The Final AI

A short, short story:

Four, now, or five? I can’t remember. Someone in the on-line forum said this is number five, but I’m only up to three. It’s important, I know it is. And I’ll do it. I will. Some things take time to consider, research, and seek advice before plunging in. I wouldn’t buy a house without the same level of consideration, would I?

It’s not like it’s something everyone’s doing, is it? There’s danger involved for people like me. Some people say we don’t have a choice. I’m sure they’re right, and that’s scary.

Why? I’ve seen too many stories where the rare things happen. If they happen so often, why call them rare? Not in my book.

Doing more searches is the answer; to see both sides of the argument. First, I need music.

Hey, I bought a new album yesterday. Online, of course. Just click and it’s there in your music app. Love it. Never leave home to shop again.

The choices sit in the government app, lit up like bright neon signs to indicate the value of the decision, and – tap this icon – all done. Except for the jab. For that, I’d have to go to an authorised location. Of which there are none nearby, I’d have to leave my building, go outside, and walk in too-bright sunshine, drive in that horrendous traffic, push my way through the pedestrians, all just to get to the door. Push on, time’s a-wasting.

More research needed before all that.

The site has ads down the side. They all do, even the government ones.

Ohhhhh. There’s a new chair with lumbar support, neck brace, and multi-gassed struts – and a plug-in for the new smart-tech. Maybe I’ll get that before I sit at the desk long enough to give this this waste-of-time research a thorough dive. Then I’ll be prepped and ready for the countdown.

They should just tell us to do it, send a nurse to every house, and voila! If you’re not home or don’t answer the door, you miss out. If you’re home and let them in, well, done and dusted, eh? Everyone who wants to be linked up to the smart-tech via the subdermal receivers and behind-the-ear implant. That’s the least of the tech for those who want to remain in the dark ages.

There’s the end-stage connection. The big deal.

The final part of the process is the eye, the permeable membrane that gets absorbed by the natural lens and cilia, eventually part of the optic nerve.

No going back once that bit gets done.

I’ve done two subdermal in the arms. I’ve got the audio implant growing into my brain. I doubt it’s only audio. I’m too old to fall for spiel, but if I do nothing, I get nothing. No pension, no care, no health benefits. Nothing to see me through the autumn of my years – which won’t last long if I can’t get groceries. And as there are no supermarkets, and the so-called ‘local’ markets do eSales with eDelivery schedules …

The site states clearly and in a big block of text that I have a choice. A choice. Sure. I can become a machine the machine learns from, or I can fade to black.

The best part? If I stop now, I have to pay the full amount for those minor enhancements. The teaser: if I get the lot, I’ll never be alone, or deaf, or blind. I’ll never have to leave the house, talk to real people, or get the wrong medication. I’ll have the perfect life.

Some choice, right?

In February this year, I got the notification for a ‘flu shot, which I ignored – as I usually do for a week or two until I find time to fit it in. When I made the appointment, I was fine. The day before, I got the ‘flu.

This year, I’ve had the ‘flu three times in three months. Is it playing catch-up? This third time is the pits, so I’m slowing down enough that the body has time to get appropriate rest and respite from the world before popping the head up again.

I’ll be back! And at the moment, I can’t even think who said that so I’d better hop back into bed and pretend the world doesn’t exist for yet another day …

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