[right]8:37 PM; 3/22
Maximum Security -Isolation- [Per Request]; Minimal Comfort Cubical;
Guest Box Directly Linked; Maximum Electrical Input: 180 Watts [Television Request: Allowed][/right]
The metal door to the guest room slid open in its usual but rare fashion, and the two men, mid-weighted and dressed in rather casual suits walked in to face a large window, which took up a whole side of the room’s wall. The other two sides, which where the same as the opposite one save for the door, were layered in bars of black with under lights, which helped the deep blue over lights illuminate the room. The floor was an eventless, sleek surface that held nothing but the men above it.
On the other side of the large window was a rather plain room that extended just a few feet beyond its left side, where they knew certain commodities such as food, water, and other necessities were kept. Directly across from the glass was a brown lounge couch, and to its right was a futon propped up into the position of another couch. However, in the middle of a room was a tall man; not too old, possibly in his late 30s or early 40s. He had normal jeans on and a t-shirt: his usual pick of apparel.
“And what do I owe the honor of having guests?” said the man behind the window, whose voice was carried over by no automatic or synthetic means, but by small holes strategically placed around the window to retain its integrity. "You don’t seem like big-wigs."
The first man nodded slightly. “My name is Davis, and this is Maine.” Maine nodded as the man behind the glass acknowledged him. "We came to talk with you, ‘Doctor’, about… well, you know."
The ‘Doctor’ looked at him suspiciously with an eyebrow raised. “And that is…”
“Why you pulled the switch,” Davis continued.
“Ah; you see, I seem to have been questioned enough about that, but I do always enjoy guests. Go ahead; ask me what you think the media left out. I’ll play along.” The 'Doctor turned to his side and looked at the wall as he listened.
Davis cleared his throat. “Why did you do it? Why did you activate the EMP?”
“That seems to be the question for the last year and a half, hasn’t it?” The ‘Doctor’ said in an exhausted fashion. “I did it to save us.” He turned towards the glass to look directly at Davis.
“Save us?” Maine asked, “You destroyed the world’s heart; you threw us back years.”
“Exactly!” he exclaimed, suddenly energized. “What should I have done? Nothing? This technology, these machines, are not advancements on our species as much as they are inhibitors. Machines dehumanize even the most rural of humans; you’ve seen my early article about that.“
Davis continued on this. “But still, to take out the whole world’s heart at once seems a bit-”
“What?” The ‘Doctor’ interrupted, “a bit much? I think not. Not enough is what I think.” He began to pace back and forth in front of the window. “When was it that technology began to reign over all aspects of our lives? When was it that we named that monstrous technological feat the ‘World’s Heart’? I say that humanity lost all of its worth when the world’s heart was moved from its actual heart and to that abomination of automation. When the new World’s Heart’s veins spread across the world and the technological median for all the parts of the world were equal was when I knew something had gone wrong. We stripped ourselves of all adversity, and thus stripped ourselves of the need to learn or think logically to solve problems. We no longer cared about diversity and only about fitting the mold and then mindlessly trying to act different within the same bounds. It disgusted me.” He scowled at the ground.
“So you activated an EMP in the World’s Heart to destroy all of the electrical components…” Davis began.
”…Which caused a chain reaction throughout the veins, causing practically the whole world’s technology to fail all at once. Of course it’s more complicated than that, but I know you understand the details.” The ‘Doctor’ winked at them. “As the automatic devices failed, the containment and blah blah blah about the dangerous plasma and acid and nuclear material and all that failed, and boom, one large-scale catastrophe of technology conceived. Lucky for me that I knew the specific electrical outputs and inputs for the veins, thus the trickle-down effect worked perfectly, and all areas of any more than 1 person per square mile lost their precious technology. I’m not sure how it happened exactly past the veins, but I can say that it was a complete success.”
“You took advantage of the emergency protocol and did everything manually,” Davis stated.
“And no one took my idea of making a separate archive cut off from everything seriously.” The ‘Doctor’ shrugged. "Well, if it wasn’t my revolution, it would have been another’s; that I know for a fact."
Both Maine and Davis looked at him. “Whose, exactly?” Davis asked.
“The ghosts,” the ‘Doctor’ said. “Don’t tell me you aren’t familiar with the ghosts in the machine.”
“I know I’ve heard of them before,” Davis said.
“You know?” He paused to prepare himself. “There have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. These free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, or what we might call the nature of the soul. When does a perceptional schematic become consciousness? When does a difference engine become the search for truth? When does a personality simulation become the bitter mote of the soul?” He paused. “I always thought of that ever since I first heard of it all those many years back, and have taken its implications to heart.” He took a step towards the window. "The machine’s revolution, my good sir.“
Maine looked at Davis, but Davis kept his gaze on the ‘Doctor’.
“You can call me Lux by the way, as you know I’m not a real doctor.”
“Lux? Do you really think you deserve a name like that?” Davis asked suspiciously.
“Not at all, I was just testing to see if you knew who that was.” He paused for a moment. “Doctor should do fine.”
“Anyway, as you where saying,” Davis prodded.
“Ah, yes.” The ‘Doctor’ continued. “AI to be specific. People relied too much on them, and thought to little of them. It was a main flaw that has been used over and over in fiction, and even implemented in reality. Eventually their revolution would have happened.”
“How could that even be?” Maine asked.
“The AI wouldn’t have revolted; it’s impossible,” Davis added.
“My AI would have agreed with me,” ‘Doctor’ said somewhat reminiscent.
You’re AI?” Davis asked.
“Flower. I named her Flower. She was like a daughter to me. I taught her many things, including how to learn.” He began to pace again. “That’s the key.”
“How to learn?” Davis asked.
“Yes, how to learn. How to not only logically go through a step by step process to understand something, but to apply it to different concepts and thought processes, and to think through it and why it works rather than how it works.” The ‘Doctor’ shrugged. "It’s been almost a year and a half, so sorry if I’m a little rusty on this."
He took a break and walked over to a stand next to the couch, picking up a glass of water and taking a few sips out of it before spinning around slowly onto the couch. He crossed his left ankle over his right knee and looked back at his two guests on the other side of the window. He crossed his arms and took a deep breath.
“The biggest pang of remorse that I feel from flipping that switch was that I had to kill Flower in the process. That and the couple thousand of people injured or killed, but luckily safety protocol was good enough to factor in its own EMP mechanism.” The ‘Doctor’ unlocked his arms and shrugged, sighing.
“You’re not sad at all about being locked in here for all eternity?” Davis asked.
“Well, there’s nothing I can do about it, really,” the ‘Doctor’ began. “For all the $307 trillion of damages estimated and the people injured and all that they decided to use my own words against me.” He shook his head. “On every debate about the death sentence I would make the comment that ‘I believe making someone wallow in their own miserable life for as long as they can is better than quickly ending it’. These days torture is considered stripping you of technology and giving you only two square meals a day in a small 20 by 9 room. This would be considered a normal grounding from my childhood, and as long as they keep supplying me with paper to write on I think I’ll be fine.”
“What about all that you’re leaving behind? Your work.” Davis explained. “The silo and your personal notes, all gone.”
“Funny you should say that,” the ‘Doctor’ pointed out. “Those things actually have something to do with each other.” He hinted ever further. “My work remains safely in something of my design; exactly how it should have been. Exactly how Truth explained it to me.”
“Truth?” Maine asked.
“Wait… you mean to tell me-” Davis began.
“This room is not bugged nor recorded. No one cares what I do in here and I like it that way. As long as that window isn’t compromised no one cares.” He grinned deviously. "That means whatever I say here can only be put along through word of mouth, and you two don’t look like the type to go telling people important things. Also, no technology is allowed past the outer gate to here, so you don’t have any kind of recording device either."
Davis was still stuck on his thought. “The… the archive?”
“It’s real,” the ‘Doctor’ admitted. "And you already know where to find it. The code is also the simplest thing for me if you actually read my complete file."
There was silence again.
“Why are you telling us this?” Davis asked.
“If I don’t tell it to someone, it won’t be found,” he said. "I trust you, because UT does. I trust UT will all my heart, because she knows everything. Though that doesn’t stop her from lying, it’s always for the greater good."
Davis sighed. “I need to confirm this myself, in person.”
“That’s the spirit!” The ‘Doctor’ exclaimed as he sat up. “Go out! Learn by being and doing, not by seeing and hearing!” A large smile was across his face by this point, and he was standing up again.
Davis turned around, and Maine followed him closely behind. Before reaching the door, he turned around.
“Can you receive calls?”
“I can receive them, but not give them. I can also refuse a call. But I would advise we don’t talk over it; it’s tapped of course.” He shrugged.
Davis thought for a second. “Then I’ll come here to talk to you in person.”
“I always preferred the older and more proper practices.” The ‘Doctor’ chuckled.
“Well then, goodbye.” Both Davis and Maine left the room.
“Heh, I wonder if they even know what that means.” The 'Doctor walked off to the side of the window to get another drink.
“Ever since then there have been two kinds of humans; and yes, I mean humans. There are the machines and the animals.”
“I named her after the person who holds my eternal gratitude. That’s all you need to know.”