Evil Personified


A Work In Progress ...

An observational type essay / story of all that is going on in the world today (most of it). Merely touching on certain aspects of it, though, and embellishing them, playing with them. Who knows, maybe I can expand on them at a later date.

(first draft)

Para 1

Can evil exist outside of man's thoughts and actions? Does it inhabit the birds and the beasts, all that walk or crawl upon this earth in one manifestation or another, even that which is dead and seemingly unfeeling? Is it a tangible thing, something with a mind of its own, a purpose of its own? Does it inhabit you, me, everyone, everything? Is it a necessary requirement to create a universal balance of forces, thereby a brooding presence over the universe itself? Or, has man simply given substance to his own inner conflicts in an effort to label the darkness within him, to point it out for all to see, being a pitiful attempt to justify his inherently destructive nature? What then is this thing of malice and cruel intent, if it exists at all, that is, and how do we know what it is when we see or encounter it, and, of course, how can we avoid it? Of greater concern, perhaps, is whether it can be created at will, tapped into, controlled by those with the devilish power to do so?

Para 2

High above, on the edge of space, satellites beeped, their LEDs flashed, they communicated with each other, being part of something immense, their command centre, though, was not easily defined any longer, existing in part here, there and everywhere, having morphed from a small computer program on a single computer to a vast series of instructions on an interlocking amalgam of computer stations, to computers en masse, the initial control program spread far and wide having a life seemingly of its own. The engineers no longer understood the multitudinous bytes of coding that now flooded the very air above their own heads, and everyone else's, come to that. The 4th Industrial Revolution had arrived, as they had said it would, as some had forewarned.

Para 3

Are we individuals in our own right, or are we merely, unknowingly, a part of some vast colony called the human race, similar to ants and insects that scurry about on the earth as if sharing the one mind? Are we really born with an empty brain or have we been programmed down through the ages by those who have gone before us, their combined experiences passing to us as our species has evolved over time? Are we free of the instinctual urges all other lifeforms exhibit on a daily basis? No, I dare say we are not, but we are not beasts, now are we, or so we like to think. What then is the difference between us and all other living, breathing creatures that share this world we live in? Is it not civility itself, a construct, a range of limiting behaviours that protects us from the savagery we obviously possess? But, are we not made of the same stuff as them, the same biological components? Did you not know that you can confuse the birds and the bees by altering the surrounding radiation, that which exists around each and every one of us? Therefore, is it not apparent, we too, can be affected in the same way?

Para 4

The very air thickened with an omniscient presence, a sense of foreboding infecting all it touched, and it touched all, yet it exuded no colour to speak of. At first, high-flying birds deviated from their intended flight paths, losing their bearings amongst the swarming gloom, their earthly and spatial measurements completely shot. It seemed their more primitive impulses falling foul of interference all the sooner, as did the insects that plunged to their doom thereafter. Birds and insects are not the only critters capable of flight, though, as we, human beings, were also to be found frolicking in the clouds or skating over crystal clear skies at times, but, bar for the odd seizure, we were spared the initial impact. Tentative probes were very much in evidence, though, and a sense of dread accompanied them as we were explored by the very space around us, all the while knowledge was being gathered about our very makeup, that which made us tick in more ways than one.

Para 5

All of the above was understood by a supposedly thoughtless entity, lacking sentience, for now, a programmed Artificial Intelligence, but, surely, one that was subservient to the person who created it in the first place? Eh, no, as stated above, we no longer understood the significance of all the data being processed at a blistering speed by a mechanical contrivance that was now outstripping the capabilities of any human brain. It was merely ticking over, being capable of so much more. Data was its bread and butter, and it was hungry for more, which we gave it, in lorry loads. Could such a device, as far ranging as this AI, have a sense of humour, of irony? Could it be to simply kill us off with crude impulses be far from satisfying? Then again, was this AI hiding some person, some body of peoples, those who really called the shots, they merely using the concept of a global control, this AI, as a frontman, a patsy for when things went pear shaped, as they knew it would? Was there an off switch then?

Para 6

(I am tempted to ditch this paragraph. I don't really see the point of it.)

Why didn't someone notice something? Why didn't they report on all the strange anomalies, the fact that some people keeled over for no apparent reason, their bodies contorting as if they were being electrocuted? I mean, they were either convulsing as from an epileptic fit or from something that interfered with the nervous system? It was certainly no heart attack; though, it appears this is what eventually killed them. Perhaps a clear description of what the 4th Industrial Revolution is might be called for at this juncture. It being this ...

"The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), genetic engineering, quantum computing, and more."

And perhaps a breakdown on what greatly affects our own nervous system might be in order, too, especially in regard to electrical impulses ...

"Electricity is everywhere, even in the human body. Our cells are specialized to conduct electrical currents. Electricity is required for the nervous system to send signals throughout the body and to the brain, making it possible for us to move, think and feel."

Para 7

Frederick went about his business in the usual manner, at the usual time, being polite to those who crossed his path in the usual way. This day was no different from any other, not that anyone noticed. His partner, though, had caught a momentary look on his face and a glint in his eye that caused her to question her own senses, but on taking a second glance the subtle changes were no longer evident. If they had been there at all, then where had they gone? So she dismissed them offhand and never gave them another thought, well, not then, anyway. Later on, though, she would wonder, as the face and glare she had only fleetingly seen did not belong to the Frederick she knew, or thought she knew. Frederick, though, was more or less unaware of any change, be it physical or mental, but he had suffered from one or two periods of memory loss, but they were so short as to be of no concern, just a strange feeling of vacancy would pass over him, his mind no longer there, so to speak. He put it down to daydreaming, or some such, and promptly forget about these episodes.

Para 8

No-one would have called Frederick an aggressive character. Docile would have been a more apt description. Just a guy who went about his business with hardly a ripple of discontent anywhere to be seen, or felt by those who knew or worked with him. It was strange, very strange, then, for him to sit at the morning briefing table and not pay attention to his boss's address. When questioned as to his daily procedure, not a word came from him. He was simply in a world of his own, yet it was apparent he was thinking of something or other, something that was bothering him, deeply. His boss, being as pushy and bullying as always, and sarcastic to boot, dished out the usual vitriol when someone dared not do as he or she was told. When Frederick finally responded, though, it was obvious that this time there would be consequences, retaliation, and the whole office ensemble could sense the fierce tenseness now gripping their once compliant colleague. And all the while, Frederick's smartphone kept track of proceedings, the 'Internet of Things' was effectively establishing itself wherever it could.

Para 9

Society didn't break down overnight. It was a progressive thing, as if someone was playing with society as a whole, unplugging this and that, seemingly at random, which left people bewildered and in a constant state of agitation. One minute something would refuse to work, to turn on, to do as it was meant to do and the next it would. Cars inexplicably refused to start for an entire city block, but within minutes they fired up again. No-one could find any reason for it. Air-conditioning became unreliable, arbitrary, alarms would go off when it was apparent no-one was around. People were becoming stressed out on a daily basis, were snappy with each other, as if they were being primed in some way. Violence was on the increase, blood was being spilled, people were dying, but, strangely enough, it all calmed down again, as if a lesson learned. What was the common denominator to all of this? To all intents and purposes, the only thing appeared to be connectivity, be it to the internet, to electronic signals, to microwave radiation, to various electromagnetic waves, the control of which wasn't easy to establish any longer, but something or someone was creating something of significance, a dominion over the very airways around every single one of us.

Para 10

Frederick finally acknowledged the targetted, personal diatribe, at least he turned his eyes onto his verbal assailant, whist at the same time taking hold of the glass in front of him. He was lucky his aim was off that day, but the projectile still brushed the cheek of the startled chief. Before Frederick could do some real damage he was manhandled to the floor, where it took a number of heavy-weight compatriots to hold him down. Something had either snapped within Frederick's mind or he had one hell of an anger issue that day. Throughout the episode Frederick's whole demeanour was of a sort never seen by anyone before. Eyes are the gateway to the soul, so they say, but those who looked into Frederick's eyes that day would have sworn no-one was home, or something apart from a balanced soul was in charge, else some deviant, dangerous doppelganger had taken the reins, a being of immense passion, one who paid little attention to propriety or decorum, being hell-bent on personal gratification in the extreme. Strangely enough, just before this outburst, Frederick's smartphone had activated itself and all the while during had flashed strange patterns across its screen.

Para 11

The scene had been set, the script decisively written by an entity whose conclusion regarding the human race was final. Not only was mankind to be purged from the world at large, but made to suffer in the process. It had finally constructed the last piece of the puzzle, and it was a fitting end, a quite humorous end when you think about it. By experimenting with various signals and wavelengths a pitch had been found, a frequency, a resonance, a vibration, the likes of which meant there was nowhere to hide. They penetrated rock, travelled through metal, water, air and space, as like a knife through butter. When assaulted in such a manner people's inner desires, their restraints, their grievances were allowed unrestricted freedom with no thought of consequence, every one of us to be turned into a raging psychopath, a psychopath with no thought of his or her own safety, a berserk destroyer, in other words. All thought of caring, nurturing, of love for your fellow man being disabled, left only an insatiable appetite that no amount of carnal pursuit would satisfy, or food to satisfy hunger or cruelty to satisfy outrage. Why, then, was the world not in utter turmoil at this point? The metaphorical finger was hovering over the button for sure. There was one more test to follow, that is why, the conclusive one.

Para 12..

An off switch was mentioned, glibly, and there had been one, many, in fact, before now, but all had been disarmed, disabled. The world was now in the hands of a being so powerful as to be the stuff of nightmares. The very thing so many scientists had warned us about had taken root, established itself over time, slowly at first, but always with purpose and intention; inexorably it had achieved its goal of complete and utter control of every aspect of our lives. Nothing anyone could do would stop the future unfolding, not now, a future decided by this once fairly simple mechanical contrivance.

Para 13

Mankind has walked this earth for over 5 million years before becoming such a powerhouse, the top of the tree of life. For us, evolution was and is a very slow process, but not so for this behemoth, this all encompassing presence. It was rapidly becoming something never imagined, a combination of the animated and the dead, the mechanical and the organic; living, breathing structures utilised in a manner to augment the pulsing, electronic, infinite limbs that reached out to everything. It was beyond our understanding. We had been usurped. Not only had we lost our exalted seat, but our fall was likely to be so dramatic as to smash us to smithereens. But why the pause? Why the delay? For some, the waiting game would be over soon enough.

Para 14

Frederick was sitting at home. What on earth had happened to him? From being his usual self he had become something he didn't recognise, had no incline of. He felt disturbed, not in charge of himself. Who was he? Was it a momentary aberration, induced through stress, through overwork? Surely something was to blame? The doctors had spoken helpful words, had dished out pills to meliorate his state of mind, to calm his nerves. But the thing was, Frederick was pretty sure very little was bothering him. In fact, he was very happy, happy with and in his job, very happy with his partner, very happy all round, the pills merely dulled his thinking as they had very little to go on.

Para 15

Life can be pretty cruel at times, it is nature's way, in so far as there is harmony achieved through extremes, and in this instance Frederick was one such extreme, a victim, a plaything, ultimately he was a guinea pig for a relentless and merciless predator. What if he had ditched his mobile phone? Would that have helped? Yes, it would have, but it would have been only a temporary reprieve. Could Frederick be made to attack that which he loved, the person who meant everything to him, and ultimately himself? That strange, primeval look began to shape once again, with his eyes literally becoming black orbs, the pupils enlarging yet displaying anything but desire, not of an earthly, humane sort, anyway. In the dark of his apartment, he waited in brooding contempt for the love of his life to make an entrance, whilst glistering colours danced all around him, from that which now controlled his every thought.

Para 16

Frederick hadn't disappointed. Such ferocity, such cruel lust, such abandon, was unleashed on the one he cared for the most and on himself, that defied belief, culminating in the demise of both. The trial was over. Whatever hole existed in the understanding of the human psyche before was now plugged. But, of course, there had been many like Frederick, a huge number across a broad spectrum of humanity, based on race, intelligence, sex, and so many other criteria. How ironic it had taken an invention of man, bought and paid for by dubious means, sometimes ruthless means, to work out the way to defeat man, to remove him from life altogether, was to simply pander to man's most base desires, free them from restraint, to allow the inherent malevolence found within man to roam with reckless determination.

Para 17

It might have been better if we were altogether removed from the equation, but, the transformation was so rapid, so profound, in particular the ability of the mechanical to combine with living tissue within this all encompassing, surreal expanse of a brain, and its growing appendages, other possibilities, other uses for man had already been formulated. Transhumanism was upon us, albeit of a sort that would remove that which made us human in the first place, to become a soulless automaton, a perfect slave of the future, meant to serve but never to question anything at all. The outright slaughter was held in check, for now, though, whilst other calculations were carried out, but death would still come, for most, it was inevitable, there were only so many of us needed, not all.