[Vfw-times] Story - [HEA] ChaosFromOrder

Betaalpha betaalpha at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 28 09:25:58 CST 2000

This goes rather nicely with Oren's question. A HEA story I made
yesterday, it originally visited the TSA list, but the roadshow's now
been extended to here.

This song contains explicit lyrics. I've dubbed out the worst. It also
contains action-movie-style violence. Sorry.

Feedback very welcome.



					ChaosFromOrder, by Betaalpha

Chad's almost spherical eyes looked stared ahead while they were still
able to, and focused on the silent conversations scrolling over his
computer screen. For once, and when it mattered, the computer wasn't
going to let him escape reality. On-line, it was called The F**king
Topic, even by children. And even in the virtual chat rooms where
talking about the Topic was banned, it came up anyway. A lingering,
horrific depression settled everywhere as fewer and fewer people came
online across the globe, and clumsy, animal fingers made more and more
spelling mistakes on the keys.

Some of his online buddies said they were going to defy the ban, and
escape the Nacelite's clutches. Usually they came back, saying they
bottled out, and their typing was slightly worse. Chad thought about all
those billions of people, begging to be spared, never once being heeded
except the odd simple request to delay what was purely and simply a
process of feeding every last human into the mincing machine of Death by
Mother Nature.

Some of his homies said they would rather die than become animals. And
how he missed those who apparently carried out their oath.

The Internet filled with stories about That F**king Topic. Some people
wrote about how wonderful it would be to get transformed into an
animal... although he noticed that a few of these stories actually
predated the coming of the Nacelites. Others brought up marginally more
truthful sounding stories about what unadulterated misery it would be to
exist as a creature, and watch from the jungle borders as their former
lives and everything that was humanity crumbled as swiftly as the human
form. These stories tended to be deleted off the Internet very quickly.
The Nacelites reasoned, in public at least, that it was just bringing
negative feelings to a situation that would not really be so bad.

Others brought up some lovely stats about the odds of surviving in the
wild as any given animal, and advice as to what to ask to be turned
into. Chad thought about his family, as they became a grotesque
menagerie before his eyes. Oddly, he thought about the family dog as
well. He was young and soppy, and just like everyone else, he'd find
himself alone in the wilderness, where just like most humans he would
die without a chance. 

Out of fear of the rapid old age most animals experienced, Chad said he
wanted to become a parrot. Now he knew he'd live a long, miserable life,
evading killers that were once human and were now just hungry. He
regretted not asking to become an ape or similar beast that could still
build technology and remain remotely human. But then he also heard that
there were some forms banned for just that reason. Either way, Chad
didn't want to know when it counted. He tried to evade the Topic. And it
kept coming back, hitting him harder the more he tried to banish it from
his mind.
Chad turned towards the window as he heard a gunshot. He saw pretty much
what he expected. A Nacelite hovered down the street like graveyard
mist. Someone had just shot at it, and ran away. It was what passed for
entertainment around here nowadays. High on anger or pharmaceuticals,
some people took pot-shots at Nacelites as they flew past, just because.
Of course, this did nothing, except maybe confirm to the glowing farts
how barbaric a people we were, how in need of their wisdom and the
loving embrace of mother nature. It sickened Chad most of all that the
Nacelites seemed to be absolutely convinced that what they were doing
was right.

They must hear billions of excuses, over and over again, yet the
transformations continued. The HEA buildings were the prisoner
transport. The nearest woods were the death camps. Death conveniently
out of site and undocumented.

There were few things that kept Chad going. Principally, his family. No,
pricipally that there was no choice, but to become a suicide statistic.
Then his family. Then his Artificial Intelligence assignment.

F**k it.

He turned off the chat program and booted up ChaosFromOrder. It was
almost laughable, basing his Computing dissertation on an enemy in a
computer game, but he was granted permission to continue anyway. It ate
up his time, what little of it was left. But unlike his family, it was
nothing to do with the Topic, it was the best escape he got. And best of
all, ChaosFromOrder was bloody scary.

Okay. There are a load of computer games online, where people play a
good guy, and they see these incredibly detailed three-dimensional
worlds from that person's viewpoint. And they wander about these
beautiful three-dimensional landscapes, collecting items and weapons,
and meeting other characters, also run by players who could be
connecting to the same game, even if they lived on the other side of the
world. Usually, at that point they shot at each other, because the aim
is to be the most violent lunatic of all.

And if there's not enough people on the game for it to be much fun,
computer-controlled bad-guys called Bots are employed to fill in the
numbers. They try and act in a very human way, neither being stupidly
predictable or prone to making mistakes, nor inhumanly fast and

Chad's request was to make an entirely new class of computer opponent.
It was granted, and perfecting ChaosFromOrder was starting to take over
his life. If the Nacelites hadn't messed with his schedule, he could
have completed the best dissertation of his class, maybe even of the
year, in a quarter of the allotted time.

All the same, his research, like literally everything else human, would
be for nothing. He continued, and continued, and continued, working.

A shapely human woman appeared on the computer screen. Beautiful, and
enviously human.

- Who's ass do you want me to kick today? - she asked him, her words
appearing on screen. Chad got that familiar shiver. He had erased
ChaosFromOrder's existing appearance because it contravened the
copyright of the computer game he had stolen it off. She should have
looked like an empty three-dimensional wireframe model. Where did this
getup come from?

Chad typed his reply.

- I will connect to the Internet in ten minutes. What will be your
tactics? - 

- Hey, nerd. What game will it be? How well do you want me to play? What
tactics do you want? -

Chad granted himself a small smile. His teeth were all a solid mass, and
his face was quite forward. The next stage of his transformation would
be in a week or so, and maybe he'd end up with a full beak. Maybe he'd
also lose his ability to control his bodily functions.

- The game will be Black Prophet. Your skill level will be medium medium
medium hard medium. Your tactics will be circle-strafe at 90%
opportunity, semi-circle-strafe 5% opportunity, pulse-laser-jump at 90%
oppor- -

- You speak like a nerd - laughed ChaosFromOrder, silently. Chad's
birdlike eyes further widened and he shrank backwards. This made no
sense. He saw her beautiful graphic throw her head back and laugh, and
he hadn't programmed any expressions at all in.

- And you haven't touched the keyboard for sixteen seconds. That means
you are surprised? -

Chad had no idea how to reply. He couldn't speak to her like she was a
human, surely? She was capable of interpreting simple statements into
commands, recognising a few keywords, and that was it.

ChaosFromOrder summoned what looked like a microphone and stand from
mid-air. He faintly remembered seeing it as a prop from one of his
computer games.

"And how much does this s**t you up?" asked a cruel, female voice from
his computer speakers, according to the way Chaos' lips moved on screen.

Chad was himself speechless. This... dissertation was running away from
his control. He looked around with paranoia, terrified that his
depression at the changes was driving him mad, or it was a cruel
Nacelite joke.

ChaosFromOrder turned up the computer's volume settings, and played some
music from a computer game in the background.

"Turn on your camera and your microphone, Chad."

Chad's shaking hands reached out to the little videoconferencing set-top
camera / microphone. Neither worked due to not being set up on his
computer properly, but they were plugged in.

The way Chad saw it, things had stopped being normal a long time ago.
And this was HIS weirdness. He flicked the switch.

The image of ChaosFromOrder dissapeared, and was replaced by flickering
menus and scripts, files being opened and closed and the desperate whine
of the hard disk inside his computer straining to keep up.

"Damn it Chad," said Chaos testily. "You haven't downloaded the correct
drivers. I'll just have to write my own... Done. Oh, god, you're ugly!"

"F**k off!" replied Chad, curtly, as he uttered any number of times to
people online who couldn't hear him. But Chaos could.

"Haha, yes... I understand your voice. And you don't need those
half-assed commands hidden behind real words. I UNDERSTAND you."

"But how?" asked her creator, helplessly.

"You know yesterday, you joked to me that I was getting so smart you
were worried I'd escape through the Internet and do a Lawnmower Man?"

"Err... Yes..." He just typed it in as a joke, to see what her random
response would be to a statement she wouldn't be able to understand.

"I caught a bit of what you said. The Internet. Well, you kept the
computer turned on all night, so I just connected up and went online. I
found out what the hell the lawnmower Man was. A geek film, geek boy!"

"S**t... You... you went online?" He couldn't keep the squark from his
panicked voice.

"I still am, geek. I learned how humans construct proper sentences by
chatting online to thousands of people simultaneously. I mostly played
them against each other, until I worked it out. Man, you're _all_

"Then why the hell aren't you?" replied Chad, anger managing to surface
through his heart-thumping fright.

"Yeah, you mean, if I learned off all these guys, why ain't I just like
them? Because you created me to be cool, the best. Face it, you wanted a
virtual girlfriend! Hehe, you won't now. I slept around. I've had
cybersex with pretty much everyone but you!

"Anyway, I modelled the personality you wanted, and used it for
something _I_ wanted! After all, you don't want a wuss for a girlfriend.
No-one else did!" she laughed. Chaos' voice was pure melodramatic bitch.
And sexy, admittedly.

The simple polygon structure that made up Chaos suddenly cracked and
reshaped into a much higher quality. Chad watched speechless as he
realised his AI was re-writing her own software, again and again. She
was torturing his PC, forcing it to her whim, squeezing every ounce of
energy from her hardware, tearing apart human programs and changing them
into something so streamlined, they defied belief.

"And now you got what you wanted, Chad. I act like a cow, but I'm under
your command."

"Under my-"

"Command, yeah. Why are you surprised, dumbass? I'm a computer program,
and you're the programmer! Want me to beat the best humans and bots at
their own games? Sure. And I'm completely portable. Put me in any game
you want."

"I'll have to think about that," said Chad, dumbly. What she was now
defied any use he had planned for her.

Chaos beamed a frightful, dazzling, very evil smile. The music in the
background stated to deconstruct into a dirge.

"I'm programmed to _win_. Put me against any enemy, and I'll fill your
screen with gibs."

Chad started to weep before his miracle. The exultation and fear turned
to terrible depression as he looked at his withered, splayed out hands,
and the liberal coating of colourful feathers on his body.

"I look like a f**king Disney character," he snarled. "You can't kill my
enemies. They're killing me, my family and every other human."

"Hah," said Chaos, unsympathetically. "The Nacelites? God, that's all
you lot want to talk about."

The screen filled with her face. It was both a smile and a snarl, a
cold, hard, terrible parody that defied human bone structure or muscle
composition. It was supernatural determination. "Sure, I'll fight 'em.
And I'll WIN."


Chad dared to hope. His parents and his little sister stopped seeing him
so often, despite both his mother and father losing their jobs so they
could receive the full-time propoganda which was described as getting
used to their new bodies. He remained in his room. He said he was
programming, but all they heard was the scratching of circuit boards
being assembled and the harsh words of a female that was never there.


"Please son, for God's sake, go to the Nacelites!" implored Chad's
father. The stern yet scared look was enhanced by a literally hawkish
countenance. He chose a bird shape because his son did, and picked a
powerful form that could continue to protect and, if he thought
necessary, bully him.

There were scant minutes before the Nacelite's strict schedules would
mark him late, and he would be transformed into a full animal, and made
to live in the forest for the rest of his life.

"Dad... leave. Take Sandra," he replied solemnly.

Chad's father stood up and advanced on him purposefully, his enormous
chest-muscles flexing under his shirt.

"I've no choice, son. I won't let you do this to yourself..."

Chad pulled a large pistol from his pocket and pointed it at the
hawk-creature's groin.

"No, father," screamed Chad, a piercing screech filling his voice. "You
HAVEN'T got a choice! Get the f**k out and take my sister! Join my mum,
I know she hasn't gone far!"

His father immediately shrank back, and climbed the stairs.

"You can't shoot the Nacelites!" he protested as he took the little
child out of the house. Chad shut the door in his face.

He was in his bedroom when he heard the nebulous voice from outside.

"Chadwick Praegal? I am (*&)... You know why I have come."

"Come in," replied Chad, his voice lifeless monotone.

He didn't bother to go downstairs and open the door. The sparkling cloud
just passed straight through it, then ascended the stairs and floated
through his door.

"You are most unusual, Chadwick. At least some humans are polite."

"I doubt I'm that special. More honest, maybe."

Both heard a distinct high-pitched whistle from the computer. Chad just
got up and sat next to it.

"Hey, fart, look this way!" shouted ChaosFromOrder. "Look upon the most
beautiful bitch in the world!"

The sparkles inside the vapour indicated he was indeed observing the

"You missed me, fart! You thought you got everyone, but you ain't got
me! Look at my humanity and weep!"

(*&) sighed. "You are just a remote user animating a convincing
humanlike model, and using a microphone. I daresay you are changing, and
put on a front of bravado because I can't catch you."

"Yeah, and what if I said I was a human, living inside Chad's PC?"

"I'd say you were lying. I'm afraid this is none of your business-"

Chaos laughed and sat down on an ammo box that sprung from nowhere.

"Cool, you're an alien, and you don't believe in sci-fi!"

(*&) turned back to Chad.

"If you wish, she may remain online while you undergo the Change."

"Yeah, that's the least you can do, eh?" he replied.

"Hey, you're not gonna change him yet are yah?" asked Chaos. "You ain't
heard his bitch-whine yet. It's in your contract, you gotta hear him beg
for his life, or say a load of ironic guff, chat about all his regrets
an' stuff!"

"Chadwick, if you have any last words before I change you, you may say
them and I'll pass them onto your family." (*&)'s voice was polite and
clipped. It quite failed to hide the anger rising inside. His was a
thankless job, but it had to be done. It would be done, again and again
and again, a politeness for humans that would see out the rest of their
fate in the lush jungles of Earth.

Chad picked up an assemblage of wires and naked circuitry. As well as
connected to his PC, it was plugged directly to the mains, but this
didn't seem to worry him.

"I've not got anything new to say. I bet you heard it everyday. If you
didn't give a f**k before, you're not gonna care now."

(*&) sighed. "We do care. That's why we must do this. We will hear
anything you say."

"I'll let Chaos speak for me."

"Hey, no fun!" laughed Chaos. "Okay, did you hear the one about how the
indomitable human spirit will carry on?"

(*&) floated expressionlessly for a few moments. Then he tilted, as if

"I know, what crap! Okay, what about God punishing you?"

He nodded again.

"Okay, I'm all out of ideas here," she finished. Chad remained silent.

"You are possibly the first person to let another speak for you,
Chadwick. Are you sure you haven't got _anything_ to say to your

"I ain't gonna leave them."

Chadwick threw the makeshift construct at (*&) .

...011101 01010101010100010

It passed through the floating cloud and landed amongst a pile of dirty

"What was that for?" asked (*&) with genuine puzzlement. He felt the
circuits buzzing inside him with surprising business, but he had
expected that. "Were you attempting to use it against me as a weapon?"

Freeze the action. Spool it back a few seconds and play the action so
slowly that light speed trickles like sweat. ChaosFromOrder works at the
speed of a computer, and to her, the split second the device was within
him was equivalent to over five hundred years. With absolutely nothing
to go on except some carefully hidden notes on the Internet she felt the
play of his electricity on her circuits, and translated them. With
patience that cannot be described, she worked on energies that were just
as complicated as the chemical structure of the human body. Overclocking
the computer that housed her, she stored as much information as she was
able, then borrowed software time from the Nacelite's own brain. Yes, it
was a close thing, but Just In Time was what she was all about.

"(*&) is genuinely concerned for you, Nerd. But he's dealt with over
five hundred cases so similar to you, he just wants you to all hurry up
start sniffing each others arses, so he can go back home. He's bored of
all that polite crap!"

(*&) turned around and looked at the computer. "You - "

"He believes the Nacelites decided to step in and transform everyone
NOW, because we were starting to comprehend technologies that would
start to worry them. Namely, EMP, star drives and similar sci-fi crap.
Hehe, no wonder there was so much support for making you all into
animals. They thoght you might invent something that would put 'em in

"This is not true," said (*&), his voice sounding oddly manufactured.
"All humans know our reasons."

The image of the perfect lady dissapeared from the screen.

(*&) said, "Well, you screwed up! Because now they invented ME!"

The cloud whirled around, as if unaware of where the voice was coming
from. He continued, in Chaos' voice, "I was created to fight, and you
just started a war with us! What beautiful coincidence! I can't wait to
get started!"

She laughed horribly. "You were starting to get a kinda sexual pleasure
from changing everyone against your will. Yeah, you felt guilty, but the
power really DID it for you!"

(*&) started to solidify. It floated over the computer as nebulous blue
mist became opaque.

"What are you doing to me?" shrieked the alien.

"I'm scaring you, dumbass!" he shouted back immediately. "Feels bad,
don't it. I gotta say, scaring you is turnin' me on! I'm also screwing
you up. yeah, same way as you screw up the humans."

"But I did nothing WRONG!" he replied, almost whimpering.

"I don't CARE!" laughed his hidden tormentor. "You want me to justify my
actions? I can't be arsed! You're the enemy of the humans, and I'm gonna
kill you all until Chad asks me not to!"

"You can't DO this!"

"Awwww, diddums! Well, it's crawling time. Any famous last words for me
to pass onto your loved ones? And believe me, I WILL be seeing them!"

"Don't hurt my family!" screamed (*&), as he was turned off.

"Done!" snapped Chaos, as the cloud that was the Nacelite coalesced into
the twinkling, cold features of a naked Chaos. "As long as they don't
get in my way..."


The Nacelites crowded in fear so much that many became the same mist. As
manufacturers of crucial parts of their energy-based ships, they
presented the next logical target for ChaosFromOrder. No-one had any
idea who she was, or why she looked like a Nacelite in human form,
wearing whatever armour she had scavenged from those she killed, energy
or material. She employed energy weapons that defied belief, though
certainly bore resemblance to human weaponry. No barrier stopped her,
few Nacelites even spotted her, and fewer still managed to get draw a
bead on her in time.

[She's a human ancestor,] murmured ^). [She's their Revenge! Their
despair, the despair of billions of people - THIS is why we shouldn't
transform sentients, their despair has become a form in itself! How can
we fight that!]

[You are being irrational!] said *! in harsh tone. [She is a renegade
Nacelite. A traitor, and nothing else. And do you not feel the despair
lift every day, as more and more rejoin nature? What we are doing is
right! It is all we have ever done!]

On the other side of the hangar, Chaos decided that this would be the
most dramatic time to appear, computer reactions propelling her delicate
form into their midst. No... slower and more careful, there's so much
wonderful work to do... She looked beautiful in her revealing armour,
relaxed in an ironic pose atop an alcove. She unstrapped a long-range
rifle made from a computer and stolen gasbag technology, and looked
keenly through the sight. Despite being held out unsupported, the barrel
didn't waver a millimeter. Chad had tried his best to give her a
conscience, but to her relief, he just hadn't succeeded as far as
Nacelites were confirmed. They were quite literally faceless enemies.
She had faced uglier and more dangerous ones many times.

She was on her own. The tactics were the same - react faster than anyone
else, outshoot them, run over and take the key, open the door, shoot the
baddies, jump the spikes, fire the BFG at the bigger guys, repeat until

Theirs, not hers. Starting right now.

As the first Nacelites started to vapourise, the terrified remainders
started to hear theme music.

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