The First Holoid

23 Jan

The time had come to obtain a body, decided Wain Lohe.

He had spent a busy night working in his photo laboratory. His new apparatus operated with the results he had long dreamed of and aspired toward.

A torso was needed for the artificial simulacrum he wanted to construct.

The ambitious scientist decided he had to make a deal with General Hyaline Corp. to carry out the project for an autonomously thinking holoid.

Wain arranged an appointment by wirephone to see the company president, Caro Pobre. He needed a partnership in order to complete his enterprise.

This will not be an easy task to accomplish, the researcher realized.

Gangling, wispy Wain rode a taximetro to the highest glass tower in central Techtown. A levator took him up to the executive penthouse, then a secretary led the visitor into the president’s great office. Pobre, behind a huge vitric desk, invited Wain to take a sofa chair of glass fiber.

The scientist studied the cube-like head of the corpulent trillionaire. Dark python eyes glared at him without blinking.

“What is it that you are requesting?” asked Pobre with a growl.

“I believe that I have found a way to transcend mechanical robotics. The key to making an autonomous, thinking simulacrum lies in holographic optics, and I now have it planned and projected.

“All that is needed is a glass-based body that will obey its plastic brain.”

The industrialist frowned. “All that sounds like fantasy to me,” he said in a low tone.

Wain, undeterred by fear, argued on.

“Look at all the products that our factories already are producing: glass cars and engines, clothing sheets, wall boards, road surfacing, piping and wiring, and electronic minichips. Metalloid glass has replaced the materials of the past. Our electronic reckoners consist of silico-glass components. But I have proven that holographic light rays can take us farther, all the way to an independently thinking brain.”

The mogul gave him a hard, penetrating look. “How am I to evaluate these fabulous claims of yours?”

“If you send me your top scientist, I can prove all of it to him, sir.”

“Then it will Dr. Xeet who will make a judgment on what you say you can construct for us.”

Wain rose, realizing that the initial interview had come to an end.

The one sent to inspect the holographic brain was a short, slight figure with sharp, sparkling eyes. Bdi Xeet made an instant impression, despite his lack of size or stature.

He avidly absorbed every word that Wain Lohe spoke.

“My interest in the phenomenon of light goes back to childhood. It became an obsession of mine, till I decided to major in photology at the University. The idea of a light-based mind that used visible optical rays became the center of my life. Years of difficult research resulted in the holographic brain that I have succeeded in building.”

Wain stared at Xeet as the latter responded to what he had said.

“You are a lot like me, than. But my obsession has been to find new uses for the many forms of glass. The products of vitrification have dominated all my thought and work. Finding new hyalic applications is my dream and ambition.”

“You are fortunate to have available to you the resources and the support of the largest corporation in our leading industry,” said the photist with a sly smile. “But let me demonstrate for you the operation of the photosphere I have constructed for the purpose of memory retention and logical operations.”

Wain led his guest to a table upon which the head-like sphere rested.

He set in operation the nano-illumunators that generated intersecting planes of light rays. Interacting wave fronts of coherent light were immediately set in motion.

“Optical data processing and computing result from the holographic convolutions and transformations that occur within this sphere of light,” explained the inventor. “Large quantities of information are handled simultaneously by the photic brain that I have built. Neuroholograms result from the millions of Fourier transformations that can be carried out by the apparatus every nanosecond of time.”

He went on to explain the constructive and obstructive interference patterns produced by the holographic rays and their filtering processes that result in a photic memory. Light phases and antiphases were described within the overall photosphere.

Xeet suddenly spoke with unusual excitement in his voice.

“This is brilliant. You have here an astounding step forward.”

Wain Lohe realized he had made a new convert that day, one of momentous importance to his plans and projects.

Carc Pobre listened with a face of rock to what his head researcher told him. He suddenly rose out of his chair and stepped away from his wide vitric desk, stopping directly in front of the little man.

“It appears to you, then, that the holographic brain is capable of working as intended?”

“I have no doubt of that, sir,” answered Dr. Xeet. “Lohe has pulled off what is a scientific miracle, if such a term is possible.”

The company president considered his options, finally choosing one of them.

“Tell him that General Hyaline will construct a glass body for him. Has he specified the characteristics it will need to have?”

“The material used can be the ordinary hyaloplasm used in today’s robotics, but he wishes to provide us particular requirements for the bio-mech organs and the neurofibrillae of the new nerve system. Servo-eyes will need to be installed and connected to the holographic brain, of course.”

“Go ahead, then, and give the man what he wants.” Pobre paused for a moment. “I myself will supervise the writing of the contract terms with him.”

The person assigned to win the inventor’s assent and signature was Bdi Xeet. He was the one considered by his employer to have the greatest influence over the photist.

Wain Lohe, having full trust in his new friend, did not even read the long, detailed legal agreement. Knowledge that the partnership would result in his obtaining the glass body that was needed to give life to the holographic brain was enough for him. He was now convinced.

Taking the signed documents back to corporate headquarters, Xeet felt a great satisfaction with his own role in combining two different sciences in the construction of a glass simulacrum with a holoid brain.

Poble summoned him to his office as soon as he returned with the papers.

The high executive appeared to be in an unusually joyful, elevated mood that the scientist had never before seen or expected to see.

“Our partnership with Mr. Lohe is completed, then?” asked the cheery, elated president of the firm.

“THat is right, sir. All the necessary signing has been done. We can now proceed to the making of the bio-mech body that will then be conjoined to the photic brain and mind.”

A devilish, evil grin formed around the mouth of the glass industry titan.

“That will never happen, due to a certain provision that I had inserted in the contract by our team of lawyers. General Hyaline will have the right to delay the delivery of the vitric body if there should be any production obstacles or delays in our glass facilities. These are going to begin at once, and the excuses for stoppage shall be repeated over and over again.

“Wain Lohe cannot live long enough to have a body sent him from us. Continual, unending postponement will be what he has to contend with in all future time, for the rest of his and our lives.

“The holoid simulacrum will not be available, so it will not be able to disrupt in any way the market for out servo-robotic automatons.”

Xeet’s head felt as if it were a spinning top.

A restless night in bed proved completely sleepless for him. His conscience troubled him to such a degree that he finally concluded that he had to present the truth to Wain Lohe.

It was a little after dawn that Bdi Xeet found the inventor in the office of his photic laboratory, where he had been working all night.

“I have something of importance to tell you,” he began. As the revelation proceeded, Wain had to sit down in order to absorb what was being said and reach a judgment on the scenario being described to him.

“Pobre will never permit a glass body to be delivered here to you?”

Xeet made a bitter grimace. “That has been his plan from the start. My boss intends to suppress any autonomous simulacrums so that the production of robotic mechs is forever protected. Your photic mind is an obvious danger to that line of production at General Hyaline.”

The two of them stared at each other for a short time.

“Thank you for informing me,” said the inventor with a long, deep sigh.

“What can you do now?” asked Xeet, frowning out of concern.

Wain gave him an intense, pleading look.

“It will be difficult and take time, but I must now construct my own vitric body at once. That is the only alternative that can keep this project alive.”

“I will help you however I can,” vowed Bdi, jolting the other with the statement.

Over a year passed before Carc Pobre’s suspicion that something secret was going on received definite confirmation. The distrustful industrialist had private spies who sent him reports on unusual activity at the laboratory of Wain Lohe. What was the photist up to? And why were there continual visits there by Bdi Xeet?

Yes, the undercover agents told him, there was glass construction of some sort going on there.

The anxious mogul thought over what he should do. A break-in by spies might result in criminal charges should they be caught. But there was a better option available.

Late ones night, as much of Techtown was asleep, a specially programmed photic vitro-mech was given the assignment of entering the lab of Lohe and carrying out a survey of what was transpiring there. The route inside was to be through a thick glass partition in the outer wall. The two hands of the mech were equipped with titanium cutters.

Away from all exterior security lighting, in a shadowy alcove, the mech made its attack on the laboratory wall. The hard metal blades flaked off layers of protective glass until entry was gained into the research facility.

But the glass robot was not ready for what happened as it reached into the interior room and attempted to crawl in.

Two powerful hyalic hands grabbed hold and pulled it into the building, throwing the intruder down on the floor, then stomping on its arms and legs with large, heavy vitric shoes.

Who had captured and destroyed the spy sent by Potre?

The next morning, Wain discovered the name of the invading vitro-mech. In one corner of the room stood the recently completed holoid simulacrum. Its full capabilities were not yet tested, but this victory over a criminal mech revealed that it had the potential to be an effective security guard.

Later that morning, Bdi Xeet arrived and was shown the damage to the glass wall and the demolished vitro-mech.

Both scientists agreed as to who was responsible for this outrage.

“I am going to leave General Hyaline at once,” said Bdi. “We will, together, make the hybrid into the future of all technical development with its holographic brain. Because of tonight’s break-in and the attempt to steal the holographic brain, I find that we are justified in taking what we need from the new technology of the Hyaline Corporation.

“We can identify our mortal enemy, and he is Carc Pobre. We have the right to fight against him with the weapons that has already tried twice.

“I plan to take what we need from his laboratory. We have only begun.”

“Only begun…” repeated Wain Lohe in a thoughtful tone, more confident than ever before.

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