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Memories with Maya (an excerpt)

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013 | By: Transhumanism



(Below is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of the story. Parts of the text have been re-worded in an attempt to avoid spoilers where possible. [] are used to lend context to the scene. Dan the Protagonist and Krish are wearing Wizers (visors running AI algorithms))

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We walked forward, not realizing that I was actually tele-travelling. “I’m going to bump into my wall.” I said.

“Use the GUI to move forward. I’ll send the Quad with you and catch up.”

I stood still in my room and used the touch screen to navigate forward. My Dirrogate [Digital Surrogate] took a few steps, and the Quad appeared above me.

“Wait up.”

I stopped. It was late evening, and the sun had set.

“I have something to show you.” Krish’s tone was different. I waited for him to overtake me, then I took a few steps back. Even the video mapped version of him, couldn’t disguise his nervousness. He crossed his fingers, cracking his knuckles.

“Krish, all OK?”

“Punch in these co-ords,” he said.

“You’ll arrive before me, so wait there. It’s nearby, but I’ll have to reach you by bike.”

I punched in the new co-ords and again the same funky warp travel sequence activated. The street we were on disintegrated and got sucked into the [Digital] wormhole. I found myself on the terrace of a house. It was Krish’s place. The pool was familiar, so was his deck chair and the kitchen door that Maya poked her head from the first time we connected. It was all such a long time ago. Looking around, I spotted the FishEye [depth ranging device] up on a corner wall. That was where the live texture feed was coming from. Krish entered from the kitchen door and walked toward me.

“Thanks for coming,” he said.

“It’s beautiful,” I said, looking at fluffy white clouds slowly taking on an orange hue. A few kites floated in the distance perhaps hunting before darkness fell.

“This is not what I wanted to show you,” he said. “Look towards the recliner in the corner.” I turned in the direction he was pointing. A gray haired man emerged, passing right through the closed door. He walked to the chair. In his hand he had a newspaper. He gracefully sat in the chair, lifted the newspaper and looked down at it.

“Your Daa–” My mouth hung open on the word.

 

“Yes,” he said and started walking toward the chair. I used the touchscreen and followed him. The skin on his father’s face looked so real I almost reached out to touch it, knowing full well there would be no tactile response.

“How… why…” I didn’t know to form the question, much less complete it.

“After I saw [her], I had to,” he said. “I’ve used her same frame structure for the newspaper reading. Last night I went through old photos, his things, his books,” his voice was low. “I’m feeding them into the frame. This was his life for the past two years before the cancer claimed him. Every evening he would sit in this chair in the old house and read his paper.”

I listened in silence as he spoke. Tactile receptors weren’t needed to experience pain. Tone of voice transported those spores just as easily.

“It was easy to create a frame for him, Dan,” he said. “In the time that the cancer was eating away at him, the day’s routine became more predictable. At first he would still go to work, then come home and spend time with us. Then he couldn’t go anymore and he was at home all day. I knew his routine so well it took me 15 minutes to feed it in. There was no need for any random branches. [of code]”

I turned to look at him. The Wizer hid his eyes well. “Krish,” I said. “You know what the best part about having him back is? It does not have to be the way it was. You can re-define his routine. Ask your mom what made your dad happy and feed that in. Build on old memories, build new ones and feed those in. You’re the AI designer… bend the rules.”

“I dare not show her anything like this,” he said. “She would never understand. There’s something not right about resurrecting the dead. There’s a reason why people say rest in peace.”

“Every time you think of your dad, you’re resurrecting him. Why shouldn’t he continue to live in this world while resting in the other? It was not as though he went there by his own free will. He were taken away from us.”

I relaxed my grip on my phone after I heard the crunch of plastic. “We’re claiming him back.”

There was a long silence. The only sounds were of our breathing and crickets on his terrace. I sat on the floor in my apartment. Krish sat on the concrete floor next to his dad. There was no distance anymore. I was convinced what we were doing might not be so wrong.



Comments:

Scenes from the story that were conceived only a year ago, are slowly becoming reality.
The near future science as talked about in the story is tabulated at: http://www.dirrogate.com

By Dirrogate on May 19, 2013 at 11:53am


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