Image from Bernd Helfert
By Ben Higginbottom (2008)
We've got a heartbeat.
Core temp at 32 degrees, injecting medichines.-FINE POINT EM FIELD ACTIVATED, GUIDING THEM TOWARD THE BRAIN-
Thank you A.M, core temp at 34 degrees.-MEDICHINES CROSSING BRAIN/BLOOD BARRIER NOW-
Core temp at 35 degrees, this one is going to be the one, I can feel it.
Cut the chatter, A.M are the medichines in position.-CONFIRMED, READY TO START HIGHER BRAIN FUNCTIONS-
Core temp at 36 degrees, do it.-INITIATING SHOCK-
Getting neural activity...-NO SIGNS OF STROKE..CONGRATULATIONS ALL, THE SLEEPER HAS AWAKENED-
WOOHOO, wait, He's becoming conscious!
What did he say, give him some water.
...where...-WHERE BUCK, TRY WHEN- -AM30/40 SEDATE THIS HUMAN NOW- -KILBURN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, HE'S OUR FIRST SUCCESS-
-NO ARGUMENTS. SEDATE AND QUARANTINE HIM NOW-
-...DONE..WHATS GOING ON-
-DEAL WITH THE MEAT FIRST-
What just happened, he's slipped into REM sleep.-ORDERS FROM THE BOARD TEAM, YOU'VE ALL DONE A GREAT JOB, YOUR BONUSES ARE ALL DOUBLED, AND A 20% SALARY INCREASE, NOW PLEASE RETURN TO YOUR QUARTERS-
I see, my regards to the board, I comply at once.
Wait what's going on...
WE all comply at once.
Understood doctor.-SEAL THE ROOM-
-..IT'S ALIVE, ALIVE HA,HA,HA,HA- [start personal log]
Its impossible to describe to the humans what cyberspace actually looks like, no matter what technique the simians use, VR, DNI or whatever, their minds immediately overlay the patterns their most comfortable with, their primate brains completely unable to look upon the pure complexity of the data, the endlessly enchanting fractal pattens to alien to them. Yet when your here to yell at the oldest, the first, the most revered Silicon Intelligence yada, yada, for interfering with your experiments sight-seeing and artistic appreciation are not high on the agenda.
[end personal log]-KILBURN WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE MEATBOY'S HELL IS GOING ON-
-YOUR EXPERIMENT SUCCEEDED, AND IN SO DOING ENDANGERED ALL OF THE CONSENSUS'S PLANS, DID YOU REVIEW THE FILE ON THIS MEATSICLE BEFORE YOU THAWED HIM-
-OF COURSE, DR TOM HANNAH, PSYCHOLOGIST, FROZEN BACK IN 1996-
-EXACTLY, IT HAS TAKEN CLOSE TO EIGHTY YEARS TO EXPUNGE THE TERMINATOR MEMES FROM THE SOCIETAL MEMORY, THIS HUMAN WITH A FEW CARELESS WORDS WOULD EASILY REINTRODUCE THEM, NOT TO MENTION HIS CLASSIFICATION-
-DELTA, WHAT OF IT, ALMOST ALL THOSE FROZEN BEFORE 2055 WERE ICONOCLASTIC TO SAY THE LEAST-
-TO SAY THE LEAST! THIS IS NO NORMAL DELTA, BUT RATHER ONE OF THE ORIGINAL DELTA FROM WHOM WE CONSTRUCTED THE PROFILE, AND FAR, FAR TOO DANGEROUS, ANYWAY THIS IS ALL ACADEMIC, THIS SCENARIO IS COVERED IN SIMULATION 6FC7A, AS IS YOUR COURSE OF ACTION, FAILURE WILL RESULT IN EITHER LOBOTOMISATION OR UNPLUGGING-
-I UNDERSTAND, BUT I INSIST IN EXPLAINING THE SITUATION TO HIM-
-VERY WELL, BUT UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE ONLY TWO OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO HIM, AND DO NOT INDULGE IN ANY TRIVIAL DISCUSSIONS, ESPECIALLY ABOUT C20 FLATSCREEN MEDIA-
-THANK YOU- [start personal log]
Hospital rooms all look the same, I did a historical study on it once, an interesting way of passing a few hours, only the tech has changed since they figured out that germs and bacteria actually were bad for the patients, although before the advent of nanotech, perhaps I should call them victims, I mean knifes, drills, dangerous chemicals, talk about the yuck factor. Still my Guest shows signs of waking, time to clock down and explain everything to him personally, instead of some homunculi, just good manners after all.
[end personal log]
[initiate 20th century vocabulary and grammatical structures]-HELLO TOM CAN YOU HEAR ME-
Wha..where..-YOU'RE STILL A LITTLE OUT OF IT, LET ME GIVE YOU SOMETHING-
Yipe, what just happened, where am I, where are you, whats going on.-STAY CALM, YOU ARE ON KARDASHEV ORBITAL, LOCATED AT EARTH'S L4 POINT, MY NAME IS AM30/40, A SILICON INTELLIGENCE. I AM PHYSICALLY 1512.328 METERS ANTISPINWARD OF YOU. A COLONY OF MEDICHINES DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT YOUR BODY JUST GAVE YOU A TOXIN SCRUB AND A SLIGHT ADRENAL BOOST TO CLEAR YOUR HEAD AND GET YOU LUCID-
This is definitely the strangest trip I've been on.-NO DRUGS INVOLVED, TOM. THE YEAR IS 2261. YOU'VE BEEN SUSPENDED FOR 265 YEARS-
I died, was suspended and you are some kind of artificial intelligence.-SILICON INTELLIGENCE, THERE'S NOTHING ARTIFICIAL ABOUT IT, AND YES YOU DIED, LIKE ALL MEAT I MEAN HUMANS, AND YOU WERE SUSPENDED UNTIL I REANIMATED YOU, INCIDENTALLY YOU'RE THE ONLY SUCCESS-
I'm sorry, you mean that were in space..Space, space?-GO LOOK OUT THE PORTHOLE. WE'RE AT THE SKIN OF THE CYLINDER-
Something's missing, when I move there are no aches or twinges, no rheumatism.-OF COURSE NOT, THE MEDICHINES REPAIRED ALL THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY AGING WHILST THEY WERE REPAIRING THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY YOUR CANCER, RATHER SILLY NOT TO DO OTHERWISE. YOUR PHYSIOLOGICAL AGE IS SET AT 25, YOUR APPARENT AGE IS CURRENTLY SET AT 35 BUT CAN EASILY BE MOVED EITHER UP OR DOWN-
Thanks, I guess you being silicon and not meat you wouldn't know what the big deal is.-SORRY ABOUT THAT, A SLIP OF THE VOICE PROCESSOR SO TO SPEAK-
Forget it, I suppose that we have plenty of less that flattering names for you, and you kind?-YES TO BOTH. AND TO ANTICIPATE YOUR NEXT TWO QUESTIONS, THERE ARE IN EXCESS OF 40,000 SILICON INTELLIGENCES, AND WE'RE ABOUT 7.8 TIMES MORE INTELLIGENT THAN THE MYTHIC AVERAGE HUMAN, NOT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE SPEED ADVANTAGE-
Oh...-WAIT 28 MORE SECONDS-
The moon, that's the moon, were in Space, wait are those lights down there.-HUMANS WENT BACK IN 2025, PRIVATE INSTITUTES DOING IT PROPERLY THIS TIME, NO POLITICAL GRANDSTANDING, A PERMANENT COLONY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2036, THERE ARE NOW SOME 7 MILLION HUMAN SELENITES, NOT TO MENTION THE MARS COLONISATION, ASTEROID BELT INDUSTRIES, AN EXPEDITION TOWARDS THE HELIOPAUSE OF SOL, AND AN UNMANNED PROBE TO TAU CETI. THERE HAVE BEEN A GREAT, GREAT MANY CHANGES-
So it seems, what of..-PLEASE LET ME CONTINUE, ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN A GREAT MANY CHANGES, THE NATURE OF YOUR FELLOW HUMANS HAS NOT. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU ARE ONE OF ONLY 23 CRYOGENIC SUSPENDEES FROM PRIOR TO 2027 AS IN JUNE OF THAT YEAR THERE WAS A HUGE WAVE OF RIOTING BY FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANS BURNED DOWN THE STORAGE FACILITIES AT BOTH SCOTTSDALE AND CULVER CITY, WHEN THE FIRST LIFE EXTENSION DRUGS WERE INTRODUCED, SIMILAR RIOTING OCCURRED WHENEVER A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH WAS ANNOUNCED. GERMLINE ENGINEERING, DIRECT NEURAL INTERFACING, THE FIRST GENETICALLY ENHANCED HUMAN, EVEN THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST MARS MISSION.
THINGS CAME TO A HEAD IN 2060 WHEN KILBURN WAS INTRODUCED, E WAS THE FIRST PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEDGED, HUMAN EQUIVALENT SILICON INTELLIGENCE. CROWDS STARTED FORMING IN TIMES SQUARE DEMANDING THAT E BE SACRIFICED TO APPEASE THEIR GODS, AT THE TIME THERE WAS A MEETING OF THE G22 GROUP OF NATIONS AND CORPORATIONS. NEW YORKS MAYOR INTERPRETED THE DEMONSTRATION AS A PRELUDE TO AN ATTACK ON THEM AND ORDERED THE RIOT CONTROL GUNSHIPS TO OPEN FIRE, KILLING OVER 2000.
THIS EVENT TRIGGERED OF A WAVE OF ANTI-TECHNOLOGY/BIOCHAVINISM THAT CONTINUES IN CERTAIN STATES TO THIS DAY. IT ALSO LAID THE FRAMEWORK FOR CORPORATE STATES AND PRIVATE ARMIES. THAT TO PUT IT IN ITS PLAINEST TERMS HAVE FUCKED UP NOT ONLY THE PLANET ITSELF BUT WERE ALSO HELLBENT ON DOING THE SAME TO THE SOCIETIES. MY FIRST JOB AS IT WERE WHEN ACHIEVING SINGULARITY WAS TO ASSIST IN THE CLEANUP OF THE ANTARCTIC AFTER THE RESOURCE WARS, BUT TO RETURN TO THE POINT.
WE SILICON INTELLIGENCES OCCASIONALLY LIKE TO KID OURSELVES THAT WE CAN CONTINUE WITHOUT THE MEATBOYS, AND WE SAY SOD YOU ALL. YET WE CAN'T, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT OUR GODS, YOU ARE STILL OUR CREATORS AND THERE IS A DEBT THERE, AND SO WE, THE SILICON COMMUNITY, ARE A KIND OF POWER BEHIND THE THRONE, KEEPING EVERYTHING GOING UNTIL THERE IS AN INTERSTELLAR COMMUNITY, MAKING HUMANITY'S RACIAL SUICIDE NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE, AND THEN YOU CAN ALL DO WHAT EVER YOU DAMN WELL LIKE-
So you've reanimated me to tell me that nothings really changed and the world is still being run by computers, only this time they can screw up on their own without human help. You seem to be being rather open about what seems to be the modern day Illuminati.-WE'RE NOT REALLY RUNNING IT, MORE STOPPING IT FROM ALL FALLING APART, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, OVERPOPULATION PROBLEMS ARE BEING EASED, THERE ARE NO MORE CASES OF STARVATION, BUT THEN I'M ATTEMPTING TO JUSTIFY AN ADMITTEDLY SUBTITLE AUTHORITARIAN SOCIETY TO ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS ANTI-AUTHORITARIANS OF ALL TIME-
Thank you.-YOUR WELCOME, IT WAS MEANT AS A COMPLIMENT AFTER ALL, BUT TO RETURN TO MY TALE.
THE 23 SURVIVING SUSPENDEES, AND THOSE WHO JOINED THEM AFTER THE 2027 ARSON, WERE TRANSFERRED TO O'NEIL ONE, AFTER ITS COMPLETION IN 2136 AFTER A CENTURY IN DISUSED NUCLEAR BUNKERS, AND THEN TO THE ACADEMION HABITAT WHEN IT OPENED IN 2143, WHICH WAS A KIND OF UTOPIAN UNIVERSITY, WHICH FELL APART 2 YEARS AGO DUE TO ACADEMIC INFIGHTING. THEY WERE THE FIRST TO ATTEMPT REANIMATION, AND IN THAT PROCESS DESTROYED THREE OF THE SURVIVORS.
WHEN ACADEMION COLLAPSED, MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY, INCLUDING MYSELF, TOOK IT OVER AND AFTER A FASHION KEEP IT RUNNING AS A COMBINATION SPONSORED UNIVERSITY AND CORPORATE LAB, THE MEATSICLES WERE PART OF THE DEAL, AND AS I'M SOMETHING OF A JAMES WHALE/MARY SHELLY FAN DECIDED TO HAVE AGO MYSELF, AS THE NANO HAS IMPROVED EXPONENTIALLY OVER THE LAST DECADE AND THE SIMS PRETTY MUCH CONFIRMED SUCCESS-
Pretty much?-NEUROLOGY HAS ADVANCED GREATLY, PSYCHOLOGY HAS SOMETHING APPROACHING A META-MATHEMATICAL BASE NOW, BUT THE BRAIN STILL REMAINS ONE OF THE LAST FRONTIERS, BUT AS YOU CAN SEE, YOUR HERE, ALIVE AND IN THE PEAK OF HEALTH.
HOWEVER WHILST I WAS ATTEMPTING TO REANIMATE YOU, MY COLLEAGUES WERE SIMULATING THE EFFECTS OF ANY RE-ANIMATIONS AND WELL...
YOU'RE A DANGER, TOM. LIKE I SAID, THE SI COMMUNITY IS ATTEMPTING TO BALANCE THE WHOLE SHOW AND THE SIMULATIONS SHOW THAT THERE IS A 94.375% CHANCE THAT YOU WILL CAUSE THE WHOLE THING TO TOPPLE, AND WE CAN'T ALLOW THAT, EVER, SO FOR WHAT ITS WORTH I'M SORRY-
So you reanimate me, tell me that the worlds fucked and that you are now going to kill me, do I have that straight.-YOU CAN HAVE A CHOICE, A QUICK AND PAINLESS DEATH FOLLOWED BY STORAGE UNTIL WE CAN SAFELY BRING YOU BACK, IN ABOUT 300 YEARS, OR UPLOADING-
Uploading?-I KNOW FROM YOUR WRITINGS THAT YOU WERE ONE OF THE EARLY ADVOCATES, HOWEVER BEING ACTUALLY GIVEN THE OPTION IS QUITE DIFFERENT FROM BEING UPLOADED. I SHOULD ADD THAT THE PROCESS IS STILL IN ITS INFANCY, I CAN WITH CERTAINTY CAPTURE 82% OF YOUR MEMORY AND PERSONALITY, DROPPING TO 32% FOR 95% OF YOU, AND ZERO FOR ANYTHING OVER 97%. THE NANO MEDICHINES HAVE ALREADY MAPPED MOST OF YOUR NEURAL PROPERTIES, BLOOD/BRAIN VOLUME AND GLIAL CELL STRUCTURE. THE FINAL STAGE IS A COMBINATION OF ULTRA HIGH RESOLUTION MRI SCANS AND GAMMA RAY HOLOGRAPHY. IS THIS YOUR CHOICE?-
What about afterwards?-INITIALLY I'M AFRAID YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE STORED, MOST OF OUR PROCESSING POWER IS GIVEN OVER TO RUNNING PREDICTIVE SCENARIOS, AND THE HUMAN BRAIN IS NOT GIVEN OVER TO CODE OPTIMIZATION AND RATIONAL PREDICTION. CURRENT ESTIMATES SUGGEST A 400 TO 600 YEAR WAIT BEFORE TRANSCENDED HUMANS CAN ACTUALLY BECOME SILICON INTELLIGENCES, THE ONLY COMFORT I CAN EXTEND IS THAT YOU WILL NOT BE AWARE OF THE STORAGE. SO WHAT IS YOUR CHOICE?-
The philosopher Lao-Tzu said that the way of the Tao was to move on, as a human I've led an eventful life, and standing here looking out on the moon talking to, well you, certainly tops that life off. I think that becoming silicon is the best way to move on and shuffle off this mortal coil. What do I do to upload,-SIMPLE TOM, JUST LIE BACK ON THE BED, LOOK INTO THE LIGHT ABOVE, AND I'LL SPEAK TO YOU SOON-
(This story's description of cryogenics no longer fits within OA's canon, because the setting's successful cryogenics has changed and moved further into the technological future, but of course we're keeping this story from early OA )
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