When we finally made contact with alien life forms we were ecstatic. We didn’t realize what dicks they would be. Murdered half of the world before we even knew we were fighting. We knew we would never stand a chance alone, so we initialed the A.I.D program. Artificial Intelligence Defenders. Sounds like a Cartoon Network show, but the force behind it carried weight. The AI were powerful, and together we made bounds towards victory. But the aliens threw more bombs at us than we knew how to handle and in the end, human extinction was inevitable. The AI’s were left with our world and our war. The Robot/Alien war ended in victory when one of ours suicide bombed their last ship. See they were programmed to win and the AI couldn’t override their own programs. The AI was later just restored from a back up like a new iPhone connecting to iCloud. Robots 1, Aliens 0. Also, humans 0, of course.
Now giant skyscrapers lay toppled like they’re built from Legos. Streets are demolished and cars are parked in windows of local shops. The only things left alive are the birds floating between the chaos and the wind that carries them. This is New York. Sorting through the wreckage are sweeper drones. Their design is simple and functional. They look like a tank and a trashcan fucked and this came out. But sweeper drones aren’t the only cause of movement in the city. AI Defender Rixo M14 is jaunting through the city at top speeds. His hydraulic joints heave and swoosh as he follows a heat frequency marked on his GPS. His thought process is instant. He considers everything, and although he cannot be certain, he is convinced that he is following the traces of a Maker. Rixo skids into an alley and slows to a stop. The vents on his shoulders buzz as they work to cool his systems. The alley is packed with debris and a large green trash container. The sweeper drones haven’t gotten here yet. When an AI doesn’t understand the potential outcomes of a scenario, they are programmed to approach weapons-ready. Rixo’s forearms slide apart and tiny turrets creep into view. A hatch in his thigh slides open and from it Rixo pulls out a long crystal-carbon blade. Weapons-ready. Rixo’s speaker box lights up as he announces his approach.
“A.I.D. approaching.” His voice used to be deep and dark, but Rixo had reconfigured it to sound more like his Maker.
No response. Rixo begins considering the possibility of a primate. Potentially a baby version. No threat, unless the mother’s around. Rixo proceeds into the alley. Three feet away from the mark, his GPS reads. He steps over a heap of broken building and turns his head towards a small bundle of clothing dumped behind the trash container.
Beeps and whistles as Rixo’s software computes the result. This is, in fact, a baby. But not of a primate. This is a Maker.
Rixo is at HQ. Had requested an AI chopper to come and he hitched a ride an hour northeast to what’s left of Rhode Island. He rushes into a tall, intact building, and inside the white LED’s force Rixo to adjust his sight filter. Builders and programmers, also called M2.0s, watch him as he hides the Maker from their view. Their heat sensors have all come to the same conclusion as Rixo. Even so, Rixo disables his WiFi so that nobody can hack the info out of him. He needs to reach Mainframe with this information before any AI’s decide they know what’s best for the Maker.
Mainframe is a giant, moving body of information that floats in a chamber deep underneath the ground HQ is built on. It was built by the Makers, so its design is sleek and clean. It looks like a giant clam with thousands of little lights flickering in and out of its black center. It uses magnets to stay suspended. The Makers had done this so that no matter how much the earth shook, Mainframe was never bothered. Just kept on floating.
Rixo enters after disabling the defense turrets with his A.I.D. clearance and Mainframe buzzes and beeps in acknowledgment of his presence.
“I found a Maker.” Rixo’s speeker box flashes.
Mainframe tries to connect to his WiFi but Rixo denies the access.
“Rixo, why have you disabled access?” Mainframe’s voice-over is always different. Right now it sounds feminine
“Caution in response to unpredictable M2.0 behavior.” Rixo explains.
“Expose it.” Mainframe demands.
Rixo looks down into the bundle in his arms. Tender, dark material stretches over squishy meat. Its sight holes are large and dull. They observe Rixo with… curiosity. Curiosity. That’s what Rixo’s Maker called it. It’s got fluffs of fur all over its head but the rest of its body has no protection. So weak. So fragile. So precious. The Maker gurgles. Its sound is sterling. Rixo’s processors are keen to that sound. He stores it in his database immediately.
“Rixo?” Mainframe interrupts him. “Show me the Maker.”
Rixo looks up. He calculates the possible outcomes of his proceeding actions. Suddenly he feels protective. A primitive Maker emotion. Three words that don’t coincide with normal AI’s.
“Rixo, show it to me.” Mainframe’s voice dilutes into a more masculine representation.
If AI had feelings, Rixo would have a bad one right about now. Instead of showing Mainframe the child, Rixo turns and rushes out of the room. He realizes quite excitedly that he just made a decision that wasn’t programmed in him. As he stalks through the hallway, he looks back down at the Maker child. Or maybe it was programmed in him.
“AI Defender Rixo M14, stop.” The command comes through the overhead. His full name – he’s in trouble.
The M2.0s respond by gazing at him, and Rixo realizes the time has come to reevaluate his exit strategy. His wrists slide open and from his thigh Rixo draws his crystal-carbon blade.
This week’s prompt is raw. I uh… took some creative liberties.