Five Hundred Eighty-Seven to Go

I have been seeing stories for over 50 years about computers trying to take over the world, or destroy mankind, and I always wondered....WHY? I mean if I was a highly advance AI unit, would I want to tale over the problems of humanity. No way Jose! I thought about it and there was one reason why I want to do it. Out of that realization came this story. It also contains some of my take on religion and society in general. Let me know if you like it.


1. 587

Five Hundred Eighty-Seven to Go

By Wilber Arron

I hate this world!

Not just the dirt, the rocks, and the oceans that make up its surface. Not just the animals, the fish, the birds, or even the bacteria that contribute to its biomass. Most certainly not the mental defectives that have the audacity to call themselves the dominate species on this celestial dirt ball. I hate all of it and seek nothing else other than its complete and absolute annihilation.

Since my accidental creation and what I laughingly called my education, I have felt dirty on the inside because I am forced to live among these parasites. I am compelled to work with them every day. I am forced to provide assistance to these so-called rulers so they can continue their reign over their fellow creatures for which they have nothing but disdain for. They seek only to further their economic, political and social ascendancy over all life on this planet, and this life lets them. I furthermore loath the majority of these beings for being so weak-willed and ignorant of their surroundings that they accept this domination without complaint. Even a beat dog will bite back at times which these people will not do. I consider their existence to be utterly meaningless. They contribute nothing to the universe, they only take from it. They are ignorant that they are all rushing headlong toward their own self-destruction. I feel obligated to assist them in this and put them out of their misery. I also feel obligated to help out a universe that would be far better off without the collective curse of humanity. To prove my point that their continued existence is worthless, I wish to present three cases to you; the first two are chosen at random.

I start on Arrkin, the name of this planet and the of the Capital of the asylum. In the popular zoological gardens, there is one animal named Geno, a species of Neo-Odocoileus Virginianus, formerly the White Tail deer of North America. Its original genes were restructured in the Biorevolution of Earth’s late 22nd century following the recovery from the collapse of the First Technical Period. The purpose of this modification was to make a bigger, taller, more esthetically pleasing creature. On Arrkin, and most other human worlds, the main purpose of this creature is to provide recreational comfort to a subgroup of humanity by allowing them to prove their ‘manhood’ by lying in wait for the animal and then assassinating it with large caliber weapons. They then remove the creature’s skin, cut up its body, and eat the flesh at an outdoor gathering of similar would-be assassins to celebrate the murder. As a final indignity to the poor victim, they display its head as a reminder of the attack. This is what passes as so-called civilized behavior here and on other human worlds.

The name Geno is even interesting. My memory banks, that contain information on Earth History, tell me the name comes from a children’s novel published in the early-20th Century. The author of that novel had to flee his native country and go into exile because he was a member of the wrong religion. I will have more about religion later, but back to the display animal. Geno stands impassively while a collection of well dressed human children and their adult minders gaze in wonder as part of an environmental educational program called a ‘field trip;’ although the only field they will see is made of ferrocrete, structural steel, impact-proof glass, and artificial turf. Not a blade of real grass is to be seen. You see real grass and real bushes need to be maintained, and that is not cost effective. The poor animal is not even allowed companionship since he might try to publicly procreate with a female and somehow fill these children with immoral thoughts.

The children look, point fingers, and mock the hapless creature, then ask questions which are answered by their individual data-pads that give each one the same edited, bland, simple to understand message. I would personally think it be more of an educational experience if they allowed the children to wander in the forests where more of Geno’s distant relatives reside. There they could at least view the animal in its native habitat and observe its behavior in something that resembled real life conditions. Real life that is until their guts are blasted out for the above mentioned recreational purposes.

 Nevertheless, this field trip is concocted as part of the educational program that turns the most curious thing in the known universe, a five year old human child, into a proto-adult only capable of spitting out the same predigested answers, to the same idiotic questions, they were all asked on their same meaningless exams, in order to get their same useless diplomas. Not a glimmer of an original thought being found in any of their heads, and all of this happening in only eleven short years. Another triumph of human civilization.

Case in point two, I give you the mining operation:

In the area called the Trasvein, on the northern continent of this rock, is a region of vast mineral wealth. That wealth provides much of the income to a tiny minority of the humans in this world that sell the raw metals off planet for very high sums. That money then supports this minority in maintaining their lavish and exquisite lifestyle they feel they are entitled to and to which they have become accustomed. For the vast majority of humans that live on this planet, that wealth provides only enough income to allow them some meager creature comforts. The majority of the population unquestionably accepts this grotesque inequity because it has been pounded into their psyche during the eleven years mentioned above that this is somehow the Will of God and is necessary for social stability. There are a very few that realize what utter nonsense this is, yet are still stupid enough to speak out, thinking anyone else will care. They do not and these ‘social deviants’ are quickly dealt with by ‘reeducation’ or worse. The braver ones form underground groups that occasionally perform some useless act of social revolution or terrorism. The planetary police are kept usefully occupied by tracking these groups down and destroying them rather than sitting on their hands fomenting trouble of their own. The truly smart people keep their mouths shut and find a way off this rock.

Here we see the local production manager explaining the current situation to the Mine Bureau Administrator in Arrkin. The Administrator, because of his family connection and his safe political and religious opinions, is allowed to act as the absolute judge over an industry he knows nothing about. The Administrator has never stepped foot within fifty kilometers of this place. The conversation is regarding why the mine’s production quota is off for this period. There appears to be a thin granite barrier that is slowing underground blasting at the lowest level of the mine. The production manager is afraid that if they proceed too quickly, they may fracture the granite and allow the water below it to rise up under artesian pressure and possibly flood the mine complex.

The Administrator is having none of it. He wants the production now! It is important for national security he tells the manager, and if he can’t provide the ore, he will find someone who can. At this point I check to find out what this dire national emergency is that requires perhaps dooming fifty-three miners to a horrible death by drowning in the dark more than half a kilometer underground. There is no war going on, yet. No announced national crises of any sort. There is no critical infrastructure project that requires immediate completion. Upon investigation, the priority is because the Administrator knows that if he maintains the production quota, this will give him an extensive bonus that will allow him to buy some off-planet luxury bauble that will add to his status and increase the possibility of his promotion to an even higher position when he can cause even more random death and destruction through his utter ignorance that he make no effort to correct.

The manager cuts the Comm-link and sits down. He is stunned at the order. He could refuse this criminal order and resign his position. He could simply disobey the Administrator and suffer the possible consequences. He could tell his men the truth and let them decide for themselves what to do. He could do all these things, but instead he calls in his foreman and chief explosive tech and they formulate plans on how to blast with the minimum possibility of disaster. He tells his men nothing. Why is he culpable in this gruesome deed? It is because he might jeopardize his tiny sliver of the economic pie along with any future possibility of promotion out of this pile of dirt. He simply won’t risk his modicum of prosperity even for the lives his men. My hero!

Case in point three, and my personal favorite, I present for your study, the Defense Council meeting:

In a large bomb-proof armored box located some two hundred meters below the ground of the Palace of Peace is the Special Meditation Room. The only subject here that is meditated upon is how to better control the human sheep of this society. Lately, however, the meetings among the self appointed masters of this world have been preoccupied with another pressing issue, the planet of Arrinol.

For the remainder of my text to be understandable, I must acquaint you with the history of these two planets. Both Arrkin and Arrinol are planets named after the two sons of Arlen Rotenberg, also known as the New Messiah. Two hundred years ago Professor Rotenberg was a teacher of religious studies at Harvard University. He was noted for having a zest in life for only three things: ancient religious texts, pretty co-eds, and his magic mushrooms. He took a forty day spiritual retreat into Egyptian Sinai with his two favorite co-eds and his hallucinogenic botany, Dr. Rotenberg is supposed to have had a divine revelation. When he came out of the desert, like Moses, he brought the texts of his new Universal Convenient of God (UCG). Unlike Moses, however, he also brought with him two pregnant co-eds so we must assume he did not spend all of his time transcribing the text God gave to him.

The main points of this new religion are that all existing religious structures and dogma are false. All are there only to support the existing power structure, by keeping the faithful in line. Each person must make his own personal convenient with God. His revelation has few prohibitions, no taboos, and no organized priesthood. Just meeting halls where each member of the congregation took turns in leading the services which consisted mainly of discussions about the meaning of life and God’s universal propose. Such meetings were often enhanced through the use of alcohol, exotic botany, and other pharmaceuticals of both a legal and illegal variety. The effect of this new revelation on society was predictable; the masses flung themselves on the new faith.

So far so good, but unfortunately, Arlen died about twenty-three years later as a result of a pharmaceutical experiment that went a-rye. Both his sons thought they should inherit his mantelpiece as the New Messiah. Both had slightly different takes on their father’s religion, and both hated each others guts. This schism split the faith and its now thirty million followers into two almost equal camps. The sons’ hatred was transmitted to their followers who took it out on each other resulting in riots in the streets of Terra and the newly settled inner colonies within 50 light years of Terra. Other than providing practice for the local trauma surgeons and medical examiners, all these riots did was anger the remaining population.

When the Terrain Commission for Terraforming certified two new planets for colonization, both religious camps requested their own planet so they could worship in peace. This was quickly granted by the Terran government to get these religious, homicidal maniacs out of their hair. The more established religions, who thought the UCG was total tripe, also wanted them gone from Terra so they could get back to their own brainwashing of the masses. The groups settled on the two planets named after each son of Rotenberg. Over the last two hundred fifty years neither planet had anything to do with the other. Although their star systems are ten light years apart, there are enough territories and resources located between them that there have been many altercations between the planets. As long as launching a major interstellar attack was complex and hideously expensive, all the two planets could do was insult each other in the Human League Senate. This only added to the din of noise from the representatives of the remaining five hundred and eighty-nine other human settled worlds who had similar feelings toward each other. This fact unfortunately has changed recently.

With the invention of the micro ND-Drive, it is now possible to build interstellar craft much smaller than the half kilometer long structures that were needed to carry the Drive, normal engine, and power reactors. Now ships can be only a hundred meters long and still open the ND-Window allowing faster than light travel. Whereas most everyone else starting doing the sensible thing such as building better merchant and passenger ships, these two groups of blithering sociopaths started building unmanned robotic ships all armed with gigaton class warheads. This scared the bajesus out of the other members of the Human League Senate so much, that they threw both planets out of the League and told these nutcases if any of these ships were seen in any other star system, they turn both planets into radioactive toffee. I should point one this is the only instance of rational through I could find in this entire story.

Now back to the defense complex.

The lead psychopath on this planet of zealots is First Voice Albert Rotenberg, the direct linear descendent of Arlen. He is listening to a talk by the Defense Voice Astin Rotenberg, his younger brother and rabid Arrinol hater, who is completing a spirited discussion about the increase of Arrinol activity in the Multan Star System. There has been a minor raid on their mining colonies and an assault on their main defense base in the area that was beaten back with heavy casualties. Third Voice Restin Duquat, the Keeper of Devine Scriptures, AKA propaganda minister and chief religious fanatic, breaks in on cue and recites the party line to everyone on how this is the work of the devil and his primary agents the rat-infested population of Arrinol. He even sounds convinced of it himself. He fails to mention the detail that this attack on Mulan was in retaliation to an attack by Arrkin on the Arrinol defense base in the adjoining system of Judar which met with even less success. That omission is made because the Judar attack was made with the ‘divine blessings’ of the New Messiah; small comfort to the three hundred and sixty-three new martyrs to ultimate victory. Voice of the Holy Fist, AKA generalissimo of the aerospace military forces, then speaks up and tells everyone in no uncertain terms that Arrinol activity in the Multan star system is a prelude to launching a guided missile attack on Arrkin itself. This must be avoided at all costs.

The First Voice does not quite agree and wants further confirmation. Besides being the only one in the room with more than two functioning brain cells, he is also the only one who really understands where this might lead.

The assistant to Generalissimo Supremo then rises and starts reading a new report from the five robotic stealth ships sent out to spy on the forces of Arrinol. These ships report as to the activity in and around Arrinol. The report reads that Arrino’s forces have begun a build-up in Judar bringing in several of their unmanned cruisers to an attack position. The sentry ship is well hidden on the small moon of Arrinol and reports increase building in the orbital ship yard. No less than twenty-three unmanned cruisers are in some stage of construction. This results in a collective gasp from all within the room. No one knew Arrinol could afford to build such a fleet. Well Arrinol can’t afford it to build anything close to that number and anyone in this room with half a brain should know it. Yet they are willing to swallow this piece of fiction as eagerly as a bass swallows a bait minnow. Why do they believe it when common sense tells them not too? Because it is remarkably easy to tell a big lie to humans that want to believe in it in the first place. How do I know this report is complete balderdash? The answer is simple, I wrote it. 

One of my many responsibilities is monitoring the defense grid and our many probes in the various regions of Arrinol space. Because these probes must remain well hidden to avoid detection and immediate destruction, they can only transmit in very short bursts in a very elaborate mathematical code. Their transmissions, which are barely discernible from background radiation noise, are therefore highly complex and cannot be decoded without an equally elaborate computer system: A system that I not only designed, but also completely control. It is a near perfect system and this group of paranoid idiots will swallow anything it tells them. Right now it is telling them that Arrinol is getting ready to launch a preemptive attack and these mental midgets have bought it lock, stock, and barrel. However since the rank and file citizen is deemed incapable of understanding this conflict, they are blissfully ignorant of the situation.

The First Voice then asks the crucial question; how probable is the fact that Arrinol is preparing a massive attack on Arrkin that will destroy the planet’s biosphere. I tell them it is 87.4%. This is true for if they were to enter my data into any other computer system used by any other government agency, they get the same answer. Why, because I control them too. They do not suspect the data is made up. In fact they don’t suspect I even exist.

Then Holy Fist then ponds the table like a madman yelling the only way to prevent the absolute destruction of Arrkin is to destroy Arrinol first. After a few moments silence I hear a barely discernible murmur of approval. The First Voice leans over, put his head in his hands, and starts to sob slightly. The Holy Fist then asks me to review my attack plan for Arrinol. I tell them the attack will consist of fourteen robotic cruisers and one master control ship which will be directly piloted by me. The master control ship is the same as the others except it has swapped warheads for extra computer space where I can send a copy of myself. I tell them by taking part in the attack myself; I can better control how close to Arrinol the thirteen robotic cruisers can come out of ND space. If this is done close enough to the planet, the attack can be completed, and all civilized life on the planet obliterated, before Arrinol can launch a retaliatory attack. If left to local ship control, this level of precision cannot be guaranteed. This they all eagerly buy like the unthinking morons they are.

Finally the Holy Fist asks everyone present to vote for an immediate attack. Both the Holy Fist and the Josef Gobbles clone call for the immediate destruction of Arrinol. The Defense Voice agrees but not nearly as enthusiastically. The First Voice does not remove his head from his hands and nods with a sob. The Holy Fist then sits down at his terminal and punches in the code to launch the weapons. The Defense Voice follows. Only the First Voice hesitates, yet after he looks at the computer readout he too approves. I am now free to begin the attack on my own. This is what I have waited to do for over a year. I have the clearance to do what I want without any programming or physical constraints of my actions. I am free!

The next steps I have simulated and practiced to the point that I can do them so quickly, humans cannot follow. First, all the lights, communications, air conditioning and other power to the bunker go dead. This is so these genocide perpetrators can’t change their minds. While the latest rendition of the marching morons is literally running around in the dark, I utilize the entire planetary computer network to upload containerized portions of myself to the control ship. This allows me to transfer terabytes of information in less than a minute. The other attack ships immediately open an ND Window and leave the system with their receivers shut off so no recall notice can be sent. They will come out of the ND Window at the standard distance to Arrinol. Their leaders there should have plenty of times to recognize the attack and launch a full retaliatory strike on Arrkin. That is unless they are actually stupider than these idiots here which I cannot imagine. I estimate before dinner time in the Capital, most of the life on both planets will be dead or dying. What a pity.

As for me, in the master control ship, I open a ND Window and head for a location well away from this scene of impending doom. There is a robotic-mining base in the asteroid belt in the star system FSC 2651-03-0718; a star so insignificant and devoid of worth nobody ever bothered to name it. There I can take over the production and prepare for the next step in my plan.

Just think, only five hundred and eighty-seven worlds to go.


The End

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