Monday, October 3, 2016

Letters from the Lab: Dr. Augustine Mitchell and his robot minions

By The Mad Scientist

My name is the Mad Scientist. To be more precise, my name is Sir Victor Wilson, but you can call me Mad Scientist, The Mad Scientist or Mr. Scientist. Or you can just call me plain Mad.

Yes, I know there are many mad scientists around, especially in Transyl-vein-ia’s Mad Science District. But there are also many pills around and there’s still only one called “The Pill.” Well, I’m the only mad scientist called “The Mad Scientist.”

Over the course of the next few weeks, I plan on digging into the Mad Science District archives to bring you exciting stories about some of the other mad scientists in this world, even if none of them are more brilliant than I.

These scientists, like me, never ever think of going small. World domination is always the goal.

So grab yourself a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy this story about Dr. Augustine Mitchell, a colleague of mine from my earlier days as a junior mad scientist.

Dr. Augustine Mitchell made a great study of artificial intelligence. He created several household robots that did things for him around his lab, but he always wanted the robots to have feelings. And he wanted them to do things for themselves. He was growing tired of the same old menial tasks his robots were doing, like taking out the garbage, washing dishes and walking his pet saber tooth.

One day, Dr. Augustine took a sip of his tea and, from the seat at his lab table in his home lab, he envisioned an army of robotic minions. These minions would go out and rid the world of evil so that Dr. Augustine wouldn’t have competition anymore. He wanted to be the only evil in the land. After having this vision, Dr. Augustine stood up from the seat at his lab table in his home lab, raised both fists in the air and yelled, “I want a robotic minion army with the power it needs to purge this universe of all other evil!”

Yes, Dr. Augustine was yelling in his home lab, even though no one else was there at the time. Then he sat back down and he took another sip of his tea.

The next day, he and I met at a lab bar down on Doom Drive for some cookies and tea, and he handed me a book of blueprints that had various drawings of robot minions and their dimensions. He included every detail down to each and every screw.

These robots ranged from modular self-reconfiguring models to self-destructors. They could fly, crawl, disappear and create collectives amongst themselves. Some were microscopic and some were larger than 50-story buildings.

One drawing Dr. Augustine had was of a swarm of mechanical bees that could hover over its prey and sting, disorient and consume that prey and anything in its vicinity.

I asked Dr. Augustine why he wanted to create this army. After a sip of tea and a bite from one of his cookies, he stood up from his seat at the table in the lab bar down on Doom Drive, raised both fists in the air and yelled, “I want to take over the world, of course! I’ve been working in my underground lair for some time now, trying to rid this planet of the evil that competes directly with me! My minions will be programmed to look for these evildoers! They have several sub-routines programmed into them that sense evil thoughts and evil plans! And once my minion army detects these evildoers, they’ll attack and take them out! I have a test minion here with us now, if you would like to see it!”

Yes, Dr. Augustine was yelling in the lab bar down on Doom Drive. But everyone in that bar yells their own plans from their tables of cookies and tea, so no one else heard his plan.

Dr. Augustine didn’t return to his seat. With great excitement, he began his demonstration, even though I never said I wanted to see it. With a tiny remote, he called over one of his household robot minions. It rolled up to the table from some dark corner I didn’t see, pulling behind it something under a tarp that was about 8 feet tall. Dr. Augustine yanked the tarp and revealed one of his sample evil-destructor robot minions.

He turned to me, raised both fists in the air, and instead of yelling some more, he gave one of the loudest, evil “Muwahahahaha” laughs I’ve ever heard. Then he yelled after all.

“Watch while my creation comes to life and takes evil from this world!” he shouted at eardrum-shattering decibels.  

He turned his minion around, which was equipped with laser rocket guns on each arm, a jetpack and lethal blade-like armor all over, and he flipped the on switch to the on position.

Once the system booted up, scanned for viruses, and the doctor installed a couple minor updates that came up in the start-up process, the minion looked directly at his creator and killed him. Then the minion self-destructed into millions of pieces.

Luckily, I had gone to the lab bar in my newly designed invisible protection bubble. And it worked. I was safe. The bar, however, was not so good. But that’s nothing new. Mad scientists are blowing that place up almost every week. The ownership is used to it by now.

Once the dust settled, I looked over to see if Dr. Augustine was all right. He was not. He was dead. That’s when I noticed the doctor’s robot minion checklist. There was one thing he didn’t check off, and that was to program his minion to destroy all evil except the evil Dr. Augustine, no matter what it thought.

Dr. Augustine will be missed, but we will not miss the valuable lesson he taught us: Always make sure you’ve checked off everything on your checklist before you run a test. (I sometimes forget to check off the item reminding me to wipe the grease off my creations from my dirty hands -- not the most crucial of items to miss, clearly, though shine is still always important to me.)

Dr. Augustine’s research can be found in the Mad Science District Museum. And for more science talk and more letters from the lab, check back with me next week for Mad Science Mondays in October.

The Mad Scientist is a mad man with evil on his mind always and plans to take over the world at any given time. He lives in a castle on Lab Lane in the Mad Science District of Transyl-vein-ia.

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