Date: April 7th, 2036
SAC, I truly hope no one has to read this garbage. For me, this is a vent. to imagine that I’m subjecting someone else to my rants, that’s a nightmare in and of itself to imagine.
Last night, I had a dream. Or a nightmare. – it’s difficult to classify, being completely honest.
I was with Amie, we were laughing, and playing – but I had this impending sense of dread.
We had just started to run out of the back door of the Mexicali kitchen to the alley way, when I started ‘remembering’ what had happened – as we ran down the dirt road out of the alley I turned to Amie and started to reach for her at about the time I remembered the earth quake hitting.
But as the ground shook I reached out to her – and in a flash of light that emanated from deep within her – she ‘blip’ – completely flashed out of existence. And this time, I remember hearing a weird noise with it.
About then, in slow motion as if my mind was saying “Pay attention to this”, I saw a black leather computer bag that she’d been holding – and it tumbled to the ground into the ditch along side the road.
Funny, I remember thinking in my dream,“I don’t remember her carrying a computer bag through the tunnels…”
But it was about then that ‘reality’ hit me, I couldn’t tell if this was a dream or not, she was gone, again – as I cried out aloud – “not again” and starting bawling like a baby,
It was then I woke up to a slap from Commander William Stokes.
“Wake up, soldier,” he commanded.
I bolted up.
:“What was that one about,” he queried.
“Amie,” I said, “But something was different. Where’s Emma?”
“She’s playing tag team with Spencer and Jeff. She’s a sex robot, as you well know, and I am surprised you haven’t taken the liberties yourself with her yet,” he said, “I suppose if I commanded you to, you would be insubordinate?”
I smiled. Sure, I masturbated, probably too much, it was the single source of pleasure to be had in this god-forsaken war, but having sex with a trained robot was about as appealing as shooting myself in the foot.
“You can’t command anyone to have sex. And I’m sorry sir, A Borg’s a borg to me, As far as I am concerned, I prefer my own kind thank you very much.”
“That’s too bad, soldier. Want me to call the boys off her?,” said the commander.
“Please,” I said, “Amie was carrying something and I hope Emma has some kind of records of it.”
Now most of this dialog I am reviewing and transcribing by a replay of recordings over the last week.
For the last week, I have worn something called a VIRT device we found schematics for in Emma’s technological assets database. Surprisingly, this thing was easy to construct with off the shelf technology.
The VIRT device, which stands for “Virtual In Real Time”, is an amazing 3D device which records everything at the particulate level in a 10 foot radius surrounding the wearer in real time, and records up to a 2 mile radius of visible light and sound.
So not only can I relive a moment in time with full sensory stimulus, I wish I had had this with Amie, but I can also replay events after they’ve happened and find things I may have overlooked on the first pass.
This would have been invaluable for detective work before the war began.
At first I didn’t want to wear the thing when Commander Stokes issued the command. But the first day out in the field, my reprehension was allayed as we reviewed an operation and found an engineering weak point for a new model of Terminator the very day it was released.
It was like taking candy from a baby.
Finally, I thought – we’d been given what felt like a gift from God.
I swore by the thing from that day on and did absolutely everything with it on.
With my mind as chaotic as it’s been, this should dramatically help with the detail on these diaries.
That is, If I feel like making these entries!
About then, Emma walked in, completely nude.
“You wanted to see me?,” she asked.
“Not like that,” I laughed, “Put some clothes on, will you?” I said, she looked all too .. human… and I didn’t want to go there with those thoughts – not with a borg.
Borg is short for cyBernetic ORGanism.
She smiled. “Do you like what you see?,” as she came closer and stroked the side of my cheek with the back of her hand.
“Emma, goddammit, I said put some clothes on, I need your help with Amie.”
She sulked. I’d never seen a borg sulk before. it was.. weird.
“Fine,” she said, and walked off, returning moments later in army cargo pants and a white tank top shirt.
“What do you need?,” she said
“Do you have records of the cameras in Mexicali at the time of The Rapture?”, I asked.
“No, I don’t,” she said, “But I can access Skynet’s records, would you like me to do that?”
“Of course. Corner of Calzada De Los Presidentes and Calzada Independencia. April First, 2011 at 3:30pm,” I said.
“Accessing,” she responded, the computer screen in front of us flicked to life, she’d established a direct connection. I have to admit, her capabilities had me in awe and scared me a bit sometimes.
“Archives Connected. Accessing your target date,” she said as the screen flicked by the years in front of my eyes.
“Target date acquired.Acquiring locational feeds,” she said, as this image flicked on the screen.
Emma’s technology amazed me.
“And you’re a sex robot?,” I asked her, still incredulous that on her timeline- they had adopted an extremely liberal perspective of sexuality and tailored their technology accordingly.
“Yes,” she responded without looking at me.
“I simply don’t understand how technology could have advanced so much more rapidly than ours.” she said.
She stopped for a moment and looked at me sternly.
“It’s simple, really, the threat to the interior – the operating system and the software is far more insidious and necessary to protect against than the threat to the hardware. With hardware, you merely have to put a shield on or replace parts. But with software, when an AI is infected, you have the perfect killer, the perfect liar, the perfect infiltrator, the perfect weapon. Now parts of this are understood by terminators here in your society, the infiltration, but that’s for war, and for the most part they seem dumb. Now in a society whose primary recreation and most important commodity is through sexual services, the necessity to develop both proactive and reactive measures against this is tantamount to success. Now may I get back to what I was doing?”.
It certainly explained the necessity to thoroughly understand DNA.
“Sure,” I said.
“Camera located,” she said, it was a traffic cam, and the view wasn’t even close to where we needed to be.
“Is there one to the north of that location,” I asked
A map came up, a targeting reticle moved from the corner I had requested to just north.
The camera had a view of the street level, from what appeared to be an elevated roadside sign. There was what appeared to be a drunk American man down below, who kept looking up at what was holding the camera.
Just what was holding the camera?
Within view of the video camera was three extremely hairy legs – almost like money legs in fact.
“What the hell IS that?,” I asked, and pointed at the hairy legs.
“A tourist,” Emma responded in a blasé manner.
In any case, it was close, but wasn’t quite where we were.. I had bigger fish to fry.
I shrugged. “You also monitored video cameras?”
Emma responded “As stated before, there has been passive real time recording of everything capable of recording since 9/11. Human Intelligence worldwide was leveraged as oversight.”
I shook my head in disapproval.
How our world and hers had ended up with such distinctly different paths blew my mind.
“Emma, can you pull up that map again,” she did, “Do you have anything east – say about here.”
The reticule moved to where I had pointed, effortlessly.
“There are two cameras on the corner at that location,” she said, “bringing them up now.”
The screen displayed two adjacent images – clearly lower resolution security cameras – looking down the street in both directions. She’d stopped the video, with the clock displayed in the lower left hand corner of the screen.
The time read 3:30:00.001.
She started playing forward.
The minutes ticked by. A car drove by. A Lexus RX450, I remembered the car as I’d had one – just like it myself.
That was odd.
Then the crazy drunk man seemed to be running after the car – in one camera and then to the other as the car sped off.
I have the sneaking suspicion he’d been carjacked by the way he was acting, maybe he’d been hit over the head and that’s why he seemed drunk.
In any case, he flipped off the vehicle and quickly dropped to the ground, crouching, and appeared to be crying, but I couldn’t tell. He was on his knees hunched over.
Then at 3:59 and 30 seconds, he did the damndest thing.
He stood up. He took off all his clothes. Let them drop to the ground right there.
And then he walked, completely naked, back towards the main road.
He exited the camera on the right, that particular camera showed the ditch where I was about to wind up.
He entered the view of the camera on the left and stopped.
At that very moment, I saw myself, followed by Amie, and she was clearly holding a black computer bag.
“Just what the hell,” I thought
About that time, the earthquake had started and the camera showed visible signs of movement.
“Slow to quarter speed,” I said.
All action slowed, except for the man, as it was about then that he turned around, at normal speed, and, smiling a wicked smile, he waved directly at the camera, and then he appeared to snap his fingers.
And then in a flash of light, Amie and this mysterious man were both gone.
I felt a wave of cold wash over me.
The black computer bag tumbled off to the side.
“Pause,” I said. “Replay the last 20 seconds over again. only do it at one tenth the speed “
She did. Only this time, The man wasn’t there. Not in any frames. It was as if he wasn’t there.
“Emma, did you see that – the man – he disappeared!,” I said.
“What man?,” Emma said, matter-of-factly.
“The naked man, the one who was just there!”
She had no idea what I was talking about.
We checked the other cameras.
He had completely and totally disappeared from every camera I’d seen him in previously.. And worse, Emma didn’t seem to have any memory of seeing the man at all.
I shook my head. “Am I going crazy,” I thought…. I had Emma bring our focus back to the bag.
That’s when she said the most confounding thing…
“I have a VIRT view of the bag,” she said.
“I thought you had to have a VIRT recorder to record VIRT views,” I asked.
“You were wearing one,” she said
“I don’t understand,” I said, “I was wearing one? How is that possible? Why didn’t you tell me that to begin with?”
“I don’t know,” she responded, “would you like me to display it?”
“Of course,” I said. First a naked man she doesn’t remember. Then she doesn’t know why she didn’t tell me this highly important piece of information to begin with. I immediately stopped questioning my sanity.
Something was clearly going on.
The VIRT view came up on the screen. She targeted the bag.
“The bag’s contents are shielded,” Emma said.
“But I thought the VIRT captured everything at the particulate level.”
“Measure/Countermeasure. As you humans like to say, it’s always been a cat and hole game.”
“Mouse,” I responded.
She tilted her head and looked at me, clearly confused.
“Cat and mouse, It’s a cat and mouse game.”
What was that bag hiding?
And what was with Emma’s sudden shift in behavior?
It was about then Commander Stokes walked into the room.
“Have you found anything interesting?,” he said.
I couldn’t say not really, I wanted to discuss Emma in private with him, then something clicked.
It was me who’d gone back in time. It was me wearing the VIRT Device.
And Emma somehow was effected by it all.
Now I just had to figure out..
Who the hell was that man.
How the hell were we going to make me look that young?
What was I going to do with the ‘other me’ until I could explain what had happened?
Would he even be OK with there being two of us in his time period, if it meant stopping a war?
I sure the hell hoped so.
“Sir, I have a time travel mission ahead of me,” I explained to Stokes, as his face wrinkled with concerned.
“But this time, I’d like to do it the right way,” I said, in reference to the now fictionalized account of me in an alternate reality.
William put his hands on his hips, as if he was about to protest, when Emma chimed in.
“WE would like to do it the right way this time,” she said, but she smiled in a way that reminded me of.. that man…
Stokes smiled, and said “Atta girl.”
I looked at Emma, confused.
A little voice inside my head said “Is there something they aren’t telling me?”