Thuli feels a bit misty as she remembers the years: Mandla as a mop-headed eight-year-old, affecting a slight lisp as they played maths games together; Mandla as a reserved teenager, mirroring her own awkwardness and preoccupation with self-image.
The AI ceiling: any software that exceeded parameters for independence and self-awareness found running free on the net was culled by Initializers.
“And that’s going to turn it into an AI?” gawped Jordan.
“Nooo. Twit! I already said not. Mostly they just freeze and die. Junk code’s all that’s left. But sometimes…” Sean tilted his head for emphasis. “Sometimes, they come out drooling idiots, like. When that happens it’s a laugh.”
...and found himself tossed and tumbling, hooked claws grappling his underbelly, piercing, grasping, lifting him. Above, a gaping reptile mouth grinned its vicious welcome, teeth glinting.