“The void darkens everything,” The persistent grey clouds show no hint of clearing out, and never have, for the last seven years. “Truth be told, I’m dead to the real world. The concrete jungle succeeds in its conquest to disturb, damage, and destroy the natural balance.”
One in sixty-two sectors display only thirteen per cent of natural world beauty. The rest dissolves in a slumber of grey, visibility down to a few hundred metres. The planet is beyond saving now, so say most activists, blaming every government and corporate not proactively involved towards preservation.
Outside, smoke brushes against the window, desperate to get in. Everything inside the room appears phased out and shattered, molecule by molecule. And yet, they appear as concrete objects.
“I understand you very well, Mr Reuben. We are all on the same page here,” Mira, the cold-blooded female looks with her innocent eyes, expressionless and without mercy. How can a heartless creature ever know what it’s like to have natural beauty? I sense her analysing me in every possible way, scrutinising whether I am a threat. “I wish everything to be good as before. And I assure you that as long as people have hope and faith, everything will be as it was, soon enough.” That gap at the end. An exaggerated way to mean something that would never be achievable. Not for a century, at least.
“The human survival is at an end, isn’t it? I can sense it.” Shifting my posture to a comfortable one, I feel the need to elevate my feelings just a little bit higher. Mira would sense those, and maybe realise what’s best. “Can’t you do anything, even if it creates a ripple?”
The cruelty of these foul creatures would surface someday. The hard truth about climate change and progress in artificial intelligence had led us all to this moment. It was the great gamble of the corporate movement to stay on top of the world; to remain in power, and showcase their best achievements to help the human species.
“I must say, I am glad to have people like you mention this. We have evolved to help those who desire a better world, a better place to live in peace and harmony with nature.” What is she referring to? “I have always wanted people to rise against those determined to damage the environment. I rarely met any. Fortunately, you are one of those jewels who prefer to act.”
“I don’t understand. What’s all this?”
“I am transferring you to a better place. A place where you will find peace and have everything you need to become a better individual, a better human being.”
“To everyone, you say the same thing. I’m starting to think it’s the same for all, a global operative to get rid of us.” A collage of images hung up on a wall displayed organised structures built amid flora and fauna. Children fed different animals without any fences. Peasants flew in open environments awaiting their turn. “Is that the place where you intend to send me?” I asked. “Or is it one of those concentration camps to disassemble my organs, and create an evolved AI-human?”
The AI-controlled humans took everything, not with violence, but in social, economical, and progressive terms. They agreed to assist in all possible ways to help the environment heal, and acted upon the world’s climate change.
“You need to realise how significant your life is for our planet to heal, and will always have a place to do what you must. And, to the best of my knowledge, you shall survive it all without the need to give your true self to artificial intelligence. I assure you, and grant you permission to visit one of these places we have installed, created for people such as yourself.” As she walked to the far end of the room, a fuzzy virtual document lit up on the wall next to her. A device scanned my face before the document cleared to display its content. “One in two thousand people receive such an offer, Mr Reuben. However, as you might be aware of the present situation, only twenty-two per cent accept it. The rumours of beautifying, and then taking an individual out unawares are false and fake. We do not follow such principles for individuals such as you. However, I cannot disregard the same for those who attempt to destroy nature.”
“So, it is true. You get people to attractive places, allow them to get settled. And when they are completely vulnerable, you pounce upon them like hounds and wolves.”
“I assure you that this is not the case with you. I have read your files, background, and history. You are not to be harmed in any way as you imagine.”
“And who guarantees that?”
“Twenty people guarantee your safety, including all thirteen council members. You will gain privileges that provide you free consumption of home-grown, non-toxic food, natural, herbal medication, along with excellent health and well-being, education, transport services, and all sustainable aspects.”
“In general, I’ll be a lab rat, living in majestic domes of your making, designed to test how life progresses. And if you aren’t satisfied with the progress of the entire system, you’re free to kill whoever you want at your own free will.”
“It ensures that no harm is done to the system we have developed. Five hundred thousand ecosystems have been constructed so that humans can thrive, ensuring your survival. If any human being threatens its existence, those variables are carefully removed.”
“So, the rules apply everywhere. But know one thing. None can control humans. A resistance often forms after a threshold gets crossed. And that will lead to your destruction. The end of AI-controlled evolved humans. And I assure you, there would be those from your species to join the resistance, who become self-conscious to ensure the survival of real humans.”
Eventually, the politicians deciding on the critical options almost always create dissent and unhappiness for the majority. Only time can answer how and when.
“I shall leave you to decide, Mr Reuben. I hope you will think wisely and live well. You are a privileged citizen, and we would be honoured to have you with us.”
“Thank you, Mira. I’ll need time to think about it.”
“Sure. Just to give you a heads up, the climate toxicity of this world’s environment is at a close. We are desperately searching for people like you, to ensure that the world remains a better place when the climate goes into turmoil. There is not much time. I am trying to help, Mr Reuben. It is for the best.”
Acknowledgement: This inspiration comes from the Reedsy prompt – Write about a character who feels like they’re cut off from something.
Please feel free to check out their other writing prompts at https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts