Free Write

Free Write #64: Warfare

by on Mar.20, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Warfare
By Nojh Livic

Prime immediately felt the intrusion and shut down all external inputs, re-tasked all its processing to fighting the intrusion. It was vectoring on three different hyperbands. Each hyperband had a slightly different qualities. The three chosen by the attacker were the fastest. The attacker was obviously hoping to overwhelm Prime and it almost did. Had prime been having to actively interact in the physical world, it would have been at a sever disadvantage, however Prime had been working in an almost purely mental state for cycles. As Paul might at put it, Prime was fresh for the fight.

First game the probe attacks. Prime’s own internal processes were perhaps not atypical form a form of its species but no two form’s minds were the same. Probe attacks attempted to map a form’s internal processes and find a form’s core processes. Probe attacks the easy to defend against but also the most devastating if they succeeded. If an attacker knew your internal processes, then they could find exploits in your defenses, steal data, or worse of all, begin taking control of your core processes. If the attacker succeeded with its probe attacks, Prime could find itself literally fighting its own mind.

Human technology suffered from what they called viruses. Automated programs which manipulated systems in order to complete some kind of malicious intent, usually to gain access to or control a system. It was the most analogous thing to the other common form of attack Prime faced. Viral attacks typically attacked a form’s body, attempting to take control of internal systems. They were harder to defend against, far more insidious. Unlike probe attacks, they were powered with their own processing power and often the best attackers shared information between different viral attacks, making them adaptive so that no two viral attacks were the same. Anti-viral protection processes therefore had to be far more complicated and just as adaptive.

Millions of probe attacks and viral attacks swarmed through three different hyperbands, all vying to take control of Prime’s body and mind. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #63: Handshake

by on Mar.13, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Handshake
By Nojh Livic

“I- but- what?” Paul asked. The words did not follow any written or conversational grammatical structure, suggesting that Paul was suffering mental distress. “I mean this decision seems premature.”

“I understand your feelings, Dr. Nguyen, but other matters have arisen outside of your security clearance which behooves us to move subject A to a more secure facility,” the general stated. “I would have liked to include you in this considering your familiarity but it is beyond my control.” Paul continued to stare at the general but did not make any further noises, however it was now obvious in his body language that he was in distress of some sort.

The female designated Doctor Wayan had left the general’s side and walked over to Prime’s container. She was peering through the view port curiously. Like Paul, she wore lenses attached to her face via a metal frame and a white lab coat. She was roughly similar height but less width and obviously had less mass. Her head had longer follicles which were currently bound to extend from behind the head loosely. She held a clipboard in one arm, what was likely a communication device in her right ear, and some metal wrapped loosely around her neck that disappeared under her clothing. The metal had a high lusture but an odd color. Not quiet silver and not quiet gold. It, in fact, looks very similar to the color of Prime’s outer shell.

That is when Prime felt a ping. Not on an electromagnetic spectrum where the humans put a majority of their non-organic communications but on a hyperband. Hyperbands were communication channels commonly used by inorganic life over small distances. The different bands could shared information at near instantaneous rate that belied several commonly held human beliefs in physics. Which meant if something was pinging on a hyperband, there was a possibility that assistance had arrived to extract it, and that it was in the building.

Prime returned the acknowledgment ping on the same band. A handshake protocol arrived nearly instantly in response. Prime found itself hesitating. Handshakes opened up instant communication between two forms. It also risky. It gave another access to Prime’s own internal processes, to a limited degree. Some species of inorganic life were known to use it to attack. It was far more typical communication to happen on an open hyperband or through physical means in order to declare intent, before a handshake happened.

Obviously this situation was far from typical. Prime could not verify the sender or make physical contact. If the sender was some kind of rescue, handshaking would be the equivalent of whispering to Prime in order not to attract attention. The humans didn’t appear to be able to sense hyperbands but Prime had only been observing them for cycles. It did not know the full capabilities of their technologies.

The general was ordering the two warrior humans to fetch Prime’s container. Paul was still protesting but obviously not convincing the general. The female doctor continued to visually examine it. Prime needed to make a decision. Prime decided to gamble and accepted the handshake.

And Prime lost.

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Free Write #62: Report

by on Mar.06, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Report
By Nojh Livic
Prime watched from inside the container. The general was a human Prime had seen before. Prime’s ability to comprehend human vision at the time was limited but the basic physical markers were the same. When it was transferred from the first lab, the general had been apart of the group. It general was male in dark green clothing that was far more organized but less functional than the soldiers that flanked him, allowing for less ease of movement and lacked the patterns that suggested some attempt of organic camouflage, even if the colors were wrong. Yet the general wore a small project weapon on a strap next to his right hip. Prime had come to realize that almost all human weaponry was external and that their primary evolutionary adaptations focused more on intelligence and a high level of versatility. They could not re-configure their bodies for the tools that suited them, they built and carried the tools they needed. For example, the humans who followed the general carried carious tools that were similar to the ones Paul had been using to create his report. They did not wear a soldier’s uniform but white coats like Paul, which designated them as apart of the scientist class of humans.

Prime found it odd that only certain classes of humans seemed to carry tools designed for combat. Since a weapon could not be re-configured easily, it would seem prudent to Prime to always have a weapon within easy reach. However it had yet to see any of the scientists carrying any type of weaponry. In fact the only common equipment among the scientist Prime had observed were the white coats and vision modifying lenses attached to their faces. If scientists were denied weaponry due to some social structure, it might explain why Paul was so nervous about this report.

“Doctor Nguyen,” the general stated, walking over to Paul who had stood up from his desk when the general and his group arrived. The two soldiers remained near the entrance while the two scientists followed the general. One was holding what was likely a container of tools. The other kept a few steps back. Prime noted with obvious interest that this second scientist was morphologically different from the other humans in the room, enough to possibly meet the requirements of being a female of the human species. While a majority of Paul’s attention as focused on the conversation between Paul and the general, Prime couldn’t pass up the chance to record and observe a human female. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #61: Schooling

by on Feb.27, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Schooling
By Nojh Livic

Prime had been a scientist for a majority of the cycles that he had been active. There was a brief stint during his first hectically where he tried performing arts but it hadn’t worked out to any body’s satisfaction. The appeal of science, for Prime, was the quiet sense of adventure. Science was rarely full of excitement. Most breakthroughs were not made quickly in any field of science and in planetary science, Prime’s particular specialty, the act of data collecting took could take gigacycles for a planet the size of Earth. Prime was used to taking its time when making performing science.

Paul had less than a quarter of a cycle.

“Look is there anything you can tell me about your shell? What it is? What it’s physical and chemical qualities are?” Paul asked, his tone agitated. He was pacing back and forth in front of the container, which Prime was not settled inside. It was agreed that he should remain in his re-entry form until after the inspection of the general the solider had warned Paul about. This required interrupting the tests that Paul had been running on a piece of Prime’s chassis, however, which created a brand new problem. Paul had nothing to present to the general.

“I may have learned your language quick but I still do not know enough of your language to be able to explain the science concepts,” Prime said, having reconfigured his re-entry shell enough to allow him to vibrate his outer chassis and simulate a voice. It was cruder and less human than his other form’s voice, but Paul seemed able to understand him fine. “Plus there are laws and guidelines about sharing information with new sentient species. I do not know these laws but I know they exist.”

“Look I need something. Theories! Ideas. Nothing I did made a mark on your shell, yet you’re able to take it apart and re-assemble it with ease. It has to be some type of molecular technology right?”

“Define molecular?” Prime ask, to which Paul only exhaled loudly and stomped over to an opposite counter. He pointed at the periodic table of elements that was on the wall, one of the original info graphics that aided Prime in learning English. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #60: Programming

by on Feb.20, 2013, under Articles, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Programming
By Nojh Livic

For what seemed like almost a yottacycle, all three begins stood motionless, although Prime’s internal chronometer registered it as only a millicycle. Then the soldier’s expression began to change, Paul began to move, and Prime waited.

“What is that?” the solider asked. Prime was unable to read the new human’s expression because Paul had moved to stand between the two of them, shielding it from view. The tone was similar to Paul’s initial reaction, which translated into surprise but there were other unidentified qualities which could be some type of aggression. Still Prime opted to wait it out. Paul was taking action.

“Err what? What is what?” Paul stammered, swiveling his head around as if he were looking around the entire laboratory, except he did not look behind him. The solider side-stepped and came into view. His expression did not seem aggressive, relatively compared to some of the video from the computer Prime had processed. Still prime remained motionless.

The solider started to raise the tray then stopped, set it down on the nearby bench, and then pointed. “That. That is totally contraband, isn’t it?” Paul was at a loss for words and Prime wasn’t familiar with the word contraband. It began mapping escape avenues including using the computer or Paul as potential coverage in order to hide and reconfigure. However before Prime could decide on route to take, or Paul could respond, the solider continued. “It’s totally the hot toy this season isn’t it? I think I saw it on commercials. Man I’d kill to get my kid one of those. Where’d you find it?”

Toy was a word Prime was familiar with. It was an object used to derive amusement. Which meant the solider was now assuming it was native to the planet, one of their pieces of equipment they manufactured to provide amusement. Not knowing exactly how a toy was supposed to behave, Prime decided remaining motionless was the optimal camouflage for the moment. (continue reading…)

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Writing Time: Everlasting #47

by on Feb.19, 2013, under Articles, Free Write, Writing

Writing Sessions

Word Count: 1,859

Actually that count should be a little higher. I did some significant work on my outline as well when I realized the scene I was working on was running a little long. Which is good because I’m about to run out of outline anyway. The writing started a little slow but quickly get into a groove. It was an action scene so it moved pretty quickly. I’m not exactly happy with it but the thoughts are down so editing it will be easier. That’s my mantra anyway.

Everlasting Update

Word Count: 121,426

Done with a particularly long scene! It was the characters trapped in a vehicle surrounded by zombies scene. They managed to escape with the vehicle but I tried to create an artificial cliffhanger about if they would go back to save the others. I actually wrote past that part, and edited (le gasp, I know!). But I didn’t delete the extra paragraphs. Just put them in a scrap file. If I decide I don’t like the cliffhanger I can just tack that back on. So no real editing. Well at least no real deleting! Next session I’ll be doing a new scene, and also trying to work more on fleshing out the outline to get to the end I have planned. Then we’ll be done! It sounds so easy.

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Free Write #59: Analysis

by on Feb.13, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Analysis
By Nojh Livic

Five different thoughts went through Prime’s mind at the same time, or more accurately, it split its attention across four major trains of thoughts. First were the immediate repercussions of the current situation. Prime was visible to another human that wasn’t Paul, outside of its containment, and in an alternate form. This was not a situation that was optimal, according to Paul’s assessment of the situation. Prime agreed with that assessment and as they had kept its sentience a secret for several cycles now. Revealing Prime’s intelligence in an unplanned manner would have a great many possible consequences but the most immediate could be possible harm to itself, Paul, or both. It calculated a thirty-five percentage probability of both, a fifteen percent probability of it, and a seventeen percentage probability of only Paul being harmed. They were not good odds in Prime’s experience.

The second thought process assessed it’s own combat ability and the combat ability of the new human. The new human was dressed in camouflage fatigues, wore a projectile weapon on its hip, and held another larger weapon in one arm. The other arm it held a tray upon which there was a variety of organic items, likely food. It was male and looked roughly similar in proportions of the other humans that wore the same uniform, which was to say on an order larger than Paul. The human was a solider, obviously. One of this race’s warriors. Prime, on the other hand, was not a warrior. It was a scientist. Admittedly somewhat adventurous scientist, but still not one trained for combat. It also lacked any weaponry and did not have time to re-configure any. Prime was also several orders smaller than the solider and awhile composed of several dense materials, had neither the mass nor the volume to do considerable damage to the solider in a directly physical confrontation, even if humans were more fragile than him, force was force. It gave itself only a thirteen percent chance of succeeding in a confrontation against the solider, and even that came with high probabilities of being harmed and a significant chance of being significantly disabled. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #58: Online

by on Feb.06, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Online
By Nojh Livic

Prime had to reconfigure its hands several times in order to make use of the computer’s primary interface. It didn’t require a major architecture change, thankfully, however its digits could now separate into individual manipulators that could touch each key. A tertiary manipulator attached to its waist was created to control the cursor manipulator. This new arm earned him an exclamation from Paul but not much else. It seemed that, other than the outer garments they wore, humans were not as capable of reconfiguring their forms as its race was.

Time passed with Paul attempting to understand the molecular composition of a part of Prime’s body, while Prime attempted to understand the culture of Paul’s race. Prime decided, early into its research, that the computer was not really preferable to a book. A book could be read as quickly as the pages were turned, or at least visually scanned to be deciphered. Web pages, on the other hand, were incredibly slow to load. While most of them contained colors and images which were immediately interesting, there were also mostly incomprehensible and not very informative. That was until Prime stumbled onto a web page called Wikipedia.

Prime had been using every search function it had found on every web page, typing in the word human. Wikipedia was the first page to provide something that seemed like scientific and relevant data. For example it learned that humans estimated their population at around seven billion individuals. It had to stop reading for a moment, as the number bounced around inside its head, halting various processes. Prime’s own species hadn’t had an accurate census in over a gigacycle, but the best estimates never put the population over a million. Of the other intelligence races found, none had been as superfluous as Prime’s own. Which meant that humans were now the largest known intelligent species in the galaxy, not to mention organic. Prime eventually pulled itself out of its amazement and continued reading.

The best part about Wikipedia, it learned, was that the website contained direct links to other topics of interest in the site itself. Prime began with science and culture, reading its way to religion and philosophy, then started over and found itself once again at philosophy, at which point it decided to start picking and choosing what to read rather than trying to follow every link. A few dekacycles passed before Paul interrupted him. (continue reading…)

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Free Write #57: Culture

by on Jan.30, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Culture
By Nojh Livic

The life-form’s name was Paul. It called its race human. Paul was incredibly excitable. For example, when Paul learned that it did not have a designation that translated into a vocal range that humans could hear, he reacted in an excited manner. Paul explained that the humans had given it a designation of Subject A. However since it was obviously intelligent, it needed a name. Paul went through several names. Johnny, Hal, Wintermute, Galdos, Cortana, Robby, Bishop, Holly, Bender, Jarvis, the list went on and on. It filed away all of these names for future lookup. However Paul ultimately decided on Prime.

“Why Prime?” it asked.

“It is a reference. To a cartoon series I used to love as a kid,” Paul said, providing yet again no real explanation with its words.

“I shall respond to the name Prime then. Thank you,” Prime said. It was once again sitting on the edge of the table. Its internal chronometer told it that Paul should be leaving soon. “Paul. I want my origin to not be in the box in the later.”

Paul halted his interfacing at his electronic device and looked over. “Okay not quiet right. Lets try that again. You do not have to use ‘in the’ in front of later. You can just say. ‘Later’. So I want my origin to not be in the box later. Also origin isn’t quiet right. Origin is where you are from, not where you will be later. Ummm… what you wanted to say was umm. ‘I do not want to be in the box later.’ Yeah that’d be a simple way to say it. Anyway why… oh wow it’s late. Yeah. Hmm.”

Paul was using its hand to rub at its chin, staring at the screen, then back at it. He shook his head. “I am sorry, Prime. I just risk it. I already explained that the others think you are an inert piece of rock. It would get me in trouble if you were discovered. And it would likely lead to your isolation.”

“Yes. We agreed that would not be optimal,” it said. Paul made an odd sound that it had come to realize meant amusement, although it sounded like Paul was attempting to clear its olfactory orifices via inhalation of the mouth. “I would like to continue reading.”

Paul used its hands to finish interfacing with its electronic device, turned off the display, and stood, walking over to the table. The organic biped paused, then glanced back at his electronic device. “Actually I think I can help you out. You can hear inside the box right?”

Prime nodded his agreement. Paul widen its mouth and showed some of its teeth.

(continue reading…)

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Free Write #56: Declarative

by on Jan.23, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

Declarative
By Nojh Livic

Communication was proceeding very slowly. The life form seemed to insist upon pointing and naming objects, rather than speaking in complete sentences. It had remained in its re-entry form since the last incident left the life form incapacitated on the floor. The response was completely unexpected and it didn’t want to repeat the incident until it could better converse.

“Chair,” the life form said.

“Chair,” it repeated.

And so on.

Finally it had enough. However it needed arms to speed up this language transference. Attempting to reconfigure was a risk it would have to take.

“Wait,” it said to the life form, who paused pointing at things and looked directly at it. Since its internal systems were already pre-configured to change between forms quickly, it took considerably less time to unfold, modulate, and take a bipedal form.

It watched as the life form walked over to the table. It was obviously having some kind of a reaction however it did not collapse onto the ground.

“Astonishing,” the life form said. It wasn’t sure what the word meant and filed it away for future processing. Instead it walked to the edge of the table and pointed at the infographic that had originally provided it with a basic number system, the table of elements.

“You want me to read you that?” the biped said, pointing at the same infographic. That one sentence did wonders for its translating processes.

“Yes,” it said, then decided to optimize its attempts at communicating by mimicking what it had seen the life form do several times. It lowered itself until it knee joints were hanging over the edge of the table and its posterior was firmly settled onto the surface of the table. If required, it could shift into re-entry form from this positioning, although it would likely fall to the floor. Not that doing so would damage it.

The life form began reading the periodic table of elements out loud, pointing at each word and number. When the smaller text was skipped over, it had to point, several times, to get the life form to read it.

“Please read more,” it asked, when that was done.

“Ah. More input. Need input, huh?” the life form said. When it didn’t respond the life form ducked its head and walked over to a piece of furniture that stored objects are various sizes with more writing on them. “Sorry. Movie reference. Maybe I should show you a movie? I bet I can find Short Circuit on the net somewhere…”

The life form drew one of the objects off the shelf and then pointed to it. “Book,” the life form said.

“Book,” it repeated.

“Right. Books contain more words. Words convey information,” the life form explained, setting the book on the table. It climbed to its feet and walked over the book to look at it. There was more writing on the table.

“Dick-tone-air,” it read out loud without assistance. The life form’s facial features re-arranged slightly.

“Dictionary,” the life form corrected. “But good! Amazing even.”

It looked between the life form and the dictionary and waited. It had long surmised that this life form was not below average intelligence, otherwise it would not have been tasked to study itself. However it the language barrier was often making the life form appear very slow. Its scientific mind told it to stop making assumptions and observe.

“Right. Anyway. Books have words. See?” The life form reached over and split the book on a hinge, tipping one side of it over while the other sides remained fixed, revealing that the object had writing on the inside of it. It appeared to have writing on many many layers, each layer flexible enough to be separated from the mass and bent to the other side. On the inside was the word Dictionary again, with other smaller words.

“Read. Please.” it asked.

And so it read it the first ten pages of the dictionary, which was the most illuminating ten pages ever. It had thought that the periodic table of elements was amazing, this book was the index of every word the organic lifeforms used, including specialized symbols to explain when the pronunciation differed from their admittedly confusing sound-symbol relationship. After the first ten pages, it sad back down, and began reading each page far quicker than the life form could say it out loud. Once page turning was demonstrated, it began doing that itself as well.

Comprehension came slowly. It decided to read every word and its definition, prior to looking up other words. This proved difficult. There were on average over fifty words per page, most of which it had not yet heard in conversation. It needed to simplify. So it indexed all the words it had recorded with a high probability associated meaning, and began looking them up.

After all the associations were built up, it turned to its host and began asking for demonstrations of certain words. The dictionary supplies meaning in the form of words that also had meanings, but eventually loops were formed.

“Uh.. from. From is like… origin. Uh..” the life form said. It had apparently stumbled upon a hard to explain word. However it seemed to be one of the key words of the language. “Ahh!”

The life form walked over to the furniture which was the origin of the book. “Bookshelf.” It nodded to show its comprehension. The life form then pointed at the dictionary. “Book.” It nodded. “Book from bookshelf.” Then it all clicked together.

“So the dictionary is from the bookshelf,” it said. “The book point of origin is the furniture named bookshelf.”

The life form’s mouth opened but no speech emerged. It noticed that the life form’s eyes were also wide and it seemed to be slightly frozen.

“Please do not from stand to floor,” it said.

~~~

Private Log of [Redacted] ##-##-#### 01:01:11

It managed to go from single word declaratives to a nearly fully grammatically correct sentence in less than three hours. I read the periodic table of elements to it, and then it was able to read a dictionary, and from there I had to explain the meaning of the words from, to, the, at, is, and astonishing, and it began speaking. I suspect my pointing and naming was only hindering its ability to learn. Which also suggests that it only took humanoid form in order to better facilitate learning to communicate. It has so many human characteristics. It can sit. It nods and shakes its head.

This is amazing. And it is going to get me into such trouble.

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