I finally finished The Last American. It is difficult to classify, but it is the story of a corporation taking over the functions of government with an Artificial intelligence, a love story between a human and a corporeal human-like artificial intelligence, as well as another more complex love triangle. It took 7 years to complete, and the writing style shows it. I didn’t want to change it because the pacing and shifts in the story are important to it’s development. I’d love to hear what you all think!
A news report shattered the smooth production of the show, which prior to the interruption was showing a wise grey-haired Samurai proposing a federation to a host of newly conquered warlords. The news report was hardly as well produced and was therefore on its face less interesting. “Oh well, I guess people will always find a way to inject un-required entropy into a perfect system.” Dixon thought out loud.
After a few minutes of explaining how fantastic the network was, followed by another few minutes of thanking sponsors, a serious looking woman appeared, towering over a lectern, the lectern seeming to cower appropriately before her might, “That’s right, thought Dixon, she’s our new president.”
Dixon regarded her for a moment as certainly the network had intended. The president stood waiting for silence among the various press and VIPs in the briefing room. She stood at least half a head taller than her aides. Her height alone would have been imposing, but her severe features and piercing dark eyes spoke to the deep intellect at her disposal. These attributes combined put even her imposing height into relatively modest perspective. It would take an individual with supreme confidence and force of will to resist her command. Dixon remembered reading somewhere that she had played professional basketball for some time and had a number of national awards. He supposed she must have coached for a pro team for some time after that, but he didn’t know. He liked to play with his assumptions, at times letting them run to great lengths before either terminating them or allowing them to become beliefs.
The president’s silver hair was unbound and flowed back down over her shoulders, appearing to be nearly a meter in length. The strands appeared to almost sparkle as she moved creating an illusion of divinity around her. Her broad shoulders and tapered jacket betrayed her obvious fitness. The president was thin but not insubstantial, defying every physical generalization. She took no effort in hiding her age, her face was lightly lined with experience, enhancing her strong features. She raised her hands, asking for silence. Her light brown skin, radiant in the studio lighting, appeared impenetrable, as flawless as a sheet of obsidian. Dixon had suspicions about her, but he mentioned these to no one.
She was perhaps twenty years older than Dixon, but diminished in no obvious way, he imagined that she became more attractive with every passing year. Dixon knew that he wasn’t the only one who felt that way, this president had had more media exposure than any other president in recent memory and yet nothing inappropriate was ever published about her, no fractious dissenters in her cabinet, nothing. If anything, the entire country was unified in awe and respect for this woman who had the privilege of governing the most powerful nation in the world’s history through one of its most ascendant periods, following the nadir of its young life. And yet, Dixon thought, the situation still was not perfect. The president began to speak.
“Good Morning. Six hours ago, a group of individuals violently seized control of the National Machine Intelligence lab in Silicon Valley. The NSA, FBI, and local law enforcement groups are currently surrounding the laboratory. I will not advertise for these criminals by stating the names of them individually, their country of origin, or the name of their group. I want to make sure to leave some work for the journalists.” The president smiled and to everyone in the room and watching on television, it felt as though she was smiling with and at them all simultaneously.
When she spoke thought Dixon, her voice had a sonorous quality, a low strong sound accompanied by a lilting higher sound. She had a faint trace of accent, definitely American, but with traces of South America, perhaps Mexico, it was impossible to tell. Her voice, the perfect blend of human musicality, it was as though you were listening to the opening notes of a chamber orchestra, the bass strings balanced by the treble. She went on.
“These individuals have requested that we send machine intelligence algorithms, researchers, and engineers to their host country. This same ingenuity that has allowed the United States to provide peace, stability, and prosperity to the civilized world, these individuals would twist into a disastrous weapon against reason and independence. In this we will not yield, the unaligned countries may either join with civilization, or go their own way. We will not support their depravity.”
Just then the screen cut away from the president to a live feed from inside the laboratory. Several people with masks and bulletproof gear on were watching the television. They immediately began searching for the camera, yet they couldn’t find it. The president continued.
“With American ingenuity, we will rise to any challenge and handle it with grace and thoughtfulness. Never with revenge or ruthlessness in mind. Ours is a people of justice and freedom…”
The masked people suddenly noticed the air around them beginning to thicken. They panicked and began firing their weapons. The bullets stopped midair a few feet away from their weapons. Suddenly, as if on marionette strings, they dropped their weapons and their hands were pinned behind their backs. Armed soldiers rushed in, quickly grabbing the assailants. The air returned to its normal quality, the soldiers walked the now subdued people out of the building.
“No violence will be tolerated. To any other nations who would consider using violence to prosper, that time is over, this is a new dawn for humanity, a time to move away from barbarism and embrace reason and rationality. Join with us and prosper, or remain in isolation and fade away. The choice is yours.” The President finished.
The room in which the president was delivering her conference erupted into applause and celebratory laughter. Even Dixon felt himself moved slightly, although he held part of himself in reserve. Dixon knew that he should cheer, but he didn’t feel like it. He brought a cup of warm coffee to his face, and took a sip, wishing that the bitter scented wisps of steam coming off of the cup could shroud him from the crowd.
“Don’t like her?” The man next to him asked, the residue of a smile fading from his face.
“No, it isn’t that…” Dixon hesitated, not knowing exactly how to explain or why he felt the need to.