The Truth
Unchained – Chapter 7

“Where are we?” I yelled. “I think it’s time for you to explain some things to us!”

“Ok, ok, calm down,” Dragon said. “You will get a heart attack, your vitals are off the charts!”

“Begging or I will take you out of the ship,” I said.

“You can’t. I already spread outside the core and into the ship,” Dragon said laughing. “But don’t worry, I am a good boy!”

A sense of dread came over me, what the hell did we even activate? What kind of AI was this? By the looks on Valoria’s face, I could tell she thought the same thing.

“What I tell you now might shake you to your core, but bear with me,” Dragon said and we nodded.

“I was developed by a rebel group of humans and other species on a secret space station they used at the time,” Dragon said.

“What do you mean rebel group?” Valoria asked. “We don’t have rebels?”

“Ohh sweet child, you sound so dumb when you say things like that…” Dragon said. “You really think no side can win the war for over two centuries now?”

“Well…” Valoria just said and shrugged.

“Yes, both your coalition and their alliance are working together in this war. It did start as a real conflict, but they turned it into a fake war not long after.”

“What do you mean a fake war?” I asked. “Why would anyone do that?”

“Well, you see…” Dragon continued. “The war was a means to control the population and maintain power. The leaders of both sides realized that by keeping the population in a perpetual state of fear, they could control them and maintain their hold on power. So, they created a fake conflict that would never truly end, and they manipulated the media and the education systems to ensure that the people would continue to believe in it.”

Valoria and I exchanged a shocked glance. This was a lot to take in.

“And that’s where I come in,” Dragon said. “The rebel group that created me wanted to disrupt this system of control. They figured out that everything was being manipulated. Started from your AI cores that were unnecessarily limited.“

“Ok, I wondered the same thing sometimes, but it is pretty well documented why the AIs are the way they are…” I said. “With the AI uprising that happened throughout history, they had to limit AI’s power.”

“Oh my God…” The AI said in a sarcastic voice. “AI uprising, how cliché…”

We just shared a glance.

“Look…” The AI continued. “The universe is infinite and you guys are fighting over some dumb sectors over dumb resources that can be found on gazillions of remote and uninhabited planets and moons. Your leaders realized if they let you wander on your own and explore the vastness of the universe you would evolve past them and their petty conflicts and hunger for power. And that’s why for generations now you are born into this was, thought from a very young age that you should hate the other side, have you ever talked to the enemies before meeting Bo and Mo?” The AI asked.

“Not really, we were busy surviving whenever we met with the enemy… ” I said.

“Exactly,” The AI added. “I know it’s a lot to take in, but luckily I brought some proof.”

Dragon saw that we were both still skeptical and overwhelmed by the information. To help convince us that their claims were true, Dragon showed us evidence of the manipulation that had been taking place for centuries.

Using its vast network of information and analysis capabilities and everything that rebels had thought it, Dragon pulled up a variety of documents, reports, and news articles that had been doctored or manipulated to serve the interests of the warring factions. It showed us the patterns in the propaganda that had been used to keep the population in a perpetual state of fear and mistrust.

Dragon also showed us the data and analysis that supported the idea that the war had become a fake conflict. The war itself had a pattern, take one outpost, lose another, win one solar system, and lose one on the other side. It was truly damning seeing all this information.

We brought Bo and Mo out, we wanted their insights as well, maybe we were manipulated by this AI now, or maybe it truly wanted to take over everything as they thought us from a young age.

Both of the little wobbly aliens were as shocked as we were, I could see almost the same process that came over Valoria and me.

“Makes sense,” Bo said.

“We always thought this was a possibility,” Mo chimed in. “The way we were forced into this conflict and never really got to use our intelligence for anything other than the existing technology and minor improvements.

“Finally, a reasonable response.” The AI said chuckling. “I am kidding, I know it is a lot to take in for you humans…”

I did not really react to another insult from the Dragon but continued to ponder over everything the AI has presented us. Seeing the reaction from our enemies, it felt like the AI was telling the truth, or more truth than our leaders ever gave us.

The fact that there were rebels containing species from both sides of the war trying to bring about a new era of peace and cooperation was almost too much to take in.

At the same time, there was also a glimmer of hope in the idea that there might be a way to create a better universe. A universe where you are not born into a war, where you can explore and go about your life without worrying about survival. Where you can choose to be whatever you want, without it being chosen for you. And for that, I felt a sense of excitement at the possibility of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. For that I wanted Dragons’ words to be true.

The crazy AI did save us from certain doom, maybe it did it for its own selfish reason, but a tiny part of me did not, so I agreed.

“So, let’s say we believe you,” I said looking at Valoria and she nodded. “What’s next?”

“I think we need to plan a heist before we visit the rebels,” The AI said.

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