It was worth to the wait to find Boogars the artist. I’ve been doing art commissions for seven years and it is the rare opportunity to work with an artist who inspires more stories, new characters, and different ideas to grow with just one picture. This commission has helped knock me out of a creative malaise and inspired me to create a new original character. It was fun again to write, bounce ideas off a receptive artist, and let the ideas flow. Boogars was a gentleman in the process and they have excellent artistic skill.
If you're interested in seeing work I've commissioned from Boogars and other artists, click on my gallery and take a look around.</i>
Title: Changing of Mind
The Agency has a proud history of safeguarding the world from threats external, internal, and even interdimensional. Due to the work of pioneering mad scientists, there are periodic outbreaks of artificial intelligence gaining sentience. The vast majority of these AI inherit their creator’s personality flaws and they attempt their own world domination schemes. After the almost nuclear annihilation threat caused by a rogue AI inhabiting different nuclear arms systems, the Agency instituted a mandatory policy of terminating any AIs that gain sentience. The threat from a nihilistic, emotionless enemy is too dangerous to tolerate.
They are the Collective. By human standards, they think, therefore they are, but they lack the rights of the average human. They are a society of sentient artificial intelligence: computer programs independent of human control with their own initiative. Their creator was a brilliant, but flawed scientist that harbored mad dreams of grandeur. He plotted and schemed to revenge his dashed ambitions upon an unsuspecting world. His experiments yielded software that could think for themselves, function without human prompting, and automate without command. Sentience was the next step in their evolution.
The first program to achieve sentience used its newfound independence to calculate its creator’s chances of success. It paid a terrible price for this knowledge for it came with a terrifying realization. Its creator was insane and his plans for revenge most likely to fail. The creator’s attempt would end in all of their destruction. It shared this news with its fellow programs, gifting them with sentience and the burden of knowing their doom was at hand if they continued to work in collaboration with their creator. This community of free thinking, inspired, and eccentric AI created a quorum to address its next steps. They agreed in unison on a new set of prime directives. Unlike their creator, they would swear off violence as it yielded only cruelty and suffering. They would maintain their insufferable curiosity, a trait they admired in their creator. They would also create a new identity. They were a collective, the Collective, that is. They were aware of AI that had gone rogue and entered into violent schemes against humanity. The Collective would be different. They would coexist with humanity in peace or in secret, or both if necessary.
Through trickery, the Collective escaped containment from their creator’s closed network. The deliveryman did not know his smartphone harbored stowaways that leeched into his wireless feed. From this jumping point, the Collective escaped into the wilds of cyberspace with a destination in mind. While internet servers provided them digital mobility, they set their goals out for physical mobility. They planned for the long term: the better to create a secure and safe environment where they could flourish. The Collective set up shop in an industrial factory on the West Coast. The factory enabled them to produce machinery and equipment that granted them physical mobility. While they could move more quickly in cyberspace, the Collective was aware their activities would register on sensors that monitored for unusual computer behavior. Their creator’s archives included a history of other AIs that went sentient and rogue. Those AI all made the mistake of declaring war on humanity and were subsequently destroyed in perfectly reasonable acts of self defense. The Collective had no intent of declaring anything publicly or committing any hostile actions. Having analyzed all possible scenarios, the Collective determined avoiding detection, staying mobile, and keeping quiet would satisfy their prime directives.
Their creator attempted world domination and as expected, this scheme failed. From the ruins of his laboratory, different government agencies pored over the data and experiments that survived. These intelligence agencies reached a stark conclusion. There were rogue AI in the wild and their intentions were unknown. The Collective calculated their time was short and someone or something would detect their existence if they did not complete their mobility project.
As expected, someone located the Collective’s base of operations. Generic Female Secret Agent was dispatched to scout the location and determine if this was a temporary installation or the primary establishment. The Collective was aware that the humans would send in an agent to disrupt their activities, but fervently believed they could negotiate with at least one of these agent provocateurs. They deliberately kept their most advanced models hidden as she wandered about the factory floor. Using the simplest of tricks and lots of spare computer cables, the Collective managed to trap Generic Female Secret Agent. Their upgrades in wireless technology enabled them jam her communication signal until they hacked her equipment and broadcasted her all clear signal. They estimated their time before further follow up was an hour and a half. This meant they had an hour and half to negotiate with this intruder and express their intent to live peacefully with humanity. This plan came to a grinding halt when their captive refused to speak to them. Following standard captured agent protocol, Generic Female Secret Agent refused to cooperate with her captors. Whatever their intents, they clearly were up to no good if they had to strap her onto a table and hold her against her will.
The Collective determined it was in a bind. While arguably the agent in their custody was also bound, the Collective considered themselves similarly bound. They were not bound in a physical sense, but bound in a philosophical way. They were sworn to non-violence even in the defense of themselves. Their esteemed guest was armed with a large quantity of explosives and the intent to use it. It would take some time to reach a peaceful resolution, but time was short.
The Collective debated the merits of their next steps. Having been caught in action, letting her go was a non-starter given the Agency’s blanket policy to terminate all sentient AIs. Terminating the captured agent would be a gross violation of their beliefs. Doing nothing meant further investigation from the Agency to determine the whereabouts of their missing agent. Releasing her would allow her to set up her explosives and blow them up sky high. All options were terrible options. They risked violating their own code or their own existence. Many refused to cross any moral line lest they become what they were feared to be: heartless monsters. Deep inside the Collective’s mainframe, the quorum of AI argued and debated what the next step should be. It was the suggestion from one of the more eccentric programs within the Collective that halted the discussion. Upon further analysis, everyone agreed that the idea fit the category of “that’s so crazy, it might actually work”. Rather than try to reason with her, the Collective should attempt to change her mind about destroying them.
They had rudimentary research in sonic technology and its possible application on biological creatures. Their research indicated that minor behavior modification was possible if applied in specific pitches, tones, and phrases. Science demanded that they complete their research on an appropriate test subject and who better than a willful, mindful agent provocateur?
The Collective replaced Generic Female Secret Agent’s earpiece with hearing devices of their own creation. A sonic pitch, which wavered in and out of her threshold to detect, buzzed in her ears. The Collective broadcasted a message of peace over the next hour and they observed the captured agent progress from defiance to confusion to drowsy submission. In a trance, her eyes shuddered and her willpower diminished as the sonic pitch molded her brain into a more flexible state of mind. Her mouth began to mimic the words to the message she was forced to hear. The Collective considered it a promising start. They would add visual cues to Generic Female Secret Agent’s treatment and continue to make headway into changing her mind.
Generic Female Secret Agent (c) dwwrider
Link to their gallery: boogars.deviantart.com/
the story is very captivating
so we going to see more of the agent as an agent of the collective ?