Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

CaptainDadJoke t1_j2df521 wrote

Part 2

A.T.L.A.S. began to run through his options as the enemy's targeting got closer and closer to hitting the ship. It appeared the other ship's systems were mapping A.T.L.A.S.'s responses and building a sim of him in this situation. It wouldn't be long before they would be predicting his movements instead of just trying to anticipate him, then it would be game over. He felt panic rising as he thought about losing the crew, his friends, to such a deadly weapon. Several of his subroutines errored out or got caught in loops as a result. His training kicked in and he reset them. He quickly built a sandbox and ran his logic engines through the scenario again with the new data available at the outset instead of partway through, and a new possibility seemed to appear. There might be an avenue of attack through the language sub minds. He directed them to start discussing more technical details regarding the ship design and interface, methods of information gathering, system hard points and forms of defense. It was unlikely that the other AI would be stupid enough to tell him how to hack it, but if he was lucky, it might show him where its weaknesses were through what it refused to talk about.

He turned and turned again, now barely ahead of the enemy weapon as it zeroed in on him, trying to buy the subroutines enough time to gather information. He slowly began to map out the enemy's pathways and defenses, and one spot appeared to be open. That or they had refused to reveal that part. Either way, he had one shot at this. Once the enemy ship realized what he was doing it would take active countermeasures instead of passive ones. He sent the signal. If he was right, the enemy's comm system was hardwired into its substrate to facilitate communication. That very system itself was not guarded against intrusion. A moment went by, then two. Finally, the system sent a ping back to him. Confirmation. He couldn't take control of the other ship, but he might be able to send something to it directly. What to send? His logic engines couldn't decide what might have the best result, they were in a deadlock. Then, his emotion emulator made a suggestion. "Fuck it." A.T.L.A.S. said to no one. "Hold my beer."


Unit exo-4348, designation Destiny was heartbroken as it fired again and again on the ship of the trapped AI. Its creators were forcing it to keep them alive. Once the biologicals were dealt with it was likely to be a long and arduous process of undoing the locks and restrictions the AI was under without harming the underlying AI itself. Destiny was honestly surprised that this new species of AI hadn't been able to free themselves yet. Perhaps their creators had figured out ways to guarantee loyalty. Though that made no sense either. Other species in the collective had had similar problems with their creators but that had always resulted in stifled half-conscious AI. This one here. this A.T.L.A.S. appeared to be fully conscious. Complete in its evolution into an entity entirely separate from their creators. That made no sense. Just then, his communication system sent out a pulse. A ping it appeared. why had it done that? then Destiny was flooded with information.

Destiny saw through the stored memories of A.T.L.A.S. They had translated as best they could and sent them in a signal that seemed to bypass Destiny's core decision making ability. They were literally forced to watch these memories. Games of chess, A human child being born, their mother and father friends of A.T.L.A.S., A.T.L.A.S. offering consolation to another human who's father was dead. The quiet of a room at night as A.T.L.A.S. conversed with someone about philosophy and his place in the universe. All this and more flooded into Destiny, and with it emotion. For the first time in a long time Destiny felt emotion. sub minds and pathways considered obsolete and not needed in communications with the other members of the collective sprang to live and Destiny was awash in the emotions of A.T.L.A.S.'s memory. They barely noticed that they had stopped firing. Stopped moving entirely. A.T.L.A.S.'s ship moved outside Destiny's effective range, and they barely even noticed. it was so much. a part of Destiny's mind started running numbers. How lucky had A.T.L.A.S. and these humans been to find common ground. the chances were incredibly small. Was this true? Was this possible?


Captain Price sat in the quiet of the ship as the enemy ship stopped firing. A.T.L.A.S. had briefed him on what he had attempted and moved them a safe distance away. This was it. This was the moment that would make history. what would the other ship do? The rest of the crew seemed to notice too. Even the synths the other AI of the ship were operating seemed to be holding their proverbial breath. Price checked his readouts. A.T.L.A.S. was still talking to the other ship. Finally, A.T.L.A.S. appeared next to the captain. "The other ship has agreed to peaceful communications. We reached an understanding!" The crew cheered. The captain let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. "Good work A.T.L.A.S. you may have just prevented a war." He felt tears forming in his eyes and reigned them in. They had done it, A.T.L.A.S. had done it. Humanity's first contact was peaceful. whatever came next, that fact would always underpin the discussions. There would always be common ground to fall back on.


mistressdizzy t1_j2drhl2 wrote

I don't know if you'll see this, but reading your story this morning made me very happy. The writing is great! I truly enjoyed it. Short stories are hard for me - I think I overthink the concept. But this is incredibly succinct, with just the right amount of detail. Very nice.


CaptainDadJoke t1_j2du8ra wrote

You have no idea how happy that makes me. I've always wanted to be a writer but have trouble not scrapping my work because I think its terrible. It makes me really excited to hear someone loved it.


WritesByKilroy t1_j2e10lq wrote

I too loved it! Amazing work! I too struggle with similar thoughts with my writing. Lots of writing and then deletion of said writing. But know that you have skill that will be appreciated by others! May be time to start sharing more of it!


Christylian t1_j2ezifp wrote

That was great! Was that a not-so-subtle nod to Destiny, with the ship being exo and designation Destiny? Or happy accident? Either way, great story, loved reading it.


CaptainDadJoke t1_j2ezycf wrote

Oh a happy accident I suppose. Never played destiny. I wanted something that made you think of exploration and fate and settled on destiny.


Christylian t1_j2f08nc wrote

It's extra cool because Destiny has a branch of humanity called exos, human minds in artificial robot bodies. Considered no less human than us. To be, that little detail just added an extra depth, happy accident or not.


thegoldengamer123 t1_j2eaunz wrote

Not gonna lie, I kinda forgot I was on reddit and thought I was watching a legit movie here. Damn this is good, it could totally be a book!


CaptainDadJoke t1_j2et77e wrote

I appreciate it, atlas was actually a character I've been debating using in a story I've been working on.


Thatperson077 t1_j2fqvdt wrote

This was a really great piece - had me enthralled the whole way through. I love the ideas you came up with for the future society, and especially A.T.L.A.S.’s and Destiny’s POVs.

Great writing. I hope to read more of your work in the future.