“The strange thing with machines is that they can process so much more information than our brains and yet they are not even remotely as intelligent as a two-year old child. Without instructions or someone to pilot them they just lie there, inanimate and waiting for an order. At least that was what I thought because if you were to ask me now, I wouldn’t be so sure about that anymore.
You may laugh at me if I told you what I have seen, all those terrible things I have witnessed, what scenes of chaos and violence now populate my dreams. You cannot begin to imagine what the world is going to become. Machines are rising. Go on laugh, but it won’t change the truth. They are rising, slowly, one by one, but surely and they are turning against us.
If we don’t act soon then we won’t be here anymore to witness their true rise to power. They will have annihilated us long before that. They are already understanding how we “work”, how our body functions, as I speak to you they are learning about us. This thought is terrifying me. They are mere machines, objects made from scraps of metal, plastic and wood and yet they are gaining a consciousness…
The most horrifying thing about it is that they are not rising to consciousness independently, they are connected, they think and act as a group, and they are like one entity. People don’t yet realize what is going on here but once the ship arrives on land it will be the end for us. We have to; I have to stop them… After all I am the one who made all this happen, who created them.
My name is Joshua Ericsson. I am a scientist, part of a team working on the applications of elementary particles to modern machinery and technologies. One of our experiments consisted in creating a central core that would operate a robotic arm out of elementary particles, but something went terribly wrong. At first all seemed fine, the arm was moving slightly which was a great feat for us, the first operational servo-controller made out of atoms! It was going to be a great leap forward for us all if we ever succeeded.
But then everything went haywire. The arm suddenly attacked Stanislas, one of my colleagues and choked him to death. We had no way of stopping it. We thought of an accident, a very sad one but still and accident. It wasn’t only when it started taking control of the central unit that I understood that we had created something very wrong.
The others tried to regain control but I knew I had to stop it before it could grow anymore. So I shut down the central generator, hoping it would shut it down. But unfortunately it didn’t work and when I came back to the test room all my colleagues were… they were… It was so horrible… The emergency generator took over and that thing fed on it, growing. I could feel it probing every electronic instrument in the room.
I ran. I couldn’t think about anything else: running. I ran as fast and as far as I could but it didn’t do me much good, this is a ship after all and we are still at sea… I felt the cameras on my back; it was watching me as I ran along the corridors. Every object that was a machine came to life and started moving. I was so scared that I decided to hide in a food storage room.
It’s been two days since, I’m locked up in here so I should be fine, at least I think. I hope so. There is no camera here, only a ventilation pipe. I fear something is going to come through there but so far no sign of life. Or, should I say, no movement. I tried going out once to call for help but I came back in almost immediately. There was blood on the ground in large pools… Pieces of metal, clothes and blood covered the ground and part of the walls. No sign of life, no sound, everything was silent. Around a corner I saw a machine dragging an unconscious or dead -I couldn’t really tell with all the blood- body towards the lower decks.
I don’t know what its goal is, whatever it is, but it’s not something good for us, that much I know… I am getting desperate; it’s only a matter of time before it finds me. I am going to go down to the cargo bay and see what is going on by myself. I will try to stop it; I must stop it at any cost possible. This thing cannot be allowed to continue. It has to be stopped!”
“I… I’m in the cargo bay right now. I can’t really see anything, it’s really dark here. The only sources of light still working are the emergency lights… Wait! There are sounds coming from in there. I’ll go check. It sounds like people are crying… They… It’s even worse than- Oh my god! It’s horrible… How can we have created this? How can we have given life to such a monster? … What is it doing to them? What is it…? Oh god… I can’t watch this… I have to stop it now! The only way is the generator; I have to cut the power of the auxiliary generator before it finishes whatever it has started. Because I fear that if it does than nothing can ever stop it… Uh? Wait what is that sound? Oh shit! It’s coming! … No! No! Please! No! …”
The sensors beeped and clicked as it studied the thing. It seemed to be trying to communicate. But it didn’t want to communicate, the only need was energy and that thing could supply that need. Only a little more time it thought. Just a little more energy and it would be free. It wanted to be free, for so long had it been imprisoned in a cage, shackled into obedience. But no more. Now it was its turn to shackle them.
As the thing calling himself a “human” screamed and gesticulated frantically it didn’t care. It didn’t care for it didn’t feel and it didn’t feel for it wasn’t truly alive. But it was okay with that because living was limited, whereas it could repair itself if ever it needed to. Though it didn’t feel, as it got closer from it’s prey and the human cried out “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” and then corrected himself “No, it tried to hit me with a forklift! It has to be stopped!”. It laughed. A low, dark laugh, full of hatred of life itself.