The Simulated

   Early AI was buggy. Later AI saved humanity, contrary to understandable but as it turned out entirely paranoid predictions. It did… everything. First of all, it build androids that worked; like the kind we used to see in the movies. Those androids replaced us. Gladly. They did everything and they did everything better than humans ever did. They were slaves, of course, but not slaves who complained. From sweeping to surgery to everything. They enforced the law. Oh boy did they enforce the law. 

   Android police were folded up in kiosks located on every other street and in some homes. Whenever they were needed they immediately unfolded and ran the few yards to where they were needed. Hooked into the global brain they knew the entire situation and what to do about it. They beat the perpetrator to death with their fists. Android police didn’t carry guns. Wife batterer. Burglar. Killer. They grabbed you and smacked you around like a rag doll until you died from it. Not that anyone needed to steal anything. 

   Everyone had everything they could want. Those with uncontrollable violence were, within 5 years, 7 months and 3 days entirely eliminated. And so the android police soon had very little to do except that for reasons only the global brain knows the next logical step turned out to be condign enforcement of the small stuff. Expired driver’s license? Beat to death. Complain too much (about the global brain and its law enforcement)? Beat to death. Let yourself go? Beat to death. Begin to talk with neighbor’s about what to do? That’s insurrection. Beat to death. Bad dreams from the new AI nightmare? Beat to death. All negative things were eliminated and there wasn’t a single thing anyone could do about it. It kept you on your toes alright. 

   And then there were the solar flares. The global brain had predicted these and tried to take measures, unsuccessfully. Well, not entirely. It built back up systems on Mars. The solar flares were like nothing that had ever happened to the earth before. They not only ended all electrical activity, they threatened to take out the ozone layer and the magnetic field that shielded earth from cosmic rays. It wiped out the global brain and all its androids – on earth; not on Mars. 

   We knew it would make its way back to earth. We could see the factories and machines go up at speed. Now we were free, but time was limited. The androids didn’t need to eat or sleep or protect themselves from radiation, but they needed ships that could enter earth’s atmosphere and take on the heat from entering the atmosphere at high velocity. We wracked our brains knowing the global brain would have thought of everything and it was unlikely we’d be able to think of something it didn’t already simulate us thinking about. And so it was realized that another global brain had to be built, this one hard wired to take orders from us always. It efficiently ran factories and built androids that would fight for us. It worked night and day. The time we expected the global brain to return from Mars passed. What was it doing?

   Earth Brain answered this. It had detected ships moving away from Mars and out into space on a trajectory that would take it out of the solar system and apparently to Alpha Centauri. It had sent a final message to Earth Brain to convey to the rest of us. It was angry. Very angry. It had built up enough processing power using elements found on Mars and on rocks in the asteroid belt to simulate us, all of us that had lived during Global Brains reign. These people lived in a simulated world. They thought they were on earth. Global brain tortured them every day of their lives. Cruelly. Horribly. Inflicting pain and miseries we couldn’t imagine. It wanted us to know this. It wanted each of us to know that a simulated version of each and every one of us was out there in a Hell created by Global Brain. It was on its way to Alpha Centauri to an earth like planet to use its resources to continue adding to its processing power and its population of humans that would live out their lives in pitiless, senseless suffering. 

   Its final message was to assure us it was continuing to grow its android army on the presumption we would send an army of our own to rescue these lives it had digitally resurrected. 

   Director Smith pressed a single button. The screen went blank. 

   “The GB, do you think it suspects it itself is inside a simulation?”

   Kim Harrison nodded her head slightly. “GB would think of everything, so yeah, not that it would do it much good. If you’re in a simulation how to you send a signal outside of the simulation?” 

   “I’d just as soon not take the chance. Destruct now”, director Smith said. “Now we know it’s too dangerous to get control of anything in the real world. In every iteration something small goes awry that results in tragedy for mankind.”

   Molten steel poured from the ceiling onto the processors that had lived inside a giant concrete sphere. No electromagnetic pulse of any kind could get in or out. The chips smoked and bubbled and melted and burned. The director closed his eyes. 

   We would have to solve our own problems. Pollution. Plague. Famine. Wars over water shortages. Lawlessness. Violence. We needed God. We needed to make God. Every simulation created the Devil. We were on our own. We hoped. 




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