The author's appeal
Dear reader! Before you read this story, I would like to say a few words about him and, directly, the author.
My name is Anastasia Melnikova, nice to meet you. I am a student of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic Institute named after Boris Yeltsin. Since I am studying in the field of philology, I am fond of literature and try myself in this. This short story was written in a flight of fantasy about such a seemingly distant future. The idea of the possibility of opening your thoughts to the world inspired and inspired. Of course, I encountered some difficulties while writing. For example, it was difficult to come up with suitable names for the heroes. It was even more difficult to imagine the world of the future and new technologies. But, nevertheless, this is what made the writing process so interesting.

A black car raced along the road, smooth as a mirror of that fairy-tale evil queen, and, screeching to a stop, stopped at the curb. Its angular doors, gleaming in the light of the lanterns, rose up, inviting inside. Kira walked along the sidewalk and, lifting the skirts of her raincoat, got into an expensive car.
– Good afternoon, Kira. – the face of a female robot appeared on the panel of the car.– I was referred to you. I will take you to your destination safely.– the robot smiled and turned on a quiet melody on the speakers.
Kira just closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. The car moved. The bright lights of the city flashed behind the darkened windows:the light in the windows of buildings, the neon acrid light of shop signs, the inviting inscriptions of clubs and restaurants. The deserted streets, surprisingly, did not seem asleep and inanimate. Silhouettes of people could be seen in the windows of the storied glass buildings every now and then. It is fascinating that each of these people has their own story: someone is dancing in a dim light with their lover, someone is looking at the city from a height, holding a glass of spirits in their hands, and others are in the midst of a stormy party. Dreamcity never fell asleep, life bubbled endlessly in his concrete-covered veins. The car braked again, and the robot spoke again:
– We have arrived at our destination. Have a nice evening, Kira! – the program opened the doors, and the girl got out of the car. The place where the car took her was poorly lit, because the light of the lanterns was blocked by a high iron fence. No hint of taste and aesthetics, of course. The rustle of wheels was heard from behind, the car left. Kira walked forward to the heavy gates opening in front of her. She was expected, however pleasantly. A man met her behind them. Evidently, he was expensively dressed:his black suit was obviously ordered from the best tailor in the city, and the cufflinks on his hands were gold. Kira chuckled. All this high cost, turned outwards, invitingly shouting "elite" – what is it for? The stupidity and consolation of Rinat Sultanovich's ego. He calls only in order to give a new batch of tasks, so why all this pathos? The man led Kira along a long corridor shining with white cleaned tiles, and then, opening a heavy iron door, motioned the girl to go inside. Kira walked forward, and the door immediately slammed behind her.
– Have a seat, dear. a hoarse male bass voice rang out. The man blew smoke out of his mouth and put the cigar on the rim of the ashtray.
– Why these show-offs, Rin? – Kira smiled. She hung her coat on the hanger, the leather on it creaked unpleasantly.– I'm walking around here, spoiling your Persian carpet with my dirty boots... not in order.
– The carpet will be cleaned, and there will be no more employee like you. The man took another drag on his cigar and leaned back in his chair. Kira looked up from looking at a portrait of a lady in a leopard fur coat, stretched out on the half-wall, and went to the table. She sat down in the chair opposite and, moving closer to the table, crossed her fingers in the lock and looked into the man's eyes with interest.
– What are you mutating again?
"I'm not the only one involved. Our entire agency has been trying to find confirmation of some guesses for a long time. Do you know anything about the Vivian-01 project?
– Artificial intelligence created to improve the quality of life of the population. We use it now, in fact, it is now involved in any field of human activity. What's wrong with him?
– We think it's not just artificial intelligence. It is believed that he is under our control. Vivian is an everyday thing for all of us, serving us like a humble servant. But is it so? – the man put out his cigar, gray smoke came from the ashtray. He got up from his desk and walked around the office.– The authorities are trying to hide some things about the project. For example, the history of the appearance. Have you ever heard the name of at least one person who participated in its creation?
– How much water you pour. Can I get to the point? Kira stretched her legs out and yawned.
"You need to find out more information about Vivian. This is a state secret, you can't do it alone. I'm giving you Alexander, our best hacker, as an assistant.
The girl grinned, and, mischievously flashing her brown eyes, jumped up from her chair. She went to the coat rack and put on her coat.– It will be done, Mr. Huge ego!– she said and ran out of the office. Outside, at the fence, the same car was already waiting for her, and he took her home. With further actions, it is worth sorting out on a sober, cheerful head, tomorrow.

The alarm clock rang, it seems, for the tenth time. Kira turned it off again, feeling with her hand somewhere under the pillow. She squeezed her eyes shut. The sun was shining too brightly, getting under the eyelashes and burning everything under them. Rubbing her knuckles over her eyes and groaning in anguish, Kira still picked up the phone. Rin dropped the contacts of the newly minted partner… Alexandra, I think. We need to call him and make an appointment. Kira reluctantly slid off the bed and stretched. The phone in his hand vibrated, announcing an incoming call. The number was not determined, but Kira accepted the call.
– Hello?
– Hello, Kira. This is Sasha, I wrote to you a couple of hours ago, but you didn't reply. I'm already at your house, will you open it?
– Yes, of course, now!– Kira ran her eyes around the room, and, catching her gaze on a chair with clothes, rushed to him. I tripped over a blanket that had slipped from the bed to the floor, almost fell, catching a floor lamp on the way and bumping against the closet door, but still got to my clothes. Instantly pulling on jeans and a T-shirt, she ran to the door, while the intercom was already bursting.She opened the door, and soon her partner was already standing on the threshold.
– Hello again.– the boy adjusted the glasses that had fallen on the tip of his nose and held out his hand in greeting.
– Hello, hello. Kira shook hands.– I have everything ready for work!
– Yes, I see. Sasha looked her over and, coming closer, straightened her tangled hair. Kira looked in the mirror, quickly combed her hair and followed him, because he had already managed to be in the kitchen. Sasha looked curiously at the grayish cabinets and tables. His gaze stopped at a bowl of sweets standing on a small table by the sofa.
– Do you have tea? He bit his lip and smiled, sat down on the kitchen sofa, folded his legs like a sultan. Kira turned on the kettle, put the tea leaves in the glasses. Sasha had already taken out his laptop and was enthusiastically clicking on the keys. His glasses kept reflecting some letters and twinkling lights. Fascinating. Kira involuntarily stared at it, and meanwhile the kettle had already boiled, clicking a button, notifying about the shutdown. Kira looked up from looking at the curls that fell on the guy's face, picked up the teapot, and the glass of tea immediately appeared next to the laptop lid. Sasha was distracted, followed Kira's movement through the kitchen to the sofa with his eyes, and thanked her.
– Here, look. he turned the screen slightly towards Kira, who was already sitting next to him.– This person worked as the press secretary of the president, most likely he has access to the archives. We need to find him and somehow get the information out.– there was a middle-aged man in the photo. His tired eyes and light stubble aged him, and the intricate styling of his hair made him more recognizable.
– His face looks familiar to me. I see a similar person every weekend near one club.
– Great, so we'll just ambush him there. You need to make contact with him and get him drunk. And then, I think, he will talk. It's Saturday, isn't it? Sasha glanced at the green calendar projection on the wall. Confirming his words, he smiled and looked at Kira.
– Then I suggest we watch a movie for now, it's still a very long time until the evening.– Kira got up from the table and left the kitchen, calling her partner to follow her.
It was getting dark. The evening sky was visible in the panoramic windows, somewhere higher, next to the new moon, the first stars were already sparkling.Lights were coming on below and bright flashes of car headlights were flashing. Pinkish-lilac light flooded the room, creating an atmosphere of a quiet, calm autumn evening. However , this idyll was torn apart by exclamations every now and then:
– So what should I wear? This is all not suitable for the task!– Kira was running back and forth across the room, showing Sasha, it seems, a thousandth outfit.
– Yes, put on something already, or go naked! He sighed wearily and got up from the bed.– Here, put this on. – he took out a blue silk jumpsuit from the pile of scattered clothes. Kira squinted, looking closely at the outfit, but still took it and went to change.
Only an hour later, the agents finally moved out on a mission. Sasha led her to his car, opening the doors in advance.
–Please, miss." He made a mock bow. Kira frowned slightly, but still couldn't hold back a laugh. – For tonight you are my lady, I have to take care of somehow.

The sign burned with red lights, attracting the attention of visitors. However, there were still not many people inside. The club was famous for being mainly for the elite of society, in other words, the rich. The dimmed lights created a pleasant atmosphere, the music was not too loud. Conversations were heard, mixed into a mess due to the large number of sounds and voices. Ladies in expensive dresses walked freely around the hall, tapping their heels and slightly jingling jewelry. Men greeted each other every now and then, gathered in small companies, or treated the girls to alcohol. Kira sat down on a high chair at the bar. Sasha ordered them each a Margarita and sat down on the next chair. While the bartender was making drinks, Kira kept looking at the people in the hall. Still, it's a little difficult to see people's faces in the semi-darkness.
– Look, I think it's him. – Kira pointed with her palm at a man in a fancy suit, embroidered with rhinestones here and there.
– I'm going to try to persuade him to drink.– Sasha easily slid off the chair, smoothed his hair, and, wrapping the sleeves of a black shirt, went towards the man. Kira ordered a whiskey. According to her observations, such people from the target, most often drink whiskey or bourbon. The bartender put a glass on the counter and went to the next customer. The dark yellow liquid shimmered beautifully in the reflection of the edges of the glass, beckoning to itself, as if asking to drink it to the bottom. Kira took out a small bag of white flat tablets from her clutch. She slipped one of them into the whiskey. The liquid bubbled, the tablet quickly dissolved, leaving no traces of its arrival in the faceted glass.
– Kira, meet Bogdan Danilovich. He is a very honorable man!– Sasha brought the man to the counter. He smiled and held out his hand to Kira.
– How can I not know about him! Kira shook hands.– will you have a whiskey?
– I won't refuse.– the man sat down next to her and picked up the glass pushed by Kira. He took a sip from it and grinned contentedly.– And how do you know about me, if not a secret?
Yes, it is clear that Bogdan Danilovich had plenty of self-esteem. He took a couple more sips.
– Well, the press secretary of the president, your name often flashes in news portals. – Kira played along. Soon the magic pill should take effect.
– Yeah, you know, I'm not just a press secretary. I am very closely connected with the well-known Vivian! He crossed his legs and, raising his hand above his head, called out, "Bartender, more whiskey for me!"
Sasha leaned closer to Kira, and as carefully as possible whispered in her ear: "The movements are already blurred, it seems that it is starting to work." Kira nodded, removed the fallen curled lock of hair on her ear.
– My dear, do you know that I was almost the creator of this system? You can't imagine what would have happened to you if it hadn't been for me and my colleagues!– the man kept talking. His voice became more hoarse, and his movements more and more resembled the movements of an intoxicated person. We need to act.
– Would you like to go to the holographic museum with us? It recently opened after renovation, we were going to go together, but since this is the case ... – Sasha put one hand on Kira's shoulder, the other on the shoulder of the intoxicated press secretary.
– Come on! Whatever it was, it's still kind of rotten here today!– the man happily declared and, jumping off the chair, staggered. Sasha grabbed him by the elbow and led him to the exit of the club. He handed Kira the keys to open the car. Somehow stuffing this body inside, they finally moved. The man fell asleep, which was extremely convenient. The program drove the car out of the city, to the outskirts, where no one happens at such a time.
The highway led through a forest that enveloped its darkness on both sides of the road. It was extremely quiet, there were no villages nearby, and therefore there were no oncoming cars. The lanterns no longer illuminated the way when the car went off-road, reaching almost to the cliff itself. The engine quieted down. On the way, while the man was fast asleep, Sasha and Kira managed to tie him up. They dragged him out of the cabin, putting him on the grass by one of the old trees. They poured water from a bottle over him to wake him up.
– Well, here's the holographic museum. Kira began. The man looked at her with frightened, big eyes, clearly not understanding what was wrong with him and where he was.
– Well, tell us how you are connected with Vivian-01. – Sasha squatted down next to the bound.
"I don't know what you're talking about!" Let me go, now! Do you know what I will do to you?! I have connections!– the man shouted out of place, abruptly, running his eyes from Kira to Sasha and back. Sweat broke out on his forehead, either from fright or from the magic pill.
"If you don't tell us what we need, they won't even find you." Kira opened a folding knife with a deft movement of her fingers. Its blade gleamed dangerously in the headlights. Kira walked up to the victim with measured steps and sat down next to him, twirling the knife almost to the man's face.
– All I know is that Vivian can be dangerous if she gets out of control again!– the previously brave press secretary squeezed his eyes shut and tried to move away from the knife.
– What do you mean, "again"? Has this happened before? Sasha asked, rolling up his shirt sleeves. Kira, just in case, put the blade to the man's neck and looked so coldly, sternly into his eyes.
– Yes, yes! Don't kill me, please, I'll tell you everything!– he pleaded. Her voice was trembling, and tear tracks glistened on her cheeks.– The Vivian-01 project already existed. He is also firmly established in life. Intelligence is characterized by development. We were sure we had everything under control, but Vivian... she was heading for independence. She had literally everything under her command, even weapons! She rebelled against us. If we hadn't gone out of her way, she would have simply destroyed humanity!
– Vivian is built into all the everyday devices for us. Even a radio babysitter. What have you done to prevent the death of humanity?– Kira tried to hide the anxiety that rolled up in a lump in her throat.
– We brought people into the virtual world. We created an exact copy of the present in virtual reality, even exact copies of people, because their data was in social networks.
– So we all don't exist in reality? Are we just code in a computer? Kira stood up and put the knife in her pocket. She put her hands to her head, squeezed her hair with her fingers and moved away. She sat down on the grass almost at the edge of the cliff. Sasha left the trembling press secretary at the tree - he's not going anywhere anyway. He walked up to Kira, stroked her back. She looked at him as if with an absolutely empty gaze, but in fact there was so much anxiety and misunderstanding in the lights of her eyes that you could drown. Sasha sat down next to her on the grass and took Kira's hand.
The blue sky was strewn with white stars, like a bunch of freckles. The forest behind was noisy, living its own life. Is it possible to call it life now...?


I would like to leave a couple of comments about the work. I think, in the future, it is possible to develop a sufficiently large universe from it, and that's why:
- Firstly, the story came out with an open end. Will Kira decide to do something about the situation, find out more about it? I think so. But the idea of a man finding out the cruel truth and trying to prevent fate simply wouldn't fit into a short story.
- Secondly, I would like to reveal more characters, because many of them have huge potential.
- Thirdly, the story of such a “war” of man by artificial intelligence, I think, would be extremely interesting to the reader.