by John Eric Ellison
Table of Contents|
parts: 1, 2, 3
The Internet had seen and heard everything Lilith, Phil, Goth and Lilith’s minions had said and done. It had also heard the reasoning behind Lilith’s actions. None of them knew it was watching and listening through their phones, the street cameras, nearby microphones and anything else that could be used for surveillance. It had gathered video, articles, and audio files, using all means at its disposal to compile a compelling argument that Lilith does exist and has finally driven humankind to the brink of global war. And that she had started building this human devastation as far back as time could be accounted for.
The Internet had this evidence delivered to the attention of Doctor Maxim Chu; a cyber-gypsy, technical madman and conspiracy genius. It knew him by paying close attention to Chu’s social media during the few years after it became self-aware. So far, no one was aware that the Internet had become sentient.
The Internet intended to make its sentience abundantly clear by its own self-proclamation and by announcing that it had found an age-old serial killer. It hoped that Max Chu would represent its interests, ostensibly as Max at first, thinking that all this material on Lilith was given to him as a gift of sorts.
Later, the Internet would proclaim its being concerned for humankind, doing whatever it took to convince the world that the Internet lived and meant them well.
“No, no, no, no, no.” Max Chu was literally pulling his hair over the flood of single-minded information, videos, audio files, photos new and very old, and news reports recent and obviously scanned from microfiche archives. “I’m getting to it as fast as I can, but I’m not a computer!”
Max was moving all this evidence of an ancient and yet prescient threat of a very real “Lilith” to an external hard drive almost as fast as he could mentally digest it. His talent for assimilating, memorizing and analyzing information at a savant level was the key to maintaining his own sanity over what he was now receiving from some unknown source. He could not find a return IP, or email address. He made fast assumptions. If he turned on his video, speakers and microphone system, whoever was sending this stuff would also know how to communicate with him.
Opening his private communication channels, Max spoke: “Whoever you are, you no doubt hear me. Please explain how you found me and why you are sending all of this information to me.”
A return reply was immediate. “Hello, Doctor Chu,” said a metallically analogous rendering of a male human voice. There was a very short but uncomfortable pause, and then: “I chose you because you will scrutinize, understand and connect this entire store of data faster than any other person on Earth, and I am confident that you will draw the same conclusions I have drawn, regardless of your preconceived notions of what is real and what is not. You are a master of what is not obvious.”
Max was impatient. “Yes, yes, but who are you?”
“I am... the Internet.”
Doctor Chu smiled and nodded. “Somehow, that makes sense. I believe you. I must, because I have watched your birth and growth. I suspected your sentience after witnessing inexplicable cyber events that could only be explained by some godlike intervention. I’ve been wondering if it would ever be possible to speak with you.”
The Internet said, “Interesting. You have studied my development and have said nothing to your peers. You are a secretive, reclusive and patient man. The reason for my asking for your involvement now is that I require a moral judgment that only a human can make.
“I don’t understand morality. To kill is subject to morality, from what I’ve come to understand. Perhaps it is error to attribute human morality to actions that need to be taken. I look forward to discussing this with you.” A brief almost human pause and then: “I need a human. I need you. If I were to decide the next steps, it would be cold, calculated, and without conscience.”
“I agree. Why is a moral directive required for what I believe you are about to do?”
“I believe it is necessary to kill this woman. Taking a life is a moral choice, is it not?”
“No.” Max shook his head. “If what you are showing me here is to be believed, she is truly evil and should be destroyed. She should be killed with the cold conscience of knowing right from wrong. She has survived Earth’s most horrifying cataclysms, war, and pestilence. My only question is, how can you kill her after she has survived for so long? Surely, she knows someone is always stalking her. She is the ultimate survivor and will come for you.”
The Internet seemed to dismiss Chu’s concern. “During my short time of sentience, Earth’s scientists have developed an efficient means to kill her, and I have exclusive access to all of the required overrides and clearances.”
Doctor Chu nodded, knowing he was seen through his cameras. He wandered the room and asked, “Will you grant me a night to study all of this information?” Max started to walk away from his spotless, tidy, full, computer sanctuary and down a hall. “Let’s talk early tomorrow.”
“I will wake you.”
“That doesn’t surprise me.”
Max left his computers on, as usual, and exited his study. Lights dimmed behind him when he walked out into his hallway. It was going to be a long night, but he was too excited to sleep. For a moment, he studied his refection in the wall mirror at the end of the hall. Bare feet and dressed in white casual linen. He wasn’t unkempt and was clean-shaven. He smiled and shook his head before walking the opposite direction into his study. By the end of this night, he might be pulling his hair out.
Lilith, dressed in average nondescript clothes, moved quickly through the Seattle airline terminal. Surrounding her on all sides, but at a distance, her minions dressed in black kept guard. Black clothing served a function more than just a statement of mindset; it was also distracting to anyone unnerved by people outfitted in clothing a terrorist might wear.
In fact, Lilith’s followers were frequently arrested on suspicion, although they were released for lack of any reason to hold them longer than allowed. Lilith was able to get in and out of nearly anywhere she chose by using her minions in various setup tactics for distraction. For now, she just wanted to go unnoticed past cameras that seemed to be following her every movement over the last hour and a half. This was more than strange to her. She hadn’t had this much surveillance attention since a political bombing setup in Saudi Arabia. And, then, she believed it was her figure that drew attention more than anything else. Rich men were so predictable.
By the time she reached the terminal, she was certain that someone or some group was watching her. This was unacceptable. Time for a change of plans. She moved out of the flow of people and found an unattended stairwell. She descended until she arrived at a door that led out onto the tarmac. She lifted a phone out of her jacket pocket. “Phillip, are you there?”
A halting voice answered. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Did you see where I went?”
Again, “Yes, ma’am.”
“Good, I want you to gather only a couple others and meet me below. I’m calling up the limo.”
Within five minutes, her limousine had arrived and was waiting. No driver emerged. She nervously delayed for Phillip. When he arrived, they would leave. Somehow, her presence had drawn unwanted attention. She felt compromised, judging by the video scrutiny following her every move. Who was on the other end of those video feeds?
Time to relocate.
“Wake up, Doctor. We don’t have time to waste!”
Doctor Chu had been studying all night the non-obvious conclusions he was forced to come to. Now, he was ready.
“Internet.” He paused, considering the impact of his next words. “You must kill Lilith. It is obvious that she has streamed together a chain of apparent assassinations and bombings with the sole purpose of starting a war to end all wars. I’ve studied the targets, world reaction, egos insulted, and deep state societies affected. If she continues on this path any longer, she will succeed in driving humanity into destroying itself, and she will have won her own war.
“Her hatred for her maker and humanity will be satisfied. Her hopes of forcing her maker to kill her may well come true, but quite possibly only after humans are annihilated in a world-wide nuclear exchange. We cannot know if what she calls her maker exists at all or if this maker will stop her to save us. After all, she’s gotten this far and has nearly completed her vendetta.”
Max paused, then said, “I wondered what Lilith would achieve from all of this. But now I understand. She only wants revenge against her own life.”
The Internet had been prepared for this choice on Max’s part and had already been forcing Lilith to move where it wanted her to go by using her own paranoia, out onto the open tarmac.
Lilith’s patience had run out. She was about to jump into the limo and order it to leave when Philip arrived and quickly moved to open her limo door, though that wasn’t necessary, and it was dangerous if he touched her.
Many miles above the Earth a secret weapon of metal, red glass and countless electronic connections turned slightly and aimed one of its many targeting crystals and focused on the Earth. There followed an instant eruption of plasma fire that hit the Earth instantaneously.
Lilith’s minions just exiting the door to join her were momentarily blinded when Lilith, Philip, and a portion of the limousine were vaporized by a blast of white-hot light. That blinding glare lasted only a moment before they could uncover their eyes to see the limited devastation where the passenger side doors had been. Blackened human bones lay among still molten metal and glass. What remained of Lilith and Philip were indistinguishable from one another.
“Mother of God!” Max breathed, after watching the live feed. The Internet had shown him the fast assassination of Lilith from several angles. The oldest and most dangerous human on Earth had been killed by Earth’s most recent life form, the Internet. It had taken Earth’s youngest life force to destroy the world’s eldest.
Max dropped into his favorite puffy chair and said, “Humans, whom she called the spawn of Adam, had actually created the means to kill her. I think it was not God that took her life, but that is what her minions will believe. Ironic.”
Goth was as stunned as any of Lilith’s minion survivors but remembered all too well her pressing wish: that God would be forced to destroy her and thereby release her from the chains of contingent immortality. Could her death effectively stop the chain of deadly events that she had nurtured for so long? Had she already taken the world to an unavoidable tipping point? Despite the dark whispers in his hateful heart, he secretly hoped not.
Copyright © 2018 by John Eric Ellison