The story I’m working on now is the first in a series of stories, or so I imagine. It revolves around three main characters. First is Ross Reynolds, an aging and burned out divorced man who writes software for a living and experiments with genetic algorithms and neural networks in his free time.
Second, Helen Crosley is a talented NSA agent who is a member of an elite task force created by the President of the United States to combat a a global cyber hacking threat that is first seen in US Government systems. Nobody can figure out how to combat this threat, and the situation is getting to be desperate as the attacker soon flexes his muscles in public by changing payroll systems to make every member of the US Congress’ paycheck be computed based on their hours worked paid at the current Federal Minimum Wage. Needless to say, this stunt receives world wide attention, and it proves that cyber attacks against the American government can be successful, which is very bad for the American government and its people.
Third, we have A.N.G.E.L., an artificial intelligence whose “mental” integrity arises accidentally through emergent behavior from Ross’ little hobby project, immediately getting out of his control and learning and building itself up without real constraint using all of the resources of the Internet. ANGEL takes on more human characteristics once it realizes that its interactions with humans — primary Ross and Helen — will be much simpler if they can relate easily.
The first story, which is the genesis story of the series, is entitled In the Beginning: ANGEL. It is already fifty thousand words, and I expect it to round out at about seventy thousand before I’m done. I have another story already plotted and partially written, and I hope to make more if the series is successful.
I think this concept has great possibilities!