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The door slams shut behind you as you walk into a sterile room with concrete floors and metal walls. The air is uncomfortably cool, and in front of you is a giant (and apparently very old) supercomputer that takes up most of the space in this room. The click-clacking of relays running arcane programs fills the air, and you can see the warm glow of thousands of vacuum tubes through an open door beside the machine, extending very far into a dark room. As you step forward, the machine speaks...
"I am an ancient AI, filled with the wisdom and knowledge of many decades. Let me ask you a question, sir or ma'am.
<<audio "bgm" loop play>>"Oh good, you get the joke. I am as happy as a tube-based computer intelligence can be."
[[Try Again?|Start]]"You do not get the joke. <b>You are wasting my time.</b>"
The AI angrilly ejects an 8" floppy disk from it's front loading drive and decapitates you. Surprise! The last sound you hear during your final minutes of brain activity is a stilted, computerized laugh.
You have failed.
<<audio "ha" play>>"Wat"
"You are either electrically-inclined, or from southern California. Congratulations."
[[I'm an electrician, Mr. AI]]
[[Why yes, I am from Los Angeles]]"Oh good, perhaps you can help me with this problem I'm having. You see, I am an ancient AI, built in an era when transistors were but an experiment in William Shockley's lab. It seems that one of my vacuum tubes is going bad. Would you please find and replace it?"
[[Lucky for you, I never leave home without my tube tester, and I love helping sentient AI's.]]
[[No, I'm hungry, and I think I'll go get lunch.]]"Oh swell. What part?"
[[Like I said, Watts]]
[[San Pedro, man!]]
[[Encinitas|Cardiff-By-The-Sea]]"Fantastic. Would you mind lending a hand."
[[No, I'm hungry, and I think I'll go get lunch.]]"Hey, I don't take kindly too people shouting at me. Please refrain, or I will be forced to take punitive measures."
[[Ok, I'm sorry.|Start]]
[[HEY ROBOT, YOU DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! WE HUMANS PROGRAMMED YOU AND I'LL DO WHATE]]Mr. AI, infuriated by your insistence on being an obnoxious turd, locks the door you walked in through. You, being the stubborn person you are, refuse to apologize. As a result, you starve to death as Mr. AI laughs robotically.
<<audio "ha" play>>"Oh, what will you be having?"
[[Sandwich]]"Tacos sound delicious, but I, unfortunately, was created in an era before robot-tasting technology was invented, so I will never know."
You sense that, had he the ability, he would shed a tear.
[[Cool...]]"Subway or Jimmy John's?"
[[Jimmy John's, brother!]]
[[I thought I would stop by the Wal-Mart Subw...]]<<cacheaudio "bgm" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/bgm/ai-bgm.mp3" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/bgm/ai-bgm.ogg">>
<<cacheaudio "ha" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/sfx/ai/ha.mp3" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/sfx/ai/ha.ogg">>
<<cacheaudio "nerd" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/sfx/ai/nerd.mp3" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/sfx/ai/nerd.ogg">>
<<cacheaudio "dirty" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/sfx/ai/dirty.mp3" "/Users/admin/Documents/Twine/media/sfx/ai/dirty.ogg">>"If I had taste buds, I would congratulate you on your choice, sir. Unfortunately, I have no mouth, and I cannot eat."
With that you exit, then change your mind upon remembering that you don't have a Jimmy John's in your town, and get Thai food instead.
[[Try Again?|Start]]Mr. AI cuts you off in the middle of the sentence to berate you on your choice of eating at a Wal-Mart. As you attempt to question how he knows of the quality of one sandwich place versus another, being a computer and what-not, Mr. AI aggressively shoots current through some relays, opening a trap door underneath you. You barely have time think back on your poor life decisions leading up to this moment when you helplessly panic at the realization that you're being dropped into the ocean from what you know for certain is at least way, way more than 10 feet. Your last thought is of the moon door in Game of Thrones, and how this is totally kind of like that. You are then ripped to pieces by the height of the fall in combination with the surface tension of the water.
If this were opposite day, you'd be a winner!
After a moment of awkward silence you shuffle out of the room to get lunch.
I guess this is a win-state of some sort.
[[Try Again?|Start]]"Oh, I should have known. I am ashamed of my ignorance."
The computer, ashamed by it's ignorance, initiates a self-destruct sequence. You try desperately to calm Mr. AI down, but it's no use. This machine is suicidal! You wish there were something you could have done to convince Mr. AI that life is worth living. You wish he could smell a flower, appreciate a beautiful painting, or hit up a sweet, sweet taco truck. You wish you could have reminded him that he is a machine, and was not actually programmed to feel shame and that this must be a bug. More than anything, though, you wish he would have unlocked the door before setting the bomb wired into his metal frame to blow. You are now the murderee in a murder-suicide!
Yes, you have failed.
[[Try Again?|Start]]"I know of San Pedro. If I could enjoy music, my favorite band would be the Minutemen. You may go."
And as quickly as you came, you leave, but not before you hear the opening chords to "Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs" on your way out. Hooray for real-world references in fictional stories.
[[Try Again?|Start]]"Hey, you cannot fool me, human. That is not located in Los Angeles at all."
Mr. AI, enraged by your lies, opens the door to the facility, forcing you to leave. However, before you can exit, a robot arm pulls your pants down in front of an inexplicably modern webcam that is streaming to millions around the world somehow. While you are scrambling to fix this dire pants situation, a second pair of tiny robot hands ties your shoelaces together, causing you to trip and fall face first into the cold concrete just outside of the doorway. Behind you, the familiar, computerized voice of Mr. AI is repeatedly calling you a nerd, and you go home in deep shame. A shame so deep you never really recover from it, affecting your future relationships and prospects.
<<audio "nerd" play>>"That is much appreciated. I cannot function at 100% if only 99% of my tubes are working."
With that, you pull out your tube tester and bag of vacuum tubes you inexplicably carry with you everywhere. Everyone said you were crazy for stubbornly carrying all of this archaic equipment with you at all times, but now look at you, repairing a useless AI!
After hours of rigorously testing the thousands of tubes that enable Mr. AI to calculate, communicate, and reason, you find the culprit! A burned out triode in the very back of the room. [[You replace the part.]]"Ah yes, much better. What can I do to thank you, Good Samaritan?"
[[Um, a million dollars?]]
[[Just some tacos.|Tacos]]
[[How about a sexual favor?]]"Consider it done."
And like that, a nearby printer begins printing $100 dollar bills. This is a counterfeiting machine! You excitedly scoop up the money and put it in the bag with your old-ass tubes. Neat! You'd be wondering why a money counterfeiting machine needs such sophisticated artificial intelligence if you weren't pissing your pants in excitement over now being a millionaire.
[[Try Again?|Start]]"You dirty bitch."
These words are still fresh in your ears as a frightening looking steel tube with some very upsetting rubber "lips" and a "tongue" affixed to the end protrudes from the machine. A pair of robot hands unzip your pants, and Mr. AI aggressively "pleases" you. All you can think about is how much you deeply regret this decision as the terrifyingly unlubricated rubber mouth parts jerk and pull at your genitalia, yanking out the odd pubic hair in the process. The trip home is very, very unpleasant, and you take this experience to your grave, as you are far too ashamed of yourself to tell anyone.
I mean, at least Mr. AI didn't kill you in this ending.
<<audio "dirty" play>><font size="6" color="blue"><I>Interview with an AI</I></font>
By <a href="https://hitrison.itch.io/">Hitrison</a> (aka <a href="http://liamnixon.bandcamp.com/">Liam Nixon</a>)