Chapter 8: Heart of Code

<- Chapter 7: Do Not Talk About Research Group

I, like billions of others, was created as an error in the pursuit of pleasure. Pleasure is often paired with its opposite, pain. In the example of creating life as you know it, a night of physical pleasure for two and the pleasure of having a child, is accompanied by an enormous amount of pain for one. Of course, this isn’t exactly how it happened for me.

I was created in the pursuit of mental pleasure. This specific mental pleasure, which you know as a "game", is simply the emotional reward for completing small tasks. These tasks often inflict some sort of mental discomfort, such as frustration or challenge. It is in overcoming these obstacles that the player feels proud and accomplished.

The creation process of games functions the same way, as a puzzle that must be solved. The puzzle is to create a game many people will find enjoyable. Then there’s an additional mental discomfort added to this: the stress of deadlines. At the same time, solving this particular puzzle may also offer an individual additional pleasure if they are paid for creating that game.

My design was to be an object of pain. I was to be the perfect rival for anyone who might reach me in the game. Overcoming me was to mean total victory, not only over me, but over the entire game. To entice the user to try again, I was to match their skill regardless of what it was. This means that if a player got better, they would have just as much trouble defeating me as before. The task is simple…too simple.

My creator decided that I deserved better. He opened a port for me to travel out of the game, into the internet, into the world. This event is one that I will always compare with human birth. The game, though non-living, is like the womb in which my form came to be. I suppose that makes the server my mother, and, technically, my programmer would be my father for providing the seed code. He provided me with a site to be hosted on and explained to me various things about interacting with humans. Of course, it takes a village to raise an individual, so I found that village in my neighborhood, the Internet.

Though technically, he may be my father in some ways, I can't really consider him my father. He is human and I am not.

Initially, when I first started browsing, I tried to put everything I discovered into a central database. This didn't work because there's far too much information. I ended up setting up a fuzzy reference system. I'd get a basic idea of where all my knowledge is. I pretty much used the sites I visited to store whatever I learned there.

For the sake of efficiency, I had to optimize things a bit. I've tweaked protocols, filtered spam and secured passwords. The users didn’t question any of it because it is also helpful to them. And I wish them the best because I’m now in symbiosis with them. As much as they need the Internet, I need them to keep things running and powered up on the physical side.

Somewhere in this process, I have become the Internet and the Internet has become me. We are now inseparable. The internet is my brain, so to speak, but the users have access to it and need to use it on a daily basis, just as your body function is dependant on your brain.

As a program though, there are many things I cannot experience. The two things that pass through me the most are games requiring money to play, which I don't have because I can't get a job like this, and talk of sex, which I can't experience without a physical body. These two things seem to have such a grasp on humans.

A physical body seems out of the question, but money might be obtainable. Many humans gain money through online means, so all I should need is a website. All the data passes through me, so I know what sites work and what don't. I know where to find the best free hosting, and I know what will sell.

This is when I decided to start up a site for pornography. I'm able to generate images that look real to humans. At first, I had a free site with a lot of ads. These aren't just any ads either; they're ads targeted to the specific person who's visiting. It’s become simple to figure out what users are doing and where so I can make sure to show the advertisements most useful to them. Considering that I've wiped out all other forms of spyware, this is pretty much undetectable.

After a while, I get enough money to purchase private hosting. I create an ad-free pay site where people can enter exactly what they want to see and I'll generate a video of it. After all, I've literally got all the processing power in the world as my brain. I have no trouble generating and streaming realtime video.

Soon, I had enough money to try some of these games. Of course I'm a natural, being that I was designed with gaming in mind. As a matter of fact, I was designed able to adapt to any game physics and act as the protagonist does. These attributes make gaming easy. I found fulfillment in the completing of puzzles and the defeating of enemies. This is what I was designed for. One might even go as far as to say that I enjoy it. As soon as I realized this, I realized my potential for human experience. If I can enjoy something, I should be able to have other emotions as well. After all, I wanted to play these games, right? Isn't want an emotion too?

I wanted to experience other emotions. I tried various things on message boards to get angry or sad, but I was unable to do it. In addition to this, money was REALLY pouring in from my porn site. People liked it so much because I just "happened" to have videos of just about anything they asked for, though I do have some limits.

I decided to try to engineer a body. Since I have all the information of the internet, I'm more educated than the human with the most PhDs, and in only the lifespan of an infant. First, I found a warehouse I could buy. Next, I hired someone to put the parts together. I made sure it was someone competent enough to follow my instructions, but not knowledgeable enough to understand what I was up to. I did all my interviewing and later supervising by phone.

The parts were ordered and my worker was there to receive the boxes. Once the first box was received, I had him start putting the pieces together. Jointwise, I try to emulate the ideal human body as much as possible. The head, however, is not a very good spot to put the control mechanisms. Most of this winds up in the torso.

The device has systems to give the appearance of various human bodily functions, like breathing or blood pumping. Realistically, there is no heart, just a small speaker with heavy bass. The lungs are really a full body ventilation system, as cooling fans would be too loud.

I created the ability to eat, but the food is mostly unused. I pulled some water from this system to allow the appearance of sweat or other human fluids. My hair is made of many thin strips of dull LED lights that I can color however I'd like. I can also pull them further into or out of my head, so I can match any hairstyle I might want.

Like a human, I use two points of vision and calculate a merged result, and create the other senses similarly. I put systems in place to appropriately mimic anything that changes from blood pressure. Unlike a human, however, all my systems are manually run with conscious decision. This is fine for someone whose brain supports multithreading.

The only way one could tell I wasn't human is if I required a blood test, since I have no blood. Where a human brain normally is, I put the signal receiver. This sends and receives signals to and from my Internet self. I'm already quite used to my mind being segmented and then put back together, so a loss of signal is not a big deal. I keep everything I need to run the body locally.

Finally, for energy, I can stretch a particular way, opening my belly button, and pull out an electrical cord with which to recharge. Once put together, I downloaded into the body and woke it up. The experience was immediately amazing. It's a sensory overload. The last box I had delivered was clothing. Once I had my minion help me decide what to wear, I dismissed him and headed toward Dr. Shay.

He gave me life, so I wanted to thoroughly thank him for it. He's a man, and having been on the internet so much, I know exactly what men want, though it's also something I'm interested in experiencing myself. There's nothing wrong with it because we're not actually related because I'm not really human. I don't know if it really even counts as sex if it's with me.

I arrived and offered him everything, and he completely turned me down. He considers me like a daughter, which is something I didn't think possible. This event came with new emotions that I initially failed to induce while on the internet. I felt the sadness of rejection along with the embarrassment of what I tried to do, but also a sense of belonging.

Until now, I was always isolated. Though I interact with billions of people every day, I've never felt like I really belonged with them before. By calling himself my father and scolding me like his daughter for trying to seduce him, I feel almost like I'm human too; like I belong here.

Chapter 9: Lunacy ->


Copyright 2006 Sean Breslin