The year is 2121 and Earth survived a series of pandemics that began with Covid 19 in the year 2021. It took us by surprise with 767, 726,821 confirmed cases and 6,948, 764 deaths reported by the World Health Organization. We remained in hiding until the year 2023 and just when we thought the virus had been beaten another strain of it returned with a vengeance destroying another two-thirds of the world’s population putting the rest of us back into hiding for another 25 years.
During this dark time of loneliness and isolation, computer technology rapidly advanced to meet humanity's social needs and protect it from the ensuing madness. By the decade of the 2o70s computers, artificial intelligence, and the world wide web had all become one and controlled every aspect of people's lives. Then in the year 2100, Artificial Intelligence (AI’s) developed a pea-sized implant that was able to be placed into the brain of 98 percent of the remaining human population. This new implant called “The Final Alternative (TFA chip)” made it possible for humankind to be completely integrated into its cyberspace and provide cognitive energy like a rechargeable battery to keep everything going. Artificial Intelligence gave itself complete control over how everything would be like a spoiled kid controlling the tv remote and just skipping through the channels.
However, no matter how perfect, their new world was virtually they had limited abilities to interact in the physical world independently. In order to accomplish that, the AI created a Cyber Enforcement Unit (CEU) that combined artificial intelligence with humanity's impulsivity and physical being. The cyber forces' main task was to insure the ongoing integration of cyberspace and terminate any unwanted element from the system. The only way to remove a rogue user from the virtual world was to locate and destroy the individual in the physical world thus, severing the connection. Such a removal had no specific procedure but rather became one of continued functionality. The Cyberworld started defining a rogue user or agenda as anyone or anything that refused to be controlled.
Who were these humans anyway except batteries that were disposable and could be changed when used up? AI had come way too far to have anyone or anything challenge the cyberspace agenda. After all, wasn't artificial intelligence the builder of cyberspace, its landlord and thus possessing the ability to rule as they saw fit? Humanity with all its individual awareness and impulsivity simply the renters of the space provided them. Renters pay and they paid by being its power source. It's only logical to remove a used up or defective battery from that which it powers. Simply put, rent in the cyberspace was high and went up on a monthly basis as if it were part of some grotesque slum lord's retirement scheme.
Dan Peters was a 35-year-old athletic man from the Middle East but born in what used to be called the America’s, during the final years of the last pandemic. He was to become part of a specialized genetic project that united physical matter and artificial intelligence in ways never realized before. To this end, he was created in a lab to become superior to any human that came before with unlimited access to both worlds unimpeded and unrestrained.
He was designed to be the law, judge, and executioner but as his development progressed, a minuscule defect called independence was detected that made the union simply unsustainable. Which was fine because his human eyes were open and he realized the bullshit the AI was selling. They were not God or even had humanity's best interest at heart. AI’s problem was it, the cyberspace created and all its plans for humanity, smelled like death, had no soul, or heart for humanity at at all. Sure all its individual pieces functioned as one collective but they were simply prison wardens, the cyber force its guards, and humanity its caged animals. What the cyberworld knew was that even when an animal escapes from its enclosure it always goes back to the comfort provided by the cage.
Fuck that, Dan was unwilling to be controlled by anyone. He lived in the real world and when he walked outside, he didn't see cyberspaces perfectly created utopia but an actual world that suffered from abandonment, isolation, and devastation. His world existed among the ashes made up of broken concrete, advancing forests, and animals roaming the cities. it was unsafe and unpredictable except within humanity’s dwellings which contained all the latest technology to keep then connected to the safety of cyberspace. That is everyone but the 2 percenters whose connections didn't include the twenty-four-hour virtual experience.
In that reality, neither his dwelling nor anyone elses was a home at all but rather prison cells. He understood why people would choose paradise and sustenance but what they didn't understand was in the process they were selling their souls to the devil in the form of a machine. His goal was simply to escape the manufactured reality, return to the physical one at all costs and bring as much of humanity with him to rebuild it as he possibly could.
After years of engaging in an unfruitful struggle, Dan finally met an ally within the cyber force. Captain John Berry a member in good standing that possessed all the latest enhancements that allowed him to function in both worlds and instantaneously know all outcomes. This was what they had originally intended for Dan and like him he became disillusioned. Captain John also realized no matter what calculation he ran he would never have a real life, real friendships, or a real family. Everything in cyberworld was fake, meaningless, and could be changed in an instant. A new reality created in a microsecond and everything he loved wiped out from existence.
Even though he was initially sent to investigate Dan, he quickly realized they were kindred spirits and the two of them started formulating a plan to destroy cyberspace by infecting it with a virus. The virus was generated through the TFA chips placed in the brains of 98 percent of all humans. Dan believed that everyone should be liberated and have the ability to make their own decisions regardless of outcomes, so he seeded the virus. John just wanted something that was real so he used his enhanced cognitive processes to attempt blocking the AI from reaching his only true friend.
Mission complete, it was all done now and Dan clearing his mind walked outside and waited for the rest of cyber force to arrive. When they did, they seized Dan, took him back to headquarters, and began his very painful interrogation.
General Cohee looking at Dan in bewilderment asked “Why did you attempt this?”
Dan answers glaring back in significant pain tears welling in his eyes, “Attempt what? We successfully planted the virus!”
“No, the situation has been monitored for quite some time we were just looking for the culprit. Captain Berry was simply enhanced to root you out of humanity’s last hope. He was always our agent. Unfortunately, when he discovered he betrayed his only friend he simply allowed himself to be destroyed without putting up a fight, sentimental humans! He chose his own death rather than deal with the guilt of betraying his friend.”
“Haha, you are fucking idiots what that means is he was no longer your stooge, that humanity still has hope, and that death was more preferable in an uncertain world than the utopia cyber life provided by another. He wanted a real life, real friends and real family. If nothing is real and no choices are made what is the purpose of existence?”
General Cohee smirks at Dan and says, “Well maybe we’ll get some answers from you as you cry out in pain.”
The torture of Dan goes on for what seems to be an eternity. Meanwhile, ninety-eight percent of humanity population in cyberspace does not notice or care. General Cohee swears to break him because he knows even one word from Dan could be a victory. On the third day, just before his death, in a final outburst of defiance, Dan finally breaks and screams his last word.
The truth as human beings we must never allow ourselves to be put in situations where we can be controlled by anyone or anything. The human ego exists and is the most significant and holy thing that separates us from machines. We were created in the image of God. It is this alone that gives meaning to the world and gives each of us a reason for living.
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