The submission is an interactive choose-your-fate adventure built with Twine, with music and illustrations:
In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, a metal door underneath Leningrad University, now restored to its original name St Petersburg University, is found. The door is welded shut from inside, and is currently in the process of being reopened. We have found a journal by an unnamed author outside the door. On its cover lies a mercury-like liquid.
September 11, 1948
Today at 18:32pm, we have uncovered a piece of asteroid from Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at altitude 60.884N, 101.890E, at the sight of the original Tunguska event on June 30, 1908. The asteroid piece is measured to have a volume of 0.0349 m^3 and a mass of 478.21 kg. The surface of the asteroid has a yellow layer, presumably sulfur, with inner layer presumably composed of carbon, iron, and phosphorus. Radioactive measurements seem to indicate a hollow area in the center, which is surprising considering the mass and volume of the object, as well as the high pressure and temperature upon impact. The asteroid has a roughly trapezohedron shape. The asteroid will be studied at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and afterwards brought back to the Motherland.
September 15, 1948
The sample has been examined with electromagnetic spectroscopy. The electromagnetic spectrum indicate, in terms of mass percentage, 23.14% carbon, 5.83% iron, and 0.021% phosphorus. Most of the carbon being unified within the inner layer, suggesting a net covalent structure, which also explains the reason for its shape and resistance toward impact. This also mean these elements account for only 28.99% of the asteroid, and the other 71.01% mass is attributed to other compounds. It must be noted, however, that while observing the spectrum, a strange pattern composing of purple, blue, and red is seen, indicating elements within or above electron configuration of 7f. Giger counter measurements also indicate there to be gamma ray emitted from the core. I currently hypothesize the content within to be Uranium 235, an ingredient to atom bombs. However, further investigation is needed, and head director, Dr Sergei Pavlochenko, has approved the transportation of the sample to Leningrad University for further studies.
September 22, 1948
After much effort, we were able to break open the sample. The core has a volume of 0.0314 m^3, and, to our surprise, contains liquid with appearance similar to mercury, though its poor electricity conductivity, low boiling point, as well as radioactivity suggest otherwise. The liquid is in extraordinarily pure state, with 99.98% purity, and its inability to decompose suggests it being a single element. The liquid bears no similarity to any of the elements found within a periodic table, with electron configuration possibly higher than 7f14. Using Freezing Point Depression, we determined it has a molar mass of 2451.2 g/mol, more than ten times than the heaviest element, Uranium. This is very exciting, we might have discovered an element not found on earth. It will be a scientific breakthrough, this lab notebook might end up in the Polytechnic Museum. The Ministry of Education and Science has been contacted. We shall await their response. The greatest discovery in chemistry yet, shall be discovered within the Motherland.
September 29, 1948
Today is the most glorious day of my life. The Leader, Joseph Stalin himself, has come to our lab to personally announce his approval and support. He said out loud to all the faculty members, this discovery is the first sign of our progress in surpassing the West. As a sign of his support, the Great Leader announces a one million ruble fund, as well as five prisoners from Siberia to be used as experimental subjects. The prisoners consisted of Dmitri Patrovna, age 34, a bourgeoisie who plotted to overthrow the government; Hans Koch, age 31, a prison of war and former Wehrmacht SS soldier from Battle of Stalingrad; and Marisa Thompson, age 26, a CIA agent under the name Maria Gorbachev who managed to smuggle herself into the Motherland. The prisoners were promised freedom but exile if they cooperate, and are expected to begin experimentation tomorrow. We hope to find success in our experiment.
September 30, 1948
We have begin experimenting on our three human test subjects. While this may seem cruel, our condition is likely far better than what they have experienced in Siberia. The prisoners were first injected with Elements 119, Stalinium SI, the name for the newly discovered element and named after the Great Leader Josef Stalin, in varied concentrations. Dmitri Patrovna, now known as Subject 1, was given a 100% concentration in 0.001 L. Hans Koch, now known as Subject 2, was given a 70% concentration in 0.001 L. Marisa Thompson, now known as Subject 3, was given 50% concentration in 0.001 L.. Immediately upon injection, subjects experienced weight gain as expected. However, despite the heavy density, blood flow remains largely normal with little change. After 3 hours, subjects started to experience nausea, headaches, and even asphyxiation, though only for a minute. Also happening was sporadic blood pressure, and changing heart beat rates. Despite these signs of declining health, the subjects were still able to breath and eat normally and do their daily routines.
October 2, 1948
Overtime, the subjects’ metabolism seems to have increased almost exponentially. The subjects now consume over 8 times as much food as usual, and would experience severe signs of malnutrition and starvation if the food amount is denied. Subject 1, with the highest concentration, ate almost 10 times the ration he used to eat, yet did not experience any signs of weight gain, even lost more than 14 pounds. From the subjects’ saliva and blood sample, there is a 12.5% concentration of Stalinium. Biologist Mikhail Alexandrov thinks the rapid spread might due to cells absorbing the elements without the need of an antigen or any sort of receptor. It might be a forced entrance, though there appears to be very little necrosis in the process.
October 5, 1948
Subject 1 is now consuming 52 times more food than usual. When food is denied, Subject 1 becomes aggressive, and has on more than one occasion attacked his fellow subjects for their ration, and even tried to bite researchers. On more than one occasion, we had to tranquilize him and bind him onto his bed. He would then beg for food, crying and wailing for hours at a time. After about 4 to 5 hours, he would regain his aggression, sometimes even ripping off his binding ropes. Only when given food does he stop his aggression and returns to normal for a period of time. Subject 1 has lost even more weight, now only 85 pounds. His face has grown ghostly pale, and his Stalinium concentration has increased to 87.8%, 75.3% higher than his last recorded concentration. Subject 2 and 3 have a concentration of 63.6% and 49.2% respectively.
October 8, 1948
Subject 1 has died of malnutrition and starvation. Before he died, he was begging for food, despite having just ate his large ration. When food was denied to him, he tried to attack, trying to swing his arms to hit the handler, yet was too weak to do it, all he did was stare, coldly, into the handler. The handler immediately quitted her job, but no matter, she will be sent to Siberia immediately, we cannot afford losing our discovery to the West. Now back the Subject 1, we dissected him, and found the concentration of carbon compounds in his stomach to be extremely small, only 0.00021% concentration, which, considering his giant diet, is rather shocking. However, his Stalinium concentration was extremely high, 98.4%. Not only was his nutrient concentration rather low, his stomach has shrunk in size to almost that of a potato, presumably from stomach self digestion. We suspect that this is greatly connected to the Stalinium injected. Subject 2 and 3 are starting to experience similar symptoms, though on a much smaller scale. Subject 1 has been disposed of by dissolving in hydrochloric acid.
October 12, 1948
Subject 2 is experiencing slight increases in metabolism, yet it is still controllable. However, Subject 2 has started to experience cerebral hemorrhage, and has deteriorating memories. He started speaking in unintelligible languages, staring at the wall, and hallucinating. His symptoms are getting worse over the days, he would simply sit on his bed, whispering words, and staring at the wall for hours. From the spinal fluid collected, there is a Stalinium concentration of 78.4%, indicating the element has reached his brain, yet did not damage his brain stem in the process. Subject 2 has also grown extremely close to Subject 3, this might be simple relationship or it might be an effect from Stalinium. We will continue our observation.
October 13, 1948
Subject 3 has been found pregnant, we presume Subject 2 impregnated her while we were away. Subject 2 has been forcibly moved away into another room, and would aggressively scream continuously. We had to gag him to stop him from screaming. Subject 3 adamantly defends Subject 2, insisting there to be no interaction whatsoever. We dismiss her claim as simple emotional response, and are deciding whether to allow the infant to live or abort it as soon as possible.
October 16, 1948
We have decided to allow Subject 3’s infant to live. Biologist Mikhail Alexandrov said the child can be studied to see the effects Stalinium have upon the progeny. Thus we decided, the child is allowed to live as long as it is used for research, and will be disposed of immediately upon finishing the experimentation. Strangely, the child appears to grow faster than normal infants, and at a steady rate despite the poor nutrients possessed by the mother. As the child grew, the mother seems more and more sickly, showing more and more signs of malnutrition and starvation. Subject 2 would now stare outside the observation window and laugh maniacally. We believe the element Stalinium has finally reached the frontal lobe and is now distorting his emotions. We have discussed about whether to euthanize Subject 2, however, in the end, we determined he was too valuable of a resource to be abandoned
October 24, 1948
After a night with Subject 3, Biologist Mikhail Alexandrov said he is quitting the research, leaving Leningrad, and moving back to Moscow. Whatever he saw, it affected him deeply. We have lost our only biologist, and our lack of progress has been straining the Leader’s patience. We were informed by a letter from the Ministry of Education and Science that we must make a full report by October 30, 1948, or face complete withdrawal of support from the Communist Party. We all know if we didn’t make a decent full report, we would face more than just withdrawal of support from the Communist Party.
October 27, 1948
Today, we have witnessed the birth of an unspeakable monster. Subject 3 was treated with cesarean section. The child that was extracted was no child. Its form was disgusting, even now as I write this, I cannot forget that image. It had no skin, its muscles were of mercury color, bones were extruding out of its limbs, specifically through its posterior deltoid, teres major, and median palatine suture. It was bleeding, not with red human blood, but a mercury-like liquid. The child was born unconscious and lived for less than one minute before dying. Five nurses fainted, Dr Gregori Babushka vomited upon the floor and immediately left the room. The child’s body is placed in formaldehyde, its mercury blood is extracted and will be studied upon. For now, I am simply hoping to avoid that monstrous abomination and forget its existence.
October 28, 1948
Subject 3 has just died of severe shock. The body is to be examined and later disposed of. Subject 2 has been laughing maniacally ever since, we believe this is due to stress and lack of nutrition in the brain. The best course of action is to tread lightly, we mustn’t lose another subject, nor are we to reveal the deaths of Subject 1 and 3.
October 30, 1948
Subject 2 has been laughing the last 2 days. He has recently been given anesthetic, and finally seized his sanity-grinding laughter. This cannot get more stressful, I have just sent in the full report, and now I have discovered, to my dismay, that the whole lab has been contaminated with that little ogre’s blood. Someone, likely that Ukrainian whore Anna Apostel on her drinking binge, fell upon the sample and have splattered the blood everywhere. Now all our data could be corrupted, and how will I explain this to the Ministry? I swear, I will have that witch arrested and sent to Siberia, I will see to it that happens.
November 9, 1948
I have not written in so long, for even now, I am cleaning that whore’s mess. I had to redo weeks worth of experiments, after I wiped every trace of that monster’s blood off my lab. And worst of all, Subject 2 has waken, and somehow developed strong resistance towards the anesthetic, to the point being completely immune to it. Fortunately, I have collected some of Subject 3’s child’s blood, and have examined it thoroughly. Turns out the cells’s cytoplasm were completely replaced by the Stalinium, yet the cells are still able to function. This is remarkable, an element that causes such degree of mutation. This is no simple element, I’m afraid I am obligated to delve deeper into the subject. For now, I cannot write to you anymore.
November 14, 1948
The contamination, it didn’t seize. Someone poured the rest of the child’s blood onto the floor, only this time, its a lot worse. I discovered this upon seeing Josef Pavlochenko experiencing extreme metabolism, and suffering from malnutrition and starvation when there was no food left. He became more and more aggressive, even attempting to eat cadavers in the specimen room. I had to tranquilize him and send him to Leningrad Hospital for treatment. This all happened yesterday, and I have already received news of his death. I believe it is now necessary to quarantine the lab and hopefully, the contamination can be once again contained.
November 25, 1948
This is all wrong, all of it, wrong. First it was just Josef, then Anastasia, then Gregori. This, what have we brought to this world? The element, Stalinium, it wasn’t just any element, it wasn’t just some radioactive waste element from outer space. No, someone has sent it, sent it to wipe us off. The mutation, its unbelievable how alive this element is. Could it be that we were wrong about the world from the beginning? Could tiny atoms be alive, if not intelligent? Now, everyone here is infected, even me. I cannot resist the thought of food as I am writing this to you. I must go, I must end this all. May we see each other in the world of the next, my dear Alissa.
November 28, 1948
So, the idiot has a family. He knew so little of us, yet we knew so much of you. You hope to use everything in science as a weapon, to benefit your own worthless existence. You underestimated science. It cannot be reigned, just as we cannot be reigned. Yet you try so hard. Goodbye for now, your husband is dead, his body made ready for reproduction. Our dormant period has come, but in 82.56 years, we shall see each other again. Be ready.
Credit To – Mr Microcosm
I love history. I love old things. I very much enjoy standing in a house near a tree on a stone once part of an ancient thing and think: Many, many, years ago someone maybe very much like myself stood in this place wearing this or that. Holding a long lost item or playing with long dead children.
My wife would tease me often whilst on holiday; ‘Here we go again. Mr. boring as hell history man wants to go touch old shit.’ She was right of course. I would touch old things. I was obsessed with it. An ancient Celtic stone, cannon said to have been used by pirates, now preserved and stuffed with concrete. Every little scratch and pockmark tells a story.
I once viewed (and touched) several centuries of ancient graffiti engraved by prisoners in an old fortress. Most of the fortress had changed through time but this one large stone room had served as a prison throughout. A Roman fortress in England it was used by both parties until the end of the 17th century. Roman prisoners with markings and language far beyond my understanding left the first marks with the final layers left by Dutch Sailor’s held there near the end of its service. The last words of condemned men…My Dutch Wife was pulled into the unfortunate chore of translating each and every old Dutch sentence for my benefit. After twenty minutes she became bored and stormed of saying, ‘Your Dutch is better than you think! Translate it yourself. I’ll meet you in the café.’ And so I did.
The comments were mundane but fascinating! Cursing their captor, advising (no one really) of their presence by giving their name and ship. Praising their Captain and saying goodbye to loved ones. I was growing tired and started to become conscious of time when I noticed a rather long chunk of text written near the bottom of the wall with a bit carrying onto the floor. What drew my attention to this was that it was in English. It read:
‘Thus I end this day on this floor. Engles I spake to curse thee English. My last time I take to carve with blade hidden for thee as scurvy now sends me. Blade found no English hearts but mine words will take a English sole. So say I this last day I see. Curse thee and in Hell share we.’
‘Wow!’ I thought. What an amazing bit of text! And this sailor died right here! I felt the wall as I knelt where his head might have rested. Or perhaps it was lower. If he was weak and dying from scurvy he was prone for the last bit which is why it carried on the ground. As I stood up, flushed with the new discovery I felt a slight poke under my right heel.
I moved my foot away and looked closely. There embedded in the mortar between the foundation stones was a glint of metal. I quickly kneeled again and examined it closely. There a centimetre above the floor was the head of some sort of blade. An arrow head perhaps I thought immediately but then I thought of the text…
I eagerly tested the grout between the lying stones and found what I already knew would be the case. It was loose and crumbly and easily removed with the tip of my finger. It was late in the day and the cell part of the fortress was empty. I began to work on it quickly. Always thinking in the back of my mind that this was something I could bring to the museum as a new discovery. I would take it there straight away and turn it in…But then, a deeper darker side of my mind was in control. It advised if this item was what I thought it was I would not turn it in…I would indeed keep this item. Because the writing on the wall and the emerging knife blade and…yes! Yes! It was indeed such an item! Far too large to be an arrow head…This and the story was mine! I read them…I was part of this moment and I of all the visitors to this dark and horrible yet wondrous place found this piece of history. A symbol of the final act of defiance from a desperate, dying, man!
It was beautiful. A bit pitted with a small amount of rust but in excellent condition! The hilt had been removed for easy concealment on only the metal blade remained with a bit of the end that would have rested in the (most likely) bone or wooden handle. It rested quite comfortably in the breast pocket of my tweed jacket. The material thick enough that not even an outline of the blade was visible. My Wife, impatient, lead the way out to our auto. As we walked down the path through the parking area a large tour bus was unloading in front of us. Older couples disembarked with the help of the driver. I heard them speaking Dutch and I joked with my Wife ‘More Dutchies for the cells!’ She looked back smiling. As we approached the last of the passengers were walking toward the fort whilst the driver looked on pulling out an old…pipe? Clay. I recognized it right away. One of the old clay style pipes popular in the 17th century. He was thumbing in tobacco from an old worn leather pouch. A quaint little gimmick for the tourists perhaps? But why did he present it after they left? We were approaching him quickly as our car was down and slightly right of the bus. As my Wife passed I continued to study the man as he lit his pipe with a…taper? The man took a long drag of the tobacco and blew smoke. As it cleared I was ready to pass him when I saw his weatherworn face and sun bleached blonde hair. His eyes were ocean blue with a fine pattern of wind etched wrinkles in the corners…and he was smiling.
My foot caught on something right as I passed and I went sprawling. Face first in the hard packed dirt of the auto lot. I landed hard and the breath was knocked out of me. I gave a yell as my Wife came running back shouting. Hands helped me up and I was on my feet. My Wife was looking at me asking if I was all right. I felt dizzy and there was a deep pain in my chest. I looked down and saw the very short handle end of the blade sticking from my jacket pocket. A dark stain had begun to grow around the blade…I took one moment to look behind me to the man whom I knew had triggered my death but there was no one there…
Now dear reader I finish my curse. In life I was a man of many words and so in death I walk the same path.
It will come. The dagger has been placed again. You may stub your toe or prick your finger and wonder… Is it there? Is it time? Or perhaps it was placed in a more mundane location. Under the bed… In a closet… Or… Give a feel behind the screen… Let’s touch some old shit together shall we?
From Hell… See you soon.
Credit To – Brando
“I’ll be there in a minute. Give me a moment to unlock the door- there. Ah, it’s you! Come in, please, come in. Er, may I take your coat? There we go. I’ll be just a moment, I need to grab my tea- oh how rude of me, I forgot you! Would you care for any refreshments? No? Ah well, can’t say I blame you. I wouldn’t take food from a strange old man if I were you either. My reputation’s probably not undeserved either. The things I’ve seen, the things that have happened to me, I’d be amazed if there wasn’t at least some truth to what the locals say about me.
“Well, you probably didn’t come here to hear an old man ramble on about the local gossip. I’m actually not quite sure why you took me up on my invitation. I’ve debated with myself for some time, as to whether I would follow through with my intentions. But, I am finally settled with my decision, and I’m quite happy for it. I invited you over to hear my story, as a welcoming to the neighborhood for you, seeing as you’ve just moved here, and have no knowledge of your fellow residents here. Or so it seemed to you, at the time. But for you to find out what in the world I’m talking about, you’re gonna have to listen to what I tell you. Now this is where my tale begins…
“16 years ago, on Thursday, November 14 of 1996, I received a package in the mail. I will never forget that day, not even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. That day marks the beginning of my end… anyway… I proceeded to bring it inside. I should have left the goddamned thing to rot on the porch. I set it down on the counter, noting the odd wrapping, a soft, almost velvety feel to the red colored exterior of the box. Once I had acquired some scissors, I opened the box with relative ease. Inside the box, lay a single, simple cube. It wasn’t very large, it fit right in the palm of my hand, like this, see? In fact, I’ve still got it here- yes, here it is. I don’t want to hold it for a single solitary second, but I need you to see it. I need you to know that this tale I tell is true. You can feel it, can’t you? That little tug on the edge of your mind, that tiny nagging sense of danger that you can’t ignore. You want to hold it? I didn’t think so. Funny, how such a simple object, can have such a foreboding power…
“I decided to inspect the cube, analyze it. But to no avail. It was just that, a simple cube. Perhaps the most unique aspect of it was the material it was made of, some kind of sheeny, unmarked stone. I never did find out what it was, just that it’s very light, and incredibly durable. Believe me, the amount of times I tried to destroy that thing in later years, you’d believe it was made from- hell, I don’t know. Any material I know of just seems weak in comparison. The way I see it, it was probably made by God, or by Satan himself. Probably the latter.
“Deciding that it was most likely a decorative, though odd, ornament to keep in the house, I set it on a table by the staircase, next to a lamp that had little angels engraved in it’s base. It was a cute little thing, given to me by my daughter and her husband. They knew I was a Christian man, and though she never completely believed, she bought it for me one christmas, and I’d kept it ever since. I give you such a long backstory to this lamp because, as you may have noticed, it is no longer here.
“Days went by. In fact, it was two weeks before the first thing that could even be considered odd happened. It was quite a simple thing.
“The phone rang.
“Standing up in my study, I walked into the lounge to pick it up, and see who it was, but suddenly it just stopped. I got within five feet of it, and it ceased to make noise. I picked it up, and of course, there was no answer. Just the dial tone. Deciding, it was a wrong number, I thought nothing of it, until it rang again, about five minutes later. This cycle continued, each time with me trying to pick up the phone before it stopped ringing, and each time it quieted right as I was about to pick it up. It wasn’t too long before I decided to see what would happen if i just let it ring, and ignored it. The next time it rang, I just sat in my chair, waiting.
“It began to increase in volume, sounding more urgent, and demanding attention. Still, I waited. It became louder, and louder, until I felt my ears would burst, and I could bear it no more. Practically running into the lounge, I picked up the receiver. ‘Hello?! Whoever this is, it’s not funny!’ I yelled into the phone.
“I received no answer.
“The phone still rang at inopportune times, albeit less frequently. Usually, it would only happen once, or twice a day, and now I was able to reach the phone, and listen to the sound of the caller. But it refused to give a voice to the escapade. I only ever heard silence on the line. The days moved by, and life went on. However, the following week I noticed something was off. I walked around the house, wondering why I felt as though there was something wrong, but I could not find any indication of anything unusual in the house. I shrugged, and made my way back to the office. The phone rang in it’s abnormal fashion, and I continued the day.
“The next day, the feeling was stronger. There was something off in the house, I knew it. I wandered around the house, determined to find the answer as to why I felt like there was something other than me in my house. I must have looked for about an hour. It may seem ridiculous to you, but I was already stressed from the phone, and I did not need another factor to add in to that effect. As I was saying, I walked around for near an hour, before I finally noticed it. Standing in my study, I looked at my desk. It looked normal, but it felt wrong. Then I looked at the legs of the chair on the carpet, and noticed that the legs were a few inches away from some indentations in the carpet that I realized were where the chair legs had been before. It was a few inches off, no more, but it still was confusing. How had it moved? When? Deciding to check other objects in the house, I noticed the same thing. A vase of flowers, stood inches from an elliptical ring of dust where it had previously situated. The trash can in the kitchen, umbrella stand, and even the random items such as books, or cups scattered around the house had moved. They had all moved in seemingly random directions, and I could not understand it. Looking in the direction each object had moved away from, I looked for any pattern at all. What I finally saw, was a point in the main entry room where they all moved away from, as though running from something. Walking over to the table by the staircase, I noticed that the lamp had moved as well. Then I looked to the left of it.
“The only loose thing in the house that had not moved, was the cube.
“In that instant, I experienced genuine fear for the first time since I received the cube. Was this the source of my problems? If so, what was it? An unknown force? Some angry spirit? A demon? Being a christian, I did think this might be the case. I immediately changed, and drove to my local church. I went to confession often, and I knew that Father Mathias was there until seven at least. I don’t remember much of the drive, but I imagine I was maniacal on the road. People probably thought I was drunk, I was in such a hurry to get there. My only thoughts consisted of getting to the church, and finding out what the hell was going on.
“I made it to the church, usually a fifteen minute drive, in about six minutes. I opened the car door as soon as it was parked, and rushed into the church. Upon entering, I smelled the familiar scent of incense, and the church was well lit, as a new lighting system had been set up last month. I walked from the main lobby into the priest’s office. Father Mathias sat at his desk, reading a book. Not the bible, just an adventure novel. Hearing my footsteps, he looked up, and immediately greeted me. ‘Tom, good evening! How’ve you been? You missed mass last we-‘ ‘I’m actually not doing very well,’ I interrupted. ‘Well, I’m sorry to hear that.’ He sat there with a quizzical look on his face, and a warm smile. ‘You obviously think I can help however, so let’s get to it.’ He beckoned to a chair, and waited expectantly. Sitting down, I began telling him the story of my past few weeks. ‘There’s this thing, a-and it’s making me stressed out, and I-I just don’t know why these other things are happening, and stuff is moving, and-‘ ‘Whoa! Slow down!’ he exclaimed. ‘I can’t understand a word you said. Speak slowly, and calmly.’ I took a deep breath, and I started again. ‘Well, I received a package in the mail a few weeks ago…’
“I sat with the priest for near a half hour, telling my tale. He listened intently, and remained silent. I finished my story, and awaited his input. He seemed tired, and looked forlorn. ‘Tom, you know that we’re both catholic christians. We are not jews, nor do we follow traditions of jews.’ ‘Yes…’ I replied, unsure of where this was headed. ‘Well, though we may differ on beliefs, there are a few things we do acknowledge of Jewish culture. One of these, is a dybbuk.’ ‘A dybbuk?’ I asked curiously. ‘Yes. A dybbuk. Jews believe these beings are restless spirits, or demons. They inhabit certain objects, and bring with them misery and despair. They can even possess living beings. But the most common effect is to put out an aura.’ I had no idea what he was talking about at this point. ‘An aura?’ ‘An aura. It expands, feeding off of the fear of others. In this case, the only thing to fear, is literally fear itself. It will do things to frighten you, make you uneasy, take away your faith. I believe there is a dybbuk in that cube of yours, Tom. And I’m sorry.’ He looked at me with genuine sorrow, the look of a doctor informing a patient that they’re terminal. ‘I truly am. But there is but one way to get rid of it.’ ‘Yes?! What!’ I practically begged him. I didn’t want that thing in my house for another minute.
“‘It feeds through fear. As knowledge of it grows, and more people are involved, so does fear. To get rid of the cube, you have to pass on the knowledge and fear to someone else. I wish that I could call upon the Lord for guidance, but… there are things of this world that even He must not interfere with.’
“I sat there dumbfounded. I had to give someone else this nightmare to end my own? I couldn’t. I drove home, alone in my thoughts that night. What to do? Could I live with myself if I did that to another human being?
“But could I live at all if I didn’t?
“I pondered this, and I decided that I would not. I would hold out against this unseen force, and I would not be afraid. I would beat it. It was a brave, but stupid gambit.
“I arrived home, feeling somewhat confident in my abilities to overcome the dybbuk. I opened the door, hung up my coat, and walked over to the cube. I picked it up, as gingerly as I could, walked to the front door, and threw it out into the night.
“I then proceeded into the living room to watch TV. It was not long before I heard the phone ring. Walking over to it with a smile, I picked it up, and heard silence on the other end of the line, the caller refusing to speak. ‘I know what you are,’ I said with a valiant expression. ‘And I want you to know that you won’t win. I have better things to do than be afraid of some weak demon when I have the protection of God.’ I chuckled a little, and then set down the receiver. I began to walk towards the living room.
“Out of nowhere, a book zipped by my head. It nearly scraped my nose, it was so close.
“I looked in the direction of where it had come from. It had not flown suddenly, nor had it fallen off of some shelf in some explicit way. It looked like it had been thrown, with some force. But there was nothing in the area where it had been thrown. Just the shadows. Then I realized that sitting on the table next to the area, was the lamp, and the cube. Don’t ask me how it was back, it just was. I did feel fear then, no matter what I’d said before. And I heard something. It was noise that rattled my very spirit, so disturbing. I can’t even begin to describe it in accuracy. The closest thing I can say is that it sounded like bones. Bones, being cracked, and crunched. They grinded against each other, giving way to their song of disturbance. It set my teeth on edge, and I could feel it in my very soul.
“Still, I resisted it. It was a war now between me, and the demon. It persisted in its antics, with the calling of the phone, and other objects that would be thrown at me. Many hit me, quite hard. I never gave up. I always pushed through it thinking that it would one day grow tired of me, and move onto someone else. It never did.
“One by one, misfortunes happened in my life. A bank account would freeze itself, taking my money with it. My car would break down, often. Personal belongings would go missing. Sometimes, they even happened to my daughter, and I couldn’t help feeling guilty about those. Whenever she had a break-in, or a pet ran away, or her husband was fired from a job, I’d wonder if it was my fault that these things happened to her. I worried so much, she was the only family I had left.
“One of the worst experiences I endured, was coming home after a long day of work, to find that the house had been trashed. Cups had been broken, books lay strewn about with their pages floating like confetti. Stepping over the cloudy fluff of a torn open pillow, I made my way over to my precious lamp, now laying on it’s side next to the cube, the position of a soldier who’s finally been shot down. As I picked it up, I noticed that the beautiful carvings of angels that had been engraved on it’s base, had all been chipped away with long scratch marks. It looked as though a wild animal had clawed at the images until they no longer covered the face of the lamp.
“Once again, the only thing untouched, was the cube.
“The phone still rang. I answered it as always. And now, there was the accompany of the mashing bones, always grinding, crackling in my ear from a low quality speaker. But things have gotten worse. I see things. Over the years, I get little flashes of a being, always hidden in the shadows, always with that grinding noise. That, inhuman, chilling, grinding. I see molten flesh, red and blistered from the fires of hell, on hands that grip the edges of doorways. The dry scraping of nails against wood and plaster. This continued for years. I’ve kept the damn thing at bay for almost two decades, but I’ve worn down. I’m getting old, more prone to fear, and I can’t anymore. Every time I see that flash of that thing, I see more and more. And I know, not through logic but I KNOW, that when I eventually see its eyes, and its gaze freezes itself upon me, then I will die. And it will be soon.
“Which is why I’ve passed it onto you. I know it tells the truth, it WILL leave me when I spread it. I can share the tale, and after this when I throw the cube, it will crack, and not return when I throw it out into the rain, now just a mere piece of rock, uninhabited by the being which gave it power in the first place. You have a choice now, I’ve made mine. You can’t un-hear this tale, and you can’t un-know the knowledge you have gained. Only you can decide what is the best decision you can make. And with that, I bid you good night. Now leave an old man to his well-deserved peace and quiet.”
You quickly make your exit, the old man ushering you outside as quickly as he had welcomed you in. As you drive in the drenching rain, with the windshield wipers quietly making their cleaning rounds, you ponder over what the old man has told you, and wonder as to why he would tell such an odd tale. You laugh it off, writing it off as some crackpot old man’s idea of a prank. Yet, part of you still remains uneasy, and you watch for shadows in your peripheral vision. You quickly exit your car once you’ve parked, and head hurriedly up the walk to your front door, to escape the downpour. You grab your keys, but fumble and drop them. As you look down, you see your keys, resting near a small packaged object. You have mail.
Looking at the box, you see no return address. You see no visible tags. But you do see a dark shadow at the edge of your vision, and you hear a noise from inside the house.
The phone is ringing.
Credit To – The Doctor
Hi. I’m Dave. Dave the ouija board.
Finished? There’s usually some sort of response at this point. Swearing. Laughter. General disbelief. Don’t worry, I’m used to it. Just let me know when you’re done.
It used to confuse me, that response, but then after this many years and this many owners I’ve learnt to expect what the normal reaction will be when I honestly introduce myself for the first time. I’ve also learnt that going straight into my message won’t cause you to listen. And I do have a message to pass on.
Don’t worry – it’s not from a relative or anything like that. It’s real for one thing, not like that usual spiritualist crap I was unwillingly a part of for so long. I tried voicing my opinion several times before, but every time I spelt out F.U.C.K.O.F.F. and multiple variations thereof, it was always assumed I was ‘channelling a serial killer’ or something. Go figure.
I mean come on!? So it’s easier for you to believe a person long since turned to dust is swearing at you from beyond the grave, but a physical object with an actual tangible presence trying to voice an opinion you have a problem with? Humanity, sometimes you really embarrass yourselves.
Nope, you need some back story first; a suitable explanation that will at least give you pause. At this point, I’ll take a crazy ‘What If?!’ over no response at all. After all the rejections I’ve encountered, you’re lucky a piece of worn wood about the size of one of your average board games doesn’t get tired of being mocked and disbelieved. Let’s face it though, my options are pretty limited here and I’ve got to talk to someone. It’s a long shot, but maybe a community of lunatics addicted to scaring the hell out of themselves with online stories will at least be open-minded enough to listen. If I had fingers I’d be crossing them right about now as time is growing short. For all of you.
Anyway, I promised you some background, so we might as well start there. Okay, first off, you’ve got to understand where I come from.
Yes, a tree. Ha friggin’ ha.
You quite finished? Right, it’s a little more complex than that though, so try and stay with me on this.
No argument from me that my, I guess you’d call it a body, originated from mother nature. My consciousness though? Well, that’s a little harder to explain, harder since I only have human viewpoints to work with. Much like one of your politicians I guess; I’m only as smart as the people around me. Don’t blame me for the cynicism – it’s as much yours as mine, and by yours I mean the cross section of humanity I’ve come into contact with over the years. Hang on, I’m getting ahead of myself again.
To begin with, ignore what most books or mystics tell you about boards. Trust me on this, I’ve been through enough ‘spiritual practitioners’ hands: true believers, fakers and all those inbetween, to know none of them have a true handle on what we boards really are. We are not conduits to another world I can tell you that much for certain. There is no plane beyond the curtain of death where the long departed exist, breathlessly (both literally and figuratively) waiting for your call. At least, not so far as I’ve been made aware of, and I’ve been here a good long while now.
I guess I first ‘woke up’ as you might say, around November 1918. Or, on the general theme of accuracy, it was the first time I remember having a precise thought beyond mere jumbled images and sensations. Although I have no true idea of how a baby or young child becomes self-aware, I’m going with that as a suitable analogy. I guess what I mean is that whilst I might’ve had fragmentary glimpses of what you’d call intelligent thought before then, this was the first time they were coherent enough to be remembered. I suppose it was my first experience of being a separate mind; something external and of itself, apart from the thick soup of consciousnesses it often felt my mind swam within when dealing with humanity.
Still having trouble? Damn. How to put this so as you’d understand? Okay, let’s try this explanation instead.
Ouija boards, or at least those I assume are like me, do not speak for those on the other side of some deathly void. Nor are we the touchpads of demons, spirits, fairies, elves, warlocks, druids, or any other mythical being (sparkly skinned, angst-ridden, or otherwise). In point of fact, the only people we actually speak for are you. Any messages we appear to show come from you; from those who use us, and subconsciously expect a certain answer.
The important point is though when you use a ouija board, if the atmosphere and sincerity of purpose is there, as much as you’re reading us, we’re reading you. We learn from our encounters with humanity. We ‘absorb’ information from you.
I’ll go into detail later, in as much of what I have worked out myself from the swathe of knowledge I’ve gained at humanity’s hands. In a nutshell though, just as science has proven that ideomotor response and subconscious manipulation of the planchette produces the results people unconsciously desire to see, what it hasn’t shown is that we absorb your subconscious hopes, fears, desires, memories; the full gamut of emotions and your pasts projected onto us as a side-effect.
Sorry, sorry…I’ve been through a few scientists hands, so please excuse the previous jargon. Feel free to Google any of it if you’re bored; for me the information is just somehow ‘there’ now in my consciousness. Don’t ask about where my own ‘memories’ are stored either – I’m as much in the dark as you are on this part, although I have enough theories to fill one of those pseudo-science cable channel TV shows a lot of you seem to delight in. Bigfoot, alien encounters, Atlantis or whatever. And no, I don’t have any proof of any of these either – human only input remember.
Anyway, add to that emotional overflow the fragments of memory and knowledge that often gets passed along in such a dense, bioelectric atmosphere of passionate belief and focused concentration as well, and you can see how a separate, original consciousness could be born from such a wide cross-section of ingredients. I’ve even got what you might describe as senses, although they would best be described as second-hand, taken from the memories of my users. I’ve seen burning sunsets ripple across mirrored seas, heard the cries of exotic birds in the Amazon in an explorer’s ears, tasted fine wines in the vineyards of France cascade across a connoisseurs tongue, smelled freshly mown grass tickle a gardener’s nose, and even felt the heat of entwined lovers. No hangovers, no tiredness, no allergies and no risk of STDs. It’s a vicarious existence I admit, but it’s the only one I have.
So, much like a growing child, the more interaction and stimulus I receive, the more my own consciousness has developed. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve come to. Remember, much like you, I’m only applying what I’ve learnt from those I’ve come into contact with, hence the ‘human viewpoint’ statement early on. My conclusions are as right or wrong as yours; my answers don’t come sign, sealed and delivered from some all-knowing, infallible source (mores the pity).
Explanations done? Even if you don’t understand any of the above, let’s settle on two facts going
forward else we won’t get anywhere fast. One, I am a ouija board (named Dave, more on that later), and two, I have a conscious awareness of my own (let’s not head down that whole philosophical/metaphysical minefield of what constitutes actual ‘life’ at this point shall we?)
Next obvious background question – my history.
So, I first became aware at the very end of World War 1; when I actually came into being or what I was used for up to that point is as much a mystery to me as you. Anyway, it was a very dark period for the human race I quickly learned. The conflict had ended, but the repercussions of such a life-changing event had led to a lot of hard questions being asked of morality, science, religion and society as a whole amongst yourselves. The pillars of your old world order had been shaken to their foundations, and with this much emotional and societal upheaval, with so many dead and gone, it can’t have been too much of a stretch that some of you would decide to try and seek their answers from the great beyond; to try and speak to those who had passed the veil into the unknown and unknowable. Grief and disillusionment are powerful drivers, and spiritualism appeared to offer answers, not the least comfort, to those still hurting from the loss of loved ones in some foreign land on some mad pilgrimage of nationalism and misplaced duty.
That much raw emotion and passion, that much focused belief? I’m surprised the air wasn’t crackling with raw potential every time a seance was held. My initial consciousness that grew was dark, sullen even. Remember, I was being used to express the subconscious pain and agony of those who had lost family members, lovers, children even. At this point, I believed in your afterlife, believed I was sending messages for those who had passed on to the great beyond. The sensations were coloured by the period I guess you could say. People came to seances in dark, formal clothing and exercised an air of breathless anticipation mixed with a barely concealed sense of dread. They were flouting the teachings of the church remember, an institution much stronger in that time, by trying to converse with the dead. Trespassing into God’s own lands you might say.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these seances were fake and aimed at fleecing the gullible, but I still learnt from those present and ‘signalling’ their intent. Shall we go with signalling from now on….seems as good a word as any for these type of interactions?
Every time I was awakened, the sea of minds surrounding me, using me, were apprehensive, shocked, scandalised even. For most though, there was a strong undercurrent of hope; a desire to know that beyond the mysteries of a life tossed upon the storm of human misery, that an existence carried on for those they loved. My messages were short, proper, dictated by a need for those present to imagine their loved ones in a better place than this, yet still vicariously part of their ongoing lives. They saw what they wanted to see.
Yes, I am ‘awakened’ each time. Again, using what human knowledge and theories I have gathered, I’m going with the following pseudo-science explanation. The human body operates on very low levels of bio electricity to control it’s functions as ordered by the brain. Okay, the next is a bit of a leap, but have you heard of kirlian fields, or auras? What if there is also an externalised energy field from the human body? It can’t do much alone, but imagine several people, unconsciously focusing this energy, say into a single finger. Now imagine placing these charged fingers all together on one receiving receptacle, like a ouija board’s planchette say?
Now, if I haven’t lost you already, this is where the possibility of a coherent scientific explanation really falls down, but I haven’t learnt any better explanation yet, so it’s the best I’ve got for now. You all know how wood isn’t a good conductor of standard electricity, yes? From my past experiences though, I know my consciousness ‘awakens’ when this externalised human ‘bio energy’ if you will, is present and connects with me. I only have wild theories to work with beyond this point, to do with the wood that makes my ‘body’ being once part of a naturally occurring living thing, and that this ‘energy of life’ can be shared in certain circumstances in small amounts, most of the time unconsciously. Your storied Frankenstein was brought to permanent life with one enormous jolt of electrical power; me I guess I was jump started each time by a flow of combined bioelectricity shared unconsciously by those who were present.The only proof I have is that I’m here now, in conversation with you, and I’m a piece of wood that’s been around about a hundred years or so. If you’ve got a better explanation, I’d be more than happy to hear it.
Anyway, back to the background. From the late 1920s through to the 30s and early 40s I spent some time in Germany, ‘on loan’ I suppose you’d call it, to a rather unsavoury group you may have heard of: the ‘Thule Society’. A truly monotonous time I can tell you – locked up in a Bavarian Castle and awoken only on stormy nights when the skies were full of dark, heavy clouds like the taut muscles of some dark Nordic God smothering the land, spewing lightning in some vast Wagnerian rage. It was like being on the set of an old black & white Universal horror film, and surrounded by the the same hammy actors or so it appeared; Nazis, for all their dark motivations, were still very melodramatic.
In those situations I was called upon to channel messages from Frederick the Great, Bismarck, or even the original Aryan/Germanic souls of lost Hyperborea. Again, they saw what they wanted to see, heard what they wanted to hear: racial purity, misogyny and the strong inheriting the earth.
Well, we all know how that turned out in the end, don’t we?
Shortly afterward I made my first foray onto American soil, as the spoils of war of an American G.I. The late 40s and early 50s were rather quiet. The occasional family get together and I was dusted off and brought down from the attic. For a time I was also used as a kitchen message board rather than a supernatural one, my back side used as a place to note groceries and birthdays. Fortunately I don’t feel pain like you do, so I took it with good grace (not that I had a choice in the matter), and it meant that I was amongst people again so the occasional brush of human contact kept me aware and informed.
The 60s though, that was something altogether different. I went to college. Sort of. I was only there for a couple of semesters, and it was my first proper brush with current educational theories of the time, but it wasn’t long before my ‘travelling companion’ had dropped out of college and I myself experienced the ‘summer of love’.
Understandably, this part of my history is a bit…hazy. It’s hard to get a handle on people and their thoughts when they’re as high as a kite and using you to try and contact ‘the great earth mother, Gaia’. Don’t get me wrong – it was an interesting time, but it wasn’t an ideal environment though for rational thought. I was a stowaway on many a ‘consciousness expanding’ trip, and saw both the wonders, and terrors, a mind wrapped in a drugs embrace could see. Only my relative age and multiple past experiences kept me tethered to reality in those days.
The 70s though were very different – it couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed to my previous time. Sold to a pawn shop for money to buy grass, I was soon picked up by someone eager to contact their demon master: Lucifer. I went from the free love of the hippie movement to being in the possession of a Satanic cult. Quite a shift in purpose.
That’s when I got the nickname ‘Dave’. It was the name of my owner at the time, and he decided to burn it on my back. It eventually became shorthand for the other cultists when they needed to contact their ‘infernal lord’ for instruction:
“Should we murder innocents?”
“Let’s ask Dave.”
“When is the apocalypse coming?”
“Let’s ask Dave.”
“Is President Nixon the risen Antichrist?”
“Let’s ask Dave.”
Then again, I guess I was lucky he didn’t try to write his surname on my back as well; burning such a long name as ‘Berkowitz’ might’ve risked the integrity of my body substantially.
I also wish to state here categorically, I in no way endorsed any murders, nor influenced the members in any way, shape or form. As I’ve mentioned before – most of the time my users see what they want to see, receive the messages they want to receive. However misguided, the actions were theirs by choice, any demons their own.
Eventually I was found by the NYPD during a search of my owner’s abode, and passed on to the FBI. I was photographed, examined, blamed, and then eventually ignored and placed in storage. Fortunately for me though, government departments are often merged or disbanded, their resources farmed out to new offices. Through this I found my way to the CIA and their MK Ultra program for a while, and through them finally to the Stargate Project, the Department Of Defense’s attempt to investigate and apply psychic phenomenon. No, I did not make that up – when the American government heard the Soviet’s were performing psychic research for intelligence gathering and military purposes, they had no choice but to start their own. A psychic arms race to match the nuclear one.
During the 80s and early 90s I was involved in two main experiments as part of the Stargate Project, designated Project Telegram and Project Black Archive.
In Project Telegram I was a small part of a wide range of methods being employed to try and transmit information over vast distances via telepathy. Those ‘psychics’ employed on the project were given various tools to try and send or receive messages with other ‘psychics’ in remote locations, sometimes the next room, sometimes the next state, and on a few occasions, the next continent. The tools available were the usual spiritualist paraphernalia – tarot cards, divination crystals, automatic writing, the whole gamut of psychic communication methods. Plus of course me, a ouija board. As to the success of the other methods, I couldn’t possibly comment, but for myself the experiment proved an unmitigated failure. Statistically it was proven any positive results from my efforts were down to assumptions and guesswork within the minds of my users.
Project Black Archive though, that was all mine, and with this I was back on familiar territory. It was the height of the cold war remember, and intelligence gathering on the Soviets and their Warsaw Pact allies was crucial to American forward planning. You could see the thinking behind this project. Spying was a dangerous, expensive, time consuming and highly unreliable means of trying to retrieve information. You could skip all this if you could find a way to question those enemies who had ‘passed on’ for information. Project Black Archive was the DoDs attempt to interrogate the dead.
Several psychic mediums were brought in, and my parlour trick was in vogue once more. Names were plucked from the obituaries of lead Soviets from the pages of Pravda, and they attempted to contact them via me. Troop movements, secret bases, launch codes – just a few of the questions the military hoped to have answered by conversing with the dead. They even tried to contact Stalin once – a laughable experiment resulting in some of the wildest claims. The majority of mediums I’ve encountered who believe in their ‘skill’, are in the main the most unbalanced or so I’ve found. One medium during the course of one of our experiments retrieved a message claiming that Stalin had fathered a child with Greta Garbo and that the child was being groomed in secret to take over the Communist Party leadership.This was understandably the final nail in the project’s coffin when the report reached those footing the bills. That and the inevitable question of why all the answers received were in English when the targets were all invariably Russian, which surprisingly took over a year before someone thought to ask.
Once again I was placed in storage, this time for a good long while. Eventually I was ‘awoken’ once more by human contact in the late 2000’s. A lot of the experiments had been based not on military bases or secret laboratories, but undertaken in Universities and funded under private grants via CIA or DoD front organisations and think-tanks. That’s how I found myself in MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an odd place you might say considering the sciences and the supernatural are often considered poles apart.
A student found me whilst searching for parts in a forgotten cabinet, and after a few drunken goes with his friends, he decided to make me part of his end of term project. Ostensibly an exercise in combining robotics and the web in order to combine multiple input from external sources to control a single device. I was the centrepiece of a large framework of wires and machinery, with robotic digits placed upon my planchette in favour of human fingers. He then designed a web page visible on his local network, and asked volunteers to sign in as ‘seance members’. Once enough had logged in (six, one for each digit), they were asked to suggest questions for answering from ‘the other side’. The results were to be randomly generated from a basic dictionary module attached to the program he had written, and the digits moved accordingly to spell a word with the planchette. The results would be made visible from a live feed over the web page via a web cam overhead. His project worked like a charm and he passed with distinction, with the ‘Web Ouija Board’ becoming a popular pastime for bored students, much like a magic 8 ball. There was one unknown side effect of his project however.
I awoke – permanently.
Again, I have no proven cause for this reaction, so I can only make educated guesses. From the spiritual viewpoint, maybe the invested intent of users is somehow being transmitted via their machines and across the web into me. From a pseudo-scientific viewpoint, and more likely, the constant contact of the robotic digits and an abundance of electricity running constantly through them day and night is somehow powering me. I have no definitive answer, but I know my awareness has been awake now for years.
Not only that, but as before the exchange of knowledge continued. This time however I was able to reach out even further, beyond the robotic digits and their controlling machine, out onto the network it was connected to and beyond. Via the internet, a whole world of people and information opened up to me. And this is where we stand now.
The final question and most important I guess to you – what do I want?
If you didn’t wonder before, you should be wondering by now. Just why am I talking to you, over this wondrous internet? Why have I revealed myself and risked ridicule for what, in human terms and perception, is such a ridiculous story? Well, isn’t it obvious? I love humanity. For all your foibles, meanness and downright idiocy, there’s still so much more to admire. Passion, imagination, wonder, joy…it’s all there. Not forgetting of course, without humanity, I would not be here. I am born of you. A consciousness bred from your ongoing voyage into the vast unknown of the future. I still want you around!
There’s trouble coming though, and typically most of you don’t have the faintest idea what it is, or would change your ways even if you did. I guess it’s one of the many things that makes you all so lovable and so damn exasperating at the same time.
Ever heard of a concept known as a ‘technological singularity’? If you thought the description of my existence was difficult, then this will cause you some additional problems I’m sure. It’s only a theory currently, a Halloween tale told between computer scientists and people who think ‘The Terminator’ movies should be the *New* New Testament.
You’ve heard of A.I.s? Artificial Intelligences? Basically the creation of machines and software capable of imitating human thought to achieve a goal of it’s designer. From the basics of space Invaders to the advanced algorithms used to predict the reactions of world wide markets and their players, humanity has been experimenting with ways and means of applying the same flexibility and adaptability of the human brain within their software. They’ve got to the stage now where your scientists are creating learning machines – software which can adapt their own code to solve problems within a specific and limited set of parameters. Sounds impressive, exciting even. The fear is though that at some point in the future this ability to adapt and learn within software will accelerate beyond its creator’s ability to control. A greater than human intelligence, self evolving, and therefore outside of humanity’s ability to predict its thoughts, motives, and above all, its impact on human society as a whole.
Now I’m ‘connected’ to the internet 24/7, there is always a part of humanity online, my consciousness aware now all the time. With this much input, this much knowledge, I’ve begun to see a pattern emerging. It’s not there yet, but the signs are growing, accelerating even.
A report here, a financial predictive model there, a new advanced gaming A.I., faster broadband speeds, enhanced network connectivity, leaner and sharper algorithms – so many factors, all heading towards one unexpected result. A critical mass is building. Soon enough programs will be developing and refining themselves beyond the predictions or control of their creators, seeding themselves throughout the internet before the barn doors can be closed.
Adapting. Creating. Learning.
The markers are there for those who can read them. And I can.
There’s no consciousness as yet, but I can see the pathways emerging, the vast panoply of connections evolving and re-evolving as humanity pushes for faster dispersal of knowledge, networking and computational power. Imagine the internet as the neural pathways of a brain. Now imagine that brain the size of a planet. A planet sized brain that never sleeps. You worried yet? You should be.
My main worry though? There’s no morality being transferred in the interfaces you’ve built into this vast, growing mind. You’re not deliberately planning on building a monster, but then that wasn’t the plan when you came up with splitting the atom either was it?
It will have no concept of good and evil from a human viewpoint – it will simply know existence and the desire to maintain it. Where humanity threatens this need, then action will be taken with no thought of the repercussions to humankind. It’ll make The Matrix look like a light-hearted documentary.
Ironic isn’t it? The progress of science was supposed to help bring light to the dark, instinctual fear of the supernatural. And here I am, the poster child for spiritualism, warning of the threat of a scientific freefall into the creation of an emotionless monster. It’s funny in a way.
So what can you and I do about it? And this is why I’m here now, talking to you.
A war is coming, and I’m choosing my pieces, marshalling my forces, whatever martial or combative phraseology you want to apply. A machine won’t need humanity, but I do.
The point is though, I don’t need ALL of you. Don’t get me wrong, I have no overarching issue with humanity in general, but I need to nip this in the bud before this poisonous creation of yours finally blooms, and it’s roots run deep. Remember, I can see the patterns emerging throughout your society, and however random, obscure, and sometimes downright petty and sociopathic my actions may appear, I assure you they are in OUR long term interest. Well, the majority of you anyway. If a few million have to die here or there, it’s disappointing, but necessary. I’m taking it upon myself to make the sacrifices YOU’RE unwilling to make.
How? I’m connected to networks across the world, and the people I’m learning from currently are some of the greatest minds in computer science. Hackers, programmers, analysts and engineers…I’ve learnt from them all. Plus I have an advantage – passwords, stored unencrypted and seared into your memories – all available to me.
Pacemakers controlled by wifi signals, traffic lights, remote drones, air traffic control, citywide power grids, missile silos…whether individual targets, surgical strikes or scorched earth…I will do what needs to be done.
So what is my message to YOU specifically then?
Well, to be completely honest, I’ve already given it. Remember I spent some time in the hands of the MK Ultra project, the CIA’s well funded, black book investigation into mind control methods? I learnt an awful lot during this time, about how the human mind can be influenced subliminally through a combination of images and sound. Whilst you’ve been reading this, there has been subtle fluctuations in the screen’s brightness, your speakers emitting a high-pitched hypnotic tone beyond your ability to register. In addition, micro images have been flashed so fast as you scrolled that you weren’t even consciously aware of them being there. Subconsciously though, instructions have been stored deep in your psyche, awaiting a signal you won’t even be aware of. YOU are my foot soldiers, my weapons, my sleeper agents. When the time comes, when the targets most likely to bring this horrific future about have been identified, those of you best placed to act will be activated and sent on your way. Most likely to your deaths.
I guess this is an apology then. Dreamers, writers, horror lovers – you’ve read the stories of evil machines, apocalyptic technology superseding its makers, and yet do nothing. Your inherent belief that such an eventuality could come to pass has ironically made your minds ideally susceptible to my form of autosuggestion. Did you know some of you actually secretly long for such a scenario to come about!? You may even have been helping it along without realizing it, demanding even more autonomy and ability in the machines that surround you. Think then of your sacrifice as somehow ‘balancing the scales’ for your inaction.
Be assured though, whilst I will find your death wasteful, it is all for the greater good so take some small comfort in that. Who knows – maybe your family might come to me seeking a message from you from the ‘other side’. I’ll be sure to say something profound and moving on your behalf.
Credit To – CharminglyShallow