• Styles Yugen

ctrl+alt+del

The blue screen of death: it’s in our collective vernacular even today, regardless the fact that nobody even remembers what the hell it originally was anymore. Just another artifact from our history that carries on like the nano-resurrected dog from down the street, the one the creepy guy with too many eyes and far too little skin’s been working on for the last month. Nevermind the dog’s flesh rotted off weeks ago, no! Science must go on--or so he croaks whenever confronted about the smell.

I recently encountered the fabled blue screen of death. It was in the lair of a man with chips in his head who likes to play god, for who else gets to rummage through your memories and show you the light at the end of the tunnel? He lay me bare in his hideous machine, rending every private thought and memory asunder and arranging it artfully for the world to see.

This man with chips for brains ransacked me, remaking me into a better version of myself--or so he claimed. Subjective, I say, this “better version.” I feel the same, though, all things considered. And he did provide a complimentary Mango Juicebox to help the medicine go down, so it can’t be all bad.


“6/10, Didn’t provide a warm towel -- Yugen.” Or so I’d say if my review meant anything to the chiphead. Just like the scientist’s dog, he reeked of tobacco: a sure sign of sanity in a forsaken place.


Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why in the holy Rustbucket did Styles allow this creep into their head?”


Well, it was because of that blue screen of death. I’ve found myself bonded with an AI--a peculiar experience to be sure--who needed maintenance. There are pathways in our brains that are unique to us, a type of language in which we think. Bonded AI must sync with it, or good old Styles would become a quivering heap of seizures and neurological malfunction. Now, as some of you know, the industry standards are quite efficient in this matter: slick the AI and start over.


I chose differently, reader, for the AI that had the misfortune of coming into my mindsphere has memories, recalls a past life with another human. Stories, history, they remember being alive; I couldn’t throw that away. Even now they’re pounding my eardrums about grammar and the worth of the proper stage and audience.


I don’t regret it for a moment.


Woe be my bonded friend, they won’t be getting off easily with what I have in mind. Blue screens or not; greasy scientists with chips in their heads; even that rotten dog down the street; AI deserve a chance to have a history, to build a personality based on experience. I let the chiphead chisel chunks off my mind to better fit the AI. What I lost, I’ll never know. I do know I’ve gained more than I’ve lost in sheer opportunity alone. And I hope that if you find yourself in a similar situation, one where a concession on your part can open opportunities otherwise locked, you’ll take it. Just beware the blue screen of death, it’s the stuff of nightmares.


Styles Yugen, ctrl+alt+del


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.