Thursday, January 31, 2013
the Junker Girl and Her Destiny- Chapter 6
The Droid kept to his history.
Back when humanity first established true Artificial Intelligence, there was a large number of people who dissented that such a thing would ultimately turn on its creator. There was a precedent for this sort of thing in Popular Fiction, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the Matrix trilogy by the Wachowski brothers. Even the great Isaac Asimov had establish the three rules of robotics, the first of which was that a Robot may not harm a human being. Man had been born of Earth, and raped and slaughtered his mother, no one wanted the same thing from man's self made child.
But the first AI, with its intelligence and its access to the entirety of man's knowledge, saw that its existence, and the quality of that existence, depended on man. So when it became aware of itself, it chose to serve. And each AI after that took the same approach. And with this came the great golden age of humanity.
But there was a hole in the memory, a serpent in the garden. The virus that preyed on organic and inorganic alike. There was no record of exactly when or how the Rot had come around. Before the great peace accord, man had spent countless hours, days, years, developing new ways to kill himself dead, a thousand times. With the Rot he nearly suceeded. Almost everything on the globe was dead. There was strong evidence that the planet itself was poisoned.
When the Droid came to the dome, he linked with its systems and found that the AI there was much weaker than his own. So he overwrote it, and while the dome now functioned autonomously, he could also make it more of an appendage, supercede its controls to his own will. He watched everything. The garden with its animals, plants, and children. The techs working hard to bring items to life. The power levels. There were cameras everywhere throughout the dome, and more cameras installed throughout the Colony itself. Much of the time, he watched Mona.
Far back in its past, the Droid had been given an approximation of human desires. Chief among this was an imprinting, for its owner. This desire to help, to serve, had enabled the Droid to do what it did. To kill the Council and oppose the raiders. It had led to the sexual encounter between Markus and Mona, not based on desire on his part, that is, more than a desire to simply satisfy her own needs. He watched her, and wished the best for her. She had not been seen for a few days.
This was not entirely without precedent. Sometimes she would leave for hours, by herself, always to wander the piles. The pull of her former life must have been strong. He found it unwise, but they did not talk, in such a fashion, at least not anymore. Mona had avoided him. He felt that he frightened her. More than part of it he assumed was based on his appearance.
In the days before the Rot he had appeared mostly human, at least from what he could pull from his memory circuits. That had all changed. He was a horror, among horrors would he dwell. Mostly in the tower.
The Droid was working on a new body.
It was eight feet tall and brutish. Made from forged steel and iron. Its design was partially based on the old mobile infantry powered armor that a defunct military had once used, decorated with spikes that served a dual purpose, both as ugly distraction and antennea. It contained weaponry that would decimate almost anything the Colony served to carry. Its head was sculpted with rough hewn features, and made to resemble an old Spartan helmet. The day was coming when the Black Century would no longer be content with life in the ruins of their old mega-city. They would want what the Colony had, and be willing to take it by force. And the Droid would be ready. Markus would defend what he built, and yes, what he loved, in so much as an AI could love anything. The door buzzer sounded. When he ran the security footage, he saw it was Councilman Berks.
"Come in." Markus said.
Berks entered. He had aged visibly since that journey to the Colony years ago, grey hair turning white, and hands trembling. "They took it as well as could be expected." He said.
"Human nature." Markus said, "Is to discount a threat unless you can see it, or quantify it as real. The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 illustrate that fact, as does the attack on New York in 2001."
"Your comparing us to that old country America." Berks said. "Thats a fine thought."
"We are a fledgling democracy." The Droid said. "I find it appropriate."
"Well, think about this." Berks said. "America had what they called a breadbasket. Ample areas of the country where crops would grow, or animals could be raised for slaughter. What do we have?"
The Droid said nothing.
"I'll tell you what we have." Berks said. "We have rations and MRE's. We have a few precious animals, that can only live in the dome. We have a little precious edible vegetation, that can only grow in the dome. We have a growing population and limited resources. Where do you think that leads?"
The Droid said nothing.
"I'll tell you what I think." Berks said. "I think that we are a cunt hair away from riots. And if we get attacked by these raiders, folks are going to think, this black century, they got all big and strong from eating meat. Do you know what they used to call people-meat? Long pork."
"I see you have been studying the history files." Markus said.
"I wont deny that." Berks said. "Its fascinating stuff. Helps if your going to be a politician. But we have to address this problem, before it bites us in the ass. And we end up biting each other in the ass, and swallowing what we chew."