© 1951 – Alfred Elton Van Vogt
When a very far future super-calculator, almost omniscient and omnipotent, sees, coming from the past, another machine with huge powers, it can only take it for a threat. Then, it ust follow it in his own time to try to nip it in the bud. For this, it will try to enlist some frail creature known as “humans”, to penetrate in which they call “the Brain”.
But the Brain has its own extraordinary resources and abilities that it will mobilise to oppose its plans. Then a merciless fight engage for the domination of the planet…
Initially published in November 1951 in the magazine New Tales of Space and Time, Fulfillment tells the story of the fight between two entities with almost equal forces. Because they can’t fight directly despite their powers, they have to be more subtle and act with human intermediaries. But those humans have more than one trick up their sleeve and don’t want to be puppets in this gigantic battle whose outcome is very astonishing.
Because even if we understand little by little the motive of the story, it possesses some surprises and we eventually understand why the machine is so lonely in its far future, and why it doesn’t guess the exact nature of its opponent. But I won’t say too much on this subject to not unveil all the plot.
All I can add is that I always take a great pleasure to read this short story, and I encourage you to read it to your turn.
- The story in PDF: Fulfillment