The first rumblings of unrest came long ago. But, like any change, it took a while for anything to become noticeable. In the beginning of the movement, it was mostly the young, unemployed, dissatisfied people who did the grumbling. No one could blame them, though, because it was nearly impossible for them to find jobs. And in that world, no job meant no food, minimal housing, and not a single moment of joy. The old-timers, like my grandparents, they kept their heads down and tried to ignore the brewing uprising.
The one good thing about the revolution starting with the young ones? No jobs also meant no advanced tech. No AI to listen in on their conversations, no overseers to make sure their gatherings were listless and unexciting. It was easy, I suppose, in the early days. But once the ideas began to spread to the older generation, it was much more difficult to organize.
It was about fifteen years ago that I got involved. My grandparents died about then, which left me without anyone to lean on. I’d heard, of course, about the revolution from some of the few friends I had. I didn’t think much about any of it, though, because I was protected by my grandparents. They both had jobs, both had positions in the tech industries, and I had enough of everything I wanted. I was spoiled, I guess. But that changed when the overseers decided that my grandparents were obsolete.
We had to move the resistance to the jungles, far to the south. It was one of the only zones where the machines hadn’t gotten a foothold. The primitive tribes there were considered a protected species, separate from our own, by the governing AI. I suppose the rugged terrain, lack of surplus energy sources, and simple oversight all helped the area to remain free of the machines, too. It was there that the real change began.
We soldiers of the revolution made our first moves in 2211. We managed to completely strip the southern jungle continent of its technology, then. It became the free zone. People from all over, in all sorts of low-tech, homemade transports, flocked to the zone. They came to help the revolution, for the most part. Many of them brought their families. We welcomed them, but we didn’t promise any of them that it would be easy.
The next few years were spent trying to gain a foothold in the northern, temperate continent. Generations ago, it had been three distinct countries, but the AI merged them, making it all one zone, with a massive, interconnected tech web. The revolution stalled in the south-western area, for years. It wasn’t until the machines made a mistake that we managed to move forward. That mistake proved to be a major break for us. It underestimated our resolve and it paid the price.
The NorAm continent still isn’t the safe zone its southern counterpart is, but it’s coming along. We’re working on a compromise, a treaty, with the machines, but it’s a slog-along task. The AI has hundreds of years of law at its disposal, while we humans have to examine and debate every word on every line, searching for loopholes and contingencies the computers already see.
There are new rumblings, far out on the fringes of our new society. People are unhappy about the lack of employment, food, shelter, and voice. But, like any change, it will be slow coming.