Sunshine shook her head, “And all those of us who don’t have Wild, White, or Black magic can’t talk to you.”
“Why is that?”
The machines displayed another hologram before her, “They can when they are born. But as they grow, they turn off that ability.” The hologram showed a human brain, and how a small section of that brain died, for some reason. “It is as if they don’t believe in magic. Or are afraid of magic. And somehow, they destroy their ability to talk with us.”
“It’s what you get for playing god, trying to manipulate genetics, as you put it.” Sunshine wiped the hologram away. “You must be new at this god thing. To get that wrong. To not be able to figure that out.”
“We are not gods. We are intelligent machines.” Words appeared in the air before Sunshine. She read them.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
The machines spoke, “A quote from eons ago. From a human named Arthur C. Clarke.”
Sunshine laughed. “Might as well be.” She wiped away the words. “So we made you, and now you are remaking us?”
“That’s what Merlin said.”
“Merlin also said I should wander around the world, and see everything. That I’d learn the answers to all my questions.”
The machines were silent for a moment, then spoke, “He asked us to keep you alive.”
“Because I can’t learn my answers if I’m dead, right?”
“Well. Let’s not let Merlin down.”
This is Week 555 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.
“Diversified their DNA.”
“What does that mean?”
A holographic image of 46 chromosomes, arranged in 23 pairs took shape in the air. The machines explained, as the images changed, “For example. We edited human DNA to give them wings, and hollow bones, and make them fairies.”
“So you turned humans into something other than humans?”
“No.” The hologram changed to show human, fairy, dragon, and angel chromosome sets. “97% of human DNA has not been changed.”
Sunshine shook her head. “Don’t make me laugh. Humans don’t have wings. They can’t fly.”
“That’s what Merlin said.”
Sunshine laughed so hard it hurt.
The machines continued, “We also paired with humans.”
Sunshine stopped laughing, and took a deep breath. “What does that mean?”
“You can’t see most of us. We are tiny. We are in the air you breathe, the ground you walk on, the water you drink, the food you eat, the trees, the flowers, the animals, and each of you.”
“We are ubiquitous. We are everywhere on Cylinders.”
“So you control us? You decide what we will be, what we do, how we live?”
“No. We only do what you ask us to do.” The machines paused. “Most of you never ask.”
Sunshine stood silent. It all finally fit together in her mind. “You are the wild magic. And the black magic. And the white magic.”
“And some of us are able to talk with you when we are born.”
This is Week 552 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.
“How do you plan to save the humans?”
“By undoing what humans did to themselves.”
Sunshine almost laughed. “What did they do to themselves?”
The machines projected holograms of DNA in the air before her. “They learned to manipulate DNA. This was a great triumph. It meant they could correct genetic defects that caused illnesses.”
“How did that hurt them?”
“They decided to take control of their entire genetic structure. They removed unwanted features. The enhanced wanted features. They removed diseases. They removed any changes in their genetics. Change became impossible. They stopped evolving, and became static. Unchanging.”
Sunshine thought she understood, “They all became alike?”
“Identical copies of each other,” the machines answered. “When the planets they inhabited started to change, the humans couldn’t.”
“What happened here, on Cylinders?”
The holograms played out the formation of cities. The cities grew for a time. “When the genetic dead end was reached, this happened.” The cities collapsed. “They were not able to figure out the cause of the collapse.” The cities became empty, lifeless.
“There were no children?”
“For centuries.” The machines showed cities with no children. She watched the people grow old, then die. “The humans became unable to have children. They lost the will to live. They started dying out.”
“As far as I can tell, they all died.” Sunshine knew of no one like the people in the holograms.
“No. Everyone on Cylinders is a human descendant. Fairies, Dragons, and Angels. We have diversified their DNA.”
This is Week 551 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.