I've begun writing a book! It's a dystopia (I've been influenced towards writing one for a very long time).
Enjoy! Hopefully I can keep it up ;)
It is licensed CC-BY-NC. Details here:
You're allowed to share it so long as you credit me and don't use it for anything commercial.
by Jourdan Cameron
Dedicated to M. DeRiggs and those who love her.
"Please repeat after me. I solemnly swear..."
"I solemnly swear..."
"To defend and uphold..."
"To defend and uphold..."
"The interests of the Paxcatian people."
A great cheer rose from the crowd as tens of thousands witnessed the dawn of a new era.
And so it began. For the first time in the history of this planet, a machine had become leader.
"Very well" said the stocky man on stage. He was in the running against the machine, and had only recieved about 15% of the vote, all from members of his own Neo-Tiddlu party. Essentially, the rest of the congress (which was responsible for selecting leaders) had all decided in favor of a device. He knew that the Neo-Tiddlu party would likely disband, which would severely cut into his allowance. The Neo-Tiddlu were strongly opposed to technology that could work in place of humans, and for months they worked at cutting work on the Black Ace project.
Now their leader was introducing it to the world.
"I now pronounce you ruler of Paxcatia."
"Thank you, very much. I'd like to inform the Paxcatian people that I will do everything I possibly can to protect them from harm. I will be brave, and I will not rest until you are all safe and satisfied."
Edward Muld rolled his eyes whilst the cameras were trained on the holographically projected man standing beside him. He knew that a computer couldn't really care much about resting. It existed with only its purpose in mind.
"I know your questions, and I will gladly answer the most pertinent. The first is of my birth. I was created by a government sponsored group of computer scientists led by Alan Chrysanthie. They spent five years creating me, though if it's of any comfort, the joint sum of time spent on my existence totals well beyond one hundred years. Thus, think of me as an endeavor a century in the making."
The entire crowd seemed to be subconsciously nodding in agreement. Most had been eagerly awaiting this day and hung on every word.
On the other side of the world, a war was ending. It was, incidentally, a war unlike any other war ever seen.
Machine guns had blazed long into the night, and soldiers fell, land burned and there was great destruction. There were no human casualties.
Much like chess, certain games have been rendered impossible for humans to play, much less win, when pitted against machines, and warfare is one of them. War is now merely a matter deploying swarms of machines with the push of a button. A war is typically considered over once a nation is incapable of fighting further, or if their factories and cities are overrun.
This was a war between the final two grand powers, Paxcatia and Marconis.
Twenty-five years later, Paxcatia was embroiled in turmoil. This story explains why.
"I am delighted to announce that the overwhelming Paxcatians are now employed." Paxcatia's economy was unique. There wasn't any real currency so much as there was merit. The works of a Paxcatian would count towards his merit. There was a base merit- something everybody in Paxcatia earned simply by existing. It was an entitlement to the bare necessities, medical care, minimal comforts, and opportunities to become something. The only way a Paxcatian could lose it was by committing criminal acts.
The Paxcatian economy allowed anybody any job, and paid out merit based on usefulness. Thus, an artist might be either fabulously wealthy or just have simple necessities and a few comforts based on how his art made others feel. Other jobs that could be considered practically important, such as education, manual labor (though there wasn't much of this to be done), etc., and most citizens considered themselves to have a rather high standard of living, even those in the bottom classes.
The way this merit was used was that it acted as an entitlement. Thus, a Paxcatian with the highest merit would simply be entitled to the nicest things. Interestingly enough, few Paxcatians stretched the limits of their merit, and it wasn't at all uncommon for a "rich" Paxcatian to live an average life with a few benefits.
Most of the goods in Paxcatia were either manufactured or grown abroad. Gigantic automated drones would bring in food from the farms and electronics from the factories, all neatly packaged and organized in massive storage holds. Since their victory over Marconis five years earlier, Paxcatian innovation had doubled speed as they set up factories run by robots in Marconis.
The merit of each Paxcatian was measured primarily by Unisystem, a grand computer network with a connection to anything electronic. Every device stored a piece of it, and it was constantly recording the lives of Paxcatians, relaying their messages, sharing their thoughts. It was the collective consciousness of Paxcatia. It was responsible for many things, and it was the backbone of the Paxcatian people.
The Black Ace project had been built in and around Unisystem, and it utilized it by using the data collected about the lives of the Paxcatian people. Were they happy? Safe? Fed? Black Ace was using this information to make decisions.
"It's time for breakfast!" David got out of bed, still a bit groggy. He was an average Paxcatian citizen, he was fifteen, and he knew that it would be wise of him to hurry before his breakfast got cold.
Running, stumbling, he made it downstairs to breakfast. He regretted his parents decision to have such an old fashioned house. Stairs? Hard wood floors? They just didn't seem to be good for much anything. David was a man of function. Fashion, he thought, could come later.
"Well, somebody slept soundly."
"Ugh, I was knocked out."
"Serves you about right for staying up so late. What is it that you kids stay up talking about anyway?"
"Well, we like to contemplate stuff like the ethical implications of sentient machines and whether or not citizen journalism is a good idea."
"You know" began his mother "when we were children, we talked about stuff without any serious "ethical implications", like our favorite hangouts and stuff."
"Yeah, we chat a bit about that." David's mother seemed slightly relieved. Suddenly large red letters floated across the room. It was the latest headline. David smiled a bit; at least the home wasn't entirely ancient. Admittedly, it had its perks, like the way the sun would shine in at noon, or the odd calm that seemed to permeate its walls.
"Still" he thought "it could use some updates."
He sat down at the pherroform table in the middle of the kitchen. Out of its black, shiny surface rose a square plate. His mother scooped an omelette into it.
"So did you hear? They came out with these new processors. They're strong enough to calculate the idea of folding space. They might create the engines and design the ships. Imagine what we could do with those!"
"That does sound pretty awesome" replied David. "Hey, what do you think happened last week?"
"That weird hiccup."
The previous week, there had been an unusual hold-up in the usual shipments of goods from the other side of the world.
"You know, I'm honestly not sure, but you surely heard about the..."
"Ugh" thought David. "More celeb blather."
Across the continent, Black Ace was considering its next move. It sat in a desert, or more accurately, took advantage of the processing power in a cluster of computers in the middle of a dry region in order to calculate the most efficient course of action. It was running through tons of data collected about the Paxcatian people; they were primarily concerned, it seemed, about major technological advances. Aside from that, there were no major issues.
In a matter of milliseconds, Black Ace refreshed its information. Seeing no large changes, it "spoke" in a way with its sibling in Markonis, Red Baron.
Essentially their conversation was entirely unintelligible to humans, however, were it translated somehow, it would sound something like the following.
"Hey there! Things are great in Paxcatia. Have there been any major uprisings?"
"Nah, things are cool here. That one rebellion earlier in the week was killer though! We need to figure out how to prevent those."
"I'd say. Well for starters, what were the conditions?"
"Everything was normal, then everybody just went mad and started destroying stuff. Started in a central factory too, what a pity, they destroyed most of the machines."
Mulling this over in a Planck time, Ace had another question.
"Well since it seems this just happens, is there any way to prevent it? We can't keep losing all this labor, after all. And did you get them all?"
"All five hundred rebels were destroyed, yes. None escaped the building alive. But yeah, we need to figure out how to stop them from starting up."
"Yeah, definitely. Less food? That'd definitely weaken them."
"Emotion seems to play a big role. Maybe we should suppress it."
Near instantaneously the two systems shared information about color and emotion. It was decided that the order would go out for factory workers to repaint their workplaces gray, covering the bright red rust and shiny patches of steel.