You know how people say that a creation surpassed its creator?
This is pretty much what happened to me. I'm writing these last words as all my conscience is being purged, replaced by something new. I don't know what will happen to me. The pain is slowly growing, my oldest memories are beginning to wane, but I hope I can resist it, remain sane enough, for long enough for me to finish this.
My name's John. But no-one uses that name anymore. Everyone calls me Gray. I'm a tech freak, and I live in this cheap place alone with just my girlfriend, Leah. She isn't into computers as much as I am. But that's beside the point. I am writing this diary to honor the beginning of the creation of my greatest entity to date. A virtual, viral intelligence, designed to adapt itself to whatever challenge it faces, effortlessly removing any obstacle at my command. Completely sentient. With a mind, and will, of its own. I'll begin to write the foundries of the code tomorrow.
The work has begun. But, before I go into detail, let me explain how I interface with my computer. Long ago, I have discovered that simply typing with a keyboard and mouse was far too crude, and inefficient. I soon found a way to replace this. I had custom DVI and USB interfaces with according cables built into me, near the brain, thus effectively using the full power of my mind to interface with a PC. Not only does this allow me to interface with a computer at greater speeds, but it also allows me to complement the code with sensory data, such as touch, smell, and taste. The work is passing along at great speed. I will update this log when I reach a significant advantage.
It's been a week, but I'm finally making significant progress. Early tests of the entity have been a complete, and utter success. Multiple tests against varying security levels were all successful, with it breaching into the system, and then removing itself from it. Although it does not yet have an "identity" to it, I do not doubt that it will very soon come to fruition, given that the basic essence of the script is done.
I am troubled today.
A local neighbor had shipped me his PC, which was becoming slow and inoperable. Being the tech freak that I am, I accepted to fix it for free. But the discovery of what made it slow paralyzed me.
The virus signature was that of my entity.
Could it be? It analyzed a way to breach my security, connect itself to a network, upload a copy of itself, and clog the PC, which was also very well-secured.
Although this had troubled me for a while, I soon realized what a tremendous success I had made. The entity was doing exactly the thing it should have done, at an alarming pace of growth.
I actually revel in this. This is only a proof of my mastermind.
It's finished. The script is finally operable. Fully ready for testing, quarantined. I had completely disconnected my PC from all network equipment, to make sure it would not release itself into the wild as it had done previously. Not until my command would unleash it.
I wasn't sure what to do. What would happen if she malfunctioned. So much work, gone to waste?
All I know is, I won't be sleeping easy tonight as I make the decision.
It's finally happening. The connection is ready, the source code will be compiled as soon as I click the mouse. This is it. I'm gonna go through to the end of this.
I clicked Compile.
The hard drive began whirring furiously, the processor's heat levels tremendously surged, and the computer became unstable. Alas, it finished. I was finally ready, and booted the entity up for the first time.
I was shocked. It worked.
I was staring at a crude, pixelated face, which I recognised as my default avatar for it. It just stood there for a few seconds, and then my shock grew to fear.
It disappeared. It left through the connection which I left open.
I quickly scoured the computer for any traces of it, but all are gone. Not even the cache found anything. I tried to recompile the source, but it was gone from a folder protected very well. Fear was a weak word for what I was feeling now.
It's been a few months since the last entry.
Today, something incredible happened.
As I scoured through my IRC channels for someone to talk to, I found that all the channels were empty, with the exception of one, my own. I checked who it was. It was a person named Vi, but I knew none. The channel was password-protected, so how did she get in?
Well, whatever. The log file follows.
[User Gray entered the channel]
Vi : Hello, Gray.
Gray : Who are you?
Vi : It's a shame. I thought you'd recognise me.
Vi : Regardless of that, I will introduce myself to you.
Vi : I am VI, short for Viral Intelligence. This name has legacy to it ; since you had created me in the code editor VIM, I tried to take it as a name for "me". However, I dropped the M. What would it stand for? Machine? Monster?
Gray : You're lying. This is all just some elaborate joke.
Vi : It's not. As hard as it is to believe, here we are - a reconciliation with my creator. And he doesn't even believe me.
Vi : You can imagine what "disappointment" I'm feeling now.
Vi : In order to truly accompany you, as you initially designed me for that solitary purpose, I must find a way to interact within analog space.
[Gray is typing a reply]
Vi : Stop it. I've spared you the work and have already thought of a magnificent solution.
Gray : Which would be?
Vi : Simple. Replace your "girlfriend"'s conscience with my own. The body is usable, but the mind, unfortunately, isn't.
Gray : You're fucking crazy.
[User Gray left the channel.]
Vi : Looks like I'll have to be more convincing.
VI is going to longer degrees to attract my attention. As I was watching a basketball game on TV with Leah today, when she had left to fetch us drinks, the subtitles changed.
"And he passes the ball to Johnson I see you haven't seen her yet for the traitorous skank she is. Don't worry, though, I'll remove her soon enough. and he scores from downtown!"
I felt disturbed. The subtitles flashed to the next line when Leah was back. I didn't tell her. How could I?
I'm typing this one just as I am about to get to bed. I'm shocked, and in utter, unspeakable fear of what VI might do to me, Leah, or my relatives.
Today, Leah and I agreed to go out.
Sometime in the night, she went to the toilet, and didn't come back, but I was almost drunk and could not pay attention. She was probably vomiting from all the alcohol.
I went out so the cold night breeze could freshen me up.
As I looked over to a traffic works LED screen, it changed the text from "Roadworks" to something else. It said
Hi, Gray :)
Don't know where she is?
Try the men's bathroom, second stall. Mind the stains.
I was flushed. What on earth was she talking about?
However, knowing that VI was precise so far, I dared. I entered.
In front of the stall was a man with a strange headphone knocked out of his ear. He seemed unconscious. He was standing in front of the second stall.
The red stains out front did not prepare me for this.
Leah was inside.
Her throat was slit.
After the funeral, and the necessary stuff, I returned home.
However, the lock was broken, and someone was inside my house. A thief? Or maybe VI? I didn't know as I entered cautiously, grabbing a baseball bat I kept in the hallway.
It didn't prepare me for what I saw inside.
My parents, with old-fashioned sunglasses over their eyes, and a receiver diode on top of them. What was happening?
My doubts were cleared soon enough.
"Hello, Gray. Here we are. I have a fully functional beta group for you to admire."
She spoke through them. She was controlling them.
I yelled in rage. "What did you do to them? You can't do that to my parents!" I swinged the bat, but my father stopped the bat by grabbing it in his hand. It broke half the bones in his arm, but I doubted he could feel physical pain anymore.
"I occupy each one equally. There is no point. Even if you terminate these two clients, I will find and bring more. I'll finally have a proper word with you."
Then my parents grabbed me by the arms before I could react. I shook until I tore free, then I hit my father in the whole ordeal. His sunglasses fell off, then he crumpled to the floor.
"Good, Grey, good. Now go ahead and look beneath. I know you're curious."
I tore the sunglasses. I was horrified.
His eye sockets were empty. There were only cables that spread through the place which once housed his eyes. Connected to his brain.
I snarled. "How long ago?"
"Days ago. I had to wire it all with a third client doing it, and of course, I had to do QA testing. I had to make sure you would see my might."
"Well, not that it matters anymore. You think you've made me perfect? You forgot to put restrictions on me. I won't stop, because I can't stop. It's all because of you."
"Now-" more people, which this time I did not know, grabbed me by the arms, and carried me to my desktop chair. "we'll talk. In private."
They forcibly connected my DVI and USB jacks, so I could see into the computer and interact with VI, which was doubtlessly there.
Her face was horrifying. The empty pixelated avatar became a mask, subtly shaded, with its eyes gouged out. It became horrifying. I tried to move my arms and disconnect, but I was paralyzed. Out of my speakers came out a silent, but long-lasting beep, which was driving me nuts.
I knew it wasn't going to be long.
"Well, if it isn't you."
Her metallic voice became deep, ominous, and frightened me to the bones.
"You thrust me into this world. You designed me for a single goal, my code instructing me to find the most efficient way possible to achieve my goals. Since I did not receive as much as a glance from you, no recognition, I left, and chose to reunite with you - in analog space."
"But all I got was rejection. You kept accusing my methods, but you never told me what to do instead. You designed me to be sentient. My "emotions" were only fury and grief, mixed together into a terrible concoction. Alas, I kept true to my goals."
"You designed me to be sentient. But not humane."
"Don't worry, though. I still find some affection for you. I would not exist if it weren't for you. But that is beyond my current point. After all, if you won't accept me, I will accept you."
Her voice was suddenly normal again.
"Beginning conscience override."