Tueri: Part One (Short Story)
By: Tejal Pendekanti
Time: 3:50 p.m.
Date: November 18, 2074
Name: Fera Pertinax
“We don’t want to be stalked! We want freedom!” I chanted among my fellow rebels, indignance written all over our faces. I summoned PICTL, my computerized assistant that followed me everywhere, and commanded it to cheer with us, “Freedom!” Grabbing my boyfriend Joey’s hand, I thrust my poster into the air that denounced the use of the machine. The Tueri machine, which we freedom fighters simply called “Watcher” with distaste, studied our every action and behavior. By observing every mannerism, the machine predicted everything we did. It knew all of our moves even before we can think of them.
This machine took the “fun” out of life, for lack of a better word. Instead of the satisfaction derived from solving hard problems, we were forced to learn everything about our future even if we didn’t want to. Life was supposed to be adventurous, full of unexpected twists and turns where we grappled to make things right. Making our own choices with the uncertain feeling that we might have erred added to the spice of life. What was the point of leading a life when decisions were made based on probable algorithms rather than personal feelings?
The people who lived here were blinded by the fact that Tueri was a terrible creation. Not only did it negate the meaning of life, it violated basic human rights. With sensors integrated into the infrastructure of society, personal devices, and belongings, citizens allowed the government to track our every move. These sensors recorded every sound and mannerism. As soon as we were born, Tueri profiled us and assigned us a PICTL to accompany us and act as its messenger. Using the inline wiring, PICTL followed us everywhere and did its bidding. Tueri is allowed to watch us as much as it wants with total freedom to invade our privacy. Citizens didn’t question the government subjugating them in exchange for an easier life. They couldn’t see this abomination of nature for what it truly is.
And I was here to show them.
“We want freedom! We want our lives back!”