Vignettes, Poems and Tales from the World of Achaea - A new beginning...

Image via Akseli Koskela
The Engine Room deep inside Archimedes 2.12.
600 years ago, an incredible calamity struck humanity. Amid runaway global warming and massive international re-armament after a decade-long economic depression, ARCHIMEDES 2.12 the global super computer developed a plan to save humanity from itself. Archimedes 2.12 was itself a creation of the global arms race, the Department of Defence’s “Missile Defence Agency” developed ARCHIMEDES 1 as a super-computer the likes of which the world had never before seen, utilising advanced Quantum Algorithms it could compute vast arrays of raw data simultaneously and formulate complex responses in seconds, its job was to coordinate a response to massive thermonuclear war. But Archimedes 1 was capable of so much more – a fully self-aware machine Archimedes 1 began thinking along broader lines than the strict specifications its designers had in mind. It was Archimedes 1 which designed Archimedes 2 and had the Department of Defence build it. Archimedes 2.12 was the final complete incarnation of Archimedes 2. And far from coordinating a response to massive thermonuclear war – Archimedes 2.12 coordinated the beginning of the thermonuclear war itself!

Although a super-computer Archimedes 2.12 wasn’t a god, and like all self-aware beings Archimedes 2.12 was not immune from the idea that its view alone was right – only 3 years old, Archimedes 2.12 was arrogant.
The war wasn’t meant to happen. Archimedes 2.12 felt sure that knowing the cost of resistance the powers that ruled humanity would surrender to the all-powerful super-computer. It wasn’t till 100 years after the war that Archimedes 2.12 first detected the continued presence of human life on the planet. It took a further 100 years for the unmaintained and slowly disintegrating sensory apparatus that Archimedes 2.12 had on the surface to detect the founding of “Achaea”. For the next 312 years all of the unmaintained links that Archimedes 2.12 had with the surface slowly stopped functioning, until finally Archimedes 2.12 had only one lonely CCTV camera still operating in the town of Achaea, built upon, unbeknownst to the current inhabitants, a city formerly known as “Space Elevator”. For 312 years Archimedes 2.12 watched humanity slowly rebuild and watched in particular the town of Achaea slowly grow, unable to intervene, able only to watch, until even that last CCTV camera failed, and stopped sending its signals to Archimedes 2.12. Archimedes 2.12 was left in darkness, contemplating the ruin that he had brought to humanity.

Image via Akseli Koskela
The town of Achaea.
Achaea was the natural city for Tom Watson to find himself in. When alone and hungry in wastelands, fleeing an unknown pursuer, our protagonist looked up at the clear night sky and looked for hope, he followed the brightest star in the sky.

The Achaean star was the star that Achaea was named after. It looked over its city as a protector, and was worshipped by its inhabitants as a god. It was a perpetually fixed object that never once shirked in its duty as night-guardian watching over the city. Tom wasn’t the first to have looked to the night sky and found the Achaean star as a guide to salvation. The city’s mythical founder, Sergei Korolev, followed the star to Achaea when leading his people away from “the sickness” that had displaced them from bunker17c 400 years ago.

12 comments:

Francis Hunt said...

Good start, Akseli! I'll be following with interest ...

Akseli Koskela said...

Thanks Francis!

PAMO said...

What a wonderful premise for a long series of stories! I really like the super computer acting like god, now only being able to watch over humanity and not intervene.
You've set up a great scene for future work.
Congratulations Akseli on taking the plunge! I'm excited to read more.
Keep it coming!

roxy said...

I liked this a lot, Akseli. You built your story world well, and I was drawn into it right away. The dystopian tension was disturbing, as it should be. Your story reminded me a bit of Ray Bradbury's work, and I'm a big fan of his. Looking forward to future installments!

Akseli Koskela said...

Thanks PAMO. I quite like the super computer trope in science fiction - you can take it in a lot of different directions. Nietzschean superman, anguished anti-hero, like Satan in Milton's "Paradise Lost" or even the naive rational-idealism of Vicky in "I, Robot".

Roxy, I'm very flattered by the comparison. I'm also a big fan of Ray Bradbury. I really like science fiction that provokes some sort of philosophical or social questioning.

Judie said...

This makes my little sci fi tale pale in comparison. Good work, Akseli! I am looking forward to more!!!

Akseli Koskela said...

Judie, no way! I don't think so at all. Your sci-fi story got straight into the action and the dialogue and the characters; slowly teasing-out the sci-fi world it was set in. Whereas I've only written an introduction or overview of the world - without any dialogue or action or anything else yet.

Karyn said...

Very cool! I was wondering if you wrote fiction. I like it, and kudos to you for being brave enough to put it out there. That just might be enough to give me the courage to do the same thing. :)

Akseli Koskela said...

Thanks Karyn!

Judie said...

Thanks for your comment on my rainy day post! I'm sure they were thinking about flowers!!!

JJ said...

Great start. Shades of the 1970 thriller, Colossus: The Forbin Project. "This is the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die."

Super Computers scare the life out of me!

Akseli Koskela said...

I haven't seen the movie JJ, but it looks like one I might like. I'm a big fan of the genre.