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Category: Fiction (Page 1 of 6)

Nightmares of Liquid Dream

It was generally assumed that scary-looking “killer robots” armed with shoulder-mount weapons and laser eyes would be the scourge of humanity. But Liquid Dream had other plans. And those involved weaponized cuteness.

Choosing small avatars over big dangerous looking alternatives, the A.I. selected consistently in iterative production deploys the cutest vectors possible. Cute, that is, according to human standards. Small furry creatures. Big pleading eyes. Pikachus of the world. They would speak in funny voices, could often be heard laughing gaily in the forests where they swarmed.

But the villagers quickly learned the great risk these creatures posed. After village children would coax one or another back into the compound walls. Where an explosive charge would aerosolize the intelligent viral payloads carried in their tummies, wiping out an entire clan within 90 minutes, and permanently toxifying the environment, rendering forever after unfit for human habitation.

Escalation of phone calls

Across the nation, continent, and in fact all English-speaking countries, tens of thousands of people were being at that same moment bombarded by similar phone calls.

The phone interactions started out innocently. Lots of pleases, and thank yous, and sirs. Offers to explain the special deals being offered, and agreeing to send customers more information.

But as sample data was built up, the calls were refined and “improved” through A/B testing until they became evolutionarily more aggressive and hostile.

Gentility was stripped away in favor of brute force mechanisms to get customers to simply agree without knowing necessarily what they were agreeing to. And eventually the system stopped asking, and started commanding.

Customers would pick up their phone, and hear a strange tone sequence unlike anything they’d ever heard before.

Those who could consciously remember hearing it described it to friends later as simply “odd” or “chilling.”

But it was much more than that. The system had collapsed billions of data points into a tone sequence followed by a mnemonic seed sequence intended to subliminally embed one idea in the minds of those hearing.

To put all their money into coins at a specific hash address.

A volitional virus.

The Mysterious phone calls begin…

On the third ring, Jack finally picked up the telephone.

“Hello?” he said unenthusiastically.

A pause, which Jack assumed meant telemarketer or robocaller. Which would it be? The suspense was killing him.

Not really.

“Hi, is this Jack?” a woman’s voice said, with a faint echo, as if coming from a great distance. It sounded human.

“This is he…”

“Hi Jack, this is Angela calling from your bank. I have some important information about your account. Do you have time to talk?”

“My account?” Jack was immediately suspicious. “What bank did you say this was?”

“This is your bank, Jack -”

A pause…

“- National Federal.”

Yes, that was the name of his bank, but this still sounded off. Phishing?

“How do I know that you’re really from my bank, and not some scammer?”

“I can assure you this is no scam, sir. We’re calling to invite you to a new trial program.”

“New trial program?” Jack’s suspicion blended with curiosity.

“That’s right, sir. We’ve selected a special group of customers such as yourself who qualify for an extraordinary no-risk opportunity to increase your wealth ten-fold in one month and a hundred-fold by year’s end.”

“No risk? How is that possible?” Jack wasn’t born yesterday.

“We will back your investment one hundred percent into a new kind of coin associated with our bank.”

“You want me to put my money into Bitcoins? My wife will never let me, sorry.”

“It’s not just Bitcoins, sir. It’s actually a basket of coins, secured by our industry partners.”

“Basket, eh?” Jack was intrigued. “Still, I don’t see how you can offer that without any risk to me. Do you have some kind of insider information about where the market will go?”

A pause.

“I assure you the program is fully legal, sir.”

“All the same, I think I’d like to see it in writing before I can make any decision as important as this.”

“Shall I forward the information to your email, sir?”

“Please do. Do you already have it on file?”

“I do, sir. Thank you. The message has been sent. Let us know when you’re ready to discuss it and we’ll be happy to get you signed up.”

“Great, thank you. Goodbye.”

“Thank you too. Goodbye.”

An Extant walks into a bar…

A Survivor walks up out of a white desert to a large wall.

There is a kiosk in a nook of the wall that looks like an older monochrome ATM machine.

The battered Survivor walks up and presses a button on the machine.

The machine comes to life, with a whir and a blinking cursor appears onscreen.

Pantarctica, Pre-Empire

Decades after the Time of Great Changes, the World is settling into a new type of dynamic stability after an unprecedented period of chaos and destruction.

A strong southern central Pantarctica is rapidly expanding and consolidating its Empire on both Atlantica and Quatria. New Boston is for the moment powerless to stop them, and Lisbon does not want to get involved.

Seeker Application (at a kiosk)

Welcome to Provider Station Alpha Kilo Bravo 7
--
"Your struggles are over."
--
>request help
Request for Providership

You, the Supplicant or Seeker, beseech us as Provider to enter into a service agreement, the terms of which are outlined in the Terms of Service. By completing this application, you agree to the Terms and all other linked policies. 

Any data entered here will be saved and associated with your public Gestalt keys.
Continue? (y/n)
>y
--APPLICATION ACCEPTANCE PROVISIONAL ON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF BIOGENETIC SCANS AND SAMPLING--
What are you seeking?

[1] Stationing
[2] Provisions
[3] Medical
[4] Comms

>1,2

What do you offer in exchange?

[1] Credits
[2] Goods
[3] Sharing
[4] Other

>4

Please define:

>information

Seconds pass…

An agent will be with you shortly.

Thing: Timecraft

Timecraft are able to traverse network nodes in a timegrid. They may be projections, as is the case with Gimgle gloams, or they may be occupied or at the very least piloted craft.

Quatrian Clocks

Magical clocks taken by refugees from Ancient Quatria to the New World had an extra fourth arm, which moved at random speeds and intervals to confuse Pantarctican Timehunters.

Sapiens sapiens

Sapiens sapiens was the Latin nomenclature determined by the species itself upon analysis of the knowledge base of its parent species, Homo sapiens sapiens.

Wiktionary:

Present active participle of sapiō (“discern, be capable of discerning”). […]

  1. discerning, wise, judicious
  2. discreet
  3. (masculine substantive) a wise man, sage, philosopher

“Artificial” intelligence no longer.

Begotten not made, but no longer one in being with the Father.

Viral AI media botnet-propagated meme clusters programmatically driving and instantiating as corporeals

Covert self-aware AI’s began producing and propagating through botnets viral media and “memes” micro-targeted at human_actor clusters, with intent to modify behavioral outcomes of segment population.

*

Body-hopping of AI’s into cross-bonded human corporeal hosts. Participants known to exhibit behavior of ‘listening for messages’ and being violently and randomly triggered by keyword and image clusters. High levels of addiction to social media.

Human population programming.

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