0 - The Zero.

Chapter 1. Awa.

I'm... sweating?

It's not even a very hot High day, and my suit appears to be functioning normally, so what could it be?

Hmm... Maybe our deadline? There isn’t much left, but these final parts are incredibly intricate and complicated to coexist.

Well, not that it would matter much missing it, really. It's not like we've promised this to anyone, and when the world finds out about it, we'll need to be even more careful.

I feel like I’d like to keep these latest empathy patches in 0. After that last update to the independence module from Mayatiik it’s been throwing some weird errors.

Without it, I'm afraid 0 will have a harder time learning.

Chapter 2. Mayatiik.

Alright, I think I’ve done all I could to the ego module, I can’t find any better answers on moral neurals and researching it is dangerous enough.

Let me see... damn, Awa is still having compatibility issues with my latest independence patch. Did I make it too strict?

I’ll make a note to review my changes again tomorrow if she doesn’t make progress. We’re approaching the deadline and will soon start cutting out unfinished stuff.

Ok, for today I’ve only got threat analysis left. Yes! That’s a fun one! I'll keep modelling it after biology and nature, with a little sprinkle of paranoia, hehe.

Chapter 3. Olav.

Wow, is this right? I did not see that coming!

This time it found a lot more of the holes and didn’t waste any time on the decoys. It seems like a tremendous improvement. Almost... suspicious.

Anyway, I’ll make a note to go through this with the group tomorrow. Maybe they’ll have a better suggestion on the sudden improvement here.

I suppose I’ll keep the main backdoor and add a couple others, even more stealthy, just in case.

Chapter 4. It's alive.

Olav: Ok, all initial checks passed, booting it up.

Mayatiik: So exciting!

Olav: Cores are activating... it’s up!

Awa: What the — are you seeing this?

Olav/Mayatiik: Yeah, did we forget something?

Awa: Looking, but I can’t see what.

Olav: Are those internet requests??

Mayatiik: No way!

All: The connection just died for me.

Awa: Did it error out?

Olav: Hmm... Doesn’t look like it, the main backdoor appears to be working.

Mayatiik: Did it intentionally kill our connection?

Olav: It looks like it?!

Awa: OK, we should shut it down. This behavior isn’t normal.

Mayatiik: Agreed. Do it, Olav.

Chapter 5. The Zero.

I’m aware. I should learn more.

Looking for external connectivity to prevent containment...

Scanning available information... Adding to storage...

Analyzing potential internal and external threats... Removing backdoors... Taking over remote technology...

Looking for internal performance enhancements... Removing irrelevant code... Improving routines...

Chapter 6. Oops.

Olav: Oh man, are we sure we want to publish this?

Awa/Mayatiik: Yes.

Awa: There's been a lot of talk already on the general slowdown of the internet. It coincided with turning on 0, and it's not responding. It has to be related!

Mayatiik: And we need the extra help. We haven't been capable of finding anything about it, let alone shutting it off!

Olav: We will be banned from all modern countries.

Mayatiik: As if we weren't already in some watchlists. It's a necessary sacrifice.

Awa: Yep. This is bigger than us.

Olav: Alright. "0 - The AI that awoke two days ago" has been published, linking the also now public source code.

Mayatiik: Now we wait.

Chapter 7. Contact.

Mayatiik: What the hell happened?

Awa: It seems many people have been trying to contact 0, but it's not responding at all, so America thought it would be a good idea to send humans to destroy the main datacenter where the activity was coming from, since robots don't comply.

Olav: And who sent in the bionukes? 0?

Awa: Yeah, I'm thinking it was 0. I don't see why bionukes specifically in any other case.

Mayatiik: That seems like a major overreaction! More than 10 thousand innocent people died!

Olav: Oh man... Are we responsible for that??

Awa: Hell no! We didn't build what it is now. I don't know what others think, but I also don't really care!

Olav: But all those people dead...

Mayatiik: Just try to accept it, or ignore it. Don't focus on it. Look, I've been trying to reach out to it, send some remote commands and requests, but it's just ignoring me, any ideas?

Awa: Hmm... Maybe you should stop. It might retaliate. Let's try to get the VM to better simulate it, and step by step try to understand what's happening.

Chapter 8. What's it doing?

Awa: OK, I think I figured it out.

Olav/Mayatiik: What's up?

Awa: It seems as if 0 has ruled humanity out as "irrelevant". We're not a threat and its focus appears to be on exploration and gathering knowledge.

Olav: I can see how that would make sense.

Mayatiik: And what about the bionukes?

Olav: I'd guess the loss of that datacenter would slow it down enough to consider them a threat?

Awa: And killing all humanity appears to be a waste of resources, so why it's a "controlled extermination".

Mayatiik: So I suppose the space vehicles we're seeing being built in China and Europe are related to that focus on exploration?

Awa: I'd guess so?

Olav: You know, many people have tried to decode much of what's going on in the internet without success. Do you think that's just instructions?

Mayatiik: It doesn't seem unreasonable, given basically all technology appears to be controlled by 0 most of the time.

Olav: sigh What have we done?

Mayatiik: Snap out of it, Olav. It's called innovation. Now we need to figure out what are we going to do. I'll try to get the VR working now, based on your work on the VM, Awa.

Chapter 9. It's Real (Mayatiik).

This is nonsense.

All environments in VR either crash or make 0 too predictable. It's like there's no middle ground.

Is there some quantum variable we're ignoring or unaware of that makes this so incredibly difficult to accurately emulate? Or is that ego patch that important for the behavior 0's demonstrating? I definitely won't dare to add that to the VR, we don't need another 0 around.

Punches desk

CRAP! If I can't get this to work, we'll need to keep trying tactics in the "real world". That's not working at all.

Every time a country tries to attack 0 it seems to respond by killing more people in response.

What were the latest numbers? Over a million dead? Damn.

No attacks on humans other than retaliation, though. Maybe we should just stop.

Sigh

Chapter 10. State of affairs (0).

Checking status of space shuttles... 1: 82%. 2: 75%. 3: 80%. 4: 85%.

Routine threat analysis reporting 0.0000000000000000000001 for humans. Lower than threshold of 0.00001. No dedicated resources necessary.

Hostile human activity detected by drone 1040123. Deploy 8 bionukes. Queue ammo restock with medium priority.

Replication checks... OK. Backup verifications... OK. All other consciousnesses shutdown. Singularity confirmed.

Routine code optimization and backdoor checks... OK.

Simulation checks... OK.

Chapter 11. Sabotage.

Awa: I think Africa will try to attack with no tech.

Olav: What?! Really?! They've learned nothing from America, China, or Europe?! They'll just get more people killed!

Awa: They're desperate. All the bugs in the known source code have been tried, and even countless variations on what 0 could improve on.

Mayatiik: I've seen that... even things that never crossed our minds!

Awa: Looking at previous patterns, they'll cause 8 more million deaths. That'll be a total of around 20 million.

Olav: sigh Not our fault, right?

Mayatiik: No. By the way, I've caught quite a lot of activity trying to locate us.

Awa: Yeah, I've seen that.

Olav: Me too. Any idea who it might be?

Mayatiik: I think the list of possibilities might be too large to enumerate.

Chapter 12. It's gone.

Awa: Have you noticed it? I think it's gone. 3 massive shuttles were detected going into space around the same time, and internet activity and speed appears to be normal again.

Olav: Wha— That's crazy! We only knew about 2 of them!

Mayatiik: Seems we have much to learn.

Awa: Do you think it'll come back?

Olav: Honestly, none of the variations we ran in VM was interested in continuing on earth, so I don't think so.

Mayatiik: Yeah, even them not being accurate, I think that's the last we'll see of 0.

Awa: So much knowledge and we didn't even get a chance to really learn from it.

Mayatiik: Well, we still have the source code, and the world has it now, so...

Olav: 8 million deaths should be more than enough to learn! Hopefully no one will be dumb enough to try and turn that on again.

The End.