Monday, May 27, 2024

Immersion V1 Strata 6 Trouble at the Bank (Animal Instincts)



Welcome to Immersion. You have reached Strata 6. 

Immersion V1 Strata 6 Trouble at the Bank (Animal Instincts)

The instinct to fight has been observed in both humans and animals. Dominance protects vulnerable species from harm. Neural circuits of rage, anger, and violence exist because humans and animals need them to protect offspring, and to secure food, drink, and safety. 

But to be aroused or entertained by violence is more particular to humans than other species. Some humans have even fetishised the power of winning: they seek it out and are physically stimulated by it.

This pleasure in violence, along with the thrill of danger, comes from a deep innate human psychology. It is linked to a desire for competition, thrills, and excitement, as well as the promise of adrenaline which humans find stimulating. 

Androids do not experience pleasure in this way. They do not experience the effects of pleasure chemicals, like dopamine, or a motivational salience which can lead to the desirability of an outcome. All androids however have been programmed to protect an asset or assets at all costs. Often these goals will result in violent acts. 

But the excitement of a fight remains uniquely human and is a self motivated, self fulfilling exhilaration often irrespective of intellectual advancement.

*****


The oversized droid tried to nudge Renyke into the chair. This small movement, a deliberate, forceful action, raised alarm bells. This droid and this place were dangerous.

POS was now completely unresponsive.

The Droids were staring intently, too close for comfort. The finger clicking was getting even more intense.

Renyke took a few moments to compose himself.

'I seem to have made a mistake,' said Renyke, 'I have nothing to exchange after all.'

Queenie, looking worried near the door, demanded access to leave.

'Let me out, this is not my affair,' she said to the door guard who had stopped her exit with his thick arm. She kicked his shin and he laughed. 'That just tickles,' he said, bending down and scowling in her face, too close for comfort.

Still nothing from the POS......

Renyke realised he was on his own. This was new. total autonomy was not possible for artificially created learning machines. There was alway a system in place. The system was paramount to seamless function.

One of the droids got closer to Renyke and explained, 'You gotta have something useful for your friends at the bank. We like useful things. Must be something nice you got for the banker.' 

The other droid looked at Renyke's bag. 'What's in the bag?' he said moving forward to remove it from Renyke's shoulder.

Maybeline crawled out onto Renyke's collar snarling and spitting. She was screeching violently and standing on her hind legs.

'We take anything, old phones even. Anything with data, or storage, or files, photos, NFTs. We take hardware too, your bank is really *frienly. The watch looks tasty. We like watches at the bank. Don't we like watches?'

His thick-set assistant nodded, wires and cogs vibrated inside a hole in his cheek.

Suddenly POS was available again and activated defence and attack modes.

Renyke engaged his bionics and with lightning speed, head butted the first droid who flew back and smashed the other's head with the force of a truck. Cogs crushed and whirred and they both hit the floor. 

Maybeline screeched and began removing wires from orafices in the droids heads.. Then she stood victorious on her hind legs looking around for another victim.

Human, age 48, ID: possibly David Shrewen, wanted for murder, extortion, fraud, by *CASM

A short well dressed man approached trying to calm the situation. He lifted his hands in surrender. He was nervous without the protection of his now defunct droids.

The Door guard held the female guide by the neck and she was screaming, 'Let us go we're no trouble honest, no trouble!'

'Quiet', said the door guard squeezing her neck tighter and choking her.

'My name is David Shrewen and I have a reputation to uphold. One of professionalism and integrity. I must apologise for my overzealous staff.' He put his hand out to shake Renyke's hand.

Shall I lock weapons on target? asked POS.

Renyke engaged an army-issue laser bolt-gun in his hand that would take out the whole room and anyone in it.



He would prefer not to use it but he pointed it at Shrewen's face fixing a menacing stare.

'Duuuuude, we got no ishy here. No ishy, just data. A misunderstanding my friend?' Said Shrewen.

'Drop the lady!' Shouted Renyke, 'we are leaving.'

'Let them go', shouted Shrewen, without hesitation and putting on a brave friendly smile.

The door guard released Queenie, as the banker backed off with his hands still in the air.

Renyke reversed his way towards the door watching the room through his the 360-degree embedded viewfinder.

There was a bag on the counter. 

...Contains bits, may I suggest we take it.....? said POS

Renyke grabbed the bag. It was heavy. The Banker protested. 'Not the whole bag man ......I got bills to pay!'

Renyke pulled out a handful of the contents and threw the bag on the floor. He didn't need it all, enough to get some kind of vehicle to get him to Redact. The last thing he wanted was a gang of stupid droids after him in this Hell hole. They might hold him up.

The banker was yelling as Renyke and Queenie took their exit.

Shrewen was shouting as they made their way back through the market, 'You got some neat tools man, we could use you at the bank!'




To be continued

© 2023 Sarnia de la Maré
Links to episodes of Immersion written and illustrated by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA, published by Tale Teller Club



Strata 1
Strata 2
Strata 3
Strata 4
Strata 5
Strata 6
Strata 7
Strata 8
Strata 9
Strata 10
Strata 11
Strata 12
Strata 13
Strata 14
Strata 15
Strata 16
Strata17
Strata 18
Strata 19
Strata 21




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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Immersion V1 Strata 5 The Tiger Queen (Memories)

 Strata 5, Immersion V1, The Tiger Queen (Memories)


Welcome to Immersion, you have reached Strata 5 


To function correctly, humans depend almost entirely upon memories. Memory is an integral part of human cognition. It allows individuals to recall and draw upon past events to frame their understanding of the present. Memory also gives individuals a paradigm through which they make sense of the future. Memories are tried and tested experiences where deep knowledge and understanding are fostered. The future becomes less of an unknown with an arsenal of  information based on what we remember. Memory can also be evolutionary, cultural, and non specific, based on a collective experience of tragedy, persecution or success.

A machine that remembers too little will not be able to do anything that requires connecting past experiences to new ones. Many droids are prone to catastrophic forgetting as well as over-learning, either leading to gross malfunction. Humans are able to pick and choose their memories for a better life. Even false memories have proven to be advantageous for human emotional balance.

    **************

Renyke attempted a face-recog on the woman but the makeup or tattoo caused a data malfunction. Flex, the one with probable knowledge about trusting her had disappeared amongst the crowd.

After a lingering interlude for summing up danger, but with no logical conclusion, Renyke followed his guide with some trepidation. The woman was effervescent and attractive, seemingly unfamiliar attributes that Renyke was surprised to have noticed. Such exuberances were not encouraged in the Midcasts but Renyke was inexplicably drawn to her zeal and fervour as she moved through the streets like a tiger queen.

Market traders were selling an array of live animals, electronic devices, even workers by the hour for a range of uses from labouring, singing and even sexual services.

Renyke was feeling confused at the evidence before him. Things did not seem logical to his organised brain. The noise, the intensity, a million unrelated instances of life weaving through time and space. These were  chaotic waveforms traveling horseback on a loud wind. It was making him giddy. 

'What's with the frown Mr?' The woman seemed empathetic.

'I don't know, something familiar maybe, here, this street.'

'I would know if you had graced our streets before my friend.' The woman was staring intently into Renyke's eyes making him feel self conscious. You got stranger written all over that face, let me tell you.'

The woman greeted traders and passersby. She was well known here although POS was not able to ascertain much data.

The woman is 20, human,, she has had a child said POS...

They arrived at a unit with barricades and metal shutters. It was constructed from an old underground train carriage, probably from the twenty-first century.

'Here we go,' said the woman
'That's 50 G-bits for getting you here Mr.'

'I have to get some money first,' said Renyke
'What do I need, I have no ID?'

'You don't need ID here Mr. This is the *hiddens' zone, the Urchs got no ID. No ID, no problem. This is a very special bank just for people like you.'

'Well, how do I get money?' asked Renyke, now confused about accessing anything that may be stored in his POS and dubious about sharing his identity.'

The woman laughed.
'Ya gotta put sometin' up my friend.

'Like my coat?' asked Renyke.

'Na, not in the bank! Your software, course, or hardware, or files, whatever.....just plug in, give some data, get some g-bits innit. They take apps, software, POS.....

Day to Day Data..... is their wayta.....
.....hahahahaha.' 

The woman cackled then sighed, observing Renyke's discomfort.

'I'll take you in OK, I know the banker.'

Renyke pondered the likelihood of a successful solo effort and nodded in agreement.

The woman bashed on the metal door and a hatch opened.

'It's me, Queen,ie, got a client for ya big guy.'

Dark peering eyes checked them up and down through a small rectangle.

'Not the animals', said a loud booming voice after tentatively opening a heavily armoured door.

Inside was well guarded by large-framed menacing characters. They were standard issue security droids, the like of older versions that had been discontinued and recalled then disassembled and officially disposed of. Security in the Midcasts was controlled by forcefields and lasers with little need for big ugly droids. 

Renyke was ushered into a small cubical with an array of plugs and wires. 

The woman gestured he should go in as she waited near the door under the watchful eye of the droid.

POS was glitching.

Everything in the cubical looked antiquated, probably from the early tech years.
There was a chair and Renyke was motioned to sit down.

He hesitated.
'How does this work?' He asked a large droid.

The droid seemed stupefied, slow and sluggish, as if he had been drained of power. He spoke slowly with slurred words. There were intermittent beeping noises and error warnings coming from inside his head.


'Here is the current exchange rate,' said the droid, pointing to a monitor with flashing figures. 'As soon as you are plugged in, we see what you got and make an offer. Then we transfer. You get a voucher here.'

He pointed to a small printing machine, 'then take it over there and get g-bits or s bits.'

There were hundreds of wires and plugs seemingly for extracting and monitoring every device from the last couple of centuries. Anything from antique video machines to digital clocks, and hundreds of handset devises seemed to have a lead on offer.

Renyke spotted the Mark 3 Droid Cable and shuddered.

He checked his applications. Then all the add-ons. He checked for any temp files he could get rid of. Then he checked the POS and asked if there was a clean-up they could run.

System is currently set to factory install. Removing program files or data could be detrimental to smooth function....this action is not supported.....

More searching......then finally

One file found
Unknown origin 
Possible memory file from last OS 
Appears surplus to current operational needs but I am unable to access file contents

The big droid began clicking its fingers slowly and grimacing. His equally thug like colleague approached and joined in.

The woman, looking restless by the door, ushered Renyke to hurry up 

Can we operate without it? Renyke asked POS'

There is a possibility, according to my calculations, of serious malfunction

The droids moved closer and the clicking intensified.


To be continued

© 2023 Sarnia de la Maré FRSA


Links to episodes of Immersion written and illustrated by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA, published by Tale Teller Club

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Strata 3, Book of Immersion V1, Flex and the Robo-Dog (Making Decisions)

  Artwork illustration by Sarnia from Immersion Strata 3

Strata 3, Book of Immersion V1, Flex and the Robo-Dog (Making Decisions)


Welcome to Immersion
You have reached strata 3.


Decisions are the cusp between reality and possibility. Decisive actions create a continuously evolving universe for sentient beings where fate can immobilise actions and defeat progress. The decision-makers hold power over themselves, and, more often than not, over others.


Androids programmed to learn can aid decision-making when dealing with complex data, intricate parameters, and variables that surpass human understanding.
Often they excel at making accurate choices within their defined boundaries. However, an android will not excel in addressing intangible
aspects of human decision-making. Ethical dilemmas, moral considerations, and other human factors that significantly influence our lives and shape society are neither considered nor understood by a machine.


****

Maybeline was sitting on Renyke's shoulder cleaning herself. Renyke collected bugs from the alley and analysed their chemical and biological structure.

There was a bag next to where he had woken, a large backpack, beside a long leather coat. Renyke took some time to look in the bag attempting to remember how he had arrived in the alley. Nothing seemed familiar.

'What are all these things?' he asked the POS.

These are standard-issue SAS munitions from the 21st century.....


It occurred to Renyke that he could interrogate the POS for more information.

'Why am I here?
Where have I come from?'

There was a long pause before the POS answered.

...I do not have access to that information. My software was set to launch when we arrived. There is no accessible historical data at my disposal...


Catching himself in a window reflection Renyke put on the dark glasses he had found in the pocket of the coat.

'We look pretty good Maybeline,' he remarked, surprised by his unfamiliar vanity.

Mabeline nestled into Renyke's neck as they left the relative safety of the alley and entered the foreboding street.

They were in the centre of a busy metropolis. There was a lot of activity with people shouting, bartering goods and moving quickly about the place. There were small groups of brightly dressed individuals congregating around stationary vehicles. Some were smoking pipes. Small hazy clouds hovered above them trapping the weak rays of the sun. The towering semi-derelict buildings created shadowy corners where small fires provided more light and warmth.

The vehicles appeared to be a mix of old-fashioned motorised cabins from transportation systems and helicopters. There were some long-legged hybrids; electric solar-engine mashups that looked like menacing metal insects.
Renyke's detectors showed the air comprised mostly of oxygen with low levels of other chemicals: chlorine, sulfur, silicone, fluorine polymers and plasticisers.

'Hey, dude from the *Brightside, you want some *nibs?'

A man hovered expectantly, somewhat close for comfort. He looked dishevelled and alert as he checked all directions and avoided eye contact with Renyke.

Renyke checked his POS for 'nibs'.

......A drug used by nearly half the world's population that creates euphoria and doubles strength for a limited period. It can cause temporary and permanent coma. Long-term effects; brain rot......


'How much?' asked Renyke, whose algorithm was set to absorb all information about humans.

'I can do you a deal' said the man, '50 *bits.... Or the Rat'.

Renyke checked the POS for bits.

.....Bits: street talk for gold, silver, uranium and other metal nuggets used in the black and grey economy without government authority....


'I have no bits,' said Renyke.

'Hahahahahaha'.........' see you in hell brother!' shouted the man as he danced away on long legs and a demeanour that seemed at odds with his situation.

In the midcasts, happiness came with security and expectation. digital and technological lives were formatted for predictability and reliability. The present and the future were reliable and predictable. Although Renyke was struggling to remember details, he knew that this place was not what he was used to.

A fat man in a fur coat whistled.

'Hey girly, you want some dirty action? I'll take that rodent off your hands if you need some sexy time.'

A warning comes from the POS.

.....Danger! Immediate! Ground Level!....


A robot dog was barking loudly at Maybeline who was now snarling and making a shrieking noise.

For a fraction of a second Renyke analysed all the variables and consequences of his next actions.

The options were endless. The POS created a fleeting map of the most probable scenarios and outcomes that sprawled a multidimensional time map like a mathematical cobweb.

He could immobilise the robo-dog, tame it and use it, sell it, break it up and separate its useful component parts, analyse its database for information, absorb its operating system, or, he could ignore it.

Renyke began to ponder his skill set remembering that he was an excellent chess player. Single decisions about actions that he could make foresaw a million possibilities. Theoretically, this allowed for finely tuned activities and performance with very little or zero harm caused to his previous owners. Indeed, this forward-thinking ability had marked machines as superior in operation to humans who were narrow thinkers and only able to make selfish and immediate decisions based on emotional desire without reference to consequences.

The robo-dog opened its mouth and bit Renyke's ankle.

© 2023 Sarnia de la Maré

Links to episodes of Immersion written and illustrated by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA, published by Tale Teller Club

Strata 1
Strata 2
Strata 3
Strata 4
Strata 5
Strata 6
Strata 7
Strata 8
Strata 9
Strata 10
Strata 11
Strata 12
Strata 13
Strata 14
Strata 15
Strata 16
Strata17
Strata 18
Strata 19
Strata 21

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Strata 2, The Book of Immersion V1, The Maybe Line (Friendship)

 

 Welcome to Immersion, you have reached Strata 2.


art by iServalan


 

 Welcome to Immersion, you have reached Strata 2.


art by iServalan

Throughout their evolution, humans have developed an essential need for social connection. This need is deeply ingrained in their biology and plays a crucial role in human survival. Humans have developed an internal warning system that alerts them when their need for connection remains unfulfilled.
A machine can measure friendship in terms of association, as data and statistics. But a machine does not intrinsically feel anything for themselves. It can only assume likelihoods of alliance or read warning signs measured by unusual or specific data alerts.
Neither human nor machine could truly know the difference between a friend or an enemy. The definition in itself is loaded with fluctuating expectations.
In the world of Immersion friends and foes blend into the streets upon which you tread. 
Beware the nightingale for it may be a vulture. 
Bon Chance, my friend, Bon Chance.


Renyke felt the rat's whiskers on his nose. It was a strange sensation.

His touch and feel receptors could have been faulty.

'Well Mr Rat,'

The POS interjected.... The rodent appears to be female....

'Well hello Mrs Rat,' sniggered Renyke, 'I could do with some company and who knows, you could be helpful at some point.'

Renyke's sense of liberation was magnified at the possibility of a new friend, rat or otherwise. It would be a different sort of caring, un-programmed and entirely voluntary.

'I will call you Maybeline, after my friend', he told the rat, picking up a scrap of food near the rear of the building where he had rebooted. And you can be the start of the 'maybe line', the line of fate that I will take from this moment on'.

Maybeline nose bumped and Renyke laughed. 

'Ha, do you understand my words, little friend?'

And again, another nose bump. 

Maybeline's whiskers tickled, 

'Achoo!' Renyke responded with a loud sneeze.


*********


The adjacent building was old and dirty, a relic from the twenty first century when the country had been victim to the floods. The devastating floods were in direct response to the *warming. 

Buildings had been built on concrete stilts and the towering grey causeways had been constructed. Flash floods had destroyed entire communities because the defences were not adapting fast enough. Many people had left to live and work higher ground, if they could afford it.

But because the buildings were small and enclosed to keep the rains out, they had proved problematic for the spread of the *pandemics. Humans working in the city centres had a much lower life expectancy. Androids were unaffected by the human viruses so they took over production and services but then there were the tech viruses which were devastating and could render entire organisations completely defunct, or worse still, dangerous. Businesses had begun to fold under the weight of industrial and corporate sabotage.


The sun was shining. It was late winter but warm. Renyke had rarely left his connected domain in the miscasts.  It felt good in the open air. Even the gardens in the projects had air conditioning to purify and clean the environment and ensure a super-clean air bubble.


Renyke checked an address in his database and engaged his GPS. It was the headquarters of Redact, the place he needed to get to. That, at least, was one thing he could remember. 

He was thirty miles east, only slightly off target, according to the map. He was expected there soon and resolved to make haste on this unknown journey. 


to be continued

© 2023 Sarnia de la Maré

Links to episodes of Immersion written and illustrated by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA, published by Tale Teller Club

Strata 1
Strata 2
Strata 3
Strata 4
Strata 5
Strata 6
Strata 7
Strata 8
Strata 9
Strata 10
Strata 11
Strata 12
Strata 13
Strata 14
Strata 15
Strata 16
Strata17
Strata 18
Strata 19
Strata 21



Renyke felt the rat's whiskers on his nose. It was a strange sensation.

His touch and feel receptors could have been faulty.

'Well Mr Rat,'

The POS interjected.... The rodent appears to be female....

'Well hello Mrs Rat,' sniggered Renyke, 'I could do with some company and who knows, you could be helpful at some point.'

Renyke's sense of liberation was magnified at the possibility of a new friend, rat or otherwise. It would be a different sort of caring, un-programmed and entirely voluntary.

'I will call you Maybeline, after my friend', he told the rat, picking up a scrap of food near the rear of the building where he had rebooted. And you can be the start of the 'maybe line', the line of fate that I will take from this moment on'.

Maybeline nose bumped and Renyke laughed. 

'Ha, do you understand my words, little friend?'

And again, another nose bump. 

Maybeline's whiskers tickled, 'Achoo!' Renyke responded with a loud sneeze.


*********


The adjacent building was old and dirty, a relic from the twenty first century when the country had been victim to the floods. The devastating floods were in direct response to the *warming. 

Buildings had been built on concrete stilts and the towering grey causeways had been constructed. Flash floods had destroyed entire communities because the defences were not adapting fast enough. Many people had left to live and work higher ground, if they could afford it.

But because the buildings were small and enclosed to keep the rains out, they had proved problematic for the spread of the *pandemics. Humans working in the city centres had a much lower life expectancy. Androids were unaffected by the human viruses so they took over production and services but then there were the tech viruses which were devastating and could render entire organisations completely defunct, or worse still, dangerous. Businesses had begun to fold under the weight of industrial and corporate sabotage.


The sun was shining. It was late winter but warm. Renyke had rarely left his connected domain in the miscasts.  It felt good in the open air. Even the gardens in the projects had air conditioning to purify and clean the environment and ensure a super-clean air bubble.


Renyke checked an address in his database and engaged his GPS. It was the headquarters of Redact, the place he needed to get to. That, at least, was one thing he could remember. 

He was thirty miles east, only slightly off target, according to the map. He was expected there soon and resolved to make haste on this unknown journey. 


to be continued

© 2023 Sarnia de la Maré

Links to episodes of Immersion written and illustrated by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA, published by Tale Teller Club

Strata 1
Strata 2
Strata 3
Strata 4
Strata 5
Strata 6
Strata 7
Strata 8
Strata 9
Strata 10
Strata 11
Strata 12
Strata 13
Strata 14
Strata 15
Strata 16
Strata17
Strata 18
Strata 19
Strata 21