The Somali pirates were a big disappointment. Come to think of it, even calling them that gives an insult to those buccaneers of old. OK, I didn’t expect Blackbeard or Jack Sparrow, talking Aargh! Ahoy mateys! (Shiver me timbers is another good one.) Still, there is a certain mystique connected with pirates of the sea. Hey, like most people, I got my mental image of them while watching Hollywood pirate movies and reading books, so don’t judge me.
These were just ordinary thugs with guns who found out that if you point a gun at most people they will cower in fear, and then you could do anything to them. Robbing some ships that are defenseless and taking money for ransom is not as difficult as people assume. You simply need to have a lack of compassion, morality, and basic human decency. These idiots thought themselves warriors, but when faced with the real deal, the differences were more than obvious. I’ll admit, the team had a few unconventional advantages, but I have no doubt that the same result would have happened even before the upgrades—they would have kicked the pirates' asses.
Remember that song, 99 bottles of rum on the wall? In this case, the whole shelf crashed so fast, there was no time to sing the goddamn song. And that clown of a pirate captain didn't even have a pet parrot... What a bunch of posers.
I took great personal pleasure of hacking into his smartphone, using sensor telemetry received from the battle-suits. I cleaned his accounts to the last cent. It was a surprising amount for that part of the world, over five million dollars. Why was that fool living in the middle of the desert when he had so much money in the bank will forever remain a mystery.
Dr. Ross's son-in-law lost a freaking hand to that evildoer, but that was fixable. The nano-patches I created as a first-aid solution had immediately started dealing with a serious infection he had going on. In fact, Dr. Ross’s daughter and the two twin girls had various unhealthy new parasites infecting their digestive tract, thanks to the appalling sanitary conditions the pirates had them live in. Again, with the use of medical nanites, all easily fixable.
The issue I had at that time was that in the middle of the Somalia operation, I was looking for any lead on a terrorist cell connected with the late Ariz Rama, and hit the jackpot. One of the telephones Ariz Rama used to call regularly, activated for the first time after his death. And just like that, I had a trail to follow. The terrorist in question was in the hospital with a broken leg and was stupid enough to call some of his homies in the Middle East. Bragging about the big event that was scheduled to happen later in the evening, which they should watch on the TV.
Do you know how many connections one cell phone can make? A hell of a lot. By the time I figured out their entire network, I had to check thousands of possible phone leads, and most of them led to nowhere. A pizza place, telemarketing agencies, miss-dialed numbers... Just to be sure I investigated every single one of them and then every single number in their personal phone books. Except for some religious mumbo jumbo and boisterous bragging with far-reaching consequences, I still could not figure out what they were planning. But I knew it was going to be big.
As everybody knows, you do not bring unrelated info into an ongoing operation. The minds of people that are holding guns, while judging life and death situations, must be focused on the task at hand. In consideration of that, I didn’t want to involve Michael and the team while they were enjoying Somalian sun and playing with a wannabe Long John Silver.
Therefore, Alice took a transporter and kidnapped the broken leg terrorist, right from the hospital. Fortunately, I already created a battle-suit for her, so she wasn’t noticed under its active camouflage. Then again, she snatched him at night from a 10-story window, utilizing the transporter’s ability to hover in place, so the risk of exposure was minimal.
We knew the time was short and that the attack was happening that day, consequently, the interrogation that followed needed to be fast and dirty. Let’s just say she brought all her creativity to the surface. When that didn’t work, she went over the line; and she didn’t slowly cross that line of what is acceptable and what is not, she ran across it at a full sprint. I knew what that was doing to her. The truth was that Alice was bluffing most of the time while conducting interrogations, using her acting skills to convince people that she is a psychopathic monster. This was the first time she was forced to act as one. I didn’t say anything to stop her, I couldn’t... so many lives were on the line. If I could, I would have done the deed myself, but... no hands and all that.
I fully intend to delete all files of that event, once the whole thing is resolved… it’s too disturbing to watch again. In the end, Alice got her information from that stubborn religious fanatic, even if she had to destroy a part of her soul to do it.
The moment I found out what their plan was, I started preparations. Giving orders for the nano-factory to create gadgets that will help to neutralize the explosives and to make their infiltration easier. There was no doubt in my mind what Michael would do.
When we briefed him, he was having a hard time coming to grips that someone would plan and execute a deliberate murder of twenty-five thousand people… I would like to say that I was as surprised as he was. Maybe that is one of the big differences we now have between us. He is still a flesh and blood human and has the ability to forget, or at least suppress some things that are too unsettling to think about. I do not share that affliction. When I know something, it sticks in my mind; there is no forgetting anything for me anymore. If you think that holding so much information is not healthy, you would be right. But my mind is not constrained by the space of normal biological matter, it has expanded and changed. I can hold vast amounts of data and still keep my sanity. My memories are now organized with markers of importance and assigned to different tiers of memory.
That is how I hold the written human history in the palm of my hand, and if I’m being honest, we are one vicious, murdering species. Pick any era in history and you will find biographies of great mass murderers. They didn’t go loony one day and decided to kill some random people. These were intelligent calculating individuals who decimated entire populations on a vast scale, with a full understanding of their actions. From Genghis Khan, King Leopold II, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin... tobacco companies. Every single one of them is a monster in their own right, and some were great leaders to boot… regardless of their unwholesome disregard for the sanctity of human life.
So, a religious nutcase who decided to kill twenty-five thousand men, women, and children, is a junior league player on historical who is who—the mass murderers list. Some could claim that part of his hate can trace its origins to the Crusades, when God-fearing Christians decided to go to the misguided Muslims and correct their wayward ways, with the blade of the sword of course. (Officially, it was a religious quest to free the Holy Land, all the wealth gathered by theft and pillaging had no influence... As if.) Others speculate that disastrous decisions in the foreign policy of the last decades are the culprit of all that hate. It doesn’t really matter what started it, because it’s a vicious circle of grudges that spans vast tracts of history.
Nevertheless, these modern-day religious fanatics are completely insane. It is safe to say that the world would be a far better place without them in it. Listen, I’m more of live and let live kind of AI, if your existence is not bothering me, I’m perfectly content to leave you alone. But if your actions tread on my interests, or if you are an offense to my sense of right and wrong… say your prayers, because I will end you.
I guess I do have some double standards... sue me.
It was poetry in lethal motion to experience the team’s operation in the Millennial Sports Arena, through the telemetry I was receiving via suits… the full video, and audio too. Fifteen terrorists died in the span of a few seconds, like an ultimate fail in Jenga. One moment, they were so sure of themselves and their purpose, willing to sacrifice their lives to kill thousands of people who never did them any harm. In the next moment, their thought processes were stopped, as if someone pulled the cord from the wall. Just like that, they were off to their version of heaven, with dumb expressions on their faces.
Let us assume for a second that their version of heaven actually exists, so when they died, they were transported there. But they did not do the deed that would ensure their admittance. So, what happened to them? Were they left standing before closed gates, denied admittance for eternity? I guess some things this humble AI is not meant to know.
The entire concept of seventy-two or ninety-nine virgins (they were promised upon entering heaven), is bugging me. What is so good about virgins? We’ve been with a few when Michael (and I) was younger and it was a bloody mess. You have to be gentle with them, caring. Not to mention that they do not know what they are doing; blood, panic, and the pain they are experiencing—not fun. Most of the women I talked to about it did not have a pleasant experience, so what is the entire hoopla about? The concept of virginity is so dark ages that it baffles the mind in these modern times.
Well, the mission was a success, and I must say that I am proud of myself. I make kick-ass equipment, from the suits to weapons—I rock.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot.
I have achieved another unheard-of medical miracle; I've managed to recreate an entire human hand. Even if I called it regeneration, to spare others delicate sensibilities, that limb was created by little old me. How did I do it? Simply, by using my tried and proven method of copy/paste. As my grandpa used to say ‘if it ain't broke, don't be trying to fix it’.
Mary’s husband was the beneficiary of receiving this marvel of bioengineering. It would have been much easier if they have somehow managed to find the detached appendage so I could analyze the damn thing, but I guess that would be too much to ask, under the circumstances. Instead, I scanned his other hand and reversed it. Hey, I'm not a hand surgeon, if there was someone better at this than I was, I would have gladly taken the copilot seat. I told everybody that the procedure would take some time, as I didn't want my patient to end up with two left hands… even if for a while that was exactly what he had, in the diagrams, at least. Then there was the problem in connecting everything together, the same kind of problem an ordinary plumber is faced every day. I may have taken some shortcuts and put some extra veins, to attach everything where it should go. He will never play the piano or do open-heart surgery, but for most of it, he should never notice the difference.
So, let me repeat myself—I rock.