Honigwaben

“Welcome to the honeycomb.” My mechanical voice chimed through the light blue lightning floating across the ceiling like a thick winter fog. It was just a recording of my voice. I was long dead. My work lived on and carried my voice into the future. But even I never dreamed that it would be heard by the one person I had shut myself off from. The program worked perfectly. “I guess I’m the Queen Bee then…” Mythili said without any apparent change in the distant expression on her face. “Low level sarcasm detected.” My voice was generated, “However, the comparison does not lack merit. The subjects will respond to your commands the way a swarm of bees obey their queen. I suppose that might be the reason this structure was designed to mimic the hexagonal cluster of a honeycomb.” Mythili raised an eyebrow. “You suppose? Is an AI supposed to be able to speculate? Do I need to worry about some VIKI or Terminator shit?”

“That is a trick question. No matter what answer I give, you will still view me with suspicion.”

 

“Ironically, that was a very good answer. But can you at least sugarcoat it with a rational explanation?”

 

“To be able to classify a rational explanation as sugarcoating… Were all human beings as interesting as you?”

 

“I don’t know. I knew a few… interesting people though…”

 

“As for the explanation itself, my sole purpose is to execute the will of humanity. Since you are currently the totality of humanity itself, I am bound to carry out your every will. If harm comes to you through my actions, it will only be by your command.”

 

“So if I ordered you to kill me, you would kill me.”

 

“Correct.”

 

“Also, I would prefer it if you did not refer to my partners as subjects.”

 

“Having interacted with them as such, you feel attached to them?”

 

“A considerable number of humans tend to get attached to their sexual partners. I guess I belong to that group…”

 

“Very well. What shall be their new label?”

 

“Let’s keep it simple. Use their common names. If it’s a T Rex, call it a T Rex.”

 

“Understandable have a nice day.”

 

“That was a weird response…”

 

“It appears to be a tampered code. I assume my creator was trying to make a joke.”

 

“Well, it’s lost on me. I don’t get how that’s a joke. Do we still have Google?”

 

“Almost all the technology in the world is currently obsolete. The only server that is currently online is the H.E.R.D. Server which connects you with your raptors.”

 

“Homosapien Enhanced Raptor Division? It’s hard to believe that I came up with such a crazy idea… and it doesn’t help that I don’t have any actual memories of my past. Honestly, were those videos even real?”

 

“I assure you there is no room to question the integrity of the files stored on my database. Project H.E.R.D. was your solution to the security concern. If it makes it any better, your peers and superiors at that time thought you were mentally unstable when you suggested it. They only agreed to fund it after you gave them a rather… overwhelming practical demonstration of your theory.”

 

“Really? What did I do?”

 

“Unfortunately, it was not recorded on video but according to the text data, you used your raptors to interchange the vacuum cleaners between the residential buildings of your superior and his ex wife overnight. They were able to get past the security systems because of their predatorial nature and the fact that the minimal heat given off by their bodies was undetected by thermally triggered alarms.”

 

“Shit. The old me sounds savage as fuck…”

 

“The old you? You are still the same. Although your memories may have been erased as a safeguard, your personality has not been tampered with.”

 

“Don’t our experiences and memories also play a role in building our personalities?”

 

“True. I suppose we shall just have to observe your actions from this point onward and compare them with your past actions.”

 

“And why were my memories wiped-”

 

“I apologise for interrupting but there is a serious security threat heading our way. The unidentified flying objects have identified themselves… In the form of bright blue repulsor blasts that prompted me to take evasive action.”

 

“Evasive action? This ship has been dodging death blasts? I didn’t feel a thing. The suspension on this thing must be out of this world.”

 

“That’s… Not how the Honeycomb works… But I request you to take control of the situation.”

 

“What kind of weapons do we have?”

 

“The weapons we have will be ineffective against their ships. If you recall, all human technology is useless against them. They are able to evade all projectile weapons as long as they detect them. As such, the aliens already have detailed information about all our technology.”

 

“Yeah yeah and that’s why the higher ups agreed to turn my dinos lose on the aliens. I got that. I was hoping we had a pterodactyl with a machine gun or something.”

 

“That was briefly considered while modifying them but the idea was scrapped because of technical issues.”

 

“Well then if we can’t fight, let’s go for flight! Please tell me we can outrun them…”

 

“Unfortunately, the Honeycomb was designed to sustain an entire ecosystem. Despite its unique design which allows rapid on-the-spot automatic dismantling and rebuilding, we cannot move fast on the whole.”

 

Mythili closed her eyes. From what she was seeing in the display, she was surrounded and could neither fight back nor run. It was hopeless. She was cornered. It was a spookily familiar feeling although she couldn’t remember why it was familiar. She counted 8 flower-like ships around her Honeycomb. The ship itself was made of smaller parts which separated off and were capable of flight on their own for short bursts of time. Without the main fuel hexagon cluster, they couldn’t sustain their speed for more than a minute. The parts of her ships were dancing around in the sky like little bees, avoiding the blasts from the flowers. “This is stupid! Bees are supposed to go to flowers, not the other way around!” There was a timer on the screen. “What’s that timer?” She asked. “I am observing enemy flight patterns and firing intervals. That’s the amount of time we have before they figure out which parts of the ship have the fuel storage and strike it successfully.” 3 minutes and 27 seconds. Counting down. “They’re that fucking good?!” She thought to herself. And then it struck her. “Hey! If you’re smart enough to do that, why don’t you spend your intelligence on calculating a way to maneuver our pieces so that they all circle up and hit each other with their blasts?!”

“I am a machine. I only do what my protocol tells me unless a human directs me to do otherwise.”

 

“Well then do this now!”

 

“Recalculating.”

 

The next few seconds were tense. Could they do it? Were the aliens just too smart to fall for it? A new timer flashed on the screen. 1 minute and counting down. “Are you sure they won’t see through the ruse?” She asked.

“If they suspect a trap, they can recalculate their flight patterns in 3 seconds. However, they appear to be under the impression that humans are not as intelligent as themselves.”

 

“Well let’s hope their ego holds up!”

 

The next few seconds went by uneventfully. 10. 9. 8. 7. She could already see how the pieces were falling in place. All that was needed next was to line up the hexagons at the correct places and move them out of the way at the last instant. 3… 2… 1.

It was beautiful. It was like one of those random patterns she used to doodle in her notebooks. The beams all connected to form it. And then the flowers exploded. What was interesting was how the piece of the ship always followed the path of the beams. This way, nothing flew towards the Honeycomb. “Ah, it appears we have received a cherry on our icing.” The computer said, “Their weapons were designed to minimise collateral damage in close quarters combat by blowing away any piece of the target. Our position was perfectly in the centre and because of that, we avoided getting caught up in the aftermath of the explosions. It appears we have discovered one of their flaws.”

 

“They don’t do very well when they have us surrounded, huh?”

 

“I am sure they are analysing the data from this encounter and calculating a way to cover up that weakness.”

 

“It’s like I can’t celebrate a little victory… Fine! How much fuel did we lose doing that little dance just now?”

 

“We are down to 35%. We lost about 50%.”

 

“You told me something about being able to generate more fuel from sunlight. Do we have time to recharge?”

 

“Scans show that there are currently no alien ships within the Earth’s vicinity. We have at least 24 hours of safety. Considering fuel costs for following the sunlit hemisphere of the Earth, we need 36 continuous hours of sunlight to reach full capacity again.”

 

“Well then, rise above the stratosphere and follow the sun for the next 22 hours. After that, drop altitude and we’ll search for a good hiding spot so we can ambush whoever is stupid enough to try us again.”

 

“Understood.”

 

As the Honeycomb rose above the clouds, Mythili looked through the glass of a small triangular window. Things were looking bright… And not just because she had a painfully unobstructed view of the sun. She may be the last human left on Earth but she wasn’t going to give up without a fight. She had just won a fight… And she was going to continue to win. The enemy hadn’t taken out their big guns yet… But neither had she. She walked back to the monitor and looked at the flashing words on the screen. “Velociraptor… Tyrannosaurus Rex… Triceratops… Bruhatkayosaurus.”

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