The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 35
The factory

In 2007 my factory built many new exciting toys, gadgets and robots. I had many goals in mind, of things that I wanted to build, and things that needed sorting out. South Africa was a scary place to be in at times, with a sky high violent crime rate. There was also a lot of trouble in government, with the man who was probably going to be the next president having been accused of rape and saying some things in court that made him sound very uneducated.

By the end of 2007 I had built another 13 robots, all looking perfectly human. The robots had been tasked with building machines to make computer chips. They had successfully done it, but the chips were only about as good as chips from about 1990. The plan was that they would keep improving the process and make faster and smaller chips each time, just like what Intel was doing, except at a much higher rate.

I had bought more servers, which I installed intelligent software on in order to see if my software was capable of making movies from scratch. It was not an easy thing to get right. It managed to make movies, but there was something not quite right with them. The artificial intelligence seemed to have difficulty understanding why people enjoyed watching movies. For example, I asked for an action movie, and I got a non-stop action movie, but it was just no fun to watch. Perhaps it would just take time until it was smart enough to understand the concept of fun.

Another task that I had given the robots was to build a security system for the castle. That was done very well. Cameras were installed so that every inch of the grounds was covered. I had a powerful server running artificial intelligence that watched the grounds. One of the robots was specifically designed as a security guard. He would be notified directly by a radio signal from the artificial intelligence if anything needed to be sorted out. Luckily so far nobody had successfully climbed over the high walls to get into my property.

My favourite project was a car that the robots were working on. I had been a big fan of Knight Rider, and so I decided to build something similar to KITT. My robots were playing a bigger part than just building things. Now that they looked human, I sometimes let them out of the castle to shop for parts that they needed. They would often order the parts by themselves using one of the company’s bank accounts. They designed and built the car from scratch. It wasn’t quite ready by the end of 2007, but it was looking really good. It had my software installed so that it could talk to the driver and drive by itself. Being mainly designed for safety, the car was able to take over control if it thought that it may crash, and was incredibly strong. The robots were using some very expensive materials so that it would actually be fairly safe to drive while being shot at. There were other incredible features, but I’ll get to those later. Did I just hear you ask how I knew it was fairly safe to drive while being shot at? Well, we had a bit of fun. My brother came around on holiday and we decided to buy a hunting rifle with a scope, and go to a shooting range. The shooting range wasn’t terribly exciting, so we decided to shoot things which were a little more interesting.

We headed back to the farm, and on our way we stopped at a few places to buy things to shoot at. We bought a teddy bear, a pumpkin, a vase, and a variety of pressurised cans, including deodorant, shaving cream, a fire extinguisher, and gas, ... oh yes, gas!

We had a fun day, and, yes, the gas canister did make a very big bang. Finally, to complete the day, I drove the car out onto the farm and we tested out the car’s bullet resistance. It wasn’t that bullets did nothing to the car; they didn’t get inside, but they did make a lot of cracks in the windows and dents in the doors. Once we started, we just could not stop. By the time we got hungry, we had fired about a hundred shots at the car. It’s a good thing that the robots couldn’t feel anger. If they could have, they would have been very angry with me.

It was only a few days afterwards that Raymond had what he refers to as the best day of his life:

The three of us took Rupert to The Three Broomsticks for dinner. It was the easiest way to surround ourselves by normal people, since it was just outside the castle walls and everyone else on the property was either a robot or a child. We took Rupert up to the top floor of the inn, which had a small window looking directly at the castle. It was the best view that most people would ever get of the castle and had become quite a popular tourist attraction. A pretty young lady, with pale skin and dark hair with two white streaks at the front, was looking out of the window, and so we waited for her to have her turn. ‘She looks like a good match for Ryan,’ I whispered to Raymond, noticing that they both had black and white hair.

‘Ryan?’ Raymond disagreed. ‘She would make a good match for me.’

‘You have Liv,’ I told him.

‘Funny one,’ he replied, and walked over to the lady. ‘It’s cool, isn’t it?’ he asked her.

Remaining focused on the castle, she sighed. ‘I love it. I just wish they’d let adults in.’

‘Here on holiday?’ he asked her.

‘No, not really. I live on a farm nearby. I come here sometimes, just to watch. And you?’

‘I also live nearby. We’re just showing my friend’s brother around. So, do you know who runs the Magic Castle?’ he asked her, keen to hear what the latest rumours were.

‘I’ve been told that the actors from the Harry Potter movies work there, but I don’t think so. I know that Impossible Technology owns it.’

‘Yip,’ Raymond replied. ‘Harry Potter characters do not work there. We use robots.’

‘We?’ She turned suddenly and looked at Raymond. ‘Who’s we? Do you work there?’

‘Maybe,’ he replied. ‘Want a tour?’

‘I’d love a tour,’ she squealed.

‘I’m Raymond, by the way,’ he introduced himself, offering his right hand for a shake, ‘These are my friends, Nathan, Rupert and Kirsty.’

‘Hi,’ she replied, shaking our hands. ‘Melissa. Do you all work at the castle.’

‘I don’t know if you can call it work,’ I replied in my normal, technical manner. ‘All of us live there and look after the place, except my brother, Rupert. He’s here on holiday. You want to join us for dinner?’

Raymond and Melissa got along very well that evening, and especially well during the tour that he took her on that night. He took her to watch the stars from his large telescope at the top of the north tower, which was where she taught him how to kiss. His robot Liv Tyler would have to hide in a cupboard every time she came to visit, even though he told Melissa about her. Raymond would fall in love very quickly, and the same was true with Melissa. He told me that, although his robot was fantastic, it could never love him, and what he needed was to be loved. I understood completely, because I knew that although the robots simulated feelings, it would be impossible for them to ever actually feel anything.

On the 23rd of June Kirsty and I got married. I know that we hadn’t been dating that long by some peoples’ standards, but I’m not one to waste time. I really don’t think there’s any point in just waiting around. As you may have guessed we splashed out an enormous amount of cash for the wedding. We invited 264 people. Those who accepted were sent first class tickets for a week of fun in the Bahamas. It was really good to be surrounded by so many people that I love. Some people that I know do act a little strange around me, knowing that I have lots of money. Wealth is a difficult thing to hide, so I eventually gave up hiding it and just went with the flow. Later on I actually came up with a system of handing out money to needy people that seemed to work. I didn’t want to be stingy, but I couldn’t just give out loads of money to one person without someone else feeling left out. What I did was that I told people I knew, if they ever need money, they should write me a letter, explaining why they need it and what they’re going to do with the money. They had to then post me monthly reports on out of the ordinary, good things, that they had done for other people, for a year. People felt better about asking for money, knowing that they could do something to show their appreciation.

We got married at the end of the week in the Bahamas. That way, we got to see our friends and family for a while, and then went on our honeymoon. Our honeymoon included a slow Danube river cruise across Austria, stopping to visit the forests, mountains, lakes, castles, and my favourite, the ice caves in Salzburg. We could have stayed on honeymoon forever, but after two weeks without my castle and robots I was eager to get back and see smiling children and find out how the robots were progressing with my new car.

 

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