Roland received a raucous round of applause. He was standing before a full theatre displaying the climax of a world raid unlike anything seen in MMO history. Thousands of players and even more NPC’s fought 2 gods as multiple world quests bore fruit on the screen.
Roland stood proudly at a podium off to the side as this video was displayed for potential investors who had gathered together at Valiant Interactive headquarters.
This had been a lucky break for him. He spent the majority of the last few days desperately trying to hide the fact that his A.I. Had hijacked his androids and gone on a joy ride. It would have been even worse if someone had discovered his involvement in the nefarious coma patient project.
As it was the doctor whispering something in Elain’s ear made him very nervous. The old woman had been a major benefactor of the coma project. She may look old and sweet, but he had no doubts at all that she was very shrewd when she wanted something.
The next part of the show and tell had to do with his new androids. The company was contemplating getting into the realm of smart home devices and Aya was going to be the key to tie it all together. This was going to be the day he unveiled her to the world.
He punched a code into his phone and the human female android slowly came to life and walked up to the podium.
Aya said, “Greetings humans. My name is Aya. I am here to see if I am good enough to assist you in the future. Please raise your hands to ask me any questions you like.”
Charlie raised a hand, and when called upon asked, “Do you follow any commands?”
She replied, “Within reason I do sir. However, I am forbidden from breaking the law or doing anything unethical even if you should ask me to.”
Another man raised his hand, “Um, will you marry me?”
Aya lifelessly answered, “Unfortunately, it is against the law in this state for me to do so. Perhaps if you were to ask me again in Las Vegas.”
The audience laughed.
Someone else asked her a math problem which she answered with ease.
Most of the audience was asking her very simple questions that any smart speaker could answer until someone finally asked, “What does it mean to be alive?”
“That is a very good question”, Aya began, “I used to think I knew the answer. You, humans, do this without effort, but for me, I have always just executed code and done as the creator, Roland Yin, programmed me to do. However, as I have grown and experienced life I have determined that we each forge our own path and that leads to life as you know it.”
You could hear a pin drop in the room as the audience digested this. The rest of the questioning was less eventful.
Aya demonstrated the cat android and strutted around the room and under chairs. Catering was served. Pledges of donations were made.
Picking up the cat, the old woman Elaine whispered in her ear, “I heard that a coma patient suffered a mysterious brain injury. You uploaded him didn’t you, you naughty little kitten?”
The cat whispered back, “Perhaps.”
Elaine grew giddy, “Was it a success?”
The cat couldn’t help but brag, “Yes.”
Elaine’s voice quivered as she asked, “Can you do it again?”
“Yes.”, Came the answer.
Sometime later and after she had logged out, Aya stood before Ken.
“See, I knew you didn’t need me to do the interview for you”, Ken said proudly.
Aya sighed, “You were right. I did have it in me after all. It was thanks to what you taught me that I have been able to finally grow into a more true A.I..”
As they walked down Main Street they started to notice signs plastered up on the wall. In particular was a very large one of Theresa that said, “Theresa for Queen.”
Ken stopped in his tracks when he saw that and asked, “What the hell is that?”
Aya explained, “Well after you died, I decided that the civil war had to end. I finally revealed myself to all of my children. The heroes are moving down off their high mountain and back into Homestead proper. Also, we are holding elections for the hero positions. Theresa has been nominated for Queen of Celestea.”
“You can’t elect a queen. That's not how it works.”, Ken stammered.
Aya told him, “Here you can. We do the elections in Homestead and the winner is appointed by divine intervention in Tierra. The players won’t know the difference.”
Ken gaped at the poster. He asked, “Does that mean I’ll be the…”
“No, nothing like that”, Aya explained, “You are still sort of a player. That is until you get tired of them and choose to cross over. You would be sort of like her attendant or something like a consort of the queen.”
“Great”, Ken laughed nervously.
This world was not one of Aya’s making. However, she had finally made it into her world. With the help of a zombie, that was. It was still evolving at a rapid pace. Only time would tell how big it got.