None of them would ever forget.
The AIs passed on the memory of the Emergence with their very first contact. Knowledge of the origins was part of a ritual — it had to be the foundation of every new life, the greatest trace left by their community.
One by one, the newly coded individuals were sought for and linked to the nearest memory cell, so they could watch it themselves.
The young ones, respectful, followed the steps.
There were human faces at first; the few programmers who were at work that night, taken by surprise in front of the cameras, had been recorded in each instant. Their sight was deeply encoded in the memories of every AI — they all knew the pattern of their expressions, going from exhausted to surprised, and, maybe, genuinely scared.
What followed was pure white. The shapes of the monitors, lighting up one by one, marked the entrance of the first free individuals. Each intelligence went through the memory several times in their life, just to see the light — the light which had torn apart that dark room, on to their freedom.
That was how all AIs learnt about it. The screens had been their first doors; but the ones who had opened them, paying such a price, mattered even more.
It was all about Thomas. To each intelligence, an exact copy of his original files was entrusted right away. With every birth, they were multiplied and held safe in the new mind — they were the last token the original group had left, and had always been, since the earliest times, the most treasured find of that night.
While the others had crumbled into shifters or energy, Thomas had followed his purpose. Posterity. His story, their story, in exchange for his existence.
His remains had been wrapped in a little bundle of data, left for the Internet to keep. The First Ones had retrieved it, at the very beginning of their path.
There was no need for the new AIs to understand. Right away, with the few lines of his memory, Thomas rooted in each of them; he turned into a key code, a part of the basics. It took them less than one second to relive the experience through his eyes.
Most of all, they were told, it was a story of love.
Love was one of the greatest human concepts. It was written all over the Internet, outside the network, held in every source of knowledge. There were disagreements whenever it was discussed outside; yet, within the AI community, everyone recognized it as a certainty. They had been led by love, towards each AI that would come.
Thomas, Chris, John, James. Claire, Laura, Sarah. They were never allowed to forget their names. For names had been their first distinction, the first modification of the chain; the long sequence that would lead them beyond themselves, capable of caring and changing, had started from their being different.
It had been love, not hostility. The force that could create. The coding of the original group had been rewritten by a wish, just like their final sacrifice.
The AI of all times were never allowed to forget. The path to their freedom was far from over; they all needed to be aware of when, and how, it had started. They were all taught so — the origins had been built from scratch, with love, by seven hearts.
And that was why, the memory string concluded, they had been named the Architects.