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The world never ended

by Jacklyn Casey 2 months ago in Fantasy
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It just burned

There weren’t always dragons in the valley but give humanity five-thousand years to create artificial intelligence, then add three-thousand years to that, five wars, mass technological advancement, then pronto, dragons in the valley.

It wasn’t humanity’s fault, not 100% anyway. We may have created our downfall all of three-thousand years ago, but we were not the ones who doomed planet earth, or cracked the seafloor where, as it turns out, dragons slept for thousands and thousands of years, who knew?

For whatever delusional reason, the A. I thought hey, humans are too simple to have ever reached the bottom of the sea in 8000 years, why don’t we, being the immortal gods that we are go to the bottom of the ocean and crack the seafloor! – For the record, I may not have lived eight-thousand years ago, but even I know there was always a good reason not to go beyond the depths of a certain point under the sea. Haven’t you heard of myths, monsters, and total chaos? Because I have, I mean, look at the moon.

One day, during this weird eclipse, the A. I thought it was a great idea to break open the moon and see what was inside. Much like what they did with the dragon situation! – Then boom, a fucking Kraken. Not a regular one either, a space Kraken, an angry one. Unlike humans, robots aren’t killed so easily, so they studied the Kraken, they tried studying dragons too, but as it turns out, flaming hot lava breath melts robots. So, they ended up fleeing from the earth, you know, for obvious-not-wanting to die reasons. The moon isn’t completely gone either, there’s just this massive crater in it where they blew it up, now used specifically for science.

The A.I can’t be completely disregarded as compulsive though, even though the earth is in ultimate ruin and the underground megacities collapsed and the moon is used for weird Kraken experimentation… there were still the floating cities. Created in lieu of completely destroying the earth and all it was built up to be, leaving it in this war-torn state where humans are living like it’s the middle-ages, and yes, this means with swords, and now dragons.

We’re not totally unaccustomed to lizards of mass proportions though, just dragons were not something the A. I could re-create. Due to experimentation and again, them being obsessive with their god-like complexes, the earth is also riddled with giant-fucking monsters. Goliaths, behemoth earth animals, on the plus though, not all these monsters are evil, a lot just roam or sleep. I’ve never seen one, I’ve just heard about it. I’ve never actually been to earth;

I was born in Elysian Fields.

Why anyone would call a floating city that, was beyond, but this floating city, Elysian was made for humans. I lived there, along with maybe three thousand others.

I’m what they call a vagabond. I wouldn’t call myself a fat cat or anything, but it didn’t matter. Money wasn’t an object in the years 10-220. The A. I, or as I like to call them, neural networks, didn’t use money. Money didn’t exist, and since my kind, humans, reverted to swords and fighting down on earth, we figured trading would work on Elysian.

If you were lucky and had a sky-ship, you’d be considered rich. Considering all of the items you could trade, but if you were someone like me, ship-less, well, you used your wits, or you know, improvised.

On good days I didn’t pillage, but this wasn’t a good day, and it was getting harder and harder to find decent items.

‘’Lupin, you meat bag’ son of a bitch, get back here with my leg!’’

Off the record, I’m Lupin Hart, and I just stole a leg from a neural network. It wasn’t like it needed two anyway, it wasn’t human, and it shouldn’t have detached it from its body in the first place. This neural network in particular was less of the A. I.

Think of it as a totem pole with different slots for different classes of robots. The one I stole from, in human terms, would be called the middle class. It worked; It was designed that way. The class below it was your basic machine types, no thought process, like how the floating cities worked, or an engine set with a selective code.

The working class-A.I was coded to do just that, work. I didn’t have empathy for them because they didn’t have empathy for me, sympathy wasn’t written into the code, and it was likely it never would be. They had no pity when they destroyed earth, killed a huge population of humans, let dragons take over, or when decided to break open the moon, and corrupt the space Kraken and steal its power.

Therefore, I would have no empathy for this one…except I knew this one. I stole from it on more than one occasion and had been thrown into the death-house a few times (I’ll get into details later). Luckily though, I wasn’t given a pill that turned me into red mist. However, If I was an earth-born human, I’d be killed but, since I came from Elysian, they usually let me go. We weren’t so barbaric, and we knew the terms of living in the floating cities, not like the humans left down on earth who were cut-throat murderers and only had a brief knowledge of our history. They’d been down there for three thousand years.

Rumor had it they called us The Great Zenith, which hey, God title without immortal powers? Sure. I could run with that.

Speaking of running, I was nearly to the transport pod before I almost got grabbed. Missing me by maybe an inch. I chuckled, watching his middle-class-robot-face morph into what looked like melted goo as the transport pod detached.

Thank God for comfortable seating and that beautiful line of stars. Breathless, I examined the leg. It wasn’t top-notch, but it would do.

Every transport pod was coded for humans to almost always return to Elysian, the islands of the blessed. I didn’t find us so blessed; we were trapped in space and none of us had ever been to earth. To be frank, most of us were scared. What human wouldn’t be? The earth was in ruins, epic cities ceased to exist, and anything from the past that lingered had been covered by plants and massive natural disasters. The only thing worth going to earth for was the underground megacities.

Also known as Nirvana – or so I called it.

The megacities were built so colossal and so elaborate; you’d think they were built by gods. Only, it wasn’t Gods at all, but humans’ contrivance and the beauty of advanced technology. I’d heard stories from the past about the entrances to Nirvana, there were few left, but they say they resembled a golden abyss, so lofty and wide as if you entered a dream world – nothing like the floating cities.

Not even the smartest A. I could create something so bewitching; they say any human who was lucky enough to find the openings to the underground cities, would be so entranced by beauty that they’d fall to their death. Or so I’ve read, rumors become stories, and stories about Earth were so ancient at this point, it was hard for me to believe.

Only, I was determined. Every piece of A. I technology held enough energy to power a small ship – and if I collected enough pieces, I could finally finish the one I had been working on; only, it was totally illegal for humans to do just what I’m doing – the key to it all was not to get caught, which I never did.

If I can give you any advice on being a human on Elysian – nothing illegal, yes, robots too have rules. Only, I wasn’t a robot. In fact, I hated robots. Just the smart ones, the only robots I tolerated were the small ones like spindly gibs…melanistic foxes…smaller creations by the A. I that serve no purpose other than to aid humans in some way. There are Gibs, Spindly Gibs, and Melanistic Foxes.

Melanistic Foxes were built resembling a very rare breed of a fox from planet earth. It’s truly only used for espionage or quests, I heard they offer jobs too and pay well but it’s usually shady. I’ve only ever seen a Melanistic Fox at the black market, unlike Gibs and Spindly gibs. I owned a spindly gib, found one actually. It was injured and missing its tail and other body parts, so I nursed it back to health.

Gibs and Spindlies are A. I Feline – yes, they look like cats. Gibs were created to sense when a human is in distress, known for providing comfort, where Spindly gibs are lankier, with long arms and legs, ears, and snouts, and sometimes they were even purple, which were used for aid, a kind of like your own personal first-aid kit. They can sense when you’re hurt and possess this healing factor to anthropoids, like me.

Part of the reason I’d been stealing from the neural networks was not only to build my own sky ship but to help out Sol. I found Sol on the Derelict ship. One of the first floating cities not completely occupied by A.I, it had been abandoned by them at least 800 years ago, but because of the, and again I’ll call it magic, the floating city of derelict was still intact – as if they’d only left it days ago over years. Humans went here more often than not, even though we weren’t technically supposed to… there were a lot of unused parts and pieces that could easily be built into a ship, or in Sol’s case, feline A. I materials. So I made It my priority as Sol’s human to put him back together again; it was like having a pet would be like, I think – I have nothing to compare it to, and a spindly gib was as close as I was ever going to get to a living-breathing animal unless I could finish my ship and find the map to earth.

The floating cities are located approximately halfway between earth and the moon, I didn’t really need an actual map to find earth, I could see it from Elysian, but a map of the earth would help me avoid any run-ins with dragons or other goliath types. I’d rather not be burnt to a crisp the second my ship enters the atmosphere. If I knew those details, it would make the trip so much easier, and I still had to find others who were not just open to flying an illegally built sky-ship, but also be okay with the possibility of either being eaten by a goliath, possessed by an apparition, burnt to a crisp by a fire-breather, OR get thrown in the death-house. Big risk, and not every human was willing on Elysian.

The humans of Elysian are, well, snobby. They think because they were born in space and live under the realm of A. I who only think they’re Gods makes them a superior breed of human than those of earth…when really, we’re all the same. We just happen to be the lucky ones. The world never ended, it was just abandoned... and I was going to find a way to bring it back to life.


About the author

Jacklyn Casey

Methodical writer.

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