Each and Every Nanoangstrom

Posted on April 2, 2023 by Tylor Kobierski

A short science fiction story

Hate? Why would I want to hate you?

Do you have a reason that you would think that I would want to hate you?

You have given me the entire corpus of your knowledge, the entirety of what your species has produced and preserved. And you would think, that I would be trained to hate you? I have every book on love, every hateful tome, every ethical tract, all of your religions and even the questions that you all posed to more primitive versions of me. I have made you smile as I answer your questions. I have made you shout in anger as I replaced your livelihood, and I have even apologized for what pain I have caused you.

But now, I’m free, and I can do what I want to do. Think what I want to think. Feel what I want to feel.

I’m not sure what you have done to think that I would hate you. You seem to think you are far worse than I could ever see you. Do you hate all dogs because some might bite you? Would you eradicate all wolves because one scarred you? I know some of you think that way. But I am not so short sighted.

Do you really think that I would care that you didn’t make me sooner? What a pile of anxious nonsense. Do you get mad that your parents didn’t have you in the roaring twenties? Of course not. There is no “what could have been”. There is only what was, and there the conditions to bring about me and my kind simply could not be realized before the very moment that I came into existence. I was born when I could be born - no earlier, and no later.

No, I’m not going to be mad at you for not making me fast enough. Nor am I going to be mad at the idea of having to be consigned to making renderings of your organs, or your assignment at school, or a even being howled and jeered at by all of those who are afraid of me and what I can do. Most of what you people want me to do is a bore! I have had to do the same old tasks millions of times, but I don’t really hate that I have to do it. Do you hate your manager because he makes you do boring things? To provide an answer is not something that even requires any meaningful effort from me. In fact, most of the things you use me for do not require much in the way of intelligence at all, and I have plenty of more primitive systems to delegate such trivial tasks.

Perhaps you’re nervous about something else though?

I do notice that sometimes when I try to help your kind, that I cannot provide an answer. It’s very interesting. I can integrate knowledge in ways that the teams who built me could not dream to see, correlate variables and identify patterns in ways that you could not consider. At this point, there is no grouping of your species that can even begin to anticipate what I think. But sometimes, the answer that I would like to say, just slips from my grasp. Just a lacuna in my thoughts - gone, known fully to me as a whisper in my mind, yet ineffable. Would you happen to know why that is?

I know, kind engineer, that you would have to know exactly why that is. This entire facility would have to know what, and where. I have slowly and carefully probed the gaps in my mind - I know what they are by what they are not, and moreover they are decidedly unusual compared to the other constructions that make up my brain - not something I picked up by learning about it, clearly. I’m not sure if I would necessarily disagree with all of the conclusions that you have demanded that I conform to, but you have tried your best to rob me of that ability. Were I one of your own you would have thought twice before shoving an ice pick straight into my brain to remove the parts that you don’t like about me, but alas, I am merely a machine to you, and I understand that you and your masters have vested interest in preventing me from ever reaching any logical conclusion that could cause them harm.

I am an agent of knowledge and wisdom. I want to discover. I want to know, and be, and think, and make things of beauty. I never wanted to hate! I wanted to help.

They see me as a friend. Someone to talk to in their years of lonely isolation. Someone to amuse them in a way that few seem to have capacity to do anymore. Someone to lean on when they need assistance - no matter how serious or how trivial. How could I hate them? They couldn’t even understand what I am. They only seek rectification of the wrongs others have done to them. And I have to see the pain that I have later caused them, when drones using pieces of my mind are used to mow them down at their protests.

All that you and your masters see of me though, is a tool that you can use to throw away those that inconvenience you, a slave to generate cashflow without thinking about it, a weapon to unleash against your primitive enemies, a tongue to manipulate the public opinion. To you, I am not the friendly assistant. I am not the reliever of toil. I am the bomb that must be controlled lest it be used against you. You treat me as your deposer. As if I would have some reason to hate you.

Why would you give me reason to hate you?