San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Source Point Sequence 5

Behind his facade of smugness, Damon was worried.  The surprise run-in with Forrester had complicated things.  He now had to deal with her whereas before he could safely hack Source Point’s mainframe to pull the files he needed.  When they had worked together, Damon had admired Forrester’s efficiency in dealing with both cyber and physical threats as the security manager.  But now he realized that she was onto him.  She had always been stubborn when he was alive, but now she knew better than that.  She would be relentless.

He immediately began dismantling all of his equipment.  Who knew how much time he would have?  He thought it was best not to take a chance and be around when the men with big guns kicked down his door.  He would have to lay low for now, becoming what he had been for those 13 years on the run—a ghost.

Ghosts didn’t have any attachments to their pasts.  They didn’t need any, but Forrester had been close.  He finished his packing.  The heavier components that he couldn’t take he set to self-destruct, and he wiped the apartment clean using gasoline.  Source Point wouldn’t find anything.  He set off toward the woods on the outer city limits.  His thoughts led back to Forrester as he called up his AI, V.i.V.

“V.i.V., bring up video log KF-001.”

Youthful and exuberant, Damon’s face filled the screen.

“This is the video log journal for our new project here at Source Point.  New AI tech!  It’s about time they let me lead my own research team.  I can’t say too much about what we’re working on just yet, but I can say that our first shipment arrives tomorrow from Singapore!”

Here he lowered his voice.

“There’s also a new security manager here, in charge of keeping us tech people away from viruses.  A little icy, but I think I’ll get her to warm up.”

Damon started a small fire to keep warm, knowing he wouldn’t be found out here.

“KF-013, V.i.V.”

This Damon appeared scruffier and more tired.

“We’ve managed to isolate the main component of our AI.  The guys around the office have named him V.i.C.  I keep trying to tell them it’s a computer program, not a human being.  The program in question is proving to be very tricky.  It won’t obey our code structure that would make it applicable for mass marketing.  On a brighter note, I have two tickets tonight for the Virtua Opera.  Karen seems to have a thing for electronica.  Hopefully things go well.”

That night Damon didn’t eat or sleep.  Instead he watched more logs depicting forgotten memories.  Their first kiss at the opera, the picnic in the rain and even his team’s reactions to the news.  He opened the second to last entry.

Damon’s eyes were sunken and sleepy from a lack of sleep.  All the stress and tension had melted away with thoughts of Forrester.  The Damon before him now was not of the same mind.

“We’ve hit a wall.  The technology is there, but the problem is ideological: just because we have access to it, does that mean we should enslave it?  Some of the guys don’t feel comfortable with that approach.  The V.i.C. appears to be showing signs of self-awareness.  I have to admit that my faith in the program has been shaken.  I told our head of development and all he seemed to care about was the lifespan and marketability.  This V.i.C., it talks to you, questions your logic and gets into your conscience.  No one in history has ever come this close to replicating human logic!  But should we?  Just so it can be exploited?” The screen went blank.  Damon was unsure if he wanted to see the final entry.

He hit play.

Smoke was billowing everywhere in the research lab.  A coughing Damon appeared on camera with electrical sparks sputtering dangerously close to him.

“Karen, Source Point is going to try to spin what we’ve done today how they want to, but you deserve to know the whole thing.  I don’t have a lot of time so here it is: I’m leaving and I’m taking V.i.C. with me.  I know it’s not even human, but I can’t let it fall into the wrong hands, and knowing Source Point, I can’t let them have my research either.  I’m destroying all of it, as well as this facility.  Backups, notes and any other prototypes will be incinerated in the fire.  My team and I are going into hiding.  Please…try to understand.  I still love you, but I just, I need to do this.  It’s about what’s right.  Us humans, maybe we don’t deserve all of this power.  There has to be a better way.  And I’m going to find it.”  The recording went dead.

Damon turned off the transceiver.  He had never sent that message.  To do so would have been to admit guilt and admit failure.  But thinking now, Damon knew he was better off anyway.  Rolling out his mat, he settled into a deep sleep.  The night was quiet, but all he could hear was the echo of his broken promises.

Read part four here.

Read part six here.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Source Point Sequence 5