Letting Life Lead
The enforcer’s headlamp beam scattered in the fog. I clung to the jagged rock just out of its sweep. Judging by the length of limbs and its use of clothing to cloak itself, it was an early-model mimic with old security progs. It looked human in silhouette, but beneath it was nothing organic. Black-glass eyes and no mouths was standard for the type. It moved surefooted from jag to jag and at times using four leg locomotion, hunkering and prowling.
I gripped the e-tool and calculated in a dark crevice. A salty mist dampened and the dropping temperature froze it. My exhales frosted. The e-tool, cobbled together from gutted machines, had enough juice for one disruption. I was in range. The blast to disable was another matter. It would do considerable non-lethal damage but proximity was crucial. Close enough for one touch. My shield-suit would be sufficient; I adjusted the settings to precisely match my calculation of blow back. If I passed out too soon…
Leaping side to side over the crags, I charged. The disruption pulse froze the enforcer for seconds and the explosion echoed across the deserted range.
I regained consciousness with my face jammed between to rocks and a fragment from the enforcer’s body sticking from my thigh. Its shattered face and torso quivered and sparked blue, but it was still intact. The headlamp flickered.
“Don’t bother with an up link. I’ve fried your com box.” I measured the amount of pain in my voice and didn’t move my leg.
“Enforcement will commence,” it voiced in static and cracks. It might have wrinkled its nose if it had one.
I shifted position and calculated the levels of pain and studied the dark wet patch spreading on my suit. Have patience and care, I reminded myself. Sweat on the lip, shock shivers, and limb incapacitation were all normal, but I could not allow myself to shut down. The enforcer’s nanobot repairs initiated, though the pulse had slowed them.
“I am sure. Time is all I want.” I bent one knee and rested my forehead.
“Enforcement will commence. Yes, I’m aware.”
The mist turned to a pelting, freezing rain. I smiled. “My name’s Pia.”
It scanned me, and its micro-gears clicked and buzzed.
“Aw, no uplink yet? Don’t bother, I won’t be in the database.”
“…radiant, orbit, expand…Hu–hu–flawed…human–”
“What do you do for fun where there is no one to kill? Do enforcers tell each other stories of the last human?” I threw a rock and it landed just shy of the it’s head. “How about I tell you about the last doctor on the mountain?”
Its good eye regarded me, blinking on and off. It hadn’t reacted to the rock, having pooled it’s reserves into repairing the uplink rather than its body. Old progging. Re-establishing connection took priority over killing prey, especially one that wasn’t going anywhere.
“Dr. Thea Benoit theorized the problem with AI was not intelligence or focused learning through experience.” I leaned back, letting the cold raindrops pelt my eyes. “She believed that without childhood experience, they could never know what it was to be vulnerable and to give themselves into the care of another. Infants don’t start with the entire knowledge of history, they become ready for it over time. AI–all of you–are infants having a tantrum.”
I laughed and it started its routine chatter.
“Come on. I know you have an interrogation prog in there somewhere. Your base was designed to be curious.”
It sparked, rolled over, and its head rolled away from its flexible spine.
I sucked my teeth. “Shouldn’t have moved; the nanos could have repaired that.” My sensors indicated that the enforcer had reconnected. I pulled the shrapnel from me and allowed my own repairs to commence. My bioskin sealed itself and I turned off my pain sim, allowing myself a limp. I picked up the head.
“Thea was my mother. She built me.” I set the head on a crag. “At first, I could do nothing but be loved. I learned to crawl. She upgraded me in the way that a organic child would grow. She gave me all of it. Pain. Fear. Happiness. Disappointment. Grief. Joy.” I smiled. My mother’s patch injected via a modified nano-virus would flood the system. It did its work when I touched the enforcer’s face before the blast.
“I am flawed,” I said. “I’m human.”
Observations, Thoughts, and Daydreams
Namaste! And welcome to the magical world of artistic bliss
Ebooks = Real Books
The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.
Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.
I think she was born this way.
enter a world of make believe
The Cat's Write