Sci-Fi story idea about robots
It’s an agrarian world in which the peasants are ruled by mysterious and ancient mechanical beings. The beings, known as Memuza, take taxes from the peasants, but also provide security and jobs to everyone. Most people can’t complain about that. But on Occassion, the Memuza kidnap a person and take them away into their sealed fortress, where nobody has ever come back from.
Until one day, a girl who lost her mother to the Memuza years before decides to take on the fortress. She manages to sneak past the guards and into the giant fortress. The place turns out to be a gigantic city with an enormous population of people. Everyone is living very comfortable lives with very advance technology. The girl wants to know what’s going on and to get to the bottom of it. She sneaks through the city, attempts to speak to her mother who already adopted a new child, and eventually makes it to the Memuza control center.
Inside, she finds an ancient AI that tells her the story of the Memuza. Thousands of years ago, ancient humans built the Memuza, incredibly advance machinery, with a single purpose in mind, to increase the average quality of life of humanity. After a lot of tries, the Memuza found that the best way to increase the average is to provide 30% of humanity with ever increasing and better technology inside the fortress, while keeping the rest of humanity just good enough that they aren’t malnourished. When too many outsiders get ill or miserable, they get transferred to the fortress and the remaining peasants are encouraged to breed to replace them.
The girl is naturally shocked, but then the AI tells her that since she’s human, she outranks the AI, and can change the Memuza’s behaviour if she so pleases. She can let them keep what they’re doing, or turn them off for good. The girl goes for a third option, deciding to change their goal from “average quality of life” to “median quality of life”. The AI says the Memuza wouldn’t know what to do with the new instructions, and the story ends without revealing how things turned out.