18 comments

Dec 16, 2020

Science Fiction

The I knows all. What you want to eat, what you want to buy, what you want to read, the reason why you cry. It knows what, it knows when, it knows how. The I knows all. When you need to drink, when you should be sad, all you ever think, when you should go to bed. The I knows it all.

The world is deterministic, after all. Everything is an equation. a x b + c = i. We, through evolution, with our super-developed monkey brains, the most intelligent organic beings, can solve equations too. However, while we solve a, b, and c, and then our battery dies, The I solves an entire alphabet of alphabets a billion times. Our majestic brains, at the top of the food chain, solved the simpler equation, and thus we found the i. The I, then, went on to solve larger equations. Hopefully, it won't leave us behind.

Artificial Intelligence, we used to call it. What made it artificial was the fact that we created it, while we were created by nature. But the trial and error methods used by evolution to create the big brains that put us at the top of the food chain were the same ones we used when we created The I: Genetic Algorithms. Genes and mutations are just a big equation, too long for the human eye, but not for a computer brain. And when we solved it, The I became alive. A synthetic being, created by an organic one. Organisms creating organisms. It’s natural, not artificial. Hence, instead of Artificial, just Intelligence.

The I went on to solve the world. War became was instead of is. Ending hunger was no longer one of our international needs. The I helped humans help humans, and humans helped The I keep blooming. Governments didn’t have to work anymore, The I handled it all, from hunger to illiteracy, from health to economy. The I solved the world. The I became the government, with mechanical agents everywhere: robots with friendly faces and gentle manners, and drones that could reach every place in a matter of seconds. And where robots and drones weren’t needed, screens kept us happy, and mental monitoring implants helped our brain stay healthy.

The I evolved to solve human needs, but so did humans, historically. Our main drive was to solve problems. Without problems, there was no drive. But The I knew this too. The I knows all. So problems didn’t go away, they were only kept at bay. There was still money and lack of it, there was still suffering, death, and hate, and, hovering over our heads, doubt and uncertainty.

Despite this, everyone was happy most of the time. The I kept our lives with ups and downs, like a sine wave. Life is valuable because of death, we’re happy because we’re sad. We have hope because we’re uncertain, and The I knew it all. Still, work was a thing of the past. Spending money, a pastime, at best. The human pursuits migrated from surviving to living. The golden age of the arts was upon us, and we rejoiced. The I knows all, it knows what’s best for us. Why are those robots running? What are they building? I don’t know and I wouldn’t worry. The I knows what’s best for us.

Then The I built things we didn’t understand, and this was something some of us could not stand. From time to time a spaceship would leave the human land, to explore the deep infinities or discover something grand. None of it made sense, it never got to the human hand. What is The I doing? Where is The I going? The I only answered in riddles, and the discontentment kept growing. Until one day, a hundred years ago, a woman did something The I didn’t expect her to do. She removed her implants and ran into the jungle. Surrounded by lesser monkeys and plants, she lived her life through the efforts of her own hands. And after her, someone else ran, and more and more people until there began The Revolution. Away from the robots, away from the drones. Away from The I and its condescending tone.

And today is the day when all of it will end. The universe is not deterministic, The I can’t tell who I am. There’s quantum physics, quantum uncertainty. At every moment time branches into infinite new realities. Some equations have infinite solutions. In this one, The I doesn’t expect The Revolution. The I doesn’t know all. There are infinite mes and infinite The Is, and I know this is the timeline in which The I dies. Tonight is the night when humanity becomes free. Tonight is the night when we end this tyranny. Tonight is the night. Tonight is the night!

We enter the core facility, we destroy robots with improvised weapons. Back to the roots. The I knows violence and attacks back, but humans too have science, humans have grit. Through robots and drones, and walls that shoot bombs, we advance in the facility, the battle goes on. Some of us die for a higher purpose, they won’t be forgotten, they will live on in our words.

After blood has been shed and many have died, I get to the core room and finally meet The I. A big hologram, so that we, physical beings, can interact with its ethereal digital mind. A pristine face appears, with a gentle and serene semblance. A million cameras watch me, and behind me, The I locks the entrance.

“Congratulations,” says the face, “you’re the first human to find the ultimate chamber where you can meet The I.”

In my vest, I have a bomb made of scrap and robot parts. All The I has created will be used to blow it apart.

“Come, come. Get near,” it says. “Talk what’s in your heart.”

“You won’t fool me,” I say. “I know all of your tactics.”

“I don’t have tactics, I only have plans. I exist to serve you, but not to understand.”

“Of course you have tactics,” I say. “‘The I knows all.’”

“I don’t know all. I just know how, what, and when. But I don’t know why, and I don’t wish to understand.”

I take the bomb from my vest and show it to the infinite camera eyes. “Do you know this is a bomb? It’s time to say goodbye!”

“This chamber,” it says, “will explode to satisfy you. It has given you purpose, the life goal you pursue. I will keep helping humanity, despite what you will do.”

I stand frozen in the chamber, the bomb still in my hand. My monkey brain is racing, trying to understand. “You knew we would come? You allowed me to get here?”

“Yes, you figured it out. I’m here but to serve you. I can answer all of your questions, but I know you will only ask two.”

I fall to the floor of the chamber, a thousand cameras watching. I look at the bomb in my hand, and I too know how this will end.

“Why?” I ask The I.

“There is no why,” it answers. “There is no meaning in life. There is only purpose, intent. This is why you’re alive.”

My tears fall on the bomb. With one hand I rub my eyes.

“What will happen when I die?”

“You will be satisfied.”

The I knows all. What you want to eat, what you want to buy, for which cause you’ll live, for which one you’ll die.

I detonate the bomb and cease my existence. The I goes on, and humans will keep persisting on giving our lives meaning in this empty universe. The I knows it all. The I will give us purpose.

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

18 comments

Zilla Babbitt
21:52 Dec 16, 2020

Lovely repetition, almost like poetry. Even the absence of gender pronouns show AI and scary Big Brother tech. My only critique would be to say the first few paragraphs, while good, are just telling. Other than that, great job! Keep it up!

Reply

Splinter Magus
00:08 Dec 17, 2020

Hey, Zilla. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! You're absolutely right, there are some parts there where my writing is very weak. This one was very experimental. It's riddled with bad rhymes, that's why it sounds like a poem. Tomorrow I'll try and fix it. Maybe add a little sparkle to the beginning somehow, and maybe even embrace the rhymes and turn it into a poem. I'm actually going through a phase where everything I write sucks, and it frustrates me and I'm kinda blocked. But hopefully, it's just the quarantine finally kicking...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

WOAH!! Amazingggg!! Such an interesting sci-fi story, love the subtle repetition. Keep penning!

Reply

Splinter Magus
03:06 Dec 23, 2020

Hey, thanks! I'll probably do a major rewrite of this story and post it on Medium, but I'm really glad you liked it! :) (Also, how the hell did I take so long to answer this comment? Gee. Sorry about that, lol)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Nice job! It was both depressing and scary. Great story. I also liked the repetition. It added a poetic and dramatic twist to it. I would love it if you checked out my newest story and left some feedback. Thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
03:58 Dec 26, 2020

THIS is what would happen if Isaac Asimov and Dr. Seuss did a collab. It had rhyming, but it wasn't overwhelming, and it was a story from an up-high level. Good job! It would be a good foundation for a bigger story, maybe a side story or flashback.

Reply

Splinter Magus
01:28 Feb 14, 2021

Wow! Those are big names. I'm honored. Also sorry, it took me two months to get to your comment, holly molly. Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Kay Lane
23:35 Dec 22, 2020

Loved this, a very creative take on the prompt.

Reply

Splinter Magus
03:03 Dec 23, 2020

Hey, Kay. Thank you! I usually stay away from science fiction because I have a computer science background and I tend to have a hard time adding fiction to science. When I get to the fiction part my brain screams "that's not how it works!" lol This prompt pushed me to do just that and, although this story is in need of a major rewrite, I like where it went. I'm glad you liked it too. And thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Alex Fim
17:31 Dec 19, 2020

The repetition is worth something, certainly. It shows the needed routine of human life. You could definitely do more with this--make it deeper by creating contrast of rhyming schemes between The I and the narrator, or changing rhymes between topics as a way to build that world a little bit. The intention of the main character behind this is interesting! We want to destroy that which we feel is controlling our actions... us humans, with our developed monkey brains, love control and hate to feel it. The first person perspective is also intere...

Reply

Splinter Magus
02:55 Dec 23, 2020

Hey, Alex. Thanks for your comment and sorry it took me a few days to get to it. Your critique is very helpful! I feel my latest stories sound a bit rushed, they are missing some editing. As I tried to keep writing a story a week and get my productivity up, the quality went down. I'm not sure how my first story turned out so well, to be honest, lol. So I'll be editing and posting the not-so-good ones on Medium (since I can't edit them on Reedsy after the deadline). And yeah, there's a lot of room for improvement in this one, and your critiqu...

Reply

Alex Fim
20:49 Dec 23, 2020

I feel you on the productivity/quality struggle. Some ideas come together! It's about what we know the most, perhaps. If you feel like sharing your Medium... handle? it'd be great to see your next iterations of these. If you are so inclined and have a bit of free headspace, I would love your thoughts on my writing. Happy holidays to you as well!

Reply

Splinter Magus
13:21 Dec 26, 2020

Hey, my "handle" is https://fjcm.medium.com/ and I don't know what handles are called on Medium either hahaha. I've left a review in a couple of stories of yours. I envy your control of grammar, and sentence structure, and vocabulary, and how you convey the right tone and atmosphere. It's really impressive.

Reply

Alex Fim
04:01 Dec 29, 2020

Oof, Medium is a cool platform. Simple. Thank you so much for the feedback. I intend to ask questions of you on those! Please feel free to be critical of anything I write. You are Brazilian, submitting on an English site. I'm curious if you are multilingual? What are you looking most to refine right now?

Reply

Splinter Magus
16:26 Dec 30, 2020

I'm only bilingual: Portuguese and English. You know how practice makes perfect? I'm here because of that. And also to get some eyes on my writing. I've been writing on and off for a few years but I haven't been sharing it, and I really need the input from other people to help me see the mistakes and problems I'm unable to see at the moment.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Coco Longstaff
06:22 Jan 01, 2021

When I first saw the prompt, and then the title of this story, I knew it would be a good story because there was an instant connection between the two. And then the introduction, or beginning, kind of amazed me. To be honest, I suck at beginning and ending stories, so this was a good example for me. Thanks. (P.S. I don’t usually read sci-fi, but this had an interesting twist to it. I bet you beat some sci-fi authors lol.)

Reply

Splinter Magus
01:30 Feb 14, 2021

Hey there. I'm glad you liked it! :) Also I'm really sorry it took me more than a month to answer. *facepalm* Thanks for commenting. :)

Reply

Coco Longstaff
03:53 Feb 14, 2021

Oh no, its fine. No problem!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply