Access Point (A Short Story)

in fiction •  7 days ago

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The blade pushed down his skin, which gave in a few millimeters before it broke. No blood. No pain. Nothing. He put the blade aside and watched the wound close itself again. The healing process was quick and thorough; not even a scar stayed behind.

“Ah for fuck’s sake” , he muttered. “Computer! Log out!”

Everything went dark and he opened his eyes. For a few moments, he was just staring at the grey ceiling, until he lifted his hand and removed the Access Point from his right temple. The adhesive on the back of the tiny metal button ripped out some fine hairs. He wondered, not for the first time, why they hadn’t developed something better yet. @suesa

Next to him, on his nightstand, there was a blade. He laid the button next to it, took the blade, and repeated what he had done just moments before. Push the blade against the skin, press, cut. This time, there was blood, which he stopped with one of the band-aids that he kept ready for exactly this purpose.

The contrast between the light band-aid and his dark skin was distracting. Then again, the thin scars that covered his left arm weren’t any better. Hundreds of lines marked all the times he hadn’t been sure if things around him were real or not, even though they had been.

“Computer, date and time”, he called out. Some people named their home AI. He didn’t like that. Making it human felt wrong.

“It’s the 20th of February, 2060, fifteen hundred hours.”

“Who put you on military time?”

“You, Oscar. Six months ago.”

Right. That had been around the time when that new military game had hit the market. He hadn’t been able to adjust back to reality for weeks … but why hadn’t he changed it back?

“Computer, change back time format to 12 hours, am/pm.”

“As you wish.”

Oscar stood up from his bed and immediately sank back because he was so dizzy. How long had he been out? 20th February. That didn’t help him at all.

“How long have I been in the simulation?”

“Fifty-two hours.”

Too long. Way too long. No wonder his body refused to let him stand up without issues. He had lost himself in the game again. It wasn’t the longest time he had ever been under, but … he had sworn himself to not let it escalate this much again. Keeping in touch with reality was already hard enough the way things were.

“Would you like some food and water, Oscar?”

“What did I tell you about speaking without being spoken to?” Every time the AI proved that it was, in fact, an artificial intelligence and not just a fancy pre-recorded computer program, he started feeling uncomfortable. For decades, people had predicted that AIs would take over the world once they’d become truly intelligent, but nothing had ever happened. And he didn’t believe it would stay like this.

“You complained about being hungry and thirsty, I had assumed that was you speaking to me. I apologize if I interpreted that wrong.”

Oscar’s heart seemed to skip a beat. He didn’t remember saying that. Not at all. His eyes wandered back to the blade, which still had traces of blood on it. Would another reality check be worth it? But the last cut on his arm was still burning. There was no pain in the simulations. There was never any pain or discomfort, that’s why it was so easy to get lost in there.

“Sure. Get me something”, he finally said, choosing to assume that he just hadn’t noticed complaining.

The door opened, and a tiny robot on wheels drove in, carrying a bottle of water and a nutrition bar. Oscar picked up both, unwrapped the bar, and started chewing slowly, sipping water in between bites.

Over two days. He had lost himself for over two days in the simulation. And it hadn’t even been a good or a new one! Just another version of some old MMORPG that the developers just didn’t want to lay to rest. But everything was better than the life that expected him outside his apartment. The world had gone to shit over the last few decades.

“Computer, any news?”

“The Pentagon has been hit by a nuclear missile 30 hours and 26 minutes ago. World War Three has been declared on the USA and the EU by Russia. Most of the population has been evacuated to the moon base, only those necessary to protect said base have been left behind.”

A cold feeling spread in Oscar’s chest, and he put down the remains of his nutrition bar.

“Are you kidding me?”

“I’m afraid you disabled my humor unit.”

“We’re at war? With Russia?”

“Yes.”

“And everyone has been evacuated?”

“Yes.”

“Everyone but necessary personnel?”

“Yes.”

“Am I necessary personnel?”

“No.”

“Why the fuck have I not been evacuated then?”

“According to my database, you have been reported as deceased five years ago. This apartment is registered as vacant.”

What?!” Oscar jumped up but immediately had to sit down again. The whole room was moving in front of his eyes. “How could they think I am dead? I’ve been selling gear I’ve earned in the games! I’ve been paying my bills! I’ve been paying rent!”

This time, the computer did not reply. The nutrition bar made its way back up, and Oscar threw up on the floor. His head was pounding. They thought he was dead? They left him behind? How? Why?

Suddenly, everything went dark.

He opened his eyes. For a few moments, he was just staring at the grey ceiling, until he lifted his hand and removed the Access Point from his right temple. The previous events felt like a dream, but still real. The taste of vomit in his mouth was still vaguely present.

Next to him, on his nightstand, there was a blade. He laid the button next to it, took the blade, and repeated what he had done so many times before. Push the blade against the skin, press, cut.

He bled.

Again.





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Not sure why people are calling this creepy.

  1. Sitting a lot on computer
  2. Not keeping track of time
  3. Not eating properly
  4. Being mad at your computer
  5. Thinking outside world is shit
  6. Feeling nauseated when you think about the fact you're alive

Sounds like the typical MMORPG-nerd to me.

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Ikr? This was 90% from my own experience xD

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The main difference so far is that my computer doesn't respond to me when I'm talking to it.
Neither does it go get food for me :(

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We need to work on that then.

Is this fiction or forward thinking? The story fits well in our growing #gaming environment. :)

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A lot of technology we have now was once science fiction. Let's hope we don't lose ourselves in games...

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Let's hope. Actually all VR will soon be very seductive. Possibly more seductive than reality?

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Possibly. I think it becomes dangerous when you lose all sense of reality as in this story. Once you don't notice anymore that you're hungry, thirsty, or tired, what keeps you from continuing to play till you die?

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I heard it happened in the past. That's scary, to lose your sense of reality.

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I have indeed mixed feelings regarding this story, but was interesting to read.

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Upvoting your own comment 100% but not the post. Classy.

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I’m not that type of guy; at least not yet.

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Wow! That was very creepy :o

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Mission accomplished :P

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I'm promoting this story a bit :)

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuf, @suesa come on! that's is so so so creepy.
You freaked me out

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That's the goal

Sweet lil Sci Fi slice o life shorty.

Damn girl, you dark. I love it.

How would it be to have such an awakening, with a computer that tells us that we are the only survivors of a cataclysm? Or worse, as in this story where they give us for dead and have gone to be saved without us. What would it be like to wake up and have a scenario like that?

This was brilliant. I hope it's just the introduction as this concept can build into a pretty impressive plot.

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Sorry, this one will stay a short story. But I'm happy you liked it :)

Third World War? Science fiction? year 2060? They are all excellent ingredients for a great story! this was very good...

It's really creepy :D

Soooo ... why is he considered dead ? Why did he had to remove the access point twice ? If his first "waking up", if it was a "dream", why did he bled ?

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These are the questions, aren't they?

Oh my, that twist. Bleedception? Didn't see that coming :D

Great story!

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Question is, how deep does it go? How deep does he have to cut?

Happy to hear you liked it :D

Fantastic, love it. A scary look forward to our future.

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Glad you enjoyed it ^__^

SUPERRRRRRRRRRB STORY

I am curious @suesa I want you to write an origin to the short story.

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I don't think I'll write more about this story. It's a short story that thrives due to it being short.

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@suesa that's the worst part of it, every good thing has to be short! huh

Whenever I come across someone from western country and that person is telling a story and there is a bad guy in there, that bad guy always has to be from Russia (or just Slav in general).
And it rubs me in a wrong way.
I am curious to know why is that.
Yes, now you will tell me it is just for the story purposes.
Yeah, I don’t buy that.
It must be something way deeper than that, something engraved deep down in your brain and your belief system that whenever there is a bad guy, it just has to be a Slav.( Not racist at all, don't you think?)
Does the school system in western countries teach children that, or you got that mindset and belief system from your parents, or you just came to that conclusion by going through the historical records and seeing it with your own two eyes, seeing it by yourself that, for example, up to this date Russia is the only country that had thrown nuclear bomb on some other nation (Oh, wait, maybe it wasn’t Russia, maybe I just made a mistake) or you are just that narrow-minded and you go on that easier path where there is always somebody else who is wrong and bad and on that path you don’t stop and think for a second about bad doings and mistakes made by western countries( again I am making a mistake, what am I saying, western countries are immaculate, there is no way western countries can make any mistake).

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Sorry but that sounds very bullshit. The bad guy in this story is the AI. We all know that a nuclear war between Russia and the US can happen anytime and it will probably be very random who shoots first or whatever. In this case the protagonist is US based (I think) so it makes sense from his point of view to view Russia as the other side.

And aside from that, the part with the nuclear attack seems to be simulated by the AI. So it might be the AI using the protagonists US based biasses against him.

Please think before calling an author racist for their story flow.

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I think we are talking about two different things, two different levels.

In this case the protagonist is US based (I think) so it makes sense from his point of view to view Russia as the other side. So it might be the AI using the protagonists US based biasses against him.

What you have said right here – that is the root of the problem right there.

It makes sense for protagonist from a western country to view Russia as the other side/bad guy/ bogeyman or call it whatever you want – it is all the same; or the AI knows the west based protagonist’s biases, AI knows what protagonist from a western country thinks and how he feels about Russia and will use it, AI knows that in western protagonist’s eyes Russia is the bogeymen.

But that is just a surface level, just a plot-for-the-story level and that level is not very important.

The important level is a few layers deeper and that is: What is the author’s urge or need or belief deep down within herself to use and see Russia as the other side/bad guy/bogeyman? Where does that come from? From which part of her brain? Where does she find that? As if, when she was writing this story, her thought process went : “Ok, I have this guy in the west, and now whom will I have, when I look form west based guy’s point of view, when I look from his position, when I look through west guy’s eyes, whom will I put to be on the opposite side, who will be the other side. Who will and can be, when looking through west based guy’s perspective, opposite, who will and can be the other side, who will and can be that bad guy that will start World War 3 and nuke everything to the ground, who will and can be the bogeyman. And all of that just by looking through west based guy’s eyes. If anything bad happens, who can take the blame in west guy’s eyes. And all of that process the author had made consciously or subconsciously. Then her conscious or subconscious mind said: “Russia!”. Didn’t say: “Peppa Pig!”. If it said Peppa Pig we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. That is the level I was talking about in my comment.
Yes, she said that it was the first time that she used Russia in that way, and I have no reasons to doubt that, but in this case she did use Russia and I made my comment based upon that.
And many times I have come across western citizens saying things like that and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and it just brings me back to the first sentence in my original comment and every other sentence that comes after that.

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You want my thought process?

"Hm, I need a reason why everything outside is dead"
"Nukes. Nukes are good."
"Who has nukes?"
"USA. Russia. North Korea. Uh... I have no idea who else."
"Where is my character? Ugh. Why do I need to waste thoughts on deciding where he is. Hm. I might want to make this more than just a short story, so I should pick a country I know something about, to make it easier for myself. Germany? France? Great Britain?"
"I just had Great Britain. Meh. Also, if his country has been nuked, he wouldn't still be alive."
"Should be an allied country that's nuked then, far away enough."
"USA. Let's nuke the USA."
"That only leaves Russia and North Korea, I am too lazy to look up who else has nukes."
"Nobody takes North Korea seriously."
"Russia it is."

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That is the exact the same process as I was describing it but with one huge difference. That difference is in using Russia just for the story purposes and nothing deeper than that. You already told me that in your first reply, I saw that. I already told you my general opinion about “using it just for the story purposes” in my very first comment. But, in your particular case, by the way you conducted yourself in your replies and from the “tone” of your replies it made me think, made me believe that you were using it just for the story purposes.

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The important level is a few layers deeper and that is: What is the author’s urge or need or belief deep down within herself to use and see Russia as the other side/bad guy/bogeyman?

Real talk: Russia has atom bombs. So Russia is one of the prime contenders to start a third world war. not the only one but one of the few that are likely.

If you want to go the "every time a slav is the bad guy" you will have to read multiple stories by the same author. If you chekc multiple stories by @suesa you will notice that the bad guy/gal/whatever is all over the place, suggesting that what you are thinking is bullshit.

If you want to go the "oh noes, americans worry about russia bombing them" route then no shit, that is what is happening in the world. Using a country that has atom bombs as the country that starts the nuking is what you do if you want your story to make sense.

And many times I have come across western citizens saying things like that and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and it just brings me back to the first sentence in my original comment and every other sentence that comes after that.

Taking a very unimportant part of one short story of an author, putting your own biasses into it and then trying to call that author out on your random interpretation of that. That is what leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

A recommendation: Would you have come here and asked why Russia was the one doing the bombing. Or tried to clarify on that perceived bias. Then you would have learned very fast that your stuff is not that case in this story. But by spewing random stuff that makes no sense to the other people around you, you wasted your chance to do change and educate people. This story is not biassed in the way you think. But even if it were, would I be the author, I would just ignore you even if you were right. Giving people the benefit of the doubt makes them listen to you more ;)

PS: All you talked about is Russia. But the story is not about Russia. Are you biassed against AI? Are you biassed against non-slavic countries? Are you biassed against bogeymans? I could go on :P

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After your first reply I saw that we are talking about different things. After your second reply I saw that we are still talking about different things. There is no point in continuing the conversation.

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Lately there's been a lot of stories with bad guys being religious terrorists from Middle East too.

But these are getting pretty lame. It's either Russians, German Nazis, the Chinese or Muslim Terrorists or evil old men in suits who control the US.

Why it's never something innovative? The bad guy could be a goat farmer from South Africa. An oil driller from Norway. A kindergarten teacher brainwashing children to strike after 20 years?!

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scribbles down all of these

I like the kindergarten teacher. Is she from Finland?

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She might be. We wil never know.

I have a photo of her too if you want to see!

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Honestly, almost as often it's Germany. As a German myself, I didn't really want to use Germany.

In my last long story, the evil power was Great Britain, who took over most of the world (helped by aliens). There were also hostile forces from South America. Russia wasn't even mentioned.

In "Stranded/Space War", my protagonist lands in the USA, which is the home country of the villain.

Luna 3 plays in space, no nationality attached.

In my short story "world war 3", one of the two characters carries a Hebrew name.

In all my stories, it's usually humanity as a whole, or a country - and this is the first time that I used Russia. So, I get your general frustration, but don't accuse me of being narrow-minded when this is the only story of mine you've read.

Thanks.

That's a Good Story
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me encanta

Congratulations @suesa!
Your post was mentioned in the Steem Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 3 with $ 310,27

What will happen from fighting with equals?Everyone knows what is the end of war.I wish this winner should know well.As many as one knew once, there would never be a war.War does not mean that he will continue to run forward, I will continue to attack him from the back.
The computer was made by humans and God created man. When World war is to happen, among whom , all of this database is being saved in God's computer.

This post has received a 36.47 % upvote from @boomerang.

Escalofriante

About 190.69$ has been spent to promote this content.

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I tried out this new service, let's see how it fares :)

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Seems to be working pretty good :P

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@reggaemuffin you either didn't get your money's worth, or not all votes are in yet, lol.

Or this bot is shit.

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Haha it will take a bit till the votes arrive, I set it to economic to get the most value out of it, so readers might be able to frontrun it in the next hour

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:O

Guess you really liked the story then ^^'

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I sure did! The twist really creeped me out!

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Cool :) thanks @reggaemuffin my curation reward on this post has skyrocketed

Cool story! Following you for more of this.

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You are a genius. Your post is very beautiful. You can improve one day.the story fits well in our growing #gaming environment.I understand 95.59% in this post, and if you post more beautifully, we will understand better and we can improve. Thank you for this kind of posting. We want you to be able to improve in one day.

Thanks for using @edensgarden!

wow awesome work never seen anything like this keep it up

Superb writing style.

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thank you

Fantastic...

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Thanks :)