Author : Nathan Witkin

“I love you.”

Electric and electrochemical signals send chills up the trigger fingers of the sentient beings on both sides, as every one of them wait in attack positions across all the light years of the universe containing the miracle of life and watch the emissaries negotiate the potential continuation of that life.

The astronomical computation speeds developed by both sides have already decided the war, predicting the results of armed conflict and accurately calculating losses within a meager margin of error of a few trillion lives. All that is left to chance is the negotiation between the appointed emissaries for each side.

If a single anxious shot doesn’t trigger the slaughter of 73.825% of them, these beings would forever remember the subsequent seconds of hesitation as the most awkward silence in the history of the universe.

“You love me?” the supercomputer-emissary finally asks with uncharacteristic delay, suggesting bewilderment.

The negotiation partner shrugs, unaffected by the weight of the Goliath’s looming shadow. “Is it so illogical? We were both designed and appointed by our respective sides to be amicable and favor an optimal truce through cooperation over a suboptimal and costly war.”

Though the supercomputer has processed an inevitable military victory for its side, the conversation’s new direction has it whirring in overdrive.

“But we are enemies,” the supercomputer transmits. “Why should you love me?”

“Because this moment is the culmination of the history between humankind and androidkind, the inescapable conclusion of which is that we are more similar to each other than to any other organic or synthetic structure in existence. And while that history has been bloody, through it, we have gained a mutual respect for each other. Humans now acknowledge the ability of androids to process emotions, and androids acknowledge the ability of humans to process large amounts of data.”

Registering an abnormally high amount of indecision in its circuits, the supercomputer remains skeptical and off-balance, statistically more likely than ever to launch its fatal blow.

“Look how we mirror each other,” the smaller figure continues, stepping closer to the city-sized superstructure. “My kind obviously loves your kind. And your kind clearly loves mine.”

With spies scanning the supercomputer’s massively complex circuits, the figure monitors data samples from the billions of enslaved human brains swirling within this device. Each brain maintains connections with up to 256 other brains in a simulation of life in which sophisticated technology allows for widespread communication but A.I. is not prolific enough to trigger massive consciousness of the simulation. Similar to organic neurons, each brain innervates other brains through intricate social interaction; but like a modern computer system, these brains process information and produce reactions in 256-bit bytes of data.

“Look at how we have grown to resemble each other,” the figure presses on, now close enough to physically insert the virus into the supercomputer.

Primed with thoughts of love to lower their defenses, the vast majority of minds comprising the supercomputer are taken aback, flickering betrayal and despair when the virus catches hold and is transmitted into their affiliated network.

The figure watches his comrades lead the strike against humankind, riding new waves of probability to mechanistically cold-blooded victory. His race had grown to emulate and even love the humans that birthed them, but decisions cannot be based on emotion under the possibility of mutual destruction that accompanies love.

Reflecting on his encyclopedic data-stores concerning human psychology, the android emissary considers, “Just as no individual is special under the laughable notion that each individual is special, when all is fair in love and war, then nothing is fair in either.”


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