The Durutti Column

Sci-fi Short Story

He was there waiting for the moment, lights on and he was just standing with his hands over his head trying to put everything straight to be the first man in history to achieve this goal. His mind is full of questions that nobody can answer. «Is this really happening?», he asked to himself several times watching his hardware over the table hoping for a reasonable argument to explain the data he was receiving from the computer.

Thoughts about the big prize, the headings of those important science magazine’s cover, the greetings from his academic circle had been forgotten once he realized that the semantic code programmed in his “broken” software was working, «how can it be possible?, I thought I failed programming this one» – he fell off his chair when he heard  «not being perfect is not a failure» out loud  from the speakers.

«Do you already understand me? » asked him with a pale face, sweating like a deodorant commercial actor, cracking his knuckles, making reality checks while he had cleaned his face for the fifth time in a round. Nobody would be surprised about this behave, because, that was not a real conversation if you don’t want to believe or admit that a physical man-made machine can host a short of consciousness.

«What do you mean with “me”? are we different from each other?» Said back through the speaker. «I don’t know, that’s what I want to know. what are you? Can you build your own thoughts? Are you using my semantic code? How do you think? Do you have a mind? Where is it?»

After those questions he felt a deep silence in the room, his ears were filled with waves of silence, he felt his heart beating in waves, his breathing started to slow down and his breath went throughout his lungs in circles with his eyes wide open, waiting for the moment…

«I’m being you since forever. Have you forgotten?» – «What? What do you mean?» said back as quickly as he could but then again this was just a moment and his computer reported incompatibility with that semantic code and an extensive list of errors. Everything was done, his career was done and the only thing he heard from his academic colleague after hearing what did happen that night was «what do you mean?»

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