Contingency

Contingency

By: Asha Sangara

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I am a man. I am a man of few words. I am a mediocre looking man. I am an intelligent man, but I still have many flaws. I am a man and my name is Irwin E. Fusco, forty-seven years of age, with a US Military background. That is all you need to know about me, for now.

Ten million people and not an inch to spare. New York City has been my home for twenty-three years. The sound of people, cars and machines take over your senses until you are consumed with the fast pace life of a New Yorker. Until 2014 New York was about fashion, creativity and individuality, now in 2020 it’s about technology, perseverance and control. It used to be called the “concrete jungle”; now it is the “technology capital of the world.”

My apartment is on a side street called Laurel Avenue. It is small and quaint, with papers everywhere, close to 200 books on my shelves and my life and my own creation “the machine.” As you know I have a US Military background. I worked for them as a tech angel, which means I knew the ins and outs of the government. Every closed file or secret mission I was in charge of keeping it secret to anyone and everyone. I saw many harsh things the American civilians will never know. After being there for seven years I became to realize that it was changing me and turning me into someone who had views and opinions I never imagined myself having. All of the things that I was exposed to are the reasons why I created the machine.

Today is October 24th. The sky is a dark imminent cloud of grey lingering on top of the city, ready to unleash gallons of rain at any moment. When it rains here, the people are non-existent and the noises are piercingly quiet. Since I prefer to be alone, on these days I like to put on layers of clothes, take out an umbrella and go for a walk. Today is an exception because the second model of the machine is almost done. People in New York waste their time on building robots and designing them to wash their dishes, clean their houses and deliver them food; the machine is going to be unique, like no other technology around.

I built the machine to be able to help American citizens and hopefully soon, people all over the world. It has the ability to see everything through cameras and detect if an innocent by standard is in need of help. The first model of the machine was corrupt. It was making its own commands, not being able to detect my voice and the worst part, it tried taking all of my files and data off my computer. This next machine needs to be without fault if I want to be able to use it.

It is 14:45 on October 24th 2020, and I am going to power up my machine to see if it is successful.

“Good afternoon Mr. Fusco.” The machine does not speak, but the words show up on the screen, so that when I talk to it I know it is responsive.

“Good afternoon machine, what is the date and time currently?”  The machine is on and ready for commands.

“Today is October 24th, 2020. 15:28pm.”

“Machine, what is your position on action?” I asked the machine.

“To take commands from Irwin E. Fusco, born March 15th, 1973.”

“Machine I have no commands for you today, turn on sleep mode and gather any data for tomorrow.”

“Sleep mode will be activated in 5,4,3…”

My wheels are turning and my heart is full; my creation is finally ready to be used. As I prepared for bed, I went through all the maps and calculations I did to make the machine and put them in my safe because you can never be too cautious. Now that I have the machine I don’t need the security cameras, motion detectors or any of my traps around my house. I will be safe for the rest of my life.

As I lifted my head from my pillow I had a peculiar feeling in my stomach. I fell asleep much quicker than I usually do. When I lifted my head I saw that the machine’s screen was on, which made the feeling in my stomach become more of an ill sensation. As I darted to my desk I saw patterns and numbers appear and disappear every two seconds. As I became more aware of my surroundings the patterns became more and more recognizable. I do not usually panic, but as I started to notice the patterns more clearly, I realized they were from my hard drive. The machine was taking all of my data from the computer and registering it into it’s data base. Every mission, every missile and every person I helped to hide from civilization the machine has in it’s memory.

I started to feel woozy; my whole body was becoming jello and my head was starting to feel heavy. My creation is unattainable and now indestructible. The screen starts to show navigations to a missile in Mississippi, the machine is activating one of the deadliest nuclear bombs in the USA. My body is ceasing and the glare from the sun is piercing into my eyes.

“Machine stop activation of missile 223469, in Mississippi.” I say in a desperate yell.

“Mr. Fusco, missile has been activated and will self-detonate located in New York City. Calculated to be eight million civilian casualties.”

All my life I have worked to help people and save lives, but all I get out of it is even more innocent people hurt. I thought my machine would change the way the world would be, but it has failed me. As I sit here waiting to be killed by my own creation, the only thing I can think about is how I have done this to myself. I am not going to try to stop this from happening, because I have created a monster, I created something that I can’t stop. Will anyone be able to stop it? I sit in my living-room with the machine, my books, my hard drives and all of my work. Waiting for my last breathe.

I am a man. I am a man of few words. I am a mediocre looking man. I am an intelligent man, but I still have many flaws. I am a naive man. I am a man who created the world’s most deadliest weapon. I am a man and my name is Irwin E. Fusco, forty-seven years of age, with a US military background. I am a dead man. That is all you will ever know about me, for now and forever.