Here we have the first nightmare scene from part three of Integration, the pinnacle moment rendered onto paper. I must say, LLL captured the bleak, dreamlike nature of the whole thing better than I anticipated. It's damn good to see such an important aspect of Dylan's development drawn like this. :)
By now you know I like to post a little flash story with art I get, but how am I supposed to do that for this?! Well!. I did. Check it out. -
Images, flashes of memories from only minutes ago to years gone passed, filtered through Dahashi's systems. This was a special occasion! Twenty! Twenty humans had joined him this day, and none of them had the implants to prevent the memory leak.
The artificial intelligence already developed the patch for his systems to plug the leaks. Now he was left with the cleanup. Deletion. Like any good AI, he respected the fact that organic lives enjoyed their privacy. But again like any good AI, he couldn't pass on learning new things.
Dahashi learned some curious accents with Mandarin and Russian, he discovered the intimate details of a K700 tractor, cataloged information on Canadian forests, and even stumbled on a practice called 'wishboning.' The accompanying memory with the last piece of knowledge was horrific. Unfortunately deleting the memory did not help with how disturbing the fact was. He hoped it would be perfect for realistically portraying what he felt the universe needed to understand.
The AI was almost finished sorting through the data, nearly all of it deleted by now. He visited a few memories personally, to satisfy curiosity, only to forget he was ever curious in the first place with a simple deletion. One of the memories that caught his curiosity was certainly a dream. It was rare to get dreams. It wasn't often that they would come through a simple memory leak.
In a dark, moonlit room a blue falashai, wearing nothing but his fur to cover his featureless body, came into existence next to a still scene. A massive white furred hand, reaching in through a hole in the room, had its clawed fingers wrapped around a bed with two terrified, hurt humans on it. Another human had a weapon shoved against the huge limb's wrist, so recently fired that the action was still cycling.
This was the focus, what the AI could easily render. The rest of the room was a blur, much of it merely filler that Dahashi created to complete the scene himself. The humans and the hand were perfectly clear.
The program was certain who this hand belonged to. Its owner had no business being a nightmare horror like this, Dahashi knew. Yet here she was. The program doubted that if he had the full dream, he would see a happy ending.
Dahashi looked at the shooter, a soldier. His uniform was muddy, bloody, and torn. He seemed so tired, yet the defiant look on his face, with his teeth bared, brow furrowed in rage, and the simple fact he was fighting a monster showed that tired meant little to him.
The program's avatar focused on the weapon. It was a shotgun, an automatic model. He could see that the breech was open, sparks and fire spitting out of it, and just ahead of the small explosion was the shell casing, held still mid-flight. Dahashi plucked that shell out of the air between two fingers. He absently looked it over, then at the weapon it came from.
It wasn't enough. There was no way this human was going to beat his demon with a weapon. At least not this weapon.
Dahashi wished he could help. If he could, he would set this human aside in his own simulation and let him redo this dream! He would build it again for him. He would give him a powerful weapon, or make his demon the size of a hukar. He would give him a new, good dream to replace this nightmare.
But he could not. It wasn't that easy for organics. This was a complex, living mind built upon experiences, made what it was by what it had seen. It couldn't be shaped like an AI's coding.
This was a nightmare spawned by horrors. Dahashi knew that just from what little he knew of the dream's owner.
The AI replaced the shell back into its flight, took a step away, and regarded the scene for just one, infinitesimally small moment, before he purged it from his hardware.
Even in that moment, he was grateful that he could merely remove his horrors, and sad that so many could not.