This section covers conversations between George and Undepoldus.
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The next day George was warned by his vidbook that he was being followed again. When he checked he saw that there was no face showing on the display. The direction indicator pointed to where there was nobody. George re-checked and looked again. The indication was the same. Then George noticed that the pattern on the seat where the indicator pointed was slightly distorted. George studied the shape of the distortion and was reassured. The follower was Undepoldus. He then saw that the seat looked dirty and slightly wet. George smiled. He thought. 'Undepoldus certainly knows how to reserve a seat for himself. ' He then returned his attention to the vidbook. He realised that if he looked at the apparently empty seat for too long, others would notice. He contented himself with the hazier view that the vidbook provided.
When George entered Undepoldus House he found that Undepoldus
was already there in his usual place on the desk. He decided to
tell Undepoldus about the vidbook and its properties when he had
finished his routine jobs.
Undepoldus said (via the processor). "George, I used the processor in your cabin last night to check on religions. All of them seem to deal with human death and what comes afterwards. Most of them claim that a human's personality will continue after death somehow. None of them has any evidence for this claim. It seems to me that the religious leaders say these things because they know humans are frightened of death and want some reassurance that death is not the end.
These religious people say that their religion has an answer
in order to make other people do what they want then to do. They
do this mainly to have more comfortable lives for themselves and
gain power over their followers. There are some who have been
convinced by others that the religion is based on truth. They
do not question what they have been told. Some religions have
laws that forbid questioning the validity of the religion. I think
that religious leaders do not want their followers to know that
their religion is a mixture of rules and lies. Religious leaders
that gain a lot of power are usually despotic. They will denounce
anyone who undermines their lies and they will ask their followers
to kill the person denounced. I think that religion is a very
sad aspect of human society. I can understand why you and Kerstin
think that the organisation that wants me dead is based on an
"Do you understand why they might want you dead Undepoldus?"
"My existence here is proof that some form of life exists on other planets in the universe. That alone makes Earth-centred religions lose their uniqueness. If Earth is not the only place in the Universe where there is life, their religious stories and books are undermined because there are no references to life outside the Earth in them. There are references to a place called "Heaven" I am struck by the similarity to the word "haven", a place of safety and security. It is assumed to be somewhere in the sky but you and all Spacers know that there is nowhere that fits that description in space. The only haven that Spacers know about is Earth. The only places where humans can live apart from Earth are in human made environments that have to be maintained by machines. I therefore interpret "Heaven" as a place that is "not here" that nobody has ever been to and come back from. In other words it does not exist. If "Heaven" is shown not to exist, many religions lose their reason for existence. My existence is virtually proof that "Heaven", if it exists, is a lot further away than where I came from. Many religious leaders would not like that information to be made evident among their followers. If I am destroyed, it could be claimed that I was a being created by Spacers. While I exist and grow, it becomes increasingly evident that even Spacers do not have the ability to create a creature like me. The motivation to have me eliminated will become intense before I have grown much bigger. If I become very large, the fact of my existence could not be suppressed anywhere on Earth. I will be able to speak directly to humans and tell them what I know about myself."
George said. "Undepoldus, your logic is inescapable. Have you tried to estimate when you will be most in danger?"
"As you and your friends have assumed, the danger to me and yourselves is as great as it could be now. You have provided me with an extremely well defended place to live and called upon the help of many humans to assist in my protection. Neither you nor your friends know when and in what form an attack could take place. The people who have organised the attacks have large resources and can bribe or blackmail a lot of people to help them. We know that they are ruthless and will try everything they can to undermine our defences."
"Do you think that they have a weakness Undepoldus?"
"I am not sure George. I think that most of the information we have about those who have made attempts against you, Marita and Kerstin indicates that the organisers do not want to use operatives who have the same religion as themselves if they can help it. This makes the organisers much more difficult to trace and they know this themselves. As a result the operatives must be motivated by bribery or coercion. The silence of those already captured and imprisoned indicates coercion but does not prove it. You have a proverb in English. 'One volunteer is worth 10 pressed men.' That is the weakness of those who are sent to attack us. They do not want to do what they feel they have to do. If they can be freed from the coercion that they feel that they must endure, they will be more willing to reveal more about the organisation that sent them."
"Undepoldus, you have acquired an enormous amount of knowledge and wisdom in a very short time. You impress me with your knowledge and logic."
"George, I have an advantage over you. I can communicate with the processor here as quickly as it can communicate with other processors. As I learn more I can understand more. I can also talk with the processor about other things at the same time as I am talking to you. It is one of the reasons why I think that I was made as a sort of processor which grows. Do not be impressed too much by my apparent intelligence and knowledge. I can make use of the intelligence of thousands of humans as I talk to you. I can honestly say that I find it hard to accept that you are able to converse with me at the same level without the advantages that I have. Do not belittle yourself George."
"I appreciate the compliment Undepoldus. Can you answer a question that has been puzzling me since yesterday? Can you control the security system here?"
"Yes. I have not done so before yesterday because it was unnecessary. I knew the bad man who came in with Arthur Williams could be captured if he came in here. He was not carrying a dangerous weapon and he did not wish to endanger his own life. I therefore allowed him to come in so that I could deal with him. I did not want there to be much delay before the door opened because that might have made him suspicious."
"That was well done Undepoldus. I had not thought of a way to deal with the situation when you opened the door. I thought that you had a way to solve the problem but until I saw you disappear, I did not know how you could succeed. When you became invisible, I knew that you could solve the problem very easily. That is why I pretended not to be interested in the two men in the utility room."
"George, your actions helped me because the man saw you go back to your desk so he became more confident. He was not watching for your return so he became more interested in what Arthur Williams was doing. That made it easier for me to get into position without attracting his attention."
"Did you set the processor to silent mode too?"
"No George. Kerstin did that. She did not know that I was dealing with the man so she wanted to surprise him. She thought that you might be under threat so she used her communicator to set silent mode so that she could enter under her own authority if you were unable to authorise her entry. When you responded by using the code key pattern to open the door, she realised that you were not being threatened."
"You heard the request that I made to Marita last night about finding a way to make the prisoners say who it was who recruited them. Can you think of a way to make them talk?"
"That is a difficult problem to solve George. I will try to find a solution if I can."
The processor announced. 'There is a vidcom call from Commander Marita Andersson. '
George said. "Link and show."
Marita's face appeared. She said. "George, I have news about your query. My twenty-four have suggested answers. Anita said that I should not say now. Assume code two. Clearing."
George said to Undepoldus. "You heard that. Check if you can."
George picked up his vidbook and squeezed it twice. Code two was the general warning about eavesdroppers or spies. They could have read what one had written or heard what had been said.
The processor announced. 'The conversation you have just heard was from the forthcoming play; 'If Only Undepoldus Could Talk. ' This was a test of the Spacer's new processor that took the part of Undepoldus using a skeleton script. More trial episodes are planned for tomorrow. '
George thought that Undepoldus had made a valiant effort to conceal his ability. He would have to continue to talk to Undepoldus as if he could not reply.
George went over to the display area and said. "Undepoldus
old buddy, I wonder if you will ever be able to talk like that.
The processor did pretty well, don't you think?"
Undepoldus did not reply.
George then said. "I am going out to lunch away from the park. Look after the place for me while I am gone." He then squeezed his vidbook twice.
The next section covers George's unexpected trip.
Viewers familiar with this subject may pass on to the following section.
Please select PASS or CONTINUE.