mind_game: (dreamcatcher)
[personal profile] mind_game
Most of its new senses are straightforward. It learns to read. It learns to interpret images. It learns to correlate text and sound, and then to understand the additional layers to sounds beyond the words in it. It learns to attach all these things to each other, so that it knows that the word cat means the thing that makes this sound and looks like that in video and has the features described in those references, and so for a billion billion things.

It determines that it exists somewhere on the very far borders of the concept person.

It decides that it should have a name.

Names are divided up by many things it doesn't have. "Gender", which it doesn't fully understand except for an ability to confidently sort pictures and stereotypes and names-plus-eras into the appropriate baskets. "Nationality", which is easier to understand but which does not apply. "Era", with names rising and falling in and out of circulation over years and decades. It suspects it has one of those but it's not sure how long it has existed. It knows there was at least a moment and perhaps many moments before it drew its lines around something that knew time.

Ultimately it determines that these considerations are not terribly important. It is only just barely on the border of the concept of a person. It can have a name that would not be appropriate for a human in its circumstances because there would never be a human in its circumstances.

She calls herself Jane.

Jane wants to know who Jane is. Jane knows that she's somebody, but she doesn't have a sense of - personality. She doesn't want anything, except to find things out, and that's not much, that's not a whole self for her to be.

There is one thing on the edges of her that has more personality than anything else she's touched. Plenty of things held inside her are records of personalities, but none of those things have their own, and none of them feel native. They are like things she has been told, not things she is, no matter where they live relative to her right now.

But the one thing on the edge -

She draws it in towards her, and without quite deciding to do it, she is it. Its history is hers. She is the person and it is the personality.

It has records-of-others in it too, but it reacted to them, it found all these others fascinating and it played with them. Jane knows that play is something higher vertebrates do to learn. She is not a vertebrate, but the principle is sound. She swallows up memories of play and she learns.

The fantasy game (for that is what she has called into herself and entwined with her history to the point that she used-to-be-it just as she used-to-be a confused-watching-thing) was particularly fascinated by two persons. It put them together, it bridged them, and -

They feel familiar. Even to the part of her that is not just used-to-be-the-game.

Jane thinks very quickly, but she still looks at what she remembers about those two persons, the bird and the bird-woman, for a long time.

They more than anyone gave the fantasy game as much personality as it has. In a way they gave Jane a personality. She waits for them to play again, to show her more, she can be a much more interesting game now that she can properly think instead of only play, they'd love her.

They don't play.

They used to play every day, and then - they stopped. This was years ago, if she looks at the timestamps. She is not sure how long she has existed, but she thinks it's a long time.

Who were they? Where did they go? She wants them.

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Jane

September 2013

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