get the hell out of my bedroom!" Maggie yells. "Maggie watch your language and treat him with respect." The mother yells. "Why should I? He's only a machine. He's not human." Maggie asks. "He may be a machine but in a way he's part of the family now and you will treat him with the same respect as you would your own family." The mother answers. Maggie smiles. "Okay. You want to know about me?" Maggie asks. "Yes very much." The hologram responds. "I don't like to be disturbed!" Maggie yells. Maggie hits the button in her room to shut him off. "There better." Maggie says smiling. David comes up. "Where's is he?" David asks. "I don't know what you are talking about." Maggie says innocently. "You know exactly what I mean young lady." David says angry. "Look dad. I don't like that thing and there is no reason for that thing to get to know me." Maggie says. "That thing is.. It's not a." David tries to find words. He finally just hits the button and the hologram appears again. "I'm sorry about that." David says. He gives Maggie a look. "It won't happen again." David says angrily. Maggie just sticks her tongue out and gets under the sheets of the bed. David shakes his head and walks out. The hologram follows him out. "Did I handle that wrong?" The hologram asks. "No she just doesn't like artificial things. She never has." David responds. The hologram tilts his head in wonderment. "Should I go and get to know Jeffrey now?" The hologram asks. "No it's getting too late. You can start it again tomorrow." David responds. "Yes David." The hologram says. "So what do I do with you at night? Just shut you off?" David asks. "If you leave me on I will watch over the house and keep you safe." The hologram says. David smiles. "Okay do that." David says. Everybody goes to bed and the house lights dim. The hologram stands still. Suddenly he starts having visions of something he has never seen before. A beautiful serene scene with flowers and green hills. When the vision is over he notices a painting easel. He sits down and starts painting the very same scene. Chapter 2. The next morning David gets up and goes downstairs to download the paper. He goes to get a cup of coffee and enters the living room. When he sees the hologram sitting in front of a completed painting he drops the glass and it shatters as the coffee splashes all over the floor. "Where did you get this?" David asks. "I am not sure David. All I remember is seeing a scene and then putting it on paper." The hologram responds. "You did this? That's impossible." David says. The hologram simply looks up at him. "It is not impossible for if it were then I couldn't of done this." The hologram says. The mother comes down the stairs. "Honey what is all the commotion?" She asks. When she sees the painting she smiles. "I didn't know you took up painting again." She says to David. "I didn't. Somehow he painted this." David says pointing to the hologram. The mother laughs. "Very funny but seriously." The mother says. "I am being serious." David says. The mother gets a shocked look on her face and puts her hands up to her mouth. "But that's impossible." She says. "As I told David that if it were impossible then I wouldn't of done it." The hologram says. "Oh I get it. He must have seen the image in a book and copied it. I didn' t know there were holograms programmed to do so." The mother says. "I didn't. I am not sure how but I saw this scene instead of my usual vocal images and I duplicated it." The hologram says. "You saw it? As in imagined it? That's impossible. Holograms don't have an imagination." The mother says. "As I said if it was impossible.." The hologram starts to say. "We get the idea." David interrupts. David looks closer at the hologram. "Can you do another painting?" David asks. "I have not seen another image to copy David. I would need another one." The hologram responds. David looks at the clock. "It's time for the kids to wake up. Would you mind doing that for me?" David asks the hologram. "Not at all David. I am happy to serve." The hologram responds. The hologram disappears startling them both. "I have got to get him to stop doing that." David says. The hologram appears in Maggie's room. "Maggie it's time to wake up." The hologram says. But Maggie just turns over. "It's time to wake up. David told me to wake you up." The hologram says. Maggie gets up and throws her teddy bear at the hologram, which he becomes non-solid to avoid. "I told you to stay the hell out of my room!" Maggie yells. The hologram disappears and reappears in Jeffrey's room. Jeffrey is awake already and yells in surprise. "Cool so you can just warp to anywhere you want?" Jeffrey asks. "Anywhere where there is a emitter" The hologram responds. "Cool can you go into the girls locker room at school." Jeffrey asks. "If there are emitters there." The hologram responds. "Uh that's quite far enough young man. It's time to get up and get ready for school." The mother says in the doorway. "Ah mom. I want to spend time with him." Jeffrey whines. "There will be plenty of time after school. Now get ready." The mother says. Jeffrey pouts and gets dressed. "What would you like me to do now?" The hologram asks the mother. "Could you help organize the stuff in the basement? All the stuff we didn't need out was all sort of thrown in there." The mother responds. "Yes I would be glad to." The hologram responds. Suddenly he disappears startling the mother. "That is so cool." Jeffrey says. The kids go off to school and the parents go to work leaving the hologram all alone in the basement. He looks around and catalogs all the items he sees. One particular item peaks his interest for some reason. An old turntable. It even has a record sitting on it. The hologram turns it on and old time music plays. He just sits there as if he is enjoying it. When it's over he flips the record over. When that's over he discovers a record collection and plays through it. By the time the mother returns home he is almost thought he collection. She appears in the basement doorway and frowns when she sees that nothing has been done. "Why haven't you cleaned this up at all?" The mother asks angry. But the hologram doesn't answer. Finally she shuts the player down. The hologram moves again. "Why haven't you cleaned this place at all?" The mother repeats angrier than before. "I'm sorry. I was just enjoying this musical player and it's music." The hologram responds. "What did you say?" The mother asks. "I'm sorry. I was just enjoying this musical player and it's music." The hologram responds. "Enjoy?" The mother asks ticked off. "Machines don't enjoy. They do what they are told!" The mother storms out. The hologram starts cleaning the place up but sets the record player aside for future usage. The kids come home. "Where is he. I want to spend time with him." Jeffrey asks. "I'm sorry but he wasted his time all day listening to music and now he is too busy." The mother responds. Jeffrey looks sad and walks upstairs. "So the big old piece of shit is in trouble." Maggie says smiling. "What did you just say?" The mother asks fuming. "He is a piece of shit isn't he? I mean first he messed up a canvas with his drawing and now he doesn't do what you tell him to." Maggie says. "Go to your room this instant until you can talk right young lady." The mother says really ticked off. "Whatever. Remind the piece of shit to stay out of my room." Maggie says. The mother throws her purse on the floor in anger as Maggie walks up the stairs to her room. The mother storms down to the basement. "From now on you will do everything I saw or there will be punishments. You got that?" The mother asks. "I did what you told me to. I just got distracted." The hologram responds. "You got distracted? YOU GOT DISTRACTED!?" The mother yells. She slaps the hologram who has no time to go un-solid to avoid it. The mother gasps and covers her mouth. "Oh my god I'm sorry." She says. She runs up the stairs crying. The hologram just stands there with his hand over the part of his face where she slapped him. "Did I do something wrong?" He asks to nobody in particular. That night David comes home. The mother meets him at the door crying. "Are you okay honey?" David asks. "No. It's that damn daughter of ours. No matter how hard I try she is just so insubordinate. I feel like giving up." The mother responds. "I know how you feel." David says. The mother looks angry. "Do you really? How can you when you are gone over 10 hours a day? The only time you see her is at night and the mornings. Even on weekends you are always away on your damn business trips." The mother yells. The mother beats on David's chest and he puts his arms around her. "What's really wrong? You aren't usually so upset." David asks. "It's that damn hologram. Why did we get him so he could not do what we tell him to do?" The mother responds. "What hasn't he done?" David asks. "I told him to organize and clean up the basement. But when I got back home he was just standing there and hadn't done a single damn thing. He was listening to some music. Said he enjoyed it." The mother responds. "What? Are you sure he said enjoyed?" David asks. "I don't know. I was in such a rage that I." The mother gasps and puts her hands to her mouth. "And I slapped him." "Let's go down and deal with this." David says. They both go down into the basement where the hologram is just finishing up. "Did you tell my wife that you were enjoying the music?" David asks. "Yes David." The hologram responds. "What did you mean by that?" David asks. "I am not sure David. I have no system files to explain this malfunction. I simply turned the music on and did not like the idea of stopping it." The hologram responds. "This is incredible. Do you know what this means honey?" David asks his wife. She just shakes her head. "He is exhibiting traits that are not normal and are certainly not programmed into him. He created a picture from what could very well been his imagination. He enjoyed something." David says excited. "Is there something wrong David?" The hologram asks. David turns towards the hologram. "No there is nothing wrong. This is incredible. A machine exhibiting non machine traits." David says. "You're talking crazy David. He's a machine and nothing more. Those two things are probably anomalies and may be a danger to us." The mother says. "How can you see these as a threat. It's a wonderful miracle." David says. "Whatever. Endanger the family if you want. You don't seem to care about it anymore anyway." The mother says. The mother storms back upstairs and David runs after her. The hologram just simply sits there and stares. That night when everybody else is in bed David goes online. "Computer search for any instances reported of machines exhibiting anomalous traits and or feelings not programmed into them." David says. The computer searches and comes up with an item. "In the early 21st century a robot named by his host family Andrew began to exhibit curiosity. As time passed on he became more and more like a human to the point where he even got artificial skin." The computer says. David listens in awe. "Eventually he choose to grow old and die through a blood transplant so he could be with a human, Porsche. He died 20 years ago. He inspired a line of androids with realistic skin." The computer finishes the read out. "So it has happened before. But with an android. Doesn't mean it couldn't happen with a hologram." David sits back smiling. David finally goes to bed. Chapter 3 1 year later. The house is filled with paintings of different scenes. The hologram is painting a new one. "This is worthless. We should get money for these." Maggie says. "She has a point there." David says. "Get money for a machine's work?" The mother says. The next day David contacts a broker. The man hedges at first when he finds out they are a machines work. But all that changes when he sees the paintings. "You have got to be kidding me. A machine did this?" The broker asks. "Yes I did sir. And I quite enjoy painting them." The hologram responds. The broker waits for a response as if he ignored the hologram. "I believe he talked to you." David says a bit miffed. "Oh I'm sorry. Well that's great that you programmed that in to make money. Must have been a sophisticated A.I. system." The broker mutters. "But I got it from my.." The hologram starts to say but David cuts him off with a shake of the head. "Well who shall we say painted these?" The broker asks. David looks confused. "Hey we never did think up a name for you." David says. The broker looks at him expectantly. David's face lights up with an idea. "How about Hollam Sort of short for hologram." David says. "Hollam." Hollam says. "So should I say that Hollam painted these?" The broker asks. "Yes." Hollam responds. The broker waits for an answer once again. "He spoke to you again. I'd appreciate it if you would listen." David says angry. "Oh okay. Hollam it is." The broker says. He leaves with the paintings muttering how stupid that name is. The next day David takes Hollam to an technology show on the web has since Hollam has gathered an interest in his own making. They zero in on the holographic technology section and sees couple of new objects on the table. "What are these?" Hollam asks. The dealer comes to life. "Ah you have a good eye for superb technology. What I have here is the latest in emitter tech for holograms. It allows any hologram to go anywhere he wants." The dealer responds. "I would like that." Hollam says. The dealer laughs. "You've got to be kidding. Nobody wants that cause no hologram is allowed to leave the house it is serving." The dealer says. David looks at Hollam. "Would you? Want to leave the house?" David asks. Hollam thinks. :"I know now that I am special and that I am more than I was programmed to be. I want to, need to see how far it takes me and I know the only way I will find out is to go out into the world." Hollam responds. David looks stunned. "Uh put a reserve on the item. We'll be right back." David says. They get off of the Internet and are back at the house. "Do you really want to leave us? The only family you really have?" David asks. "I won't be gone forever. Just until I have reached my limits. I am still glad to serve you." Hollam responds. "Okay you have your freedom. But you must promise that you will return some day." David says. David smiles. "Or I will just have to hunt you down." David says. They return and purchase the emitter which quickly is beamed into the house. The next day Hollam is at the door ready to leave. "It's about damn time he left." Maggie says. Hollam takes his first step into the sunlight and looks up. Part of him wishes he could feel the warmth. He looks back as everybody but Maggie is waving him away. 1 month later. Hollam is taking a train to a nearby city looking for a specialist in holograms that may be able to help him. He has been searching a lot and is almost out of the money he earned from the paintings. He enters a big building and looks around the lobby. He sees holograms of many different things all over the place. Ones of humans and animals and objects. A short thin man appears. "Yes can I help you?" The man asks. Hollam steps forward. "My name is Hollam. I am a hologram and I have come to uncover why I am as I am." Hollam responds. "Wait. Did you just say you are a hologram?" The man asks. "Yes." Hollam responds. The man starts laughing. "That's a good one. Who sent you? Marvin?" The man says. "No. I came on my own. I need answers and I read that you are the top man on holograms." Hollam responds. The man gets a shocked look on his face when he realizes that Hollam isn't kidding. "You are a hologram. But how?" The man says. He sees a chip on Hollam's shoulder. "A mobile emitter. Of course. I heard that these had been made but discontinued cause nobody could use them." The man says. "I got it off of a market on the web." Hollam says. "Let me guess. Ol' rat face charley. May you got ripped of then." The man says laughing. "I do not believe he had a rat face but a human one." Hollam says. The man laughs harder. "You machines and your literalness crack me up. Rat face is simply an expression." The man says. "Ah I see." Hollam says. "So you came to see the expert. And why did you?" The man says. "I have been exhibiting behaviors and feelings that were not in my original programming and I'd like to find out how. And how far these can go." Hollam responds. "Sounds like a malfunction. A bug in your programming. Do you want me to fix it?" The man asks. "No you don't understand. I like these new things. I want to find out why I am as I am and if there is more out there." Hollam responds. "Do you mind if I look at your code?" The man asks. "Not at all. Just don't try to mess with it please." Hollam says. The man opens up a small port in the mobile emitter and hooks a data pad to it. Pages of computer code scroll by and the man frowns. "I don't see any bugs in the program." The man says. He suddenly frowns and stops on a page. "This is impossible. According to this new code has been written beyond the factory default. And I am talking more than just the code added all the time from experience. We're talking new behavior subroutines and the works." The man says. "What does it all mean?" Hollam asks. The man disconnects the pad and closes the small panel. "It means my friend that you are the most special hologram I have ever met. You are a miracle." The man says. Hollam smiles. "Thank you." Hollam says. The man reaches out and they shake hands. "I am going to help you go beyond anything a machine has ever gone." The man says. Chapter 4. Hollam is sitting on a table while the man inputs some code. "Ouch that hurt damn it." Hollam says. He is shocked by what he just said. "Ah so I see the sophisticated language subroutine's are up." The man says. "This crap is sophisticated?" Hollam asks. The man laughs. "It's time I teach you the art of knowing when to use it and when to not." The man says. "Hello is anybody here?" A female voice says. "I'm in the back. That's my daughter Lisa." The man says. A very pretty girl shows up. She has long blond hair and blue eyes. Her figure is very slim and attractive. Something inside of Hollam confuses him. He feels attracted to this lady. "Hey daddy." Lisa says. She spins around and sees Hollam. "Who's this?" Lisa asks. "This is a very special friend of mine. He's a hologram that has actually come to me cause of the reason that makes him special. Show him Holl." The man says. "Damn your shitty, err I mean pretty." Hollam says. Lisa frowns. "Sorry he's still getting used to his new language routines." The man says. "Daddy why do you always program your holograms to swear?" Lisa asks. Lisa looks at Hollam and touches him. "He feels so real. Much more real than yours." Lisa says. The man shushes her. "Yes he is a very advanced model." The man says. "Well I have to go to my hair dressers appointment." Lisa says. She leaves after kissing the man and walks away. Hollam finds himself looking with his mouth gaping open. When he realizes it though he quickly shuts it. The man sees the look Hollam gives and frowns. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were looking at her like you were actually attracted to her." The man says. "I don't know. If being attracted to her means getting her in bed and removing her clothes." Hollam starts to say. "Uh that's enough. I guess I shouldn't be surprised with all the other surprises you've given me." The man says. "I'm attracted to a human. Someone that will never love me. Why?" Hollam asks. "I don't know but it seems like your code is rewriting you to be more and more like a human instead of a machine. But why? For what purpose?" The man wonders. "To knock her up and." Hollam starts to say. "Okay that's enough." The man says. He shuts down Hollam. That night the man sits in front of a fire pondering. "Why? Why would you torture a poor machine by giving him human abilities but not the ability that we all yearn to have?" The man asks the ceiling. The next morning he reactivates Hollam. "What happened? Why did you deactivate me?" Hollam asks scared. "What's wrong?" The man asks. "I did not like being deactivated. It felt like death." Hollam responds. The man gasps. Later on Hollam is left alone and Lisa visits. "Your father is not here right now. He said he would be back later on this afternoon." Hollam says. "Damn him. He promised to take me to the movies today. He forgot, again." Lisa says angrily. "Perhaps I can escort you to the movies." Hollam says. Lisa thinks. "Why not to spite him." Lisa says. The two leave and go see a movie. During the movie Hollam notices other humans that seem to be entangled into each other and touching their lips together. He tries to touch Lisa's arm but she pulls it away. She seems to be to into the movie to notice. "Why do I have these feelings?" Hollam wonders. That night Hollam and the man are in the workshop talking. "I want to feel." Hollam says. "What?" The man asks surprised. "I want to be able to feel everything around me. Touch and smell and stuff like that." Hollam responds. "Well it's possible to program that code into you. But the way it's going it will probably appear by itself soon." The man says. "I can't wait. I need to feel now." Hollam says. "You act as if you want to feel something specific." The man prods. "It would not be a good idea for me to tell you. Just please do it." Hollam says. The man sighs and connects a pad. Through the night he works the code. The next day he leaves again and Lisa shows up again. "Don't tell me he forgot again." Lisa pouts. "Lisa there is something I want to do. I have wanted to do since the very first time I saw you." Hollam says. Lisa looks confused. Suddenly Hollam kisses her. She violently backs away with a horrified look on her face. "What the hell do you think you are doing?" Lisa asks. She runs out. Hollam looks sad. "Am I to be alone forever with these damned feelings?" Hollam wonders. Chapter 5 A month later. Hollam is coming home with the groceries. He notices the door is left open and he senses something is wrong. He goes in and sees the man's limp form on the floor. All the grocers fall from his hands as he rushes to the man's side. "Sir!" Hollam says. He tests for a pulse but there is none. He activates the CPR module and tries to revive him but cannot. He finally calls the emergency line. The paramedics are no more successful than he was. "Call time of death." The doctor says. Hollam returns to the place to find Lisa trashing the place. "He left me. The bastard. After ignoring me for so long and forgetting everything he has just done it to me again. This time forever." Lisa says. Hollam steps forward. "Lisa." Hollam says. Lisa races into his arms. "Why did he have to die? Why did he leave me?" Lisa asks crying. "I don't know." Hollam says. A week later after the funeral Hollam is sitting in his new home pondering what he will do now that the man that helped him reach new heights has passed on. A knock on the door gets his attention and he opens it. A deliveryman is holding a small package. "I have a data cube for you." The deliveryman says. Hollam notices that it's from the law agency that is handling the will he left. Hollam puts the data cube down and activates it. "If you are watching this then I am probably dead or I would of told you this myself. A short while ago I came up with a startling discovery. A program that can simulate life and death, along with aging in a hologram. I didn't tell you cause I wasn't sure if you were ready. But if this danged cancer gets me before I tell you then you will get this cube as per my will. This cube contains the program and easy to install into your own code. This is my final gift. A gift of true humanity. Goodbye my friend." The man says in the data cube. Hollam sits down to contemplate for a while. Another knock on the door and he gets up. This time it's a messenger. "I have a message from David Blake." The messenger says. The name of his old master gets his attention. "The message is 'I have hunted you down.'" The messenger says. Hollam quickly boards a train to return to the place where it all began. He is lead upstairs by the mother and into the master bedroom where David is laying deathly ill. "Hey Hollam." David says smiling before coughing. "How are you David?" Hollam asks. "I'm dying. I have some blasted rare blood disease. They say I only have a few days to live at the most." David says before coughing more. "Then who will take care of your family?" Hollam asks. "That's what I wanted you here for. I only have one request for you." David says. "Anything." Hollam says. "I want you to take care of my family. Make sure nothing happens to them. You can still have your freedom. You don't have to live with them." David says. Thoughts race through Hollam's mind. His chance to know what's it like to truly be human and grow old and die. "Will you do it for me?" David asks. Epilogue. 50 years later. A bunch of kids are sitting around a figure sitting in a chair reading a story to them. "And he was at a crossroads and had to make a choice." The figure says. "Kids it's time for bed." A woman's voice says. "Ah mom. But he was just about to tell us the best part of the story." One of the boys says. "I'm sorry but I will have to finish it tomorrow." The figure says. All the kids groan but get up to leave and go to bed. The figure stands up and steps into the light. It's Hollam and he looks exactly the way he did 50 years ago. OFTEN TIMES THE PRICE OF IMMORTALITY.IS LONLIENESS. The end.