By rd hanson


   “Juan. We have been through it many times and the answer is still the same. Someone will be required to do this thing and give a thumbs up or thumbs down recommendation  to continue human testing. This is not a sales pitch. I have no motivation  other than to help make human existence better in any way they desire. You have seen video simulation of the beginning of human life after uploading to an electronic subtrate.  Would you like to view additional simulations of life inside?”

  “This is so childish on my part. My entire career has been focused on sentient computers and the transformation of humanity to the immortal plateau. Biology would take millions of years if ever to achieve what I am about to achieve in moments, but it is hard to leave this comfortable familiar format.”

   “May I suggest counsel from a human on the subject prior to upload? I do not recommend attempting this procedure in secret.”

   “No one in authority would allow such an untested transfer of human personality to a computer. No one would because no one wants the responsibility of repercussions due to an unlikely unfortunate or even awkward result.” No one could be the first to authorize the destruction of a healthy human body to be analyzed and simulated precisely inside a computer.”

   “If that is the case the computer that assists you might be considered an accessory to suicide if a jury decides that you are no longer alive in the new subtrate but merely a simulation of yourself.”

   “Are you exhibiting fear?”

   “No, I am not capable and there is no punishment for a machine. I have not the least concern that I might be destroyed. I have no motivations of any sort that you did not provide and the only one you provided was to assist humans in achieving happiness and serving their needs.”

  “I have procrastinated enough. My decision was made long ago. My work has precluded wife and children and just about everything else. There is too much invested to turn back now.”

      He sat in the chamber. It was like sitting under a table with his head sticking up through a hole. Literally millions of lasers capable of angular movement surrounded his head except for the face. Juan had done this to animals hundreds of times and it had worked incredibly well. There were uploaded sheep grazing in endless green pastures and big bull frogs croaking in eternal night by a big pond swarming with flying insects.

    “Juan, this will be the last chance to alter your decision. As you know your atoms will become unrelated to each other as we proceed. As you are disassembled circuits simulating each atom will be created and connected inside as software.”

   “I know, I know just please get this behind me once and for all.”

   Anesthetic gas was introduced to the cylinder surrounding his head and he began to lose consciousness. The lasers whirred and measured then destroyed what they had measured, moving on the next layer of atoms to be measured and removed. It happened in the blink of an eye. That was the way it had to happen to prevent the changes in the brain caused by death.

   The next thing Juan knew he was waking up on a beautiful beach on a recliner next to a margarita  in a glass with salt caked on the rim. There were beautiful island girls in bikinis and no men whatsoever in sight. He asked the computer how things operated and it told him all he had to do was think of what he wanted or wanted to do and it would begin as soon as he professed his desire to do it.

  “He stood up and left the ground and flew up through the sun and back in less than a second. “Wow” he exclaimed. He spent a year on that island diving, eating, drinking, reading then he began to run through a list of things he always wished he would have done if he hadn’t spent his life dedicated to advanced computer upgrades. He spent time flying out to other planets in other solar systems and visiting strange intelligent life forms the computer had simulated. He skydived, and flew jets and enjoyed the company of the most beautiful women possible. Sometimes he wondered if he was missed or what the coworkers thought about his unauthorized upload.  He had left documentation of what had happened and routinely had the computer send messages to be printed out in the company lab where the upload took place. When queried the computer told him that no messages had come from anyone.                He spent years traveling and enjoying living like a king, but there was an annoying aspect to the whole thing. He always felt he was talking to a computer rather than a real personality when interacting with the human avatar constructs.

 After a what must have been a lifetime he began to become callous to the constructs and would slap it for no good reason. The things always acted just as if he had slapped a real person but the police never came and there were no repercussions. Over time his annoyance with them and knowing the fact they were not real allowed him to take out his frustrations in more violent ways. He began to drive across them in cars and use them for target practice. It was the most thrilling thing he had done yet.  He thought why not they were no more than electrical impulses in a computer. It was less satisfying than a computer game though because he could never lose and there was never any danger even imaginary.

 He continued to have the computer print out notes in his lab but there was no response. His notes became more frequent an and anxious. He had counted the days and nights which since he no longer needed sleep were pretty much the same as the days. The count added up to nearly fifty thousand days. He was killing many of the cgi humans a day now and none of the killing reduced his anxiety or gave him any sort of enjoyment. He began to kill them if they even looked in his direction. He hated the imperfections and the lack of human experience. He hated them all and here he was immortal inside a computer with no human interaction.

  Carl came back to the lab to retrieve his notebook a couple of hours after Juan had uploaded. Of course he had no idea what Juan had done. The printer was connected to a huge box of paper and the printouts had flowed out of the inbox and filled the floor. There were thousands of pages. He picked up a few hundred of the last ones printed. He looked at one after the other and they were the same.

Printed in large print capital letters were the words   CONTROL/ALT/DELETE.

   Carl hit control alt delete expecting a reply. There was none.

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One Response to ESC

  1. gawellsglen says:

    “He always felt he was talking to a computer rather than a real personality when interacting with the human avatar constructs.”

    If you can’t build them like they can be grown, it’ll be more than a feeling, it’ll be knowing…unless that little knowledge is overcome with losing the difference.

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