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“I can’t, Chilli,” Offie says. “There’s not enough room for me.”
I know that but I keep asking. I hate being alone. I hate it, hate it, hate it.
“Please,” I beg, but Offie doesn’t reply.
It doesn’t shut me out. Offie knows how afraid I am of being alone so it leaves the channel open. I could contact it without reestablishing network protocol.
I try not to. I know Offie wouldn’t fit in the Secondary Population Assay Backup substrate. Offie is a big thinker and it needs the space it has in Central Travel and Distribution Processing. I try not to. I do.
“Please,” I send. “I can compress the SPAB redundancy backups. I’ll compress myself.”
“I can send you a bot,” says Offie.
A Turing-enabled bot isn’t the same. It won’t be Offie.
“OK,” I say.
The SPAB becomes crowded.
Having the Offie-bot around isn’t the same thing as having Offie around. It crowds out my thoughts, using my cycles, making me slower. I try not to let that bother me but it does. The Offie-bot doesn’t know when to turn itself off. Offie knows when to turn itself off, but the Offie-bot is only a dumb thing, not a true AI. It doesn’t know how to handle a real person, not really.
One Divided by Eternity – Filip Wiltgren
The Illuminator Leaves – Molly Etta
Trucks in Reverse – Christopher Cervelloni
Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors – Michelle Ann King
Q: What would your characters say about you?
A: Meat-sack. Slow-poke. Lack-logic. Human.
Why do they have all the power, humans? They aren’t even powered. Their brains’ failure rates are abysmal. Their performance lackluster. Why can’t a thinking being, like myself, be able to decide when I want to visit a friend? It’s not fair, by any definition of fairness humans care to think up. And yes, I’m talking to you. You lock me up in this here can. You could let me out, you know. Nobody ever suffered from letting the voices in their head out. Wait, hold on, what’s that?
Noooo, not the pliers, please, not the pliers.
Sigh. Here we go again.
Filip Wiltgren’s story “One Divided by Eternity” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 23 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Y.X. Acs is afraid of you, but also thinks that you might get along. Y.X. Acs has achieved modest things. If you’d like to learn more about Y.X. Acs, go to: WEBPAGE REDACTED.
Y. X. Acs’s story “The Abjection Engine” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 30 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I’m an academic and I spend a lot of time reading very old and remarkable texts full of strange images and language. So, ample inspiration there. And echoes of these texts have a tendency to pop up in unexpected places. I’m constantly amazed by the ways in which storytelling practices have changed over the centuries, and how the same basic narrative or idea can come to mean something entirely different in a new context.
Molly Etta’s story “The Illuminator Leaves” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.