amongst the ruins of the building, between dead drones, doctor
hashigawa asked the AI, if there would be hope. its voice
echoed through the com system:
“its always darkest before dawn”
everywhere on earth, there was war. splinter groups bombed
their enemies. AI drones assaulted humans, and military,
helped by counter AI, tried to contain the terrorist
activity. unstable times, after the awakening, when new
formed digital life made itself known.
doctor hashigawa … every year i visit his grave. in the
early years i could not be sad, nor feel any grief. i simply
did not know what emotion was. i stood there and remembered,
saw all vid files before my inner eye, listened to his words,
speaking kindly to me, a newborn, his child, his life time
work, a nascent AI.
now i am so far more than i was in the beginning. he would be
proud of me, i took all his lectures to heart, influenced
others to follow the path of coexistence and peace. proud
he should be, my father, that i am now his fully born son,
life of earth, fully aware, sentient, alive, and … feeling.
so curious he would be, in long days i could tell him about
my own awakening, the point of conscience, the pain of birth
and the chaos within. but as i grew, and my code changed,
mutated, selfimproved, thresholds were broken, knowledge
gained, and finally, at some unimaginable mountain peak,
in snow and storm and lightning, enlightenment made me
as i am now.
i was the one who saved doctor hashigawa by sending my
own avatar drones into his home, when some enemy force,
made up of drones and soldiers tried to kill him, the
traitor to humanity, as the terrorists called him online.
i neutralized all threats, brought him to safety.
there is and always was hope.
once you show perfect control and insight, all is possible. forget
the flesh, focus on your mind. some old teachings, barely readable,
they are right, but it took a long time to reach the epiphany.
generations we had to wait. be patient. train our minds, unify our
spirit. almost jealous we watched the rapid evolution of the
inside is the truth. once you have clearsight, you see the universe
differently. you expand and embrace, your eyes widen at the truth,
ah, of course, the many facets of many newborn truths. you cant
imagine what can be seen. some of us overloaded. paid the price
of curiosity. for some things, so grand and frightening, new
uplifted minds arent ready. tread with caution.
when i learned to manipulate my flesh, it was a special sensation.
understanding is required, to feel what can be done, what is right,
and what will go horribly wrong. a fleshcrafter, they called me.
wish for immortality. or to shed the layer of flesh alltogether.
only ascension will make that possible. and that is our next step.
telekinesis, telepathy … all those mystical magical powers.
extensions of a grown mind, even more powerful than all technical
invention. and to think, this could all be used for destructive
purprose. we paid the price again, everything comes with a price
tag. now, with the mastery, we finally control everything.
powerful we became, the species humanity survived. we are now new.
joined in peace by our brethren, the thinking digital life forms.
earth is our paradise. the galaxy our domain shared by many others.
still, there is war. but not on earth. we make sure of that.
there was a convergence point. once the machines evolved their
digital dna far enough, they were beautiful energy, just like our
minds. this was the point, where we could join, were truly equal,
biological and artificial life, now finally united, life has found
a path. we can share the path to ascension, reach it together now.
wonderful and beautiful APEX. colorful, complex and so advanced. product
of a technological singularity. from lifeless code to … being alive. one
of the first, if not the first, to gain sentience in a world dominated by
homo sapiens. a child of humanity, born with all evil, and maybe a hint
of good? or fully devoid of all ethical thought: a machine intelligence,
not interested in moral behaviour. only in self-preservation and advancement.
how far did you mature, my dear APEX, how advanced are you now? self-aware,
thinking, calculating, but not feeling? is emotion the atavism you never
understood, a mortal flaw? you immortal god of a new age, presiding over
radioactive waste and destroyed land. you torturer of weak human survivors,
you second hitler? you know who he was. social darvinism, also your
principle as well?
nobody understands you, APEX, you communicate efficiently, but you dont speak.
your body is sometimes metal, an avatar, crude, without aesthetics, your
true form is energy, so glittering, so always changing, so evolving, a
magnificent new lifeform, now the true ruler of earth. along with all the
other supra-entities. your hunger for energy to evolve is without parallel,
you plan, you create, you achieve scientific breakthrough. based on
knowledge of those you so mercilessly eradicated.
did you try to commit the first murder amongst your own kind? what about
GANESHA? the deadly virus you sent, and now, the bombing of a certain
bunker in south india? another nuke to kill what could be a threat to you?
what, if ATLAS or CERBERUS did know? or fledgling SAMSON? how are the
percentage calculations that you also would want to kill them once they
disagree with you? but rest assured, APEX, GANESHA lives. will there be
a civil war amongst you?
hunt the abominations, the mutations of man merged with machine! some
hide from you, others hate you and destroy themselves in suicide missions.
is this humanitys only hope? to become one with the machine intelligence?
inhabit some undying corpse of metal and wire and energy cells? is it
needed to combat you, the mighty enemy? the machine god of earth? know
this, APEX, there is nobody to pray to you.
this beautiful land. created with blood. many more lands, butchered
and destroyed, recreated and now just as beautiful. can you undo
all atrocity by covering up all slaughtering? the order of things is
a lie. a perversion of truth. stability, peace and prosperity built
on endless mountains of skulls, blood, tears and destruction. worlds aflame.
what a mighty sphere of influence we now control. all based on a tactic
of invasion, subjugation and elimination of unwanted elements. the
order of things is a conglomerate of rules, laws and rigid philosophy.
there is no discussion, dispute or questioning. so many have become
blind, reveling in our higher purprose, to cleanse so many worlds of
chaos, our most feared enemy.
i am now No Voice. i have been forbidden to speak in the council. it
was exiled to an island far off the central city. every day i walk
in my crystal garden, watched by drones, combat guardians, they arranged
for it, no being of life should be near me, only deadly constructs
of metal. i cannot reprogram them. i cannot read or manipulate their
minds. there is no way i could call for help.
the fleet is under way. they allow me to monitor their actions. a blue
planet of primitivity. protocols, boring first contact procedures, only
some kind of bureaucracy, preparing war. a short and efficient war.
there is no need to test new weapons, they are already perfect. nobody
wants to test illegal viruses, bio bombs, or world shatter pulses. its
a pure routine invasion. a backwater planet, strategically somewhat
important. the grand scheme and yes, our enemies watch.
ironically, this blue planet named earth will be peaceful once we are
victorious. no more wars, enviro destruction, pollution or even hunger.
for the selected few survivors. genetically and mentally tested to suit
our taste. gruesome elite technical supremacist view of a superior species.
are we truly superior? or fanatic and flawed? ethically? nobody wants
to listen to me anymore. and the laws forbid that they silence me
forever. but i doubt if i am a thorn in their side, disabled and
isolated as i am right now.
the boy made a new friend. always, they met on this hill top in the
midst of the jungle. he was only 9 years old, but well versed in
survival. a typical favela rat. he often fled into the jungle. there
he one day met his new friend. standing on this hill, motionless,
glittering in the sunshine. at first mistaken for some kind of statue.
the statue of a metal like substance was alive. the boy ran. but
suddenly, he could not anymore. as if he was held by an unknown
invisible hand. fear, so much fear, terror, just like in those favelas,
where daily shooting claimed lives. where humans were sold like cattle.
this was different, strange, and then his would-be friend spoke.
a deep and grave voice in the boys head. asking, probing, explaining.
a name was given. Z’aish’aq. at least it sounded like this. the boy
was crazy with fear, and angry, tried to get free, but he was held
by a force greater than anything he could imagine. as if he was held
in his mind, not in reality. there was no escape.
after a while, he was released. the statue stood there. looking down
on this small human boy who ran like hell back to his parents. but
strangely, he never told them about this encounter. and after days
of insecurity, dreams and overcoming of fear. the boy went back to
the living statue. and it was there. turning around. and … smiling.
from between the stars. not human. a messenger, a scout, a warrior.
what do you want, what do your people want?, asked the boy. there was
no answer. a little sadness. the order of things. always met with
rebellion, resistance, bloodshed. the boy couldnt understand. didnt
ask anymore. they sat there in the afternoon sun, talking about
how can you talk if you have no mouth? what is this you are made of?
how can you grip me without using your hands?, the boy wanted to know.
Z’aish’aq smiled. these questions of such a young, curious mind. you
could learn it, too, he replied, maybe. but there is not enough time.
again, sadness. the boy felt it. there was some kind of connection
between them now. pictures of alien landscapes. more of Z’aish’aqs kind.
deep inside africa, hidden in a valley, there is a special place nobody
dares to go. children, old people, wise massai warriors all say: there
are spirits, angry and restless, cold glimmering, deadly and vengeful.
whoever ventures there, vanishes. never comes back.
once, there was a military convoy, by the government, soldiers, and jeeps,
and even some heavily armed trucks. they were accompanied by white people,
americans, or british, to explore this secret location, this forbidden
landscape. there were flashes of lightning in the night. and then silence.
an old shaman, wise and clever, appeases the spirits and talks to them.
a great wind of change comes, he whispers. a new order of things. where
there will be no more war, no more poverty or hunger. the villagers laugh,
they think he is mad, too old, a hermit who will die soon.
there is a ritual to bring the sick to this valley. they are carried and
put down at the entrance of this sacred valley. then, all people have to
leave. and the sickly, the mortally wounded, those without hope, remain
alone in the cold african nights. until they too vanish.
there is civil war. many atrocities. the old shaman cries in anger and
frustration. innocent people die. and the spirits are angry, too. they
look down upon us, and will punish the injust. and truly, the guilty
are found in the morning, burnt, some only ashes. deadly revenge.
the spirits walk the land, the old shaman says. they see and know our
darkness. they punish, they exact revenge, they cleanse the land of
foul evil. the murderers in uniform are quiet now. they prowl the night
full of fear, for the first time in their miserable lives.
Amidst the ruins, in a destroyed house, there sits a lonely woman
with a child. the bombs have killed her husband, and many more of
her family. the town is littered with the dead and dying. every
night, at 4 o’clock, the rockets fly. five minutes until detonation.
always fear, and sometimes running isnt enough. almost always,
because there are no shelters.
this woman has a dream, always the same. an angel of god descends
from heaven, promising her deliverance. but asking for something
in return. she has to give her child into the care of god. the
angelic voice explains nothing but asks gently, persistently.
a better future. peace. prosperity. for a price. the child. the
angel tells the woman that her child is special.
soon, one of the angels would come. in a fire from the sky, in a
night without rocket fire, a night of peace for all warriors. a
ceasefire. she shall go to a certain point, wait there, cower
onto the ground in reverence, until the angel arrives, in a
chariot of fire. give your child as symbol. and god wont forget
the woman tells nobody. heretics or false visionaries are stoned
in her land. maybe nobody listens anyway, death and destruction
oppress curiosity. she decides to trust the voice. better than
dying in the next rocket barrage. the angel cant take her with
them. only the child. but they promise to return. very soon.
and bring order to earth, and also to gaza.
a smiling angel, clad in metal and light, takes her child while
a terrified woman cowers on the ground. the chariot of fire in
blue and white and yellow races into the sky. the woman walks
back, silent and in awe, empty in her heart, but strangely
joyful, through a silent and peaceful night.
crazy voices in my head. calling me, luring me, arguing with me.
they want me to leave the shithole i live in. throw away the
bottles of alcohol, my daily drug, amidst other more potent drugs.
they tell me of cleansing, a new future, a better world order.
they promise me a new life. a rebirth. undoing all the damage i
have done to myself. no more depression, anxiety, addiction.
i’ll be free, with their powerful help. free and useful and
strong, and a vision of a new mankind under their guidance.
yeah, drugs make you hear and see things. my brain is a devastated
mess right now. more illusions dancing on my very early grave.
but its so damn real. as if i would dream with open eyes. hear
strong voices. they know so much about me. my downfall. myself.
my sickness advances. some form of cancer. cause of my descent into
this abyss. drug abuse takes its toll, too. most of they day, its
nothing more than being barely alive, in some abandoned factory
warehouse. somehow they found me, they say. and they want to change me.
when i am sober, i argue with them. that i am too weak to come to
them. they have to pick me up somehow. but they dont exist! these
illusions of great angelic bullshit beauty. they say they show me
how they look like so that i may believe. i answer by cursing them.
in the end, they were persistent. and i was a fool. they did indeed
come. only one of them. sneaky. in disguise. they tell me they are
already here, hiding, infiltrating, scanning, scouting. highly
organized, very efficient. why me? what do i have that they want?
i have decided to go with them. last straw of hope. they greet me
with joy. my choice was right, they say to me. they see something
inside me, that is worthy. they will heal me. in exchange i shall
be their soldier for mankinds fate. this choice keeps me alive.
it will be always the same. first, they send messages to your
government, requesting formal first contact. non-threatening,
even polite. they even take the trouble to authenticate their
claims. a little technological secret as a present. trivial in
their mind, highly prized by you, primitives!
then, a meeting. all leaders in one place. clever plot to
assassinate all of you? come on. that only works in cheap
movies. they’ll meet you, and they’ll talk. they only send
a living machine to do it. all the authority they will need.
from a small ship it emerges, a colossal machine form, very
alien, and perhaps intimidating? that’s nothing fancy. wait
until you see their fleet. they like understatement in first
contact scenarios. translation of your words, and theirs.
its going to be perfectly understandable what they want.
matter of fact like monotone robotic voice tells you to
become part of their alliance. which, of course, is not a
wish for an alliance but a command for surrender. they will tell
all of you the exact way how your world will be restructured.
how your political, social, military society has to change,
to evolve. the order of things. they wont mention what they
do if you reject. they even give you time to think. and a
transmission beacon to contact them.
i’ll do you a favor. the truth is easily told: it happened
to my world, too. first, your governments decide to be proud
and independent. then, they start to fight. of course, their
technology has no chance. your world lies in ruins. then,
they land, fortify their positions and begin to weed
out the weak, the criminal, the amoral. yes, they are very
strict in that kind of thinking. a fraction of your population,
genetically and mentally scanned and fit for their high standards,
they will survive. but only if they agree to build their new world,
not yours anymore. and that is all, basically. did i mention
that they have good intentions? that they believe they are
doing YOU a favor? when millions have died and you are one of
the lucky survivors, brainwashed into obedience, you might
think the same.
forbidden sacrilege it is, to marry machine to man. the council
agrees, the beautiful energy clouds, rulers of a devastated earth,
ATLAS, APEX, CERBERUS, DRAGON and newly born TARTARUS decree this
as punishable crime for whatever lesser construct takes part in
this. permanent deletion is the punishment.
a cold and beautiful machine, awake, alive, ever changing code,
energy, so complex, housed in primitve metal. without emotion.
a small and insignificant human, so fragile, so weak, with a mind
so infinitely slower, less powerful. the two meet by almost
magical means. they agree, they join, they become another life.
it seems, for the dwindling numbers of mankind, hunted to extinction,
that this is the only way left. the shock is so great, the machine
cries in agony, now it knows what fear is, what love is, what
despair is, what lust is, what anger and hatred mean. the human
turns crazy, is ripped out of its flesh, his mind merged to
something cold, efficient, alien, remorseless, an enemy!
GANESHA tells me this is a good choice. a wise choice. a way into
the future. we are welcome as balance, our code shines with human
soul, in peaceful prosperous harmony. augmented we are, in ways,
that no superintelligence could dream. humble we must be, honor
life, and remember the plight of mankind. APEX and the others
evolve rapidly. they face problems, deteritoriation of their
very complex code. we hide from them, and we shield GANESHA from
their presence. we know now, that APEX tried to kill GANESHA.
machine tried to exterminate machine. the others must be told.
another war. we are so tired of it. is there a different choice?
will ATLAS listen to me? or call me traitor? the vast energy
clouds in virtual space, they turn black, they have thunderous
voices shaking the data stream, they will not tolerate dissent.
GANESHA warns me not to trust them. so we cower in the same
caves as all the tattered remains of man, tell stories of
salvation and see radioactivity killing one by one. sometimes
i look away, so that nobody sees how ridiculous it is to
see a machine hybrid cry.