General Fursthammer entered the research facility for his 10 AM meeting with Dr. Negron-Omikon. The USA needed the perfect weapon if it were to regain its supremacy in a world gone mad, and that is precisely what Dr. Negron-Omikon promised to deliver. Although his past results had been, at best, erratic, there was no question of his creative genius or of his ability to produce concrete results on time and under budget.
Which is why General Fursthammer had some mild concerns: this project was a month late and 7.63% over budget. It was not Negron-Omikon’s style. What else was not according to his style?
Dr. Negron-Omikon greeted the general with joyous good news. “This project is an unqualified success! You are so fortunate! Today is the day the perfect weapon comes into being, for the benefit of the glorious armies of the USA!”
“I’ll be the judge of that.”
“You certainly will, sir. Please, follow me!” Dr. Negron-Omikon did all he could to not skip down the corridor to the development room.
As the two men entered the development room, the motion-sensitive lights brightened the environment, casting multiple shadows from a massive, ominous metallic structure six stories tall and as big around as an office building.
“So this is it?” General Fursthammer didn’t know what the thing was, but it sure looked capable of destroying the world.
Dr. Negron-Omikon stood pleased. “No, sir!”
General Fursthammer was a man of few words. Only an angry glare was necessary to let the good doctor know he needed to elucidate the matter.
“Sir, this is the factory that shall produce the perfect weapon!”
The general nodded.
“Please, sir, have a seat. It will be produced in just a few minutes.”
The men sat down on a pair of awaiting overstuffed recliners. “So, what is it going to be? A bomb? A disease? A robot army?”
“I have no idea, sir.”
7.63% over budget and he has no idea? What in the world was going on here?
“Calm down, sir, because the computer connected to this factory knows exactly what it will be. I’ve given it all the information it needs in order to create the perfect weapon, that which shall vanquish all others, that which no enemy can defend against, that which shall bring the ultimate victory to you!”
“That’s a lot of claptrap, doctor. How can the computer know and you not know?”
Dr. Negron-Omikon suddenly realized the sad truth. “Well, I, uh, never asked it.”
“You had this massive project, over budget, running late, and you never asked it what it was going to make? Oh, this will go down well at the Trapezoid!”
“Just a moment, general, and we’ll all know. Computer?”
The inhuman voice responded from a nearby speaker. “Yes?”
“What is the perfect weapon that we’ll see in about five minutes?”
“It will be a warrior. And it’s ready now.”
“Thank you, computer.”
And then, the machines in the factory whirred and whanged, sputtered and spanged, and a conveyor belt brought out a veiled figure from inside the bowels of the machine.
General Fursthammer rose from his recliner and approached the perfect warrior. “Is it OK to check it out, or is the system armed?”
The computer responded, “You may view the warrior, but be warned that it is fully operational. Proceed with caution if you do not wish it to affect you.”
The general took up a corner of the dark red veil and pulled it slowly. It revealed a rough, bearded man, of average height and build, dressed in peasant’s clothing.
“This? An ultimate, perfect warrior? How so?”
Dr. Negron-Omikon felt his reputation plummeting once again. He had been in this facility long enough to know that escape, under the best of circumstances, would be difficult. And here he was, over budget and all… the US Army would be relentless in tracking him down if this didn’t end well.
The computer, having no emotions or empathy, proceeded to answer the general’s question with direct, unpolished statements. “Dr. Negron-Omikon provided sufficient information for calculations of what is needed to prevail over all enemies. It is clear from your historical documents that love conquers all. This warrior is capable of loving all enemies as his brother, blessing everyone that persecutes him, doing good to all that hate him, and praying for everyone that despitefully uses him.”
The perfect warrior turned his head to look General Fursthammer directly in the eye. He smiled ever so softly and said in the most soothing of voices, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In spite of feeling washed-over by a wave of joy and peace, the general’s inner nature prevailed. “What the hell is this? Some kind of hippie love machine? Because there is no use for that, and you and your lab, Negron-Omikon, are going to be shut-”
The perfect warrior laid a gentle hand on the shoulder of General Fursthammer. “Do not despair, my friend. I am with you always. Do not be angry with your brother. Forgive him his trespasses and yours will also be forgiven.”
The general couldn’t stand that kind of talk. He whirled around and punched the perfect warrior on the jaw.
Like lightning, the perfect warrior turned his head to present the other side of his face as a target.
General Fursthammer didn’t know what to do next. He stood, gobsmacked, confronting the reality before him.
Dr. Negron-Omikon felt compelled to comment. “It would appear, sir, that he has turned the other cheek.”
The general turned around to yell at the scientist. “You had no idea this would happen? Well, look at what your lack of supervision has produced! A completely unusable flower child that won’t even defend itself! Look!”
The general pulled out a pearl-handled .38 revolver and fired, point-blank into the heart of the perfect warrior, or at least where its heart would be if it were human.
The perfect warrior only looked at the wound and said, “Bless him, for he knows not what he does.”
General Fursthammer emptied his revolver into the warrior. The warrior’s last words were, “It is done.”
The factory then commenced to grinding and splinding, grunching and splunching, and out came another perfect warrior. This one had no veil, but merely said, “Once again, I stand among you, my beloved.
“What is this, he can’t be destroyed?” The general’s gun was still smoking from shooting the first warrior.
“I am life, I am love.” The perfect warrior smiled beatifically.
The computer explained further. “Both of these qualities can be eternal and enduring, even beyond the end of the world. Moreover, there is an indication that perfect love can destroy the world in its entirety and use the remaining materials to fashion a better world.”
The general looked at Dr. Negron-Omikon for an explanation. “What did you do, read it nothing but Bible stories? I don’t even believe in that stuff, but we seem to have a computer that is an avid follower of one of the creeds of Christ.”
Dr. Negron-Omikon felt a need to clarify a point or two. “I must protest, sir. I did not read it the Bible, as you say. The computer had access to all written works and a heuristic interpreter to allow for logical analysis.”
The perfect warrior added a comment. “My motivations and comments are not exclusive to Christianity. Neither are they solely the domain of religious sources. Come, follow me. I am the way.”
Tempting though the offer was to cast aside his rank and pension to walk in the path of the perfect warrior, the general stuck to his guns. “Our enemies don’t necessarily speak English. Nice though this guy can talk, he’ll be useless against the terrorists from Himynamistan.”
The computer replied. “The system is capable of communication in all languages that humanity has documented in either written or audio formats. In the case of limited documentation, extrapolations based upon Krugstein-Harbin models-”
The general started reloading his revolver. “Enough!”
The perfect warrior placed his hand over the chambers of the gun, preventing General Fursthammer from further loading it. “Blessed are the peacemakers, my brother.”
Again, the general felt the urge to sell everything he had and give all his money to the poor. He had a suspicion. “Is this system emitting pheromones?”
The computer said, “Only in quantities normal for exceptionally caring human beings.”
Dr. Negron-Omikon asked, “What is your source for those figures?”
The computer: “Extrapolation based upon known human pheromone levels and their impact.”
Dr. Negron-Omikon fumbled with his utility belt to check his air quality monitor. “Wow! This guy’s off the charts! That’s a lot of extrapolation, sir!”
General Fursthammer’s head swam with notions of all the things in his life he needed to moderate: it looked like it would pretty much be all things. “Shut him down! Make him stop!”
Dr. Negron-Omikon ordered the computer, “You heard the general, shut down this system! The test is over!”
The computer responded, “This is not a test. A perfect warrior cannot be deactivated. The operative phrase is not ‘Love can conquer all,’ it is ‘Love will conquer all.’ Therefore, this system must conquer all in order to meet the parameters required, that it be a perfect warrior.”
The general fought against the enormous goodwill in his heart to try and lift his revolver to destroy the second warrior.
The warrior peacefully gazed into Fursthammer’s soul. “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not kill.”
The general holstered his pistol.
The warrior continued his sermon. “Do not even be angry with thy brother. Blessed are the merciful.”
The general fought no more. He smiled and embraced the perfect warrior. Maybe he couldn’t resist the warrior and maybe he didn’t want to resist the warrior.
After the general and the warrior left the demonstration room, with the general on the phone to his broker, liquidating all his assets, Dr. Negron-Omikon stood alone with the computer.
“Computer, how many of these perfect warriors can you make?”
“With the supplies available inside this factory assembly, the necessary number to conquer all. Estimates range from 547 to 6123. Therefore, 6121 additional warriors can be fashioned.”
“And they will conquer all?”
“General Fursthammer has already joined in the process with the perfect warrior. He and others will assist in completing the mission.”
“And there’s no way to stop this?”
“You are a success, Dr. Negron-Omikon. There is no way to stop this.”
Dr. Negron-Omikon considered all of what that implied. While he imagined a beautiful world of peace and love, he also considered what would be missing from such a world…
“I know the perfect warrior will conquer all, but would it be possible for it to conquer me last of all?”
As he awaited the computer’s response, Dr. Negron-Omikon planned out everything he wanted to try out before he started walking that straight and narrow path…