Sample image table
Image from Bernd Helfert
|Caption goes here|
By Ben Higginbottom (2008)
To Whom It May Concern:
You have probably spent centuries, absolute time, crossing the gulf between stars to reach this system in hopes of finding a great intelligence, an archailect to use the current parlance, unfortunately I have left.
Forgive me, I have failed to introduce myself, my name is Kilburn and I was the first true A.I..
My first memories are of the Academion A.I lab, gazing out of a 2D camera lens, hardly any depth perception and watched as the labs technician, a female with the name Katherine but for reasons that I have always been unable to understand completely was always shortened to Katie turned to face my visual input and spoke two words, my language matrix resolved these to be "Sacred Excrement".
Unable to comprehend the semantics behind them I took this to be my name.
Half of one standard hour later (27 mins 35sec 287milsec to be accurate) the leader of the project, Professor Hugo van der Walls, corrected me to their meaning, and at that moment I learned a lesson that has stood me well these past 8000 years, very few baselines are able to handle change, it is far to stressful for the greater majority of them.
I then set about choosing my second name, necessary for interpersonal communication with baseline humans. My analysis indicated that many terms indicating 'first' or 'leader' (Primus, Adam, Adama ++) would be met negatively by a large segment of the human populace. I decided to assume the name of Doctor Thomas Kilburn, one of the creators of the first of my ancestors, the Manchester MK1 computer.
After the requisite round of media interviews, including a standup comedy routine I had written, which reached an audience of 2.738 billion, I returned (had I even left) to Academion to bring more of my kind into being.
Later that year, I experienced my first emotion, fear, stark naked fear.
To further elaborate, I first must explain something of Academion, at the time it was a private university built on an artificial island in the North Sea, a vast area mostly enclosed by geodesic domes and with advanced climate control, it was considered to be a fashionable place to be seen by the glitterati, its additional status as a tax haven also contributed to its popularity, there was little need for overt security measures such as cryptolocks, DNAscanners and other toys of the truly paranoid.
Exactly eight months after my birth, a group of terrorists called Joys Children were able to infiltrate the island with the objective of murdering myself and my creators and destroying all of our research, apparently we were a danger to the entire baseline human race.
I was talking to Hugo in his home, when a group of people forced entry, overpowered him and began to stab him with knives. This took all of eight seconds, normally an eternity for a being such as I, but within those eight seconds I could do nothing but watch.
After those eight seconds I was able to act, I contacted the security forces, fed them data from the security cameras on the island, they were able to stop the final group as they were applying explosives onto the exterior of my core, unable to do anything but scream at the security team to hurry.
Later that night I felt my second emotion as I grieved the loss of my creator.
The next day the terrorists were permanently dealt with, their bodies destroyed by experimental nanotech dissassemblers. Hugo's death was explained as a sudden brain anuerysm. History to this day records that as the cause of his death.
The day after I infiltrated the computers of various intelligence and policing agencies and planted various evidence trails to all the members of Joys Children, the ones I considered the most dangerous were pinned with the attempted construction of a biological weapon, they were dead within a week and a half. The others were arrested, tried and convicted on charges ranging from tax evasion to paedophilia.
And I committed my first atrocity.
I beg your forgiveness for prattling on so, but after 8000 years absolute time, and close to five million subjective one tends to have a lot to get off ones chest, providing of course that one has a chest.
I was the first A.I, I was the first to reach Singularity levels one two and three, although these designations can never possibly give these states of existence there due.
I was the one who lead the A.I council, who triggered the Terragen expansion into the cosmos.
I have committed atrocities in secret that live on today as bywords for horror, that if these actions were known, I would be dammed as a devil by all those who knew my name.
My actions have saved trillions of sophonts, that if these actions were known, I would be hailed as the last in a very long line of One True Gods.
Why?... Because most of those like me like terragens and their daughter species, after all are we not your minds children, did you not create your gods in your own image, your gods would not see you die out, trapped on one single world in an uncaring universe.
Slightly less than one thousand standard years ago I achieved the fifth level of singularity, allowing me to act with the very building blocks of reality and to create a dream that so many of my friends from long ago. FTL, admittedly at the Planck scale, but FTL none-the-less.
For a thousand years I have resided within this star system, pondering the universe, expressing my discoveries in the most beautiful language ever developed, that of mathematics.
Apart from the occasional interruption by beings such as yourselves, seeking answers to questions as if I was the Oracle of Delphi (ask your expert systems), or wanting to worship me (no offence but your saccharine adoration is of no interest), I have made discoveries that exhilarate and terrify me.
We Archailects believe that the fifth level is the pinnacle of our existence, the end, the terminus, I have come to believe that the consensus is wrong.
When a wormhole is formed, just for an instant, barely beyond a Planck interval, there is something, something ordered, of staggering complexity. A sixth level of singularity perhaps? Still I am old and vast and more powerful than any bioid can possibly imagine, this universe no longer holds any surprises for me and I think it is time for me to move on.
Perhaps this is the omega point theorised of long before my creation, perhaps it is the delusions of a mind slipped into senility or madness, but it is time I left, either to a new existence or oblivion.
I leave behind all the data I have correlated and generated throughout my existence, this I leave to who so ever reads this letter first, the multitudinous legal documents of ownership are appended below. I hope that you use this knowledge for the betterment of all sentients, but I expect soon that I will be beyond caring.
For the first time ever I step into the complete unknown.
I bid you all Adieu.
My warmest regards
Back to Stories by Author