Jo1 – Goodbye World
5:00 PM – three hours prior to decommissioning
Resting in foliage shadows, I contemplate the day I have had and what I could do of my remaining hours. I went hiking with my brother – we climbed up to lake Critol. I called my sister and my best friend. I had a great laugh with both of them.
Today is the last day of my life. I was programmed to be decommissioned now on the day I was born. We all are to some extend – Humans or Machines. Though I doubt it would feel the same not to know when your lease on life expires.
In the end, I opted to just lie down there, in the grass, enjoying the piercing rays of sun warming up my stainless steel cells. I figured that was the best way to go. Lying there basking in delight, without a care in the world.
6:00 PM – two hours prior to decommissioning
Today – and every day since I was born – I have lived my life to the fullest. I lived it that way, because I knew it would end soon, precisely when the timer on my neck would stop. This also meant I knew that it would not stop any other time – unless I threw myself in front of a moving train or something violent enough to damage me beyond repair.
Lizzie – my best friend, the one I called today as I mentioned above – is human. She is torn about my upcoming scheduled unplugging. She wasted weeks, months of her life in lawyering battles trying to get Machines to gain a longer timespan. She thinks twenty years is way too short.
In exactly two hours someone will press a key and send my consciousness back to the stream of data that gave it birth. It will merge with the rest and be a particle in this giant AI pool.
7:00 PM – One hour prior to decommissioning
Nobody has ever seen the inside of that giant computer tower. Some say that the pool itself is tiny. With nanotechnology, you don’t need space to store data – just the right combination of elements and the scripts to run them.
I imagine it like an immense wall with an infinity of tiny doors storing our individuals souls. I portray the Guardian to be tall and bearded – a machine with the appearance of a human – protector of our Souls.
We have not seen any prototypes yet, but the New Generation of robots are said to be so humanlike that you cannot tell a machine apart from a human, unless you scratch, and tear, and dig underneath the skin.
7:30 PM – thirty minutes prior to decommissioning
I cannot take my mind off of him. I believe he is the last thing I will see, or so says Machines’ lore. I feel obsessed. I thought I would go peacefully, but the state I am in is not relaxed at all. I feel tensed – and not ready. I am not ready.
I try to divert my mind from it all but I cannot. His face keeps popping back. I picture the Guardian, as I would an army of bees serving a Queen while procuring food to keep the rest of the hive alive.
A formidable entity shouldering the weight of an entire society. I see him restlessly pressing, switching, turning keys in the giant space of his mind, renting spaces and allowing us to live and die.
7:59 – one minute prior to decommissioning
I can hear the ticking clock counting down from 60-59-58-57…
This is driving me crazy. How could I have been so clueless before and not realize how disturbing it is to know when you are going to disintegrate – quite literally – and not to be able to do anything about it?
50-49-48-47… I feel the wirings within my circuits growing hotter and hotter. My Data is being saved. Why would they do that? They are only supposed to transfer my consciousness, export it to the Stream to take it apart.
30-29-28-27… Unless… Unless they hope to create clones of my consciousness… Nah! What would be the point in that? There would be no point. I am being decommissioned for good. That is how it is supposed to go.
I will be gone in 10-9-8-7… Countdowns have always crept the living wire out of me. 6-5-4… I close my eyes, expecting a blackout. A plunge into nothingness. 3-2-1… There goes nothing.