Summary: Word War, Red has a Plan(tm).
NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!
There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the Outline to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.
Outsourcing Saves the World
There is no sunrise in the city, the light never wavers and the sky never changes from the dull blue that could be atmospheric haze or could be the color of far off walls. Everything here seems to be wood or something like wood, so Red thinks it might be haze more than the paint.
The closer you get to the city center the more overgrown the city becomes. It turns from scattered buildings to collection of warrens and paths that look more like an anthill or beehive than a tree. It’s a confusing forest of walls and windows and doors that might lead somewhere and might not.
He’s careful now, knowing that dead ends don’t always stay dead ends and that the city grows and changes around him, sometimes faster sometimes slower, but never static.
He has learned to anticipate the changes, to guess where the trails and paths lead long before his pursers do. Even when it’s the city herself who’s chasing him he manages to stay one step ahead, but he’s not sure how. He wonders sometimes how much of the city wants to live and how much it wants to die.
The AIs are leftovers of the humans that formed them, at some point they have to care that their world was lost– have to care that they are destroying worlds as fast as they are creating them.
It’s chaos theory, entropy, the endless cycle of death and rebirth that he desperately wants to stop.
And he thinks he’s figure out how.
There’s old code there, buried deep beneath the growth that the city wasn’t supposed to be able to make. They’d never quite realized what they’d done when they moved into the city and given her access to people she was never meant to upload. There were problems with having programmers assimilated by the city– it learned how to do things it was never meant to do.
And buried in the heart of the code was the kill switch that one group of subcontractors started that was cut due to contract negotiation and that they never finished building.
Red isn’t a coder, was never a coder, he was a theoretically physicists whose job was the grand picture, the overall theory and math that fed into the city and her ability to reach new universes. Reach or create them, he’s still not sure he knows which one it is or what actually happens when she opens a new door.