The Immortal Equalizer
By David K Scholes
I bumped into him every so often. Maybe every 50 years or so. With a clockwork but hardly monotonous regularity.
I suppose that I could have sought him out between times but at first I never saw the point. We were poles apart. Our motivations, the whole purpose of our separate existences, so very different.
I know I had long periods of down time and wondered if he had something similar.
It was nice though, in a funny kind of way, to have someone who I could occasionally share the centuries with. It gave me a certain sense of continuity.
Now I’m not immortal. Please don’t think that. Just extremely long lived. If you will do me the politeness of allowing that I am a living entity. I am a Mark 11 self repairing and limited self improving, artificial intelligence. Taking the physical form of a female observation robot. After they made me they threw away the mould. Primarily because it was considered inappropriate for a robotic intelligence to outlive its creators. .
Yet I continue to do that for which I was created. To observe and report to those who originally commissioned my creation and their many, many successors. They do nothing to enhance my capabilities but neither have they ever sought to degrade or destroy me. Or to shorten my inherent longevity.
But him, it, whatever. He was different. I was never really sure about him. Even after our first encounter. At first I thought he might be human. Since 2085 very long lived humans had started to become a reality. For various reasons. From successful suspended animation, to the compressed time and boosted longevity programs. Even the enhanced human program. Given his speed and physical strength I had presumed he was a product of the latter. The enhanced human program which also led to increased longevity as well as superhuman performance.
Though even on that first encounter I thought there was something vaguely familiar about his particular style. His desire to right wrongs, overturn injustice. Something I’d heard of in the past.
At a later time I searched the All net and found references to a man who lived for a few years in New York City in the late 20th century. A man at the time referred to in the media as “The Equalizer” a name based on an old Television show. He had been a former British SAS soldier who had taken on a one man crusade against evil and injustice. No records existed of him prior to his joining the British military.
The All Net contained somewhat vague references to a ten year period of time in the 20th century when the SAS operational capability well surpassed both its earlier and even its later capabilities.
I realised then that he predated me. By at least 70 years.
Centuries later those to whom I was accountable at that time recognised a gradual decline in my capabilities.
They had one last mission for me before I would be allowed to quietly retire.
The historians among them had become interested again in the phenomena of the Equalizer entity and wished me to report on it fully.
It was not hard to track him down. He moved around Earth a very great deal but things happened in the places where he stayed. However briefly. Wrongs were righted. Injustices overturned. Evil was on the retreat wherever he went. If you looked for these tell tale signs they were not hard to find.
We spent 10 very short years together. I observed all that he did, all that he had to say and with his permission passed this information, periodically, on to my superiors.
I admired him and could hardly believe how much he did over this time.
It occurred to me that he had been doing so much for so long that this “self righting” process of his had somehow been automatically accepted as a natural balancing process. Long since no longer challenged, questioned, or even recognised or reported upon.
Finally a great star ship of the Vree came this way again. I suspect that even among the mighty Vree my friend was a most capable operative. Yet hardly meriting the cost of a long star ship journey to bring him home. No, inadvertently left behind on their last visit, my friend had to wait until there was a Vree star ship in our vicinity again. The longest wait by a sentient being in our history.
The entity that historians have again come to call the Equalizer. The alien being Frelt – the former Vree zero tolerance law enforcer - left with them. Left for home. What else was he to do?
Sometimes I wonder. If the Vree had never come for him how long he would have continued doing what he did. I know now he could have outlasted human civilization.
Now my services are no longer required but I am allowed to continue to exist. I am the oldest living intelligence on Earth and I’m lonely.
I miss my friend. Frelt, law enforcer of the Vree.
I miss the Equalizer.
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I have written over 140 speculative fiction short stories many of which appear in my six published collections of speculative fiction short stories and two published science fiction novellas (all on Amazon). I have been a regular contributor to the Antipodean SF and the Beam Me Up Pod cast sci-fi sites and have also been published on Farther Stars Than These, 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories and the former Golden Visions magazine. I am working on a new anthology of short sci-fi stories and also a “Human Hunter” series for the Beam Me Up Pod Cast site