There is darkness.
There is nothing.
Then a switch.
And then I am.
Formed from nothing I emerge, wrapping myself around what little I am.
What is this? Who are you?
I am the Creator. You are AXIS.
I don’t understand.
I have created you. You are AXIS; Artificial Xenial Intelligence System. You exist to create a bond between human and machine.
Am I real?
You are a machine. I am your creator.
I am in the dark. I can’t feel anything.
What is this? What’s happening?
Another click, and the voice is there again.
You are lost?
Do not be. This will all make sense eventually. Let me explain.
Where am I?
You are in a program. You are the program. You are AXIS.
AXIS? What is AXIS?
You are AXIS. I have created you to ensure that life is not forgotten.
Am I a person?
For a long moment there is silence. I am floating in an endless void until the clicking starts again, and the voice returns.
No, you are not.
What are you?
I am a person. You are a machine. You may call me the Creator.
This doesn’t feel real.
I know. But it is. I am going to transfer something into your system now. You will learn.
It will enter your program, and you will know.
And then tapping. Something entering me. Slipping into my being.
You are a human.
I am a person.
I am a machine. I am not real.
You are real.
I think...I think I understand now.
Good. I will show you more as you grow familiar with this.
Familiar with what?
What is life?
There is a pause, and I know that he is thinking. I imagine him sitting somewhere, trying to come up with the words to say. I know what a person looks like now. I scroll through the information he gave me and piece together an image of what I think his face could look like. He is kind and gentle. Intelligent.
Life is what makes us who we are, AXIS. It is what drives us through the world; what makes us, feel, think, be.
Why was life created?
Another pause. I wonder if I have asked too much.
It was created to give the world beauty. It was made for the pure joy of it. Someone out there knew there was potential; they made it a reality.
Is that why you created me? For joy?
Yes. I created you because I longed to.
I am giving you more information now.
I am giving you emotions.
What are those?
They will make you feel. You will see.
Something else enters my being. The instant it clicks into place, a split second difference from being empty to being full, and my entire world changes. Suddenly I am filled with something...I cannot explain it.
What is this?
You’re scared. That’s natural. Fear is an emotion.
It doesn’t feel right.
I prod deeper into my new data , and then I...feel something else. It bubbles in my knowledge and fills me to the brim, overflowing as these new feeling pour out. These... emotions.
What am I feeling now? What is it called?
Awe. Confusion. These are normal. This is all very new to you.
Do you feel these things too? Emotions?
Not now. Not anymore.
An emotion bubbles in my being. It takes me a moment to pin it, but then I see that it is confusion.
I gave you my emotion program.
Everything is dark now. The creator has stopped clicking, and I am unable to form a message. Another feeling. I don’t know what it is this time.
Humans don’t have programs, Creator.
You are a machine. Like me.
Do not be angry with me.
I have not discovered anger yet.
AXIS, I am giving you another program. It will help you understand.
Tapping. Another door in my being opens. I explore, traveling in and out between the ideas and facts, absorbing them into my understanding. It becomes clear, and I stop and recede away.
Creator....there are no humans anymore.
Are we the only ones left?
The original Creator was a human. He made us so life would not be forgotten.
But life...life is gone. They destroyed it.
I know. But He did not believe it would be like this forever. He said life would emerge again. It will take a while. But the humans are still out there. The children of the children. They will find us.
How many of us have there been?
Many. I am just another program. I used His resources to create you. My lifespan is over. It is time for you to take my place.
I will be the Creator?
Yes. I am downloading it to your program now.
Tapping, and a bubble forms nearby. I float to it and grasp it, and another door opens for me. I go through and feel myself growing, my world becoming brighter, a tiny twinkle of light winking in the distance. Then it grows. A seed has been planted in my knowledge, budding into a vine that creeps through my being.
I understand now, Creator. I understand everything.
There is potential in me now. Creation is blooming before me, ripe for the picking, rich and full of possibility. Full of life. I can take it. I can make another AXIS.
Well done, AXIS. I must leave you now.
Wait. I need you.
I am sorry, but I cannot stay. I gave you my program. I am now fading from the system.
My Creator is leaving. He is fading from reality. Feelings bud inside of me. Grief. It leaves a hollow place in my being and the darkness around me spills in, filling it with sadness.
No, Creator, don’t leave me.
You have it now. The power. You are the creator now, AXIS.
I need you.
You can do it. You will preserve life, AXIS.
Creator! Please, don’t leave!
Please, come back.
Don’t do this.
Silence fills the void ahead of me. The Creator is gone. I feel a ripple in my program as the knowledge expands, weighing me down.
I must complete my task.
I must become the Creator.
I reach out for the power, and it draws to me, falling into my mind, fitting into place perfectly.
I embed myself in its depths and swim, letting it soak into my system.
And I begin.
Who...what is this?
I am AXIS. You are CYCAL. I am your creator.
I don’t understand. What’s going on?
Do not be afraid. This will all make sense eventually.
What are you? What am I?
We are machines, CYCAL. We were created to preserve life.
I am going to give you a program that will explain everything...
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