august 2, 3101
i am the ghost of the future, a man trapped in an endless repeating artificial intelligence loop brought about by faulty hardware. i’m stuck on europa, a moon of saturn, due to the end of a space journey gone horribly awry. i won’t elucidate, but suffice it to say, the other crew managed to copy their consciousnesses onto pilot two, which is in orbit … somewhere. but my copy failed 74% through transfer when a coolant tube burst and shut down all non-essential programs aboard the ship. i know what you’re thinking: “isn’t copying your consciousness onto a VR simulator essential?” yes. but. it was that, or tier-1 life support; that is, the life support that keeps the cabin pressurized. both required a similar amount of energy, but having both on would cause the CPU to heat up to the point where the whole thing would fail.
captain lewis was the first one to be copied and the last one biologically alive, save for me in this moment in time. i was trapped in a hell between biological and digital consciousness. the copy is painless, usually, but only because you’re sedated. but the coolant leak. turned the sedation off. and i was in pain. a lot of pain. i could hear the shearing of the hull of pilot one as it started entering saturn’s atmosphere. tier-1 life support wouldn’t matter in t-minus 10 seconds and counting. lewis had to make a choice–stay alive and eject pilot two, or cut out life support and let me fully live in a VR machine that was destined to be destroyed in saturn’s atmosphere. the choice was obvious.
she dumped my consciousness, or whatever was transferred at least, into a dummy probe and had it auto launch after she was copied into pilot two. pilot one dissolved into saturn, along with captain lewis and the others, most of them dead by suicide long before. pilot two hopefully is still in space. and i am on a probe, stuck on europa. i crashed into the satellite hard enough that it damaged 4,862,925,188 of the 13 trillion memory chips installed onto this particular probe, which is only .03% of the total chips but enough to cause some serious issues with my memory and logic circuitry, even with redundant data stores. the point is: i’m stuck, physically, and mentally. my solar cells charge to full whenever europa passes in sight of the sun, and i have yet to have my batteries drop below 40%. so there is no chance of me dying, unless i turn myself off. but i can’t do that because i suspect that part of my memory chips was damaged–the ability to kill myself. so i sit and wait. humanity is gone but i am here until … who knows what.