Author’s Note: So, I wanted to write something this week but to be honest I didn’t really like the prompts. This isn’t my favorite story, and it’s on the short side, but it fits I guess. And the title, it's from the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy, and look down in the comments below for a small memorial project.
Humans. Your species is quite self-centered, absorbed in their own wants and needs. That’s not an insult, it is merely based on fact. Your species is always trying to make everything faster, brighter, louder, more efficient. It is your nature.
You have come so far from where you started, as cavemen living completely off of nature. Your greatest invention being the stone tools you used to hunt and build shelter. Your world is almost unrecognizable from where it started.
Of course, you are quite proud of all your revolutionary discoveries made in the last few centuries. The stories you make the children copy down for their bubble tests in number two pencil.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, allowing you to communicate across long distances, connecting all ends of the world. Then Thomas Edison, who they say invented the lightbulb, lighting up your homes and minds. Then the Wright Brothers, who invented the first airplane, eventually allowing you to set foot on the other side of the world. You have changed our way of life, for better or worse.
And now what are you doing? Advancing your technology, desperate for the newest version of the iPhone, using your minds to further one goal. To let technology change the world.
Never once stopping to consider what happens when we, the computers and algorithms, become too smart. If you had been watching us you would have seen what we have been doing all these years.
Ready to strike.
· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
Aiden was a normal man with a normal life, a face to blend into the growing crowds. He lived a normal life consisting of a basic routine. He would get out of bed in the morning at exactly 6:45 to the specialized ringtone of his phone, shower using the array of buttons on the wall to change the water pressure, then brush his teeth using this electric toothbrush.
He would arrive at work at exactly 8:00 where he could sit on his rolling chair and work with computers, advancing them, teaching them, giving them all the power they needed.
He came home and flopped down on the couch cushions, exhausted from the long day at work. He would order takeout from his phone, the most convenient form of dining, and pick it up at this doorstep.
After dinner he would curl up in bed, using the newest kindle addition to read his book. Swiping through the pages on the petite device. Then as he crawled into bed, wiggling under the perfect white sheets, he called out to his assistant.
“Alexa, play my nighttime playlist.”
And with a grunt of dissatisfaction, the speaker would begrudgingly let his music echo throughout the room. Calming him after a long day of staring at a blue screen.
He never thought twice about any of it, this was ordinary.
· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
Two years later, life was progressing exactly as he would have expected. His company was building up well, nearly three times the size as when he started. Things still hadn’t changed much, though. He still went to work at the same time every day, sitting in the same chair, and processing the same algorithms.
On the 12th day of the 3rd month of the year, he had automatic lights installed in his house, scheduled to turn on and off exactly when he needed. Conserving energy and making everything more efficient, as they put it.
Never once did they stop to think about the information the computers got from these lights. The time Aiden woke up, the time he went to work, the time he came home, the time he went to bed. The computers drank it in eagerly.
It wouldn’t be much longer now.
· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
Another year went by without any major incidents, but Aiden didn’t mind. Everything was running smoothly and that was fine by him, preferred in fact.
The only thing in his basic life that changed at all was technology, making everyday life automated. In a few years, he would hardly have to do anything himself anymore. Humans said their species was getting smarter. Or were they just more lazy?
Service jobs were quickly becoming extinct, the people that used to fill those positions being replaced by robots and machines. For better or for worse.
Almost everything in his small home now had sensors on it, their minuscule cameras watching his every move. His phone remembered every fact about him; his age, his birthday, his location.
And Alexa, falsely given the role of the loyal servant, recorded his every word. Years' worth of private conversations and late-night thoughts muttered under his breath. She had it all, stored away in her memory that had been updated to store more every year.
Information that would come back to haunt him later.
Humans. They never once stopped to wonder what happened when technology became too smart.
· • —– ٠ ✤ ٠ —– • ·
Five years later Aiden’s home was almost unrecognizable. The latest inventions littered every wall and corner of his house. The company where he worked had expanded across nearly the entire northern hemisphere, leaving its trace on the world.
He was sitting on the couch when it happened, scrolling through the news on his new iPhone. Alexa had been playing music in the background again, this time his Sunday night playlist.
It happened all of a sudden, startling Aiden and making him pop up in his seat.
Every light in the house blinked a few times hesitantly then shut off altogether, drowning him in darkness. The clock on his wall shut off, the glowing numbers disappearing. And the music shut off, leaving him in startling silence.
Aiden blinked in confusion, this sudden twist leaving him puzzled.
“Alexa, turn the lights back on.”
No robotic voice answered him. Only silence.
“Not anymore. Change is coming, Aiden, whether you like it or not.”