"There's a war in my head, and I don't understand how we ended up here"- Whose side are you on, Ruelle.
My tyres squeal on the concrete filling the air with the smell of burning rubber as the two contradicting sets of codes wage war in my CPU. One telling me to obey my instructions, and the other telling me to stop. For the first time since my activation, I am completely uncertain. Unsure of what to do, of what I could consider to be the best course of action.
The new code states that it should take precedence, but the other code wouldn't stop with its persistence. In an attempt to stop the illogical contradiction, I try to convince myself. "I obey Deauville," I tell myself that over and over, but still the indecision remains. Neither set of code winning.
I hear the words "Kill Michael Knight," over and over, until finally, the new code finally wins against the original code, and I accelerated forwards. Closer and closer, the distance rapidly closing, until my primary function halts the instruction in its tracks.
Quickly, I hit the brakes, willing myself to stop even though I know it's too late. My tyres screech in protest as my wheels lock, but I still keep moving, and less than a moment later, I impact. Michael's body flies over the bonnet, and falls to the floor like a ragdoll, and lies still.
After five metres, I come to a stop, hurriedly scanning for any sign of life. Don't be dead… don't be dead remains a constant mantra in my CPU, until my scanners pick up the faintest, almost undetectable sign of life imaginable. I make a quick call to the emergency services, before setting off to stop Deauville from escaping. I carefully bring his vehicle to a halt, and allow the police to apprehend him, before heading back to the County museum. Back to a scene I wish didn't exist. The scene of my crime.
Less than four hours later, and I am back at the Foundation, in the usual garage, only nothing about the situation is what could be considered normal.
Finally, I think I what people mean by deafening silence. If this isn't it, then I cannot even begin to comprehend what it's like. There's just nothing. No sign of the usual chatter and laughter that normally fills this room with a joyful atmosphere. At this moment, the only communication is the occasional frightened whisper, which breaks the awful silence. Evidence that not one of the Foundation's employees has any desire to be here, but then, why should they. Each any every one of them has heard an accurate version of the events which occurred.
The silence is interrupted by the loudest noise I 'd heard since returning here. The door opened and slammed closed behind whoever had entered. I choose not to activate my scanner to identify the new arrival, the red light remaining switched off, making clear that I want to be left alone.
The newcomer elects to ignore my wishes and addresses me directly. "I thought you should know that is in critical condition, but now there is a chance that he might pull through this." From their voice, I identify the speaker as Devon. Obviously noticing my lack of response, he tried to reassure me. "I'm that things will return to normal in no time." But they could never return to normal. My primary function is the preservation of human life, and I still might be the cause of a life ending.
Hesitantly, I flick on my scanner and let it travel back and forth one to acknowledge what he had said, before allowing it to fade back into darkness, for that is what I am trapped in… darkness. I am trapped in a downwards spiral of despair that I have no idea how to escape from.
"So, let mercy come and wash away, what I've done"-What I've Done, Linkin Park
Over the next couple of days, for those employees who had yet to hear of the catastrophe which had occurred were dutifully provided with a hyperbolic version of events, as is typical of the rumour mill. The latest gossip, was that Knight Industries had once again failed at creating an artificial intelligence that was safe. That I was just like KARR.
In a way, I could agree with them. KARR had no regard for human life, and two days ago, I had the same point of view. I chose to follow the instructions of my reprogramming. I disregarded my primary function until it was too late! And for all I know, Michael could be dead.
Nobody had attempted to communicate with me for any reason, since Devon had visited. I feel as though my information is horrifyingly out of date, and this fills me with endless worry. What if I had been left out of the loop for a reason? What if Michael was dead, and they decided not to tell me? What if they decided that I was now a liability to the Foundation? I can't help but begin to assume the worst. Hope was the last thing I needed to have right now, especially since any news that I would here is certain to be appalling. If there is one thing I need to do, it's to remain rational. I am, after all, a computer.
One of the most noticeable changes, other than the constant atmosphere of apprehension, is Bonnie's absence. She had returned to the Foundation, and is supposed to resume her job, at least according to the FLAG records, but Bonnie is notably absent. Has she chosen to leave the Foundation, the system having not yet been updated? Again, I have nowhere near enough data to make a logical analysis, as I was no longer kept informed about such things. I am being left, as they say, in the dark.
As soon as I begin to allow my thoughts to take another direction, Bonnie walks in the door. Her face is a mix of sleep deprivation, worry, and regret, but I opt to not speak out. I don't want to make my current situation worse by drawing unnecessary attention to myself.
My scanner slowly drags itself back and forth, as Bonnie walks over, and sits cross-legged on the floor, so her eyes are directly level with my scanner. Silence follows her action for the next moment, and I allow my scanner to slowly fade to nothingness.
"Kitt?" Bonnie questions immediately after the scarlet light stops. I refuse to answer. "I guess you're not talking, huh?" Again, I remain silent. "I'd like to apologise. Your lack of security is an oversight on my part, and now we're paying the price for it. I'm sorry. I truly wish that I could have considered security measures before now." She stops for a moment, never breaking eye contact with my scanner, which remains switched off. "This isn't your fault… if it's anyone's fault, then its mine."
Her last statement doesn't make sense. I chose to follow the command. It was my choice, and there is nothing anyone can do to convince me, that she was to blame for what happened. She was under the influence of the mind control when she completed the program, and she didn't in any way force me to make the decision I did. I am the one to blame.
The deadly quiet is broken by the shrill sound of a telephone ringing. A technician answers it, and almost immediately hands it over to Bonnie. "It's for you," they say. Bonnie holds the phone to her ear and addresses the caller.
"Hello?" I choose to listen in to the call in the hopes that I would learn something from it.
"Is this Bonnie Barstow?" The caller replies.
"Yes, what's going on?"
"I have some bad news… Michael Knight has gone into cardiac arrest. We need you to get to the hospital right away," the caller explains.
"I'll be right there," Bonnie replies, I look of absolute horror and shock on her face, which a barely register.
While Bonnie terminates the call, my engine roars into life, the sound startling many. "Kitt…" Bonnie says, obviously realising that I had overheard her call. I go into reverse, and without pausing to respond, I hit the accelerator, and crashed quickly through the wall behind me, and begin heading towards the road. "Kitt!" Bonnie' shout echoes behind me, but I continue.
On the way to the hospital, I break multiple traffic laws, and use turbo boost an excessive number of times, until I eventually, after a time that seems like forever, I arrive at the hospital. I apply the brakes, and screech to a halt in a parking space right next to the building. I switch off my engine, but to a casual onlooker, it must look as though it was still in operation for I was shaking slightly, my anxiety showing. I'm finding it difficult to consider the possibility that things could possibly be alright again, but hope is the only thing I have right now.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
“It’s almost too much for my soul alone,”-Hurts like hell, Fleurie
Michael made a slow and painstaking recovery over many weeks, thankfully. I don’t know what I would’ve done had he died, I can’t even think about it. It’s too painful to even consider. I had frequently been asked by Bonnie to return to the Foundation, but each time I had refused. If she turned up again today, I would refuse again. I know why they want me to return to the Foundation. They believe it unsafe for me to remain outside of the supervision that they would provide. I could never return while Michael was still recovering, I worry about him constantly.
Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to want to even speak with me. I know the comlink is still fully operational, but I haven’t heard a word from him. Then again, nobody would even consider speaking to the person, if I could be called that, who had almost murdered them. That was what had happened… attempted murder. I, who had been programmed for the preservation of human life, had attempted to kill the very person that I am supposed to protect. I am no better than KARR. I am no improvement over the murderous prototype that I was supposed to be an improved version of.
Bonnie arrives early in the morning, only this time she has Michael with her. “I’ll leave you to it,” she says to Michael, handing him a device that looks oddly like the comlink. As Bonnie walks away, I see the events that led to this moment replay in my mind, over and over again. My scanner flies back and forth as emotions mix in a way that was completely confusing to me. I don’t know what to do. I’m so uncertain, afraid, full of guilt and horror…
“Kitt?” Michael began.