A Eureka Moment In Time

Chapter 4

Dr. Tenma stroked his beard and thought. He tried to remember the first time he had laid eyes on Zane Donovan. The whole turn of events flashed back to him in the back of his mind...

Tenma's flashback...

It was almost a decade ago. He was newly married to his wife Hoshie, and his first born son was barely a toddler. He wasn't the head of the Institute of Science back then, just another engineer-scientist working with what then were primitive robots. The science of artificial intelligence was not as advanced as it was now. He had been invited to represent the IOS at a convention being held by Global Dynamics in Eureka. Tenma was one of many scientists in attendance, and there were many students there as well. Zane Donovan was an intern at G.D., assisting one of the guest speakers, a Dr. Kutcher.

Dr. Kutcher had some advanced ideas on AI, and had presented his theories at the event. Tenma remembered it now, he had been so impressed by Kutcher, that he had sought the man out after the event to get some more information out of him. Dr. Kutcher wouldn't delve much deeper into the subject than he had done during his presentation, he explained that much of his work was still theoretical, and hadn't yet been proven. Zane Donovan had done an admirable job assisting the research scientist in his presentation, and Tenma had been impressed with Donovan's own knowledge in AI and robotics. Later, Tenma therefore sought Zane out, and followed him into a computer lab in G.D.'s public research presentation center. Zane was too engrossed in his attention to the computer monitor to notice Tenma, but the Dr. saw what he was doing. Zane had hacked into Kutcher's office computer and had downloaded all of the man's research data. He copied it all onto a USB thumb drive and pocketed it.

Tenma was outraged. Kutcher deserved credit for his hard work, and this sneaky little thief was probably trying to steal it for his own purposes. Tenma left the lab after Zane had finished. He hid in the shadows and waited for Zane to walk out of the lab. Tenma removed a small flashlight like device from his pocket and shined it in Zane's face. The sparkling colorful light dazzled Donovan, leaving him in a trance like state where he couldn't move. Tenma stuck his hand into Zane's pocket and removed the flash drive, which he then put into his own pocket. He propped Zane up against the wall and left him there. Zane would wake up in a few minutes without any memory of what happened after he had left the computer lab.

Tenma forgot about the incident until he was back at the IOS a week later. He sat down in his office chair and felt the bulge in his rear pants pocket. He had intended to throw that thumb drive out, but suddenly his curiosity got the better of him. He inserted the drive into his computer and started to read Kutcher's private research data. It was a Eureka moment for him. What had seemed impossible just a few weeks ago, suddenly made perfect sense. Kutcher was a genius.

Over the next several years, Tenma worked himself ragged trying to perfect his own work on AI using Kutcher's theories and ground work to build upon. Kutcher still had not yet published the results of his research, and Zane had gone on with other projects. Tenma's obsession with robotic AI reached insane proportions, and he spent less and less time at home with his family. Each prototype robot that he constructed got closer to having perfect self awareness and independent thought. He gained respect among his colleagues at the Institute of Science, and was selected as its new head when the now former director retired. However, Tenma's obsession with perfecting robots took a toll on his own life. Hoshie Tenma quietly packed up and left him. Uma Tenma did what he could to raise his son by himself, but his work always won out, and the boy suffered for it.

Dr. Tenma was nearing the completion of what would be his perfect robot. Its AI was a masterpiece, fully self aware, and capable of independent thought and creativity. It was powered by a 100,000 HP fusion power plant and was capable of all sorts of feats of strength and self defense. Its construction would herald its designer's fame. But Tenma's obsession had been noticed by the IOS board of directors, and they feared for his sanity. The board voted to cancel the construction of Tenma's super robot, behind their leader's back.

Just as Tenma was about to complete his project, Zane Donovan had been invited by the IOS to take a look at a problem with a computer engineering project. Zane had accepted the offer because he knew that Tenma was now the head of the IOS. He also knew Tenma was making great advances in robot AI, and he had his suspicions about just how he had been able to do this. He hoped to do some detective work in his free time. Donovan was now a junior programmer at Global Dynamics in Eureka. Zane was on probation thanks to a hacking incident where he had been accused of committing fraud in a scandal involving the stock market. During his brief stay at the IOS he had managed to find out about what Dr. Tenma had been up to since they had last met. Zane saw the results of Tenma's work on AI, and recognized that a good chunk of his underlying theories were the same as Kutcher's unpublished private work. He realized that it was Tenma that had ended up with Kutcher's files, and had put the information to use for his own ends.

Tenma secretly completed the super robot and was powering it up in the lab late at night. Zane had hidden himself in the lab, waiting to catch him in the act. From his hiding spot he could see the robot lying on the operating table. It was merely the size of a young child, not quite yet in its teens. Zane glanced at the robot and at Tenma. Dr. Tenma started the procedures to bring his creation to life. The small robot lying on the work table flinched and slowly opened its eyes. It lifted its body off the operating table, sat up, and slowly attempted to stand on its own two feet. Tenma called to the android.

"Come here son." The child like android then slowly walked toward Dr Tenma. Tenma picked the robot up and carried it over his shoulders out of the lab.

Zane waited until Dr. Tenma had left the lab before he removed himself from his hiding spot. Something seemed rather strange. Why was Tenma's super robot constructed in the form of a young boy about the same age as Tenma's own son? Before leaving the lab, Zane made use of the computer to do a quick search. He looked for any data on Tenma or his family, and struck pay dirt in the form of a police traffic report involving a fatal accident. He also found a death certificate that matched the victim in the accident report.

It was obvious to Tenma that the board of directors at the IOS would press for his removal as the head of the institution. There was no way he could hid the completion of his super robot project, the power he had just used to activate the android had already been recorded by the power plant. It was a risk that he had needed to take. He decided to make a fresh start elsewhere rather then face dismissal by the board of directors, and possibly ruin his reputation. Tenma thought over his options and sent his resume to Dr. Fargo at Global Dynamics. He wasn't too surprised when he was contacted for an interview. If they would hire a thieving punk hacker like Zane, they would certainly offer a high position to a man with his credentials, even if he had left with a small black cloud over his head. It would be necessary for him to hack into the medical examiner's computer to remove some reports, and to cover up a few of his tracks here and there.

Tenma took his super robot with him under disguise. His mind was still under stress from the grief that he had been through with the loss of his family, caused by his obsession for his work. He vowed to make a change in his life in Eureka, but he also wanted to show the fools at the IOS that he had been right all along. That would take some time, he had to carefully set things in motion. The people at Global Dynamics would accept him. It would work out.

Zane Donovan competed his brief assignment at the IOS, and returned to Eureka. Upon his return, he did his usual hacking to find any unusual activity going on at G.D. and discovered that Dr. Tenma was being offered a position to head up the robotics group that Dr. Fargo was putting together. Zane would be ready for him when he arrived at Eureka. (End of Tenma's flashback)

Tenma looked up at the clock. My God, he'd been day dreaming. It was nearly time to meet Tobio at school. He wanted to be there when the boy had finished class for the day. Too much was riding on everything going perfect with him. Tenma walked out the main door of the G.D. main building and started walking toward the Tesla school.

Tesla School

The Tesla school provided the perfect environment for its scholars. Each day was divided into three two hour periods, with an hour for lunch. Classes were an hour and forty five minutes long, with fifteen minutes for the students to transit between classes, with some time to access their lockers. The class load each student would carry each semester would on average be five to six academic classes, and one or two extras. Each class would meet between one to three sessions a week.

Tobio found himself enrolled in classes in history, math, science, philosophy, and art. He was also required to take one session of physical education ("gym") each week. Today, he was introduced to his math, science and art instructors. He quickly became the "teacher's pet" in both his math and science classes, he came up with the answers to all the questions the instructors popped to the class before anyone else.

The art class was a different story. The boy seemed to have no idea at all what art was about. The class was asked to draw free hand using pencils, their interpretation of a vase with flowers sitting on the teacher's desk. Tobio's drawing resembled an X-ray view of the plants, showing all of the functional parts. His details were correct, but he failed to catch the beauty of the flowers.

When the three o'clock bell rang to signal the end of classes for the day, Tobio was almost glad that his first day of class was over. He was even happy to see his father waiting for him outside the school.

"So how was your first day at school, Tobio?" Dr. Tenma asked the boy.

"Math and science were a blast. Art was a drag. I just don't understand what it's all about." Tobio said looking down and scuffing his red boots along the sidewalk.

"There is more to life than just being smart, Tobio. You need to understand beauty, art and music. Thats the stuff that makes being human different that other forms of life." Tenma told him. "Please try to understand the world around you so you can see the beauty in it, then you will understand art."

The two of them walked back to Tenma's office at Global Dynamics. You'll stay with me for a few hours and we'll go home together, OK Tobio?" Dr. Tenma said.

"Sure dad." the boy answered.

Global Dynamics

Dr. Tenma and Tobio entered the G.D. building and were immediately confronted by Zane Donovan. The computer wizard smiled as he looked down at Tobio.

"Hello son," Zane said affectionately, reaching out to pat the boy on the shoulder.

Tema pushed Zane's hand away before he could touch the boy.

"I think that answers my question." Zane smiled.

Tenma reached into his pocket and withdrew a flashlight like device. Before he could point it at Zane, the savvy nerd had taken a pair of sunglasses out of his shirt pocket and put them on. Tenma shined the colored beam of light at Donovan, but it had no effect.

"The cross polarized lenses in these glasses render your L.O.O.K.E.R. Device ineffective, doctor. Otherwise, its an interesting bit of technology. At one setting, it renders a person in a trance like state for a period of time, in another setting the device leaves one open to suggestions." Zane laughed walking away.

"Tobio, I need you to avoid that man whenever possible. He will be trouble for us." Tenma told the boy.

"Is he a bad person?" Tobio asked.

"In a way. His intentions are quite selfish. He will do everything he can to prevent us from fulfilling our destiny." Tenma answered.

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