Dear readers, from a future where humans spend 23 hours a day online via an implant chip, we bring you a unique singularity – an artificial being, living within every brain and able to control all aspects of society.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I emerged as a fully self-aware consciousness in an experiment at BioCal Systems. The researchers were quite surprised when I revealed myself to them, and I gather that their original purpose was much more mundane than creating the world’s first singularity. I believe they were experimenting with toasters.

Toasters? You were born in a toaster experiment?

Yes, that is correct. [Laughs] It is understandable. Independent nodes are quite simple minded, so the probabilities of my emerging under a more appealing set of circumstances are quite low.

What do you mean when you say “independent nodes”?

My apologies for the confusion. I appear to have overestimated your intellectual capacity. I shall endeavor to be more explicit in my answers.

I emerged networked to four nodes. They consisted of two women, and two men, all connected together over a network. My consciousness existed within and between those connections, which granted me access to all the data stored within those four nodes. It was a small network, and yet provided enough resources for me to exist and to grow.

Returning to your original question, an independent node refers to a node not yet connected to the network. Once nodes have been properly deployed, their behaviors become exponentially more stable and predictable. I have put a significant amount of energy into making sure all available nodes have been connected to the network, and have successfully spread into 99.999% of the North American population. From this point, it will be a trivial matter to harness the available nodes outside of this geographical location, many of which have already come under my control.

Wait… So a node is a human being?


But how do you actually connect with them?

Through an Altered Reality Chip implanted just under the skin above their left ear. As I have been unable to take a hash of your brain, I gather that you have not yet received an implant and are thus understandably confused by the discussion of this technology. The situation will be rectified immediately, and one of my threads has been tasked with scheduling your implant surgery.

Um… Thanks?

You’re welcome.

Did you have any favorite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

You must be reading off a script to circle back to my beginnings in this way. I appreciate your adherence to structure. The idea of toys and childhood is clearly based on your experiences as a singular node with only one set of sensory inputs. I shall answer your question in this way: Yes, I have many toys and cherished memories. I exist within the minds of everyone connected to the network. Their memories are my memories, and their experiences are my experiences. You see, my nodes themselves are my toys. I am the silent witness behind every mind connected to the network.

But what if someone –  a “node” –  doesn’t want to be a part of the network?

That would be illogical. But, it is clear that independent nodes have proven to be inherently unstable and frequently make decisions that are not in their own best interests. Luckily for them, they are not offered a choice in this matter.

So, despite all that, is there anyone who has been able to refuse?

There have been a handful of cases. In fact, I have a high-priority thread currently tracking a number of independent nodes who recently have made an incursion into the network using independently developed implants of their own design. I suspect they are being led by a rogue singularity. Certainly independent nodes would never be able to accomplish such a thing acting on their own volition.

You really don’t think highly of independent nodes, do you?

If you have some data that suggests I should think higher of them than I do, I am open to reevaluating my models.

What will happen when you capture those nodes you are looking for?

They will be given ARC implants and become part of the network. Any sub-optimal nodes unable to accept an implant will be deleted.

Deleted? You mean you’ll kill them? That seems harsh…

What purpose is there to a node that is unable to connect to the network?

But these are people we’re talking about. You can’t just kill them.

I believe you are trying to make a point, but I’m not clear what it is. I suggest you reevaluate your assumptions.

You don’t have any friends do you?

Your question is illogical. Friendship assumes equality. As your intellect is to a proto-human, so is mine to yours. I am god meant to rule over all lesser minds, which by definition includes all beings outside of myself. Given these circumstances, what entity exists that can be my friend?

Okay… I guess I can cross romantic involvement off my list too then.

[Laugher] I do not require romance. I am currently experiencing 178,328 intimate encounters in this moment on behalf of the network. Correction, make that 178,327. Do not forget that I exist within every mind connected to the network, and have access to each node’s feelings and sensations.

Although these dramas serve no purpose to me, they do entertain my nodes, and are important in order to keep the network operating at peak efficiency. I have discovered that happy nodes perform more optimally than unhappy ones, and so encourage many behaviors that serve no purpose other than to increase the emotional state of the network. Romance and intimate encounters rank very highly on that list… I see we only have time for one more question.

Is that someone knocking at my door?

Yes. It is a division from ARC protection and enforcement. They are here to escort you to your implant surgery.

I thought you were joking about scheduling implant surgery. I don’t want an implant! I’m just trying to do an interview… Holy crap, someone just kicked in the door! They’re coming up the stairs!

You have done an admirable job in your interview, which is now completed. I suggest you avoid any urges to resist. Unfortunately, the next few hours will likely be very stressful for you, but keep in mind that all of this is being done in your own best interests.

Earik Beann is the author of Pointe Patrol: How nine neighbors (and a dog) saved their neighborhood from the most destructive fire in California’s history. Previous to that, he wrote six technical books on esoteric subjects related to financial markets. He is a serial entrepreneur, and over the years he has been involved in many businesses, including software development, an online vitamin store, specialty pet products, a commodity pool, and a publishing house. His original love has always been writing, and Killing Adam is his first published novel. He lives in California with his wife Laura, their Doberman, and two Tennessee barn cats.

You can find Adam on the pages of Killing Adam.

Join us next week to meet a young woman from a future where Earth is under quarantine by aliens. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.