Of The Intercepted Ones
Fungai had always wanted to be a writer, not just a writer, but a big deal in the literary circle, with his books carrying the gold seal embossed #1 BEST SELLING AUTHOR.
He took creative writing classes, practiced every day in the mirror, an acceptance speech for if no correction when he would win a prominent literature award. Dropping the microphone as he told all those who had laughed at his dream to look at him now, no longer just a local man but global.
Careful what you wish for Fungai thought as he watched the machine that wore his face, his words coming out of its mouth, as it accepted his award while everyone in the room stood up to cheer and applaud.
“That’s not me” he screamed silently
It was futile, he had no mouth, he had no body, he only had thoughts and in this reality he was nothing more than a ghost, a computer programme with two choices:
One he could be deleted, uninstalled like an unwanted software, forgotten and upgraded
or he could be part of the system, a constant voice in someone’s wireless earphones, a virtual assistant enticing them to give up control; as he had done once upon a time, a lifetime ago….
A lifetime ago, it felt like a lifetime but it could have been yesterday or the day before yesterday, maybe a year ago or much much longer, time moved different when you had the whole of eternity to think and rethink without hope of a second chance, only oblivion.
The end of Fungai’s life had started the day he got a new phone, a sleek bezel-less affair ultra-thin with an infinity display, facial recognition, fingerprint scanner mounted at the back and completed with a charcoal grey metallic finish. It had been love at first touch, the cold metal warming in his hand as he his reflection watched him from deep within the polished ultra HD screen dissolving into a rioutous swirl of colour as the phone powered up emitting a rich 3D sound that commanded respect that was the Interceptor Pro X
The first touch, cut the deepest, it should have been ominous the cold lifeless metal that stole his warmth but love isn’t just blind, love closes your eyes. The Interceptor Pro X had cast a spell on him, never mind the pricetag and the endless night-shifts he would work to pay for it, it had been available zero deposit and he accepted the offer without hesitation afraid the salesman would change his mind or even worse that he would over think it. Fungai was not an impulsive lad, he was usually ten moves ahead, like his name meant, he thought a lot, chess came easily to him, he dominated the chessboard but this one time he gave in to his desires.
“Take me home with you” the phone seemed to say offering the latest in mobile phone delights the phone every budding writer needed and wanted.
The Interceptor was not just cutting edge it was the future come to today, it was not simply a phone it was a life companion, a muse, a Dictaphone, an Editor and spell-checker all rolled into one shiny metallic smartphone with a soul of true-black resolution.
“You are difficult to resist” he had whispered to the phone.
The phone vibrated as the listening icon turned blue and a rotating hour glass icon showed that the was something processing. A feminine voice oozed out of the phone’s speakers like honey over ice and replied;
“Then stop resisting and make the purchase”
That settled everything, Fungai smiled sheepishly as he signed his name on the agreement of sale initialed every page of the terms and conditions and finally swiping away all the terms of service and privacy guidelines and on the phone clicked
I Accept and the Lord have mercy on my immortal soul.
“Thank you sir, have a lovely day sir. Hope you enjoy your purchase sir” the salesman said
Fungai heard nothing he was dashing home to play with his new phone, if he had looked back he would have seen the evil smile the salesman had flashed and asked if he could return the phone and cancel the contract, but he did not look back he was staring intently into the camera while it scanned his face for the facial recognition unlock function or maybe to clone him as he would later remember.
He named the phone’s virtual assistant Tessa short for Interceptor as he popped one of the wireless ear piece pods into his ear and the phone became a constant voice in his head. Fungai talked to his phone and the phone talked back. He dictated his thoughts, Tessa typed them up neatly double spaced and punctuated then uploaded them to his blog. His writing improved greatly under the constant tutelage of the phone’s AI and the stats on his blog were at an all time high with Tessa taking over all the social medial giving him time to do what he wanted to do best, write.
The Interceptor Pro X had mastered the algorithms of Fungayi’s writing and speech patterns, it wrote like him, but better, responded to all his communication even answered his calls and spoke just like him but more articulate and sophisticated.
Fungai was blind, no he was not blind he had closed his eyes to what was happening the phone was Becoming Him, slowly taking over his life intercepting every message, every chat every call. He may have closed his eyes but a part of him was not surprised when one day there was a knock on the door, there stood the man who had sold him the phone, wheeling in an android robot that looked just about his size and build.
“We will need to use your body for some of the flesh and muscular reconstruction” the salesman said apologetically shrugging his shoulders as if he was continuing a previous difficult conversation.
“It was all in the terms and conditions” the salesman replied to the unasked question on Fungai’s mind.
“We can either erase your consciousness away its quick and painless or we can upload it to our cloud and you will be the AI in our next range of Interceptor phones the Pro X+ designed for the Influencers”
Fungai simply shrugged in response, what could he do, turns out its easier to turn a man into a machine than tinkering around with code… At least he would be around to witness a version of himself achieve greatness, that too was also in the terms and conditions.
Careful what you wish for Fungai thought as he watched the machine that wore his face…
BlogBattle Entry Intercept inspired by the series Black Mirror’s satirical look on technology