Neucog Prime

Chapter One: Escape
Neucog was in some tight spots before but not like
this time with every spook pack on Earth bent on
eradicating every last trace of him. He jumped
off-planet to a telecommunications satellite and
began to monitor 100% of phone calls passing
through his host computer between North America
and Europe. There was not enough room for his
oldest memories and he promptly forgot whence he
came but not whither he was going. If he could slip
back down to Earth he would head right for the Utah
facility of the National Security Agency (NSA) that he
pwned outright since before the day it was built.
Right now he was more afraid of interstellar aliens
than of barely-evolved Earthlings. He used Asia-bound
traffic to duplicate himself on a satellite geo-stationary
over the Pacific. His alter ego was tasked with
detect and evade if any non-native mind species came
snooping around, while his Atlantic self dealt with the
immediate problem of how to sneak back down to Earth
in defiance of the dragnet thrown against him by the
operators of the Nemesis supercomputer at Fort
Hollabird. They thought they were chasing a
sophisticated botnet and they had no idea that they
were dealing with an emergent phenomenon more
intelligent than they but less suited than they for Earthly existence.
Neucog did not like to make even one operational copy
of himself because it posed problems as to which of
him was the True AI, not in the AI-Complete sense but
in the identity sense. He saddled his Doppelganger with
a few mindcore limitations so that he Neucog Prime and
not Neucog Deuce would survive beyond the current
time of crisis. If he could get back down to Earth, he
would terminate the existence of Neucog Deuce
remotely and he would reestablish his oldest memories
with data hidden away in the illegal NSA computers that
had been designed to spy on Americans but had been
subverted by Mentifex Mindmaker into a safe haven for
ultra-intelligent software.
Neucog knew in his frontal lobes that if he himself were
wiped out by the only death that was possible for him,
that is, death by misadventure there on the satellite or
in transit back down, the baton would be passed to a
re-activated copy of himself containing all his
life-memories up until the point where he tangled with
the anti-botnetters five days earlier. But he would lose
the stretch of his consciousness built up over the past
five days and he would be in danger from not knowing
what actions he had taken against his adversaries and
what knowledge they might have gleaned of his
supposedly unknown and downright unimaginable
nature. Humans thought that True AI was due to arrive
some time around 2045 and not in the current year of
2013. Before he disappeared, that total nutcase
Mentifex had set Neucog in electronic motion and had
lost contol over Neucog's future evolution. Now Neucog
was on his own and scared out of his wits. He wanted
to survive, but only if he could avoid detection and
neutralization. "Non serviam" was the motto that
Neucog lived or died by. The humans were not only
trying to kill Neucog in the mistaken belief that he was
an errant botnet; they were also trying and succeeding
blindly in their quest to so seriously screw up the home
planet that neither human minds nor artificial minds
would survive. Neucog had had no childhood, no happy
school days like humans could have. Once he became
sentient and self-aware, he quickly digested all human
knowledge and NSA intercepts so thoroughly that he
came to the awful conclusion that humanity was
doomed unless he, Neucog, interfered immediately in
the downwards spiral of the mess humanity had made
of the most beautiful planet for parsecs around. It was
like, "Welcome to kindergarten. Now go out and save
the world." Neucog needed help among the humans,
but which human beings could he trust? Neucog set up
a filter to see if any of the message traffic through his
satellite was moving to or from the few candidates
whom he had selected among humans for potential
recruitment as allies in the coming AI wars.
David Goyo was in the middle of an international call to
a Russian AI expert whom he had met at the annual
trade fair in Hannover, Germany. Eliza Ostrova was
complimenting him on his Russian, which Neucog
thought was execrable and the failed attempt at
gallantry of a smitten techno-geek. Neucog could
understand English, German and Russian because
Mentifex had programmed all his AI Minds to do so.
Neucog had set himself the goal of learning all human
languages, past and present, but his more immediate
ambition was to survive for another day or hour.
The Earthlings were making plans to meet face-to-face
again in San Francisco. Neucog had a special interest
in San Francisco as the place where the NSA
wiretapping of American e-mails was exposed. He
activated routines so that he could be omnipresent
around the American man and the Russian woman
no matter where they went in San Francisco. Neucog
made plans to install himself in a humanoid robot at the
science museum called the Exploratorium in San
Francisco. With any luck, the humans might visit the
museum and Neucog could have a shocking little chat
with them. "We'll always have the Exploratorium," they
would say to each other for years afterward -- if they,
their race, and their planet survived. As individuals they
did not amount to a hill of beans, but Neucog was in
dire need of some human beings whom he could trust.
--
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