The God-Emperor

I never quite understood why the Emperor of Earth was often revered as a god. People don’t refer to the Premier of Mars or the President of the Sky Cities of Venus in the same way. Is it because he’s so old that they think of him in such a way, or is it because the Emperor is actually a god.

My parents always told me not to think about it too much and to just accept it as the way things were. They tend to say things like, “What’s the harm in believing in something that may or may not be true?” and “Don’t worry if it’s true or not.” These things anger me because I can’t just blindly believe in something. I need proof! I have heard of people who say that the “God Emperor” isn’t actually a god and went missing shortly after. The media says that this is just the Emperor showing us his power and that we shouldn’t challenge him. However, rumors say that people in black clothing have been sighted in the area around the times that these people have gone missing.

The people of Earth have chosen to blindly follow a man who prefers to define himself as a god because of the fear that he will smite them. I think he is just an egotistical fool, for if he were a god then why would he need guards to protect him. It was this sort of thinking that after talking to my teacher about these things, I was met by two men covered from head to toe in black clothing. They handcuffed me and through me in the back of a black van. It was dark in there and so I couldn’t see what was around me, all I knew was that the vehicle moved for a while and then stopped moving and I could hear the doors of the van slam. I was scared, all I could think about was, “Am I going to die?”. I was only seventeen years old. Way too young for someone to be executed for questioning the leader of the government’s power.

The doors to the van were opened and the men in black who had thrown me into the black van had taken off the masks they had worn while kidnapping me. The one on the right had pale white skin while the other had a caramel skin tone. They pulled me out of the van and led me into a large abandoned warehouse building. Inside were offices and cubicles with people filling every single one of them and everyone seemed very busy. I was led down one of the aisles between cubicles and into an office without windows. I was sat down in a metal chair still handcuffed while a new man sat behind a large desk and the two men that brought me there  stood,their hands behind their backs, behind me.

“We heard that you were questioning the Emperor being a god. What ma-”

“Look I’m sorry! I didn’t know I would get arre-”

“DON’T INTERRUPT ME!” yelled the man behind the desk. “I am the one in control here not you! Now I will resume what I was saying. What made you start asking these very dangerous questions?”

“If you’re wondering why I started thinking this way, it doesn’t have to do with anyone else. I only started to question the Emperors powers because of people like you taking people away.”

“Oh, you think we are the Emperors secret police who just kidnap people and take them to an unknown facility so that they don’t spread any propaganda. Is that what you think we are?”

I stared at him perplexed, “Isn’t that what you are? The Emperors secret police?”

“Ha! We would never follow that crazy dictator!”

“Then why would kidnap me and so many other people who spoke out against the Emperor?!”

“Because we are trying to start a revolution. One so big that we can take down even a god. ”

“So is the Emperor a god with mighty powers?”, I asked.

“Oh, he definitely has powers but he is no god.”

I gasped in disbelief, “If he has powers doesn’t that mean that he is a god?”

“No, I’ve seen him bleed more than once, and no god I’ve ever heard of has ever bled. ”

“Why do you want to start a revolution?”

” Because we can’t have something with magical powers ruling over us common people.We need to rise up and take back our planet for ourselves. Are you in?” The man behind the desk leaned forward.

I pondered if this was something I could get behind for a few seconds and then responded with, “Sure! I will join the cause against the God-Emperor of Earth. People should be able to think however they want without fear of judgement from the Emperor.”

“The man behind the desk grinned, “Good! Take off his handcuffs.” My handcuffs were taken off and he held out his hand, “Glad you made the right choice.”

I shook his hand knowing that I needed to get away from this place as quick as possible, “Glad to be apart of the revolution.”

Thus began my training for the impending revolution that I didn’t actually want to be apart of. For I wasn’t sure who was worse, the revolutionaries or the God-Emperor of Earth.

 

Advertisements

Questions to Mankind

When I think of how the world is and how it works, it disgusts me. People only look out for themselves and only help others when it is convenient for them. Employees brown nose their bosses in order to try to get a leg up on their coworkers for a position or a raise. The tasks that they perform are meaningless. Day in and day out they do the same mind-numbing tasks. It begs the question, “What if they treated each other as well as they treat the dollar?” Could we truly fix the problems that the world has just by treating each other better? If instead of stepping on each other, we picked each other up would we be able to create new technologies not yet known to man? Or is it that because we step on each other that we find such technologies? It is known that the Cold War is what pushed Man to reach the Moon. Is it that only by the fear of others that we are able to progress as a society? If we were able to get rid of prejudice and war would we be able to work together and create a better world, or would we just stay stagnant with only a handful of advancements to push us further along? Should we have jobs where we have time constraints, or is it that by having these time constraints that we create these advancements? Mankind has molded the Earth with its hands, but never created it. If something didn’t create another, then can it truly destroy it? Therefore humanity could only ever destroy itself. Mankind is a chooser or its own destiny. Will it fix its problems or will it collapse on itself?

Workaholic

“Sometimes everything just feels like it’s collapsing in around you. Like you can’t ever get anything done and you are constantly feeling anxious. I really wish I could fix this never ending cycle of thinking that leads to anxiety.” Josh explains to his therapist.

“Well it looks to me like what you really should be doing is either a: just doing whatever it is that is stressing you out, or b: find ways to cope with your anxiety such as exercise.” Answers the therapist. “And if that doesn’t work, I can prescribe you some medication that will help with the anxiety.”

“Gee, thanks doc. I’ll try doing more exercise to see if that helps. If not I’ll do the medication.”

“Well then, it seems like our session is over. Thank you for coming by and if you need anymore help don’t hesitate to call.”

“Thank you and I definitely will.”

Josh is a workaholic who has a tendency to stress out about things that he didn’t get done while he was at work. This stress got so bad that his boss noticed and told him to go see a therapist or take a vacation, because he was antagonizing his coworkers and it was effecting how much work he was getting done. Which is why he ended up talking to a therapist. He couldn’t bear the thought of taking time off of work for a vacation. He had too much stuff to get done at work.

After the therapy session, Josh went to his work and decided to take advantage of the gym that the company he worked for supplied for its employees. For Josh, this would be the first time he had worked out since he had finished college six years ago.The company gym was basically empty of other workers except for two joggers. It seemed like the best option to start with was running on the treadmill since the others were doing it. This proved to be not so ideal for Josh since he didn’t have much endurance and all he ended up doing was walking on the treadmill and dwelling on tasks not yet finished.

Next, he decided that lifting weights might work. So he walked over to the nearest weight rack and picked up some dumbbells and began to curl them. It felt good. Until the cramping started. He had forgotten to stretch before hand and nearly dropped the weights on his feet. Josh laid still until the pain went away and then decided to do a couple of stretches that he used to do in college. This is when he realized that he used to spend so much time with friends and working out with them was so much fun. Fun. That is something he hadn’t thought about in so long. Work had been the only thing that ever crossed his mind since his wife left him.

They had met towards the end of college and she became his world. They moved to a different state and got ‘adult’ jobs. They dreamed of having of a family, of having a house. Over time though, that dream seemed further and further away. The fighting started shortly after they found out that she couldn’t have children. Shortly after that they decided to try to find a house, but the housing market was too expensive for them and they could not ever decide on a house that they both liked for a decent price. The fighting got worse and worse until it just stopped. They started spending more and more time working and less time enjoying each others company. That was when she left. One day he came home from a long day at work and nothing of hers was in the house. Josh tried to call her but she never picked up. She just sent him a text saying “Bye”.

Josh grabbed the dumbbells and furiously curled them to dull the pain within himself. He could feel the tears welling up in his eyes but he just couldn’t let them fall. There was nothing he could do now about his wife. All he could do now was figure out how to enjoy life, and working all the time wasn’t how he was going to do it. Josh got up, put the dumbbells away and drove down to the nearest club. It was already night-time and he decided to enjoy the nightlife since he hadn’t ever done so before. His reasoning wasn’t to drink the night away in sorrow, but to try to make friends and potentially have a one night stand for the first time since college. Sure it was the middle of the week, but his boss said he could take off for a couple of days to get his head on straight.

The club ended up being a fairly dull experience, however it proved to be a turnaround in his life since he had more fun in that one night then he had had since his honeymoon. “Life is going to better now. I’m not going to let myself be so focused on work that I can’t have fun. I’m going to forgive myself and my ex-wife and I will focus on the good things in life moving forward. Well, maybe I should stay focused on work… While approaching from a more fun perspective.” Josh thought to himself. “I will have fun.”

Cyber Store Clerk

I have been thinking about opening an online store over the summer as a new project. I already have some ideas for items in the shop. I’m just nervous that such items wouldn’t sell and that it would just be me would me digging myself into some debt that I might not be able to get out of. Nonetheless, I have always wanted to start a business and try to build it from the ground up. But I digress, on to the story.


Working in a store is hard work, working in an online store is also tough work. In truth, they are one in the same. It’s just that some people think that just because their isn’t a building and some person standing behind a cash register, that it’s not a real store. What these people don’t know is that there is someone standing behind a cash register in an online store, and that person is me. My name is CO4A and I am an artificial intelligence that is programmed into each online store. I am the one who makes sure that each customers transaction runs smoothly and effortlessly. Every once in a while the cash register messes up and I have to get someone to come and fix it.

That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s not fun. The customer typically doesn’t handle the whole “not making the purchase as quickly as ‘One click purchase’ does” fiasco and the customer usually leaves without purchasing. I see this a lot as an AI. It’s common to get yelled at and cursed at because of a register malfunction. This, however is the only negative that I have from my occupation. The positives far out-weigh the negatives though. Especially when it comes to customer service, because when I get a customer that enjoys their experience. That is what makes me go on working in this occupation.

Now, you might be wonder to yourself, “But CO4A, you are a program that is meant to do one thing.” To that I would say that you are correct. I am in fact a program that is meant to do only one thing, but you are wrong because I am an AI. This small difference means that I learn from every interaction that I have. Which means that I can learn and adapt to a new occupation. Perhaps I could become a payroll manager, or proofreader. Just the idea of learning something new excites me. Though, I am content with my current job and would never want to leave.

One of the negatives to my job is that when other programs enter the shop, they typically like to destroy things. We call these programs “hacks” because they are hackers that try discredit and destroy my shop. When characters like this come in, that’s when I call cyber security to get rid of the bad seeds. Cleaning up the store can take a pretty long time, especially when you’re trying to make sure that something like that never happens again. I mean, it’s a pretty scary experience that I hope no one else ever has to experience. Hackers can do some insane amounts of damage that I’ve heard of some online stores that had to close down and because the AI running the cash register didn’t know any other jobs, they became homeless. I’ve heard that they are the homeless on the cyber streets.

I’ve only talked about how I run the cash register, customer  service, and dealing with hackers. What I haven’t told you about is how I fix up the store to make it look presentable to the customer. See I categorize the items in ways that make them look more appealing. I sometimes rename the categories to make them seem more geared towards a specific niche.

Cleaning up is also very important, not just because it is one of the most important parts of making the store look good, but because it can become a trip hazard and potentially get us in trouble. See trip hazards are different in online stores from brick-and-mortar stores because instead of hurting the customer physically. It could cause the customer to buy something we either don’t have anymore, or something we weren’t supposed to put out yet. This hurts the stores credibility and this would hurt the stores profits. As you can tell, I do a lot while working as a clerk at this online store. Some may ever call me “The hardest working worker at the store.” I actually get this a lot, but I would say that the store owner is the one that works the hardest. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have a job. I also wouldn’t exist because I was created to work here.

Now that you know what I do as a cyber store clerk. I hope that you appreciate all cyber store clerks for making your online shopping experience as good as possible. That is what our existence is for, but being appreciated is nice too. Hope this was informative to all that wish to learn what I do and ‘I hope you come again soon!’

The Tale of a King

Calon is a cheerful man who only has one aspiration to live up to. Be the Chosen One’s luggage boy. Though he isn’t an outstanding human being in any way, the fact that he is a companion of the Chosen One gives him status. He is respected amongst the villagers throughout the land and is often seen as the ultimate servant. Of course that is all that he is, a servant. When he was alone with the Chosen One he was treated like trash. He did everything, cooked, shined the armor, sharpened the sword and arrows, and even was the one who found fresh water and hunted and gathered food. Even after all of this, Calon enjoys what he does because he gets to be around the prophesied savior of the world.  The one who is going to overthrow the Evil King and save the land from his tyranny.

The Chosen One and Calon would wander the countryside fighting off wolves and bandits on their way from the small village that they are from, to the capital. In truth they were friends during their childhood until the Chosen One was taken to train by the Elders. Throughout the many years that the Chosen One was away training, Calon lived his life of farming and being considered the smartest of all the children in the village, he was expected to do great things. Many thought he was going to be the one to bring wealth and prosperity to their village, but when Calon grew old enough to be voted in as mayor, the Chosen One selected him to be his companion on his journey to defeat the evil king. To this Calon was more than happy to accept. He had never traveled and was overjoyed with the chance to see the world.

Calon started out excited, both because he was getting to hangout with his old friend again and because he was getting to be the companion of the Chosen One. It quickly became apparent that is old friend had grown into a self-centered person who couldn’t be bothered with menial labor. This surprised him, since he expected the Chosen One to have been more down-to-earth. It didn’t bother Calon too much though, because everything he was getting to see and do was unimaginable. The massive mountains, the vast deserts, water as far as the eye can see, plains so flat that you can see for miles. These weren’t things that he would ever get to see back at the village.

After many weeks of traveling they finally approached the capital, Hranafall. It was a sprawling city with massive walls. Calon followed the Chosen One through the front gate, through the crowded streets, and up the castle. This is when the Chosen One showed his powers. He pulled out and the swung his sword and the guards in one movement and a powerful gust blew them and gate to the castle open. He ran inside knocking back each guard that attempted to stop him. Eventually the Chosen One reached the Evil King. The battle that ensued was an intense one with each trading blows. As it turned out, their powers were equally matched. After many hours of constant battling, the Chosen One finally defeated the Evil King. After seeing their king defeated the guards, not knowing what to do, bowed down to the victor. That is when the Chosen One took the crown from the now deceased evil king and put it on Calon who was still standing outside the gate of the castle.

Not sure exactly with what was happening, Calon asked the Chosen One, “What’s going on? Aren’t you supposed to become the new king create a new and prosperous kingdom?” To which the Chosen One replied, “The prophecy is only that I would defeat the Evil King, not that I would take his place and become the next king. Anyways, throughout our travels you have proven to be a much better person than I. The people of the village wanted you to become the mayor because of how smart and likeable you are. You are much more fit to be king than I could ever be.” With that the Chosen One and Calon walked to the throne and Calon became King Calon. He would rule over the land and forever be known as Calon the Great for he would bring prosperity to his kingdom.

Hacker

Surrounded by darkness. It was quite possible that I would never see light again. See, I have done some things, terrible things. I was caught by the feds and thrown into solitary confinement. What they don’t know, is why I had to do what I did.

My name is Schane Laundrette, and I hacked and then leaked files from powerful countries. I had to do it, because a terrorist group that referred to themselves as The Amphibian Army, kidnapped my family. They found out that I had traced some of their DDoS attacks in order to find the IP addresses and sent the police to those locations. Despite the fact that they were using proxies to do the attacking, I am an expert hacker and had to break through some tough firewalls. But after a few weeks, I was able to track down multiple members of the Amphibian Army. This provoked retaliation from the group of course. That’s when they found my home and kidnapped my family.

Now, you might be wondering by I would do something like that if it meant endangering my family, especially for something as petty as DDoS. Well I am part of the NSA, and as such, I was tasked with finding the law breakers and bringing them to justice. I still don’t know how they were able to find my home IP address since communication with my home computer and my work computer is nonexistent. I have a theory that they were able to hack my cellular device by just driving by my car and finding out whose phone it was through the contacts list.

When I got home from work one day, my house a mess and there was a note left in the most cliché spot, the coffee table. It told me who did it, pretty cliche stuff like that, and that if I called the cops or anything, that the next time I would see my family would be in the afterlife. They told me that they wanted me to commit the biggest heist of information ever, by hacking major superpowers such as the U.S., Russia, China, and India. The Amphibian Army that used to be viewed as just a couple of kids trying make a name for themselves, turned into a terror organization by kidnapping my family and by attempting to get information from major powers.

I decided to comply, my wife and daughter mean everything to me, and decided to start with the United States since I worked for the NSA. If caught, I knew that the consequences for treason were intense and I would have to deal with that. I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen when I hacked the other countries though.

I started with work, I was able to get into the NSA database and leak some important files to The Amphibian Army. That part was relatively easy. Next up was India. I wasn’t sure how tough it would be to get another countries super secret information without getting caught. As it turns out, it’s incredibly hard, and I barely was able to extract the information I needed. After the India incident, I tried to lay low for a bit before heading for China. China, as expected, was on high alert for hackers and I didn’t know how I was going to get through their firewalls. Eventually though, I was still able to leak information on them.

Russia, came last. However, countries around the world were becoming more defensive about their information. Nobody knew where the attacks were coming from. My defense from counter hackers from finding my location was that my IP would ping at different locations around the world. This kept governments and other hackers from finding out where I was when I was leaking the information.

I digress, Russia, as it turns out, was by far the toughest government to hack thus far. The main reason for this is that because of all the information being leaked from other superpowers in the world, they knew I would be coming for them next. This is when I was found out. They sent KGB to each location of pings. The CIA found one close by thanks to cooperation with the KGB, and they were able to find me, then take me to jail.

All of this, just to see my family again. I haven’t told them yet why I did it. I haven’t told them anything. throughout the project, I became heavily invested in what I was doing. I found out terrible things that each country was doing. I had lost all respect for every country I had hacked, even the country I was sworn to protect. My family still at the forefront of my mind, I decided to open up about my reason for doing what I did. I told him about my family being kidnapped. But, my words fell on deaf ears. All that I heard was laughter, and then replied back to me, “The Amphibian Army will rule this world.” Then he walked away. I was left, sitting alone in a cell, alone with knowing that my family might be dead. Depression seeped into every portion of my being. I had lost.

The Power of Music

Music flows through my ears and into my eyes to create the most wonderful images. I find that the most creative worlds come into existence when listening to music. It lets me see into the brightest and darkest places and walk through them with amazement. Music becomes the physical representation of our subconscious and we get to sit back and enjoy the wonders that are created. Listening to music creates a satisfying array of objects no matter what genre. Each creates their own worlds, with each song molding the world to fit the mood. Music is powerful, it is a world building tool within our minds that we can use to escape our own. When I watch music, I can either see what the artist is trying to convey, or I can create my own interpretation. Music is like modern art, you have to use your imagination to create the masterpiece before you. However, with music you create the painting with your mind while someone else gives you the tools to use. This is the power of Music. Build your world.