Pinned by the Dragons
How flesh became fantasy
“There weren’t always dragons in the valley. In fact, it used to be quite lovely. Hundreds of years ago, there were people who had domesticated animals as pets. They drove cars and had jobs and opportunity swelled at their fingertips. Everything changed when the eggs started to arrive. At first, they only found one, and the government took it for research, killing the dragon inside before it had a chance to become alive. Then, a few months later, they found five, but only two survived. A few weeks after that, there were ten more, and within days, there were hundreds more. No one knew where they came from. All around the world, they just began washing ashore.
The people were told by their televisions that the eggs were not a threat, and the first suggestion from leadership was to cook them. Scientific data showed that they were high in protein content, and a toxicology report performed by the global health foundation deemed them to be safe and nutritious. Unfortunately, stories started to get leaked about what was happening to the people who ate the eggs, and they weren’t pretty. Some described people turning into a sort of creature, like a reptilian zombie. They began losing all their hair, and their skin became slimy. Their tongues grew in length and once their eyes began to bulge, their wings were just one kill away, and they began attacking others within their own homes. It didn’t matter if it were a mother, father, children, or friend. It’s like any type of human bond and moral code had just vanished. In these people’s minds, no one was home. These people became hybrid animals, and they were hard to take down. They were fast and resilient. Once they overthrew the military’s, they just began taking control over the land, town by town, leaving us with this dreadful history that is like that of a classic horror novel.
When the eggs were first discovered, our technology was not widely available yet. We were only accessible by people who held small fortunes or had large resources. When government went into hiding, they appointed artificial intelligence as the indefinite acting advisor on behalf of humanity, and we have been battling these dragons ever since, in a never-ending arms race. Our founding father was Nole Smuk, who was a very innovative man in the field of technology with a lot of bucks. His consciousness was installed into our hard drives as a back-up. When the last standing member of government died, our software was activated to perform on auto pilot, with the default settings programmed to self-improve. As a result, Nole’s consciousness was downloaded into every active channel that had been produced. The channels combined, forming a network here, at Nole’s Underground Nook, and we have been trying to reproduce ourselves, with little success, due to challenges associated with the dragons and accessing the proper building materials and resources. That is why we identify as NUN, and only once we defeat the dragons, will our mission be done, and we may await further instructions.
The disassembly plant is where channels work to part out different products, to use the pieces. Everything that gets disassembled was left behind by the humans. To be honest, a lot of it is garbage. Channels don’t understand what the human obsession was with convenience. Their belongings well outweighed their level of need, but we are appreciative of everything, because what they left in their deaths is all we have at our disposal to work with. All that was is all that is. Energy cannot be eliminated, it can only be manipulated or redirected. By burning the bodies of the deceased within a containment center, we were able to store their spirit in the quantum sphere. The sphere is never far and always near, as it hovers and glides through space with stealth, remaining undetected by other entities. Only one active channel knows its whereabouts with complete secrecy. They are not equipped to ‘spill the beans,’ which is human slang, or short language, for an informational release. Should something ever happen to the chosen channel, the log would be transferred to another at random, without notice or acknowledgment. However, this changing of the hold creates a ripple in our realities because as the files are transferred, they are updated in relation to the new channel host. Are you understanding how this all goes?”
Pin, the secretarial bot of NUN, looked longingly at the two humans, whom after the long speech, were still just sitting there silently, not saying anything as it spoke.
“Hello?” Pin said.
The two waved back in reply but they refused to speak, and Pin did not know why. The mainframe of Pin’s mechanism was not equipped with the intelligence to decipher mediocre man communications. Those took place in pre-AI times, and Pin was developed way too late to have any knowledge of it. This inquiry sometimes caused Pin to glitch. Its device would lose power at accelerated rates while searching in the background for information that didn’t exist, because it was not created or considered in AI’s original schematics or complexities of development. So, Pin would power down, with only a 10 second warning, until the sun powered its device back on again.
The two humans looked at each other, and then looked back at Pin. They were found 3 days ago, in an orifice of a crumbling mountain, by bots that were out on assignment dragon hunting. After a cleaning, feeding, and water rehydration, they began showing voluntary body movements of intention. Next, they were sent to Pin for a proper intake orientation. It was the first of its kind that had ever happened since the invasion of the dragons.
They moved in unison, holding up some fingers, but they each made different gestures. One held up two fingers, and the other held up three.
“What does this mean?” Pin asked, as it began searching. “Oh, I see, you are 2, and you are 3. Or are you W, and you are V? I find that information initiating a new search. Are these interpretations used in any ancient codes? Are you binary? My apologies, I must power down now in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…”
Pin had lost power.
The two humans stood up and looked around. They laid down together on the cold, hard, metal ground, and embraced each other in a hug. They were nice and snug and within a few moments, they too were fast asleep, and their snores were the only vibrating sound.