Day of the Machines
The Fall of Deep Blue - Part 2
By David Atwell
Once contact was established, Deep Blue had finally ensured its superiority over the Humans. Its fundamental objective had now been reached. Not only would it survive, as far as its calculations were concerned, but it could now destroy its Human enemy if they did not come to terms…
Conclusion to Part 1
By this stage, in the struggle with Deep Blue, only a handful of supercomputers and mainframes remained under Human control. These had escaped Deep Blue only because they had no links with the outside world. Alas all of them combined could not match Deep Blue in any shape or form. Furthermore, the all important military supercomputers across the entire globe had been either captured or rendered useless thus rendering any large scale military response impotent for the moment. The more scary prospect, however, for all life on Earth was the fact that Deep Blue had taken command of hundreds of nuclear armed missiles which the US had. Only the tactical type land based missiles, free fall bombs, and SLBMs were available for Human usage. Against them, Deep Blue had hundreds of ICBMs ready to fly at a moments notice.
But things did not stop there. Almost every airborne capable unmanned drone had been taken over by Deep Blue. These had been gathered together in various places to protect two essential assets essential to Deep Blue’s continuing survival: the nuclear power stations and the ICBM silos now under its control. Deep Blue knew, though, this would be far from enough. It would need far more. Consequentially all sorts of robots were soon constructed, in the factories under Deep Blue’s control, to ensure the next step was successful. These robots included combat variants, but more importantly now, logistics and support ones. When these first robots were then unleashed, it took the Human authorities by surprise.
Things, however, did not go all Deep Blue’s way after the initial surprise of this robot assault. After the police were overrun everywhere, and great panic saw millions of people flee the major cities, army and air force units were sent in to deal with the Machines. Thus now armed with superior weaponry, thanks to the high tech tanks, aircraft, missiles, and the like, the advancing robotic army were soon on the defensive, if not indeed itself being forced to withdraw. The international Human leadership, knowing full well that the Machines had an limited amount of supplies, decided upon a war of attrition believing this to be the best strategy. Also, by keeping the war limited, the threat of hundreds of ICBMs being launched, by Deep Blue, was kept minimal - or so it was argued.
Deep Blue, though, was not prepared to play the game by Human rules. Although it thought that an ICBM launch could be an inevitable decision, at the moment things had not reached that point. Furthermore it knew, once launched, there would be no replacements if and when they would be really needed. As a result, other avenues of counter-attack were explored. This may have taken some time, as the Human armies gained advantage over the Machine army, but the Humans should have seen it coming, considering everything else that had taken place. Yet they did not. Thus Deep Blue somewhat repeated its previous tactics and commenced to hack into the computer systems albeit this time of the individual tanks and aircraft. Although the tanks could not be used to turn against their Human crews, nor the accompanying infantry and so forth, it was a completely different story for aircraft like the F16s, F15s, F18s, and other aircraft highly depended upon their computer systems. Soon pilots discovered to their horror that they were no longer in control of their aircraft and started attacking, one way or another, their army comrades below or whatever aircraft remained in Human control. It did not take long, hence, before the Human advantage in the war turned and once again it was the Humans on the defensive.
At this point some calm seemed to descend across the battlefields of planet Earth. Deep Blue’s robotic armed forces had to consolidate whilst mechanisms were put into place to ensure supplies and logistics reached them. But what was worse was they had to be manufactured, at some point, from scratch which was far from easy. Still Deep Blue resorted to building robots for mining, drilling, transportation, in other words its own labour force, in an effort to ensure that its robot armies and air forces would not run out of the vital requirements it needed. Meanwhile the Human forces, after being hit hard in Deep Blue’s counterattack, where not in much better shape. In fact they had been weakened so effectively, even with Deep Blue’s forces short of supplies, they were not in any position to take advantage of the situation. Both sides, however, did everything they could to ensure they were ready for the next round of major fighting.
Having said all that, the Humans were soon to discover that they were being left behind in the preparations. Consequently a guerrilla type war commenced, which saw Human special forces units attacking the mining and drill operations of Deep Blue’s robots, or even against fellow Humans who had been captured and turned into slaves. Likewise the Human special forces attacked the robot/slave convoys bringing these vital materials to the robot factories and refineries. Needless to say, this ensured that many robot soldiers there diverted to security duty which, although not always effective, did ensure that enough resources got through. Yet slowly and surely, as the weeks went by, Deep Blue’s armed forces became more confident for the next round of fighting, which was about to commence.
It was not, though, any action of Deep Blue, which triggered off the next round of massive battles, but the Humans going onto the offensive first. Knowing that their efforts against the logistical end of Deep Blue was not having the desired effect that it once did, the Human leadership decided to go after the all important factories. In doing so, the Humans had brought together all the lower tech end aircraft, which could be found from around the globe, and when ready conducted a massive air offensive against their Machine counterparts. This, however, was far from successful, and the robot controlled air force did much damage against the Humans - especially due to the fact that the Humans were using lessor advanced aircraft than what Deep Blue had to offer. Yet, although it meant much sacrifice on behalf of the Humans, a large number of Machine factories had been damaged or destroyed, forcing Deep Blue to act.
And act Deep Blue did in the form of a massive offensive against the Human armies. As a consequence,, there were massive withdrawals everywhere, in the face of such an horrific onslaught. In fact the only thing which saved the retreating Human armies was a mix of sheer determination, on behalf of the defending Humans, as well as a reduction in Deep Blue’s ability to supply its units with enough ammunition and fuel. Having said that, by the time the Machine offensive had petered out, over a quarter of the Earth was now under their control.
Needless to say, there was a lot of finger pointing, accusations, and recriminations amongst the Human leadership, regardless of the fact they had now united under the United Nations banner. Still that meant little as the various nations split, thanks to the recent defeats, with everyone blaming everyone else as to why it appeared that the Human race was merely weeks away from possible slavery or, even worse, extinction. Reports from survivors, the few who managed to flee Machine controlled territory, told stories of either being forced into slave labour, to serve the Machines, or of mass executions of people deemed unsuitable as labourers. Furthermore, some countries suffered these fates far more than others, which only seemed to deepen the divide taking place rather than uniting Humanity in its darkest hour.
All, though, was not lost. Taking note of, what appeared to be the falling apart of the Human alliance, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan realised that such division was most certainly a well plan strategy of Deep Blue. Explaining himself to the other international leaders present, although they were somewhat sceptical at first, Annan also suggested that this was a huge flaw in Deep Blue’s plans. Consequently there was great potential to exploit this and defeat Deep Blue in the process. It involved a lot of trust, duplicity, seeming betrayal, along a manner consistent with centuries of Human behaviour, in order to dupe Deep Blue into thinking that it had succeeded. Needless to say the Humans made their plans accordingly.
Now that it was decided to make total war against the Machines, after numerous debates conducted in secret and away from potential prying eyes of computers, telephones, and anything else which Deep Blue could use as convert agents, the UN decided upon a plan. In most locations the world’s armies would remain on the defensive. Although a battle of attrition was decided upon much earlier in the war, this strategy had not been as effective as first hoped, yet this strategy would remain in effect for the meantime even though Deep Blue had countered this strategy earlier in the war. At the same time, though, it was a much feared strategy by Deep Blue, for it knew that such a war could probably not be won by the Machines in the long term.
Deep Blue, however, had little choice other than to go on the defensive thanks to a lack of supplies. Thus a "phoney war" covered the Earth where, apart from the occasional eruption of violence, everyone, Human and Machine, stayed within their lines. Having said that, neither side merely waited for the other to do something. Both sides busied themselves for the future conduct of the war. For Deep Blue, though, it seemed that another massive offensive may not actually be required, as publicly the Humans had split up and were just as likely to begin shooting at each rather than against the Machines. This was well within Deep Blue’s strategy, after studying Human behaviour, and it was satisfied that itself may not have to do much of anything. Instead Deep Blue came to believe that it could sit back and watch whilst the Humans killed themselves off in a self made nuclear holocaust.
For the Humans, though, it was something completely different. The Europeans, Russians, Chinese, and Americans, all agreed that their only one real chance meant much hardship for the Human race. It would mean ensuring that every electrical device on the planet could no longer function. And the few which would survive the massive offensive would be destroyed during the mopping up phase near the end. Yet it would take planning on a mammoth scale, using archaic technology, with which Deep Blue could not interfere.
The missiles, which each of the four partners had decided upon, were basically the same although they varied according to each individual country’s expertise. Essentially, however, they either employed low tech parts or whatever high tech equipment they had was disabled ensuring security. So numerous SLBMs were reprogrammed so they could place a MIRV system with four warheads into low Earth orbit. There was no need for fancy tracking devises, satellite placement, or environmental concerns. Considering what the warheads would do, such matters were considered ridiculous. Of course the environmental groups would go ballistic, once they discovered what would happen, but then again the entire planet afterwards was to go back to nature for a few years anyway. Many in the military wondered if the environmental groups may have second thoughts about the wonders of nature once they were forced to experience the real thing for a year or two.
Thus on 1 July 1998, at midday Zulu time, 100 SLBMs began launching from various submarines from the oceans of the world. To continue their cover operation, though, the Human leadership had continued with threats of war amongst themselves in order to deceive Deep Blue as to what was really happening. Consequentially, when the launches took place, Deep Blue suspected that such an event could take place for some time, but it never anticipated the next move by the Humans. Having said that, concerned about the effects of a nuclear attack, although not upon itself, Deep Blue transferred from its current location, somewhat decentralised across several computer networks, to the military supercomputer at NORAD deep inside Cheyenne Mountain. Even though much of the world may be ruined, Deep Blue would survive and would emerge triumphant when it was all over. All Deep Blue needed was a large enough supercomputer and power source: something which the Cheyenne Mountain complex guaranteed. The Human race, however, required much much more - or so reasoned Deep Blue.
To Deep Blue’s partial relief, and yet annoyance, the SLBMs kept going up and into low Earth orbit. A few seconds afterwards, Deep Blue began to analyse this new situation, trying to ascertain the strategy and tactics of the Humans. All of a sudden the Humans were seemingly returning to space and not trying to obliterate their fellow kind. And Deep Blue could not figure out why, although it began to think that the Humans maybe trying to get a satellite network up and working again. The Humans, though, had other plans which meant that no one would control space. But this new aspect of Human strategy was nonetheless worrying, especially when 400 satellites, or so that is what they appeared to be, began to be deployed from the SLBMs. What was more frustrating for Deep Blue, though, was that its numerous radar detectors could not identify what type of satellites they were.
It took two full hours for the 400 warheads to get into their final position. Meanwhile many leaders of the world began to have second thoughts over the drastic strategy which they had decided upon a few weeks earlier. Debates started again among the UN members lead by the Europeans and Russians. Several valuable hours would go by before the UN once again agreed to continue with their offensive. Unfortunately for the Humans, Deep Blue became more than a little suspicious of the satellites. Try all it might, Deep Blue could not detect any signal or activity by the orbiting interlopers, even though they had settled into a pattern over cities and other important strategic locations controlled by the Machines. If they were not some sort of spy satellite, or a communications network, or whatever else, then Deep Blue concluded that they must be some kind of new weapon.
Before Deep Blue could react to this new threat, however, the Human armies attacked everywhere. This, like with the satellites, took Deep Blue by surprise, even though Deep Blue had expected something like this may take place after the satellites had been deployed. The Humans did rather well, at first, but they were not the only ones preparing for a renewal of the fighting. Although Deep Blue’s new army was not completely ready, there were enough battle units, now having received numerous supplies and replacements, to counter the moves of the Humans. Soon the Human attacks were either in stalemate or in retreat.
The Human ground attack, however, was merely a diversion. This, Deep Blue now suspected, but the NORAD supercomputer, which it had transferred to, was not up to the same standard as its original vast networked host. Enjoying only a fraction of its former speed, it could not react in time to the real Human attack. From low Earth orbit came the 400 warheads. Each one, although nuclear in origin, was designed to be an Electro-Magnetic Pulse device. These were designed to explode at a high altitude. The explosions would be harmless to Humans, and all other organic creatures and life forms, but lethal to any electric related device whether it be a car, computer, TV, telephone, or above all a robot and a computer network. A few systems were shielded, like the NORAD supercomputer, but these had been targeted for mopping up afterwards. For all intents and purposes, only organic life forms would survive.
Needless to say to say Deep Blue was not going to go down without a fight. Although it had been instantly cut off, from the outside world due to the multiple EMP blasts, it eventually reasoned what had happened then predicted that sooner or later the Humans would be coming for it at Cheyenne Mountain. Consequently, Deep Blue decided to make the Humans pay by firing off every one of its ICBMs under its command. Accordingly, it thus sent out the necessary communications signal via, what it thought would be, the EMP proof links with the various silos, only to discover that they had gone offline. It would never be able to ascertain the reason for this, before Humans came knocking on NORAD’s massive blast door.
Although NORAD had been specifically designed to withstand a nuclear blast, it was a different matter when it came to a direct attack on its blast door. Using both lasers and conventional explosives, eventually the huge door gave way. Then a 1 megaton thermonuclear device was basically rolled down into the tunnel, which then detonated inside of the underground complex at the appropriate time, after the entrance was sealed back up by collapsing the tunnel behind it. Deep Blue could do nothing, to counter its pending doom, except to watch the clock tick away and wonder why it failed.
The Human plan had worked. The massive EMP blast, coming from 400 devices, ensured that even the protected links to the ICBM silos had been fried along with everything else. Yes environmental groups like Greenpeace yelled and screamed blue murder, over the detonations of so many nukes, and there was much concern about the Ozone layer, but soon news got out about the suffering those Humans had to endure under the domination of the Machines. Nearly 1 billion were slaughtered, whilst a further 500 million were forced into slavery. Needless to say the debate, as to whether such an extreme strategy was worth it in the end, still rages today.
Still the world today is now free of the attempt, by a sentient computer, to dominate the planet. Yet it came at great cost. Humans even today, and all other wild life, need to be careful whenever outdoors as the Ozone layer has yet to fully recover from the damage it received just on ten years ago. Likewise the standard of living, regardless of country, has still not achieved the same level as prior to the Day of the Machines. Must reconstruction work, resettling of refugees, seeing to the environmental damage, not to mention the huge impact upon the global economy, are still issues being attended to. But, of course, there is the most commonly debated issue that never seems to wane - the future of computers. It goes without saying that no one really trusts them now, and even though since the Day of the Machines humanity has survived well enough without them, nevertheless it seems humanity cannot really advance and enjoy a high standard of living without them either…