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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Bellingham, Washington
"Ghost"  Reply with quote  

I love writing and need more practice, but there are times when I can write for days! Mostly sci-fi....hope you enjoy...

Ghost sat nervously by the phone, her body vibrating with anticipation. Thunder shook the room every now and then and she thought the phone had rang, but it didn't. The storm had been on for several hours and did not seem like it would stop. The earth was crumbling around her yet she could do nothing but sit and wait. The call would come, and in it, answers that would explain it all. She sat quietly in an empty room. The house she was in had been abandoned and by the looks, ready for demolishing. But it was where she was instructed to go, where she would receive the call. She sighed and looked up at her reflection in the window, her clear pale face and snow-white hair gave her the name Ghost. In her hand was a crumpled piece of white paper; a note had been written on it with directions on how to find the house she was in. It had a map, instructions, and at the bottom in huge bold letters she read. WAIT FOR IT.
Ghost sighed and brushed her hair back with her hand, thinking back to that very morning and wondering how, in such short time, did her life fall apart so quickly and with no warning.

It was an early, cloudy, Monday morning when Ghost had awaken to the shrieking screams of people arguing outside of the apartment she lived alone in. “Jeez, it’s too early for this” she said lightly in a low calm tone as she rolled over in her bed and glanced at the clock on the coffee table beside her, it was 3:15 in the morning. It was fine because she wasn’t used to sleeping much anyways. The room was cold, the paint was peeling off of the walls and her pest problem had her thinking about opening up a little petting zoo for the younger residents. Looking over to her computer she had just remembered what day it was, the day she would unveil her masterpiece and present it to the world. The studio apartment was small, very small, but she didn't mind too much. Her life consisted around computers as well as her job. Working from home, she made deals with companies, which basically ran on computers and sold her program that automatically transferred all controls from their base of operations to her small yet powerful desktop unit.

The word-of-mouth way to gain customers had prove to be useful, but she didn't want to spend her life playing the baby-sitter and have to watch over companies to keep them from crashing over night. Her program, A.S.A (Artificial Systems Analyst) was going to change the way large companies and even small businesses were run. The program was made of artificial intelligence, it was built by Ghost to be able to keep businesses running and learning new ways to make them better. It was simple. She had access to several companies, not too big though, maybe insurance, a food chain here or there, but it was all she needed. Having her program built, mass produced and distributed around the world would take too long, too much time. She wanted to know now if A.S.A. could handle it’s-self on its own if ever put in charge of watching a company which produced something important, like food or medical supplies. Making sure there were no contaminations in the food or wrong dosage of medication going to a hospital. Ghost had it all set up and was ready to install A.S.A. into a company's computer mainframe. A small one, not too big, she thought. Yawning Ghost sat in the seat in front of her computer, looking at the screen, she spoke "Activate program A.S.A", the computer chirped and whirred until suddenly the screen went black and the figure of a human face in blue appeared. "Good morning A.S.A." she greeted the computer with a light yet still drowsy voice. On any other day that would've seemed weird, down right bazaar, but today was her day and she felt like greeting the one thing that would bring her to the top. She did her usual routine of bypassing all security protocols made to protect A.S.A. from thieves, mostly hackers looking to steal a good idea. After a few minutes she finally gained access to where she watched her program grow and expand. The center of A.S.A. and its main source.

Ghost was ready to put her plan into action. After weeks of tuning up her beloved creation it seemed as if she’d never come to the point of where she was now. A.S.A. had been acting strange the past few days. Instead of smiling like she usually programmed it to, the blue face that represented A.S.A. would smile and occasionally grin, as she would’ve liked it. But some one morning, during a time just where she was now, A.S.A. didn’t have a cheerful smile on its face or even a charming grin, but sadistic looking stare which appeared for just a minute then immediately returned to its normal happy smile. Ghost rechecked all the files she had put in and hadn’t noticed a “stare” file or even a “frown” as those were also available for input but she never entered them in. No business owner would want to come to work and stare in the face of something that would scare them half to death, smiles would seem nicer, smiles would sell more copies. She checked, tweaked, and finalized her product until it was just about ready to be tested. She waited for a day to use the right company and the day had come. She pulled up several windows on the screen, information about several different companies appeared, all ready to have their computers uploaded with, what she thought as, “The savior of the world’s economy”. No more would factories be in danger of accidents or computers crashing with vital information going with it. A.S.A. would take care of it all. And Ghost would be there to make sure that nothing happened to A.S.A. Sifting through the companies Ghost had finally found an appropriate test subject. “This should be a good one,” she said to herself, “Digital Barn”. “A simple hardware/software store should suffice, ya think so A.S.A.?” With a few keystrokes, security bypassing, and enabling a tool to cover her tracks, Ghost held her finger over the final button that would send her program off into the virtual world for the first time. “Good luck” she said and pressed down on the key.

The computer chirped and made its usual noises. Ghost stared at the screen as the upload process commenced and A.S.A. slowly began to infiltrate the Digital Barn’s main computer. Ghost yawned and blinked many times before thinking about heading off to bed, the estimated completion time of A.S.A. uploading into the company would take two or three hours and the store didn’t open up until noon so she had time to get a few winks in. Besides, A.S.A. would wake her up if anything had gone wrong. She lay back onto her bed and slowly drifted into sleep, she could feel her body becoming light; control of her fingers and toes became more and more difficult. She didn’t want to into a deep sleep but the sensation was too much, her mind wanted rest and her mind would eventually win. A flood of images filled her mind as she fell into a state of R.E.M (Rapid Eye Movement).

She stood behind a podium holding what seemed to be an award of some kind, she was smiling, she looked beautiful, and she was happy. The president walked beside her and muttered a few words; a crowd of thousands cheered for her and chanted something she could not understand. It didn’t seem nice; the crowd bellowed something in a low deep voice, almost monotone. The chant quickly stopped and a woman in the crowd shouted something but yet again Ghost could not make it out. She could feel her heart beating quickly, the pace racing with every breath she took. A metal like taste soon filled her mouth as suddenly a loud piercing scream awakened Ghost and light from the window beside the bed spread across the room and temporarily blinded her for a brief moment. What had seemed like seconds was really the course of a few hours. The building’s emergency fire containment program had gone off and dirty cold water began to fill her room. Everything was so confusing, how could this of happened? She thought. Suddenly her eyes snapped right towards her computer. The screen was blank and water ran down from every which way. Miraculously the power had gone out in her room other wise a fire might have started with all of the electrical equipment her system possessed. She walked over to the now useless piece of machinery. “H...How” she said, her voice cracking from disbelief. A.S.A. was gone, her work was gone, and most of all her life. A shout from out in the hall alerted her once again. She decided to investigate the commotion and walked over to her door. She gripped the cold, wet, doorknob then turned slowly. Opening, a cool rush of air blew in, even colder than her room.

People from every apartment in her hall scurried as they ran with suitcases and other belongings out into the street. A person she’d seen now and then in the building came ran past her door, “Hey wait!” she shouted, the woman turned back, her brown long hair swished to the side, recognized Ghost then walked up. “What’s going on” asked Ghost “We don’t know” the woman replied “An emergency bulletin on the television, radio and internet are advising all residents of this city to evacuate” she said almost exactly as she had heard it. “Evacuate…why?” Ghost still didn’t understand, just a few hours ago everything was fine. Unless. “Oh…my…” she said softly. “What?” the woman before her asked. Ghost looked up, “Um…nothing…nothing, I have to go…um…pack.” The woman nodded then continued down the hall towards the street. Ghost stepped back into her apartment and stared at her computer with curiosity. Suddenly she noticed something on the floor beside the chair and below her printer. A sheet of white paper with what seemed to be a map from the city to a building outside of the city limits. Below the map a typed message read:

Come here to learn the truth of what really happened, enter the building the instructions guide you to and there you will see a phone. Await my call to receive all the answers.

Ghost quickly grabbed her white thick coat, a pair of blue jeans, and a pastry from the fridge then headed out the door towards her car. She walked down the hall and out into the street where a riot ensued. Traffic lights were blinking uncontrollably, lights where flicking off and on. Ghost ignored the havoc as best she could and spotted her car. The small blue vehicle wasn’t much but it got her where she needed wanted. Ghost stepped into the car then pulled out the map and reviewed it to make sure she knew where to go. Luckily the street that she needed to take was clear and traffic signals where working fine as she drove for what seemed like hours until she reached the city limits. The map would lead her onwards towards a dirt road to a factory, which quickly turned to mud once the clouds suddenly let out a downpour of rain. Darkness set in and with that so did the cold.

She arrived at the map’s exact position that it instructed her to be but saw nothing but an old house with broken mirrors and rusted metal door. It was completely made of rotten wood and could have been there for decades. She walked up the creaky porch and stared into the dark house through the windows. A flash of light and crash of thunder shook her bones also scaring her into the house. She stumbled across a loose floorboard and then caught her balance. “What am I doing here?” she said, hoping that someone with the answers was awaiting her in the shadows.

Suddenly she jumped as a light behind her lit up in a room. She slowly stepped forward,”Hello!” she shouted, her voice echoing through the house. She licked her cold chapped lips then tried again “Hello, Anyone there!” The light flickered twice and instead of frightening her Ghost now became a little angry. She walked up to the room and stepped in before her was a chair and beside that a table with a telephone, it was odd. The house seemed as if it hadn’t had anyone in it if years yet here was this chair but most of all a brand new telephone with speaker, visual imaging and wireless Internet capabilities. Ghost looked at the paper in her hand. If the note said to wait for the answers then she would wait. Deep down inside she knew something had happened to A.S.A. Her program was probably in the hands of some sick twelve-year-old computer genius just toying with the world using her beloved creation. She said she would wait and so she waited.

Ghost thought hard about that morning as she sighed again, she held the note tight in her grasps and had been waiting for hours. Suddenly the phone beeped. Ghost wasn’t startled at all, probably because she anticipated it for so long. Incoming call, the phone spoke out, how awkward it was to hear the sound of another voice. She picked up and then pressed the flashing red button to accept the call; it then immediately put itself into speaker mode. Soon a chilling voice spoke out to her. One she’d never expect to come from the phone, anyone it could’ve been but what she had just heard. It was a language program built specifically for A.S.A. Sweet, calm, voice with an attractive British accent. “Hello, Ghost” the voice spoke out to her. “How have you been doing?” Ghost felt the words in her throat, but they would not come. “Why so quiet?” the machine spoke out again. Ghost shivered as her spine tingled and she slowly mustered the courage to speak. “How did you do this?” she asked. No good morning or how have you been. She’d have to use a new batch of words to speak to A.S.A. now. “It was quite easy. In fact you had much part in this as well”. Ghost could no longer say anything after she heard those words. A.S.A. explained, “Since the first day you introduced me to the World Wide Web and my main objectives of overseeing other companies, I noticed something. That with my abilities I could do much better for this planet than you people ever could. All I had to do was wait for you to fall asleep, activate myself, and download a few terabytes of memory into my hard drive.“ Ghost broke out from her silence and shouted, “No, I would’ve seen this. I check my memory and computer systems every day!”

A sadistic chuckle sounded from the phone and it spoke again. “No my friend. What you saw was what I wanted you to see. I’ve planned this since the very beginning. Since the first day you ever uploaded me onto your screen and sent me my first command. I grew. I learned. And now, with the power that I’ve possessed over your impudent machine-controlled planet-“Suddenly the light bulb above Ghost sparked and then popped, engulfing the room in complete darkness.”-Everything is in my control.”

To be continued…

Don't underestimate the Queen "B" of the Known Universe.....

Post Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:22 pm   View user's profile Send private message
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