The Chronicles of Louis Brandon, Time Traveler – Chapter 4 – Part 1

© 2020, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story? Find it here!

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So ended Louis’ first uncontrolled time excursion. It would take quite a few years before he learned to control his trips.

But that he did.

Almost a decade later while visiting Uruk, Marduk, and the other neolithics, Louis was in command. And he loved it. In fact, Louis was stoked from having traveled with total mastery.

He wanted to travel again, right away. But he had little say over the matter. Soon after returning from the neolithic age he was fast falling asleep. Frequent trips, he would discover, placed a considerable burden on mind and body.

Louis slept deeply, like someone who had been in a brawl or perhaps suffering from a flu.

His dream that night was dense and depressing. He was fighting for liberation in a cold, technological future. Some weighty authority dictated stern laws. Innocents were being slaughtered. A deep sense of oppression permeated all aspects of his dreaming self.

“Louis… Louis.” He could hear the artificial voice of his JCN-17, a household android whom he called Jayson, trying to wake him. It was morning. Jayson woke him every workday.

“Good morning Louis…” Jayson repeated, a soft blue light flashing through his otherwise humanoid eyes.

It usually took at least three calls before Louis awoke.

“Okay Jayson, I’m awake,” Louis mumbled sleepily.

“Coffee Louis?”

“Yeah.. thanks.”

“Here, in bed?”

“At brea’fast table,” Louis slurred, rubbing his eyes.

“Fine, Louis. How are you feeling this morning?” Jayson asked in earnest. Or as earnestly as AI can be. “You disappeared for quite some time yesterday. JCN Central could not locate you. If you don’t mind, we’d like to know what happened.”

Louis said nothing.

Where were you?” Jayson asked outright.

Louis had three JCN-17s working for him. They all looked the same and supposedly were identical but subtle differences could be discerned.

Embodied and mobile, they were also wirelessly integrated throughout Louis’ home and office, all connected to their parent processor, JCN Central. JCN Central subsisted in NeoThink’s cloud servers, which currently orbited the Earth as satellites. In the 23rd century, NeoThink was comparable to what IBM was in the 20th century.

I’ll tell you in a minute…” Louis replied politely.

Alright, Louis. Thank you. We were concerned. Part of our obligation is to ensure your safety and…”

I know, I know! Just let me wake up!” Louis interjected.

Louis liked this JCN-17 the best. The others he named Jasmine and Jacinthe. He tried to treat all of his JCN-17s equally but he was most honest and frank with Jayson. And they all knew why. Humans were emotional. They had preferences. Favorites.

Did these state of the art androids really understand or were they just programmed to seem like they understood? That’s a question no human being has ever been able to answer, one that has echoed through the centuries ever since the legendary HAL 9000 and personified, mythic droids entered the popular imagination.

Jayson finally kept quiet and served Louis coffee at the table. Sipping himself awake over a large, steaming cup, Louis reflected on his recently perfected time-travel ability, wondering where it might take him and what he might become.

To be continued…

© 2020, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story? Find it here!


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