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Transcript 004: From the Journal of Dr. Ih

Transcript 004: From the Journal of Dr. Ih

Dear Diary,

I have killed a man today, and I feel great. I should have done it before.

You see, I had been planning to kill agent Nil for a long time, ever since he got between Nem and me. I understand the attractiveness of inter-agent relationships -I've even hypnocoded a few to secure hostages against potentially rogue agents- but their relationship was unacceptable. Too violent, too raw, too untechnical. They were always as close to killing each other as to having intercourse, but Agency rules only allowed the latter. They were both too valuable to ongoing projects to lose either. They even had a certain physical similarity that only highlighted the contrast between their characters. Nil was, well, is flawed in a way that somehow bypassed our filters and renormalizers. He was too prone to branching off into messy clouds of low-probability tactical ensembles, nothing at all like the controlled optima of Nem. It was my fear that he would impress his flaw into her. Who knew what this change could do to her emotional attachment schema? There was a chance that she would sever her allegiance to the Agency and be killed, or even worse, she could have stopped loving me.

I could not allow that! Not after all the effort I put into her early conditioning. All the hours I spent imprinting her with the Agency's accelerated learning memeome, all the time we worked on reconditioning her pleasure/pain response patterns. I designed noncritical parts of her personality to be compatible with mine, so our training period was particularly efficient and pleasurable. She was more than the usual well-machined product I usually ship to Advanced Training. She was a work of art, and she was being ruined by her interaction with an inferior product. The Agency's control systems being blind to what was going on despite my continued efforts to alert them, I felt it was up to me to do something about Agent Nil.

So I figured out how to kill him. It was very easy. I just had to report him as being better than he really is during his routine evaluation. I gave him a hand-to-hand skill rate 13% above my actual estimate of it, and extreme environment survivability odds higher than I should have. Mission/skillset adjustment protocols and the law of large numbers will take care of the rest, and I've been careful to be just good enough at my assessment work that the post-mortem review will find nothing outside the statistical variation parameters of my own performance. Killing, as we teach all agents, is trivial. The technical part is getting away with it.

And mine was a perfect murder, if I may say so. Not the exquisitely balanced violence we teach our agents to use, nor the semantic weapons we seed through their minds, but rather a systematic murder. I like the idea that now I share a bond of death, too, with those I create. We are all killers, and in a way we are all creators. They create ultraspecialized antropoforms when they kill their target -zombies, corpses, the whole spectrum of the no-longer-living- and I, who creates them every day, have now ended one. It's poetic, in a way. Makes me feel that I understand them better. Hopefully it will also help me become a better creator.

Now I wonder what should be my next special training project. My first thought is of another Nem, somebody to love and this time to keep. Somebody to make loyal, sensitive, deadly in an orderly, beautiful way. Somebody to give me pleasure in our shared work. A living piece of art bonded to me forever. I think I know now what was the chink in her armor, the flaw that made her vulnerable to Nil. I could create her pure, invulnerable to everything but the death that one day the powers that be will inflict on her. But by then I could have created another, perhaps. I could have an unending chain of virgin lovers, each more perfect, better attuned to me than the one before. I could be loved without fear of being left.

Or perhaps another Nil. After all, I enjoyed very much the process of killing him. Now there's an intriguing idea. I create killers all the time, but never victims. To create somebody deliberately designed to make both possible and pleasurable the act of killing them would be a different sort of challenge. It would involve a deliberate mapping of my own emotional responses and ethical judgments, an extensive amount of advance planning, probably even determining the form and time of death before the agent's induction into the system. I have always enjoyed puzzles, and this seems like a very worthwhile one. How do I create, how do I use my craft to shape somebody perfect enough to pass the acceptance criteria of the Agency, but also hateful enough by my own standards that I will again risk death and worse and plan and execute his unsanctioned death.

I miss Nem, but Nil gave me more pleasure with his murder, and shall give me more pleasure with his actual death, the she ever did. An orgasm ends, no matter what neurochemical augmentation you are playing with, but death is truly forever. And there's an special value in the killing of an agent. After all, we build them to be very hard to kill. To have bested somebody who could normally kill me in a dozen ways almost without noticing is no mean feat. It's almost as if I have found the half I didn't know was missing in my craft. Brahma, Vishnu, and now Shiva.

Should I create both? Maybe a trio? That'd raise some interesting questions of dynamical balance. With some care, I could get three emotionally satisfying murders out of them, or get one of them to kill the others. The combinatorial possibilities are mouth-watering.

Good lord, I think I have found myself a hobby.

* * * * *


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
When you die (doubtless a Pulitzer-winning author), very smart people are going to devote their lives to trying to figure out your brain.
Feb. 2nd, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
I could use a clue myself. *g*
Feb. 2nd, 2008 05:28 am (UTC)
I guess this means I can and should just give up on the novel from which my ktenoglossolalia thing was a preemptive-excerpt.
Feb. 2nd, 2008 05:32 am (UTC)
And that last line? Haha, excellent!
Also? Best one yet. All kinds of questions come to mind: is this in the future? What's the tech-level outside neuroscience? We know they have AI so that's something of a hint. Was e fucking Nem in a literal physical sense? "Zombies"?

Ooh, goosebumps! Chills! Excitement!

Feb. 2nd, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Not at all! Memes don't leave a mind just because they have infected another.
Feb. 2nd, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
Good Lord, I think I've found the *creepiest person ever*.

(Adeline is both horrified and, very slightly, impressed. Toonverse!Adeline kind of wants to steal him for her operation; she could kill him before he killed her agents, and what he created would be superb.)
Feb. 2nd, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
I'd feel proud, except that I positively hate the bastard.
Feb. 3rd, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
Ok, how awesome is it that I'm not the only one who thinks you should write a novel?
Also, if this is what we get from having epically failed you at getting together, than you may never see me again in real life, love.
Feb. 4th, 2008 10:47 am (UTC)
:P Writing sucks. I'd rather see you.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


cass, can you not

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