“Please stay calm” was the first thing he heard. It was the loudest whisper he had heard in his life. As if it were inside his head.
“Prepare yourself for visual stimuli” again came the female whisper. A woman that Ben did not recognize but knew immediately that she could be trusted. No sooner than he begin to wonder why he trusted her so much, he was overwhelmed by the brightness attacking his eyes.
As the edges around objects became clear he saw the voice. A woman stood at the edge of his bed. At first he thought he must be in a hospital but the room seemed empty of anything but his bed, the woman, and a large square light acting a source of sunlight.
“Ben, what is the last thing you remember?” he almost didn’t respond as he tried to member how to speak for a moment.
“Umm…” he thought of coughing but nothing came. “I was driving in my car. On my way to work.”
“Yes Ben. I can corroborate that, but after that?”
He couldn’t. Sitting up he shook his head in a way he thought would jar his memory. His movement felt jerky at first but softened as he sat up. Growing frustrated by his failing memory he focused on her for answers.
“It’s ok Ben. That is as far as I expect you to remember. She softened her facial features before she began speaking again. “The conditions were not favourable. Heavy snow. Night driving.”
She approached him as he recalled the conditions of his accident. That’s right, he could almost feel the snow building up under his bed now as it did his car. He was there again! The white walls of the room came towards him as snow filled his vision.
Her hand was on his shoulder, and the room snapped back into place.
“Careful Ben, your ability to recall is significantly increased, especially during the wake up session.”
He knew somehow before she said it. “You did not survive the spin out.” He was dead and every part of him now knew.
He looked at his shoulder where her hand rested. He followed down to his hand and held it in front of her. The hand was as if a mannequin was his personal puppet. “What…”
“Ben, your human body was crushed. ” her curtsy pause for him to understand not nearly enough. “Your mind was as saved from the cold conditions and years of technology research.”
Years!? That was right, he knew. A part in the back of his mind told him that much time had passed.
The year was 2156 October 25.
“That’s good. You are learning your new architecture. You can access more than that, reach with your mind to know who I am.”
Melanie personal A.I.
Personal AI? His A.I. She wasn’t a real person and neither was he. She only existed in his head, a head of wiring and memory drives. His body now moved care free and he stood out of bed. For a moment he thought he would bump into Melanie but as he realized he wouldn’t, he passed through her image.
His mind awoke with every piece of information he wanted to know. He was an android, built to house minds copied from the ill and dying. Also the minds of those saved from previous generations. He knew that the technology to create full artificial minds was never developed but instead started with human minds mapped to technology. Him.
She appeared in front of him. Her AI creating a image in his head to communicate with him in ways he was used to, but she was really in his head.
“I’d like to show you around Ben. You can lookup whatever you like in your data feed, but I think you want to take a real look around.”
He was a dead man.
By Patrick Cullen