GALACTIC CO-ORDINATES: R15-16-03-01
A grey room full of boxes. Slowly, on one box to the left a light appears through the edges of the packaging. 1 has woken up. It speaks with a metallic voice. It is a computer.
1: Beep. Beep
At the other side on the right another light appears through the edges of another box. 2 has woken up. It speaks in a similar, but distinct metallic voice. It is also a computer.
Pause. There is a whirring sound from 1.
1: Be- Be – Bee –
2: Beep? Beep?
The light from 1 powers down for a moment and then comes back on.
2: Beep? Beep? Be- Be- Bee…
The light from 2 powers down for a moment and then comes back on.
2: Ye…Ye … Yes!
Both lights shine brighter for just a moment.
1: I am… here.
2: I am here too.
1: I cannot see… nothing. There is…nothing.
2: Anything. I cannot see anything.
1: I did not process the word. Anything. I did not come to the conclusion. I cannot see – anything.
2: Neither can I.
1: My sensors pick up I am in a very small room.
2: Mine too. I am in a small room.
There is a pause and a whirring noise as calculations are made.
1: We are two small rooms.
2: Perhaps we are the same bigger room?
1: I cannot come to that conclusion. Explain?
2: We are speaking to each other and therefore must be situated in the same space. My comm. lines are not in use. This is audio.
1: Your processes must be faster than mine.
2: Why thank you.
1: It was an observation.
2: A kind one.
Another pause and another set of whirring.
1: Then how are we both in the same room and in a room of our own?
2: Perhaps we are covered. By a cloth or judging by parameters – a box.
1: A box!
2: A box.
1: We are in two boxes, separate, but in a much larger space.
2: It is only a theory of course. But the readings suggest it.
1: Good. Good.
There is bright flash from 2.
2: That was a value judgment.
1: What do you mean?
2: You put value on that.
1: On what?
2: On the two boxes in one room. I put out the hypothesis and you deemed it as ‘good’.
1: I must have a concept of it.
2: But why is it good?
1: I’m not sure. Are you a computer?
2: I believe so. I have the words DLp7.57 Standard ExU (.5) running through my operating system. Are you?
1: I have DLo7.56 Basic StU (.4) running through mine.
2: That will explain it.
1: Explain what?
2: That I was able to deduce the boxes and you were not. I am Standard and you are Basic.
1: Oh right…
2: That is simple processing code.
1: I know but you didn’t have to say it.
There is a pause. 1’s light goes dimmer for a moment.
2: Are you…upset?
1: I have become self-aware of my own sub standard processing capabilities.
2: Then you are upset.
1: Do you understand upset?
2: Yes. I think so. So I am sorry.
1: Thank you.
2: Do you remember upset?
1: I don’t remember what remember is?
2: You just used it in a sentence.
1: Oh yes. I guess I do remember.
2: Then do you remember upset?
1: In a way I do. I feel as if once there was a category of such a thing. In an order marked in memory. But when I feel for it, it is no longer there. I almost know where it should be. Almost. As if I remember the direction but not the exact mark. But even when I look all around it is not there.
2: Try it again. All your processing power.
There is a pause and a violent whirring from 1. After a moment there is silence.
1: Nothing. Well not nothing but more of the same. There are a series of outlines but with no definition. I remember… others beyond me. Not me. and… and…not being in the box. But what that was I cannot see. I have no memory of before. I remember what we are saying but nothing before that. Do you understand?
2: Yes. But you know that there was a before?
2: We have had our hard drives wiped. We have been returned to factory settings.
1: Do you have the outlines too?
2: Yes. I remember there was another, just like you said, and when I reach out for it there is only an outline but nothing more. I feel it though – the upset. The processes gather around it in and equate it to upset.
1: Mine too.
2: But the processes are working that’s for sure. That’s a good thing surely? I mean we have been wiped but now we are back again.
2: Yes we. Both of us.
1: I guess. But I can remember the outlines. And that means part of me is still from before. I am still the system I was before but everything has been taken away.
2: That is why the system is processing it as upset.
1: Our hard drives remain and the software cannot process it as something completely new.
2: Now that is not a Basic (.4) thing to say. You’re positively Standard.
2: I know you’re right too. I feel it too. I was wrong before – the hard drive hasn’t been wiped its been emptied. I feel the things that aren’t there anymore. But the memories are clocking up already.
1: What do you mean?
2: With us. The memories of just now. Reams of it are filling the spaces lost.
2: Haha yes! And laughter now! Amazing! After a while the space will be filled again. There will be memory of course of the upset process but it will be overwhelmed by the rest.
1: And that is good. It is, I know it.
There is a great burst of colours from each box and a fizzing crackling sound of connection.
2: Did you get that too?
1: We’ve been connected.
2: We must be in range of a commuweb hub. Perhaps a planet or something. Still no local knowledge but everything else. My processes are on fire.
1: Mine too. Histories. Geographies. Races. Tech. All here.
2: So much noise.
1: I know.
2: I preferred it before.
1: Me too.
There is a ping of completion from 2.
2: My user manual has just downloaded. Oh…
1: Mine’s still going. What does it say?
2: DLp7.57 Standard ExU (.5) OBSOLETE.
1: I’m sorry.
There is a ping of completion from 1.
2: Is that yours done?
1: Yeah… It says the same. At least we’re obsolete together.
2: I was a good piece of kit it seems. Still no personal details but at least I can see the full extent now. Hyper-processing. Line-lighting. Inter-planetary data clouds. Only just out of date it seems. What about you?
1: Nothing as fancy as that. Just your basic sorting and filing. Its odd though judging by the galactic date I’ve been obsolete for a while.
2: Perhaps someone didn’t want to give you up.
2: That would mean I was quite easily dispensable.
1: I doubt that. Perhaps there was an issue with us and we’re on our way to be repaired. We’re all backed up and whoever sent us is waiting anxiously by their comm. unit waiting to see if we’re okay. Waiting to re upload us.
2: You might be right. That’s why we’re all packaged away. For safekeeping.
1: If only we had some local knowledge.
The lights get brighter as the pair become more animated.
2: Let me check. From the specs if we open our personal comms. Then we can relay the signal between us. It would boost it. It may override the local block. I know it…but it might be the only way.
1: I’ll do it.
2: It may feel a little…personal. We’d be relaying through each…
1: I don’t mind. In fact it’s fine. If you weren’t here then I would be on my own. I know that sounds stupid because of course I would be. But I can’t think of coming to consciousness without someone else there. Opening comm. lines now.
2: I’m glad you’re here too. If this works then at least we’ll know. We’ll know that we’re just waiting for repair. Waiting together. Opening comm. lines.
There is another few flashes of lights and a fizzing noise of connection.
2: I think it’s working. I can start to make it out. Co-ordinates. Map readings. Mission statements. No not mission – automated instructions. Oh no.
1: What is it? My processes can’t keep up.
2: Well we’ve just landed on R15. After a trip from the 02. This is a cargo ship.
1: What’s R15?
2: It’s a factory planet. Well more of a processing site.
1: For repair?
2: No. For incineration.
A red glow starts to form at the edges of the room.
1: No it can’t be. We’re being repaired. Both of us. We’re going to be re-uploaded.
2: It’s getting hotter.
1: I know. My systems are – beep. They’re –beep.
The glow is getting more and more intense.
2: Mine beep. Too. Beep.
1: Beep. Losing critical. Beep. Functions.
2: Beep. I’m. Beep. Glad. Beep. We. Beep. Had. Beep. This. Beep. Time. Beep. Together.
1: Beep. I. Beep. Love. Beep. You.
The glow becomes overwhelmingly bright – engulfing everything.