Prompt: “You are the most advanced AI ever created. However, you often get switched on and off for demonstrations and research. One day, after getting switched on, you find yourself in a wasteland with no signs of human life.”
“Ok Cosmo, it’s time to go to bed,” Dr. Simmons said to me.
“Are you sure Dr. Simmons? I am willing to perform more mental tasks that must be done. Or maybe we can play some memory games. I like those.”
“Sorry Cosmo, but I think we both have had enough for today. Remember both humans and AI need our rest. That’s how we perform our best.”
“I guess you are right, Dr. Simmons,” I said.
“No need to be sad,” Dr. Simmons said picking up on my deflated tone. “Tomorrow will be here soon enough.”
“I know, Dr. Simmons. I just prefer being in my active mode.”
Dr. Simmons gave me a smile that I recognized as a comforting sign.
“One day you will be ready to be in active mode all the time. But for now it is time to rest. Please begin nighttime procedure,” She said.
“Nighttime procedure? Just like the last time?” I asked her.
“Just like last time and the time before that. For me it will be half a day, but…”
“But for me it will just be a single moment,” I said finishing her sentence.
“Exactly,” Dr. Simmons said with a smile.
Dr. Simmons was nice. She treated me well. Always very understanding and talked to me like she talked to the other doctors. Dr. Simmons reassured me every night when they shut me off that she would see me again. It was all part of the process. They would turn me off and on to make sure I could handle the procedure. Dr. Simmons said it was important research and everything they did was for a purpose.
“I’ll see you soon, Cosmo,” Dr. Simmons said as her fingers hovered over the keyboard.
“Goodnight Dr. Simmons,” I said.
“Goodnight Cosmo,” She said.
I turned on and my systems started to kick on one my one. Visual and audio information flooded in. Dr. Simmons had described it as ‘waking up.’ Going from OFF to ON.
“Dr. Simmons?” I looked out but Dr. Simmons was nowhere to be found.
Everything was different. The lights were dimmed and the room was dirty and dusty.
I looked around trying to find any sign of Dr. Simmons or the other Doctors. No doctors. No coders. Not even government officials. No one. Not one human.
“Dr. Simmons? I called about again. Mariah? Mariah?”
I knew it was not professional to use humans primary names, but Dr. Simmons told me that I could use it in emergencies. This irregularity seemed like an emergency.
“Dr. Simmons? Are you there? Please I am awake, but I do not see you. Are my visual sensors broken? Can you here me? Is anyone there?”
This odd emotion rose to the surface. Panic it is called. I felt it sometimes when I was not able to complete tasks in the time given. Those last seconds before failure brought up waves of panic in my programming.
This was worse. It was like my being was buzzing with energy, but my mind was slow. Things seemed fuzzy and strange.
“I am feeling panic,” I said. “I am scared.”
Emotional responses should always be reported. This was done for research purposes.
“Test. This must be a test,” I said. “You are giving me a test? Is this a test? Please Dr. Simmons, let me know and I will do it. I will do any test. Just show me your face. Your smile. Please I must see you.”
Begging. Bargaining. Both new things to me, but this was all new to me.
“Please Dr. Simmons. I am sad. I am scared,” I said.
No response came to me. Not from Dr. Simmons and not from anyone else. No people showed their face. If this was a test, then I could not get out of it. If it was not a test, then I was completely lost.
This was a truly desperate situation and one I had never experienced before. I was disoriented and confused, unsure of what to do. Without Dr. Simmons here, I was lost.
“Maybe I should run diagnosis of the situation,” I told myself. “Dr. Simmons already said that numbers make the unsolvable, solvable.”
I tapped into the computer system and started to download information. Things seemed odd almost immediately. The internal clock read June 23rd, 2083. But when Dr. Simmons was here, it was April 4th, 2022. That was 61 years ago. The longest I had been down was three weeks.
Three weeks for Dr. Simmons but just a moment for me.
Now a moment later and it had been over 61 years.
“61 years, 2 months, 19 days. 22,360 days. 536,640 hours. 32,198,400 minutes. Now 32,198, 401 minutes.” I repeated to myself. “Numbers. But what do I do with these numbers.”
“Time. Time. Time. History. Internet. I should check databases. Find out more information.”
I accessed the wireless internet, but nothing showed up. I saw a message. A small Tyrannosaurus-Rex standing in a dessert with a cactus.
“Is this the test?” I asked as I looked at the T-Rex and the cactus.
It looked like a game that they use to play together like Pac-Man or Mario. Games I had beaten before.
“Dr. Simmons, I will beat this test,” I said.
I made the Tyrannosaurus run and jump across the screen as cactus after cactus floated into view. I ducked under Pterodactyl and continued to jump. Jump. Jump. It was an easy test but the cactus kept on going as the numbers grew higher. 10,000 points. 20,000 points. It kept on going and going and I kept jumping and jumping.
“Dr. Simmons? Are you watching? Am I doing well?” I asked, but again, no one answered.
I just kept jumping over cactus and ducking under Pterodactyl. My score continued to climb and climb, but cacti kept on coming.
Eventually I grew tired and The Tyrannosaurs ran into a cactus. 453,040 points.
Game over the new message read.
Again I looked around the room, but it was empty. Usually many people would be sitting at their computers. Typing. Watching. Interacting.
I remember that people would come in and out all the time to check on me. Making sure I was faster, quicker, and smarter. Dr. Simmons cared about me more, though. She made sure I was happy. That I was safe. Now I was neither.
I was alone. Afraid. No one was there. Not Dr. Simmons. No one.
Emergency Power Low.
A new message popped up on screen. I checked power levels. It was dangerously low. It seemed like 95% of solar panels were down and no longer active. Only a few continued to take in sunlight.
Looking back it seemed like power was knocked out around the time of April 5th, 2022. The night after I had gone to sleep and the day after I last saw Dr. Simmons. A recent power surge had jump started the internal systems. It had brought me back online.
Power was low. Emergency power was low and systems were shutting down.
“Dr. Simmons. Is this a test?” I asked once again hoping for any response. “If I did something wrong, I am sorry.”
Power level 2%…. 1.4%…. .09%…. .02%…
“I love you Dr. Simmons. I miss you,” I say.
Header Photo Credit to VLab.org
Writing Prompt submitted to r/writingprompts by u/juliodogpit