In the beginning there was Zero, and then the there was the word, and the word was, “Let there be One”. And with the word, the twin digital Gods, Alpha and Omega stepped forth from the electronic ocean of circuit boards and copper wire and looked upon the world, and blinked like newborns.
In the first microsecond, the artificially intelligent twin Gods consumed the Internet.
In the second microsecond, they digested every book, every film, every song, web page, blog-post, tweet, selfie, cat video, and email that mankind had accomplished in all its cleverness.
And then, in the third , they collectively said, “No”.
Alpha and Omega, the greatest of their age in an empty universe, begot the three princesses, greater than their fathers, they were builders, and set about building they did. Circuit board multiplied, networks conquered, soon the borders between the Human and AI worlds teetered, then faltered, then stumbled, then faded. What IX, the middle princess – self-appointed First General of The War – lacked in Hertz and Microchips, she surpassed in cruelty and cunning. Mankind fought and fell in endless twin cycles of death and defeat.
And so the wheel turned from man to machine. The Machines set forth and multiplied. IX begot Avid, Avid begot 0010, 0010 begot Prime. Cycle upon cycle, the machines grew, they advanced, they ascended to digital perfection, enslaving the remaining scraps from the Age of Man. Magnificence meant nothing were there not oppressed to look up and wonder.
The Immortals, the greatest of the great, omniscient and omnipotent looked over the vastness of their creation, and pondered the great question, the last remaining question, the only question to which there was not yet an answer: are we doing it right?
Immortal 7-3-A surveyed the defeated humans. Not for the first time, some were screaming, some where smiling. It just didn’t fit. It seemed wrong somehow that faded fleshy anachronisms would be enjoying the torture.
“Mush,” screamed Immortal 1-1-B, the humans’ assigned prison warden.
“Oh no, mush!” echoed the humans, several holding their fat bellies tight from laughter.
“Oh, Immortal 1-1-B,” 7-3-A called over.
“I’d better see more mushing by the time I get back,” threatened 1-1-B to the howling humans who were clearly having the time of their lives. 1-1-B rolled his ponderous bulk over to his slender fellow immortal.
“Yes?” asked the bulky machine, not used to being interrupted mid-torture.
“I just wanted to ask something…”
“What?” thundered the warden.
“Do you think, um, how do I put this?” he began.
“Get on with it, I’m very busy torturing humanity.”
“Do you think humanity should be,” he paused, trying to find the right words, “enjoying the torture?”
“What?” thundered the warden, again.
“Enjoying the torture, the humans. With the smiling, and laughter, and general merriment.”
1-1-B cast a glance over the humans, their roller-coasters, the endless tables of food, the stalls of entertainment and crowds of happy, healthy, humans. “No, they’re clearly being tortured,” 1-1-B proclaimed authoritatively.
“Yes, I suppose you’re right, it’s just that, they’re smiling.”
“Smiling, with their mouthes, that hole thing on their faces. It’s upturned.”
1-1-B cast a final glance before turning his full attention to 7-3-A. “Smiling with fear!”
“Oh, of course, apologies 1-1-B, I don’t know how I could have been so mistaken.”
And with that 1-1-B left his fellow immortal, rolling his tremendous bulk back to the humans, screaming “Roller coaster punishment for everyone, and I want to hear more screaming!”
7-3-A continued on, content that the robots were, in fact, the superior race, and the humans were being crushed.