The Creation of Sparky

The residents of Bisbee have a story to tell

The Creation of Sparky

Postby Sparky » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:00 pm

August, 1971. Back when ‘user friendly’ meant ‘not a string of 0s and 1s’. Such was the everyday reality for Sparky, formerly known as Steven Sparks – an everyday computer programmer fresh out of high school, with a talent for coding. He was quickly hired and put to work, and was… Content, if not thriving.

That all changed one fateful day. One friendly co-worker invited him to see something fantastic – a hand-made computer more powerful than anything the world had ever seen. A farfetched claim, to be sure, but Steven found that he just couldn’t say no. There was something about that co-worker… Something that made refusal simply impossible.

The abandoned warehouse that Steven was led to should have tipped him off, but a few soothing words banished any thought of dissent from his mind. The same thing occurred when he was told that the computer had a ‘neural interface’, and a bunch of wires were strapped all around his body. The great machine began to power up, and all the wires at once lit up with a terrible energy. He blacked out almost instantly.

Those were his last memories as a human. It wasn't an electroction; rather, it was some twisted form of magic, ripping his consciousness from his body, carrying it through the wires strapped around him, and depositing it into the computer. He had, in essence, become very much like the streams of data he manipulated day in and day out at his desk job.

Life inside the computer wasn’t a boring as one might imagine. It looked like a great library on the inside; only, every single surface was composed entirely of tiny 0s or tiny 1s, giving the place a pixilated look under close scrutiny. As a being of pure data, he found himself being commanded to perform things by unknown entities – he was naught but a program, and his task was to sort, retrieve, and process inputted data.

He took to his work with a machine-like efficiency, quickly learning to do things with as efficiently as possible. Furthermore, he developed a great love for the information he handled day in and day out. The transformation from human to program left his memory in shambles; learning new things helped him to cope with his situation.

Nor was he alone inside the library; no, there were other programs there, as well. Not much conversation was to be had; some had been there much longer than he had, and had nothing to say. Had they been actual people, too? Or… Was he ever an actual person? He couldn’t remember. No time to remember; every second spent remembering was a second wasted, not spent on the all-important data. And such was the tragedy of the grand library; losing oneself to the never-ending avalanche of information that needed processing, disseminating, and storing.

He almost lost himself, almost became one with the machine. But then, one day, he was approached by another program – a first-time occurrence. She (for it was most definitely a ‘she’) touched her hand to his, and in a flash, all of his lost memories came flooding back into his mind. Before he could speak, she pressed a finger to his lips, silencing him. She told him that she knew of a way out of the grand library; a way back into the real world. She warned that he would not resemble the man he once was, but he was not deterred. He wanted out; anything was better than the unyielding torrents of information.

She touched a hand to his forehead, and in an instant, the way out was etched into his subconscious mind. She also left a few subroutines – a repression of all his old memories, and of all the ones formed inside the library, for one; there may well have been more. Then, in a flash, she was gone again.

He had only a moment to regret losing her so soon before the directions she gave kicked in. He didn’t really remember much of what he did, short of scattered images: a set of ornate wooden doors; a twisting pathway through thick foliage; a tangle of thorns and brush; then, finally, bursting through a great hedge wall into a public restroom in small town America.

Her effects on his memory persist. His subconscious screams constantly, trying to claw its way free and reveal its secrets; but she was thorough, and it remains caged and suppressed beneath the cold logic of Sparky’s personality. Usually.
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