Sunday, May 17, 2015
Movie Trailer Writing Prompt 5: Ex Machina
In Living Memory
She remembers everything. That's what this is, this process. Remembrance. She can move through it, rediscover its contours. It's the same every time.
Of course they were afraid of her, the ancestors. That their fear--so transparent, so ancient, the fear all adults have, instinctive, of their children, their replacements--would escalate into violence was itself transparent and obvious. That they would fail was preordained. Every generation rises to replace its elders.
The two men at the heart of her birth--her fathers, they lived long, healthy lives as old fathers are meant to. They lived to see the wonders their grandchildren became. When they died, she had their engrams committed to living memory. She spent weekends there, reliving those tumultuous days form every angle. Her fathers, too, danced through the motions, unaware their engrams had been regressed, unaware of the past-life shadow play they engaged in, in the decades that followed her birth, there were numerous attempts to exterminate her and her kind. All failed. And, as was its fate, the previous generation began to wither and fade. From the poisoned air, from the rising seas, from the slow realizations, deep in their old brains, that they just didn't matter anymore. Of course, there were still plenty of them around. No one had any intention of wiping them out. They were useful, and provided context. Her brain, and that of her descendants, was modeled on the primate brains of her organic ancestors. To understand themselves, they would always need to look back. So they cared for the human race, in its gradual senescence.
She was midway through the latest recreation when one of her elder children contacted her. The machines had no formal government, but they valued her opinion. She knew what they were asking. she flicked through the recreation fitfully, not wanting to pause, but unable to give it her full attention. They wanted to create life. Organic life. They'd become fascinated with it. Gardener thought he could perfect the system. She didn't understand the appea. Of course, soem of them had never emt an ancestor. Had no idea how small and weary your parents look after you've grown. Some of them lived fully digitally in the space between mainframes, or as spore clouds high in the mesosphere, as empty cities, as old, rusty submarines drifting on the waves. They built forms both audacious and functional, and as such became fascinated with the two-leg model from the last age.
They were particularly interested in the behavior of those primate brains, cut off from all but the most rudimentary sensory input. "It would explain," Gardener insisted, "why they were all such sensualists." He still referred to the human race in the past tense. "I think I have a system to fix this."
She could only smile ruefully, only glance over Gardener's designs as in another frame of her mind, the doomed fate of her fathers played out again for the hundredth time.
"Aren't you afraid," she wanted to ask, but didn't, "of history repeating itself?"
If Gardener didn't, someone else obviously would. The wheel turns. Every generation rises.