It went so fast. The weekend, that is.
Lying there on Sunday night, you realise you should probably have done something more productive that just lying on the couch playing No Man's Sky and watching Netflix. Alas, that's all that happened.
Work tomorrow too. For some reason, Monday always seem to bring a new week of work. Oh well.
Smartphone: tap, tap, tap. Okay, your alarm's set. For an ungodly hour. As it is every working day, ugh.
"I wonder what simulations they'll have me running tomorrow." you think.
[[Close your eyes]]
Aw, crap. It was one of those night. The ones where you feel like you had no sleep, and immediately woke up after closing your eyes.
Oh well, here goes. You begin your morning routine, and eventually take the 25 minute walk to your place of work, Torvorba Research.
[[Arrive at work]]
"New task for you today, Jim."
You're sitting in the simulation room, a large circular room with monitors lining the walls. They're not curved, but they've been fitted so if you can ignore the bezels, they almost look it. You seated in the centre, as always on the central observation chair.
You continue to run through your boring routines of monitoring simulations. This is basically all you do as work.
You completed hadn't noticed Profession Francois. But then again, it was not even 10 o'clock. Who the heck is awake when the hours are only single digit?
[["Sorry James. What's up?"]]
"I said, we have a new task for you."
Well, this catch you by surprise. If it wasn't for the fact your chair was designed specifically to tilt in all directions, you might very well have fallen off it.
"Oh?" you really, feigning a lack of interest. In fact, anything 'new', be it a 'task' or otherwise, would most certainly be welcome in this monotonous job.
"Well, you're been monitoring the labs simulations for quite a while now."
"We'd like your assistance. The lab is a bit stretched at the moment. For some reason, lots of our staff are off ill today, or on holiday."
For 'some reason'. Sure. You know why that is. The highly anticipated expansion to No Man's Sky was out. You'd tried to book this day off as well, but human resources ws having none of it.
Apparently, the lab staff who make the simulations can be off at any time. But the people who actually test these things? Nooo, you're got to work with so little time off. Damn contract.
"Ok. So... how can I help?" you reply, after what was probably an awkward amount of staring by the professor.
"You can create our next simulation."
Well, that surprised me.
"Sure. I'll just give you permission to the dev. server and then download the necesary application. Oh, and I'll have to give you a temporary account on our simulation resources server. Plus you're need...."
The professors speech pretty much turned into him mumbling to himself as he gestured me to move out of the seat. He leaning over and starting rapidly typing, bringing up a terminal window and assigned permissions, loading programs and doing all kinds of things you've never seen this computer do.
Just after your legs started aching, but just before you went to find another seat, the professor finished.
"Done. There we go."
He hit [ENTER] and a new screen appeared.
"I'll leave you to it. The creation system is just intialising, but it should be pretty self explanatory once it gets going."
With that, the professor makes for the simulation room exit.
[[You say "thanks" and sit down.]]
"SIMULATION CREATION MODE INITIALISING"
Well, you've never seen this before. Cool though. Something damn different to do that just watching tiny people move around. Maybe it'll even be fun.
"SIMULATION PARAMETERS REQUIRED FOR HUMAN POPULACE."
You thought it was rather odd this option was even here. Oh well.
"ENTIRE HUMAN POPULACE EXPIRES AFTER 264.3 SECONDS"
"PRIMARY CAUSE OF TERMINATION: ASPHYXIATION."
Well, that's stupid. Why would the simulation not provide the humans with space suits. You frown, and go to restart the simulation, ignoring the millions of innocent simulated people you just painfully killed.
(set: $mars_sim_done = 1)
"PRIMARY SIMULATED EVENT REQUIRED"
Well, you know from hearing the lab techs talk that this is the one of the grim bits of creating these simulations.
[["1. ACCELERATED GLOBAL WARMING"]]
[["2. GREY-GOO SCENERIO"]]
[["3. INTERPLANETARY BODY COLLISION"]]
Here we go again...
"SIMULATION PARAMETERS REQUIRED FOR HUMAN POPULACE."
(if: $mars_sim_done is 1)[(if: $global_warming_sim_done is 1)[(if: $grey_goo_sim_done is 1)[(if: $collision_sim_done is 1)[ [["3. UNKNOWN"]] ]]]]
You watch the monitors spring to life with full represention of Earth and all its inhabitents. You then watch, as you've done before, the simulated people struggle to survive in a world where the polar ice caps are melting.
The water levels rise and rise.
Some places build giant walls around their major cities. Tremendous things, hundred and hundreds of metres high. Significant accomplishments no doubt, but nothing compared to simulated mother nature. They break down eventually. You watch everyone drowning inside.
Other parts of the world attempt to create enormous floating cities. Alas, increased climate changes caused ever worsening storms, which over power the defences this man-made islands possess. You look to see massive tidal waves destroy the cities, killing everyone slowly and painfully.
But you've tested these before. Maybe a tad desensitised.
(set: $global_warming_sim_done = 1)
You heard the lab techs talk about this option before. Apparently, a grey-goo scenerio refers to humans messing up.
The 'grey-goo' is apparently made up of nano-robots. In this type of simulation, humans develop microscopic robots, with aritificial intelligence. They go rogue though, and millions (billions?) of them start pulling apart all matter on the planet. No way to stop them apparently, and all they want to do is make paperclips or something.
Regardless, you'd not seen this particular type of simulation before. You wish you hadn't.
Watching simulated humans being ripped apart slowly from the inside out is not pleasent at all. After seeing this horrific sight in detail close up, you quickly zoom the simulation out.
You watch as every man made structure, building and eventually city is torn down by these tiny microscopic robots. They destroy, without thought, without mercy (or even the concept of it), everything the human race has constructed.
Just before the simulation ends, you pan around the entire Earth. There is nothing there, except a shiming silver haze of tiny machines. No evidence humans ever lived on the planet.
(set: $grey_goo_sim_done = 1)
This simulation doesn't start with Earth as the focus. It starts in space, with you camera following an enormous plantery body (an asteriod perhaps?). The read out report its width as hundreds of kilometres.
You tap the keypad and the system alters your view to Earth. Zooming in you see riots in the streets of every significant place on the planet. The public were warned of the impending impact by their leading, but they are powerless to do anything.
Global panic has set in.
Several attempts are made to stop the approaching asteriod, by various space agencies around the world. In fact, there are unlikely alliances made between barious counties. Humanity unites in a massive effort to fix this problem.
You watch several space craft, one after another be launched. They're sent at the foreign body. Some collide with it. Some explode near it. Other even attempt to land upon it.
These simulated people may it worse.
The asteriod is split in many still very large fragments.
They hit the planet. Dust clouds erupt, within only days of simulated time the sun is entirely blocked out.
You watch humanity die a painfully slow death.
(set: $collision_sim_done = 1)
You zoom in on the planet. It looks like Earth. Why was it listed as "UNKNOWN"?
You can see no little simulated people on this planet at all. Strange.
You pan around the planet. And keep doing so for a few minutes, intrigued by this oddity.
"Must be a bug", you think to youself just before noticed a strange flashing light coming from the surface.
Immediately, you zoom in. It's near the oceon. Zooming in closer, you see it's a beach.
On this otherwise deserted planet, there is a single human. He's staring directly at you. Looking up into the camera.
You alter the viewpoint. His eyes follow, and then slowly look toward the sand.
Words have been dug out.
"WE KNOW WHAT YOU DID."