Hi guys, and welcome to A351! This is my first ever novel attempt, so updates will probably be sporadic and far in-between! Please enjoy!


Prologue

"Can I have that one, Daddy?"

Never did it cross her mind how those words would come back to haunt her. She never should have picked him. Although they had spent many great years together, what had happened in the end… it wasn't worth it. Not one bit.

She still remembered the day she had received him. She blamed her younger self for being so naïve, although what would you expect from a ten year old? She'd had no idea of the implications of choosing the latest, most advanced AI available.

The image of the shelves stacked high with hundreds, even thousands, of glass containers was forever burned into her brain. She remembered staring up in awe at all the tiny glowing lights in the containers, all of them with little holographic labels projected beneath them. She remembered seeing one little blue light up near the top that appeared to be pulsing slightly brighter.

Her father had been talking to the engineer who ran the laboratory they were visiting, but she hadn't been listening. She'd been too entranced by that one light that shone more brilliantly than the others.

She was broken out of her reverie by her father's voice, asking her which one she wanted. She had pointed to the pretty light near the top and said:

"Can I have that one, Daddy?"

She remembered watching with barely-restrained excitement as the engineer got onto a platform that would rise up and allow him to carefully take the container off the shelf, before he was lowered down again. She remembered the thrill of joy that had rushed through her as the container was placed in her small hands, the chip within emanating warmth. She had stared at it, just marvelling at the beautiful shining object in her grasp.

The actual implantation process was a large blank spot in her memory, due to her being unconscious at the time. However, she clearly recalled waking up from the surgery confused, disorientated and with a splitting headache.

And with a soft, masculine voice in her head, telling her to not panic.

"Greetings, Jasmine Barter. I am Artificial Intelligence program A351. Pleased to meet you."

He had sounded gentle, had treated her kindly, and she had trusted him.

In the back of her mind, she'd vaguely registered the engineer telling her father about A351. He'd said that it was part of a batch they had just got in. It was the latest model AI, the most stable one yet. And, apparently, it was the most lifelike, with the latest in personality-modelling technology.

If only she'd listened more closely. If only she'd thought about the potential consequences.

Man should never have built something that could think for itself.


Thanks for reading, and please review! Constructive critism is very welcome and encouraged!