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If you haven’t read Day 10. “The Sandra Files” please read it first of all for a better perspective.
“Are you absolutely certain about this ridiculous idea, Professor Shutter?” asked Samuel, the regent Professor.
“Yes I am. If you allow me to continue my presentation, I can show you how I found my proof”, replied Simon Shutter.
Professor Samuel Simpson waved his hand for the presentation to continue but his befuddled expression didn’t waver one bit. And by the time Simon was done, his eyes had glazed over with tears and the room was drowned in absolute silence.
Leonard the Beast. That was the name he was called in the deepest cabals of geniuses in the information technology and security worlds. He was the one who single-handedly hacked into world leading company databases, cross-explored the information with some FBI, WOOA, FITUR and CIA records and using a nifty data-mining script to interpret and pipe the data to a publicly listed forum, thus creating the famous market instability of 2094. He could have chosen to make himself rich, but he sent his contact details afterwards and said, “This is only a demo. Whoever has an ear, let them listen to what I have to tell them”. He had been absorbed by the One World Agency (WOOA) afterwards and he did some work for them until his unfortunate demise in an airplane crash in 2095. Or so the story goes. Some covert sources maintained that he was working on a project that was so sensitive that he had to be taken off the world grid to work in the dark, the beast that he was. It was Leonard who encoded The Sandra Files, and it had not been decoded in decades since its re-discovery during an excavation. At least not until now.
When he unlocked the latter end, Simon could hardly believe Sandra’s allegations about all of them, but he proceeded to the middle segment, and his doubts were cleared. Leonard had carefully planted even more revealing information, with some pointers to show that Sandra (named after his niece, a child prodigy with a photographic memory) was an actual digital intelligence – The Sandra Memory – whose information archives could be directly queried for confirmation. The beginning of the encoded Sandra files contained the initiation script to launch The Sandra Memory. Leonard had hardly overdone himself. He was overtly paranoid to have hidden all of this away in some embedded virtual nanologic of the human genetic code. Simon had launched the Sandra Memory and finally all the missing pieces of the jigsaw fell into place.
According to Sandra, by the year 2133 A.D., man had reached an apogee in the experience of simulations and virtual intelligence. Social networking was a multi-dimensional rich participation, and the most popular platform was Simula, a project of the WOOA dedicated to enhancing Project Human, capturing all details of the human interactive experience using the actions of willing participants and storing them for information processing. Leonard had worked heavily on Simula. Sandra was one of his carefully hidden signatures within Simula, recording and processing real-world information in real-time and committing to its quasi-infinite memory.
There had been a third world war in 2133 involving a conflict of interests between three parties: Japan and the two foremost world countries (The United States of America and the United Eastern Federations). Sandra was not sure which of the three parties had gone beyond mere scare tactics and actually unleashed the never-tested neophyte, the Gurron virus, as a biological weapon on its enemies, but it was most likely the USA against the UEF. And Gurron was not contained. All animals on the planet, and including man, had perished within a day. The Simula source, of course, had continued running on the WOOA mainframe. Except that on that last day of the war, Japan had bombed the WOOA headquarters and it had started an earthquake that rumbled for days, and gigantic buildings collapsed, even with no human or animal present to witness it. The mainframe had suffered unexpected vibrations, and it had gone into automated hibernation. Except for the segment housing Sandra (as programmed by Leonard), as well as the keys to many other entries beginning with the letter S.
Like Simon. Sophie. Shutter. Spotty. Sex. Stimulants. Sabrina. Samuel. The list was endless. They thought they were human, but they were digital manifestations within Simula, and real humans were no longer in existence. Simon chuckled to himself. To imagine that Sophie disliked humanoid intelligence forms because they were not really human. Leonard the Beast had been a paranoid genius. He had predicted what would become of the world, and he built the Sandra files to be “discovered” by Simula entities unless Sandra noticed any human activity. And he programmed the Sandra files to be decryptable by a random entity named Simon. And he had encoded it such that the Sandra files would lead them right to the Sandra Memories. Simon hit his forehead. So he was not some top researcher. He was just a simple salvation seed. Great thinking, he chided himself. Three more S words.
“Have you decided what to do?” asked the regent professor Samuel. Simon stared for some seconds, still lost in thought.
The Sandra Memories had a subroutine to start life again on the planet, but at a great expense. Simon had to initiate a regeneration sequence using DNA from the human genome project and infused with filtered knowledge from Project Human. Every bit of technology had been stripped off from the DNA samples. In essence, Leonard wanted man to go right back to the Stone Age, to avoid exterminating themselves once more. Only Simon could activate the regeneration sequence.
He thought about Sophie, his wife. He loved her deeply. And his daughter in her belly. To be called Senna. He sighed because of the conflict: this was the role he existed for.
As if on cue, Sophie paged him “I miss you baby. Leave those artificial intelligences and come home quickly. Come home to a real woman! “
Then he recalled that difficult type of decision which is referred to as a Sophie’s choice. Leonard must have known. Of course he knew. He was God to them. He had planned everything. Simon needed to make a Sophie’s choice right now. He could hold on to Sophie and their false world. Or he could give hope to mankind. The real mankind. Either choice would destroy the other one.
“Going for it”, replied Simon with tears in his eyes. Samuel and the other board members stared hard at the giant screen. The religious ones began to pray anyway, although now knowing that they were mere Simula entities they knew not what or who they prayed to. He rose, faced the screen and keyed in the activation sequence.
Simon paused just before pressing the last key with decided energy.
Oh how he loved Sophie.