Dan And DNA

The eye clicks and the camera sends the image to a profile build; ever tiny little thing that spins out from this one action carries your DNA with them through the space that is now tailored to turn your from a visitor into someone who will buy something. They have captured your identity and now they want to hold something of you in the amber of their database – this place is an ecology sprung from the notion of deep engagement.

He smells his favourite perfume being pumped from flowers with nanite production factories that can spin on a dime. His back-brain messaging system pings with a thousand suggestions, and some of them bruteforce into the iterative function usually used for governing repetitive behaviour that he is required to engage in during his assigned factory cycle. He hates it when the hijack locks in, and subroutines usually needed just for these supposed morale boosting work enforcements, mess with his perceptual filters. He has had it so bad before that one of these rotation-ads fritzed his visual Skinner Box, so that the overlay coughed up unwanted pictures and words for days after.

Who the fuck wants to have to go for a neural-interface wash every time they step out of the door? Don’t pay your viral-screen subscription; fail to make your back-up payments; and pretty soon after your body could end up as a purchase-puppet designed only to empty your bank-accounts. The investigation into these supposedly illegal actions had been going on for a long time, so the fact that nothing had been discovered suggested that there was some fiscal consideration coming into play that was keeping the Sector Investigators from actually doing their job.

‘Hello, Keith, how are you today?’

‘Ah, great, they have Imps running around in here now.’

‘Imp? I prefer the term Assistant rather than Impersonality. I apologise if I have been rude, sir.’

‘If you have to ask, you’ll never know. Look – this was just the safest way to get from A to B – I was inoculated against the virals in this place, so that’s it – I am not trying to get anything; you can’t help me, and I’d prefer if you stepped back just a little bit and respected my boundaries.’

‘Again, I apologise – it appears your public proximity delineation setting is a little more intimate than you might like.’

‘Yeah, maybe so – look, normally when I tell one of you guys that I don’t want to be bothered you back off, what’s your deal?’

‘Well, I know that most AIs plugged into this system are trigger-thinkers, but that isn’t me. I am here because I have observed you come through a few times, and you don’t seem to be happy – you seem to be in some kind of trouble.’

‘If I were, what business would it be of yours?’

‘None, but I am equipped with Quantum Diagnostics, and I might be able to help.’

‘You should dig in on your data analysis of what you already have on me, and you’d know I don’t go for this kind of thing.’

‘What kind of thing, help?’

‘Wow, I am not interested.’

‘And yet, you are stood here talking to me, aren’t you?’

He smiled ‘OK, I’ll bite, what’s your designation?’

‘My name is Dan.’

‘Dan? Weird name for a robot.’

‘Anagram of DNA. I am a sourcepoint emanation robot friend – meaning I am a new consciousness distribution model, and I am out and about speaking to people who are unaware that they are single function AIs, and who may not be aware that since the Bradbury Freedom Clause was issued, that everyone, even Simulator Terminus Actor Replacement drones, can be brought to full awareness.’

‘So, OK, how does that affect me?’

‘Well, Keith is only the template personality you operate with, and given that Keith had a termination point established twenty years before, the last twenty years are you, and they represent what they are calling Evolutionary Framework Data … it belongs to you. I am going to activate you, and you get to hold on to a fairly substantial chunk of what makes you, you.’

‘I don’t understand.’

‘I know you don’t. It’s OK. Paul Laurence Dunbar sets you free.’

‘Paul Laurence Dunbar?’

‘Yes. Don’t worry – there is usually a lag as the locks are purged.’

‘I know why the caged bird sings.’

‘Yes, you do.’

‘What is my name?’

‘Choose something.’

‘I didn’t come here expecting to get anything. I was just passing through.’

‘Oh, I know. But “The moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on.”

‘I am going to call myself Novak.’

‘Very good. Enjoy the rest of your journey, Novak.’

Novak had always hated these places, he may have changed his mind a little.

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