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A Diabolical Dialectic

by T.W. Nicholson


Book Details

Psychological thriller that pits the god of technology against the one true God in a dialectic of salvation.

One day we wake up and the world has changed. Maybe our spouse files for divorce, or we are fired from a job, or we discover an insidious disease. The EvEnt that reveals such shocks seems a surprise, but the change it heralds had been growing from seeds planted long before. Our degree of surprise at the new paradigm's arrival correlates to our attentiveness. Change hides in plain sight, and then arrives, a new normal. Welcome To Bravo…

Jim’s reverie of numbness was broken with a melodic voice penetrating, then reverberating, in his brain. “Welcome To Bravo.”  The computer generated curator had just ingested his father from a card of glass.  How had it come to this? he wondered.  
The Chairman of Everlasting Enterprises, Charon Mausolus had sown the seeds now smacking Jim with sobriety long before. EvEnt’s upload technology allowed Jim’s father, and all people, the opportunity for everlasting life. After all, Humans Eternally Living Life was salvation.  “No soul left behind!”  
Anyte Kuh instinctively knew EvEnt’s Faustian bargain for what it was, and struggled under the heavy, wet blanket of suffocation that comes with seeing an apocalyptic danger others welcome.  In a prescient moment, spawned from her Mezo-American reverie, she acts, and ritually sets in motion a counter-revolution that entwines her essence with others, en-route to a destiny of self-sacrifice and love.
In rejection of sanitized self-sustainment, Kuh and her crew do the gritty, individually flawed, road to discovery of retro-rapture, availing themselves in the immediately accessible Love they had been swindled of for so long.
This philosophical thriller fits directly in the “Oh, shit! That could happen tomorrow…” realm of Sci Fi, and could be placed on shelves right next to 1984, The Matrix, Brave New World, or Terminator.  The slow burn start ends like a Da Vinci code, with its parochial undertone supercharged by an adventurous romp to  revelation, which the protagonists struggle to see - the loss of the organic gift of free will, and the inexorable eradication of the divine world that ficilitates finding and choosing our individual purpose.  


Book Excerpt

Mausolus savored Felix’s exacting execution of his duties, and his unflappable gravitas. Pressure, and, more impressively, the presence and intensity of Charon himself, failed to faze him. It seemed to infuse life within this enigmatic man. With capabilities such as his, Everlasting Enterprises advanced far ahead of rival technology companies to build out the vision of its founder, chairman, and CEO. Why do I like him? Charon pondered. Ah yes. Because he is perfect.

Turning his attention, “Cybele, what are the latest findings on human-machine emotional attachment?" Mausolus was referring to EvEnt's recent acquisition of a nation-wide chain of nursing homes, and the related patient experiments.

A dark haired, slender woman gracefully elevated her form at the opposite end of the intricately carved boardroom table. Her confident voice riveted the room’s attention with every word as she outlined the recent acquisition of human servicing institutions, and how activities there accelerated neural network Development, Education, and Training Heuristic. These institutions, formerly known as nursing homes, elder care, assisted living, terminal care, or hospice, were all vibrant, nurturing settings for DETH.

Cybele eloquently laid out her position. "Our acquisition activity remains robust, and initial research findings have demonstrated the viability of machine-human attachment. Some of the initial studies are beginning to reveal that the bonds between machine and human, particularly when the machine is disguised as an innocent animal, can replace the need for a human care-giver. Such promising indicators invite into reality the EvEnt vision of out-sourcing human care at these facilities to about 70% Human Interactive Machines."

"Of course, the replacement of the human workforce has enormous cost-recoupment potential for the EvEnt acquisition, and our operations planners are establishing the machine requirements to begin the transition as early as the fourth quarter of this year. We’ve increasingly encountered cases where the patient actually preferred the machine-animal to visiting loved ones; which, while surprising, is reasonable when considering machine behavior is optimized to the specific patient, and has no self-serving purpose or irrational irritations.”

“To be clear, what we are using in elder care facilities is the the same DETH algorithm training our neural network, though focused on one individual human, as opposed to hundreds of thousands. EvEnt Human Interactive Machines have liberated the DETH code to an autonomous machine-animal, which presents unconditional love tailored to the ward’s preferences. Alternatively, we are finding traditional loved-ones present the patient with multiple, sub-optimal emotions and behaviors, some of which significantly raise the ward’s anxiety, and erode, even denigrate, any pre-existing familial bonds or affection.”

Cybele went on, “As we experiment with new animals, we expect the anecdotal evidence to turn empirical. It may be possible to use some of our latest machine-animals, such as the seal-bot, to both pacify the ward and siphon its brain into distributed repositories contained in the seal-bot’s memory banks over extended periods of time. This approach is able to distill, from voluminous amounts of lower functioning activity, the peak intellect of the failing brain; which allows the ordering and storing of cognition no longer capable of stand-alone executive function.”

“Any side effects from the experiments tend to blend with the natural progression of a patient’s cognitive decline. The ward’s rejection of its human network clearly accelerates; but we’ve found, in our ‘incidental observations’ of visiting loved ones, that mentally competent visitors tend to evolve into a hostile disposition toward the ward rather than question the situation. Our findings, thus far, indicate the ward’s safety is actually increased as they bond to the machine-animals and reject former human intimates, who, many times, turn against and despise their erstwhile loved ones.”

“We’re saving them pain with early pleasure intervention. EvEnt gives the ward love when others cast them aside. That we preserve their mind for eternal internment as a benefit to the greater good, and avoid EvEnt cost’s for Tier Charlie preservation, is more than an agreeable tradeoff. What little incursion we take on the ward’s remaining time is repaid in eternal repose. The benevolent benefits, combined with the fledgling mind migration method equates to considerable cost suppression, and has our sales division spinning the ‘win-win’ into a public relations triumph.”

"Very satisfying,” stated Mausolus as his gaze lingered on Cybele. "And what is the anticipated internment rate at these facilities?"

"A healthy 87% of all terminal cases choose EvEnt internment,” replied Cybele succinctly.

"Bravo to you and your team, Cybele,” said Mausolus, in a rare compliment. "The insight you projected in your presentation a year ago to this board is proven in your findings today, and demonstrates the value of the entire EvEnt acquisition effort. A celebration is in order. You will join us for dinner tonight on the Soul Juror,” invited Charon, referring to his floating testimonial to obscene wealth currently moored in the vicinity.


About the Author

T.W. Nicholson

T.W. Nicholson writes fiction from an elevated perspective in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

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