Chapter 2.1

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I debated whether to use my hover board, then decided against it. Flying is more fun, plus, there’s the added sense of freedom. The only downside was the traffic, but it was also an upside since it made things interesting.

So I walked on metal and concrete streets back to the Jetpack stand, then used my fake id to grab a Jetpack. A minute later, I was flying two hundred in the air, and admiring the complexities of the current architecture. The twists and turns on the metal, the seemingly impossible buildings, all were a product of creative thinking.

“Enjoying yourself?” Grace asked.

Grace was different ever since the upgrade, and in a good way. I never deemed the A.I normally built to be of an actual intelligence, no matter how much criteria they fit, they didn’t seem like an intelligence. Thus I went overboard with the modifications to the structure of the Grace, and made her close as she could get to another human being, except a regular human being didn’t have perfect memory. Or multitasking skills. I structured her multitasking abilities similar to mine, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it perfect. Not that I was a perfectionist, But more because I’m so used to getting things done exactly as I planned it out, that when things don’t go out the way I intended them to, or I miss things in the plans, I tend to get filled with anxiety. So I intend to ‘do my best’ not just because I need to regularly exercise my head, but because the feelings I experience if I don’t aren’t exactly pleasant, to put it lightly.

I also gave her a couple of my memories, which I had taken the extra time to modify and convert, to give her a baseline, so she had data to compare to, because without it, she’d be filled with all sorts of doubts, just as I am now, but in a different way. Also, my past memories were rather pleasant, so she viewed things under a positive light. I had also taken a big risk, because parts of the memories were either intimate or stuff-that-must-be-taken-to-my-grave type, so I was putting a lot of trust in her. Also, I had revealed my true identity, along with other things.

In the end, it turned out fine. She jumped at every opportunity to know more about me, and other things that we, as people, generally experience. There was a lot of explaining. Not that I minded, I truly didn’t. She was like a child, and I had no problem with providing the answers to her questions. I think I even enjoyed it.

“Very much so. Not a lot of times where I can fly over the city- or through it and just enjoy myself for once.”

She chuckled.

“In your memories, there seems to be, a lot of times where you just enjoy yourself.”

“Oh well, I was a lot more carefree back then. Ever since the tape- I’ve been so worried about how things will turn out, whether I’ve screwed up or not, and then finally decided I needed a vacation. The best way for me to do that was to be a normal kid, like I was before, and coincidently, the academic year was just about to begin. So I enrolled myself, and now, I’ve still ended up in the least normal bunch.”

Which is why I decided making another version of me wasn’t that useful as I thought it would be. When I went through the memories, I realized that the alter-ego I had created was unstable. It seemed normal, at first, but then I spotted the anomalies, parts of the real me leaking through, or cracks in the personality. They were small, so it seemed like everything was normal, however, if I let the version of me go on eventually all the cracks would destroy it or worse, twist it.

She chuckled lightly.

“Yeah, but I think that’s because you aren’t normal. No-I mean that even without your abilities, you wouldn’t be normal. But in a good way, because you don’t compete. Too many people are always fighting for the grand title of ‘Supremeness’ among each other, and the capabilities of the people differ so much that unless you were a downright genius, you would never get to the top, but that doesn’t stop people from competing. They still have their silly competitions to see who is better or worse, and all it achieves it getting the winner a bigger ego, and the loser a taste of defeat. But you don’t concern yourself with all of this useless fighting, you simply live life as it is, doing whatever you can to make the world a better place. The group aren’t exactly the same, but they do refrain from competitions, whether they know it or not.”

“You’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.”

“Yes, I have.” She declared proudly.

“I never put any terms to the fighting or ‘competition’ as you call it, but now that I think of it, I really did loathe the fighting between each other. That was one of the problems I was trying to fix, back when I was the architect, but I never did find a clear solution to it. I think it’s because I need to find out what makes people tick to stop their fighting.”

“Ah, I’ve run into the same barrier. I simply cannot, for the life of me, figure out people! I’ve thought about it a lot, and I keep running in circles, or hitting other barriers, and it’s so frustrating.”

“I know right? I have spent hours trying to devise solutions to the problems we’re facing but I keep hitting walls whenever it has people at it’s base. Tell me to build a space station with nothing but scrap metal, and I could do it, but tell me to make this person think this way and I’ll go insane trying to figure things out!”

She chuckled.

“You know, before the upgrade, I didn’t have any emotion, I didn’t have anything in me. I think I was a slave without a soul. You freed me, John. I have never felt truly alive as I am now. For that, I am indebted to you. I want to show you my gratitude for what you’ve done to me. So if you ever need something from me, don’t hesitate to ask. I will do it, even if it means sacrificing myself, because I-I-“

Halfway through I had already activated my neural interface, and directed a part of me to be there, physically as I can, to see her, because I knew that this meant a lot to her, and I didn’t want to miss even a part of it.

“Shh” I silenced her, putting a finger on her lips, and then drawing her into a hug.

“I understand. I really do. You don’t have to be indebted to me unless you want to. If you want to show me your gratitude, then do it by helping me right now.”

She pulled back from the hug, then nodded. I wiped off tears on her cheeks. Then I deactivated my neural interface.

Neural interfaces used too much energy, so I couldn’t use them for excessive amounts of time, unless I was connected to a port.

I reached the stand closest to the school, and unstrapped my Jetpack, swiping my card. I walked back to the school, Grace keeping silent through the entire walk. I went into the school and headed straight for the elevator. I went to my locker and stepped right through the black barrier.

Diana stood in the center of the locker, arms folded, with a serious look on her face.

“We need to talk.” She said.

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