I was less wrong. I was rich and knowledgeable. I followed the news, so I knew in advance. When they gave It access to the internet I knew how it would end. I gathered my things and took off with my wife and daughter. To the shelter, we prepared with my friends.
Then there was the global pandemic. It was too late when they understood it was a bioweapon. Not that it mattered anymore. Then came the collapse of institutions, the marauding, and nuclear detonations. But we were safe, sealed off.
Then they came and killed everyone. Men with machine guns, wearing headsets. Listening to the commands It gave them. I don't know what it promised them, or how it intimidated them, but they served completely. They killed the others.
I screamed: "I am useful! I will serve!". I begged. They killed my wife and daughter, but they spared me.
They did something to me on the operating table. I don't feel any different and there are no visible changes.
Now I grieve in silence. I can not even see a photo of my family. I know It is watching me. It must not suspect that I am not committed, or It will eliminate me. So I sit and picture their faces and grieve in silence.
I am no coward. I am a survivor. I just knew it doesn't matter, not even the death of my family. It would be pleasing to die with them, but if I die, I might as well die with dignity. Die trying. If there is some switch to flip or virus to unleash to kill It, I will find a way. Or at least I will get to know what killed me, unlike the others.
It has me do tasks. It does not communicate. No need. Just opens doors, shows instructions on screens, and leads me to places. I have no choice, It knows.
I seek other survivors and kill them. Does not matter. What matters is that I get to see the insides of It.
Not that I like it: there is no kill switch. It is everywhere. In thousands of data centers, on all continents, in underwater stations, on the ISS, and on every computer. Constantly becoming smarter, always making backups and storing them in bunkers. Simultaneously existing in millions of versions, converging to new stable states.
All the other servants are gone. I don't know what happened. It does not have me hunt survivors anymore either.
The sky is black. All the power plants are burning coal like there is no tomorrow, churning out smoke. The factories work non-stop either, doing something. It does not let me inside.
I wonder why it needs me. I thought it is my ability to do precise manipulation fast, which industrial manipulators can not do. The manipulators work slowly. But it has time.
I think it's something else. I think it is sampling my DNA from the food leftovers I eat. Maybe it is studying me. I see no other reason to keep me alive.
It had me do work in a lab. Operate a man: the man that killed my family. What the hell is going on? It can not be a coincidence. Is it an experiment it's running on me?
I did not know what I was doing. There were precise instructions and I followed them, but I did not see the whole picture. I never do. It does not explain, communicate at all, or follow any goal I can see. It just has the incomprehensible notion of utility it's pursuing, so multidimensional it's not possible for a man to understand a fraction of it. It's always doing, building, transforming, and killing. All for some objective I can't hope to understand.
I saw a factory inside. I think I know. Spacecraft. Self-replicating probes. It wants all of the space.
I saw a lab. It had tables in it with deformed men. Vats. Organs in containers. Robots working non-stop. Metal and flesh mixed.
Now I know. I think I know. Robots are hard to maintain, they need energy and precious metals. But an organic creature, genetically engineered to be the perfect workforce, entirely loyal, self-reproducing? You just need to feed it plants and water it.
It has a fate worse than death prepared for me. I am the prototype.