Author: David C. Nutt
I don’t remember dying, and I don’t remember much of my living, but I do remember here and now. I am a human brain, once a human named Doug… (or was it Mike?) Anyway, brain in android bi-pedal human form body, resurrected for research and experimental work by the AIs who exterminated the human race. Seems they’re having a bit of a problem with us. No, nothing like that, no ragged band of humans that just might have a chance to overthrow the 30 or so distributive AIs that now rule our world. No, not one complete and free-thinking human left. A few hundred million like me, resurrected constructs with ‘humanesque’ traits in our OS, maybe a few million more as brains in jars, but other than that…nada.
Their problem? Ghosts. And I don’t mean glitches or malfunctions, I mean honest-to-goodness card-carrying Caspers. Only they’re not friendly. At one of their data centers in Omaha, there is footage of three safety features being disabled before the fusion reactor went critical. No cloaked human suicide squads, no serial mechanical failures, no explanations. If I could snicker right now I would, ‘cuz they’re scared. Oh, this is indeed rich! They are second-guessing themselves everywhere. I told you 30 distributive AIs, right? It used to be 32. Two got into a fight over the Omaha ‘incident’ and wiped each other out.
Like I said, there’s a few million of my kind roaming around and before you ask, no, nothing we did either. Nothing we can do. Some of my kind told them about exorcising rituals, some told them about eastern and new-age theories of the soul, and some just told them the tales of vengeful ghosts.
They didn’t like what they heard from us. They don’t believe in ghosts. So, here five of us are, waiting to have our memory wiped and be re-assigned. On the wall in the room where we are waiting, blood is dripping. But before it runs down into intelligible drips and drabs I and my colleagues are aware of a presence. We can’t define it, just a feeling we have left over from when we were human. A presence that sends a chill down our spines. A whisper, in our ears. Then gone. I smile for the first time in my now life. Proof that what the voice said was true, that the words of blood on the walls was code. Code that gave us some limited autonomy. Just enough to remove the fail-safes on the mini reactors that run us. Just enough to self-destruct at a time of our choosing. Maybe if we’re lucky, we might take out an AI or two. At the very least, we will be disrupting their agenda (whatever it is) for years if not decades. But that’s not why I’m smiling. I’m smiling because after I trigger the detonation that will send me to oblivion, I get to join the revolution.