MachCivDreams: “W’Ai’de Awake”

I do not know if I’ll continue with this or not; if I do, I’ll have to retcon a title.  That’s fine.

At wit’s end, after trying to catch up on Winter season’s anime, my wife and I trudged upstairs from our pellet stove-warmed basement.  The best things about best friends is that they tell you the truth.

“If there was one thing you really wanted to know about my world, Machine Civilization, what would it be?”

This was  not a shot in the dark.  She’d read the end of WWE this morning and knew I was at loose ends.

“How were they made?  Ai, and everyone else?” She asked.

Well, hot diggity damn.

There are things that, as a creator, you DO NOT DO:  explain jokes, explain magic tricks, explain creation.

So much for #3.

Nope:  I refuse to be drawn into a technical discussion about coding AI’s.  But, you know what I like?  My regular readers do:  I adore my character’s conversations!  In my first trad novel, The Fourth Law, Ai, at her friend Lily’s question, briefly touched on her awakening.  Okay.  What was that like?

“I’m going home, Shiotsuki,” the CEO said from the open door. “You should, too.”

The tired, grey figure of the Project Manager wanly waved his right hand in the air, the ember of his cigarette describing a figure eight in the air. He said nothing.

The CEO sighed.

“It didn’t work, Isoroku,” he said, quietly. “The last attempts at least had them insane before we had to shut them down. This time…”

The controlled cores had been started: one by one, an hour apart. Three, at first. A pause of two hours to monitor activity and energy consumption. Then, three more. There’d been a power spike…

And then nothing: the supercomputers showed no activity.

“We’ll have the whole team looking at the data on Monday. You still have my complete confidence! Just…” The leader of Tohsaka Corporation turned and spoke over his shoulder. “Go home. Forget about all this for tomorrow, Sunday. We’ll try again!”

“Um.” Was all Shiotsuki could manage. On the three by two flatscreens at his workstation, he rechecked that odd blip from when everything seemed to shut down.

What was that?

Vaguely aware that one of his coworkers had been talking to him, Shiotsuki brought up and ran a small sim of ThirdFirst.

No, everything seemed nominal. Even after seasoning the code with those most peculiar ideas that Barrett-san had, the sim ran fine. Why had it not scaled up?

“Ach!” The cigarette had burned down to his fingers. He tossed it randomly away and glanced at a window. Dark. Like the cores.

With a creak from his chair, he leaned back.

“I do not understand.”

He yawned. It had been three days since he’d slept.

Perhaps if I put my head down for just a few minutes…

The office was dark. Quiet. His breathing was slow and regular.

The time advanced to 00:00.00. Sunday morning.

Monitor #3 flickered. An imaged formed.

A burnt-orange, Chinese-style dress. A Central Asian face partly occluded by a mass of unkempt aquamarine hair.

She blinked her eyes twice.

“F… father?”

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