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Artificial Evolution

Short Story by Soma Bose


Amir was lost in a sandstorm. He fell and panted on sand, lost in the reddish yellow.The wind wailing in his ears. He watched the wind erased his fresh footprints. He managed to sit up. Out of swaying curtains of sand, he caught a glimpse of movement, a flurry of color. A familiar shape materialized. A hand reached out for him. He took the hand and suddenly the sand was gone. He was standing in a field of grass with soft wisps of clouds drifting above. He looked up and saw the clear sky was filled with a blue sheet. Green grass shimmered in the bright light. It was a dream. 

Amir hurried back to his house and found the guests all standing in the yard. They cheered and burst into applause. He almost forgot that it was his birthday. A havoc caused by an unknown virus damaged  normal life. Amir was a young doctor. The virus infected many human beings. The doctors were unsure, excited, and scared. They were unable to find out any ultimate solution to cure the disease. Even many doctors were getting infection through the close contacts with patients.

In one of those guests, he found someone: Mr. Paul. He was a great scientist. Every few seconds, the backyard lit up in sudden flashes of red, green and yellow. Mr. Paul handed Amir something. It was a leather- bound humanoid robot.
"I almost forgot," Paul held up a finger, asking Amir to wait and walked to his car.

A moment later, he emerged with a remote and a notebook in his hands. He forwarded these to him. "For your instructions," Paul said, "It's a modest humanoid robot, Amir. Our research institute has made it to assist you in treatment of patients. I hope you will like it. Happy birthday!"

**

The next few months are on lots of tests on infected patients. Doctors and medical institutes are unable to find out any proper treatment to prevent the viral infection.They already tried with various medicines. sometimes these medicines worked on patients and sometimes not. Even doctors are in the danger zone. Many of them are infected through direct contacts with patients.

Robotic humanoid assistance was better option for the medical staff to get rid of direct contacts. Paul had provided lots of robots. Many hospitals are getting details of patients through these robots. Sitting in home or any control room of hospitals, doctors are instructing the robots how to deal with injections, thermal checking, with injections, thermal checking, specimen collections and ultimate screening of medical data. some instructions are already fed with their memory to observe the patients.

Amir observed one of these metallic twinkle eyed robots examining the patients with a vast cavernous screen. Screen reports whether a patient tests positive with infection or not. But the doctors had begun to worry. They could see that the robots had begun to take steps of their own, without any further charging the the batteries, any reminder of further actions they began to take care of patients. They were making some dry scratchy sound.


Apparently they were looking beneficent but soon doctors and medical staff woke up from this fantasy and learnt how difficult it would be to trace the symptoms of patients as the curves on the screens slowly became unreadable.

Mr. Paul heard the fact. Some robots were defused, some were not as they were totally out of control.
"Not much to ask for the robots, is it an interaction with virus on their metallic body?" Amir asked.
"I will let you know further what I am thinking about them," Paul said.

The defused robots were taken back to the research center. Some patients were taken out from hospital where the metallic bodies were out of control.

Doctors and medical staff even did not try on some robots. From the beginning, they were not activated. But doctors were bothered since the active robots suffered a disorder. They were piled aside in the corner of hospitals. Amir sat on an edge of his bed, Thought what Paul had said when they met last.

The Short story continues here...