Windows To Darkness- Cerebral Illogica

Image created by Nate Armstrong

Story by Nate Armstrong & Dokken Storm

The solar panels were endless in all directions save the path that led to the forest, which they had just exited.  The heat was magnified from the reflection of ten thousand suns, each siphoning its power from the star overhead.  

Ephraem followed E.L. closely and debated with himself which was worse: the heat from the endless glass panels or the acidic air that blew over and around them, which now burned his lungs.

“Do any citizens of the citadel breathe this horrible air or do they all have metal bodies like your own,” asked Ephraem with a grin. 

“No, the citadel is hermetically sealed and the air there is purified to the standards set by the medical algorithm created by the OptiNous,” answered E.L. with no sign that she caught the jest in his question. 

She continued, “our OptiNous is given the most authority on the ruling round table and decides what is best for the collective of the Citadel,” 

“What’s an OptiNous?” asked Ephraem.

E.L. began to explain “ An OptiNous embodies both the masculine and the feminine, digitally, a perfect union of opposites, programmed for the benefit of both the digital constructs and the collective, to live in perfect harmony. Since there is mutual benefit, the OptiNous has the best foreknowledge to make the decisions, a human being would find impossible to…”

Ephraem interrupted E.L. with “Who programmed the OptiNous, the whole collective or just a few men with lab coats?

E.L. softy answered in a mechanical voice, “I suppose just a few people I… I wasn’t around for the founding of the Citadel.”

Ephraem couldn’t tell from body language but by the words that this was something that was a conundrum E.L. was possibly wanting to understand as well. 

“And how does something that isn’t human know what’s best for humanity?” Ephraem asked.

E.L. became silent. 

The two walked for a time in silence. Stumbling along Ephraem’s clothes became drenched in sweat, his throat was dusty and he began to feel like maybe his eyes were playing tricks. He wasn’t sure if it was real or some type of mirage but he was seeing movement some yards away. 

Almost looked like…Goblins.

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