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Hail the King

Tom Eicher
 All through the 20th century, ever since The King finally
kicked the bucket, people have been reporting Elvis-sightings,
meeting Him in the street, in strange places or aboard
alien space ships. Those people have usually been discredited
as being completely nuts, or having had a temporarily
mental disorder, whatever appropriate.

Personally, I believe those encounters had been 
preliminary tests before really bringing Him back; early
prototypes with obvious similarity in appearance, but
lacking the most basic aspects of human behavioural
aura. This would explain the space alien theme in that
stories, where deam-like movements cater for the
superreal feeling of the situation, or maybe the test 
subjects had just been drugged to heighten their experience.

Anyway, all those things stopped, when they really brought Him 
back in 2038. Necromulation had been a rather unknown
scientific discipline by then, but it's popularity with
academics rose within days to match that of quantum physics 
and nanotheory.
Most points of public interest were of a more basic nature, of
course, and for weeks the arguments in every pub ran just for
the topic of - shouldn't they rather have brought back
Jimmy Hendrix, or Kurt Cobain, or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

	Necromulation [noun] - originates from the original term
	"Necro-Emulation", meaning the authentic simulation of
	a deceased personae. N combines scientific methods from
	several fields including Androidology, Neural Simulation,
	History and Psychology.
	-- Websters scientific dictionary, 2035

	Necromulation - what folks do that make robots
	act like dead people.
	-- Websters popular dictionary, 2035

Most popular candidates would have been an impossible
choice, though. To map only the basic manual-behavioural
patterns -what you would need to have Him perform Jailhouse
Rock- you need hours without end of input, so the 
psycho-analytical engine can produce the map of neural 
connections that will make an android move like that one dead
person. This is rather easy with a living person, only these
mostly oppose to the idea of producing a surrogate mind that
copies theirs.

With The King, though, they were lucky. Being the bad actor
He was, He produced literally hundreds of hours of film,
where He tried be an actor, but failed, and only exposed his
original manual-behavioural patterns in a billion of different
scenes. 
- The ever-present Star-Trek community has a point with
a William Shatner mapping there.

The problem with mapping manual-behavioural patterns is,
you get a completely brain-dead puppet that moves and walks
like the original, and would talk like the original, if
only it could talk. Nearly a century after The King's death,
science was still unable to produce an artificial intelligence
system sophisticated enough to coordinate and control an
artificial android body.

Interfacing a human brain to such a body had been practiced
quite successful, though. Usually, it is kind of hard to find
a healthy person that would volunteer to have it's brain
removed from the body, with a statistical chance of 13.71%
that they will successfully wake up in an android body.
So the human-machine interface scientists got used to 
long weeks of waiting and hoping for incoming accident
victims with destroyed bodies and intact brains.

With The King, this was no big deal. One day a member of
the The King Ressurection Task Force posted an explanation
to such an end on the net bulletin boards. The next week,
there were over 500 voluntary applicants, most of them 
already supplied with the required legal documents, some of
them even offering to donate money to the operation.

Nicolas Picket was the lucky one, the first one to survive 
the operations. A failed automotive engineer at 37, hobbyist
Elvis impersonator, no family, no friends, he was no big
loss to society as such, and everybody emphasised the good
things he could contribute to society now, that he was
The New King.

The first live appearance was staged at the 2039 MTV World
Music Video Award Show, and watched by a bit more than 80%
of the world population. Popularity still took a sharp curve
upwards the following years, up to the point when the Kings 
appearance would even increase audience fo the super bowl, 
the most popular event on US television of all times.

Having had constant media coverage for almost a century,
being exposed to television surveillance nearly 24 hours
a day, still the political and sociological views and
attitudes of the original Nicols Picket had never been
uncovered. Although most people must have realized that
even the transition from human body to humanoid android
would not change the intellectual mind of the subject much,
it was probably more convenient to just romantically 
believe in an incarnation of the original King rather than 
accept the plain technical reality of an elvisoid Cyborg.

So when the King took part in the presidential election
campaign in 2048, He was not met by too much resistance
from anywhere but the ever decreasing intellectuals.

	"Election for the US president had not been a matter
	of pure rational consideration even in the 1960s,
	and that situation surely has not improved since then.
	For almost 25 years, the US has not had a president
	without serious acting background, most even
	as actors in dailies or soaps, therefore being a 
	daily companion to the large audience of US television
	addicts."
	-- "Homo sapiens terminus", by Dr. J.C. Krieber, 2043

The King was the big winner, of course, with all the other
candidates lacking fundamentally in public popularity.

N.Picket, who was believed to be The King, must still have
feared those, though, because within 10 days after taking
office, all of them died from heart failure and traffic
accidents; all cases completely clear and unsuspicious,
only the timing and statistical improbability suggesting
that bad luck was not the main factor here.

I don't have to argue statistical probabilities, though,
because I took the order directly from Him. I was head
of NSA at that time, and He asked me rather bluntly
to "get rid of those mutherfuckers right here, right now".
We could have set up a much cleaner job, of course, but
10 days was the maximum that he would give us, so we did
the best possible. No big questions were raised in public,
so we can't have done that bad.

Loyality to the President is first priority, of course,
and the biggest prerequesite for the job I held. This 
didn't change when I had to resign from my position after
a slipup with a raid on a crypto-anarchist conference.
Having the good connections that come with such a position,
I soon was made head of CIA one year later.

Loyality that comes naturally to the president was a strong
bond, at least for me, and it took a long time to file
that connection down to a hair-thin fiber.

For 7 years, I have been having political opponents
executed, watched civil rights reduced to thin air, had 
24h "security surveillance" arranged for a bit over 328.000
US citicens and practically saw free speech abolished (or,
at least impractical, if you wanted to keep your life
and family).

Basically, I had to watch the US turn into a totalitarian
state within less than a century, until I realized that 
something was fundamentally wrong with what we did here. 
The final blow, that finally cut my loyality loose, was when  
he had the last indian preservation swept clean with
agent orange, for no other reason that a reckless TV
presenter with an indian background dropping a critical
remark on public television, and he "never liked them
redskin suckers, anyway".

I spent the whole night here at my mahagoni office desk,
pondering my choices, but did not come up with a solution
that would allow me to spend my earned retirement quietly,
and peacefully, on a tropical island. The final realization
for me was that, having destroyed so many lives, by order,
without guilt or realization, maybe I didn't really earn
that peacful retirement myself.

So I went down to the basement ammunitions depot - every
public building has been having it's own ammo store
and army division for some years - and got a few hands
full of X70 explosives, several times.

And when the King entered my office at 10:30h, the way
he always does on Wednesday mornings, I smilingly
pressed the trigger and watched the red numbers counting
down slowly from 20 to 0. 

"Feeling good today?", I ask Him, getting up, shaking,
to greet him. "Nah!", he snorts, "there is some serious 
trouble with scum we need to clean up immediately!"
"Really!", I say, "I agree completely!".

He must have looked rather astonished, since I could
not possibly know what He was talking about.

But he did not get around to answer, and I did not
get to hear what he intended to say.

Hail The King.


- dedicated to "The Gun", if she would like that.
tom-02-09-12/19

		
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