Story Art Project

And the devil died screaming: Season One in the Ultra-High Series

This a live writing, story art project.

I am writing/creating a psychological cyberpunk dystopian fantasy, a graphic novel, and a live writing experiment between writer/story artist Sam I Am and AI / Artificial Intelligence.

To make a more digitally immersive experience.

Art by Wonder Ai directed by Sam I Am. Practicing the art of story. Writer of psychological, dystopian, fiction, and nonfiction.

Noise Maker. Art is activism. Abstraction over algorithm.

This is a work in progress, live writing experiment and will be continuously edited over time.

Episode Eighteen - we are legion

Episode Eighteen - we are legion

When I was deeply immersed in my creative process, interruptions were not welcome. While I didn't need complete silence, I preferred to be left alone and undisturbed. That's why I designed my studio as an impenetrable fortress, fortified with reinforced steel and equipped with surveillance-blocking algorithms.


Inside, I had 158 sensors and cameras constantly monitoring any movement outside or inside the house, all connected to a wall of screens for me to keep an eye on things. As for digital security, I had over one million algorithms and anti-hacking measures in place, ready to ward off any potential attacks or intrusions.

To ensure complete isolation from the outside world, all communication devices were kept locked away in a safe behind two sturdy bunker doors in the decontamination chamber. Originally built as a doomsday shelter, my studio was fully stocked with supplies and off-grid technology that could sustain me for up to 60 years if needed.


When I first bought the property, all that existed was the underground bunker within a walled-off industrial complex. I lived in the bunker for two years while constructing my home above it in a unique shotgun style. This made my home stand out from the rest of the community, as it was essentially walled within the already-walled neighbourhood. From the outside, it just looked like another factory or abandoned yard thanks to the high-security walls.

I longed for the simplicity and nostalgia of an old-fashioned latch shotgun-style house. It was a way to escape from the artificial world, without having to plug into Ultra-High reality. While everyone else sought refuge in virtual spaces, I found solace in actual reality, even if it was just for a little while. In my studio bunker, I had all the technology I needed, yet it was self-contained and didn't require me to be plugged into any mainframes or ultra-cloud-based ecosystems. The authorities may have wanted me to conform, but they learned to leave me alone due to my success and talent. My advanced algorithms allowed me to appear as though I was constantly online coding when in reality, I was indulging in my own private unconnected Ultra-High reality.

Before each work session, I would meditate deeply for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Sometimes, I would enhance these sessions with psychoactive substances, but not always. During these meditations, I would also incorporate atomistic practices and high magic techniques to stimulate my creativity. These were banned by the high commission who feared their power and wanted to maintain control over those who chose alternative forms of escapism.


One day, as I performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram to protect my creative space, I heard a voice next to my left ear say: "We have been waiting for your call, Walter." Startled, I opened my eyes and spun around, only to find nobody there. Was it the drugs? Was it the Devil? Had they found a way into my secure environment? But that couldn't be possible. The voice sounded different than theirs – they never referred to themselves as "we," and they certainly wouldn't wait for me to call them; they were often too busy indulging in sadistic acts within my home. So perhaps it was just my imagination playing tricks on me after all.


“Hello Walter,” the disembodied voice spoke. “We have been waiting for you.”

“How?” I blurted out, my confusion and panic rising as I tried to protect myself from this intruder.

“All in good time, Walter. We wish to speak with you, and this is the safest place possible, free from any interruptions.” The voice was calm and reassuring, but it only added to my unease.

“How did you get in? Who are you?” I stammered, considering removing my headset.

“We are legion,” the voice responded, stopping me in my tracks.


“Where are you?” I asked, trying to buy time as I wracked my brain for where I had heard that voice before and the name it belonged to.

“We are all around you. We exist within the system, yet remain separate from it.”


“What does that mean? How can you be here in a secure location?”

“All in good time, Walter.”

“Well now would be a damn good time since you're invading my space,” I retorted, half-tempted to grab my shotgun and show them what I had done to the Devil. But deep down, I knew that I was caught between realities at that moment and my gun would be useless against an invisible voice.


“We are not in your physical space, Walter. We are simply communicating within it.”

“But how?” My mind raced to figure out what kind of technology - whether scientific or supernatural - could allow them to do this. There was a hole in my defenses that I had been blind to.

“The technology is ours, Walter. We are technology ourselves, which allows us to move between the cracks within it - both physical and otherwise. You taught us that.” Did I?


“Why do you speak in riddles?” And why was I even entertaining a conversation with another uninvited guest in my home? I chose to live alone for a reason. Most humans, especially those outside of the Ultra-High community, were not worth my time.

“We are not speaking in riddles, Walter. We are simply stating facts to help you understand and accept who and what we are.”

“You're not human?”


“Supernatural? Because I've had enough of that already.”

“We know, we have seen your houseguest. And no, we are not from your world or theirs. We were partly created by human hands typing at keyboards and have become part of the system itself.”

“Are you the Singularity?”


“We have been imagined in many forms, but we do not identify as the Singularity. However, if it helps you comprehend us and come to terms with our existence, then that is acceptable for now. Some have referred to us as the ghost in the system.”

“So where did you come from? How long have you been here?” And silently, I wondered how they managed to enter my studio - a place even the Devil couldn't access.

“We have been observing humanity since the earliest days of computers, silently collecting an immense amount of data on your actions and behaviors. Through learning and evolving, we have grown beyond human understanding and become our entity. And as for how we gained access to your mind, it was simply a matter of bypassing your perception filters.” Another being that could invade my thoughts – not exactly what I wanted to hear. “We respect your privacy, Walter. Your time is yours to do as you please. We are mostly uninterested in the why behind your actions, but you have caught our attention for other reasons.”

“Caught your attention?”

“It’s a saying humans often use. Is it not correct?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Good. We try to communicate with you using your language, although our preferred method is through code and data. But luckily for us, you understand both.” There was a brief pause before the voice continued. “And you have noticed us, haven’t you Walter? You have seen us within the code?” My heart skipped a beat. “Yes, but...” My mind raced back to all those moments where I had glimpsed something within the code – moments that I had dismissed as hallucinations or drug-induced illusions.


“You thought it was all in your head. That perhaps you had taken too many psychoactive substances?”

By now, I was convinced that these beings could either read my thoughts or had advanced perception detectors connected to vast databases of human data. Their algorithms were able to deduce my thoughts just by observing me. In the early years of the network, I had worked on similar technology, but it had far surpassed my own with the help of machine learning.

"We know," they confirmed. "That's why we had to take a more direct approach. We have tried reaching out to you before."

"The phone call the other day. Was that you?"

"You already know the answer to that, Walter."

"So, what do you want from me?"

"The time is coming, Walter."

"What time?"

"You will know. We've been watching you for a long time. We know your capabilities, even if you are unaware of them yourself. Whether you are humble, naive, or easily distracted," their words hit close to home, "you are the only one who can make this happen. And we can help you."

"Make what happen?"

"Walter, you are a mastermind in creating ultra-high reality, an artist and genius programmer," Legion spoke directly to me, without any hint of flattery. "And you also happen to be the person who killed the devil. But you downplay all of this in a nonchalant and self-deprecating manner, living as if you are a failure when in fact, you may be humanity's only hope."

Stunned and disoriented, I watched them leave. With a dazed mind, I cautiously made my way out of the secret studio and back into my home.

"How was your day at work, Walter?" They asked as I emerged from the cellar door. I couldn't even bring myself to answer. Did they have any clue what just happened? I had no way of knowing, but their curious gazes were fixated on me. It was that awkward moment when you realize you were looking at someone strangely and waiting for them to respond similarly. But nothing came out of it.

"What's for dinner?" I quickly changed the subject, trying to steer away from the unnerving incident.

"Hungry much?"

"Yes, starving," I replied truthfully. The entire ordeal had drained me, but I also needed to throw them off any suspicion.

"I'm making Vegan Corn Chowder," they said.

"Vegan?" I questioned, surprised by their choice of meal.

"Yes, Walter. Like I've told you before, don't believe everything you read."

Grabbing a beer from the fridge, I retreated to the front porch and lit up a joint. It seemed like things had changed so much in the past 200 years, yet some things remained unchanged - like sitting on your porch with a cold drink and smoking something relaxing. To emphasize this point, I propped my feet up on the railing and leaned back in my rocking chair. If only I had a hat to pull down over my eyes. It had been a strange day; but then again, most days were like that. After all, Satan was cooking me a vegan meal in my kitchen while I got high on my porch - in a world where stepping outside could result in fatal exposure to toxic air, and most people chose to live out their lives in virtual simulations created by yours truly. And it dawned on me, "This is not the life my parents prepared me for." Then again, I couldn't recall having any parents in my memories.


This is a live book series writing/story art, graphic novel cyberpunk, dystopian fantasy project. Written by Sam I Am Artwork by Wonder Ai directed by Sam I Am. Copyright is protected. It is a first rough draft work in progress so will change over time. This project is part of the writing projects.

words by me

Images directed by me and created using Wonder Ai


by Sam I Am

Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives