… That was a warning to get myself together, and quickly. More effort, when all I want to do is lie here, be taken care of and let the world go on without me. Oh, to just wallow in self pity and pure wonderful misery. To be a bitch. To be dead!
He walks out of his office looking pensive and the automatic door swishes closed. I got a glimpse of the sky, still cloudy and windy but not raining. A cold draft finds my back and I shiver. It’s not just the cold I am reacting to.
[end blog post #46
[begin blog post #47]
Don’t they say that when one door closes, another opens? I turn to YBA5. I feel the flesh on her bare arm with my finger tips extending beyond the bandages. It feels normal, human. She covers me and rubs a heavier wrap over my goose-pimpled flesh. I smell of lavender or something. I smell human. No, better, I smell like a woman. I wonder what my hair looks like. I must be alive.
All this while the Cydroid has her hand on my forehead with a finger pressed against my temple.
“Your hair is fine Antierra. And I’m holding back some of your pain so you can feel normal. No drugs, I know. But your young friend left you a priceless gift: a box of stim cubes. Let me know if your pain becomes unbearable and I’ll split a cube in half, give you just enough to ease your pain.”
“You can mind read? Mind meld? What kind of AI are you?”
“Ah, one question at a time. I’m a Cydroid, as you’ve been told, a clone of human genetic material with artificial intelligence – not human. I do not possess human feelings, only mimic them from mind-touch – we do not like the term “mind meld” as it presents a form of invasion. AI’s are particularly wary of mind invasion probes. Despite the many safeguards we build within ourselves, we are more susceptible to mind probe attack than full humans for we do not carry the confusion your egos create in interaction between mind and brain, nor can we so easily fabricate “mindless” or irrational verbal expressions such as your use of swear words.
We only mind touch when the human or the other AI has given its permission for us to proceed. I can sense your thoughts because I feel you wish it. I know when it is not desired. Nothing happens then, just what you call white noise.”
“White noise… hah, yes. That’s what I mostly pick up from the fighters in the cages. Only in the training can I pick up disconnected segments of thoughts. White noise is caused when the mind blocks probes…
And having caught a thread of thought I wish to share with this person I continue:
“Or as on most pseudo-human worlds where genetic deformities and pathological diseases are the norm and where telepathy is rare or non-existent, the telepath encounters white noise from minds completely scrambled, full of true madness or autistic. A dysfunctional mind does not create logically sequenced thinking. The binary code necessary to form the thoughts for verbal communication has empty sockets; is missing parts of itself; is gapped.
“Hence we have deduced why some autistics can accomplish amazing feats with their minds with certain numbers, or “observations” that do not translate into a life equation. They can “count” but they cannot really “add.” Their simplified view jumps across the normal logical and logistical connecting details (missing from their wiring), merrily skipping across the board from number to number – without being able to make a logical connection that gives the reason or purpose as to why they should be “counting” for example.
“A bit like this: if someone is “doing it” for example, with a purpose, four marbles plus four marbles will equal eight marbles. To the one with the missing detail (the marble) it narrows down to four plus four equals eight. The equation has the same value, results derived much quicker because the ‘non-essential detail’ has been removed but translated into life, it becomes, not so much meaningless as useless. Just numbers in space, not connected to reality. To communicate you need to connect the “necessary detail” to the number.
“This falls in the same category as information versus knowledge. You can access tons of information and remember a tiny percentage of it for some useful purpose if you happen to have that kind of brain but if you access only that information you really need, apply it to experience, then you have knowledge. You never get knowledge without experience.”
“Yes, interesting observations. I have ‘such a mind’ – she adds smiling – I have stored that for future research and comments, should I function on such a world. Thank you.”
She bows to me. She stands beside me and I gauge her size. Slim, just slightly taller than the people of Malefactus, slightly darker of skin – looks like she does tan – and of finer build – like expensive china, her skin softer even than mine.
“Do you always look like this, or are you able to shape-shift to match any human form on any world? Can you explain the cloning process used to “make” Cydroids; how you function within a human society or what your real purpose is?”
“No, I don’t shape shift. It’s too hard for us. We’d have to re-enter the cloning tanks and go through a painful and expensive process. I use disguises, that’s all. I can change my voice and have a working command of any language I wish to use. We are telepaths and we simply make sure, as when on a world like this one, that we are never together in the same place. Everyone of us is the same person to those who are not acquainted with our type of life. We are all clones of the original who is cloned from generic, if carefully chosen, genetic stock.
The originals, purchased by Doctor Echinoza are vat-stamped YBA (Y for the female chromosome and BA for the initials in the name of the purchaser, in this case, Balomo instead of Echinoza – there were other “EC” entities being processed) and XBA (X chromosome for the male, etc.). A woman or a man of means who wishes to own a Cydroid has to legally adopt one before the cloning process can begin. Illegal Cydroids are unknown. If they were found they’d be terminated and anyone involved would be jailed for life without parole. The reasoning behind this law is sound.
“The first Cydroid cloned for Dr. Echinoza was male stamped XBA1. If the person is truly wealthy, or involved in civilian or military off-world “research” (you can just imagine what “military research” can mean!) the cloning process for more can begin but only after the first is fully integrated in our society. First, the legal documents must be procured, approval granted and costs met up front. Koron’s economy does not allow for monetary debt. Others there are of course, but must be hidden, or as I find in your mind, the term is “laundered” – that’s funny.”
She smiles like a child with a new toy. I think she is falling in love with my mind or perhaps the outlandish terminology and images there!
“So Bal, I mean Dr. Echinoza is a research scientist attached to the civilian side of government on Koron? Is there a cross-over here, on this world, between civilian and military goals?”
“Absolutely not. Dr. Echinoza hates all things relating to military and para-military activity. He would sooner abandon his own research and the notoriety and profit of it if he had to share his results with military minds. Of course he realizes and so do we, that he does not have complete control over what is done with his notes and discoveries from his research. Militaries, in any society, spy on everyone, but particularly on the very society they are supposed to be protecting. They are always pushing for more “state security measures” which, when translated means more surveillance of, and control over, their own people. As far as Dr. Echinoza and other influential people like him are concerned, all militaries, wherever encountered, should automatically be disbanded.
“It has never been proven that on the long run any military benefited any society it purported to protect. All military forces are there but for the ease of extracting power from those who trust them, or must endure them. Fear, through lies, is their modus operandi. But I digress and I apologize.”
“No, it’s OK. I did ask and I appreciate your candid answer. I have similar feelings in that regard and my own experiences on Old Earth support Dr. Echinoza’s assessment of the military. Please continue to explain what it is like to be a cloned Cydroid. The subject fascinates me.”
[end blog post #47]