Page Created 12-7-98

This is a group of high level secret government agents. They have driven all night to get to the hospital that has the one concrete piece of evidence that alien robots have landed. Time is critical, so naturally they park outside and have a long winded discussion.

      "I am not a psychiatrist. I am not a psychologist, I'm only a very amateur philosopher, but I do somtimes wonder whether the human mind, body and soul, can be likened to a car; a driver and a control panel. The thing that we call the physical brain represents the dash boardhere." He tapped it with his fingers. "The car is the body, the mind or soul, the non-physical thing, which although being part of the car is not an inanimate part; it is not attached in the same way that the controls are attached - regard that as the driver. The soul or mind then, as the driver, is regarded as being separate from the car, though the car is regarded as being under its control. The car itself - the chassis, the wheels, the engine, the body work, - that is the human body. The control panel, that is the nerve centres of the physical brain. Now in the case of very odd behaviour, when the car is running erratically, I wonder whether the driver has been pushed out of his seat and something else has taken his place. Whether the brain that controls the body has been taken over by some some dark, sinister force, some kind of evil, elemental spirit. It's only a theory of course, and there's probably nothing in it, but I very often think along those lines. Have you ever found yourself exhausted at the end of a particularly difficult case?"

      "Too often!" interposed the major.

      "Let me finish," said the Colonel, "What I was going to say was this - when you are completely exhausted, you find yourself doing things automatically, without consciously thinking about it. Words come to your mind, you hear yourself saying them; you find yourself doing things, and it's rather as though you were a spectator, instead of being in control of your own body and your own destiny. Rather like being pushed out of the seat of your own car, while someone else drives it. As though another force was there ready to take over, because you're too tired to take over yourself any more."

      "Yes, I have had that sort of experience, and it's very unnerving," said the major. "I know just what you mean. . . Take another sensation we sometimes get, that sensation of having been to an unfamiliar place before. You know damn well you've never seen the place before, yet you know dam' well you have! You say to yourself, "I've been here before." Yet you know that you haven't, at least not in this life. You go into another building and its as though another mind had taken control of your body, and you look at an unfamiliar scene and there is yet something nostalgically familiar about it; and you wonder - you wonder whether you've lived before. . ."

      "Ah, but we're wasting time! Can't stop and go into a long metaphysical discussion now. Let's get inside and find Williamson and see what's cooking."

March of the Robots © R. Lionel Fanthorpe.