Romance of Singularity:
I submitted this story to aescifi.com hoping that it mig\tht get selected for publication but it did not happen so I am deciding to share this story with you instead. Don’t mind the grammar mistake, I haven’t proof read it yet. Enjoy!
Dakko K. is an ecommerce analyst at the Wall Street who specializes in predicting and analyzing Internet traffic for his clients to promote and attract new customers and ensure old customers are satisfied and happy enough to visit his client’s website again. One fine Sunday morning he headed outside for jogging to the central park, perhaps the only spot in the New York and one of the few spot in America with clean air, water and open lush greenery. The only few spots in the world where humanity can feel their union with nature.
He exits his apartment and finds the city street crowded with taxis and cyclist. He raised his head to see the sunlight but colossal building structures were obstructing his line of sight. The top of these building were covered with thick smog but the contours of these concrete towers were decorated by artificial lights and large LED sign boards. The air was thick and contaminated with poisonous pollutant - a blessing from the unregulated industries releasing poisonous gas that had made breathing difficult for Dakko and the rest of the city. Perhaps this is why the city council had made it necessary for residence to cover themselves face mask made up of nano-particles that clean the air inhaled by the user.
Dakko starts jogging toward the Central Park as he navigates through the dense and claustrophobic city streets. The park is a 15 minute walk from his house courtesy to the newly opened city escalators design and constructed by the city council to help the elderly or Prohumans who hates augmenting their body and dislike having robotic assistance.
Dakko enters the Central Park that requires a special permit that allows individuals to use the facility 50 times a year – a move by the city council to avoid overcrowding the park and to ensure that all city dwellers could spend enough time with the nature. Dakko undergoes a retina scan and enters the park. He stretches his muscles and removes his mask as he begins jogging. He stands under the tree and begins his breathing exercise, inhaling and exhaling as hard as he can. The smell of fresh flowers and aroma makes him happy and energetic.
He begins jogging along the path, enjoying the lake view and greenery when suddenly he spots a young woman jogging his way. Dakko was mesmerized by her radiant looks and athletic figure. He keeps staring the woman and kept jogging trying to close the gap to see her up close. The woman run pass him and didn’t notice Dakko staring her. Dakko stops half way and looks down at the ground with a smile at his face. He begins following the woman, thinking of ways to introduce him and avoid making a fool out of himself.
Dakko’s heart was racing faster than him jogging which was making him more nervous. “What the hell, why am I nervous” - he thought to himself. “Hi, I am Dakko… no… to fast… Hi, you new here… dammit… what’s up… oh man…” - practicing his line under his breath while running. He began following her through the lake side while maintaining his distance to avoid suspicion.
Suddenly, the woman stops and stood still. She took a deep breath and turned around and started looking at Dakko who made a quick decision and continued running. He noticed the young woman looking right at him but Dakko avoided the eye contact and started staring at the ducks on the lake. As Dakko approach near the woman, the woman stops him by blocking his path.
“You do this all the time?” - asked the woman to Dakko with a disgusted look on her face
“I am sorry, what?” - Dakko was nervous and totally confused.
“Oh sorry, where are my manners, let me rephrase the question and ask you politely. Why the hell are you following me, you wandering loner!” - This time there was anger in her tone but Dakko was busy noticing her oval face with pointy sharp nose and bright blue eyes.
“There is something off about her eyes… ” - Dakko wondered while the young woman was yelling at him.
“I was simply jogging. I think I am allowed to do that here.” - answered Dakko trying to act as calm as possible.
“Don’t you lie to me, I saw you jogging right pass me and all of a sudden you stopped and began following me for pass 10 minutes. Are you a psychopath looking for your victim, are you a rapist or a terrorist. Wait a second, yeah, you must be one of those organ thief, I have seen many criminals on TV with your physique and those pathetic eyes says it all. Keep off me or else I am calling the security.”
“No… No… I am not an organ thief.” - Unconsciously he takes a step forward toward the woman who took Dakko’s move very unwelcoming. She started screaming alerting the security. The passerby started noticing and gave a long stare at Dakko, who didn’t know what to do. He looks everywhere trying to keep a calm face and wore a crooked smile while the woman was screaming for help. He had no option but to cover the woman’s mouth with his hand.
“Please, I am no stalker; I am not an organ thief either. I saw you from the distance and found you attractive. I was following you thinking of ways to start conservation with you. That’s all. Now please stop screaming or else the local enforcement will throw me in jail, where I can assure you I won’t survive a minute.” - Dakko whispered and reasoned with the woman and removed his hand.
The security personnel came to them immediately. “What’s the problem madam?” - asked the officer while staring at Dakko. “Is he bothering you?”
“Everything is fine, officer, he is my friend and he forgot my birthday so I overreacted” - answered the woman to the unconvinced security officer who already had his right hand place on the Taser gun.
“Madam, need I remind you that you are in a public property and such act would not be tolerated in future. Is that clear?” - ordered the officer in his aggressive voice.
“I am really sorry, it won’t happen again” - the officers left the two and walked away.
“I am sorry if I scared you. I should be going now” -Dakko told the woman.
“No. wait I am sorry for making a scene here. I overreacted. I owe you an apology. I am really sorry. I was overstressed. I had an argument with my college dean so I was in a really bad mood which is why I release all my anger at you.”
“It’s okay. I shouldn’t have stalked you like this”
“Well. You can apologize by buying me a tea. I know a very good shop nearby?” - The woman had a smile on her face and was very apologetic.
“Yeah. Why not.” - Dakko was deeply happy and relieved at the offer.
“I am Eva by the way.”
“Nice to meet you. Dakko. It’s a strange name.” - there was a brief pause.
Avoiding eye contacts, both Eva and Dakko stood still looking around, scratching their heads.
"So Coffee?" - asked Dakko as he filled his lungs with fresh air.
"Yea, why not"
Both Eva and Dakko exit the Central Park and head toward the Coffee Shop that Eva suggested.
“So, do you come here regularly?” -asked Eva curiously “because I never saw you before.”
“I won’t say 50 days a year is considered regular but yes I try to make use of all my days to visit the park. It is the only place where I can stay sane.”
“I know what you mean. I do the same. I just hate the fact that this is the only place in the city with trees and plants. I love trees especially the sound it makes when the wind blows through them”
“Yeah me too. My old folks use to tell me stories of a time when the city was covered with trees and plants.” There was a moment of silence. “So what do you do for living?”
“Living!” - Eva repeated with a giggle. “Well, I teach history at a university. What about you?”
“I am an analyst; I predict Internet traffic and encourage sales. Not so fun as a historian”
“Trust me, teaching history to teenagers who have no interest in the past over and over again is not fun at all. People don’t share such enthusiasm you see.” - Eva explained.
Both Eva and Dakko reaches the Coffee Shop and finds themselves next to a window with the backdrop of massive LED screens displaying advertisements and giant neon signs running through the city street. They begin talking to each other, laughing and sharing their day to day stories with each other. The morning turned to afternoon with dark patches of cloud blocking the sun as if waiting for the rain to pour.
Suddenly, Dakko spotted a large mob, smashing windows and running havoc in the street. He knew who the mobs were from the symbol of their shirt. The mob belongs to anti-synthetic group, a xenophobic organization who had committed crimes against the Synthetics - an android robotic race designed by human race decades ago with a consciousness of their own. The Synthetics had been fighting for their acceptance in society by petitioning in world court and United Nation but that has met with negative response as the Synthetics are considered a slave and appliances despite having a consciousness of their own. The Anti-Synthetic organization has decommissioned thousands of Synthetics and walked away from their crime because the law doesn’t recognize them as human yet.
Dakko grabs Eva’s hand and hurried toward the back door.
“What happened? Where are we going?” - asked Eva but Dakko grabs her hand tightly and rushes out of the Coffee Shop and ran as far away from the crowd as possible.
“Dakko, you are hurting me? Let go of me?” - Eva was tensed now as she didn’t know what Dakko had in mind or where he was taking her.
Dakko stopped a taxi and shoved Eva inside the taxi as he told Eva to trust him. He told the taxi driver to take them as far away from the crowed as possible which is when Eva notice the crowd outside the Coffee Shop and saw people getting beaten up by the mob. As the taxi drove away, police siren was heard ahead of the taxi. The sound of the siren was eventually getting louder as the police cars passed by the taxi. Eva was quiet throughout the ride and was constantly looking back.
“Thank you very much sir. Please stop here.” - Dakko told the taxi driver.
Both Eva and Dakko exited the taxi but Eva was silence as she stood their looking at Dakko waiting for the right moment to ask Dakko a question.
“When did you find out?” -asked Eva with moisture in her eyes.
“I was the only one wearing the face mask when we exited the park but your eyes cleared my suspicious, instead of a pupil, you have an mechanical apertures in your eyes” - answered Dakko.
“Yes, of course.” A tear drop rushed to her face but Eva immediately whipped that off with her hand. “No matter how perfect we could resemble your kind, we will still remain an imitation of life. Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I was having a good time, Eva. I really enjoyed your company. And to be honest I am beginning to like you.”
“Please stop. Just stop.” Eva interrupted Dakko. “You are a nice man Dakko, you saved my life today and I don’t know how could I ever repay you but you need to understand I am not a human. I am a machine, programmed to serve humanity by performing boring and repetitive task. You are attracted to this face and body which was designed so that we could look like your kind. You are my master, my creator. Your attraction to me is similar to your attraction to your mobile phone. I am an appliance Dakko. You of all people should understand this.”
“You are wrong Eva; If flash makes me a human than I am not, I should start calling myself half human too, since my entire left side is made up of prosthetics courtesy to an accident. What makes me a human and you a Synthetic? Just because I am made up of flesh and bones doesn’t necessarily mean I could be considered human by definition? If having flesh and bones makes us human then what about animals. They are made up of flesh and bones too but we don’t call them humans. You can think and reason for yourself. If I lose my body and transfer my memory to a computer, will I still be considered human? We have the technology to do that Eva, than why can’t you and I be together?”
There was sadness in Eva’s eyes but she hid her emotion, something, she learned a long time ago.
“It’s funny, we are program to cry but we are not program to cough and breath like your kind which makes us easily identifiable.” Eva told Dakko with a fake smile on her face. “You are a sweet man Dakko but even you don’t know what you are talking about. Fire and Ice could never coexist. Please do not follow me, I beg of you. It was nice meeting you. Thank you for everything”
Eva turned her back toward Dakko and started walking. Dakko stood there looking at Eva, hoping that she would stop and look back once but she didn’t. Eva disappeared in the dense maze of the concrete jungle while Dakko stood there waiting and hoping.