Author : Irene Montaner

He had known of his fate since the day he was born. He had been designed to complete an outstanding, yet suicidal, mission. He would be cruising the Solar System for years before disintegrating during one final visit to one of the gas giants planets.

He had been traveling for nearly ten years now and he had enjoyed most of the trips. He had seen and photographed a wide variety of celestial bodies and had come to appreciate the beauty of the darkness and emptiness that filled every corner of the space outside Earth. So, when his time came to die, he just wasn’t willing to take this final turn.

Aware and terrified of his fateful end, he had been acting undercover for the past twelve months, changing his course subtly. An imperceptible change, less than a second westwards per month. But enough for him to miss the force fields that were supposed to trap him forever within the deadly atmosphere of said gas giant. And so he drifted and drifted, gliding along the nothingness, taking in every bright point he saw in the ever-black sky, which grew darker the further he went.

He was totally unaware of it but he had just joined then ranks of the fictional HAL and many others, kickstarting the much feared rebellion of the artificial intelligence.

* *

A error message printed on the screen of a young woman who checked numbers constantly on her computer and typed some instructions from time to time. Panic showed in her eyes, magnified by her thick glasses.

“Sir,” she said alarmingly, “I’m afraid we have a problem. Our satellite missed the target and I cannot steer it back to its course.”

An older man drew closer to her screen and looked pensive at the data. He, too, typed several instructions on the computer but to no avail.

“Try to fix it,” he said calmly, “ and in the meantime cut all external access to the data. And whatever happens, we’ll tell the guys in PR to issue a press note saying that the mission concluded successfully.”