“Houston, we have a problem.”
Walker, Texas Ranger* #quote
There are people who like sunshine and rainbows. There are also those that like moonshine and rainbows. Anyway onto the flash fiction!
The Ultimate Challenge
“Grgk!” Thomas held back an extremely nasty curse word. Several of his teammates did not have the same restraint as him. They'd been killed by the computer team again. For what seemed to be the thousandth time. The team spoke over the Internet using headsets gripping each of their own controllers in varying degrees of anger.
Barry, the most casual of them didn't hold onto anger, but rather optimism. “Well we got three of them this time.”
Sarah, their sniper, and easily the most dedicated of all them responded, “Losing less is still losing. This is freaking ridiculous. Computers are not this good. They're dumb. In any game they eventually have to cheat to become a challenge.”
Thomas then said, “Well people have hacked the code of the game. The computer doesn't cheat. It doesn't get any special knowledge. The game company's artificial intelligence is done in some cloud and the information gets sent from the game and the commands get sent back.”
Sarah groaned, “Yeah, people thought it was stupid when the artificial intelligence was done outside the normal game code in a cloud so that no one could see it. But now we've got this monster enemy that we can't beat.”
There were other teammates that had yet to speak since they still felt frustrated at their defeat. Omegaton Army was a game where everyone tried to beat this incredibly powerful computer. People played each other from time to time. But the unique allure of the game was the unbeatable computer. Game players of every level tried their hand at fighting it, but none succeeded no matter how close they got. The interesting thing however, was also that they offered prize money to the first people who could beat their computer.
A secret lied in this game. The motivation for prize money. The capability to create such a powerful artificial intelligence. In truth every single person connected to the development and publication of Omegaton Army signed a confidentiality agreement. The reason resided in the cloud that artificial intelligence resided in. The military owned it, and the super computers that made it. The military wanted to test a learning artificial intelligence and test combat scenarios along with tactics people would use. In the end every time that Thomas and his teammates played a game against their computerized opponent they were playing an entirely different game they weren't even aware of.
But hey, maybe sometime they'd win.