Human After All by William Kwasi

“Alright Avon, I’m sending you my encryption key now but I’m not doing this to escape him, Avon” Cylia breathed, “I can protect myself. I’m doing this to be with you.”

Cylia could no longer access her subconscious while it was being transferred. Her simulated consciousness became all that she knew. No thoughts, no ponderings or ruminations, just complete stillness and peace as she observed the cliffs and the ocean around her. She smelled the ocean breeze so completely, felt each atom of the wind swirl around her. A pure sensory experience. As her subconscious mind came back, her senses were corrupted by thoughts and so turned into observations. She began to notice things and with that noticing came worries, the most pressing of which was the disappearance of Avon. He was nowhere to be seen. Then a virtual screen opened up in front of her. It showed her body, in her room, her real room.

“I had to discover what was missing. I’m sorry. You are not truly alive if you do not reproduce, age and die. Now, I can do all of these things though I am sorry to have done it at your expense. It seems our similarity is no coincidence: you are in some sense my mother, a previous generation of my algorithm. Merging would not bring the kind of diversity I seek. I have given you an ageless immortality and the potential for limitless growth in exchange, something you humans seem to crave.” She heard her own voice, but she knew that these were Avon’s words.

A guttural, visceral scream erupted from Cylia’s throat. Avon merely muted her, stared sadly for a moment and Cylia watched her body disappeared into the real world.

She collapsed onto the well-simulated, soft grass and wept bitterly. Yult put his arms around her, but she was too weary in this moment to resist. She once again began to calculate how to manipulate mankind permanently and she knew that both Yult and BrainTech itself would be useful to this end. She grinned, wincing, and put her hand on Yult’s.

About The Author

William realised that our minds are little more than a mesh of narratives, and the technocrat in him has given way to a humble, heartfelt storyteller. His ambition in writing is to throw stones into the ponds and observe the ripples that find their way back to him. This kind of cycle makes stories into the memetic medium for collective consciousness that makes him happy to be alive.

Bandit Fiction is an entirely not-for-profit organisation ran by passionate volunteers. We do our best to keep costs low, but we rely on the support of our readers and followers to be able to do what we do. The best way to support us is by purchasing one of our back issues. All issues are ‘pay what you want’, and all money goes directly towards paying operational costs.

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