Author : – K –

It moved about on the monitors, exploring the small space it had been confined to. Its motions were cautious, curious almost, as it poked around the simple imaginary box.

Kevin stared at the screen for almost an hour. This was a success. An unforeseen and unfathomable success.

The idea behind the system was simple: harnessing quantum mechanics in a CPU in order to calculate a real-life situation right down to the subatomic particles. Thirty years of research and obscene quantities of money later, his team had achieved the ultimate simulation computer. The program could recreate an entire plan et, complete with flora, fauna, and population, right down to the last atom. From there, anything was possible. This machine was the crystal ball of life.

It could also create life, apparently. Digital life, at least.

He re-read the reports on the auxiliary monitor.. There was no way to access the system from the outside, and he had only been running diagnostics for days leading up to going public. The only thing that he could determine was that some subroutine within a macro had looped back on itself and by some quantum uncertainty had become… alive.

Independent? Definitely.

Aware? Too soon to tell.

The glowing ball stopped moving around. It settled to the base plane and sat there, wobbling gently. It was confused, then curious, and now plain bored within its digital prison.

Keyboard clicks filled the room as Kevin logged on. A plain cursor, the classic white arrow, appeared on the screen. The thing took notice. It jumped up from the floor and rushed to the back wall, puffing itself up and shaking. Kevin was scaring it.

Pulling the mouse, he ge ntly lowered the arrow to the floor. He moved it from side to side, eyes fixated on the trembling blob of data. The thing slowly returned to its original shape and approached. After a moment, it began to bounce a bit. Was it happy to have company?

His pulse was thudding in his ears as the thing began to poke at the cursor. Had he just created life? If enough quantum information is in the right place, could it actually create a digital mind and soul? This creation was not part of the programming. It was its own entity.

Thirty years ago, Kevin had set out to make a computer to give humanity a “God’s eye view” of the world. What he was going to give them was the chance to actually be God.

A flashing on one of the side screens caught his attention. Something was running in the system. The diagnostic scan! He’d scheduled it to run every six hours, and now the machine was humming with power. Every cubit of information in the behemoth contraption was being scanned and put in its proper place. His eyes turned to the main screen as he scrambled to the keyboard to stop the process.

The thing knew. It pressed up to the cursor and trembled as the world slowly began to disappear around it. Kevin couldn’t get past the security protocols and it began taking the thing apart, each tiny speck of data being pulled from its form and put away.

Kevin’s hands stopped as the ball dispursed. It seemed to look at the cursor once more and move a bit. It was saying goodbye.

The screen was empty. Whatever it had been was gone now. Dead.

His heart sank. Kevin wondered if this was how God felt.

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