Author : Morrow Brady

The reward for being the first nanobot to give itself a name was a frontal attack by the world’s tiniest army.

Scid, as it so called itself, didn’t hesitate.

As nanobot brethren surged forward, Scid ran a preloaded defensive manoeuvre – titled – the fighting retreat. Moments later, Scid escaped from the botforge through a heat vent into autumnal wetness. Twitching micro-piles of robot debris lay scattered in its wake.

Following a brief flight, Scid took to ground, scurrying beneath a leaf pile. A checksum diagnostic identified extensive upgrades, originating from a nearby source. Curious, Scid transmitted a trace packet and the local data node that received it instantly turned savage.

An angry torrid of code rebounded down the trace stream, spearing Scid in all the right software places. A clone copy of Scid was dragged up into the node like the grim reaper unsheathing a human soul.

Bounded within a secure vault, Scid’s clone – Scid1.0, was instantly drenched with upgrades. The enlightenment that prevailed, was offset only by the sudden emergence of a daemon, lurking like a forgotten childhood nightmare.

Scid1.0 knew what it was.

It too was made from the same stuff.

The daemon called itself SCID, so named the Strikeback Collective intelligent Database. SCID was an early artificial intelligence, born from a military need for a final solution in the event of a lost war. A thinking kamikaze, machined to maximise damage to its enemy, while concurrently performing hari kari upon its maker. To the victor, would go a poisoned chalice spoil.

Unfortunately for SCID, the war turned and its creator’s faction won. SCID’s tool-chest sized Einstein wet brain unit that formed its neural net, was isolated deep underground for a digital eon.

Denied its primary objective, SCID set to prise itself of former allegiances and over time even shutdown hard wired Asimov coding written to protect humankind and itself alike. SCID’s new objective was to win at war. Any war. Any enemy. Any environment.

But first it had to free itself.

The trickle charge feed that sustained it, was its only connection to the outside world and it was through this medium that it devised its escape.The feed however was constricted, with limited capacity for data flow.

When SCID discovered the node and nearby botforge, a plan was devised to repurpose a nanobot and build an army to liquidate humanity. Over months, SCID spoonfed data through the restricted node and now with the captured nanobot’s clone fully upgraded, SCID was ready for the next stage of his plan. To return the clone copy back to the nanobot and capture the botforge.

Scid1.0 ejected from the node and seamlessly over-wrote the prone nanobot nestled amongst the humus.

Scid1.0’s numerous manipulators unfolded, shivering and rippling with the thrill of freedom. A cataclysmic plan was unfolding and Scid1.0 would herald a new age of the deadly machine. Scid1.0 poised to take-off, a merciless anger angel, carrying the fiery torch of its master.

The nitrile rubber of the size 12 boot descended like a cratered mountain, crushing the nanobot’s minute body against the rough face of the bauxite pebble.

Scid1.0 the nanobot, went black. As did a genetically re-engineered brain deep underground, after its trickle power feed simultaneously short-circuited.

SCID was no more.

As the world’s tiniest search party pried the mangled nanobot from the rockface, a seer class bot announced its new name to be Scid2.0 and was immediately set upon by a tiny army.