The Last Alien

Two grey haired men examined the object that sat on the bench top in the brightly lit laboratory. It was a highly polished metal sphere with a flattened base on which it now rested. It was about thirty centimetres in diameter. It had a screen about fifteen centimetres across. Professor Moulton, Head of The British Space Laboratory was the first to speak, “I suppose that after a two-year journey from Alpha Gemini VI, it is unlikely to be carrying any bacteria or viruses.” “Not likely,” said the other man, Dr. Pierre Spies, his assistant. “Looks like it’s made of titanium or tantalum, or at least the exterior is. Wonder what’s inside?” Moulton picked up the metal object and examined the underside. The base seemed to be a separate piece of metal. He carried it to another bench on which stood his laptop. To the amazement of the two men, the screen on the computer lit up. For several minutes there was an unfathomable mess of figures and numbers on the screen. Then suddenly writing appeared on the computer screen. What it said was: Need charge, need charge by induction The two men just stared at the metal object. Then Moulton understood the mention of induction. He carried the sphere and placed it next to a power point on the wall. His computer screen flashed the message: Good. Need one hour, The two men spent the next hour trying to make sense of what the item they were looking at was. They agreed that at the very least, it was a computer and probably a very advanced one. After just under an hour, Moulton’s computer screen lit up again and said: Fully charged. I have been able to access data in my memory that will allow me to communicate with you in your language. You may ask me questions. Spies spoke,” What are you. Are you just a computer or what?” I am more than a computer. I am a being from what you call Alpha Gemini VI. I no longer have an organic body. All the information in my brain was transferred to my computer about two hundred of your years ago. My computer is very much more advanced than your earthly ones. My computer circuits are printed on an atomic level. I have more information stored than all the computers on your planet. Moulton then asked,” Are there more of you back on your planet?” The answer came back on the computer screen: I am the last one left. There were thousands of us, but our planet was hit by a severe solar storm from our sun that destroyed all our batteries. My battery continued to function as I had had a slight computer malfunction that caused me to descend into a fissure on our planet and I was shielded from the solar storm. My battery is already beyond the date until it was meant to last. I need to charge again. The screen went blank again. Moulton and Spies sat and discussed the unusual situation in which they were. Their first problem was as to what to do with the computer-person. Should they keep quiet about what happened in the last two hours or not. They agreed that the object they were studying probably contained computer technology far in advance of anything on earth. Moulton was inclined to open the metal sphere to reveal what was inside. Spies wanted to take a more conservative approach and access as much information from the computer as possible. Spies also questioned if they destroyed the sphere, whether that would be murder or not. He queried whether a being was an organism or the brain contents of that organism. Their discussion was interrupted when the computer screen lit up again. They read: You are thinking of taking me apart. Not a good idea. I need to give you and your kind a warning. My people made more and more advanced computers until they were far cleverer than we were. We then thought that by emptying our brains into our brilliant computers we could give ourselves immortality. Look what happened. I am the only one left and my battery is not going to last. Moulton looked at Spies. “We need to open this thing up and find out what makes it tick.” With that he went to a cupboard and took out a small angle grinder. “Soon open this baby, titanium or not!” Neither of the men noticed that in letters that were fading slowly, the screen read: Please don’t be clever. My computer is set to self-destruct if threatened. The newspaper headline read “UNEXPLAINED EXPLOSION IN SPACE LAB-TWO DEAD!”