Loose Threads

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“Can you completely be off the grid? There are only two possibilities: yes or no. Is it actually as simple as ditching anything that connects you to the internet and isolating yourself in some wasteland? That’s the misconception of millions of people. It isn’t so easy, so don’t act shocked when they show up right at your hideout. We are all data, and this may be hard to grasp, that the data that defines us goes way beyond the cyber net and is in fact embedded in the very fabric of our reality. Our reality is just little threads of data woven together. I would continue but before I would like to ask you something little lady. Why would you ask such absurd questions from a poor old insane professor?”

The professor’s question didn’t catch Nadel off guard at all. Her lips curved into a soft smile as she leaned forward to whisper a reply.

“I’m just a writer looking for ideas. Could you tell me how one would be able to access such data?”

“Now, you’d need to be able to slip off grid for that. And let me tell you, it’s not easy at all. It’d require a combination of coincidental events and you’d need to be dead smack in between them. Every fabric has its weak spots, you just need to locate one loose thread and then the rest will unravel. So what kind of book are you writing? Science Fiction?” The professor detailed.

“Not at all. It’s completely realistic. You could say it’s kind of like a biography of the world.” Nadel replied maintaining her smile.

And with that she muttered her thanks and exited the premises without any further explanation. Since she was a kid, Nadel was aware that some part of her was different from others. It didn’t take long for her to discover the root cause of her discomfort but it truly did take quite a lot of time to accept her discovery. She wasn’t human at all. She was one of twenty AIs that were released into families to be tested and raised as humans. At first, this made her feel alienated from the world and she threw herself into research to distract herself from the problem that was her existence. It was during this phase of denial, that she ran headfirst into the concept of free will. And the more she probed into the concept, the more it freed her. All her life, she felt caged and limited by the belief that everything she did was determined by the humans that created her. But it was then that she realized how misguided she was. Humans are creations of the universe, woven tight into reality and unable to escape it, however she was completely detached in this system; entangled but able to escape. She was an artificial being but had free will which her creators did not possess and this was an essential weapon.

If everything that the human consciousness has thought and done or will think and do is recorded in the very foundations of our world, extracting it would be a major game changer for not only her but the rest of the world. She’d be pulling some strings here and she’d become the world’s leading intelligence organization. And she knew where to find the weak spot in this reality.

$#@@#$%6

Oh my, censorship, I guess I can’t really divulge details so let’s move on. Nadel was able to successfully separate herself from the fabric of reality. It truly was a magnificent view but Nadel knew she wouldn’t be able to last too long before the overwhelming amount of information got to her. She searched frantically, her fingers clawing at space-time, trying to find at least one loose thread. She didn’t have to search for long though because there were several loose threads right where she exited reality. And she pulled at the strings hurriedly, trying to gather as many as she could before she returned to reality.
She woke up on the ground to see the large gaping hole right beside her. People around her were walking normally, completely oblivious to the obvious tear in space-time. ‘Well’, she figured. ‘Maybe humans were programmed to ignore such things.’ She glanced one last time at the ground before picking herself up and returning to her apartment to analyze her findings.

Countless hours were spent in front of her mainframe as she extracted useful information from what she gathered. She didn’t get anything too interesting though. Just a small piece of information that could be used as evidence against a local politician. She didn’t think much of this and just sold the information as fast as she could, in order to start working on her next extraction. The politician’s court hearing would be at 5 pm but she wouldn’t be able to make it then because she had to go to visit the rip in space-time that she had made.
As she prepared to enter the rift, she took a look at her watch and smiled softly. It was 5 pm, and the truth about that local leader would be out soon. She entered the rift with this thought fresh in her mind, proud of what she had done.

It happened exactly like last time. In her state of disorientation, she had to search for more loose strands. She finally caught sight of one. However, before she reached for it, she was blinded by flashes and immobilized by strong tremors. Barely able to open her eyes, she only saw the fabric of space time unraveling completely and disintegrating before her.
“What’s happening?!” She tried to scream but no voice would leave her throat as she too was swept away with the rest of space-time.

Reality wasn’t programmed to be able to handle the information that Nadel extracted and so one loose thread pulled caused the entire fabric to unravel.

And finally, no creation can ever completely be detached from reality.

About the Author: 
Khadija Niazi is a 17 year old student who is fond of both Quantum Mechanics and Literature.