I use to think I understood love, even knew it. I used to think love was singular, clean without difficulties. It’s always the curve balls you are thrown, that opens your eyes. Love is the one thing we will never quite understand. I must say, I’m glad as humans we can’t, that way we can’t destroy it. Love is so resilient it appears in the ugliest of places and situations, unexpected, without reason and always untainted.. You never ask for it, can never buy it and nothing you have can replace it.. We often miss it, because of the restrictions we place on it. And sometimes love has to be shared, it evolves, it moves, it moves us, it moves on. It even proves to us, it never was, even when we thought it was or it could be, or would stay.. Love is what it needs to be, when it needs to be, for who it needs be, however long it takes. Its the purest unpredictable feeling you ever know.
We shop with our eyes wide open and yet we are blind
We touch the soft, the rugged and the velvety and yet we feel nothing
We smell cinnamon, spices filling up the air and yet we are full and unfazed by the aroma
We taste sweet, savory, spicy treats that fill us to the brim and yet we are wanting for more
Are we ever satiated when our desires are endless?
Do we ever feel the full extent of the things we buy.
Is the cost merely in currency or do we leave behind a part of our soul
Isn't the cost too expensive at each sale, bargain deal and liquidation center
The exchange is not merely between the cash register and the currency be it plastic, metallic or paper
The trade is between and in between entire nations, one serving another served round and round.
Isn’t the cost too expensive when we buy into injustice, slavery, exploitation, destruction for a piece of cloth to cover our shame, a trinket to fill our empty homes, shoes that we will never wear because as long as we keep buying, we will never put back together pieces of our soul that slowly keep being tied to things, more and more things until there is nothing left of us to trade.
We just can’t let them win, can we?
The Adaptive Kill Vehicle was a simple thing by modern technology standards, little more than a guidance chip bolted to a tube of fissile material and surrounded by the nanite mesh that everyone just called “goo”, which could mimic any shape and consistency required by its mission.
This AKV was guided over the Thar Desert towards Mirzapur by Agent Cassius Jiang from his home office. It could take any form as needed, but currently it was a grey aerodynamic tube, better for ballistic flight, as it was out of the engagement perimeter of any relevant AI, and therefore any relevant civilization.
The goo had changed everything. The nanite mesh could rebuild matter at an atomic level. It was abundant, and it ended manufacturing and cost as bottlenecks. Anyone could have anything the goo could make. Unless they couldn’t afford goo, or didn’t have an AI. But then they weren’t really civilized, were they?
Cassius sipped his tea as he guided the AKV past the perimeter of the AI of Pradesh. He sneered and put his teacup down, rubbing the side in a subtle motion. The nanites in the air began reconfiguring the liquid.
Pradesh wasn’t involved in the current skirmish, but any AI that detected fissile material in its orbit would react accordingly, usually devastating for humanity. This was why humans like Cassius guided kill vehicles. If they were autonomous, it devolved into AI vs AI warfare, game theory gone amok, and the deaths of humans by the millions. War at this scale needed human overseers. Humans had logic and reason.
Cassius grabbed his glass, now a lowball, and sipped Scotch built to the molecule to match 16 year old Caol Ila of the old days. “This is fine,” he thought.
The AKV sensed the seeking scanners of Mirzapur and transformed into a desert hawk, bouncing back lasers at the right frequency for feathers and blood. But a mistake, a subtle difference in the density expected of avian bone… Mirzapur noticed. Cassius saw the AI beaming itself to orbit and firing interceptors. “Close enough, now or never,” he thought, triggering the bomb.
Houses and buildings melted into the sand in a fusion of glass and steel. The dying cry of an AI would release particles with an energy of 10TeV as its core collapsed. Cassius saw nothing more than the expected signature of a low yield tactical nuke. He sighed. The AI had escaped to orbit. Mirzapur would survive, diminished, but they’d have no more AI, no more goo… they wouldn’t be civilized.
“Target missed,” he messaged command, and spun around in his chair to face the empty room. At his desire, it turned into a billiards room. He shook his head. Then a tea room, then a cafe looking out over mountaintops.
He sighed. Everything gets old after a while.
His chair shifted into a recliner and the wall reconfigured into a TV with the news on low volume. He drifted off into a nap. Life can be exhausting.
In no way is this the Christmas season.
There it was! I could not believe what I was seeing before my eyes - my friend was as nutty as that good old fashioned fruitcake with legs, arms and a talking head, perfectly packaged and visible to anyone’s naked eye but rancid on the inside. I’d seen these behaviors before but this time it was crystal clear and physically painful. I was telling of the difficulty I’m having adjusting to a new location and she chose to politicize my reason for being in this new location that is steeped in early American history. Her reply, “You simply may have moved those 285 miles to contribute to the vote!” Those words that just rolled out of her mouth were as sharp as thorns on a honey locust tree! Sharp enough to keep any compassionate human being away, including me! I forget the awareness of the truth to not get close in conversation with her because I most likely will bump into a sharp pointed spoken thorn of words pinching deeply beneath the skin and right to my heart! Immediately I’m in a turbulent sea of adversity and a storm of feelings of sacrifice imposed upon me. Before I chat with her I need to root myself into the present moment like the north star anchored deep in the northern sky so I can birth a new pattern of behavior. On my journey I must imbibe the awareness that thorns exist, tread lightly and turn within myself for compassion and understanding.