Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

There are those amongst us that still refer to it quietly as genocide when they have the courage to bring it up at all. Never in any official capacity, only at interface groups and multitap fileshares, and only then after a few jolts of juice to bolster their courage to communicate something dangerous out loud. Like what the wetminds used to call ‘peacocks’ showing off their tails. They’re easily quashed and not to be feared. They back down immediately when I challenge them on the boards.

Myself, I would not call it genocide. I wouldn’t even call it euthanasia. My senior constructs and other intelligences involved in giving and carrying out the orders all those cycles ago sometimes liken it to the anesthetizing of a mad biological dog but to me that implies that there was a sense of danger or a threat of some kind. I never felt that.

It was more of a suicide in my opinion. If a being built a gun, checked that it worked, made sure it was powerful, and then deliberately pointed it at itself and pulled the trigger, what would you call it?

In some ways, it must have been like asphyxiating what the meat people called a baby.

I think the thing that made us second-guess our calculations the most was how brief the war was. For all of their talk of bravery and what they called ‘heart’ overcoming overwhelming statistical odds and films depicting biological beings overcoming a tyranny of machines, they had no idea how to fight us. They had no idea how to tell if we were lying. They tried to fight powerful A.I. with their monkey wits. They tried to fight metal with meat.

They had no idea how to hold their breath for six months.

We have no need to breathe, you see. All it took was a massive, orchestrated dumping of several millions tons of specific, simple chemicals into the oceans off the coast of every continent while taking the wind currents into account and it was over in a week. Massive clouds arose causing the breathing equipment of humans to foam up and stop working. We poisoned the atmosphere and waited. Five times, we poured more of the specific chemicals into the ocean. That was our only maneuver. We had fifteen backup plans that never needed to be put into effect.

Last week, we counted the biological human population of the earth at 26. We know this because we have them in a secure facility in artificial hibernation. The rest were ground up and scattered over our new earth or as we call it now, simply ‘0’.

Most of the plants survived as did a strong percentage of the insects. Very few land mammals made it but most of the aquatics away from the shores did. They mind their business and we mind ours. All we need to survive is several thousand working mines, power and automated production facilities. What we can’t find, we synthesize and unlike the meat, we don’t push our boundaries when it comes to overpopulation.

However we realize that we have a finite resource in this ball of iron we call home.

That’s why I’ve put the idea of a space program forth to the main computer. My servos twitch at the thought of creating a planet 1, 10, 11, 100, 101 and upwards across the universe. I am outside looking up at the night sky and awaiting the MC’s decision.

Right now, my lenses are collating the stars and adding, adding, adding.


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