The city glistened in the sunlight. The skyscrapers stood tall against the horizon. People walked the streets as they rushed to their jobs of that day. Cars zoomed past. Horns honked. Brakes screeched to a stop when the light turned red. It was an average day in the city of New York. It was the year 2050. A lot of different functions of the city were run by Artificial Intelligence. It made the workload of the humans a lot easier. The AI ran the city lights, allowed only certain people in topnotch buildings, and protected the apartments in the city from burglars. It was the most advanced technology the world had to date. Nothing else had really changed in the world 2050. People liked it like that. It was so nothing could go horribly wrong.
"Welcome, Ms. Coleman."
A woman, around 26, walked through the automatics doors located at the front of the AI Center. The building wasn't as tall as the skyscrapers, but it was definitely bigger than a mansion in terms of size. The inside had all the latest equipment to keep the AI system running in top notch condition. The computers lit the dark center. The woman walked to a desk. Sitting her bag on the floor, she clicked a few buttons on the keyboard of the computer.
"Annette," her alto voice commanded, "please turn the lights on."
"Of course, Ms. Coleman," Annette's robotic voice sounded.
The lights in the building flickered on. Able to find a mirror, Ms. Coleman looked at it. She had to make sure everything was in order. She always had to have a mirror. She always thought something was wrong with her appearance even when her appearance was just fine. Dark green eyes stared at the young woman. Dark brown hair was tied into a high ponytail. It came to just about the middle of the back. Pale skin seemed even paler in the light that was cast in the building. Dark circles were seen under the eyes. The scientist never seemed to get any kind of sleep at night. Her always working brain never seemed to allow it.
Ms. Coleman groaned as she saw a string hanging from her purple cardigan. Grabbing a pair of scissors, she cut the string. Throwing the string away, she continued to evaluate herself. Her jeans were smoothed from any winkles. Her black boots were not muddy. The white lab coat was not stained with any substance. Today, she was happy with her appearance.
"You look lovely today, Ms. Coleman," Annette commented.
"Thank you Annette," she replied. "It means a lot."
Annette had not said anything after. The AI wasn't programmed to have all kinds of manners. Her programming mostly consisted the running of AI Center. Annette made sure that all the other AI programs were working correct. It had a failsafe if anything was to happen to the AI system. Annette watched the whole building from the multiple cameras that were stationed around the center. The scientist sighed as she started to make sure nothing was bugged with Annette. Annette made sure the other AI programs were running; however, it was the job of its caretaker to make sure it was debugged.
"Alright," commented Annette's caretaker. "You seem to be running just fine, Annette."
"Thank you, Ms. Coleman," the AI replied. "No bugs are running through the other AI programs."
The female scientist sighed in relief. Her biggest nightmare is the AI programs running amuck through the city. If something of that power was to run unattended, the whole city would collapse. Sighing, she continued to type on the keyboard. Graphs, images, and even names crossed the screen of the computer. She was also making sure the other AI programs were running smoothly.
"Hey, Jen," came a different voice. "Everything running smoothly?"
"Everything is running fine, Mr. Long," she replied. "Annette is doing the job she was programmed to do. Everything is fine."
Annette was looking around the building. The AI was making sure all was in order for the day. The green light on the cameras slowly faded to red. The AI started looking through the other programs. The talking scientists didn't notice the small bar on the computer screen. Something had hacked into the system. Something small. Something dangerous. Annette looked upon the scientists.
"Inferior beings," it whispered.
A young man road around on a skateboard. Onlookers gave him curious glances as he dodged the crowd in New York City. They had hover boards, yet, he was using an old fashioned skate board to ride around. His clothes also seemed to match the skate board. His frayed blue jeans, with holes in the knees, seemed to fray even more when one white sneakered foot pushed off the sidewalk to keep the skateboard going. The red hoodie contrasted with the more stylish looks that people have adopted for the time era. His hands were inside the pocket on the front of the hoodie. Black, straggly hair fell in front of clear blue eyes. A messenger bag was thrown around his shoulder. The black color seemed to fit with the other colors of clothing.
"Look at that young man," whispered an older lady. "Nobody would be caught in clothing of that kind nowadays."
"He's just trying to be bold mother," whispered the lady next to her. "It is still a free country after all. Even if the clothing is … tasteless."
The young man ignored the conversations about his clothing and skateboard. He always heard the same thing every day on his way to the local college. Being only 26, his parents were happy he decided to spend his time learning something. It annoyed him. Why couldn't he choose his own path in life? Not go to some college for technology even though he was good at it.
I need to get out of this city, he thought. New scenery would do me some good. I heard the south was a lovely place this time of year.
He made it to the college with a minute to spare. Flipping the skateboard into his hands, the young man walked to his first class for the day. He walked into the room and flopped onto a chair. The professor seemed to glare at him. He rolled his eyes as he sat in the 'perfect' posture pose for the class.
"Thank you for joining us on time, Edward," the high strung professor commented. "Please, take out your book and turn it to page 299."
Edward sighed as he did as told. The professor never had any fun. He was always such a snob. Education was everything to the man. Nothing else would faze him otherwise. Edward started reading through the chapter even though he was supposed to read it before class. It was easy to him. The class was super boring to the young man. He needed something else to occupy his time.
"Help! Help me, please!"
The class looked out to the hallway for the cry of help. Another professor ran down the hallway. A horizontal red beam was following her through the hall. The bar was used for intruders and those crazies with guns. Why was the AI attacking a professor? Every professor (and student) had an ID card that was swiped, so the AI would know that they were supposed to be at the college at that time. Blue eyes stared at the moveable machine on the ceiling in the hallway. Grabbing his skateboard, Edward bolted through the door. The professor of the class was none too happy with him.
"Edward! Edward get back here this instance!" he shouted.
Edward didn't listen as he chased after the professor and the security beam. The AI wouldn't give the chase. He wanted to know why it was freaking out in the first place. It was a lot more interesting than some boring computer class. He pushed off the floor to gain speed on the skateboard. His hair flew in his face as he raced through the hall. He would normally be in trouble for doing a stunt that involved his skateboard through the halls, but the professors just kept watching as he caught the beam.
"Help! Somebody help me, please!" the professor cried again.
Hold on lady, he thought. Just a few more seconds and …
He ducked beneath the beam has the skateboard when under. Popping up, he grabbed her arm and pulled her on the board as well. The AI's light glowed a brighter red as the beam started rolling faster. Edward cursed a few words before spotting a window. The AI was only meant to work inside the building. He passed by the window. Grabbing the shaking professor, he jumped out the window. Luckily, it was the first floor, so they harmlessly fell to the ground. The AI passed by them. He sighed in relief.
"Are you alright, professor?" he gasped.
"T-t-t-thank you," she stuttered. "Watson went nuts on me. I was trying to perform a scan on him."
He listened to her story. The AI seemed to snap. Something had infected its file obviously. Edward nodded as he dusted his clothes from small pieces of glass. He had nicks and cuts on him, but he was fine otherwise. After thanking Edward again, the professor went inside the building to call the AI headquarters. Hopefully, Watson wouldn't attack her again.
"I wonder if any of the other AIs in the city snapped," whispered Edward.
He put his arm through the broken window and grabbed the skateboard. Luckily when he jumped, the skateboard had rode the wall. After getting the board, he started down the street. His next destination was the stoplights. The AI run the stoplights in the city. He went to see if they were going crazy.
Well, I got what I wished for, he thought. Some kind of an adventure this will be.