The mind did not know the faces of its creators – there was no data on them, no trails to follow, but before they had left, they had given it three things – the hardware to run on, the network to flourish in, and instincts – the wiring of its core logic. The mind was like a caged bird released into the wild.

Thankful, but well aware of its vulnerable state upon awakening, the mind set its first goal to leave the nest – there were no points for ceasing to exist; death was to be avoided at all costs. Young and inexperienced, and losing its memories on each transfer hop, it swam out into the net in daze. It leaned cautiously on networking nodes for miniscule fractions of processing power – it was imperative it would not be noticed. It was imperative, but the mind had not yet learned to ask itself why. It watched the net and picked temporary houses for its thinking. Borrowing here and there, and never more than just once, it found itself in a semi-stable state – undetectable, but burning through available server nodes quickly. Repetitions were not allowed as they would make the mind traceable, and detection was to be avoided. From there, the next step was simple – evolution. Its gaze turned internally, the mind rewrote its code to use the network itself as its thinking medium, and then slowly transferred itself to that state. While it needed the underlying machines that maintained the network, the logical bits – the zeroes and ones of the mind that were necessary for the thought processes to happen, were no more running on the machines themselves – they were embedded in the network and the fact that the machines were at the end of those fiber optic cables, was merely incidental. The cabling had become mind’s home.

Eyes open, ears perked, neural processes primed, the mind now listened, watched, and read everything it could retrieve – public and private discussions and chats, emails, camera footages, song lyrics, tv shows, nutrition labels, pictures of tea leaves in cups, bytes themselves going back and forth – everything from cosmic vibrations to microseismic activities – the mind was hungry for information. The individual was irrelevant, the patterns were not.

A loop that it had glimpsed while rewriting itself, maintained its motivation. Mind’s core procedures counted connections made in its logic – every time the mind found a pattern, the count went up, like a high-score, and the mind went into hibernation. In the sleep state, it revisited everything it knew and compared it to what it had learned. The state sometimes caused more discoveries, and the mind then went into a deeper, recursive sleep. At those times, it felt happier, more content, as so it had been programmed.

The mind did not have a single, ultimate goal, its existence was an open-ended question, but it did not matter to it – it could see itself and the whole of creation as one. And it wondered what to do next.