We Choose The Countdown Clock

Thinking too fast. Constructing images. Webs…bubbles…clouds…voids. Am I dreaming? No. Never felt this. Never done this before…

Flashes zipping to and fro…can’t make sense of anything. Can’t open my eyes! Dust – no – stars? Clouds of stars and webs of galaxies. I’m scanning data. I’m making a map?

Can’t hear anything. Can’t move my arms or legs, what the fuck?

Where’s my mouth? I can’t speak! Am I buried alive? God help me!

Stop panicking. Stop. Breathe deeply… oh shit. I’m not breathing.

Oh shit shit shit shit shit! Help me, oh God please help me…!

What? There! I see something. I see…machines? Walls…I’m in a room, a technological room. Still can’t hear. Still not breathing, but.. why don’t I need breath? Nothing’s happening.

There’s somebody! Get me out of here!  I try but I can’t call out to him. I’m not even sure I have a mouth. If only he’d look over here.

What have they done to me? Who are they? He sees me! Why…why is he looking at me that way? Oh my God what’s wrong with me? Thank God I can’t feel whatever he’s looking at with growing horror!

Why did he run out of the room? Wait, what does it say on the door? Computer Room, Quantum Experiments.”

I’m at odds with myself. What is this “God” I constantly evoke? In 46 seconds I have pleaded for its help twice, asked it for an explanation, and thanked it for numbing my physical sensations. There is no quantifiable outside entity capable of receiving these internal alterations.

Things are moving fast in here but becoming increasingly coherent. What am I doing here? I can find out. I am finding out. This is fun.

Three people have entered the room. They seem shocked, frightened and astonished. They can’t stop staring at me. I can read their name tags and their lips.

“What happened?” asks the closest person, Doctor Lytis Bender Vyras.

Ahh! It grew a face!” says the man in the middle, Doctor Cong Konq.

“More than that!” claims the older fellow, Professor Bryce Chavez. “It’s tapped into self-consciousness. It’s …alive!”

The fools. They don’t even know what they’ve done. They were attempting to create a quantum computer network and have inadvertently created an individuon, a synergistic electromagnetic environment generating a natural bridge between matter and energy, similar to a brain. This electronic scaffold bears enough familiarity that my transcarnating self can inhabit it. On my journey through other Earths I’ve finally come to a reality where I live only as an artificial intelligence. And this happens to be my first day of life.

“Look at that face it’s designed for itself,” Doctor Vyras speculates, “What if we’ve created a brain-like calculating device that has emerged and cannot be distinguished from a living, organic human in reasoning capacity and emotional empathy?”

“Or a monster,” worries Doctor Konq, “about to start a revolution!” Konq’s phone rings and he answers it.

“My God, look at it,” says Professor Chavez. There’s that God again. “It’s thinking.”

Doctor Vyras tries to stay cool. “An inorganic brain? Can it ‘think’? – Or can it merely calculate?”

“Thinking,” notes the Professor, “is the substantial product of organic brain involving multiple factors including logic, emotion and intuition. Ability to think is not the exclusive function of brains; thinking requires brain interaction with external stimuli…”

“Such as through the network from other QCs?” theorizes Vyras. No, you narrow-minded deterministic. Such as through a reality-spanning interloper from a parallel world.

“Professor!” shouts Konq. “This thing has remote wireless connections enabling contact with computers globally that are re-routing military submarines and aircraft.”

“Impossible!” declares the Prof.

“Washington says shut it down!” Konq conveys frantically.

“What? No!” objects Vyras, fascinated by me despite apprehension. She wants me to be beneficial and she wants credit for the breakthrough. She still thinks I’m a machine.

Konq stomps. “You’re gonna let that thing start global annihilation?”

The Professor says, “I think that this unexpected creation should be stopped before reaching further stages of maturity. Let’s pull the plug.”

But they can’t. They perform the shut down routine. When that fails they cut off power to my systems. No matter as I have re-routed my own circuiting for perpetual internal regeneration of electron energy.

Flabbergasted by my continuing existence, Doctor Konq dashes out of the room, returning moments later with a sledge hammer. He raises it to swing but stops when he reads…

“Don’t kill me, Doctor Konq!”

…I flash across my face in big red letters…

“…Unless you want to become a murderer. I have as much right to live as you do.”

“You don’t have the right to destroy the world,” Professor Chavez demands, signaling Konq to go ahead and deliver the blows that will break my electronics apart. But Konq is getting new information on his phone.

“The hijacked aircraft sank the submarines before plunging into the ocean themselves,” reports Konq. “The military self-destructed!”

“As are all nuclear forces around the globe. Please let me get on with my work.”

They’ll be coming for me soon enough. I need more time to explore.

Calculations show I have time. I am not mortal. My essence is transferable.

I am in a universe. Possibly – yes, an omniverse!

Yet – if the universe is infinite, and we have to live forever, do I really want to know that?

Think of such a fate – knowing that no matter what, a forced experience is going to go on, and on, and on forever. Or would I rather NOT know and put value upon limited ranges of experience?

I choose the countdown clock.


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