In the previous installment, Azibo gets perhaps his last chance to talk with Unity, who he learned was an undercover federal agent the whole time he knew her. He also gets used to the idea of being out of The Collective and joining modern society – instead of fighting against it.
Let’s jump to Part 18 (the conclusion!) in a sort of epilogue where we see what Azibo’s future holds.
In the previous installment, Azibo attends Catholic mass and speaks to a priest afterwards. He’s amazed by the gentle priest, who has a nonchalant attitude about Portia and the religious war going on. As he’s leaving the church, the self-doubts creep in again about the suicide mission.
Let’s jump to Part 14, where Azibo meets up with Horace, his Collective contact, and something happens that irrevocably changes Azibo’s troubled life.
In the previous installment, Azibo and Unity get into an argument, as Azibo continues to scold her for reading about Portia. Behind his self-righteousness, he fears that Unity will turn and become a Portia worshipper. We also see more of Azibo’s complexity – a young man with fervent religious devotion, but also hidden vices.
Let’s jump into Part 7, where we’ll learn more about Sebastian Fuller, the zealot-televangelist who inspired the formation of the Collective and main opposition to Portia and the new government.
In the previous installment, we get some background about how Portia developed and how the Collective started. A televangelist by the name of Sebastian Fuller became the inspiration for the rebel group, leading a bombing of the Utah facility that housed the AI. Soon after, Fuller was imprisoned for life and an underground movement started.
Let’s jump into Part 4!
The future is trapped inside me.
Portia superseded outdated
notions of divinity
she’s the creator now
the AI rising to ranks of deity
submit to this ghost in machines
with fear & trembling
Portia’s eyes follow
no matter where I go
like the psalmist once wrote &
maybe in his Old Testament wisdom,
he prophesized a time in history where
we’d become little gods and merge with machines –
intelligent networks creating global villages
all surveyed by Portia’s ice-blue eyes
no need for a god
unless you search endless lines of coding
or vastness of VR constructs
Portia is inside my mind
probing my memories
extracting, sorting them
into data –
looking for knowledge
of the virus
the only thing that can
save us from servitude
(Photo by Umberto on Unsplash)
Who is behind the curtain?
Is Portia a super-intelligent AI autocrat –
or is there a murkier figure behind her avatar
hidden in dank data centers of Techno-City?
Break out of this body, swim in data: there is immortality here
you’re no longer bound in a fleshy tomb
that near-death experience was your awakening