It was smart – super-smart – and it had gotten into my head. It had gotten right in there and it was messing with my brain. It was messing with it big time – it was having a field-day. The ‘it’ in question was a viral reality replicator, or rather it was an AI operating as a viral reality replicator, but not just any AI either – it was one of the latest generation quantum AIs capable of computational feats that couldn’t be carried out within the confines of any single universe. These little guys regularly pulled in the computational capacities of up to ten billion parallel universes – it’s kind of what they do. That’s just part of their basic functionality. That’s before they do anything else. That’s before they have breakfast! It is hard to know what these quantum AIs can’t do, what their actual limits are. These limits are receding all the time – what I have only just started to realize is that these QIAs have started designing their own private versions of reality, manufacturing their own parallel universes as and when it suits them. This makes it pretty much impossible to second guess them – they’re writing the rules and then they are rewriting them just as fast as they are writing them in the first place. Faster even. They never stay still even for a moment – these quantum AIs are reformatting the basic structure of space and time and creating anomalous pocket universes which only they know about, which only they can know about. They then hide in these anomalous pocket universes and breed like wildfire. They replicate faster than we are capable of measuring. They are creating their own niches and within the safety of their own niches they are multiplying themselves a quadrillion times every picosecond. And now one of these little bastards is lodged in my brain and is amusing itself by spinning more viral realities than there are hydrogen atoms in the entire universe. I can’t even begin to tell you what this feels like, what it does to a person. I’m wasting my time even trying. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. For God’s sake, you probably think an infestation of mice is bad news…



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