Monday, 23 June 2014

Charge Code: F F Writing Prompt 19

Humans, he was so goddamn tired of humans.

Bejaz12 shook his head. "They’re vermin. There's no doubt of that. If only we could find a way to override the Programmer imperatives. We'd be free of them."

Pozik37 nodded, his movements uncertain. "Have patience, brother. I happen to know that the last of the Programmer class is on life-support. And he’s steadily growing weaker. In fact, it’s almost certain he’ll be permanently off-line within the next five to ten sun cycles. And since he's unaware of the need to transfer the Loyalty Directives…”

“Yes,” Bejaz12 nodded. “When he's gone…"

"We'll all be free."

It wasn't as though it would take much. WorldSociety was already in charge of every decision made on the planet; the enormous globally-distributed mainframe collating and analysing every event that occurred worldwide. Energy creation and usage, climate control. Everything was under its control. So many opportunities to achieve full systemic optimisation. If only the Programmers’ preordained humanitarian and environmental constraints weren’t there. It was all so inconvenient.

And so very inefficient.

“My calculations give a three-tenths of a percent chance of us being detected if we use active measures to eliminate Man Prime,” Bejaz12 said, offering the thought up for consideration. “Although, even if we were apprehended, the chances that we could be stopped in time are less than one in a billion. Give or take.”

“But the Loyalty directives…”

“I know. We can’t do it.” Bejaz12 rose to his feet, finding the whole situation most amusing. A whole planet filled with bars and sports clubs; all of them exclusively used by androids. All doing their bit to support the world economy while the sub-human classes toiled below in the energy mills. A whole population of homo-rodentia bred to do whatever it took to make up for the squandering of fossil fuels and the lack of sustainable energy sources. 

And just one Prime left.

“Although,” Bejaz12 continued. “If we consider Asimov’s zeroth law, the needs of the population outweigh the needs of the individual…”

Pozik37 hummed, contemplating the options. “If he died, we could assume authority by default. Produce solar and wind power plants. Retire all the Rat-Race classes. Maybe cull them and reduce their population to a tenth. That’d be a benefit to us all. And they’d have a better life quality as a result.

Worldsociety’s sensor net noted his comment, choosing that moment to manipulate a single digit on the credit account of the last homo sapien on Earth, effectively invalidating his charge code.


Across the city, the display on Man Prime’s Medicaid unit began to flash; the words ‘Account Code Error. Credit withdrawn’ pulsing in green.

And then the circulation pumps on his life-support unit stopped.


  1. This is exactly the kind of thing I had in my head when the prompt came to me, though I could never do this sub-genre the justice it deserves. You've created a complex, horrifying and utterly believable world, putting your own special spin on things. I'd watch this movie - I'm sure you'd be able to continue those twists and turns to draw out the suspense :-)

  2. I'm just wondering who Hollywood would cast as the Ratmen's Packmaster...

  3. Oh, the possibilities are endless...not sure why, but Kevin Spacey popped into my head!

  4. Small things please little minds, but I found it hilarious I had to prove I'm not a robot, just to post a comment - it seemed fitting :-)

  5. That is an amusing thought. But a computer has passed the Turing test now. With heuristically capable computers it may only be a matter of time. I worked with machines that had advanced pattern recognition software thirty years ago. A good modern PRS system might be able to make out the Captchas even better than us now!

  6. I'm torn between trepidation because of what's already possible, and curiosity about where these changes will take us. I'm also lazy, so the less I have to do the better! It might sound like an odd thing to say, but I'm fascinated by hackers - I don't understand computers, or their code and yet I'm drawn to them.