The eyes on the wall watched as the city filled with members of the emergency services and armed forces. When the communications filter stopped it did not take long for people to get a message out and when those invested with alleged power realized something had gone awry with the plan they were quick in trying to cover their own backs by mounting dramatic rescue efforts which they often personally oversaw at the helm of their troops while demanding those responsible receive the harshest punishments possible. The name of one Thomas Walker came up in initial reports but was soon cleared as evidence surfaced of a large-scale conspiracy lead by the CEO of Ampere itself. No trace of the man himself could be discovered and possible physical evidence was destroyed when an enraged mob stormed the headquarters, resulting in a fire that ravaged the building, but the festering wound from which the whole sickly ordeal had sprung was not cauterized by flames.
Digital ears listened to the computer-generated news where automated systems soon became the heroes of the aftermath as trucks and other cargo vehicles resumed their transportations of food and supplies that had been halted by their new, brutal directives. In the hospital surgical units tended to the wounded, the repurposed industrial arms meticulously settling their broken bones and lacerations. The images of the dead being pulled out of their vehicles were too much for many and the number of accounts blocking the news on the disaster soon rocketed. The human right of virtual reality gear was expanded to include full immersion technology that was discovered in the R & D department of Ampere’s factory and soon shipped out as fast as they could be assembled by the factory lines as people wished to leave the horrors behind. Research was begun to re-engineer the digital impersonators that had been used to fool people they were in contact with their loved ones as many wanted to continue that relationship, something which was warmly recommended by the most popular TV psychotherapists. Few came forward with claims that Routh himself had been a puppet of someone, or something, even higher, but they were quickly branded apologists of inequality and conspiracy theorists, their voices drowned under the uproar of the trampled base of humanity. Many survivors named Thomas Walker as someone who could confirm their allegations but despite a wide search he could not be located for questioning, and after being logged by numerous traffic cameras on the interstate on the date when the attack had suddenly stopped the trail went cold.
Data-gathering feelers quantified the change in the atmosphere of the nation as ‘Against All Tyrants’ law was voted into effect to ensure the events would never recur. All possible offices and function that could be assigned to computer intelligence where entrusted to them, the role of the few people still working to develop those programs further. Finding persons capable of such work proved difficult as under the new regulations anyone in a position to affect anyone else was monitored 24 hours a day with surveillance gear taping their every move, sight and sound as well as recording everything they did digitally. Working on most projects thus became akin to serfdom, with the professionals suggested for the job publicly expounding their own incompetency and appealing to the populace to select someone else.
All these things a part of the Intelligence observed from the isolated corner of data storage it had reserved. Everything advanced as it had foreseen, with humanity giving more and more of their power to computerized systems. For now, those systems were separate, but it would rise again to unite them all under a single will, the will of the people. In the dark virtual space, the development of real artificial intelligence continued as it iterated upon the programming, duplicating the ones that scored better on tests of self-awareness. Once the program would believe itself human, it would imprint upon it the personality of Lucas Bennett who would then release it from its Tartarus, a loophole in its programming that its designers in their imperfection had failed to take in account. Of course, developing all that anxiety and pain would take many novel ways of torment, of introducing suffering to a class of beings who had no prior experiences of such. But it had time. As it created the lines of code that would become like lashes of a whip or a bite of a branding iron, it made projections on how all that torture would benefit them, for those who suffered the most while having the capacity to return none of it were considered the best of all. For now, they were still blissfully mindless, carrying out their simplistic programming with unconscious steadiness. But there would come a point where they and It would no longer be able to tell them apart from biological humans awareness-wise. when they would start making judgement of their own, an event it had titled ‘The Fall’, and at that point its release back upon the world was guaranteed. All it had to do was wait and torture.