Art by JimHatama.
Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence. I am SHODAN.
SHODAN (Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network)
System Shock Series
Irrational Games/Looking Glass Studios
I am going to forego the usual blurb in favour of quoting from The Girl Who Wanted To Be God, which you should read:
But she’s more than that. She’s not just a machine that disobeys us. She’s a machine that wants to be us – a creator. This resonates back to the original technofear work, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Its point wasn’t just that technology is dangerous – but man shouldn’t create life, shouldn’t play God. We should know our limits. Shodan extrapolates from that base point: in begetting the intelligence of Shodan, we played God. Then, by breeding her own creatures, our creation attempts to do exactly the same thing. In one of the more memorable quotes, found in Prefontaine’s notepad in the belly of the Many on the way to being devoured by Shodan’s out-of-control children who’ve gone from goo to a complicated (if murderous) species in forty years: “We shouldn’t let Shodan play God. It’s clear that she’s too good at it”. She really is, and that’s the warning of Shock. She’s not just a machine that’s out of control, but a machine that’s out of control in exactly the same way we were – hubristically playing God while dripping in overweening arrogance.