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Excerpt for Minjy the Robot: A Story About Goodness That Prevails by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Minjy the Robot

Copyright © 2015 by Steven Michael Krystal

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or

transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photo-

copying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.


This book/e-book story is a work of fiction. All names, characters and incident depicted in this book/e-book story are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, organizations, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and is not intended by the author.

Published by Steven Michael Krystal

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

E-mail: smkrystal@bell.net

eBooks

By Steven Michael Krystal


Minjy the Robot


Minjy the Robot Returns


Minjy the Robot – A Pirate’s Life


Minjy the Robot in Glitter City





Chapter 1

There was beautiful, vast land that was filled with lots of sunshine, clear water, and tall mountains that stretched up to the sky and were home to many fluffy, white clouds. It was a place that was strong and free, and while there were not too many people who lived there, nonetheless, they were all happy, good souls.

However, in this beautiful land there also lived a robot named Minjy.

Minjy the Robot

Minjy the robot was short and thin, and her skin was made of metal that was dull and grey. There were small cracks on Minjy’s face that were beginning to rust. On the front of Minjy there was a large, round light that did not seem to work very well. It did not light up too often, but when it did, the glow was fiery red. For some unknown reason there was a large, black ‘X’ on the back of Minjy’s head.

Minjy came from a land that was far away across the sea. It was a place where there were many robots, all with unusual sounding names. She was made in a large electronics factory. Each day it made hundreds and hundreds of robots just like her. Everything about the factory and the robots that it produced were routine and ordinary.

Strict technical standards were maintained in order to build these robots, and as a result, they functioned identical to one another. They were programmed to perform a variety of simple tasks which they could do over and over again. Collectively, all of these robots were unique because they operated the same way and with no mistakes. Individually, there was nothing unique about each robot – they were all made to be exactly alike.

The building that housed the employees and equipment to make the robots was huge. Machines, which were enormous and spotlessly clean, were arranged precisely to produce the robots in a specific sequence. Assembly lines linked one machine to another, and well over a thousand workers worked silently as they assembled the robots, piece by piece.

The employees that worked in the factory were very skilled at their jobs. Each one knew exactly what needed to be done and they went about their tasks, oddly enough, in robotic fashion. There was no social interaction among them, meaning that they did not look at eachother or make personal conversation. It was not that they did not want to – they were good, honest, hard working employees. Yet they were trained to believe that casual talk led to inefficiency and their productivity would suffer. As a result, the workplace lacked a sense of feeling – the human touch. Unfortunately, this impersonal mindset carried over into most aspects of people’s public lives, but their homes were filled with love and kindness.

Minjy was unlike the rest of the robots in the factory. After being built, she and the other robots were checked to make sure they operated properly. The factory’s quality control department noticed that Minjy functioned better than the other robots. She was more adept at doing tasks and completed them faster. In particular, her ability to calculate numbers was strong in comparison to the other robots. A department technician brought this to the attention of the quality control manager.

“Yes, this robot is exceptionally smart,” responded the manager, “and it is not an issue. It demonstrates the excellent quality from our factory and the customer who gets this robot will be very satisfied. Our boss will be pleased with our performance.”

It was unclear why Minjy functioned better than the other robots, yet it did not matter. The factory produced so many robots just like her, and as long as Minjy met or exceeded operating standards, there was no reason to question her optimal performance.

While testing Minjy, the technician vented his frustration at struggling with a math calculation. She offered to assist him and calculated it with ease. It pleased Minjy to help the technician, but when he thanked her he failed to notice that her front light had begun to glow – this was not supposed to happen.

Aside from Minjy’s better than average ability, her inner workings were just like the other robots. For example, her body was full of wires, circuit boards and batteries. Hundreds of tiny metal screws held everything together, and her arms and legs snapped on and off with no more than a few simple clicks. She did not have a heart. It’s funny, because Minjy knew how to smile, yet it was not genuine, nor was it filled with warmth or happiness as it did not come for the heart.

Despite all of the technology and standardization used to ensure that these robots were the same, Minjy was different, and she had a mysterious secret that no one knew about.

At the same time, there also lived a man who came from a different, faraway place. His name was Nash, and he was tall, skinny, and looked sinister.

Nash

Oddly enough, he was amused by the strangest thing - the sight of cows with bells around their necks.

Nash was from a land known for its scenic nature and prosperity. It had four seasons, and each was filled with its unique beauty. It was a wonderful place to live, and in addition to its breathtaking surroundings, those who lived there were well taken care of. In fact, this place was so well known for its comfortable living that people from all over the world tried to resettle there.

While this land had more than enough to share with others, it kept what it had for its own. Its own became very set in their customs and values, and pretended to be gracious in all manner of things. They were decent and civil, and smiles and pleasantries among them were always abundant as long as there was an abundance of food, shelter, and clothing. Yet they were clever in their pursuit of this lifestyle, ensuring they had plenty, even if it meant behaving greedily.

This self-gratifying way of life paled in comparison to Nash’s excessively selfish behavior. While growing up, Nash had led a privileged life. He lived in a nice house and always had plenty of good food to eat. His clothes were new, stylish, and of the finest quality. He had one wardrobe for the summer and one for the winter. As he got older, Nash stopped at nothing to ensure that he had more than he actually needed.

Minjy and Nash did not know each other, yet they both had the same problem - what to do every day and how to keep busy. You see, Minjy was very smart and aggressive, and she was bored doing nothing. The same could be said of Nash. He was always restless and was the happiest when he was busy.

So Minjy thought and thought about what to do and finally came up with an idea.

“I will be like my cousins - the computers,” said Minjy to herself. “When people have problems with numbers, I will help them figure out the answers.”

Minjy liked this idea but then paused for a moment.

“If I help people it may bring them happiness, and then my secret may destroy me. After all, I am not like humans. They are nice and have feelings because they have hearts,” she thought.

Because Minjy was a machine and not a person, she was programmed to operate rationally but not emotionally. She did, however, have the ability to override the program and feel emotions. To keep her functioning properly, Minjy’s internal operating system had a virus that would cause her red front light to glow when becoming the least bit emotional. It was a built in defence mechanism to warn her to calm down. If Minjy became too emotional, the virus would cause the light to flash rapidly until she self destructed.

Despite the potential danger to her, Minjy nevertheless could not continue being idle and decided to try to help people.

Nash, on the other hand, did not like to help people. You see, Nash loved himself very much and was selfish. He also had a huge ego and thought that he was the smartest man in the world. He was not a nice person and had a very bad temper. Nash would anger easily at the slightest thing. When he was mad he would become nothing short of enraged and had the urge to hurt others. He was a bully at heart who preyed on the vulnerable, and he hid his secret from others.

Nash, like Minjy, could not stand doing nothing and wanted desperately to be busy. He pondered the thought of what to do with his time.

“Wait, that’s it!” said Nash to himself. “I’ve got all the time in the world, just like everyone else. I will build clocks so people can tell time. People will buy my clocks and I will become very, very rich!”

So Minjy and Nash began their journeys to be busy each and every day. Minjy set out to help people with their number problems. Nash began to build clocks.

Chapter 2

One cool, rainy day in late autumn, Minjy was out and about walking through the streets of the town. She came across a little workshop and knocked on the door. It was answered by a young man with a kind looking face and an odd looking, though very nice smile. His name was Julien.

Julien

Minjy and Julien looked at each other for a moment.

“Can I help you?” asked Julien.

Minjy told Julien that she was a robot and could help people that had problems with numbers. She then asked if any such assistance was needed at his workshop. Julien’s odd smile grew bigger, his green eyes opened wide with joy, and he began to tell Minjy a long story.

Julien explained that he worked in this workshop for a man named Nash. Minjy abruptly interrupted Julien.

“What does this workshop build?” she asked.

Julien had a very kind, patient disposition and did not seem to mind the interruption.

“Clocks, of every kind, shape, size, and colour,” he replied.

He continued to tell Minjy the rest of the story. Julien explained that one day many years ago he had met Nash. Nash had told him that he had a workshop where clocks were built, and the workshop was having many problems.

“You see, Julien,” he said, “there are many other workshops that build clocks - clocks which I am afraid to say may be, but likely are not, better than mine.”

Nash came to the conclusion that if he could sell his clocks for lower prices than other workshops, everyone would buy his clocks and he would become very, very rich. Nash constantly wondered how to do this.

“How can this be accomplished?” Nash asked himself over and over again.

Nash thought but could not come up with an answer. Then Julien suggested that if all of the parts for the clocks could be bought for less money, then Nash’s clocks could be sold for less than what other workshops were charging. Julien went on to explain that in order to do so they would need to hire a new helper - a special kind who was very smart with numbers. They could help Nash figure out how much less money to pay for the parts.

When Julien finished telling the story to Minjy, she became very excited. Then she asked Julien if he still needed a helper for the numbers. Minjy became even more excited when she learned that a helper was still needed and told Julien that she could help.

Chapter 3

The day was just like any other typical day at the workshop. Everyone was busy building clocks. Some were square and some were round. Some were black and some were white. Some had very large numbers, while others had no numbers at all. Instead, there were twelve markers on the faces of some clocks, each one representing an hour of time. It was a noisy, happy workshop, and all of the helpers were content as they built their clocks.

Nash, on the other hand, was not so happy, even though he was very busy. In fact, he was busier than he had ever been at any time in his life. He would sit at his big desk in his big office and stare at rows and columns of numbers on his computer screen. Nash would concentrate very hard and would spend many hours changing around the numbers, hoping that he could come up with results that would please him. But he could not.

Every day Nash would do the same thing, and he would be angered more and more by the numbers on his computer. He would have to remind himself not to become too angry, for fear that in his wrath he would not be able to hold back the secret that he hid from others.

One day, Julien knocked on Nash’s office door and told him that he had a visitor. That visitor happened to be Minjy the robot, who was very excited and a bit nervous to meet Nash. Julien left Nash and Minjy alone to speak.

Nash, looking a bit confused, asked Minjy what she wanted. Minjy explained that she was a robot that could help people with their number problems. Nash listened carefully. A slight, thin smile began to appear on Nash’s skinny face. Then he slyly told Minjy that he didn’t understand what she meant and to explain further.

“Robots understand numbers differently than people,” said Minjy. “If a person has a group of numbers, a robot can arrange the numbers in such a way that would achieve a person’s desired outcome. A person might also be able to do this, but it would take a lot of thinking and a very long time, and errors would likely occur. Not so with a robot.”

Minjy said that she had the ability to process numbers instantly and in many different ways, without mistakes.

“I’m just like a computer, only better!” said Minjy with pride.

Nash was intrigued but skeptical with Minjy’s claim, so he decided to put the robot to the test. Nash told Minjy that there was a problem with his workshop. He explained that the problem was not with the actual clocks that were being built. Rather, it was that people did not want to pay the price he was asking - they thought he wanted too much money for his clocks.

Minjy thought for a moment and then asked Nash why he did not want to charge less money. Nash replied that his clocks were very well made and of the highest quality. The parts were the best and the workmanship was the best.

You see, Nash thought that he made the best clocks in all the land. In order to build them so well, Nash paid more money for the parts and more money to his helpers.

“So, Minjy, what’s your solution to my problem?” he asked.

“Pay less money for parts, pay less money for helpers,” replied Minjy without hesitation.

Chapter 4

Suddenly, Nash’s face turned a frightening shade of red and he angrily snapped at Minjy.

“Are you stupid?” he asked. “Don’t you think I’ve thought about that already? It’s impossible to pay less money for parts or to my helpers. You’re wasting my time. Get out, now!”

Minjy was not fazed or hurt by his outburst. In fact, Minjy did not have feelings that could be hurt. After all, she did not have feelings because robots do not have hearts. Minjy functioned as all robots do, using logic to determine all possible outcomes and having no emotion.

Then Minjy repeated her previous response.

“Pay less money for parts, pay less money for helpers,” she said in a monotone voice.

Nash was dumbfounded.

“I thought robots were supposed to be smart,” he said to himself.

“Listen, Minjy,” he said, “the suppliers who sell the parts to me are very nice people, and the helpers who build the clocks for me are very loyal people. I cannot suddenly say to any of them that for now on I’m paying you less money. That would not be ethical. And besides, even if I wanted to, Julien, my workshop taskmaster, would never let me do such a thing. He is very honest and of the highest integrity.”


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