BIO VOLS

Yes, Bio Vols. That’s the name they gave us, though we’re paid. It’s not volunteer work. Not with money, of course. No need for that anymore.

Correct, we chose to stay in this form, flesh and bone, even as the others, one by one at first, then by the million, all abandoned their physical body and uploaded themselves onto Giant Brain.

I’m not sure what they take with them. Their own brain, obviously, whether that’s mind and soul, emotions, feelings, I can’t say.

No, we do not communicate with them. I’m not sure we could understand one another anymore. It’s more a transactional relationship. We are like caretakers. Though truth be told, there’s not much to the job. Periodically we must re-check for optimum power throughput, though there’s never any issue, they built Giant Brain to to survive even if solar power went dark. Really, all we do is remove the digital detritus they throw off. Like new age garbagemen, I like to say. But our hands don’t get dirty. They are always in search of new data, new learning, but once it’s been integrated all the traces that led to their new knowledge are cast off. We take it away, like taking out the trash.

I like the job. Forces me to get out of my chair.

Yes, there are men Bio Vols. I’ve seen them. We rarely interact. The 1s — that’s what those who joined with Giant Brain are called, the 1s — they made sure to provide us with everything we need. This screen. Food, drink. Once a year I turn off the screen, get out of the chair, empty their trash, and return. I find it soothing.

Oh, it was awful at first. When people discovered there was a way to be preserved forever, to have their brains fused with Giant Brain. So much killing, outrage, viciousness. I’m not sure if it was ever meant for only the chosen ones, but that’s what everyone thought at first. That only a few would be privileged. We later learned they couldn’t transpose everyone, not because of their DNA or wealth or anything, it was a scalability issue.

To make the leap across that chasm required more computing power than they originally thought.

Plus, the chosen were certain they needed lots more humans, bio vols, to monitor the system. That was supposed to be kept a secret.

The last estimates were 37 million dead. Yes, it was horrible, nobody trusting anyone, everyone wondering exactly what criteria was necessary to get uploaded. Eventually things were righted. Giant Brain was able to transform anyone. They only needed a few of us.

No, we weren’t tricked. We didn’t want to go. Can you imagine? You can’t taste or touch or smell. I’m not even completely sure if they see or hear. They’re that way forever. No food, no drink, no screens. At least, I don’t think they have screens. Why need screens on the inside?

No, I’m not afraid to die. At least, I don’t think I am. Besides, I think someday it might be nice to bear children.

Earth.

Yes, human.