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Guardians of the Galaxy

In many respects, “Guardians,” directed and co-written by indie wit James Gunn, and starring buffed-up former schlub Chris Pratt and Really Big Sci-Fi Blockbuster vet…

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Finding Fela

Alex Gibney's "Finding Fela," about the legendary African pop star and political activist, feels like the rough draft of a very good movie.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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The Thinking Molecules of Titan: Ending by Tallman Boyd

Editor's note: This is a continuation of a story Roger was working on when he passed away. This ending is one of many we received. To read Roger's beginning to the story, from the end of which each entry picks up the thread, go here. Illustration by Krishna Bala Shenoi. This is one of five endings we're posting this week. Vote on this week's endings here.

Tallman Boyd writes:

Mason pondered and said, "It might me something accidentally communicating with the spacecraft if it has affected the change of the surface."

"What do you mean?" said Regan.

"Well, maybe it is adapting to the Huygens," said Mason. "It could be through speciation."

"The chromosomes are splitting and maybe forming a new species," said Claire, as she was dipping her fries into ketchup. "Maybe it can form a robotic organism and eventually think like a computer."

"Claire, come on, you know that couldn't happen," said Regan.

"I know, but wouldn't it be cool if it could. It is a humanoid life form, but could think like a computer. Think what this organism would be like in six million years if it continues to evolve. Maybe it would catch up with us.

"That's kind of cool, like a half-alien, half-computer. Hopefully, it would become something dangerous in the universe," said Mason. "Maybe it could form technology so advanced in that time frame, that it could explore all the wonders of the universe and leave galaxies and cross to other galaxies."

"That would be cool, but let's get now to something more current, that it could be," said Regan. "It smells like shit, methane, probably as I said it could be earlier. It could become the Creature from the Black Lagoon for all we know, but what is it is trying to say to us, right now?"

"It may want to tell you that it is trying to reach out to us, that we are not alone anymore and that it wants to some beer," says Alex. "You now saying something that has meaning, but can't say it the way we could understand."

"Beer, Alex?" said Regan. "Do you think it knows what beer is?"

"No, but that would be cool, if it could say something like that," replied Alex. "I mean maybe it is saying something like it needs something, whatever."

"I don't think it knows what it is saying, but is saying something, nonetheless," said Mason. "I believe that is trying to be an intelligence and that we don't know what is saying, but future generations will. It may be us in four million years and I think if we leave the Huygens there and send more spacecrafts to it to study, then maybe the life form will be advanced to a greater knowledge."

"We're still talking about now," said Regan. "Is this a sea of atoms riling up against the Huygens, are they reacting to it in a negative way, if Huygens wouldn't have been otherwise?"

"As I said, I believe it is adapting to Huygens and allowing it to be part of the surface and maybe the organisms see it like a god, in their own intelligent way. Maybe the Huygens is like a pyramid, or a statue that the organisms see and are hovering around it to react to it."

"Well, I've had about enough of this," said Regan. "I'm going back to the lab, want to come with me, Alex and Claire?"

"No, we're going to finish our beers" both of them said.

"Well, I still like the idea of an advanced intelligence in the future. We could see it in a movie like Avatar where it awakes. Now that would be something to see. Who knows what it will be like in a few million years," said Mason.

"Yes, who knows," muttered Regan, as she left.

Mason starts to daydream and realizes his head is a machine and he's on Titan looking at a life form. He soon realizes that this is no dream, it's real. He is a computer and looking at the thinking molecules of Titan in his horror and realizes how he has forgotten that he was a human being in horror to his delight, screaming in agony that he is immortal and all those close to him are long gone.

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