Monday, April 16, 2012

Notes from the Mad Science Lab: Scruffy 2.0

A while back, as you may or may not recall, my neighbors' dog Scruffy managed to dig his way into the vents for the crypto-zoo. This was a costly mistake for him, since Cuddles or one of his friends found the dog shortly after his landing.

However, I couldn't simply leave it at that. Out of the goodness of my heart - well, okay, in order to avoid any troublesome public accusations and possible legal action - I cloned Scruffy and sent him home. Since I didn't want a repeat of the incident - well, okay, and because I can't resist tinkering - I gave Scruffy 2.0 human-level intelligence, so I could explain his situation and tell him to stay away from my yard. Well, okay, I gave him my idea of human-level intelligence... that is to say, close to my own, and outstripping his nominal owners by several orders of magnitude.

Well, guess what? Today Scruffy dropped by my yard again. And he dug down just far enough to trigger my alarms. (I added them after his progenitor's misadventure, and the dog really shouldn't have known they were there. That he figured it out, I take as a clear tribute to my own skill at genetic manipulation.) He was sitting beside the hole, waiting for me, when I came out of the house.

So I invited him inside. It isn't every day one meets an intellectual equal, after all - and the main house doesn't give away any of my secrets, anyway.

Scruffy wants my help. His opinion of his, erm, "owners" - well, it isn't any better than my opinion of them. He'd been tutoring their ten-year-old son in dimensional convergence equations, until the boy had come and told him that they would have to stop because dogs couldn't talk, let alone do physics. The boy had learned this from his parents, and Scruffy... took offense.

Now he wants my help. He says, to be blunt, that I owe it to him for making him this way. Frankly, I think he ought to be grateful about that, rather than demanding; but it's worth considering that he knows enough to make real trouble for me if he puts his mind to it. And what he's asking isn't so much, really. He says he can take care of the mother and father, and impersonate them well enough that nobody will even notice for years. He's already hacked their computers, so he's probably right about that - and he doesn't need my help for it, in any case. No, what he wants me for is to take over the care and schooling of "his boy" - their son.

That's a bit of a problem. I mean, I already have a son. I don't need two. And I don't particularly need an apprentice, especially one who's younger than most of my minions. Training him, and keeping up with the paperwork for homeschooling, would be a big drain on my time and energy... though I could always create artificial tutors, I suppose.

The alternative is to do away with Scruffy 2.0 before he has a chance to reveal me or to implement his plan. That might be tricky, depending on what preparations the dog has made...

Drat. I should have implanted some sort of tracking/observation device while he was still in the growth tank. Oh, well - too late now. Lesson learned.

Meanwhile, I've asked Scruffy to coax the boy over to my house. If he impresses me, then most of these considerations are moot: I'll teach him, and Scruffy 2.0 can do whatever he feels is necessary. But if he's just an ordinary boy, we're going to have a problem.

1 comment:

  1. You lucked out, you know. Normally when the creations rebel, they go straight to murder and/or mayhem.


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