To The Rhythm Of The Machines

To The Rhythm Of The Machines


Transhumanism is the idea that humans can go beyond their limits through technology. What if that idea became a reality?

88 readers have visited To The Rhythm Of The Machines since Astral Weeks created it.


Introduction is written in first-person for effect...

My name is Tobin Frost, and I was born in the year 2054. My father was Alexander Frost, a brilliant scientist working for the umbrella company, Avaryse Technologies. In the year 2018, the first engineered organ was created at Avaryse Labs. It was a revolutionary creation, and has since been looked at as the catalyst for everything that followed. Not long after, robotic limbs and other anatomical parts were being created on a daily basis. Vets still feeling the effects of America's wars now could have once lost limbs replaced in a few short hours of surgery. Responding to the brains instinctual messages, the robotic part behaved just as well as the former biological ones, often times even better. It was at this time that my father joined the company, a decision I knew he would come to regret.

In the year 2035, Avaryse held the world within the palm of its hand. A few years earlier it had unveiled its latest line of fully-functioning, personal robots for civilians. At the time, it was considered a cosmetic choice to have them look more mechanical in nature than human. Their heads were cylindrical shaped, lacking any features save for a set of eyes. They could speak, but only from a list of premade commands that responded to certain word sequences or tones. For all intents and purposes, they were an emotionless servant, with their only job being that of making a humans life easier. My father, now a ten year employee, sought to change this common design. Rather than simply accepting robotics for what it was, he wanted to take the technology to a level no one thought possible. Breaking away from conventional development, Alexander syphoned company funds and began working on his own project, separate from the others. Within two years, Avaryse knew he had been stealing from the company. When they entered his workshop to deal with him, they were greeted by a computer program, simply calling itself Adam. My father had both taken from the company and given them what would change the world forever, an independent AI.

The problem with traditional robots was that they were bound by a signal. Without the signal, they cold not function. AI needs no signal, it can go and be anywhere on its own, completely free from any network or consensus. This was my father's dream, one which he had accomplished unbeknownst to anyone else at the time. Avaryse was willing to put an end to the charges against Alexander in exchange for the technology. He gave it willing, never having any intention to keep it for himself or take it to a rival company. Given his own staff and nearly limitless funds, Alexander began working on AI's exclusively for Avaryse and then eventually the United Nations. He had become the most famous mind of the 21st century almost overnight, and he was just getting started.
It was in 2045 that everything changed for Alexander Frost, as people finally learned the dangers of an unshackled AI. though Alexander had created an independent intelligence, it was not an empathetic one. Even to a true intelligence, it was still numbers. There was no emotion, only cold facts. While Avaryse had placed restrictions on what systems the AI had access to and what it was cleared to do, the United Nations didn't have the same foresight. In a rather heated meeting, the AI came to a realization that if a particular individual did not exist, then there would be no need for such meetings in the future. Calculating the risk versus reward, the AI took control of a United States unmanned droid and assaulted the home of said individual, leaving only a pile of rubble in its wake. The AI was destroyed, and so was Alexander's funding and reputation.

Which brings us to 2054, the year of my birth. Alexander had continued his research in secret, using his own money to move forward. Over those nine years he had slowly made leaps in his AI technology. First he put it into a mobile robot, rather than a stationary computer. Then, the robots he created became more and more human like in appearance, at the very end appearing no different from any other human being through the use of synthetics. His only challenge remaining was the most basc of organic traits, emotions. All he could do is have his AI's simulate emotions or understand them, but never truly feel them. He had to accept this barrier, one that he could not overcome. His research culminated in the first ever true android, a robotic being resembling a normal human with a full understanding of human emotions, but not being able to ever feel them. He named this android Tobin, telling people I was his son who had been living with an old girlfriend.

"A revolution!" that is what he would call me. Though I look like a normal man in his mid-twenties, at the time I knew little of the world. Rather than installing the information, Alexander taught me it himself, wanting me to see the world like everything was new and exciting. Looking back this was probably an attempt to see if I would feel something... it didn't work. By 2060, Alexander was starting to get worried. doors at Avaryse were shit to him and conversations he was once a part of now was hushed when he was near. Avaryse despite the UN incident was the most powerful organization in the world, and not one that should be toyed with. I returned home from shopping for dinner one night to find our house ablaze. Dropping the bags I rushed in and found his body hunched over his desk. Carrying him outside I put him down to the sight of blood now covering my shoulder and hands. He had been shot twice. His research was not found in the fire, his lab having been ransacked with little left behind by the assailants. Leaving with only what I had on me, I went under ground.

My name is Tobin Frost, and the year is 2086. For a quarter century I have been in hiding. I have no desire for revenge, as I can't. All I know is, in a situation like this, it seems like the right thing to do based on what Alexander taught me. I infiltrated the Avaryse Technologies Headquarters in Chicago. Over the course of the three hours I have been here, I have killed, exactly 46 armed guards and personnel, many of which are now Senior VP's and Lead Scientists, who were employed that day thirty years ago. The current President of Avaryse Tech. is out of the country today, but the one who was in charge when my father was killed has long since passed, making revenge against him rather pointless. There is no emotion in what I have done, only what I believe Alexander would have wanted me to do.

Now, I stand before the most secure place in the building, pulling open the grand security door off its hinges as if it were nothing. The room is completely white, white a single island in the cetner of the room. Walking over to it, I recognize it to be a chamber similar to the one I was born in. Inside is a girl, sleeping peacefully, unlikely to have been activated yet. I have failed my father, for the revolution he saw in me died with him. I couldn't be what he wanted and that is the only answer I have found in my long journey here. I open the chamber top, the cords and sensors attached to the girl deactivating as I did so. Gently touching her right cheek with my finger, I understand why she has not awakened. She lacks a true independent power. They made her to the specifications my father wrote, perhaps even improved upon them. However, she lacked the core, the strength to wake up. I have failed my father, but he can still have his revolution. I close my eyes and begin the process, transferring it all within seconds. "Data transfer complete."

Tobin stared at the girl wide-eyed. this new version had something he did not, the ability to feel emotions. He did not know how, but she had it, and it was likely the reason she could not activate on her own. Only through his sacrifice could she rise. He had given her everything that was him, but in return she unknowingly gave something back. For the first time in thirty years, Tobin could feel. "I feel warm.." he said as he fell to the ground, the light in his eyes shitting off and his entire body shutting down. Is it possible for an android to value its own existence? Maybe even more so the existence of another? A small smile is visible on Tobin's face as everything within the old machine fades away. "Thank you, my legacy." It is in this moment the girl begins opening her eyes, unaware of the world or what was ahead of her. The only thing left of Tobin within her, was his escape from the building, which was now hers.

It is the year 2086. Due to advancements made by Avaryse, many who would have died now walk unhindered in the every evolving world. Artificial replacements, or now often referred to as augmentations, were originally designed for the crippled, however many seedier elements have come into play since the first operation in the 2020's. Criminal organizations have often altered artificial replacements to give them exceptional qualities. Many in these groups are required to sacrifice limbs and often whole sections of their body to be outfitted with these augmentations. An example would be a local to Chicago street gang named 7th Street Lords, who have had flame thrower attachments added to their arm augmentations. However, since these artificial replacements still operate through the bodies natural processes, using such attachments can fatigue the user, much like an organic limb would. Artificial replacements for organs have not been augmented with any real progress.

Though Avaryse hasn't publicly stated it, many believe artificial replacements are now less about saving lives and more about transhumanism. A movement in recent years has sparked debate on the issue as many unaltered humans believe the practice is unethical. They believe it dehumanizes people and is the highest form of hubris. Simple called the Purity Movement, they are often found protesting outside Avaryse owned buildings and some have gone as far as to attack employees.

To counter this, Avaryse created the APEU (Avaryse protection and enforcement unit). Think of APEU as Avaryse's own private army, often quickly breaking up protests and riots before the real police even start their vehicles. They have the best augmentations money can buy, and each and every member knows how to use them.

Being augmented does have its drawbacks as they are not allowed in the military per a stipulation passed by the UN in 2032. In response to critics, namely the UN, Avaryse developed a wide area EMP grenade for military and police use across the world. the EMP grenade shuts down all augmentations, as well as any electronics, within its blast radius of roughly thirty feet.

Tobin Frost spent the last five years of his existence collecting together a group of people for his attack against Avaryse. Made up of people with and without augmentations, they all had a reason to hate Avaryse and would do anything to destroy them. With their help, Tobin's assault on the headquarters went from plan to reality. Three of the members now wait in the old sewers upon which Avaryse was built, waiting for the one who brought them together to return so they can head back to the hideout (or HQ). The group of roughly eight members has made many contacts over the past five years, Tobin making countless more over the past thirty. Many owe favors or need favors for what has been done to make this day happen.

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Re: To The Rhythm of The Machines

TornZero introduced me to this awesomeness and I would love to join in! I'll start working on a character for submission.

Re: To The Rhythm of The Machines

I may not be able to post my character until tomorrow or Monday. Just a heads up.

Re: To The Rhythm of The Machines

All I've got left is the appearance and I'll submit him. Please note that he'll have been affiliated with Avaryse on his own causes, which are (hopefully) explained more than well enough in the sheet—mainly the Augmentation section.

Re: To The Rhythm of The Machines

awesome, well that's two spots filled.

Re: To The Rhythm of The Machines

Yeah, this sounds really cool. I'd like to join too.

Re: To The Rhythm of The Machines

Welp, I read through the entire introduction; I'm joining.

To The Rhythm of The Machines

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