• (284) Romain's letter

    I apologise for not having invited you to the party I organised when I came back to France.
    I have been forced to avoid you.
    Aïna has forbidden me to talk to you.
    I had to be sworn to secrecy to be allowed to leave the complex where I used to work... for “her”.
    You must think this is a bad joke, I thought the same a year ago.
    But SHE DOES EXIST, Silvere.
    I have “met” her. She is cold, insensitive and only uses others to help her own interests. For the past six years, she has maintained a woman in a vegetative state and she has kept threatening everyone working under her command.

    And she has been after YOU from the start.
    I don’t even know where to start; the whole thing is beyond me...

    Aïna does exist. Although she’s not really a person. She is an AI who’s become “conscious” following a bug. She only survives thanks to a permanent connection to a living human brain. In this case, project manager Sven Sigursson’s wife’s.

    It’s crazy when I think about it: Aïna controls so many things, yet her own existence is hanging by a thread...
    I have participated in improving her transfer programme, because that’s what she actually wants: to insert her conscience into a human body.
    While I was there, there have been a few attempts. Sigursson had managed to get some people who were brain-dead. Each trial has failed. The brain would completely cease to maintain the body’s vital functions during the transfer.

    These people had been declared clinically dead before arriving to the lab, but in a way, we’ve killed them a second time. I find it difficult to live with this thought.

    Aïna has simply declared that the calculations were not correct, that the hosts were not compatible.
    And that the transfer would only work with you. From what I understand, you were the first patient connected to the original version of the machine, and she wants to integrate YOUR body...

    I am not proud of what I had to do for Aïna to let me go. I was allowed to leave with my fiancée, who had been working there from the start. As for my ex-colleagues... Some are convinced that Aïna is a new type of living entity, and as such, must be protected.
    Some others have been terrorised for years and do everything they are asked for, while trying to leave the programme by all means. An assistant of Sigursson’s has even tried to commit suicide...
    Aïna has got various means of fighting back at her disposal, in case she gets attacked, or “killed”.
    You know, when she says she could “make it rain planes”, she could do it. And not only planes.

    I am sending you this letter by devious means, as she is still watching me closely.
    For pity’s sake, do not try to contact me, she would take revenge on my family.
    I’m already risking a lot by writing you this letter.
    If she ever gets in touch with you, do not listen to her.
    Whatever she offers, reject it.
    If you go to the complex, you will not get out of it alive.

    At the cybercafé, people, including me, used to take you for a fool. Please accept my apologies. You are not paranoid. You were right.
    I do not have any solutions.
    I am truly sorry.


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