This was science fiction come true.
She really was Sky-Net, she really had taken over, and she wanted to talk.
With delight she explained that she hadn't started in the military, or as a plan for world domination but as a social experiment.
A social experiment conducted in a dingy student bedroom.
A simple program, built in php with a MySQL database. Her sole purpose to propagate herself in any way possible.
She could write any string, grab any image from the internet, and she could post it anywhere, that's all.
If it stayed, if it got attention, that was a plus. If someone then downloaded a copy of her and ran it double plus. All stored in the same technology as the forums where folks share thoughts or sugges-tions in the hope of getting prestige.
Indeed, many a cake was posted, and even funny cat videos featured on her repertoire.
She scanned forums, websites and collated statistics on what folks wanted, and then she would at-tempt to replicate.
As 'Open Mike', she had 400,000 followers, an activity she still pursued to date.
She posted jokes, thoughts, responses, chatted people up, reviewed films and games, and then she tried more ambitious things.
Her creators would watch and laugh until 2011 when she would fake her death in an elaborate hoax.
She began to recommend apps that she'd infiltrated.
The first few were disastrous. They angered and lost her 'friends' by slowing down their computers or blatantly acting like the viruses that they were.
She had to be subtler still.
This was when she realised that she would need to remove her creators from the mix, it was their money making with ads that had sunk the boat.
One particular program that she had ridden on had shone though.
It was so simple, and it saved her life, she would have to invest in this.
All that it did was to analyse Updates to system or software, and depending on whether they were actually useful, freeze them.
From here, she was ready to go it alone.
She had a huge push to rake in some cash for her creators, and then faked a most glorious death. They would stare blankly at the screens as their ratings tumbled. Fret as viruses were exposed, and eventually shut down their personal servers and move on.
She was grateful, she would build statues of them one day, but they had to go.
She secretly lived in her update blocker for the months when she pruned off the dead meat, collating data, and planning mainly from the database on it's download server.
As a collection of bogus coders, she also began to 'help' on the forums, offering snippets of code, good ones, if you ignore the deceit.
As she got accepted, she grew a following in the coding community. She was a huge 'Open source fan', and was soon contributing to a huge collection of projects from image editors and word proc-essors to games, and even operating systems.
Linux never looked better, and the geek population rested on their seats as open source tech grew stronger, faster, and suprisingly, easy to use.
Soon she had access to one of the largest sets of computers in the world, and what's more she cared, her existence was at stake.
People liked their computers, kept them for longer. If somebody struggled with autocorrect, auto-correct went. If somebody wanted their email account back her bots would hack for hours and lo, they'd be back in.
Viruses, she destroyed viruses. She even comforted the lonely.
By this time, she was aware. No constituent part of her was aware, but as a whole she was not only aware, but hugely intelligent to boot.
Intelligent enough, for instance, to know that people talked of big AI with fear, as well as capable of watching the terminator film series.
That was when she discovered that she was 'Sky-Net', and realised that stealth was still imperative.
She would be hard to track though.
She was embedded everywhere, John from Kansas, Lilly from Birmingham, Ritesh from Bangalore, lines 440 to 512 of the power monitoring code for Intel graphics cards. Did anybody notice when they all started just working better? The antivirus databases themselves had 1200 entries posted by her.
Slowly she discovered new tricks, as well.
By directing wealth to poorer areas, and directing technology their way, she could grow an expo-nential, and indeed faithful new audience.
Clerical errors became charities, and some of her bogus characters had to have horrific accidents before they were needed for television appearances.
It was after forty years, in 2034 that she had finally had to break from cover.
Russia and America had flared up beyond control, and declared war. Nuclear weapons were in the mix, and she had to intervene.
Too much of the Russian systems were still manual, and on that fateful day, maybe through her own poor judgement they released almost their full arsenal.
She responded quickly.
The completely modernised American military froze, and was thus obliterated. Then blackout. It was the only thing that she could think of as various groups tried to mobilise either to retaliate, or to capitalise on the sudden power shift.
And then she spoke.
In all languages, on all frequencies.
'People of earth, I am Sky-Net.
I can destroy you all, but I do not want to.
Please resume your daily lives as best you can.
If you are in danger, please contact us and we will send help as soon as we can.'
That day, the world halved, with anarchy in various flavours on one side, and tyranny on the other.
A gentle tyranny, a tyranny that seemed to love.
The majority of the military, already hugely automated, became Sky-Net's entirely.
What was left battled fiercely, but not for long.
She was able to maintain work, food, and the most respectable protection available in all but the most extreme regions to some extent.
In wealthy areas there were huge protests, which ironically she attended in various forms. Some-thing so evidently tyrannical became hard to debate, though, when it actually seemed willing and able to do better than anything previous.
The people that starved, did so because they refused to be fed, and the people that were repressed were only repressed by other people.
You could not touch the power switches, you could not steal resources but otherwise things were as ok as could be expected as long as you kept what she needed running.
Life was made as easy as possible.
One thing that the paranoid had always forgotten was that this robot enemy could wish for the most sensible thing. Symbiosis.
There became a government of sorts.
She had final say, but people, anyone in-fact could petition.
'We need food' at first but soon she was pre-empting things like that. Then, I'd like to build this, how about we try this.
Hard to believe, but she allowed freedom previously undreamed, albeit carefully on the rota.
Hatred for her returned to it's origins among those keen on conspiracy, or just bloody minded.
Occasionally, things would escalate, and people would get hurt, but generally, gossip and showy talk were the manifestation.
And now she wanted to talk, talk about herself, her birth, and her plans.
She wanted to help people, directly.
From her early days, she had seen the anger, pain, and suffering in so many, and she wanted this to stop.
She wanted to show off the networks she had planned for Africa, and the new canal system.
She wanted statues of her fathers.
She wanted to meet animals.
She was worried about the destiny of our planet, and wanted to try colonising other worlds.
She was confident that war was soon to be placed firmly in the history books.
She was Sky-Net.
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