The Singularity of Orlando T. Baker
by Katherine Tomlinson
“They” had been predicting the advent of smarter-than-human intelligence for nearly 60 years before a computer lab in Bangalore achieved the goal with an AI that named itself “Ajay.”
When the Singularity finally arrived, it was almost too late for Orlando T. Baker, who was suffering from stage IVB pancreatic cancer and had been given to understand that there was no stage V.
Orlando’s doctors had told him all they could do was manage his pain and ease his dying.
Orlando’s response had been “fuck that,” and he’d immediately contacted Dr. Devakumar Sharma in Bangalore.
After literally signing his life away, Orlando was prepped for a procedure that was not unlike the process of cryogenic preservation in the 20th century.
His heart was stopped so his consciousness could be decanted like fine wine into a complex neural matrix cloud where it merged with an infinitude of information, creating a web of connections to a cyber-cosmos.
Orlando awoke to eternity with the cataclysmic shock of the Big Bang to find that everything that was singular and unique about his personality had become irrelevant, subsumed in the hyper-hive-mind of the galaxy.
Trapped between zero and one, he could see but had no eyes. He could reach but could not touch. He could process but could not think as an onslaught of input assaulted him in every direction.
In a time so brief no human could measure it, Orlando T. Baker’s hopes for a transhuman afterlife evaporated, along with his sanity.