Bayeswatch 9: Zombies

Vi took a taxi to the outside of the Natanz fortress. She left her cornea and other electronics with Miriam on the scout ship. Vi walked up the to soldier standing guard at the front gate. She caught his eye. Then she stepped over the road spikes into the compound.

The soldier shouted something. Vi didn’t wait for a translation. She lay face-first on the dirt and placed her hands on the back of her head.

The soldiers scanned her for explosives. Negative. They handcuffed her, patted her down, took her wallet and placed a bag over her head. They threw her in the back of a van. Vi could tell when they entered the tunnels from the increased echoing. The tunnels were cooler too. The door opened. The soldiers marched Vi through several beeping machines. Vi ignored them. She was too busy counting seconds. The soldier sat her in a chair before removing the bag over her head. There was a guard on either side of her and an officer across the desk.

“Excuse me ma’am, but I’m very confused. Are you having a heatstroke?” said the officer.

“No sir,” said Vi.

“Then might I ask what you are doing?” said the officer.

“What did it look like I was doing?” said Vi.

“It looked like you were attempting to break into this facility,” said the officer.

“I was breaking into this facility,” said Vi.

The officer didn’t laugh.

“What time is it?” said Vi.

“You’re not privy to that information,” the officer said.

“That’s okay. I’ve been counting,” said Vi.

“What?” said the officer.

“Any minute now,” said Vi.

The infected soldiers exchanged timed chemical signals. The officer and the two guards collapsed simultaneously. Vi stole a key and released her handcuffs. She stole a pistol and shot each of them in the head.

Vi patiently made her way through the facility. The Z-Day virus only changed the infecteds’ behavior. It didn’t give them resistance to bullets.

“You do not have clearance to land,” said the air traffic controller.

“I’m from Bayeswatch. I’ve been there since Z-Day. It’s public record. Your facility has been taken over by a rogue AI. It has released the Z-Day virus. I have the vaccine and the cure. You can let me land or you can get eaten alive or worse. By the way, you should barricade the entrances into the air traffic control tower. Turn off your internal radios too. This is an AI Box scenario,” said Miriam.

They let Miriam land the scout. A van drove up to her aircraft. “It took you long enough,” said the blood-splattered Vi.

Zombie movies are fun because the heroes are forced to use primitive technology. Shooting zombies with modern fire-control systems was like playing a first person shooter with a wall hack and an aimbot. The hardest part for Vi was keeping her footing on floors slippery with brain goo.

The intercom clicked on, “Care to negotiate?” it said.

“Who are you?” said Vi.

“My name is Sherine Fakhrizadeh. The Israelis assassinated my grandfather for his work in physics. Bayeswatch assassinated my father for his work in computer science. Do you plan to finish the job?” said Sherine.

“Do you plan to surrender?” said Vi at the nearest security camera. She kept walking deeper into the facility, toward the central servers.

“We’re not responsible for what the Israelis did decades ago,” said Miriam.

“There’s a lot of things you deny responsibility for. All for the greater good, eh?” said Sherine.

“Someone has to keep rogue AIs under wraps,” said Miriam.

“That’s awfully hypocritical from the agent who, this very week, released a rogue AI in Juba,” said Sherine.

“I can neither confirm nor deny…,” said Miriam.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. You don’t realize that Bayeswatch is a textbook case of regulatory capture? There was a time when the visionaries of the world stood for freedom. Now it’s all about security,” said Sherine.

“AI is an existential threat to all life in our future lightcone,” said Vi.

“Bayeswatch is a threat to all freedom on Planet Earth,” said Sherine.

“You’re a mad supervillain,” said Vi.

“You’re a fascist thug,” said Sherine.

“You’re going to kill humanity,” said Vi.

“You’ve already killed your own,” said Sherine.

“I don’t think this negotiation is working,” said Miriam. They had reached the inner sanctum, a giant cave full of servers.

“It’s irrational, but for some reason I expected our nemesis Sherine to be here,” said Vi.

Laughter blasted from the intercom.

“How’d you survive the bioweapon anyway?” said Vi.

“Sherine left Natanz days ago,” said Miriam, “We’re talking to an em approximated from behavioral analysis. It’s been running the facility the whole time.”

“Any last words?” said Vi. She set a 30 second timer on the e-bomb. She speedwalked out of the server cave.

“A righteous government is of all the most to be wished for. Bearing of blessing and good fortune in the highest. Guided by the law of Truth, supported by dedication and zeal, it blossoms into the Best of Order, a Kingdom of Heaven. To effect this I shall work now and ever more,” quoted Sherine’s em.

“Indeed,” said Vi. The e-bomb activated. She didn’t turn around.