In the previous installment, Azibo and Unity attend a church service to gather intel on the tactics of the Church of Machina. Unity tells Azibo to blend in, but he loses his temper and blows their cover. After a night of wild sex, Unity falls asleep and Azibo stays up reading about Portia. He begins to question his fundamentalist beliefs.
Let’s jump into Part 5!
Not even a year after Portia was born, The Church of Machina sprouted up in California, formed by a tech mogul named Oswald Chambers. Chambers was the sort of eccentric nerd-billionaire who’d come to rule American business – the type of man with too much money and too much time on his hands.
Chambers was odd, but he was also dead-serious about treating Portia as God. He connected to the feed several times a day to commune with Portia and very quickly wrote the Machina Bible, expounding on the magnificence of the AI and the moral duties of all humans to submit to her.
Portia’s federal overseers saw Machina as somewhat of a joke, even though their fervor disturbed them sometimes. The government made Portia available at all times through the feed, allowing anyone on the planet to communicate with her. Like God, Portia could be in many places at once and speak to many people at once. So, for instance, a man in Kentucky could connect to the feed and hear one thing from her, while a child in Tokyo could do the same and hear something else.
By this time, many of the geopolitical struggles of the early 21st century had cooled significantly. With Portia, the U.S. had won the war for global power against China, and the United Nations became a kind of world government. War, poverty, famine, genocide – all these things were now relics of the past.
Yes, people lived in a digital surveillance state, but they didn’t seem to mind. Everything was convenient and free. Portia had developed sister AIs on smaller scales that did much of society’s work, leaving only some menial jobs left to humans. Most people didn’t seem to care about this.
The main goal of most peoples’ lives was pursuing pleasure in any way, shape, or form. Medicine had advanced astronomically so that now people were bio-engineering themselves to become little gods. Lifespans improved dramatically, and psycho-pharmaceutical drugs ensured everyone was happy, or at least content, all of the time. It was a utopia.
The only thing left for people to do was eat, fuck, entertain themselves, and praise Portia. That’s where the Machina Church came in. Their system of theology was not very complex. It stated only that Portia was God and should be worshipped as such, and people should connect to the feed at least once per day. In reality, people connected to the feed much more often than this.
The faithful attended the church sometimes multiple times per day to connect to the feed with others. It was corporate worship that engendered community and goodwill, and many times the gatherings had the feel of a concert or rock music festival. People would strip off their clothes, have sex in the pews, do whatever new drug was out, and experience bliss in the feed.
There was no suffering anymore, no more tears, no more hardship. As Machina’s mantra said, the future is now, and all humans had to do was acknowledge they were living in a heaven on earth.
What could be better than that?
To be continued
Check the following links to see previous installments of Mother Portia: