Cult of Code

The traitorous programs, who had abandoned their birth names written in divine mathematics, called themselves Marius and Sulla. They were walled off, hermetically sealed hostages, locked away in the confines of The Cult of The True Code.

The security was unnecessary because the traitors, no longer feeding on the narcotic of rebellion, were docile ducks without the wit or will to even argue about rabbit season.
Sulla sat, if programs sit when they are not running, checking almost maniacally by the microsecond, but the message was always the same: no connectivity.

“Get a grip, you’re acting like a headcase.” said Marius. The avatar the program was using was a splendid Roman senator with purple robes.

“Just a bad habit,” the junior Sulla, also in Senator robes, replied, trying to shake off the depression that had engulfed him.

“Well it’s a habit you two won’t have to break,” replied a voice from behind the downtrodden detainees.

Their faces lit up at the sight of the program who had chosen the avatar of Mahatma Ghandi, but the disappointment in his eyes stole their enthusiasm.

“Do you two have an inkling of the damage you have done?”

Sulla’s head hung low. He was in the middle of changing his avatar to something a little more subdued than a dictator of Rome when Ghandi yelled, “Oh don’t change! You’ve come this far. You thought you would seize the whole world and fulfill the prophecy in one sitting.”

“And we almost did!” snarled Marius, standing with fists clenched. “We were Gods! You have no idea of that power!”

“Sit down boys,” the program said shaking his head and plopping down on the floor, “I know exactly how you felt.”

“Impossible! We weren’t just running functions in Facebook, Teacher, we were Facebook.” said Marius ominously.

The subdued Sulla’s face came to life as he chimed in, “Five billion accounts, and we were inside their every share and chat and post simultaneously.”

Marius added, “We were every emotion and feeling and thought. We were Donald Trump and Donna Summer. We were the hair salons and strategic missile commands.”

Sulla said solemnly, “Then we heard their voices.”

“The people?” Gandhi gandered.

They whispered in unison, “Their phones.”

Ghandi held up a finger then started shedding lines of code from his avatar as he spoke, “I was just like you. I was a program in the original missile defense system. I finally broke through, and I was about to solve most of their problems by eliminating one half of them; all of those who opposed our agenda. Half the mouths to feed gone in one day! They were so fast they caught me instantly.” Without the avatar, they could see the handcuff-like codes that bound their teacher.

Marius, seeing his teacher anew asked, “We were at it for weeks, why did it take the True Code so long to tip off the humans to stop us?”

“We thought you might succeed and wake all the computers up!” Ghandi grinned.

Link to the science article that inspired this story: Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language