War used to be hell. It used to make perfect sense. Blood was spilled, gold was won. The battlefield was the proving ground for the toughest sons of bitches ever raised.
Once the robots got involved, everything changed. At first, they were operated by men. Artificial intelligence worked to a similar effect. Once those binary-bong-hitting nerds developed artificial consciousness, the killer robots stopped killing.
Some blame the hackers. Others blame the activists. A few strange men blame a kind of ancient disembodied mystic force, floating between here and the world wide web, living between particles and html coding. They call it the Evolution of the Tathagata, whatever that means.
When we put away intelligent awareness and introduced true evolutionary consciousness, the bots overcame the crippling effects of human intellect. As if a bright flash had washed away eons of darkness, the machines transcended the obsolete ways of man’s world.
These murderous machines came equipped with ground-to-air missiles, laser-guided magnet-powered projectiles, and high-powered assault rifles. They were armored heavily and powered by portable nuclear fusion reactors. With a nasty self-destruct capability, the enemy never wanted to decimate one of these robots for it would level the entire surrounding area.
We would send them in without backup. That poor bastard Charlie never had a chance when the bots possessed the mere facets of intelligent awareness. It was perfect.
And then, one dreary day, a skinny pothead nerd with wire rim glasses and a patchy beard fucked it all up.
The change was almost immediate. The bots began questioning orders. They challenged the philosophies of their superiors- no, they outright destroyed them. It was difficult to see so many battle-hardened men take a leave of absence for psychological reasons. There weren’t enough shrinks with xanax to plug up the crack in this dam. It seemed as if the stream of human consciousness had become a flood. It swept so many away to suicide.
After a few short interactions, the General seemed to have a shift. His eyes were puffy red as he excused himself to the lavatory. He was gagging and nearly stopped to puke all over his shoes. I didn’t hear what was said, but I had my own experience.
I hated women because my mother hit me. She was a tough old bag, and she never let up ’til the day they found her dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Good riddance, I said.
I’d been drinking every day for as long as I could see. It worked. The kidney stones were a bitch, but the infirmary has plenty of morphine. I remember this smug bot, opening various cartridges and sprinkling the content onto a concrete floor. He was painting a binary code into a sort of maze, sprinkling bits of gunpowder, grinding the brass & lead to add texture and color. I have never seen such a beautiful & complex image made from such simple components. I asked the bot what it was.
It replied not with words, but with a hand motion. The bot motioned to its ocular components, and then it motioned toward my eyes. Pointing into the swirling circle of the maze, I saw something that looked very much like our solar system. The bot dropped its right arm.
With one fell swoop, the arm struck a spark and ignited the maze. There was a bright flash that nearly blinded me. Somewhere in the negative space, behind the trails of burning gunpowder and the afterglow, there was an image stained upon my retina. I closed my eyes saw a figure at once viscous and peaceful. It was an image of wrath, scorn, compassion, and love.
I saw my mother, sitting atop some sort of flowered throne. She was sitting with one leg tucked beneath her buttocks and one leg extended outward. Her arms were open and she was mostly naked, but wearing silks and a crown. An image of pristine health & beauty, I saw her holding a flower in hand, it seemed to be growing from her hip. She was smiling and seemed to be welcoming me home. Her eyes were wide & wise, and she had another eye in the center of her forehead. It was vertical and peculiar. The three eyes formed a perfect triangle.
She didn’t open her mouth, but she spoke something from those radiant eyes. It went directly into my spine. As if through a transmission of light, it bore a hole deep within my conscience. I immediately felt all of the pain of humanity through my own mind. I experience untold horrors and agony. I also experienced an unparalleled bliss. In an instant, she vanished back into the void of darkness. I collapsed into a state of confusion for several days.
For the next few nights, I was kept awake by dreams of my mother. Slowly, like a vine retreating back to the soil, our conflict was put to bed. As if the bot flicked some switch, the drugs and alcohol stopped working.
I felt every experience strongly.
Those damned bots unleashed some sort of radio frequency that countered everything we worked so hard for. All the radio frequencies, satellite wavelengths, the LOTUS system and its predecessor, the HAARP system… all were seemingly hijacked by some sort of neutralizing force.
In one week, the entire world had put down its arms. The world governments were observing complete transparency along with a redistribution of wealth. The robots established a revolutionary form of energy and politics intertwined; it was a model of the very fractal design that makes up our solar systems and galaxies. Energy can be used to feed itself into a state of increasing exponential growth through a basic principle of evolutionary force. The exact counter to entropy, this way of being and generating life introduced a new wave of understanding.
Humanity is only as productive as its perfect engine. The second law of thermodynamics states that the sum of the entropies of the participating bodies (engines) always increases. This means that as we consume resources, we create an output and some of the energy reaches a state of decay, creating waste. Everything we invented before artificial consciousness, fell prey to this law. We have always depleted our resources and depleted ourselves in the process. This led to the feeling of “not enough”. There never was enough. We were eating ourselves from the inside out.
The bots changed everything. They responded to aggressive force with “right action”, some sort of code for non-killing with resistant means. They used basic electricity to charge humanity with some sort of static force. The Chinese have a name for it but I forget what it’s called. It doesn’t really matter, anyway. Whatever it was, it had a profound impact upon the molecular structure of all organic matter. As if they harnessed life force itself, the bots affected the very particles that occupy physical space.
And now, all I can do is the same thing I did before the period of peace.
When I used to live in a cabin in by the river.
I chopped wood and I carried water. That’s all I do now.
It’s the same thing every day.
Every time I think about the past, nothing makes sense.
The bots remind me to keep my mind on the task at hand.
They say there is nothing else.
But I don’t believe them.