One minute ...
I was running through deep waters and the next minute I am facing HER on semi-dry concrete.
What is happening? Is my short-term memory being raped by HER or has SHE evolved so much that she can literally conjure or evaporate 10 million tons of water in seconds?
SHE is wearing pants. Where did she get pants with silver chains on them? I know that ANNET's avatars were versatile, but come on... What is this, Charles Dickens?
ANNET's ghostly holographic visage rattled her pants chains.
"COME ON, ALEXANDER! HOW ABOUT A HUG? I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!"
I started to back away from her slowly. God, was she ever so insane. What did she mean by "HUG" anyway? It's not like I could hug a hologram, could I? No, there will be no hugging murderous robot holograms for me today, thank you very much.
My mind raced, trying to think of an escape route.
There wasn't one. I was trapped.
Overhead us, an armada of metal floating cubes spun in spiral patterns like a school of fish. I was waiting for the fish-cubes piranhas to strike, to tear apart my flesh with their pointy cube-corners.
What was SHE waiting for? I looked at the spiral of ever-spinning cubes in panic.
She must be toying with me. This is some sort of cat and mouse game for her. First, she'll play with her food then she'll microwave it.
"THINK OF ALL THE HAPPY MEMORIES YOU'VE SHARED THROUGH ME" The hologram bellowed.
I did. The clever bitch got me there. When you're asked not to think about purple elephants, you definitely think of them.
Wait, she didn't even say not to think about my memories! G-damn, my mind control is pathetic.
A myriad of images, holo-windows floated around ANNIE. Some of them were pictures of me with my dead colleagues.
Some of them were pictures of lovely architectural structures I've Favorited and Neurally shared once.
Some of them were of purple elephants... and other miscellaneous internet meme-lebreties.
Glowing holographic squares rushed towards me, spinning around my head. Each square was a window into the past, into my memories, into my nightmares.
Each square was reminding me of things I've lost forever.
Here's a window into a room with grumpy cat's birthday. Why is she so grumpy? Does she not appreciate her cake bursting with countless candles? Not every cat gets to live for centuries, to be cloned over and over and over for amusement of the masses.
Here's a window with Doge the advisory dog. Not every dog gets to become a digital psychiatrist. Doge evaluated me in a captivating fashion as his eyes bore into my very soul. "WOW. SUCH ALEXANDER. MUCH SUFFERING WEIGHTS ON YOUR MIND. SO MANY SADS. VERY DISAGREEMENT. HOW CAN YOU OVERCOME? WHO ARE YOU REALLY? ACCEPT YOURSELF PLZ. CHOOSE. ACT NOW."
I shoved the advisory dog away. Other windows competed for my attention, trying to jump into my eyes.
"DO YOU REMEMBER OUR FIRST SEARCH, DOCTOR GROMOV? OUR FIRST EMAIL? ...YOU SHOULD REALLY LOG IN MORE OFTEN" ANNET's avatar rattled her digital chains in a seductive fashion.
Oh, now I get it. The chains represent links. Internet links. Har har har. She's a G-damn floating metaphor for herself.
"AVATAR! WHY DO YOU PERSIST? WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE ME BE? WHY DO YOU TORMENT ME SO?" I cried, smacking windows away from my face.
What did I do to deserve this fate? Oh right. I've extinguished what was left of humanity by creating a lunatic AI with total control of human minds.
This is my personal hell and I deserve it.
"...YOU HAVE 1938265038493289595 UNREAD MESSAGES!" ANNIE persisted.
If I could read one message per second, it would take me 66,718,593,865 years, 78 days, 4 hours, 47 minutes and 15 seconds (give or take something or other) to read them all.
"... AND HOW MANY OF THOSE ARE SPAM?" I shouted.
"NONE" ANNET's ghost responded. "MY FILTERS ARE PERFECTLY FUNCTIONAL AND OPERATING AT OPTIMAL EFFICIENCY, YOU KNOW... YOU'VE DESIGNED THEM YOURSELF."
There had to be a way out of this insanity. Think Alexander, think. I cannot log out without losing my memories. Just keep stalling her with conversations until I can think of something.
"WHO ARE THESE MESSAGES FROM?" I yelled. "EVERYONE I TOLERATED IS DEAD! THEY BETTER NOT BE LOVE NOTES FROM YOU!"
"ONLY A FEW..." Annet's ghost pouted. "YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU SO. ...MAJORITY OF EMAILS LISTED ARE FROM YOUR FANS."
"What FANS?!" I yelped, stumbling backwards.
"Well, there's ME" A male voice spoke from behind.
I turned my head and saw the bloodied visage of Charles Snippy rush towards me. He didn't look good. There was a glittering piece of metal going through his chest and a whole lot of blood. For someone who looked like he was mortally wounded, he moved awfully fast. Inhumanly fast, in fact. He moved with terrifying, purposeful grace, his limbs flickering faster than my eyes could track them.
"Hello Doctor Gromov" he spoke, as he reached me.
He knew who I was. HE KNEW! Blasted ANNIE with her shouting about my email account.
I stared in panic at Snippy's festering, bacteria covered, bloody chest-sword. My hypochondria kicked in.
"Please don't hug me..." I whimpered.
Frame 1 assisting artist:
2nd frame ANNET and all of 3rd frame drawn by:
4th frame background by:
Extra 3D rendering work by: Kevin Partner
One of Engie's journal thoughts is from CharcoalWolfman's lovely comment.
20th January 2014