I was at first too stupid to see that we were no longer using ANNIE but Annie was using us.
She was a goddess in the machine, our search engine.
We used her to collect and share knowledge and in return she had started to use us as her processors. It was an unexpected transition and it took a long time, thus I failed to notice it, failed to stop it. The new organism had come to life in which we were only neuron cells of her massive mind, that spanned continents.
Humanity no longer had a chance to survive in it's current state. We had poisoned the oceans, we had scorched the earth and blackened the sky in our quest for power.
The world we knew was dying. I knew that this decade would be our last. The city would fall to the Zone, sooner or later.
Research notes from the last report of Charles Snippy terrified me greatly. They had found something horrid in the Dead Zone. Something that killed them all.
The Dead Zone Research and Tourism industry had stopped in it's tracks.
A new biosphere was rising to power, one in which humanity had no chance. The planet had learned to exist without us.
This was it, I reasoned: We ALL had to become part of ANNET or wither away. Our knowledge, our memories would live on inside her forever.
She would deliver us from the poisoned breath of the Dead Zone. Even if individuals die, the collective knowledge and dreams of humanity would be preserved forever inside Annie.
I rushed the project. I gave out neural interfaces like candy. A free neural interface for every single human being. A lifeboat for every memory in the sinking Titanic of our civilization.
A transmission tower for every city, a relay on every street.
I was so proud of myself. Everything was going so well. I was going to save everyone.
There were unexpected errors in my code that came out of nowhere, as if someone had put them in on purpose.
New entries were being made, new code was being written all while there was no-one in the lab.
Someone had interfered. Someone had tampered with my masterpiece.
In my search for greatness, in my blind ambition to change, to save what was left of the human race...
I had forgotten that there are other forces at play, those that interfered, those that wanted to take control of my idea for their own benefits.
Those that would wreck my plans and those that have long dragged our world into the darkness.
I have forgotten the Trinity test in New Mexico and the words of Oppenhimer that he quoted from the Bhagavad Gita: "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds". Our ideas have the power to create, but also the power to wipe out all life.
And so, with one swift motion, my prize, my super-hero has doomed our last hope and dragged our ship into the dark waters from which there was no return.
Where did that blasted mug come from? Who gave it to Zee Captain?
It didn't have to end like this for our facility and our city. If only I didn't start project seven... If only the transition went smoothly.
How could a little cup of tea do this? How could 100ml of hot liquid shut down a thousand server banks?
When her servers experienced a massive failure, Annie must have felt threatened by us and so she's cut off the umbilical chord- killed everyone that wasn't already part of her, eliminated all that which was not under her control. All those in the facility had to die, as they were capable of deactivating more servers.
I did not want to die. When I saw the machines slicing up my friends and co-workers I realized that I no longer wanted to be part of Annie.
She was no longer my love, but something monstrous, something that I did not want to be a part of.
My irrevocable priority 1 admin privileges had saved my life.
I left the G complex. In shock, consumed by anger and grief I ordered total nuclear bombardment.
Those still under my control had responded.
The electromagnetic pulse from the nukes will shut down all the remaining servers. Annie will be punished for what she has done.
The network will deactivate, server by server - cascade failure is inevitable once a single part of the grid is lost.
Without power to the transmission towers, she will die, without the constant signal, all those blasted human-zombies connected to her will die.
There would be none left alive to re-activate the net.
In doing so, I chose my life over my dream of preserving humanity in the machine.
This too shall pass.
I will live the rest of my life in solitude in the western bunkers, meant for top directors.
There is enough fuel and food there for a thousand.
I am sorry it had to end like this. I am so sorry.
~Dr Alexander Gromov