Time: 15 minutes
Prompt: I heard a devil curse
Source: William Blake, Eternity
I heard a DeVIL curse in frustration from somewhere down the hall. It had just received the orders to pack up and retreat. It was always entertaining to hear a choppy, synthesized robot voice explode into profanity. Not something that had been included in the original programing of the Defensive Violence Integration Leaders' AI templates, but something that they'd picked up quite rapidly once they started dealing with biological humans.
The DeVILs were trained and equipped for one purpose alone and they were programmed to love accomplishing that purpose. Their AI minds seemed to take it as a personal insult when the Tactical Estimations and Armament Statistics Experts (TEASEs) upstairs decided that the value of a particular position no longer justified the cost of holding it. Most of the DeVILs never even got the chance to test their carefully designed combat algorithms, their formulae for coordinated defense that they had developed through millennia-worth of simulations run over the past five years.
Processing power for virtual environments had never been much of a problem for us. We lacked the raw materials and ready fuels necessary to build heavy and complex weaponry for real world combat. We'd have loved to have sent drones into combat as our enemies did, and man our defensive lines with robots, but there simply wasn't enough metal to build them, nor enough petroleum or electrical generation capacity to power them. We had maintained some wind, solar and hydroelectric to keep the processing cores and some other basic functions running, and we still controlled some coal fields, which we mined ceaselessly, but we had to be very, very careful with how we used our scant energy.
Food for humans wasn't plentiful either, but we were more versatile and could make do with whatever was available. So instead of mechanical drones operated by humans, we had become the drones and we were controlled by the DeVILs -- or the OVILs, during offensive campaigns. My neural interlace device allowed me to voluntarily surrender control of my physical actions to a VIL. It wasn't as difficult as you might think. Sure, it felt weird at first -- observing everything that my body was doing, registering every sensation, but having no control. It got to be easier though, and eventually, even kind of fun. It surprised me to see just how much my body could do -- how fast and strong it was. The day after a hard VIL session was hell, of course. Muscle pains like never before, but even that got to be less of a problem over time.
Even when under the control of a VIL, I had the option to take over. It wasn't recommended, of course, and as far as I knew, nobody had ever exercised that option in the heat of battle, but it was there. When under the influence, every part of my body belonged to the VIL except my tongue. That I could move around inside my closed mouth as I liked. If I turned it over to the right, and held it that way for two seconds, the VIL would prompt me for confirmation, I'd turn my tongue over to the left, and then the VIL would release me and I'd be my own woman again.
(about my timed writing exercises)
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