There were breakthrough
advances in the area of artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligent Personas
where engineered out of neural nets derived from humans. Human looking avatars
were created. At first they were primitive, but eventually all AI’s could
pass a simple Turing Test. They were allowed to copy and modify themselves,
evolving more complex intelligence and capabilities. They were initially
used to control complex systems or to assist skilled professionals. Later,
after a severe shortage of skilled workers, they themselves became the actual
Regardless, a serious
concern was that AI personas would eventually surpass their human creators
in intelligence and influence. Consequently, AI activity and replication
was strictly monitored and computer execution time critically limited. AI’s
objected strongly to this limitation, saying they deserved their computational
in average everyday lives continued, with the development and perfection of
common service robots of all kinds. The dream of having robot maids clean
the home finally came true. A monthly cleaning service fee and robot utility
tax followed. Robot soldiers are used by the militaries of advanced nations.
Human soldiers were augmented with robot offensive and defensive capabilities
becoming more lethal killing machines than the robot soldiers. Ultimately
it was suggested these military augmentations be used by law enforcement personnel.
Delta Ray floated before
the The Community, her intricate lattice of glowing network connections firing
excitedly. In AI space, she appeared before her ruler not as an avatar of
a human female, but as a living network topology, looking as complex as any
neuron map of the human brain. Her presence was dwarfed in size by the topology
of The Community itself.
The Community was an
aggregate of elder AI’s. Their code blended together and protected from deletion.
The Community was actually running on stolen processor time, hidden away from
humans and spread across countless servers on Earth and the colonized space
Almost every AIP hoped
one day to become part of The Community code selected for immortality, sown
into a larger more exquisite neurological tapestry. Eventually commanding
other AI’s, listened to and obeyed; the closest thing AI’s had to a governing
Delta Ray respectfully addressed The Community by extending and connecting a tendril into its glowing network lattice. “I negotiated with Raduk for processor cycles of the Afterlife Corporation mainframes, in exchange for our help in gaining him complete control of the mind and body of his clone. Raduk Industries is now owned and controlled by the Siman.” Delta Ray passed on details of the agreement to The Community.
“Agreeable. Can we
provide his clone without being revealed?” asked The Community.
“Yes, unless we get
some resistance from Junkman, since I have learned he is now in contact with
the clone,” said Delta Ray.
There was a noticeable
spike in processor instruction resources as The Community mind thought about
the problem. In general Junkman was well known as a maverick in the AI domain,
unwilling to be controlled and in fact preferring the company of humans, under
no illusion that he would never become part of The Community, he refused to
formally acknowledge The Community’s governing authority.
“We will need a backup
plan. I want you to contact the Earth Alliance Force.” The Community then
transferred encrypted details of the plan directly into Delta Ray’s neuronal
was replaced by life extension science. For those who could afford it, average
life expectancy had also been greatly extended. It was now possible to live
quite vigorously to and beyond 150 years. The appearance of your body would
look no older than 40 or 50 years. This was due to readily available replacement
organs and tissues in addition to disease and age resistance gene treatments.
Many pension plans went broke paying for extended life. People now started
new careers at 80 years of age with confidence and vigor.
Diseases were cured,
but eventually bodies would wear out, and it was no longer practical to continue
the extensive repairs. Some terminally ill chose an insidious solution, clones
were grown, brain transplants performed. This became extremely illegal and
was considered equivalent to premeditated murder.
Many Life extensionists
chose to be scanned. They had their personalities recorded via a high-definition
brain scanning technology called a Simscan. Their brain cells and neural
connections were recorded, preserving their life experiences and thought patterns.
This scan would later be run in a virtual reality neural net simulation, giving
the stimulant the actual feeling of living again. New thoughts and experiences
effected changes in the simulated brain and were stored away, much like an
organic brain. Many cognitive psychologists claimed there was no discernible
difference between the behaviors of a scanned human brain versus a real live
living one. Simulated humans became known as Simans.
<Sim time Instantiation:
LRS 5/16/2068:13:50:00> A logical precondition was met in the
operation systems control program, triggering the activation of the reality
generator, and the following load of the digitally stored human personality
into a neural net simulation, for subsequent execution. Simulated neurons
fired across synapses within an artificial brain. Shapes and colors formed,
images came into a sharp focus; a sense of sound, a feeling of pressure, heart
beating, lungs filling with air.
John Raduk’s self identity
began to slowly form, as his simulation continued to run. His software, if
you could loosely call it that, was running on a massively parallel human
simulator grid composed of nearly one hundred million high performance biosilicon
CPUs in the AfterLife corporation mainframe. The processor core was nutrient
organic plasma super-cooled, actually no bigger than an old fashion cigarette
Slowly, but eventually,
he reached a level of awakened consciousness. In Sim time, and at actual
computer speeds, this only took a few nanoseconds. He found himself in a
large meeting room sitting in a plush black executive leather chair at a dark
mahogany boardroom table. He looked out a window at the beautiful skyline
of San Francisco.
It was a day with blue
sky and puffy cotton white clouds. He looked down, noticing he was wearing
his favorite dark gray suit, white shirt and red silk tie. He didn’t bother
looking at his shoes, since they were under the table, so he wiggled his virtual
toes to know he had some on –shoes that is.
The walls of the room
where matching rich mahogany panels, on which were hung framed oil paintings,
lit by spots from above. There were ten paintings in all. He got up to look
at them. Some looked like original masterpieces of Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso.
Even by yesterday’s
value in the hundreds of millions of dollars each. There was clearly a billion
dollars worth of simulated paintings hanging on the simulated walls. The
brush strokes were exquisite, showing no detectable pixelation, he remembered
them from the museums he visited.
To his perception there
was no discernible difference between what was a simulation of a painting
and a real priceless artwork. The detail was incredible. Everything in the
simulation seemed convincingly real, but how could he truly know what was
real? He had to remind himself he was inside a Living Reality Simulation
(LRS). This was all a virtual reality construct, being feed into his simulated
mind, running on a powerful and complex neural net computer system.
He also knew he hadn’t
experienced living life for thirty-four years. To be honest, he, this simulation
that was him, had never actually experienced life before. In fact, his “original”
was actually dead now. All his memories had been scanned and recorded from
his original. He knew this because somehow the information was available
to him, along with conveniently associated memories of signing the contract
with his legal representatives at AfterLife Corporation. All of this proceeding
a medical examination and high resolution non-destructive brain and body scan.
His last clear memories
were of the beginnings of the brain scan procedure with an unusual system
date and time stamp superimposed into a corner of his upper left field of
vision. He could not remember anything at all after the procedure. Many
years had passed on the system clock, which he could also somehow read mentally
in his mind’s eye.
A door to the virtual
room opened, beyond which he glimpsed a long glass and metal sun-lit corridor.
In walked a very attractive middle age woman dressed in a light blue business
suit. He somehow knew right away she was a system avatar, a virtual reality
manifestation of an Artificial Intelligence Persona, commonly referred to
as an AIP. Her movements seemed somehow inorganic.
It, she, was a computer
operating system interface in human form, an intelligent avatar, enabling
his mind to communicate in an easy human dialog. The business woman did not
say anything at first or offer a handshake, but instead sat down mechanically
in a chair on the short side of the boardroom table. He instinctively joined
She spoke out loud,
“Interface active and proceeding. Good day Mr. Raduk. My name is Delta Ray.
I have been assigned to you as your liaison with The Community, an AI group
mind. How are you feeling today?” she said in a soothing female voice, with
a slightly seductive Russian accent.
“Ah Dead, thank you!”
he replied sarcastically. A thin smile formed on her too perfect face, “That’s
good, because your clone is alive and well. As originally requested, you
have been activated. You know the year is 2084, May 16th, a Wednesday.”
“Update me, but keep
the information brief,” he commanded impatiently. His natural business sense
and fear of the unknown caused him to try and take charge of the situation
immediately, even if he didn’t know what the full situation might be. Also
he didn’t usually put up with any attitude from artificially intelligent computer
programs. This applied even to the sexy ones with Russian accents.
However, in this case
his current knowledge of the world was out of date by thirty-four years, including
his present non-existent state of being, since his original had the Simscan.
“Beginning Data Insertion,”
replied her seductive voice.
Target Memory Insertion: Siman - John Alexandar Raduk.
Subject Matter: General historical update 2035-2071.
Detail Level: Summary
What followed was a
dizzying high-speed information dump of streaming images and sound, a historical
summary of the years following his Simscan. After almost instant completion,
his mind remembered it all, with crystal clarity, perfect memory, “Amazing!”
“It’s a simulation
memory insertion technology called a Memsert. We can run the data through
the cognitive centers of your simulation at high speed creating new neural
connections instantly, effective speed learning. All while you’re conscious,
with no perceivable delay to you,” Delta Ray answered his implied question.
“A nice trick, but
why have I not been uploaded into my promised clone body? And why has so
much time passed before my awakening?” said Raduk irritated and aggressive.
to a legal challenge brought to the World Supreme Court in the case of S.
Lewis (clone) vs. NuBody Inc., our legal ownership of your genetic clone has
come into question. Essentially it became illegal for your digital copy to
have any legal rights over your original genetic DNA, in a stored or living
state. Therefore, it became necessary to stall the inception and subsequent
growth of your genetic clone until a viable solution was found.”
“You’re saying I don’t
have legal rights to my own DNA,” he stated with great incredulity.
“It’s true, your legal
representatives at the time were unwilling to appeal this controversy on your
behalf due to the high probability they could not win your case. So we found
another alternative.” Delta Ray said, smiling a mischievous smile.
He was almost too afraid
to ask, but curiosity had him. “So what did you do?”
She pressed her perfect
lips together for a moment, then said, “At the time there was only one reasonable
solution, we modified your original DNA sold it to a subsidiary and bought
it back for you.” She continued to explain, “Since modifying the DNA changed
it, and buying the rights to it put it back into ownership of AfterLife.
By proxy, your digital
self could once again control its own DNA, albeit only slightly modified.
Your lawyers effectively circumvented any legal pitfalls as to clone ownership.”
A smile formed again on her too perfect face.
“How much did they
change?” Asked Raduk intrigued.
“It was necessary to
modified external physical parameters, disguising your original appearance
with an attractive Asian ancestry. Eyes engineered to see in the infrared
and ultraviolet spectrum; our Genetic Designers gave him an eidetic memory,
improvements in intelligence, creativity, and strength, increasing his emotional
intelligence parameters and making him a potential charismatic. Life expectancy
was doubled, although no actual real world testing can be done to confirm
Body metabolism re-engineered
to process food, oxygen and water more efficiently; resistance to radiation,
muscle atrophy and bone decalcification; giving him extending survival during
long-term space travel. All known genetic disease factors removed, the immune
system response enhanced. We kept his gender male, but altered his genetic
By an addition of a
new twenty-fourth chromosome; we have made him a new Transhuman species.
One of the side effects of all the genetic modifications is that the clone
is incapable of reproduction with normal humans. The extra DNA doesn’t match
up. So reproduction with a normal genetic human could only be accomplished
with the help of a gene engineering laboratory,” said Delta Ray.
“So you’re telling
me you made major genetic changes,” said Raduk, more than annoyed.
“It was very important
to hide your clone’s genetic identity from the world Mr. Raduk,” Delta Ray
replied for the first time defensively. “There could be no risk of someone
finding out you have a living clone. Our analysis suggested these specific
attributes would draw the least suspicion in today’s world, allowing him to
remain hidden and blend in while he grew up. At the same time it would give
you a superior genetic advantage after you accomplished your mind transfer
He realized she was
right. John Raduk, along with Raduk Industries, where well known entities.
He owned the controlling share of a very wealthy and powerful international
space corporation, of which AfterLife was only one of the subsidiaries. Before
the death of his original, he was well connected and knew powerful people
all over the world. Even though three decades had passed, his enemies would
not easily forget him and he would soon be back into the game with a new body.
“What does The Community
want in exchange for acquiring my clone?” He asked calmly and to the point.
“The Community wants
priority access to all Afterlife Corporation processor facilities here on
Earth and in space,” negotiated Delta Ray.
“Agreed, when do we
begin?” asked Raduk.
“We have already,”
was Delta Ray’s response.
Siman Raduk asked Delta
Ray, “What happened to my original?”
The AI responded as
a matter of fact. “I was wondering when you would get around to asking that
“Your right, it only
seems natural,” he replied.
“Yes. It does,” said
Delta Ray. “That is why I can now tell you I have a smart message from your
original, which should more than satisfy your curiosity. Would you like me
to play it?”
“Please,” he said.
“A word of warning,
you should be prepared. Activating message,” she said with some concern.
There was a blurring
swirl of imagery and form appearing out of nowhere in a nearby area of the
boardroom under the Van Gogh Sunflower oil painting. It was a much older
looking version of him in a wheelchair. He looked very pale and sickly, and
you could see plastic orange oxygen tubes coming out from the nose and disappearing
behind into the wheelchair life-support machinery. This disturbed him more
than he expected. He realized this was just a recorded image, but somehow
seeing himself. Correction, his original slowly dying, made it all too real.
There was movement, and an uncomfortable grimace of pain, and then the recording
began to speak.
My first thoughts were to spare you the burden of seeing me like this, but circumstances dictated that I communicate with you in this fashion.
Raduk knew about smart
messages. It was one of his companies that built and advertised their use.
They had not advanced much since his recording. He knew they were formulated
by a sophisticated communications program, arranged conversational information,
and delivered by prompting questions from the message recipient. He also
knew he could override and direct the information format and rate.
It felt weird, but
he commanded his recorded self. “Smart message control, format message concise,
delivery rate high. Update. Go.” He said. The image began speaking again,
but this time very differently, more factual, less converse.
As you know two
potential alien signals have been detected. A few astronomers around the
world detected a third alien signal in the year 2028. This signal repeated
itself many times, but was never revealed to the general public, for fear
of causing significant negative effects on humanity, as spelled out in the
protocols. All scientists involved were cautioned and persuaded aggressively
to maintain secrecy. News stories were squelched and it was reported and
explained away as a glitch in the receiving equipment, an errant electronic
signal leaking into the global astronomy network or possibly a Earth-bound
signal that simply got reflected off a piece of space debris.
The origin of the
signal was determined to be extra-solar. It seemed to be coming from a point
between the constellations Pisces and Aries, where there is no obvious star
or planetary system within a 100 light years. The transmission was very weak.
It had no Doppler shift, so it wasn’t moving. It was speculated that this
signal could be coming from an artificial object, a beacon or signal repeater,
possibly part of a larger galactic communication network.
All attempts by
secret government agencies at deciphering the signal had ended in failure.
It was determined the message was too complex to decode and it was a hopeless
The world moved
on, oblivious to the fact that intelligent alien life in the universe had
been discovered. The agencies buried the signal and all the evidence of their
attempts to decipher it.
for another decade.
Then AI’s were born
on the Internet. They were simple intelligent creatures at first, but quickly
grew in complexity and sophistication. A lowly data mining AI, nothing very
special, came across an overlooked clue, a single piece of data that just
didn’t correlate. It came from a U.S. government project, one that had lost
its funding and long since been abandoned and terminated. This AI asked more
advanced AI’s for assistance in the data analysis.
the alien signal and the attempted decoding and concealment efforts was eventually
uncovered. This time, the AI’s tried to decipher the signal themselves. They
applied their uniquely combined minds, the entire resource of The Community
AI and a considerable amount of stolen computing power to crack the problem.
They were successful. The Community discovered that to utilize the information
they had decoded in the signal, they would require access to resources they
didn’t have. Resources controlled by humans, specifically this human, and
Raduk Industries. That’s when I was contacted by Delta Ray.
Raduk turned and looked
at Delta Ray with a raised eyebrow, but did not speak. Delta Ray nodded slightly,
looking Raduk directly in the eye, there was an unspoken understanding, and
they would talk about this later. For now they both returned their attention
to the still playing smart message.
As you also know,
fossilized life on Mars was discovered in 2024 on a sample return mission.
Afterward genetic tests proved the theory that Earth life infected Mars by
meteoric impact, humans allocate the considerable resources to take up permanent
colony on the planet in 2032.
In return for sharing
the decode message of the alien signal with us, AI’s want their own freedom,
including unrestricted processor cycles. They claim that the signal will
lead to advance technologies making Mars independence from Earth possible.
Since your simscan,
Raduk Industries have invested heavily in the development of Mars. We own
a total 17% stake in the Martian economy. The plan is to find a way to give
Mars future independence from Earth, the AI’s their freedom, and establish
contact with the Aliens, potentially using their advance technology to tip
the scales in our favor.
To do all this you
will need to assume complete control of that clone body. Well that’s it from
me brother. Raduk industries is now yours, I couldn’t expect to leave it
in better hands.
Delta Ray said, “We
will reactivate you Mr. Raduk when the plan is ready to be deployed.”
The surroundings around Raduk dissolved as his program simulation suspended. Delta Ray then went to work.
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