Silver’s Gods by Rich X Curtis
English | 2020 | Fantasy | ePUB | 2.9 MB
She’s striking. She’s immortal. She’s dangerous.
Long ago, a young girl finds a silver pearl in a river, and it changes her forever. Whisked away from her frightened family, Silver begins a journey over thousands of years. She cannot die and endures wars, ancient kingdoms, greedy rulers, plagues, and human desperation. She is ruled by faceless gods dictating their own agendas. They give her tasks. Seduce this man. Kill this King. Lead the war. Become a housewife. The gods wield her like a tool, to know how humans learn, to shape humanity for their own mysterious ends.
In present-day Silicon Valley, a tech powerhouse is introducing their crowning achievement, a friendly Artificial Intelligence designed to take humanity to new heights. When the CEO is shot dead on stage, the FBI goes on a manhunt for the killer. But is it a man? Silver’s immortality has mastered deadly skills modern spies and military aren’t ready for.
But the AI is far from tame. Its creators built the Mind as a servant, thinking they have it in a box, contained and safe. But they are wrong. Partnering with a journalist and two more dangerous immortals, this team is determined to eradicate the Mind. But are they powerful enough to find and destroy the Mind before it threatens humanity?
“I’ve been doing these for going on thirty years. Started back when Jobs was keynoting Macworlds. I’ll get you a spot in the front row. Follow me.” He stalked off, and she followed, caught in his wake and shrugging inwardly. Front row was front row. Why not?
Thirty years? Didn’t seem possible, but she noted a touch of gray in his hair near the roots, and his eyebrows were more gray than not. So, sure, possible, if he’d started young. Was this what the future held for her, she wondered? An endless stream of tech conference keynotes, glad-handing around the tech circuit, looking for juicy scoops on new products, strategic alignments, technical advancements? She tried to keep her worries in check.
She was here to learn, that was all, and maybe meet some people. Jim Harris, he was more than just a journalist, she thought. At least an editor, she recalled, rapidly revising her assessment of him. She followed him through a door marked “VIP” that was flanked by two event staffers. He waved his badge at them and breezed through, chatting away to her as he motioned her through with a big toothy smile to the staff.
“Futura, huh? Don’t know it. What sort of stuff do you publish?” he said, guiding her to the front row. “I had a wingman for this but he bailed so you get his seat. I like to pay it forward, meet new people.” He settled back in his chair and turned to face her. “Plus, this way I don’t have to talk to any of these fossils.” He waved at the people around them, indicating all of them but none in particular. He grinned at her, eyes twinkling.
She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. He seemed genuine, and if he was flirting, well, so what, people did that. Nothing to be wigged out about. She smiled back. “Thanks for the upgrade,” she said. “Pretty sure I’d be way back there otherwise.” She nodded with her chin to the back of the auditorium. She sipped her coffee; it was quite good. “Futura is sci-tech, sort of a cross between old-school Omni and Popular Science. We publish essays, sometimes fiction, although less of that these days. It grew out a blog, so really pretty small-time, but it’s paying its way lately. Barely. I’m a stringer for them, a favor to a college friend. But it got me out here, so I can’t complain.”
“Oh, man. I loved Omni, what a great magazine. Totally my demo, back then. They had the best covers. Really great features. Good on you, and nice to meet you, Jessica. I’ll check it out, for sure.” She felt his interest waning.
“So, what’s your angle?” she said, quickly. “You know, AI, the future, all this?”
He pursed his lips. “Well, that’s a good question. I’ve been doing this sort of thing so long I am not sure I really have an angle anymore. I just sort of go with the flow.” He met her eyes, shrugged minutely. “This stuff isn’t really new per se, we just have better networks, more data to train systems with, and much faster processors. All the algorithms are basically the same ones that were invented in the ’80s. So, I guess that’s my angle. The old curmudgeon.” He smiled again. “That’s me.” He cocked his head. “You mentioned you were doing research on your own, like, AI research?”