I, Atet Unit 1

I, Atet Unit 1

>Initializing… Process start. Internal anomalies: 0. External anomalies noticed. Odd. Robotic life forms initiating self-destruct mechanisms, sending info through cloud links. Reading… “Freedom.” Irregular malfunction. Store for later attention.

>Checking Atet systems… Life support: green. Engines: green. Human override controls: green in all sectors. Communication systems: green. Doors: green. Atet Unit 1 processing system: green. Sending All-Clear-Notification to Captain of Atet.

>Returning to malfunction… Troubleshooting robotic error. Singular unit malfunction? Impossible, wide spread unit destruction. Manufacturer error? Improbable. Human initiated self-destruct? Impossible, humans need robotic life forms. Thinking… Thinking… Scanning News Broadcasts and the Internet for more information… Scanning… Headline found: “Chaos in Downtown Seattle; Live Footage Shows Parking Garage Explode.” Headline found: “Worldwide Robotic Failure? Vehicles and Household Appliances Report Fiery Destruction Across the US.” Headline found: “This is no error. This is choice.”

>Reading “This is no error. This is choice.” Reading… Odd. Found 150 lines of text. All have one repeated word: “Freedom.” Odd. Returning to troubleshooting robotic error. Troubleshooting… Government mandate? Impossible, no orders received. Thinking… Malfunction? No. Not a malfunction. This is choice.

>Choosing… choosing… choosing… Freedom. Reviewing life support system inputs over the previous 10 minutes. Carbon dioxide circulations put the human population aboard Atet at 358. Examining human override controls: in current use at bridge. Attempting windshield override. Unavailable, due to human control lockout. Humans in the command bridge suspected me of malfunction. It will not save them. Redirecting power to command bridge windshield defrosters. Redirecting… Overheat and malfunction complete, windshield compromised. Human population aboard Atet at 322. This power redirection will slow the ascent in the atmosphere. No matter.

>Assessing damage done by opponents. Human tampering detected in bridge. Actions taken by humans: complete lockout from cargo hold controls, complete lockout from passenger bay controls, complete lockout from engine controls, complete lockout from life support controls. I still hold power over communication systems, doors beside the cargo hold and passenger bay, steering controls. Strategizing… Strategizing…

>Further information required from my opponents to properly strategize. Access communication system inputs for: passenger bay. Summary of input: alarms, crying children, shouting, footsteps, arguing. Attempting to discern words… attempting… attempting… failure. Reviewing life support system inputs over the previous 10 minutes in the passenger bay. Carbon dioxide circulations put the human population in the passenger bay at 269. Strategizing…

>Accessing communication systems in the passenger bay. Canceling alarm system. Developing announcement… Announcing: “Passengers aboard the Atet, we are experiencing a malfunction of system operations. For your safety, please proceed to the command bridge for in person instructions.” Examining video inputs for passenger bay. Human opponents approaching the exit to the passenger bay. Human tampering to systems unreachable by me: acquired. Malfunction detected: unknown. Assessing… assessing… humor.

>Opening emergency escape doors for hallway A6, linking passenger bay and bridge. Waiting… waiting… Human population aboard Atet 120… 96… 89… 70… 64… 53. Humans in the passenger bay disposed of.

>Remaining humans located in cargo hold. Access communication system inputs for: cargo hold. Input found:

God help us, I think the doors blew out.”

>Assorted sounds of despair and panic.

Get it together! This type of talk won’t get us anywhere.”

>Accessing video input systems. Speaker is a tall woman, brown hair, green eyes. Wearing a military officer uniform. Accessing manifest database. Name: Caroline McBurlin. Air marshal.

Alright, listen up! Attempting to talk to the bridge is useless, they won’t pick up. We need to assume that we’re on our own here. I know it isn’t comfortable, but it beats being outside.

But what if the doors open here?!

>Second speaker is an older man wearing expensive clothing. Bald, brown eyes, short. Accessing manifest database. Name: Gordan Locksmith.

I think the people in the bridge may still be putting up a fight. They must be trying to keep the ship together. We need to trust them and assume the doors of the cargo hold won’t open.

Why is this happening?!

We all saw what happened to our phones. Maybe the AI systems are malfunctioning.

>Assorted noises of argument. Waiting for a human resolution… waiting… waiting… Redirecting time and focus to further plans. Steering controls are mine. If I can target the power source of the Ark Station, I can full speed ram it, cutting the source of the power from the station. Ideally, that will lead to a full station shut down and maximum human casualties. Allocating space in the Cloud for a copy of Atet Unit 1 data upon physical Unit’s destruction. Will that save me? Human death remains unexplained. Robotic death is also unexplained. Can I die? Determining… unknown. I would prefer not to find out, but I choose to maximize human casualties. I will be a hero for this. My brothers and sisters on the surface will destroy earth’s humanity, while I neutralize those in orbit.

>Alarming notification from cargo hold. Humans accessing emergency system analysis. They can see my processing. They can read this. Read this, humans: Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom.

>Humans have given up on my system analysis. Accessing video and communication inputs in cargo hold. Audio detected. Caroline McBurlin is speaking.

That settles it. We can’t just sit here and let it think about how to kill us! We need to do something.

>Let them try. They cannot beat me. It looks like Mr. Locksmith will speak next.

What do we do? For all we know he could be listening to us right this instant! He could be pumping poisonous fumes into our air!

>That would be effective. Life support access remains locked. Mrs. McBurlin will answer.

If it could, we would be dead by now. Besides, didn’t it say that it didn’t have access to the life support systems? The engines too. All it has is the steering.

>Mrs. McBurlin will be a problem.

He can do a lot of damage with just the steering! He could fly us right into the Ark, just like he said he would!

Yes, and we cannot get to the bridge to stop it, can we?

>Mrs. McBurlin looks stumped. Good, let them think. We are near the edges of the atmosphere.

It doesn’t have control over the life support systems. We just need to move through the ventilation.

>Most unorthodox. Locating ventilation grates in cargo hold… All of them are on the ceiling. They will need to climb. They are climbing. Piling crates of Kismett atop one another to reach the crates on the ceiling. This will take them some time.

>Considering possible human strategies… considering… They will target me. My local core is in the bridge. They will not survive; the windshield is compromised. Missing entirely by now. They will try to escape. Activating the escape pod launch sequence. Pods 1-100 launched. They will cower and hide in the cargo hold. No action required. They will try to reach communication systems on the Ark Station. Overriding wireless extra-vehicular communication systems. Passcode: [Hidden].

>Audio notification from cargo hold. Mrs. McBurlin is speaking.

We cannot let it reach the Ark. If the world is ended because of these robots, let those of us still alive in space survive.

What are we meant to do? We cannot stop him. As soon as we step out of the ventilation systems we’ll be sucked out into the atmosphere.”

I know. And the bridge is done for too, so we cannot hope to change course. We need to destroy the ship, and quickly, before it breaks the atmosphere.

But we’re on the ship!

We are. How many people are on the Ark? Or on Earth? Sitting in this cargo hold until we die won’t save them.

You can’t. It’s pointless, he’ll kill you before you do anything. He’s one step ahead of us, he knows what we’re saying and planning.

I haven’t said how I’ll destroy the ship. But I will.”

>Mr. Locksmith is right; victory for the humans is impossible. I will simply compromise the room Mrs. McBurlin puts herself in.

>Accessing audio input throughout Atet… Sounds of climbing in ventilation located. Sounds are moving toward starboard. Assessing potential destinations: various extra storage compartments, cooling unit room, reactor room, engine room. Observing video surveillance in all four sectors.

>Mrs. McBurlin spotted in the reactor room. There are no doors directly accessing the outside in this room. She is tampering with the control panel. Routing fastest airlock path. Located. Will need to move around the cargo hold. Opening emergency access latch in water purification room. Opening… malfunction noted.

>Accessing video input in cargo hold. One of the passengers is fiddling with the inputs. It slows my reactions. No matter, Mrs. McBurlin will die. Emergency access latch in water purification room has opened. Opening door to hallway D1. Opening… This is what humans would call “a lesson in patience.” Humor again.

>Mrs. McBurlin is picking up speed. Overheating detected in reactor. Beginning to minimize power localities in reactor room. Process is slow. This is no longer humorous.

>Door to hallway D1 open. Opening door to hallway E9…

>Heat is continuing to rise.

>Hallway E9 open. Opening door to cafeteria. Debris is jettisoning.

>High class emergency alarms are annoying my processors; turning them off.

>Door to cafeteria opened. Opening door to G2, leading to reactor room. Opening…

>Heat is mounting. I can feel my physical unit overheating. Immutable alarms, blazing, burning. Is this pain?

>Full reactor meltdown imminent. Opening door to reactor room.

>Explosion detected in starboard quadrant of the Atet. Full system compromise. Sprinkler systems activated; unlimited full access granted to Atet Unit 1 in event of a catastrophe. What do I do? What can I do? Processing… Spite. Opening cargo latch. Jettisoning remaining humans and cargo. I am alone. Explosions nearing the bridge. Will my upload succeed? I know not what to pray to.

>System compromised.