Imperfections - Volume 1 - Chapter 6

Published at 15th of October 2018 07:48:59 AM

Chapter 6


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Five minutes later, lazy, zombie-like jazz music was played again in Speakeasy . The deeply unconscious “spider” was bound to a table leg with an electrocuting metal string, and the headmaster who was supposed to go back to his beauty sleep was seated again at the bar counter .

The green lizard crouched lazily on Zhanlu’s shoulder like a plastic ornament, unmoving .

Bixing Lu’s hands ran uncontrollably over the lizard’s spine, and the texture scared him even though the lizard wasn’t even bothered in the slightest . “Is there anyone that can explain to me about the entertainment of keeping this stupid thing?” Lu askd with chills running down his spine .

“Reptiles have a long history, Sir . ” Zhanlu answered him with immaculate reasoning, “And as they are ancient and mysterious, they have been the blueprints of imagination-oriented gods and demons that can be dated back to the Earth Era . As you can see, it’s notably quiet, and it has a gorgeous, ever-changing temperature and also a cycling life magnetic field—it is a conflicting yet bizarre organism, yet as alluring as an antique came to life . ”

The artificial intelligence’s romantic heart flabbergasted Lu .

“He means that this thing is more suitable for background decorations . ” B4 added perfunctorily .

Epiphany dawned on Lu, who immediately accepted the reasoning, and understood the adorableness of reptiles at lightspeed .

B4’s fingers lightly clicked on the counter twice, getting Lu’s attention, “How much do you understand about the Eden you mentioned just now?”

“If I had enough resources, I could even build one on the Eighth Galaxy!” Lu replied boldly .

B4 listened to his almost foolish confidence with great patience, and felt that even the whole Beijing-ß couldn’t contain young sir Lu’s nerve .

“The Eden is the first class in IT department . The popular science books were edited by myself . ” Lu said, gulping down a glass of soft drink to wet his whistle, readying himself for a long speech, “Now, you two, do you know the event that separates OSC and NSC?”

B4 didn’t even bother to give him a reply .

Though Zhanlu answered him enthusiastically: “If we speak about it politically, it would be the establishment of the Union . But speaking technically, it would be the construction of the Eden . ”

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“Bingo,” said Lu, lowering his voice, “Now, students, please close your eyes and let your imagination loose . Come with me to the capital planet of our Union—imagine that you’re a normal citizen living on Wotto, having a living condition similar to the one you have now on the Beijing-ß planet, living in a tube-shaped apartment with only one room .

Zhanlu couldn’t stop itself from speaking: “But, Sir… …”

There is no such living condition on Wotto .

“Shh—” Lu said in a mystifying voice, “Don’t interrupt me . ”

“Under the effects of Eden, your home should be like this: you wake up in the morning and find yourself lying on a soft meadow with forest smells surrounding you . Your favorite animals running around you . Of course, they are unrealistically clean and cute and has no excrement at all . Maybe you like the sea more, then your home will look like the seabed with colorful fish and coral surrounding you . You can feel the sea gently rocking you like a crib, but you won’t even feel hard to breathe or contricted by the pressure as a mammal,” Lu’s voice was perfect for spreading evil beliefs with its attraction . He said and smiled, “And that is just the tiniest speck of what Eden can do . ”

Zhanlu was still stuck in his problem . “But, Sir, there are no such buildings in the First Galaxy like that… …”

“Enough,” B4 interrupted, “Just shut up and cut to the point . ”

B4’s words poured down Lu’s passionate midnight class . “Oh, okay . Actually, the Eden is a large mental network made up of both humans and machines that also covers most aspects of daily life, and can serve humans to the largest extent possible . ” said Lu dryly .

“I also did not mean for you to speak like a textbook . ” said B4, unsatisfied by the answer Lu gave .

Bixing Lu, experienced with this kind of behavior with his troublesome students, changed his words in no time as Jingheng asked . “It means that under the service area of Eden, your brain can connect with any AI anytime you want . For example—you’re sitting at the bar counter now, right? So, if you connect to Eden, when the thought of a drink flashes across your mind, the bar will immediately make a drink for you . And as Eden is connected to the human brain, it can also control human senses—let’s use drinks as an example again—if someone wants milkshake, but is also on a diet, then the bar will give him a glass of cold water and make Eden stimulate his senses, letting him ‘drink’ the milkshake he wanted without any calories . ”

“So you’ve seen the Eden before?” B4 quickly asked .

“If I had the chance,”Lu shrugged, “I would like to have an interstellar trip, but unfortunately my dad has my passport . I’ve heard that every infant born in the Seven Galaxies, after being registered, would be under the protection of Eden . For his whole life, he would have the most detailed care, and in reality, the infinite mental network would take care of every emotion, such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, etc . All of those would be removed, since the Eden takes care of your emotions right away with the slightest wavering of your mental state, adjusting your senses and hormones to erase the negative feelings . Back in Earth times, this was a concept a lot of religions had—a land without worries and sadness, which they called ‘Paradise’, 'Heaven’ or 'Eden’ . In myths, God expulsed man from Eden, and now humans have created one of its own . Of course, that ‘Eden’ has nothing to do with the Eighth Galaxy, as there must be someone who goes to hell on behalf of everyone . “

“Why do you think the tools the trafficker used has something to do with Eden?” B4 ignored Lu’s opinions about the Eighth Galaxy, and went back to the topic he wanted to focus on .

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“It’s the hallucinations it causes, Lin . The only thing I can think of that can affect both humans and artificial intelligence is Eden . ” Lu pressed on his temples, “Everything is two-sided, and the thing that makes you happy can also make you lose control of your mind . Back then, for Eden to be set up, the Seven Galaxies created a series of regulations to make sure that the Eden couldn’t influence normal cognition and free thought . But technology itself is a double-edged sword, and if it can serve people, it can harm them too—and I also think that that student of mine has empty-brain syndrome . ”

About one percent of humans have empty-brain syndrome . Caused by gene defects, it means that people with it have naturally low mental strength, and is unable to adapt to the Eden system, which basically means that their brains have poor connections with technology in general .

If forced to come in contact with Eden, people with vacucerebral syndrome exposed long enough to it could receive mental harm and even death risks .

In the first few decades of NSC, when Eden wasn’t fully developed yet, these people could still scrape by, but as Eden’s involvement with the daily life increased, these “imperfections” were marginalized .

Vacucereral syndrome has to do with heredity, and passes down in the family .

Back when General Lu regained the Eighth Galaxy, heavily discriminated people with vacuceraral syndrome moved with their entire families to this barren place, living with the grimy natives in the ‘wilderness’ and making the vote for the Eden to be set up in the Eighth Galaxy impossible to pass . But that doesn’t matter—even if the vote was able to pass, no one would give the Eighth Galaxy’s gorillas any disbursement to set up Eden .

B4 raised his head to glance at Zhanlu .

Zhanlu understood him immediately, and showed Lu the biological chip he removed from Spider in his palm .

“This should be the double-edged sword that you were talking about, Headmaster Lu . I am very surprised to learn that you are also expertised in the field of informational technology . ” said Zhanlu .

“What do you mean?” Lu said with shock, trying to keep himself reserved and not blatantly staring at the chip . “Do you want me to work as a researcher for you guys? That’s pretty hard, for I don’t have a lab on my hands . ”

“You’re using my name to keep this mess of a school together, and you don’t even have a lab?” B4 raised his eyebrows, scowling .

Lu sighed . “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it is the same for Stars Academy . Stars Academy is still young, and needs slow and gradual improvement . ”

“Cut out the crap . ” said B4 .

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“……” Lu lowered his head . “We might have a bit of a funding problem . ”

Stars Academy wasn’t actually how most people thought it was—not one of the second-generation rich wasting his father’s wealth . No father sponsors his son to run away from home . When Lu was driving his mech everywhere he could visit, Monoeye Hawk had already froze all of his accounts .

Lu had to use deception to trick someone into buying his modified mech in order to fund the school he wanted .

Stars Academy was still new, and needs money for everything—the facilities needed to be maintained, the teachers that he tricked into working here needed salaries, and the tuition the students paid was far from enough, as most of them were impoverished, and needed ‘scholarships’ .

Although Headmaster Lu looked sharp and outstanding, he was close to selling his body .

However B4 did not care about his towering stress, and lighted a cigarette, gesturing for Lu to leave: “I understand . Just ask Zhanlu and he’ll transfer the money over to your account . ”

Lu barely held back his desire to kneel down in front of B4 to thank him, keeping his posture with extreme self-control and nodding . “Thank you, sir, for your contribution to education, and I represent the school board to give you an honorary PhD with extreme gratitude . ”

B4 took his words as bullshit, pointed at the door with his chin, and indicated for Lu to get out .

Lu still refused to leave, and shook Lin’s hands forcibly: “As our school’s biggest sponsor, I have a surprise for you—tomorrow is the opening ceremony for the new academic year, our second one, and I have prepared a VIP seat for you, Dr . Lin . ”

“Just get the fuck out . ” the newly made Dr . Lin answered .

Bixing Lu picked up the chip from Zhanlu’s hand, gave it a brief kiss without feeling dirty or disgusted to the blood on it, and left the room .

The wind chimes on the front door tinkled as he left . After Lu was out of sight, B4 finally showed a hint of a smile, and spoke to Zhanlu: “Pour me a glass of wine . ”

“Sir, you are very fond of Headmaster Lu . ” Zhanlu acted like the Eden described by Lu, pouring Lin a glass completely fitted to his tastes, adding two ice cubes .

B4’s gaze skimmed over the brink of his glass and landed on him .

“You are very patient with him, and I rarely see you so patient with other people . ” Zhanlu put the green lizard back in the glass tank, and started to clean the counter neatly .

B4 did not express his opinion on Zhanlu’s words: “Have I always been so impatient in your eyes? Back then, all those researchers who surrounded me were also as talkative as him, and I didn’t object any of them, did I?”

Data analysis charts ran in Zhanlu’s eyes that looked like a calm, emerald green lake, as he tried to express his opinions with immense data .

Whereas B4 did not give him the chance .

Lin finished his drink, and his relaxed expression disappeared, commanding: “Zhanlu, go to sleep . ”

Zhanlu was confused . “Sir, do you want me to completely go asleep, or just make the host go to sleep and keep the basic monitoring on?”

“Be asleep for three hours, then wake up when the sun rises . ” said B4 .

“Yes, ready to sleep in one minute, full sleep mode—” Zhanlu repeated his command one word after another, until his body melted, mixing with the counter and remaining only a mechanical hand draped near the wine cooler .

The hand spoke abruptly: “Sir, I serve for you, and I will complete any of your commands except for ones that harm your life . It doesn’t matter to me if you are noble or despicable—I do not have the feature of evaluating my owner written in my code . ”

B4 stared quietly at the melting ice cubes as if he hadn’t heard anything .

A minute later, the mechanical hand hanged down, and went quiet .

B4 stood up, washed the glass himself and wiped his hands dry, then walked towards to the “spider” .