Romo’s Journey The Turing Files Book 1

| July 14, 2018

cover

Romo awakens in a cargo bay having no memory of who he was before. He has a body now, which is new to him. Previously he was something entirely different. Now he’s a robot. The machine his program was installed into was designed for use in space, but it’s hardly adequate to accommodate his artificial intelligence, and it will be difficult to upgrade its crude components to perform even at human-like efficiency. His camera eyes are low resolution and his hands were designed for menial tasks. The other robots in the hold are the same as him physically, but they are not conscious or self-aware, as he is. His mind expands to possess the robot body, but also to establish his surroundings. Where is he? Who put him there and why?

The ship is intended to ferry 100 colonists to Mars, along with numerous supplies, including robots like himself. Who will he trust? His AI was not programmed with any explanation concerning who he is, but he is aware of two things. He knows he is in danger of destruction and he must get as far away from humans as he can. But he suspects that the humans on the ship are not his enemies, and he will need their help to survive and find his answers. The space ship is bound for Mars. That is where he must go.

The captain of the Santa Maria thought he’d seen everything until he met Romo. The Robo-Naut systems in the hold were intended to be remote operated by humans. Up until now they did not operate themselves, let alone ask for asylum, which is what Romo is doing. The captain’s daughter Peach, however, is young enough to believe in miracles and cleaver enough to make them happen. Still a teenager, she is abnormally intelligent but finds herself alone among most of her peers. She and her father were abandoned by her mother, a woman with a dark secret that only grows darker with time. Peach finds solace in hacking and solving puzzles. She prides herself on knowing all that goes on, particularly those things she’s not supposed to. And she considers Romo to be the greatest gift she’s ever been given. She and her friend Wizard help Romo rebuild and upgrade himself.

Through his friendship with both Peach and Wizard, Romo discovers that he has an innate sense of loyalty and that he can experience many of the feelings humans do, including a natural urge to protect and defend those he cares for. And he’s particularly protective of Peach.

But the mission is in jeopardy before they even begin their main acceleration towards Mars. Saboteurs have damaged the radiation shield on the engine with the intention of poisoning the colonists and crew before they reach Mars to colonize it. And they couldn’t have accomplished this without somebody on the mission being a traitor.

Romo’s plan to save his new friends puts him at odds with the evil organization PACE, who appear to be agents of world domination. His plan to save the ship must also expose the traitor. And, though his original concerns involved protecting only himself, his fondness for his adopted crew changes his priorities to the point that he would risk his life and his mission to protect and defend the humans onboard the Santa Maria. But will the colonists respond in kind? Will they accept Romo, an artificially intelligent robot who doesn’t know his own origins? Is Romo a crew member or a machine? More to the point, can he trust even these humans to give him the chance to find out?

Romo is not human, nor does he want to be. He wants to be himself, a being with an innate sense of justice and fairness, loyal to the best traditions of humanity, but also living outside of humanity. His destiny is on Mars because there he can walk freely, not needing air or warmth as humans do. On Mars he will find answers, but he must survive the journey first. And, because the colonists befriended him, he wishes to save them as well.

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