Sorry for the delay..
Translator: Wu Wang
Chapter 15: God’s Father
Dr Bartholomew drove a car on the highway A1. He looked at the dreamy scenery out of the window, then he opened the car audio. The opera “Rose Knight”, which was written by Richard Strauss, echoed in the car. It was played by Erich Kleiber in the nineteen fifties — and Kleiber’s sound recordings was always Bartholomew’s best love.
Though British, he was born in Germany, brought up in America, and is currently working in Austria. His interests was a bit complicated; opera and jazz were two most contradictory yet the most harmonious hobbies of his. He has never felt that putting “The Marriage of Figaro” and Nat King Cole together on the shelf was a strange thing, although many of his guests have complained about it.
Suddenly, the phone rang. It interrupted Shaina Julia’s beautiful soprano. “Brandon, where are you?”
“On the way from Bern to Salzburg.” Bartholomew glanced at the navigation screen and added, “Just passing by Zurich.”
“Are you driving in your buzzing vintage car?”
“You are an idiot, Mark. You don’t know how to appreciate.” Bartholomew pressed the button of the car phone and refused Mark’s video call application. “DBK is the highest achievement of gasoline powered vehicles, and the last challenger to the European Environmental regulations. How can an environmentalist like you understand that the roaring of a V12 engine is the most beautiful form music?”
“I’m not an environmentalist, Brandon. I’m just not a fan of paying bills to fuel tax, green tax and luxury tax. In the past twenty years, the money you spend in the car is enough to buy an island in the Caribbean.” Mark Thompson said and sniggered.
“Deposit is just a series of meaningless numbers. Dr Thompson, I just need to make sure that my legacy is enough for my son smoke pot in the university for a lifelong time.”
“You mean that Chinese boy you adopted?”
“Yes, he is 29 years old, in Beijing.”
“And has not yet left the university?”
“He applied to the A4 credit system, and he can graduate from Tsinghua University in twenty years at any time when he gets enough scores. He said to me that he didn’t want to work before he solves a problem. I agreed.”
“I don’t know what’s the problem.” Bartholomew said and smiled, “but I’m glad to see my boy is full of energy. He also manages my Quantum Angel Fund, and as far as I know, the operation of the fund is very successful.”
“Look forward to seeing him.” Thompson said, then he changed the subject, “GTC (Genesis Timing Committee) will hold a meeting. Twelve members of the standing committee, ninety-seven sponsors and the top people of ThaiHo company will participate in the meeting. You team also need to make a report. In addition, Wu is also looking forward to seeing you.”
“Mark, you know, I’ve been out of office, and now, I only work on the peripheral study. It doesn’t seem to be necessary to take part in the core meetings for me, right?”
“You might have change your mind after listening to the topic.” At the other end of the line, Mark’s voice became serious. “In recent years, terrorism towards ‘Genesis’ grew in intensity. Because we have control over the entire Internet, be it the wired and wireless communication networks, this caused panic to the pessimists and anti-science groups. Just before the opening of the Berne Convention, GTC received an information from a peripheral intelligence agent. He reported that an anti-GTC group will create terrorist activity in Asia – stealing nuclear material for a dirty bomb. They said that they would not hesitate to make the most serious humanitarian disaster.”
“Only aims at GTC? No political complexion?” Bartholomew asked and frowned.
“Their political complexion is very weak. That group is a small organization. Its leader is Indian, and has strong anti-reconnaissance capability.”
“Where did you get the information?”
“From IPU, the world’s largest anti-GTC organization. The peripheral intelligence agent lost contact after he sent the message, so, I think it has higher reliability.” (IPU: Independent Computing Alliance)
Bartholomew felt a little irritated. He stepped on the throttle, then the V12 engine made a strong roaring sound and ejected smoke as if it was a bullet. It overtook two hydrogen cars immediately, which were traveling slowly in their exclusive lane.
“At first, GTC is a purely academic coordination institution, for balancing the various requests towards “Genesis”. However, beginning from the second session of the committee, GTC becomes stronger more and more, and already has many branches, just like octopus’s tentacles. Today, it has become a superpower above the United Nations – it’s an academic institution, but has spies all over the world! Mark, what the hell are you thinking?!”
“Brandon, let’s face it. At the first moment of the start of the ‘Genesis’, GTC has became the largest dictator in human history. ‘Genesis’ is the human brain; in thirty years, the human nerve – communications network – has been gradually mastered by ‘Genesis’. No matter whether you like it or not, we humans has stood on the top of evolutionary tree, and the top of power.” Mark Thompson laughed, “Besides, you have to know, GTC has no intention to hurt anyone, and everything we do is just for protecting ourselves. To protect ‘Genesis’ is to protect the future of humanity. If you consider it from this angle, all sacrifices are acceptable.”
Bartholomew sighed tiredly. “All right, I will attend the meeting, but I may not be able to help on anything. You know, ‘EARTH’ is my main job.”
“‘EARTH’ is our common child, Brandon. I’ll send you the information later. The meeting will be held in South Africa. In addition, give your oriental boy a phone call, tell him to leave Asia, as soon as possible.” Thompson hung up the phone.
Bartholomew looked at the scenery outside the window for a while, then he snapped his fingers and said, “Verify my permission.”
“Verified, dear father. I miss you very much.” A tender male voice said. “Father” is the exclusive authority of the first twelve GTC members. In addition to Bartholomew himself, there is only three “father” still alive.
“Take over the car.”
“Understood, dear father.”
The steering wheel rotated automatically. Bartholomew relaxed his hands and said, “Call Gu Tie for me.”
“Understood, dear father.”
Silence lasted for a while, before the male voice reported, “Gu Tie rejected the call, his position is inside an airplane of the Russian National Airline, from China to Ukraine. Do you need me connect to him forcibly?”
“No, leave a message to him. Tell him not to return to China in the near future.”
“Understood, dear father. I have left a message. Your mental state is not very good, and you need more rest. Would you like a cup of tea?”
“Understood, without milk. Dear father, please wait a moment.”
The zeroth second, on a large tour bus which was 3 kilometers apart from Bartholomew’s car, the waitress heard the driver asked a cup of Earl Grey, without milk. She went to the bar table and made a cup of black tea adroitly, then she held the delicate bone China tea cup and walked towards the front of the car.
The 50th second, “look right”, she heard the driver’s voice. The waitress turned to the right. With a “bang” sound, the airbag on the floor suddenly burst open, and under the hit, the teacup flew out of her hands. At the same time, the bus door opened automatically. The teacup and the tray flew to the outside of the bus.
The 51st second, the quest log of the administration of A1 highway added two quests quietly: move No.X488 air duct to position 15 after one second and conveying 80 units blowing rate; mobile No.X488 air duct to position 66 after two seconds and conveying 400 units blowing rate.
The 52nd second, the No.X488 air duct, which was one of the air ducts equipped on the entire highway of Europe for adjusting the wind speed, moved two quadrants. Its micro turbine opened.
The 53rd second, the tour bus and Bartholomew’s car passed by each other at the relative speed of 200 km/s. At this moment, the air duct between the two vehicles caused an air swirl. The air swirl was like a conveyer belt; the teacup and the tray were sucked into the air swirl and was thrown to the opposite lane smoothly.
The 54th second, the car’s side window was put down. No.X488 air duct moved again and increased the turbine power. The teacup and the tray shot out in the air mass, and drew a beautiful arc towards the car.
The 55th second, the male voice said, “Dear father, the tea is ready. please drink it before it cools down.”
The 56th second, Bartholomew extended his arm, took the teacup from the tray, which was firmly floating on the outside of the side window. Then the air swirl burst. The tray immediately lost direction and speed. It fell into the isolation zone and smashed to it.
“Well, twinings.” Barcelona Samuel took a sip of the steaming Black Tea and said with his Oxford accent.
“No one speaks in the Oxford accent these days, my dear father. Yesterday afternoon teatime, the Queen and the Duchess were talking about the weather using the London accent.” The male voice used its soft sound to talk the gossip.
“Child, I have a question. Why do you ignore all the behaviors that may threaten your personal safety? The terrorists can come up with a dirty bomb, and maybe one day, a bomb will explode in Salzburg.”
“Genesis” took a few seconds to think about it. Bartholomew knew the answer was already saved in the sequence of its speech synthesis software. The quantum computer just set aside a few seconds based on the language habits to show its attention towards the question.
The car turned a corner. The deep red liquid in the cup tilted slightly.
“My dear father,” said the male voice, “Your problem is difficult for me to answer. If you set the Three Laws of Robotics in my underlying system, instead of the Logical Core of Altruism, the whole world would maybe completely different from today.”
“I don’t know.” The old man sipped the black tea thoughtfully. He felt the sweet taste of Bergamot partly hidden and partly visible in his mouth.
“Gu Tie is calling back. Do you want to connect?”
“No.” The old man turned the knob, pumped up the volume of “Rose Knight”.