In Fear Of Warriors
Everything’s been cycling for weeks, ever since the computer started back up. There was a system crash, followed by a hard reboot. Everybody was asleep, so it tried to auto-restore, but a chunk of the hard drive was missing.
Computers don’t store everything in alphabetical order. There are little pieces here, chunks there, maybe a string or two of data over by that diode. There are certain files whose only job is to know where other bits of information are. A good portion of those files were apparently on the 18th level, bordering the outer walls. Hulls. They’re called hulls, or maybe hull singular. I know that from somewhere.
As far as I can tell, it was a meteor. The girl who was Sally yesterday said it probably wasn’t a comet, since comet have ice in them, and the meltwater would have shorted out the whole circuit bank. It hasn’t been shorted out, since it’s still running. It’s just not running right.
I’ve been trying to find Sally today, since she seemed to know a bit about computers, but I don’t have the time to ask everybody if they’re Sally. If there was enough room in one of the gathering areas, I’d try to rally people there. It’d be safer with groups.
I’m witnessing a survival of the fittest. As the numbers slowly trickle down, the weaker ones don’t make it back to sleep each night. We’re still lured in by that tone. I might be able to use that to my advantage if I could find the control panel. Going to have to start keeping a record of where it isn’t.
I wish I knew how long this has been going on. My records only go back two weeks, which means it either started fourteen days ago, or I only realized I should start taking notes around that time. Of course, there could be days in between the fourteen. It could be weeks. The idea that it could be months or years doesn’t upset me as much as it should anymore. If this is all I’ve ever known, at least I’m finding a way to fix it.
I’ve been awake for almost twelve hours, and soon I’m going to hear that tone, and today feels wasted, like I didn’t make any progress. I have to trust that I’m getting somewhere though. I only got in two hours of research, since I spent wake-up through just a little bit ago dodging a squad of men wielding large steel axes, seemingly made of ripped off panels and piping. I think they were speaking German. How do I know what German is?
Last week there was battle, for lack of a better term, in one of what probably was a mess hall. A group of samurai with katana made from glass and plastics fought a bunch of topless men with spears. It didn’t end pretty, but it was nice to see them distracted by each other for once. The more time they spend fighting each other, the less time they come after the civilians.
There’s more and more killers and warriors everyday according to my numbers. I don’t know if we were a reservation or a traveling show or what, but soon we’re just going to be a pack of animals. Every innocent that gets killed each night doesn’t go back to upload when the tone goes off. They’re wiped from the banks permanently. Meanwhile, all those warriors sleepwalk back to the chambers and plug in to get stored in the memory for another day. The next morning, the computer shuffles the personalities again to try and find the right match. I’m guessing there are safety locks on the levels with the dangerous bodies, but since the souls are just being plugged into whatever’s available, it doesn’t help keep us any safer.
Every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror, I get nervous, wondering if this is really my body. If I’m finally home. I’m taking these notes, and leaving copies scattered throughout the rooms everyday, to make sure I can find them when I wake up. In truth, it may not even be me that’s done this. It might be someone else, and I’m just reading what he’s left and carrying on his work. If that’s the case, enough of us keeping track of this together should be able to fix the problem. All I want to do is turn the ship off. If that means we just drift asleep until somebody finds us and pulls a repair-job, so be it. If we crash into a star or life support goes down? At least I’ll be asleep in the machine.