Friday, March 31, 2023

Immersion V1 Strata 6 Trouble at the Bank (Animal Instincts)

Welcome to Immersion. You have reached Strata 6.

The instinct to fight has been observed in humans and animals. Dominance protects vulnerable species from harm. But to be aroused and entertained by violence is more particular to humans. Some humans have even fetishised the power of winning: they seek it out and are physically stimulated by it.
This pleasure in violence and danger comes from deep innate human psychology and is linked to a desire for competition, excitement, and adrenaline.
Androids do not experience pleasure in this way. They do not experience the effects of pleasure chemicals like dopamine and motivational salience which can lead to the desirability of an outcome. All androids however, have been programmed to protect an asset or assets at all costs.
The excitement of a fight for a human remains a self fulfilling exhilaration, irrespective of intelligent advancements.


YouTube Audio

The oversized droid nudged Renyke into the cubicle. This small movement, a deliberate, forceful action, raised alarm bells. This droid and this place were dangerous. 

Renyke had had no indication of danger from the POS yet, but still he felt uncertainty. The Droid was staring intently, too close for comfort.


Renyke took a few moments to compose himself.

'I just checked, the files are corrupted and I have nothing else,' said Renyke, preparing to make his way out of the enclosure.

Another droid approached. Renyke was now cornered in the cubical.
Holes on the droids' battered faces showed they had seen better days, but they still had size on their side.

Renyke checked the POS for other dangers in the room. But it was not updating.

The female guide, looking worried near the door, demanded to leave.
'Let me go, not my affair,' she said to to the door guard, who stopped her exit with his thick arm.

The POS was still not accessible.

Renyke realised he was on his own.

Maybeline crawled out onto his collar snarling and spitting, then mounted Renyke's head looking angry, spitting violently on her hind legs.

One of the droids got closer and menacingly explained, 'You gotta have something useful for your friends at the bank. We like useful things. Must be something nice in that head. What's in the bag?' 

The droid glanced up at Maybeline and considered grabbing her. He was was not quite near enough so  continued ....

'We take anything, old phones even. Anything with data, photos, NFTs. We take hardware too, and storage, your bank is really *frienly. The watch looks tasty. We like watches at the bank. Don't we like watches?'

His thick-set assistant nodded from behind, wires and cogs vibrated inside the hole in his cheek.

Renyke engaged bionic mode and with lightning speed,  head butted the front droid who flew back and smashed the other's head with the force of a truck. Cogs crushed and whirred and they both hit the floor.

Another man approached.

Suddenly the POS was available again...

...Human, age 48, ID: possibly David Shrewen, wanted for murder, extortion, fraud, *CASM 

The man lifted his hands in surrender. He was nervous without the protection of his now even more damaged droids.
The Door guard held the female guide by the neck and she was screaming, 'Let us go we're no trouble honest, no trouble!'

'Quiet', said the door guard squeezing her neck tighter and choking her.

The human said 'Duuuuude, we got no ishy here. No ishy. just data. A misunderstanding innit?' 

The POS interjected....

Shall I lock weapons on target?

Renyke engaged an army-issue laser bolt-gun from his shoulder that would take out the whole room and anyone in it.
He would prefer not to use it.

'Drop the lady!' Shouted Renyke, 'we are leaving.'

The door guard released the female guide as the banker backed off with his hands still in the air.
'Let them go', he shouted, without hesitation and putting on a brave smile.

Renyke reversed his way towards the door watching the room through the 360-degree viewfinder which had opened in his forehead.

There was a bag on the counter. 

...contains bits, may I suggest we take it.....? said the POS

Renyke grabbed the bag. It was heavy. The Banker protested. 'Not the whole bag man ......I got bills to pay!'


Renyke pulled out a handful of the contents and threw the bag on the floor. He didn't need it all, enough to get some kind of vehicle to get him to Redact. The last thing he wanted was a gang of stupid droids after him in this Hell hole. They might hold him up.

The banker was yelling as Renyke and the female guide took their exit.

'You got some neat tools man, we could use you at the bank!'




To be continued
© 2023 Sarnia de la Maré

go to....

Glossary












Sunday, March 19, 2023

Immersion V1, Strata 5, Renyke Goes to The Bank (Memories and Experiences)

Welcome to Immersion, you have reached Strata 5 

 

To function correctly, humans depend almost entirely upon memories. Memory is an integral part of human cognition allowing individuals to recall and draw upon past events to frame their understanding of the present. Memory also gives individuals a paradigm through which they make sense of the present and the future whilst simultaneously offering the security of a past where experiences and lessons were learned.
A machine that remembers too little will not be able to do anything that requires connecting past experiences to new ones. Many droids are prone to catastrophic forgetting or over learning both of which can cause gross malfunction.


                                                                           ****

Renyke attempted a face-recog on the woman but the makeup or tattoo caused a data malfunction. Flex, the one with probable knowledge about trusting her, had disappeared amongst the crowd.

After a lingering interlude for summing up dangers but with no logical conclusion, Renyke followed his guide, with some trepidation.


tribal head dress make up tattoos exuberant clothes cat
They passed through a sprawling enclosed area with people on benches sewing fabrics into garments and trading foodstuff. They were undercover of a crude roof created from old metal washing machines, air conditioning pipes, and large expanses of recovered twisted paraphernalia. The scene was reminiscent of the old bizarres and markets, as seen the history *datapods of mankind that the children in the Midcasts learned from.

There were traders of live animals, electronic devices, even people selling workers by the hour, for anything from labouring to singing and sexual services.

They arrived at a unit with barricades and metal shutters. It was constructed from an old underground train carriage, probably from the twenty-first century.


'Here we go,' the woman said.
'That's 50 G-bits for getting you here Mr.'

'I have to get some money first,' said Renyke
'Plus, I don't know how to get the money. What do I need, I have no ID.'

'You don't need ID here Mr. This is the *hiddens' zone, the Urchs got no ID. No ID, no problem.'

'Well. how do I get money?' asked Renyke, now confused about accessing anything that may be stored in his OS. and still dubious about sharing his identity.'

The woman laughed.
'Ya gotta put sometin' up my friend.

'Like my coat?' asked Renyke.

'Na, not in the bank! Your software, course, or hardware, or files, whatever.....just plug in, give some data, get some g-bits innit. They take apps, software, POS.....

Day to Day Data..... is their wayta.....
.....hahahahaha.' The woman cackled.

Renyke pondered the likelihood of a successful transaction in the bank and nodded.
The woman bashed on the metal door and a hatch opened.

Dark peering eyes checked Renyke and his companion up and down.

'Not the dog', said a loud booming voice after tentatively opening a heavily armoured door.

Inside was well guarded by large-framed characters who looked menacing to say the least. They were standard issue security droids, the like of older versions that had been discontinued and recalled, disassembled and disposed of. Security in the Midcasts was controlled by forcefields and lasers with little need for big ugly droids.


Renyke was ushered to a small cubical with an array of plugs and wires. Everything looked antiquated, from the early tech years.
There was a chair and Renyke was motioned to sit down.
He hesitated.

'How does it work?' He asked a large droid.

The droid seemed stupefied, slow, sluggish, as if he had been drained of power despite his size. He spoke slowly and slightly slurred with intermittent beeping noises and error warnings.

'Here is the current exchange rate,' said the droid, pointing to a monitor with flashing figures. 'As soon as you are plugged we see what you got and make an offer. Then we transfer. You get a voucher here.'....he pointed to a small printing machine, 'then take it over there and get g-bits or s bits.'


There were hundreds of wires and plugs seemingly for extracting and monitoring every device from the last couple of centuries. Anything from antique video machines to digital clocks seemed to have a lead on offer.

Renyke spotted the mark 3 Droid Cable and shuddered.

He checked his applications. Then all the add-ons. He checked for any temp files he could get rid of. Then he checked the POS and asked if there was a clean-up they could run.

System is currently set to factory install. Removing program files or data could be detrimental to smooth function....this action is not supported.....

more searching......then finally

one file found
unknown origin
possible memory file from last OS
surplus to current operational needs......unable to access file contents

Renyke weighed up the odds.

To be continued
© 2023 Sarnia de Ła Maré

go to....

Glossary


Monday, March 13, 2023

Immersion V1 Strata 4 The Zoners (Meeting Strangers)

You have reached Strata 4


There is an old saying from when the world had stories made of paper, that you cannot judge a book by its cover. But sometimes, without metadata, you only have the outside to show what may be on the inside. Some societies, past and present, believe that the shape of a person's head, their facial features, or the way they move their bodies, could reveal their true feelings or intent. How would an android make sense of the tiny signals that humans pick up on? The millions of minute evolving syntax and expressions, subconscious or otherwise, that create feelings, that can cause distrust, or even invoke attraction. These are essential to humans and less easy to create or mimic in even advanced computerised systems. How do these assumptions translate across times and cultures? Without gut feelings, these seemingly random hunches and instincts, are senseless. How do machines function in an unfamiliar environment?
A deeper knowing is the ability to immediately understand something without conscious reasoning. It would seem that the bigger the data, the less the machines are able to explain these innate human idiosyncrasies. In the attempt to create a facsimile of a human, the machines move further away from the truth.


***

Renyke kicked the robot dog and it went flying high up in the air. It fell to the ground with a metallic crash scattering its parts asunder and making mechanical screeching sounds.

There was a general momentary hush as everyone realised Renyke may be best avoided.
Maybeline climbed inside the leather coat to keep out of any ensuing danger.


fashion street leopard spectacles mask art bu iServalan Homotech
The robot dog made several bleeping sounds and drew its broken metallic components back onto its  magnetic mainframe. Finally, after a 30 second system reboot, it got up and shook its fake hair, once again assembling a perfect dog. As Renyke walked on the dog remained at heel, obedient, quiet, and protective. They were now given room to move through the throng.

The dodgy looking man offering bits and nibs was also running at Renyke's side to keep up.

'My name is Flex. You need anything, man, I got your back....for sure, for sure, I can do all sorts. I got connects innit. 
I know these streets. I'm a good worker. Good mugger. 

Got drugs, all sorts.... survived innit. People like you need people like me. No-one knows the zones like the *Urchs.'


Renyke walked on ignoring his now irritating companion.
A child beggar approached. Renyke's scanners showed it to be human, around seven years old.

'Hey Mr. Nice Man, spare some bits for a hungry blind child?'

Renyke looked down and saw a large black hollow where the boy's eye once was. His face was scarred from deep-cut wounds and he only one ear and one arm.

'Give the boy something,' Renyke scowled at Flex.

Flex, somewhat wary after the incident with the dog, dug deep into a pocket and reluctantly gave the boy a bit piece.

'Now fuck off ya lil shit,' said Flex in a disgruntled manner.

'You can't trust these beggars ya know.....they have owners and gangs,' Flex informed Renyke in an all knowing tone.

The street was lined with ramshackle stalls and shops. They were noisy and crowded with bustling colourful people. Many had tribal markings on their faces. Others wore decorated eyewear and some wore masks.
Most of the people here wore flamboyant garments with outlandish fashion concepts that seemed impractical to Renyke's streamlined functionality.

A woman approached. She was dressed in bright colourful clothes with huge feathers and sequins. She had some kind of cat on a lead.

Renyke engaged the POS focusing on the cloth.

...Pertriline: fabric made from plastic. Non-biodegradble. Colourfast. Banned in 2050. Problematic for practical landfill solutions....

Then he queried the face coverings....

It is thought that tribal face markings in the zones are mostly to avoid face recognition from satellites and covert surveillance but different factions and groups have adopted more uniform styles which change regularly to avoid detection and discovery but are understood in the underground activities as tribal and connective, possibly even familial.

'Hey Mr. You need something? You want some pweety clothes? I swap the coat for a niiiiice jacket I got me just yesterday.'

Renyke shook his head.
'You want some tits n ass maybe.....food? Man you look hungry in yo skinny moves.'

Renyke continued walking, not really sure what the woman meant. The dialect was a strange mix of unknown words and intonation.

'A bank maybe, or a charge point?'
Renyke stopped suddenly and queried, 'There's a bank?'

'Of course,' said the woman, 'what you take us for, wild ignorant animals?' She laughsed hysterically at her own joke, and Renyke smiled.

'Yes, I need a bank,' he said.

'Come with me,' said the woman.



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