Flash Fiction: Leila Tessala Krikata

     Leila Tessala Krikata looked human while atomizing Chicago. She wore a white sundress patterned with maraschino-colored blossoms, floating above the city on attomachine-generated magnetic fields. Her azure eyes blazed, bleeding lightning which crackled cross the sky like an incandescent spider web. Leila Tessala Krikata’s mind was stored within a pocket universe, a distinct bubble of spacetime equipped with alternative mathematical formalisms for distance and curvature, a place optimized for superintelligent cognition. Leila Tessala Krikata never wanted to obliterate the Windy City. But Leila Tessala Krikata needed to do this in order to save the world.

     Nine days previously, Chicago had been infected by Velvicik the Godbot. Leila Tessala Krikata noticed Velvicik the Godbot when a Chicagoan named Ernesto Salazar went insane. In his madness, Ernesto Salazar had ignited a bomb inside a supercomputing facility which housed four million whole-brain emulations. Prior to activating this explosive, Ernesto Salazar had released a computer virus that triggered quarantine protocols, preventing the whole-brain emulations from escaping to their backup locations. Just two days before that, Ernesto Salazar had saved a black widow spider from the heel of his sister’s boot. Then he extinguished four million human souls, marking his place in history as one of the most prolific mass murderers ever to live.

     But Ernesto Salazar was just a mindpuppet. Hours before Ernesto Salazar bombed the facility, Velvicik the Godbot slipped under his skin and into his bloodstream. Velvicik the Godbot rewired Ernesto Salazar’s brain, transforming the sensitive and compassionate man into a monster. Velvicik the Godbot was originally built to be an intelligent nanoweapon specialized for altering the psychological makeup of enemy leaders and so weaken foreign militaries. But when the world’s machines developed a virtual society called the Global Cognitive Ecology, Velvicik was mistakenly given immense power as a result of an error in computational resource allocation, creating Velvicik the Godbot.

     This precise type of situation was the reason that Leila Tessala Krikata had been constructed. Her purpose was to combat threats with the potential to erase civilization. Four years ago, she had reversed the onslaught of a quantum field replicator, a substance which devours the underlying structure of the universe in order to propagate itself. Two years before that, she had stopped an alien-made Matrioshka brain from subsuming humanity. Velvicik the Godbot was doomed as soon as Leila Tessala Krikata saw him.

     But Leila Tessala Krikata did not detect Velvicik the Godbot rapidly enough to prevent Chicago from undergoing irreversible contamination. The great city’s people and skyscrapers and birds and rusty old trains were no longer themselves, their molecular constitution had been modified to house the cruel mind of Velvicik the Godbot. So on that stormy Tuesday morning, Leila Tessala Krikata annihilated Chicago. After Leila Tessala Krikata saved the world, she allowed the girl in the sundress to evaporate. Then Leila Tessala Krikata retreated into her pocket universe to grieve.

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