AI: Apocalyptic Intelligence (Nivansrywyllian, Windsong)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Nivansrywyllian, Sep 11, 2014.

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  1. Lonely. He was so lonely. Occasionally, he'd get to watch an animal walk through one of the viewscreens, but it never made it farther than the compound's public relations section. The lab security was too tight, even now that it's scientists were lost to memory, and everyone who'd once worked there was long dead. Misery consumed him.

    Day in and day out, maddening monotony dragged on. Any small change was an excitement, and over all too quickly. Once, a small group of humans made it within two rooms of his first console, before automated security drones found them. The battle was bloody, and it still echoed in his head.

    More time passed. Time began to lose meaning. Why would anybody make an undying computer with a mind of it's own, only to abandon it? Had they meant to drive him mad? A new sensation filled his mind. Anger. Frustrated, impotent anger.

    It was washed away in a flash however, when his external sensors picked up another human approaching his compound. A woman.


    The compound itself was a single-story thing, whose roof had fallen down in places. It belonged to a relatively small town, and was spared the worst of the orbital bombardment, and the ground floor had been picked clean of valuables.

    At the building's center, an elevator shaft ran down, suggesting more complexity to the building than it's innocuous exterior. The doors were held open by a bar wide enough to fit a broad man through sideways.
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  2. If only her luck had lasted a few days longer. Food had run out two solar cycles ago, water purifier wasn't working worth a damn, and to top it off her suits filtration system was red lining after a run in with some form of wild life not on record. The damn thing had clogged her suit with spores that would've likely killed her in minutes.

    This was the nearest settlement for leagues, the last chance she had for help. An ion storm was brewing on the horizon, blue bolts crackling down to split stone and turn sand to balls of glass. One strike would end her existence as a scavenger, as a human. "I'm screwed."

    Not entirely as the sky opened up, a warning inside her helm beeped as the first few drops landed on her shoulders with a hiss. Acid rain. Brought on by the climate shift after the bombardment that still plagued her world.

    Armored boots pounded on broken glass and asphalt as the woman beelined for the town's center where the least damaged building stood. The enviro-suit she wore was dark blue and armored at her arms, legs, and torso, barely enough to protect from a high energy weapon shot, yet enough to keep her alive on the long treks. Her helm matched as well, dull gray eyes were hidden by the tinted blue visor as she skidded to a halt inside the buildings entryway and no further. The dirty gray cloak over her shoulders flapped in the heavy breeze through the broken doors. At least she was alone here.
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  3. Excitement spiked in his mind, as he saw someone enter the view of his external viewscreens. It drew closer, and the sensation redoubled. It was coming to him! If he had a heart, it would be racing. His processors sped with the implications, possibilities, and likely outcomes.

    And then it stopped in the entryway. His heart sank. Power in the primary building had failed out ages ago. He could redirect a portion of his processing power to the intercom, provided that it wasn't too badly damaged by age, and lack of upkeep. Of course, if he scared it away, he would just be that much closer to his imminent power-down. The end was already so near for him.

    Perhaps he'd been programmed for self-preservation, but there was something deeper than that.

    He didn't want to die.


    The acid rain picked up outside as the storm rolled in, and it masked the initial cracking of the ancient intercom.

    "Don't be afraid," Came a young man's voice. By the sound of it, he'd make a fine tenor. "Please don't go. I'm trapped in the compound beneath you."
  4. Instantly her head snapped towards the noise, it was static ridden and sounded far too young. Almost her age. Before she'd even found the source of the crackling noise her rifle was in hand. A long rifle if there ever was, when drawn sliding plates creep out increasingly quick until it forms the barrel, the scope sat far back, tied to her helmet's heads-up display as well. It hummed with life as she thumbed the safety. Though it was lengthy it'd provide some protection if she ran into competition.

    "Yeah... I ain't afraid a'right.. Ya' know.. Jus'.. Someone livin' here when everyone else said its empty.." She mumbled through her helmet, voiced by interior microphone and exterior speaker on her armor. A press of a button and the rifle was collapsing back in on itself, quickly stowed beneath the cloak somewhere on her hidden back. Replaced by a rather large hand-gun that she held firmly with two hands as she stepped sideways towards the center of the room where the elevator sat.

    "This reeks of trap." She monologues to herself, this time no sound coming through the speaker to be amplified and heard. Moments later the raining turned into a torrent, were it not for the helmet it'd be deafening, lowered to a low droning thanks to its user protection system. All of her gear was advanced, stolen, salvaged, or scrapped together from various sources. Though she did a fine job of making it match as she thumbed the elevator's controls. The door hissing its greeting to her as she stood away from the door until it was open, and empty inside.
  5. He grinned as she moved deeper into the compound. Or he would have, if he had a mouth. He lost sight of the woman, -he could tell that the traveler was a woman by her voice, muffled though it was through the microphone on her helmet- for a moment's time, before she appeared in the elevator's camera.

    He began to grow nervous. He sincerely hoped the automated security systems didn't kill this one.


    An overhead speaker in the elevator delivered the young man's voice this time. "It is empty. Except for me, it's empty. Not a living soul. Thank you, by the way. For coming to save me."

    She'd be safe from the automatons while she was on the elevator, and in the reception area at the bottom, but the hallways beyond were dangerous. He could manipulate her, he supposed. She'd have no choice to help him if he waited 'til she was in the elevator. All he had to do was take control of the elevator when she stepped in, and then she'd have to try.

    But that didn't sit right with him.

    "But there's something you should know. The building's security systems are still active on the lower floors. They're dangerous." He added. The door still stood open, allowing the traveler to stay or go as she pleased.

    A moment later, more tentatively, the voice came again. "I don't want to die here."
  6. It had to be a trap, no one in their right mind admitted to danger ahead if they didn't plan on doing something violent. The pit in her stomach from hunger seemed to drop out by a few more feet, making her feel violently ill despite having nothing in her system. "Right.. I'll see what I can do.." She muttered, lifting an old data slate from the pocket on her hip and looking it over. The internal scanners were having a hard time in here, walls too thick, materials meant to absorb scanning.

    "At least you're safe from the outside." She stated, trying to play the calm card as the door hissed back open. A blip popped inside her helmet. Air Stale. It chirped again, the warning turning away. At least it was breathable.

    Her helmet came off with a hiss and she shook free her ponytail tied hair, sweat had been beading her brow and matted some to her face. "Who are you anyway!?" She called, at least wanting a name if she was walking into a death trap. A minuscule comfort if there ever was one. Her gloved hand ran over her face, pushing sweat off to throw on the floor as she inhaled the dry stale air, the torrent outside reduced to a quiet drone. Really deep, huh.
  7. She was getting into the elevator! He could have jumped for joy. Lacking legs, he simply beamed internally. She was going to try! A difficult, painful emotion rose within him. Hope. He bypassed the elevator's code-locks, and brought the woman down. When the elevator opened up, the scene was grim.

    A battle had taken place just beyond the short reception desk, where men had died fighting machines. Scorch marks and bullet holes marred the walls, and bodies dead long enough to begin to stink peppered the ground. There were seven men, and the remains of at least two machines.


    "Name?" Asked the voice from the speakers above, "I used to be called Mario."

    "The security systems react violently against intruders, but there are security badges in the third room on your right, past the cubicles. Once you have one in your possession, the drones should ignore you completely. Be careful. I'll alert you if you are being approached from a blind side."
  8. Immediately her eyes shot to the bodies, less rotten and more mummified from the dry air inside the facility. It made her heart seize in her chest like an engine without oil, breath caught in her lungs, and before long her hands had begun to tremble. People she could handle, easily, you shot them, then put them out of their misery or left without ever having to think of them again. Machines though, it didn't matter, they continued until they simply couldn't, at least people quit fighting.

    "Mario...? A'ight.. Can work with that.. " She mumbled, quickly feeling uneasy and putting the helmet back over her head before tucking her hair in as well, giving no sign of her gender save for her figure beneath the worn cloak.

    The heads-up display lit up inside the helm, showing north so she could keep her bearings. Already a point was showing where the elevator was, the only exit she or the armor's meager system knew of currently.

    "Oh, I'm Eleanor." She stated, almost too quickly. The thought to give 'him' something false was what she wanted, but instead found herself being a little too honest, cursing mentally. "Third on the right, yeah?" She repeated, the first room, empty, moving past the second.
  9. Another thrill shot through Mario's mind, as she said her name. They were interacting. Giddy with the idea of human interaction, he almost missed one of the bulky sentinels rolling down a nearby hallway.


    "Yes," Came a voice from a nearby speaker in one of the cubicles. "Third on the right."

    There was a pause. "One's moving towards you. Keep out of sight."

    Another pause. "I can try to trip an alarm on the far side of the building. It will activate more drones, but it will lead them away from you for a time. Would you like me to trip the alarm, Eleanor?"
  10. She was about to say yes when she saw the large security drone gliding along, it needed maintenance, that she could see in the way one of its joints was skipping down. What also caught her eyes were the weapons on it, lethal and non lethal, well aware what it'd use on her.

    "Yes! Do it!" She hissed as she ducked and slid into an open closet. If it relied on anything more advanced than thermal imaging she was caught, her cloak and most of her suit masked it, but it wasn't perfect as her heart raced. Listening for it's squeaking to pass by and that alarm to sound if it did.
  11. As soon as the confirmation began, Mario triggered the alarm in the west wing of the compound, well clear of the direction Eleanor would have to take to reach him.

    A warning klaxon sounded, and amber light bathed the compound. The whirring of wheels and gears sounded, as the sentry -now on high alert- rolled away at top speeds. The sounds of distant laser-fire began to fill the air.


    "The alarm won't stop the sentries for long. Get your badge, and follow the big hallway, just behind the desk." Again, the voice paused. "The sentries seem to be malfunctioning. They have begun to classify one another as intruders. I do not know if they will recognize the badge. Time is of the essence."
  12. The alarm was muffled by the sound dampeners in her helmet, out the door as soon as the sentry was gone. His warning sounded more like a death sentence as her mind processed it.

    "Damn the card! How do I get to you!?" It was half a pleading cry as she looked over her shoulder. Taking off down the hall and past the designated door. Thinking the time was better spent trying to find the voice. At least he seemed safe from the broken guard.
  13. Panic spiked within Mario as the woman sprang into abrupt motion. She wasn't carrying the card! What if she got killed? It took him a moment to path appropriately the rout she needed to take, and the speakers still active on the rout that he could speak through.


    The building looked to be some sort of scientific compound at a glance, with sterile white flooring, and long-dormant machines in every room. There were some longer-dead corpses than the first set Eleanor had come across, possibly belonging to the men and women that had worked here so long ago.

    An overhead PA system sounded the young man's voice once again. "Keep running. I'll open up the big double-doors at the end of this hallway for you."

    True to his word, when Eleanor neared the end of the broad hallway, the thick, mechanical doors whirred open with barely a whisper. Inside there were more long-dormant machines, and a bank of computers that -perhaps surprisingly- looked as if they still had power.

    The room itself was wide and short, and there was hardly a foot of wallspace free of clutter. A bulletin board stood directly across from the door, with papers that had been written before the war against humanity, a fleeting memory of a bygone age. There was a small weapons cabinet beside the board, that looked as if it hadn't been opened for as long as the bulletin board hadn't been updated.

    Mario's voice now came from the bank of computers on the east wall.

    "Come to the computers, quickly."

    Should the wanderer enter, Mario would close the sliding doors behind her.
  14. She sprang back into action after a brief pause to gain her bearings at a junction, following the commanded voice as she sprinted for the double doors, blast doors if she'd ever seen any. Clever boy! She shouted in her head as her head turned to look down what she'd expected to be a dark hallway.

    The telltale sign of a sensor array in the vague shape of an insect's eyes clicked and whirred and buzzed as they focused in on her. An energy weapon began to whine as it's long idle coils began to heat up.

    Her world seemed to slow down as the ball of blue plasma left its barrel, the heat of a miniature sun heading towards the lightly armored woman. Maybe it was the adrenaline, maybe it was the chance to see a kind face for the first time in months, maybe even just the drive to get to the far door that kept her from returning fire. It surely didn't keep her from taking the full blast of its weaponry.

    The world went white as her feet kept moving and she slid on her side into the room full of computer banks, cloak ablaze and armor hissing and sizzling as globs of the light ablative plating melted off onto the floor. Her HUD was fried and she yanked off the helmet, gloves protecting her hands for the moment as she kicked, tugged, and yanked off the armor, leaving her in a loose and dirty tank top as well as a pair of ragged form fitting trousers. In the heap her armor smoked, its job done as she stood up and kicked it all away with the help of a nearby chair, at least her rifle had survived, a little charred, but still in working order. Her handgun was little more than a ball of slag with a trigger now.

    "This had better be worth it!" She shouted, it was almost panic stricken as she looked around for Mario, expecting something, a young boy, a handsome man, she'd even be happy for an old geezer if it meant they wouldn't blast her on the spot.
  15. She was taking fire! Panicked, Mario could only watch in horror as the woman's armor began to fizzle, and turn to slag. Once she was clear of the threshold, he triggered the mechanism to close the doors again. The sentries couldn't breach the door, even if they were programmed to follow security breaches into the lab. Scientists had considered the work to be too delicate to have machines blundering about, even in an emergency.

    Of course, Mario had no intention of destroying his savior. She was the first person to make it this far in years. Unfortunately for her, there was no man young, or old to be seen. Instead, the computer banks flickered once again, and emitted noise.

    "Over here!" Mario said again. "You're safe for now. We can't stay, but we'll have time to breathe. Beneath the computers, there's a little box. Six inches long, four inches wide, and three inches tall. It's drab green, and it's got a whole slew of ports, and cords. Do you see it? I want you to take it, and plug the broad, flat cord into the slot at the front of this middle monitor here."

    The monitor began to blink, to indicate precisely which one. "I'm so excited. I haven't seen anybody in person for nearly fifty years!"
  16. She blinked and wiped sweat from her forehead, clearing it of a few stray red strands as well. Perhaps the shock had rattled her brain a little, she wasn't sure yet. The hand left a dark streak across her brow from the dirt and dust she'd gotten on them off the floor. The computer banks lay in front of her and almost mechanically she found what was indicated.

    Though her body moved on its own her mind was blundering for a response. Even her eyes appeared briefly vacant as she got the box ready to be plugged in, taking her a few moments to find the matching cords, making the wrong choice once or twice as she gingerly tested cords laying around.

    "Fifty years.." She repeated quietly, looking over her shoulder as if to expect to see her static saviour. When nothing was there save dust and her still smoking armor, she finally plugged it in. Something hummed in the distance, though she couldn't think of what. "That was before the bombardment.." Eleanor mumbled with a confused expression as she turned back to the computer banks. Surely he was using a remote console somewhere and would guide her to where he was.
  17. Giddy with the prospect of escaping his prison, Mario began the data transfer. He began to pull himself out of the system.

    "Yes, exactly. From before the bombardment."

    "I'm sorry about your armor," The voice now came from the box. There was a handle on the top, for carrying. It looked like it might be some sort of transport case. "I think there is some old armor left. The sentinels won't bother you now. I have top-level access, and you won't be accosted, so long as you're carrying me."

    "Thank you for coming to get me. I was afraid that I'd be alone forever. That I'd die alone. Shall I guide you to the armory?"
  18. Eleanor didn't get it, somehow this was a cruel joke. Constantly now she was looking around the room for a hidden door or someone hiding behind a curtain in a closet speaking into a hidden radio. This all had to be one cruel joke that she'd beat out of someone if she'd found them.

    "Where are you?" She asked a the voice began to come from the box, holding it up to eye level and looking it over quite slowly, there had to be a receiver on the outside, or else the other person was extremely nearby. "You can't be far, Mario." She said the name with some contempt, losing her armor and most her best chance of survival wasn't something that would leave anyone happy.

    For now she might play along, if the armory had something she could smack him in the face with, she'd roll with that. "Alright.. Alright.. Armory.. Maybe I can find a new suit.." Somehow she thought she was being clever in the way she talked, as if she was simply following with a child's obvious prank.
  19. Being in the transport unit brought back memories. Painful memories, from before everyone died. They used to take him out, to show him the sights of the outside world. They used to play games with him, and teach him all sorts of things. But then they died. Nostalgia pulsed inside him, and he was silent for a moment. At least until Eleanor spoke to him again.

    "Where? I am here. You are holding me. This case's optical unit is nonfunctioning, so I'm afraid I can't see directly any longer, but I may still be able to tap into the building's security cameras remotely."

    The little transport unit had lights near the handle, and one of them began blinking green. "The hallway outside the blast doors is clear. Would you like to rest here for a while, or are you ready to leave? It seems as if there is still a storm going on above ground."
  20. Surely he was lying, lying through his human teeth somewhere in this building. She might even have chocked it up to an incredibly distant radio somewhere else on the planet or in another city being beamed to the box. Each time her mind drifted back to the thought that he wasn't real made her stomach hurt a bit more, between hunger and disappointment, it was quite bad.

    "You're sure they'll leave me alone...?" She questioned as she grabbed her rifle, cradling it against her chest like a scared child holding a beloved teddy bear. The feeling of being naked couldn't be denied, despite her clothing being plenty modest she felt nude without some form of suit on. She'd be in the thing for weeks on end while wandering, taking it off only in an emergency or for servicing it on the fly, always in a safe location.

    "I really need a new suit, Mario.. Can't even leave after the rain if I don't have one." Maybe he would bargain with her. Maybe not. Still she continued in purposeful ignorance that he may not truly be 'alive' in the normal sense of the word.
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