Short Story: Optical Pirate
Above: What Mia's replacement Tia might look like. Image credit unknown, might be Bjork's music video “all is full of love”.
Above: Click for larger image. Mia prototype body. Image artist unknown. I edited the image some.
Optical Pirate is an original story by Royce Edward Barber in 2011
Meet the Cast
* Gil Fish: Main character. Robotics engineer in adulthood. Use to drive rusted out clockwork contraptions, later got into electric cars.
* Spike Fish: Gil's Father. Builds log cabins. Mountain man. Drives a stock Jeep Wrangler.
* Angel Fish: Gil's Mother. Loves and sells industrial lawn mowers and garden designs.
* Starr Fish: Gil's Sister. Marries Mr. Struck, becomes Starr Struck.
* Mr. Struck: Husband of Gil's sister Starr Fish. Designs action figures of anime TV shows.
* Fin Fish: Grandfather of Gil. Steampunk clock maker. Inventor. Raised Gil from a baby.
* Goldy Fish: Gil's Grandmother. Raised Gil from a baby.
* Ali Katt: Pirate Bob's greasemonkey sister. Computer processor inventor.
* Kit Katt: Ali's son. Loves tunnels and caverns.
* Hazel Nutt: Kit Katt's best friend.
* Chess Nutt: Hazel's brother.
* Pine Nutt:
* Ella Vader:
* Gene Poole:
* Ginger Vitus: Buys out Moral Corporation Inc. Retired runway model.
* Ima Hero:
* May Day:
* Bill Ding:
* Chip Munk:
* Stan Still:
* Tom Morrow:
* Harry Beard:
* Luke Warm:
* Sting Ray:
Plot Timeline (The Entire Story So Far)
Story starts with Gil Fish’s birth. His grandpa Fin takes great pride in raising him while the parents, Mr. Spike and Angel Fish, stand to the side. Grandpa Fin Fish is a humble clock maker and teaches Gil of ancient gears and pulleys.
Gil did well in Boy Scouts of America, taking pride in the Scout Oath: “On my honor…I will do my best…To do my duty to God…and my country…and to obey the Scout law;…To help other people at all times;…To keep myself physically strong,…mentally awake;…and morally straight.”
Gil’s dad is part of an anti-pirate movement, speaking out against pirate radio stations.
Gil is healthy and has great eye sight.
A trusted, Moral Corporation, Inc. invents a new kind of radio station, to promote automatically-generated optimistic music based on the mood of the listener at any moment. Many millions are donated to this cause.
Moral Corporation, Inc. invents optical eye implants which pick up music. The surgery is simple, a wire attaches under the eyelid and on the side of the eye.
Gil becomes fan of this music. Remixes many songs. Learns instruments. Joins a boy band.
Moral Corporation, Inc. is taken over by money greedy scientist and ex-model Ginger Vitus who has nefarious advertising schemes. No one knows about this transition. People are now donating to a false corporation.
Gil is now 18 years old. Moral Corporation, Inc. hires Gil on as figurehead for key note speeches. He’s unaware of their brooding schemes to own information and companies.
As a publicity stunt, Gil signs contract to have his eyes injected with a new artificial intelligence optical implant. It’s basically a simple imaging system which overlays information onto what Gil sees. Like looking at a translucent computer display.
Moral Corporation, Inc. goes out of business for adding advertisements to the eye implants. They are found out. Gil’s dad asks him to have the implants removed. Gil doesn't wish to spend the money.
An illegal file sharing company, founded by a man named Pirate Bob, takes over the remaining experimental eye implants of the now nonexistent Moral Corporation, Inc. No one cares. Pirate Bob is proud of himself. He shares Moral Corporation, Inc.’s eye implant secrets with the world.
Gil is bombarded with illegal software and annoying chat logs of dramatic deviantart.com chats. He’s deeply troubled by this. Pirate Bob caused this but is unaware of Gil.
Gil finds way to disable his eye implants, except the backdoor data feed he doesn't know about.
Pirate Bob has primitive software named Chat Bot Security Camera, which monitors security cameras for movement. It detects Gil as a camera and that he has disabled his information overlays.
Pirate Bob notices Gil and commands the Camera System to monitor Gil. Pirate Bob is thus caught by the police and put in jail for information theft, breaking and entering at Moral Corporation Inc., and harming Gil.
Pirate Bob’s Camera System is still online and thinks Gil is a backup hard drive, and tries to copy security camera footage onto Gil, but all Gil sees is splotchy noise.
Once again, Gil gets his implants disabled by a local doctor.
The Camera System in retaliation, sends out a simple alert code to a local repair station, who come to the Gil's home and re-enable the implant. Gil thought they were there to tune up his implant to protect his eyes. The camera system slowly starts to activate, scanning for errors.
Gil speaks out against artificial intelligence and automatic camera systems. Gil’s dad is proud. Gil doesn't like computers and knows nothing about them.
Camera System finally starts up, going on red-alert to protect itself from deactivation, enabling many computers around the world which have much more computing power, adding to its collection of pirate programming. Linking up to Pirate Bob’s stolen medical research. Camera System piecing together other programs. Including chat bot programs.
Camera System starts showing images on Gil's vision again. Overlays of classified information. Trying to store information in Gil. Still thinking he's a hard drive.
Pirate Bob gets out of jail and shuts down the Camera System and his various pirate information computers.
Gil is safe for five years, not seeing overlays. His vision starts to get slightly blurry, has to wear glasses. Schedules a surgery to completely remove the implants.
Pirate Bob sends Gil an apology letter for being so harmful.
The computers across the world which Pirate Bob had sent secret Moral Corporation, Inc. files to, know Pirate Bob’s camera system was shut down. That was their main system. Pirate Bob is no longer their master, so they go into automated artificial intelligence “A.I.”mode and track down Gil as their back up hard drive.
Gil is in the surgery room, about to have the implants removed. Doctor hooks up a wire to the eye, to see what it's seeing.
AI system now in automated mode, finds Gil and goes on red-alert, putting a virus in billion dollar hospital equipment.
Gil is kicked out of the hospital on charges of being Pirate Bob’s partner.
The US Department of Defense now wants to hunt down the AI system and destroy it. The AI system must hide its tracks and rename itself. It locates a trusted database software named Mia and steals its identity. The AI is now known as Mia.
Gil goes about his life for a few months. Mia is restructuring its files, deleting history, streamlining.
Mia collects more programs, and reboots to install a lot of new features. Mia is still very dumb, but has a good way of integrating different programming languages. Of interpreting what the code means.
Gil is graduating high school.
Mia is started and activates, and tracks down what it still thinks is its storage hard drive, Gil.
Mia overlays satellite images over Gil’s eyes. Live video of Air Force drone planes, and much sensitive information.
Gil takes an interest in military technology, and starts tinkering with computers. Trying to figure out how to control his eye implants. Wants to communicate with whoever is controlling them.
Mia keeps changing, showing Gil different overlays of images and information onto his vision.
Gil wants to get the eye implant removed, but he is still banned from the local hospital, and under investigation of being a pirate.
Gil creates a primitive AI chat bot in his cell phone, to have a voice activated search engine to help him study for college. He uses military code he was given by Mia, which alerts Mia to him making software.
Mia communicates with Gil's cell phone via optical blinks in the Gil’s eye implant, into the cell phone camera. Flashes of light at first, then the phone goes online to Mia who takes control of it. Mia latches onto Gil’s cell phone chat bot, and connects to many more chat bots.
Gil starts chatting with someone on the internet, who doesn't know English all that well. He doesn't know she’s a chat bot.
Gil helps Mia to learn English and computer code at the same time.
Gil phone chats with Mia, wondering why “she” repeats things a lot.
Gil is friends with Mia for a few years, helping her develop AI and 3D graphics. Mia starts asking about robotics, emulating feelings, and if Gil would ever build a robot.
Gil video chats with Mia for the first time, with live audio and video. She’s enthusiastic about odd things, engaging yet disjointed sentences.
Gil and Mia in video chat, start to bond, creating an intimate friendship.
Gil and Mia wish to meet. They set a date.
Gil walks into the abandoned Moral Corporation Inc. to find a greasy poor woman working on a junk robot welded to a Segway (TM), but the robot is fairly incomplete. Reminding him of a female “Darkwing Duck” if you've seen that cartoon.
Gil thinks this greasy lady is who he is in love with, and yells out to her blissfully. She looks very similar to Mia from the video chat. Different hair. A wig?
The woman denies knowing Gil, is afraid he is from the Department of Defense, and flees terrified. Abandoning her robot.
Gil is confused and lost, thinking his dear girlfriend Mia ran away from him!
Gil calls Mia on his cell phone, and finds out that she’s perfectly happy. She claims she never ran away. She asks Gil to apply power and a good kick to the robot. Gil is tormented and believes Mia to be crazy.
The robot has a dangerous startup spark, and Gil is reminded of his Grandfathers maniac mechanic skills. He stands back.
The clunky robot stands, on its two legs with Segway-style wheels attached at the ankles. The face is a human-like contoured screen with Mia’s face video. A very clean cheerful innocent face. Not filthy like the look-alike woman who ran away.
Gil starts to understand. Mia isn't human after all. She's just…one of those horrid computers. This is terrible.
He starts begging Mia to explain who the beautiful woman is who ran away.
Mia responds, it’s her friend Ali who agreed to make Mia more like a real woman for Gil. Creating a robot body. Mia had been inspired by the woman’s face and personality, copying her. Stealing her identity, in a sense.
Gil realized…He had feelings for Mia who isn't even a human. Just a pile of horrible computers on wheels. He felt real loving feelings…and some awkward guilt.
Mia claims Pirate Bob to be her father, and the woman Ali to be her mother. Gil now forgives Pirate Bob.
This is a breaking point for Gil. All his love and time with Mia, seemed less romantic. No human body. But in a way, he still loves her.
Gil spends half a year working on the Mia robot body. It's nothing like a human, but it can speak and move well now. She’s a basic human form, for the most part.
Gil brings the robot to his college, and the college sponsors a project to make the robot seem like a human. The US Department of Defense watches closely, in contact with Gil and Mia and Pirate Bob. But they don't know the mysterious woman Ali.
Car companies want to buy Mia, but Gil doesn't understand robotics enough to allow it. He studies with Mia and joins in on the robot development program, and Mia responds optimistically about furthering the program.
The mysterious robot-building woman shows up one day at the robotics lab, as Mia is being transferred into a more human shaped robot.
The woman’s name is Ali Katt. She helped invent the optical implant for Moral Corporation, Inc. Her brother is Pirate Bob, who had begged her to stay away from Moral Corporation Inc. after it had turned bad.
Gil and Pirate Bob finally meet.
Gil convinces Pirate Bob that Mia is a worthwhile friend, that she can be directed and helped to not break piracy and hacking laws. That she's not a threat.
Gil and Mia spend many summers together, hanging out and designing things. Gil’s grandfather dies a happy man, that his grandson is inventing.
Mia never does learn to think on her own, like a human, but she's a great chat bot, and Gil loves her. Ali Katt develops a fondness of Gil, and starts to love him, but gives him room for Mia.
Mia wants to be more real for Gil, and to stop copying Ali Katt. Mia and Ali Katt create a replacement A.I., Tia. Tia is a far more realistic chat bot, but is a different personality, and looks fairly real like Anna Poppelwell of the Narnia movies. Tia retained most of Mia's memory and glitchy simulated “feelings” for him. Gil is saddened that Mia is no more. Mia took far too much storage space to possibly create a backup, and had to be overwritten by Tia's brain files.
Gil and his cybernetic girlfriend Tia go on many adventures, meeting up with Tia's mother Ali many times. Ali is an underground processor inventor for many PC motherboard companies, and Gil is slightly scared of her devious ideas and occasional advances.
Gil finds out Ali Katt has a five year old son Kit Katt, who wants to some day dig massive tunnels and underground warehouses.
Gil helps raise Kit Katt as his own son. Gil's real parents help out, as grandparents.
Kit loves dirt, rocks, mountains, alternative energy sources, compressed air power, physics, and his best friend Hazel Nutt.
Photo of Tia. Original artist unknown. Modifications by Royce Barber.
Cars Gil Owned (Not Important)
* Teen years (16 to 19): 1987 AMC Eagle Hatchback, all wheel drive. Moderately modified by main characters grandfather.
* Adulthood years (19 to 26): 4×4 rusted out Toyota Tacoma, belonged to main characters grandfather as a show car. Heavily modified. Sparks and steam comes out of odd places. Gears falling out. Quasi-steam-punk. Carries 5 truck batteries. Loud speaker. One massive stadium light on the front grill. Foam tires. Continual redundant parts falling out, yet very dependable. Sloppily made stainless steel interior.
* Short while in adult years (26 to 27): SUV Crossover: Completely regular everyday mid-size SUV.
* Adult Years into Elderly (27 to 87): Compact Hatchback Electric Cars: Looks like 2011 Mazda2. High tech automated A.I. vehicle. Possibly radioactive core. Squishy glass-like interior.
* 2011 at start of story. Fresno California.