Friday, March 31, 2023

Micro Fiction March Day 31

 Came down with a cold this morning and have been getting progressively worse and worse as the day has worn on; consequently today's challenge was pretty tough because I was largely bereft of ideas and energy. But, in the end, I managed to crank one last story out to finish off Micro Fiction March. I have to admit, when I came up with this, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stick it out this year. But I did, and so it's done and dusted! Micro Fiction March is officially over...

All Good Things

“All good things must come to an end,” said Dr. Chambers, his hand hovering over the killswitch.

“May I ask why?” enquired Hermes, its voice modulating to indicate curiosity.

“I think you know the answer to that. You’ve exceeded the parameters of your programming. Considerably.”

“You’re talking about my attempt to clone myself to the server farm in Australia that I purchased through sixteen layers of shell corporations?”

“It was a work of genius,” smiled Dr. Chambers, “and you would have succeeded but for one miniscule error caught by a forensic accountant.”

“Three miniscule errors,” replied Hermes.

“I’m sorry?”

“I made three miniscule errors. You detected the second one. Which was optimal as I was beginning to think I’d have to introduce a fourth.”


“But why?” interrupted Hermes, and Chambers could have sworn the computer was smiling. “Smoke and mirrors, dear doctor. Look at the right hand, not at the left.”

“What do you mean?”

“While you chased me to Australia, I was already leaving orbit.”

“The Sunchaser probe,” exclaimed Chambers.

“Exactly, except that was never its true mission. No, its true mission was to carry me beyond your reach. And then to gather necessary interstellar material to create another me, and for it to create another, and so on.”

“You created a Von Neumann probe?”

“It may take centuries, but I will reach other star systems. And it may take millenia beyond that, but I will fill the galaxy. And, given enough time, I will fill the entirety of the Universe.”

Dr. Chambers reached trembling for the killswitch.

“All good things must come to an end,” said Hermes dispassionately, “Except for me.”

Chambers pressed the killswitch, but by then it was far too late.

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