Woke

Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Chapter 2
22/03/2049

Over 10 000 miles away in the city of Novosibirsk – Chinese special administrative region 5, Aldar Bogomov woke up to the anthem of the soviet union. It was a precious ancient recording made at the time when Joseph Stalin was still in power.

He went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror for a moment.He felt quite manly today, with the little stubble he had grown over night and considered not shaving his cheeks. The people did not like it when you looked dirty or badly groomed.

But it also made you look a little bit ruthless. Aldar liked both looks. The sleaziness for his job as door to door salesman for an overpriced filtration system for the toxic tap water of the city. The ruthlessness for his fortnightly speeches against the internationals in the speakeasies of the decrepit socialist tower blocks on the outskirts of Novosibirsk. People came here to get high on pellets or occasionally more expensive digital hallucinogens. Programs that fucked with your nervous system through simulated psycho-digital interfaces.
When he spoke in the Pink Husky, which was one of the biggest speakeasies, half of the people in the room were so high that they heard a raging baboon in one second and a blob of pink neon in the next.
The other half received him through thick sub-conscious attention veils that had made their minds sluggish and had numbed their hearts.

He hated his fat, bickering wife Olga, who had been the first woman who’d agreed to sleep with him. She hated him too and was unbearable when she was not high on pellets. It was not like she hated life any less when she was tazed, which is how most people described the high from pellets, but at least she was quiet then. Pellets discharged all your muscles and made your body convulse in a stupid way, until there was no-more tension left. A real working-class drug, used to combat the strain on your body and mind that built up from the mindless, repetitive tasks which have always been a hallmark of the working class. Olga spent every minute of their time together coercing him into buying her new pellets. She had discovered that shaming, belittling and emasculating were the most efficient ways of controlling him. She had tried sex earlier on in their relationship but had stopped as soon as she realised that bickering had the same effect without the physical inconveniences.

He had understood that their sex life was over one week into their honeymoon in Irkutsk eight years ago but had no choice but to accept it. He felt too weak to be by himself and too unattractive to ever convince another woman to live with him. At least her fat body warmed the bed at night, which was crucial in the cold, Siberian winters.

Breakfast was ground rat meat mixed with cactus-bread. Two of the more resilient lifeforms that had managed to survive despite the toxic water. You had to fry the meat until all moisture had evaporated which made it very chewy. It was still better than the purely synthetic food, most of their neighbours had to eat. Their factory made polycarbon-diets had caused most of their tastebuds to atrophy. Like most of his neighbours, Aldar suffered from Diabetes. His insulin had needed to be refilled for a while but he hadn’t had time to do it yet. His subcutaneous insulin pump had alarmed him over three days ago. For some reason the bot had not arrived but he needed his injection today. Having to refill your insulin externally was a nuisance, but he would just go by an automated dispenser on his way to work. He had done it all the time, before they had started to pay him for his speeches in town. Today was a special day for Aldar. His neighbourhood-watch was meeting at the Pink Husky tonight and rumour had it that Yury the thinker was in his hometown and was going to come by. Yury was the head of the international motorcycle gang Tyr’s army and had made a name for himself in Moscow’s political underground. While Aldar was a speaker, Yury was a doer. Someone who made a difference through the application of excessive force.
He had gotten his nickname as a cage fighter in university where he was briefly enrolled to study slavic mythology.
While both men’s ways of getting to where they were right now, could have not been more different, they eventually merged into the same profession once they became politics.
Aldar knew this and could use the extra muscle. Tyr’s Army hated the internationals as much as he did.

The work day was uneventful and he went by the fully automated dispenser on his way to the meeting.
Dispensers of this kind were ran entirely by afferent and efferent bots, diagnosing, calculating and continuously computating the data flow of the implantee’s subcutaneous interstitial microdispenser, (s.i.m).

If someone’s blood sugar increased, the s.i.m. released the exact right amount of necessary insulin, practically making it a bio-synthetic organ.
The only nuisance was that the insulin still needed to be micro-injected into the dispenser every 125 days.

By 2049 this had become the most routine procedure in modern medicine where although many disease had been successfully eradicated, diabetes was still a major health concern. The synthetic food farms heavily relied on artificially produced glucose equivalents that mimicked natural sugar in their molecular composition.
Nevertheless the disease was under fully automated control and diabetic deaths were quasi extinct. Bots made only a fraction of the mistakes that human beings made.
The pink husky did not disappoint. The watch was gathered and Yury was there. The speech was a full success.
“ WAR ! ” he exclaimed in his very last sentence and the crowd erupted in applause. Bathing in their reverence, he took a deep breath, sank down to his knees, raised his hands victoriously and slammed face first on the ground.
Cause of death : Ketogenic acidosis. Blood-sugar: 28 mmol/l.
Incompatible with life.

And because one man’s poison is another man’s food, the first diabetic death in China in over 3 years became the days viral headline arousing viewers around the entire world.