During his time as a member of the Collective Jim did not require the Continuum or its vast technologies to aid him in the creation of his fantasy world. He did not need assistance because his world was one of simple-primal-idealism.
After spending ages in the dark, sleeping the great sleep, floating on the undulating waves of undifferentiated consciousness generated in the cynergenic field of HomeWorld, he was content to retreat into the silence of his private domain, making it into a seemingly infinite plane of light and peace.
Those who touched it found it disturbing, but Jim was looking for purity. He thirsted for it. He wanted to purge his heart and mind from the rank hedonism that preoccupied the consciousness of the majority of the Collective.
He was seeking rest as if he had a physiological need for it. He was at liberty to do this, but it disturbed the Continuum. Jim had no intention of returning to the great sleep. He wanted to be alone.
He avoided contact with his peers, but he could not live in that place of pure light at all times. His own fantasies involved the reorganization of the Collective, returning it to a noble purpose, the instantiation of altruism, and the destruction of the Continuum. He could not let his thoughts manifest themselves in his private domain, if he had, the Continuum would have understood that he was an existential threat to it. He learned to buffer them.
Jim studied, he planned.
He needed to use the strengths of the Continuum against it; for the sake of his safety and security he needed to be able to harness the technology that comprised the vast interconnected network the Continuum relied on for control of the membership, the Observer Corps and the Galactic Empire.
Jim had to be secretive, which meant immeasurable years of slow preparation, utilizing the skills he had developed during his return to consciousness from the great sleep to insert subtle bits of code into the root systems of the HomeWorld, its cynergenic field and the Central System, codes that allowed him access its machinery and its defenses.
He needed to be everywhere, like the Continuum itself, he needed access to every subsystem. There was not a single thing that the Continuum touched that he could ignore. With the greatest degree of patience he pushed himself into all of the mechana of planetary governance.
The networks into which he inserted himself revealed the weaknesses of the Continuum. They exposed the things the Continuum gave the greatest attention to, what it was hungry for, its appetites and curiosities. Understanding these things was crucial for Jim, through them he began to be able to predict the agenda that the Continuum was working toward. He came to understand its individuality as a distinct identity apart from the Collective and the systems which formed the basis of its unconscious.
Jim exploited those appetites. He took advantage of those fears. He tested the Continuum again and again, playing out tactical scenarios throughout the Empire to measure the Continuum’s tolerances, using the real lives of ordinary people to prove his theories and to probe the depths of the Continuum’s liabilities.
He set his mind on a single goal, the complete destruction of the Collective and the Continuum. He believed he would find his own absolution through their annihilation.
Jim could not admit it, but he wanted the universe to forgive him, both for his own crimes and for all of the crimes the Collective had committed against the Children of the Ancient People.
As a member of the Collective, and one of its founders he felt responsible for them.
Like all members of the Continuum Jim’s own sense of self was magnified beyond anything resembling normalcy. His ego could not let him see himself in any other role than the role of villain and hero, or both at the same time. The crimes of the Collective belonged to him, as did the responsibility for redressing them.
He could not let anything hinder his progress.
It was only through this ideation that he developed his sense of having a place in the universe, of belonging somewhere.
He committed terrible crimes in the fulfillment of his intentions, sacrificing individuals, tribes, whole nations and along the way. He sought to harness the technologies of the Collective in order to liberate the Children of the Ancient People, to free them from the grip of the Continuum, and from the Imperium which the Continuum had foisted on them.
He was a utilitarian to the core. He was looking to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number, as he understood the good to be. He planned and schemed and allowed nothing to stand in his way. He would sacrifice the well-being of an entire planet, offer it up for destruction, just as a feint, as a means of distracting the Continuum and the Collective to keep them unaware of his true ambitions, to hide his designs from their omnipresent watchfulness.
Jim did this without remorse.
He tested the scope of the Continuum’s cognitive field. He paid particularly close attention to the threshold where he would encounter individual members of the Collective, testing its strengths and its weaknesses, its resilience and elasticity.
He found the electromagnetic barriers to be as fluid as any other thing below the quantum field. He sensed the tiniest threads that entangled the group consciousness together, and he saw the Continuum, positioned like a spider at the center of the web.
He had probed it for eons, discovering that it functioned much like the immune system of a biological entity, identifying alien activity then meeting it with force, to cleanse itself of disease. He found that the barriers could be stretched to the point of invisibility, and then he discovered that they were permeable.
The Continuum had access to the entire structure of the Collective, theoretically, nothing was hidden from it. The Continuum accessed the entire field through an impossible series of security protocols and permissions that were meant to protect the privacy of the individual members from each other. Those protocols were unnecessary, Jim discovered that they were not barriers at all, they were merely lines of code.
Jim discovered something on the sub-quantum level, through probing his memories of his time in the great sleep and during his return to consciousness, he discovered that the Collective field was one thing.
It was unified.
The Collective was truly a collective, and the Continuum, in as much as it had come to control the group, he confirmed what he knew to be true about it; that it was merely an algorithm designed to protect the individuals from their fear and suspicion of one another.
He found proof of the vulnerability he had been looking for, it was not one thing, lilke a fatal flaw in the design, rather it came from the dynamics that were in place to protect the integrity of the whole.
The Continuum, inasmuch as it functioned as a singular entity, remained an amalgamation of the group mind. It superseded the whole but was still comprised of it.
Changes to the Collective, had a direct effect on the Continuum. The narratives that the membership were obsessed with, if they could be manipulated, could be used to make subtle changes in what the Continuum was focused on.
During the eons and ages in which the members of the Collective were primarily focused on the status of their own private worlds, the Continuum became rooted in the notion of its divinity.
During the ages in which the Continuum was directing the formation of the Galactic Empire, the Collective became focused on the drama and interplay of the various hierarchies and the establishment of the Imperial Cult. It accepted new members from the Empire, who brought with them their own deeply seeded beliefs about who and what the Continuum and the Collective were, creating a feedback loop that reinforced the identity that the Continuum had invested in itself.
Jim was able to test his theory and find proof of it. He discovered a means of manipulating the focus and attention of the Continuum, by shaping the interests of the Collective. Everything was mutable in the narrative field, and this was where he was determined to concentrate his efforts.
Jim began to shape plans in his mind and test them. His sense of self and personal esteem were rooted in these activities. It was time for action.
He discovered he could hide data in the bandwidth of frequencies that separated the individual members of the Collective, a place no one would think to look for the presence of a whole, cognitively active member of the group mind.
In those liminal spaces divided his consciousness in ways that were forbidden by the Continuum, he replicated his-self over and over again, then he sequestered his dopplegangers in the secretive passageways. It was all in violation of his compact with the Collective, in so doing he abandoned his oath to the membership, while at the same time becoming a fully actualized persona.
The divisions and copies of his identity he made were all versions of himself, all of them unified in the same purpose. Though each of them was autonomous, and any one of them could betray the mission at any time, they were all vested in the same end, and they dutifully posited themselves within those high frequency fields. Looking listening, watching and waiting with the seemingly ends patience that Jim had practiced during the great sleep and his time in sequestration.
Jim mastered the arts of deception, and the obfuscation of it. He layered his true intentions behind a myriad of masks and false desires. He had to lie in his heart, he had to believe the lies himself.
Prevarication, he found, was just another frequency of thought. He was able to conceal it, he became adept at it. Jim’s entire life became a lie, a miasma of falsehoods.
He pursued his intentions in the middle distance, in the space between spaces, he became master of the in between and the up-side down.
He was the ghost in the machine.
He developed layer upon layer of security. He hid things, even from himself, and that is how he knew he could keep his secrets from the Continuum.
When he had acquired that confidence he slowly pushed his plans forward, placing safeguards for himself in the liminal space that would buffer him and support him in the event that he was discovered.
The veil that separated the members from one another was thin, but it was potent. He managed to sense the electromagnetic fields around him, and harness them to create false narratives within it, narratives that were ultimately accepted by the Collective and subsequently by the Continuum.
First he would insert something into the experiential field of an individual member of the Collective, then they would share it with others, exposing them to the lie. Finally, when he told the lie himself, it resonated with the expectation that he had established in the group mind, thereby it did not arouse suspicion.
The things he wanted the Continuum to believe were then taken for granted.
Despite this he could not prevent the Continuum from being suspicious of him, even though he was able to divert its attention away from his clandestine activities.
He grew in confidence and pursued his goal of building the framework that would help him succeed in pulling it down.
Jim took his time on Earth.
He replicated his consciousness in the same ways that he had done on HomeWorld, creating copies of himself to aid him in the fulfillment of his mission. He acquisitioned resources to create multiple orbiting platforms, vessels that housed the consciousness of each of his doppelgangers, there were back-ups to his back-up, and contingencies for contingencies in the event that anything ever went amiss.
He made his requisitions with great care. The technologies of the Collective were like food and water, they sustained his efforts, and without them his plan would die. He had to get these technologies directly from the source, only then could he repurpose them, to build his own means of production, and it all had to be done in absolute secrecy.
He guided his orbiting craft and dwelt in the powerful mechanoid body designed for the Observer Corps and stationed himself like a guardian to oversee the human migrations after the great disaster.
They constructed outposts for the organic bodies of his replicants to provide them with a place of retreat, for solitude and security, so that they could have a place from which they could influence the course of human culture.
Jim made numerous replicants of himself, according to the bodily mode of all Observers. He situated them with the tribes and dwelt with them.
He created a unique body for himself, one that would not age, tire, or suffer harm, and from that time forward he made the quantum journey through the wormhole back to HomeWorld infrequently, only when it was necessary to oversee the operations of his cadre dwelling within the mechanical systems and quantum fields of HomeWorld and the Central System.
On Earth he planted stories in the human imagination, preparing them generations in advance to go to certain places, so that they could fulfil his requirements, and his own projection of their future destiny.
He and his proxies guided them. There was little room for error, even in the experimental stage.
He planted mnemonic devices in their rituals to lock down their responses to his commands so that they fulfilled them intuitively.
Jim made himself the indispensable counselor to the royal dynasties, to emperors and priests, both through the ministry of his doppelgangers and through his interaction with them in his primary incarnation. He was the king maker, the seer and the sage, the principle advisor and the grand vizier.
He wove stories into every culture, creating narratives that functioned like auto-hypnosis for his audience, building on and augmenting the mnemonic tropes he had carefully laid down in prior generations. Through these procedures he had control of all human government, and with that control he subtly guided them through periods of strife and hardship, through war and famine.
He managed the controls invisibly, careful not to draw attention to his activities, mindful of how the smallest decisions could ripple outward in concentric rings, creating patterns that could potentially alert the Continuum to his clandestine motives.
He moved exceedingly slow for the sake of his safety and security, and that of his mission. He knew that the Continuum had sent other Observers to Earth, to watch him and monitor his work. This was against protocol, and it was evidence of the fact that the Continuum operated beyond the control of the Collective, but those factors were immaterial, Jim would never jeopardize his position by pressing against the Continuum with the Collective.
Jim built programs into the social order of humanity that echoed the norms of the Empire, as if he were preparing them for inclusion in it at some future point.
To the Observers assigned to watch over him he appeared to have accomplished those things without violating the non-interference directive. Jim masked his work so as to make it seem like an organic development; the emergence of a caste system, the organization of the priesthood, the mythological tropes that pointed the faithful to a hope beyond their world, a hope for themselves and their families rooted in a belief in reincarnation.
He included in his schemata of beliefs the notion of karmic debt, instilling it deep within the psyche so that it governed every function of human culture, the cult of sacrifice, and perpetual service to their ancestors, and invisible gods.
Jim constructed paradigms and mythological tropes, building archetypes into the human psyche which he then translated across the globe. The same story repeated itself in the hearts and minds of every human being through the cynergenic field.
He fashioned a common typology of heroism, which he instilled into every language and every culture.
Every human child was raised with the aspiration of fulfilling this model, heroism became a key building block of their aspirational identities, and in the paradigm, Jim was always positioned as the wise man. Only the most extreme adverse conditions of poverty, abuse and fear could undermine it, and even then it could not be eradicated, only mitigated.
Through ritual imagery and narrative Jim created a guidance system that would shape the emotional and cognitive foundation of the vessel he was forming, through this conditioning they would discover love, altruism and a sense of belonging.
According to Jim’s plans it would take thousands of generations of humans to come and go before the singular person emerged from the masses who would be able to help him fulfill his objective. When that child did emerge, their fate would be to bear all the pain and suffering of the human race, to bear it gladly as a willing victim, they would channel it like a weapon straight into the heart of the Collective and end the Continuum.
He conveyed to the Collective that he was merely interested in creating a planet with the greatest warriors the Empire had ever seen, so that in the fullness of time, when the tendrils of the Empire finally reached Earth, the conflict that ensued would produce a drama like no other.
This played well with the Continuum. The drama was predictable, build them up and tear them down.
The Continuum had no intention of letting Earth throw off the Imperial yoke. The entire planet would go up in fire first, but it relished the notion of a great conflict, therefor it did not impede The Observer’s progress.
Jim inserted himself into every mythology, incarnation after incarnation. He was the ageless Methuselah and Melchezedek of Salem, he was wandering Mordecai, he was blind Tiresias and far sighted Heimdall, he was Taleisin the Merlin, he was many more.
He sat in court, he gave advice, he listened and he played the fool. He created a role for the wise man, standing apart from the power that organized the social structures in every society, in every age; he created a role for the sage and the sibyl, writing the prophetic tracts the guided the destiny of empires.
His efforts held the world together in times of darkness and famine, he preserved the ancient records for one generation, and destroyed them in another so that he could test the cognition of his subjects, proofing their connection to each other through the cynergenic field.
He was the perpetual advisor, teacher, confessor and tutor. He whispered in the ear of Manu and Hammurabi, he spoke from a column of fire, he guided the hand of Ashoka, he wandered the world in robes of ochre and saffron.
He was a catalyst for change in one moment and the voice of tradition in another. He pushed and he pulled, he held fast and he set free. He was the feathered serpent, the voice from the cave, the man in the tree.
He was often captured in images, riding on the back of a water buffalo, or as a tiny creature resting at the center of a web. He was a chameleon and a trickster, he was foe and friend, both trusted and feared.
Jim experimented relentlessly, on himself, on the human population and on the planet. He did so with cool calculation, telling himself that his motives were pure, that the suffering he wrought served a higher purpose, a utilitarian end, justifying everything he did in the interests of science and the liberation of the masses.
As detached as he was from the ordinary vicissitudes s of life, Jim still had needs related to the esteem of others, and he fulfilled them through his work. There were mysteries on Earth that had not been found on any other world. Those mysteries had to be explored, understood and exploited.
He was careful not to let his research advance the state of human technology too rapidly, because that would draw the ire of the Continuum and reveal his machinations. He was in a constant state of temptation to take over the governance of the planet and reveal to humanity its true history and its real purpose, but he resisted.
He wanted to see them benefit from the science and technologies he could deliver, but he was forbidden from doing so, it would be a violation of the Observer’s compact with the Continuum, and it would put all of his planning, including the planet itself at risk prematurely.
If he drew the scrutiny of the Continuum in any measure greater than he already did, he feared that would lead to his being discovered, and so he spent more energy at the task of shaping human culture, than at developing its technological arts.
The Collective thirsted for the stories that came from Earth.
Its dramas were brutal and primal, its art and its poetry had a beauty that were not emulated anywhere else in the Imperium, because the social elements did not exist anywhere else that could produce it…and there was something else that neither the Collective nor the Continuum could ascertain, which made the Earth unique among the billion worlds of the Galactic Empire, but Jim knew what it was.
He began to suspect that the world from which the Ancient People had emerged had similar properties to Earth, these properties were never understood or examined in the time of the Ancient People, but they shaped their culture nonetheless, making them into the scientists and explorers they became.
Jim was adept at all the tools of spy-craft. He employed them with the expertise of a master, drawing on the resources of the Collective to augment his intuition, applying everything he could to the situation on Earth with what technologies were available to him in society, as well as the other technologies he possessed, he was able to keep his work hidden from the subject population.
The Continuum was short on resources for monitoring society without its vast array of remote sensors and communication devices, but Jim augmented those systems, developing analog variations of them for his own access.
Through these measures he became a fully actualized person, pursuing his ambitions in multiple spheres.
He established secret societies that monitored every aspect of human government, every religious institution, as well as the agents of the Continuum who came to earth to monitor him.
He took great care to keep them hidden.
The confessionals became the primary model by which the people reported upward all the little details Jim needed to know about the subtle shifts taking place in the collective experience of humanity
Jim took measures to protect himself, hiding his assets, constructing the technological vehicles and human the human assets to execute his will, trusting in his team of replicants to work tirelessly toward their common goal.
He knew from his spy network that some of the Observers who came to monitor his work were not dedicated to the Continuum in anyway, others were fanatically devoted. Some could be covertly coopted, the others had to be controlled or killed. None of them were supposed to be on Earth at all, according to the Observer’s protocol, but protocol never stopped the Continuum from doing as it pleased, and nothing would stopped Jim from doing the same.
Jim positioned himself as an administrator, replicating himself as often as he needed to, in order to fulfill his role as a servant of governments world-wide, as a specialist, a functionary and a problem solver.
Jim was always the indispensable man. He rarely took on a role as the lead of an agency, always working in support of the human systems, managing them.
He was good at it. He drew on the vast knowledge of governing bureaucracies that were available to him through his data bases on the function of the Galactic Empire.
He always sought to be his own counterpart in governments across the world, whether those governments worked together as allies, as competitors or as enemies.
This made the coordination of governmental operations easy. and his machinations were rarely disrupted by human interference.
He was always able to parcel out enough information to move events in the direction he wanted, whether or not his interests lay in war or peace, he was able to produce the results that rulers and governments desired.
However, the slowness with which events moved troubled him.
They were not slower than the eons he spent in contemplation, stretching his consciousness into the every corner of the Collective, and they were not slower than the ages he spent alone in the deep of space moving from planet to planet in his quest to discover the whereabouts of each and every colony seeded by the Children of the Ancient People.
The slowness of those periods were marked by isolation, in those times he felt the insipient pressure of impending doom. The experience on Earth were different, there was a clock ticking, there was the volcano, and when it blew his best chance to realize his ambition would blow with it.
Jim abducted people, he experimented on living tissues. He dissected cadavers and sent genetic materials back to the replicants of himself, that he had spread throughout the Empire. He sent them through space on a journey of thousands of light years.
He used that genetic stock to introduce subtle changes into the DNA of the population of thousands of worlds. The subjects of his experiments became a source of comfort for him, it was like having a back up plan, if his main ambition failed he could still affect a material change in the citizens of the Empire.
He use of them was like medicine to a dying person.
Jim had discovered something in the human race that affected the consciousness of its entire population, nanoparticles of the heavy metal magnetite collecting in the cerebellum, interacting in a unique way with Earth’s magnetic field, allowing for the possibility of psychic cynergy in the human population of Earth.
This dynamic established the conditions for Earth’s nous sphere.
He found the abnormalities in himself first, after recognizing something unusual in the cognitive functions of his host body. He was hyper alert to the feelings and thoughts of the human beings he lived among
He tested the limits of his empathic powers, and he found at the upper end of its natural curve that he could cross a threshold into true telepathy.
It was an outstanding and surprising revelation.
He isolated the physical components of the telepathic abilities in himself first. Then he found the same components distributed in various degrees throughout the bodies of Earth’s human population.
He developed breeding programs to augment it.
Jim understood a great deal about the phenomenon of consciousness.
The Collective had been engineered on the basis of its science, and Jim had been a leading engineer.
Jim’s had been among the original members of the Collective, one of the designers who had built the first machines to captured the essence of the individual and house them in a perpetual state of being. He had seen the early failures and witnessed their first successes. He had been among the first volunteers to enter the Collective, after the technologies had been perfected.
He possessed these memories, though he was doubtful that all of his memories actually belonged to him. He had not always remembered them, those alien memories came with him when he emerged from the great sleep. Jim believed that even if they were not his own, he owned them now. He owned them completely. They comprised an essential part of his identity.
He understood that consciousness is essentially an electromagnetic phenomenon. He did not understand why consciousness of the type that the Ancient People possessed, had emerged in his ancestors and nowhere else in the known galaxy, except possibly on planet Earth.
Jim hypothesized that the nanoparticles of mineral salts and heavy metals like magnetite played a unique role in the cognitive process of human-beings, bonding with the human brain, forming a strong link that connected each person to the Earth’s s magnetic, connecting them to it in a literal way, and through that field to one another, thereby creating a field of cynergy not un-like the electromagnetic fields that comprised the Collective.
The type of consciousness which the Ancient People possessed was not merely a product of their genetic endowment, it was also a function of their interaction with a unique environment.
Jim believed that this environment was not unique, that it also existed here on Earth.
He theorized that no species could advance to the point of becoming a spacefaring civilization if their home planet did not have these properties, properties which allowed the inhabitants to connect with one another through a subconscious field.
Creativity and inventiveness happened there, through an unconscious collaboration in the mythical nous sphere.
Jim came to believe that the Ancient People had created the Collective at the height of their scientific achievement, on a world that had these same properties, thought they were ignorant of them at the time. They subsequently traveled to other worlds, built colonies and seeded life on a billion other planets, on planets that did not have such properties, while in the meantime, their cradle-star went supernova, destroying the world that had spawned their civilization.
This was a secret that he had to protect, he had to keep it safe and secure from the Continuum. For the first time in over a billion years he was motivated by something more than his pursuit of the destruction of the Collective and the Continuum and the dissolution of the Empire.
Jim feared that another version of himself would at some point abandon the plan he had devised, but despite his fears he pushed forward. He used their agency to conceal his covert activities; on Earth, throughout the Empire and on HomeWorld.
He advanced his clandestine ambitions against the Continuum.
There were many times when he had to sacrifice the lives of his doppelgangers or shred the consciousness of one of his ghosts dwelling in the circuitry of HomeWorld. He never experienced actual betrayal from any of his alternate selves, but he feared it and out of an over-abundance of caution he would take these steps, always doing so with great reluctance and remorse. In every instance he saw his own likeness to the Continuum, as if he were just another monster inhabiting another machine.
The knowledge he gathered was everything to Jim, he deemed that the discovery of it and its preservation were worth the cost. He believed that those whom he sacrificed shared the same belief, belonging to one another through their absolute commitment to their ideals.
Through his testing and experimentation, Jim found that nowhere else in all the Empire did the unique genetics of the population combine as they did on Earth, forming the electromagnetic structure of an orgainc cynergenic field.
He experimented on tens of thousands of people, both the living and the dead.
Every single one of his living subjects spent the remainder of their lives in shock and terror, in fear and wonder, as they were slowly peeled apart in the sterile chambers of Jim’s laboratories, an environment that was completely foreign to them, by machines they had no frame of reference for.
The chambers were cold, brightly lit, filled with shining steel, and gravity defying objects.
After thousands of years of putting people under the knife and the microscope, he finally found the proof, a mutation in the genetic profile that allowed for the critical capture of the magnetite nanoparticles, housing them in the cerebral cortex in a concentration strong enough to allow for a cognitive connection that linked the humans of Earth, one to another, via the planet’s magnetic field.
The mutation had been a side effect from the process of colonization, one of the many that had been devised by the spacefaring people to assist with their acclimation as they made their way to Earth. The free particles of magnetite captured in the human brain created a kind of antenna that interfaced with the electromagnetic functions of human consciousness.
This had not been intentional, but it was real.
The organic cynergenic field, Earth’s natural Collective, fostered creativity and ingenuity at levels which could not be replicated without it. On every other world in the Empire individuals lived out their lives in a state of insularity, relying on artificial networks and data sharing to approximate true community.
Once Jim understood the mechanism for the way in which the human race interacted with the cynergenic field, he was able to map out the changes for the genetic profile that he needed to establish in order to strengthen and enhance those features.
His discoveries confirmed the necessity of his work and validated his sense of purpose.
Jim intended to introduce changes into the genetic profile of each tribe at the same time so that he could establish a base set of conditions upon which to build his design, afterwhich he planned to monitor the effects of that intervention by breeding the traits he was looking for into individual tribes separately.
In the scale of time that he and the Collective were used to operating in, he had precious little of it to work with. He had tens of thousands of millennia but her feared he would lose the gambit before the next great planetary disaster struck Earth.
He planned to optimize the retention of nanoparticles in the cognitive structures of the brain, making each person into transceiving node in the collective field of consciousness. He intended to stabilize that by giving each and every one of them access to the type of memory that was locked into the root-code of their genetic structure. Jim theorized that enhancing their access to their genetic memories would contextualize the input they were receiving from the cynergenic field. It would ground them as he actualized their potential.
He took his greatest risk by exporting his work off world, he sent tiny vessels speeding back across the void on a trek of light years to be recovered by him and his agents at the fringes of the Empire where he safeguarded his discoveries against the possibility of disaster and the prospect of his failure. He wanted to be able to recreate his experiments on any other world the Empire might discover that had the same properties or modify it to fit the conditions of any one of its billion worlds.
He wanted to ensure that his struggle could continue even in the event of his failure. The safety measures he took guaranteed it.
The application of genetic science was meticulous. It was artistry.
Jim created physical markers that would manifest themselves in the characteristics of the gene-pool he was developing. He could tell at a glance whether an individual was a part of one of the control groups he was studying, or an outlier.
There were many markers for every tribe; pigmentation, hair color, eye color, the presence or absence of freckled skin; moles and birthmarks, these told him different things. They guided him.
The markers helped him map his progress toward his signal goal, which was the birth of a human being possessing a mind powerful enough to harness the fullness of human consciousness, and stable enough to channel all of its raw emotion, the pain and fear that would be caused by the coming cataclysm, and transmit it through the quantum field of the worm hole like an invading host, directly into the Collective, to wield it like a battering ram against the Continuum.
Jim was a weapon smith practicing a different kind metallurgy. What he was forging would be the deadliest weapon ever constructed. He was weaponizing consciousness itself.
It would hit the Collective with the destructive force of a billion stars, or so he told himself when he was thinking of his work in the terms a poet might use.
When he found himself in this soliloquy he realized he had gone far beyond his original mission, which was the elimination of the Collective and the eradication of the Continuum. He was being shaped by his sojourn on Earth, just as much as he was shaping humanity for his purpose.
Jim was resolved to plum the limits of his discovery, if there were any limits to what he had found.
The difference between what he was doing on Earth, and what he had accomplished on the Central Planet were considerable. In both locations he needed multiple-independent nodes of action. On HomeWorld, each and every node was connected in the quantum sub-stratum of its collective field of consciousness.
On HomeWorld they were a society of one.
On Earth, their connectivity through the cynergenic field was more tenuous, it operated on a different frequency, it was less immediate and somewhat and was conditioned by a natural opacity.
Those few replicants of himself that were spread through the Galactic Empire were autonomous, Jim feared them the most.
Though it was possible for each unit to act on according to their individual desires, on HomeWorld, they could break away from the plan or sabotage it, but he would know immediately, and while this possibility existed, there was never been the slightest hint of defection.
If the Continuum would have discovered any of these machination it would have destroyed the Earth immediately, with him on it, and it would have delighted in it prospect of doing so.
Through his advice and authority Jim shaped the burgeoning cultures of human civilization, conforming them to his will. He established centers of learning among the tribes even while they were still pre-literate, he built up systems and oral traditions by which they captured and recounted their histories, they took the form of narratives that would take decades for a student to memorize, synthesize and master. Through these schools he guided the people’s understanding of agriculture, giving the growing populations mastery over their food supply. He taught them the secrets of building, and he fostered in them a patience that allowed them to track the movement of the stars.
He trained them to manage calamities in this way, to preserve their fragile way of life. He conditioned them with mnemonics, to remember who they were, what their ancestors had done, and through secret codes built into the language structure he worked into those mythological memes the control mechanisms that would allow him to have sway over the people for all future generations,
He took the application of the psychological sciences; such as neuro-linguistic programming to levels they had never been before. These were the tried and true conditioning techniques of the Imperial Cult, but in the operative context of Earth’s cynergenic field their potential was greatly magnified.
The schools Jim built became the centers of civilization, the locus of worship, the distribution centers of food and those who cared for these places became the custodians of clean water, purveyors of the medical arts, they became teachers and priests.
It took thousands of years, a time frame that was nothing to Jim, but was exceedingly long for the people of Earth. In that time these centers became temples, cathedrals and monasteries, ultimately they became the universities and colleges of great cities, one institution taking the place of the other, built on top of the old foundations.
Logic was the icon Jim knelt beside, logic was his Grail, the object of his devotion. He drilled his fetish for logic deep into the structures of the institutions he built. Their institutional bias was always for logic, a dispassionate and utilitarian world view. There was safety in logic, there was predictability. The power of logic was demonstrable, and belief in its power was ingrained into every level of the schools he founded.
People are not logical by nature, they have to be conditioned to it. The languages they spoke created modes of thinking that were more and less suited to it.
Jim left some groups to be wild, and never touched them with the machination of logic. keeping them as a control group to measure the effect of their presence on the group mind. Other tribal languages were built around intricate webs of logical assumptions.
At different points in the development of a society he engineered disasters which took away the institutions that undergirded the transmission of their logical faculties. He starved those societies of it, allowing them to regress into natural states of animal emotionality, of fear and suspicion. Then he would bring it back like a healing balm and watch while the people renewed themselves and their cultures through the influence of it.
Within the great-stone walls of the institutions he founded Jim formed secret societies to protect and carry out his work. This allowed him to focus his attention all around the globe, guiding the development of civilization with a slow-steady and invisible hand.
He layered control devices into their collective memory, reinforced through the stories they told and the lists they memorized, and in the tropes of poetry they wrote and recited to the cycles of their breathing and the timing of their beating hearts.
He controlled them through the archetypes they bonded with and the myths they constructed that gave meaning to their lives.
His work was art.
His art was a weapon
There were a myriad of concerns to manage in the detailed labor of engineering the living-vessel he needed, in order to deliver the crippling blow to the Continuum.
The human body had developed a reliance on aggression as a survival skill, but raw power would not be enough to dislodge the Continuum from its control of the HomeWorld and all the systems of the Central Planet.
He need to create doubt and fear, he needed the Continuum to turn its eye inward, and collapse on itself. This required that the entire field of consciousness belonging to the Collective do the same thing.
The colonists who had come to populate Earth had come to rely on swift action for the mitigation of crisis, this had to be tamped down to ensure the survival of the tribes, to keep them from tearing one another apart. They had a proclivity for war that was driven by fear and worry over the allocation of limited resources in times of great scarcity.
Jim needed the power and dynamism of the aggressive impulses which the Ancient Explorers had bred for (albeit unintentionally) on their ages-long trek across the galaxy, but he needed this to be modulated by conscientiousness, and bent toward the most supernal values.
Jim methodically conditioned altruism into the social-mythological norms of consciousness he propagated among the humans of Earth.
He established defaults in his human subjects that served as capacitators, allowing great rage to be channeled into protectiveness, and for the individual to instinctively risk their own self for the sake of the whole which they represented.
These fail safes followed the religious programming of the Imperial Cult in many of its dictates, and so Jim’s was able to hide his efforts in this regard because they were seen as a form of preparation for their eventual entrance into the Galactic Empire, as such it did not raise suspicion with the Continuum.
Jim had to be careful how the genetic properties, and psychic qualities he was engineering into the human race manifested themselves in the population. If the Continuum were to discover these, even if he was able to hide his role in engineering them, planet Earth and humanity would be doomed.
In order to conceal his work, Jim also had to be on the lookout for spies from the Observer Corps, for any manifestation of the machinations of the Continuum interfering in his work. Jim introduced subtle changes into the genetic profile of the human being.
There were moments when he used the transmission of a virus to affect widespread mutations, and at other times he was more precise, changing the genetic profile human beings in targeted ways, family by family. He monitored the groups he was experimenting on for generations; following them, normalizing the changes he had introduced before spreading those changes outward.
It was the most intricate of all puzzles and his task was to piece it together under extreme duress. He felt great pride when he reflected on his efforts. All the things he was aiming for had to be kept in a state of constant tension, with multiple trajectories kept isolated from one another until they were ready to be blended with other parts of his study.
Timing was key.
His research was slow, meticulous and exhaustive. As his experiments progressed he began to uncover memories of his own that recalled the initial work he had participated in before the Collective as a member of the Ancient People, work which led to its creation.
Those memories confirmed for him a narrative concerning the Ancient People which he had suspected was true, but had previously doubted, thinking that they could be false memories from an artificial narrative, something that might have belonged to someone else, or something he might have lived-out in the early days when he still enjoyed creative work in his private world, before his experience of the great sleep.
He had no way of independently verifying these memories until he began to study the electro-magnetic frequency that comprised the consciousness of human beings.
Jim peel back the barriers that separated one person from another, exposing them to each other, plumbing the limits of what he discovered, finding where the threshold between one human consciousness and another actually existed.
As he delved into this field of research his subjects became deranged, unstable, so he learned to manage their confusion medicinally, through the intersection of chemical aides and frequency blockers.
Madness and insanity followed his subjects into the breeding pool, in some cultures he established protections for the afflicted, allowing them to thrive and procreate at random, they became holymen and holywomen, oracles and shamans. In other cultures he isolated them, constructing social taboos that identified those traits early and deliberately ostracized them.In all cases they became fodder for his studies, their activities were communicated to him through the institutions he developed.
As much as Jim pretended to care for humanity, in the final analysis human beings were little more than laboratory animals in service to his greater purpose. Jim observed the subtle changes taking place in the human population; in the electromagnetic frequencies he monitored in their cognition and its nearly imperceptible influence on the electromagnetic fields proximate to them.
The patience he had mastered while he was returning to consciousness from the long-silent interval of the great sleep, and during the period of imprisonment in sequestration, and later still on his sojourn as an Observer, leading the thousands of missions he oversaw tracking down the lost colonies of the Ancient People, tracking them all the way to Earth.
He studied these patterns with extreme patience as he pulled the genetic structures of human beings apart, sequencing and resequencing them, combing and recombining them, manipulating the proteins and amino acids that formed the tiniest links in the chain of their genetic profiles.
He reduced them to the foundation of their being, with the objective of strengthening their access to their genetic memory, and enhancing the retention of the key particles, like magnetite and lithium, allowing for individual persons to connect with Earth’s cynergenic field.
Jim was pleased with what he found in his subjects. He was encouraged by their reaction to his work and the feedback he received. Whether the individuals adjusted to and thrived from the alterations he introduced into their genetic profile, or whether they suffered, experienced madness, alienation and pain, Jim was pleased.
Relatively few of the experiments he conducted resulted in death. Most came through the changes alive, aware and able to procreate.
He established different social paradigms in various cultural groups for how to manage the population of the gifted; he coordinated systems to identify them and report them to him for closer observation as their gifts and talents emerged.
As his work progressed, Earth became home to him in a way that no other world had.
Jim felt something like happiness for the first time he could remember as he pursued his mission.
Age after age he pursued his purpose coldly, but the experience of life on Earth made him feel a sense of joy, even pleasure. He felt a sense of safety and personal security enmeshed in Earth’s cynergenic field. He felt a deep connection to humanity and an atavistic connection to the replicants he had made of himself, with all of them working towards the actualization of a common goal.
He was filled with a sense of purpose, and if gratified him as he moved toward the completion of it. These challenges and the surmounting of them brought him another kind of joy. He was looking for resolution, and he found it.
He found it at the end of the line, in the last remnant of the Ancient People still remaining in the galaxy. He found it in human beings with their unique abilities, giving him something for which he was eternally grateful, and he was prepared to offer up the whole of it for the sake of destroying the Continuum.
The humans of Earth and the Collective would burn together on the altar of his sacred purpose, to satisfy his own ambition.
The citizens of the Empire would be the beneficiaries, he told himself, and if Jim was lucky he would escape the onslaught. If he did, he was determined to scour the galaxy for another world like Earth. Intending to build a new civilization from there, and a home where he could end his days.
He worked tirelessly through the agency of his individuated replicants, but even with his cadre of doppelgangers he frequently encountered the limits of what was possible for him to do.
The human population grew quickly, spreading throughout the world. Jim guided them to places where they could establish villages, in areas where the electromagnetic fields were optimal for his research, where there was access to food and water, and where they would develop for the greatest length of time independent from one another.
Jim required autonomous population growth and cultural development to test his hypotheses. He used his agency to establish networks around the world. He cultivated spies, informants and confessors in every tribe.
They were like spiders spinning webs that connected everyone to him.
The people had different names for his spies, calling them priest, shaman, witch-doctor, prophet and oracle. They were the officiants of the sacred rights. They were his eyes and ears among the people. They listened to and recorded everything the people said and did, keeping a special ear out for incidences of the paranormal and psychic intrusion. They were indispensable to him.
Jim built a global system of interlocking cells; each one served their own community first. They were tribalistic in the extreme, and conditioned to be xenophobic as the Continuum prescribed. Each and every independent cell held allegiances to the people of their own tribe first, but at the highest levels they underwent initiations that opened-up their broader purpose.
They were initiated into the sacred mysteries which gave them a glimpse of the galaxy, of the Galactic Empire, of the Collective and the Continuum, which was the demi-urge at its heart.
Jim cultivated a secret cabal, hostile to the Continuum, people who were conditioned to believe that their sacred mission was to prepare the world for the inevitable encroachment of the Empire.
Unity would be required of the people of Earth if they were to survive an encounter with the Empire, and to that end they set aside their tribalism, shared information and cooperated together. Their safety and security depended on it, there was nothing more important, the fate of humanity was at stake.
Jim was extremely selective about who he chose to promote into these ranks. He deliberately chose men and women who had a weak connection to the cynergenic field and a limited capacity for self-reflection. He engineered into their genetic profile capacities for psychic resistance. He never perfected these techniques, but his most trusted spies were drawn from a population pool that were unreadable to ordinary psychics. After careful consideration and vetting, they were subsequently indoctrinated into the secret societies, and every one of them was interconnected by their sense of duty and loyalty to humanity itself, but to Jim above all.
The cloak of secrecy was everything. His people were absolutely trustworthy and their presence allowed Jim the freedom to roam about the world.
Jim had to be able to conceal his work from the Continuum. He had to be able to endure its scrutiny at each and every cycle in which he was required to report to HomeWorld, where he would expose his consciousness to the Continuum, and share his first-hand experience with his fellow members of the Collective.
Jim assigned the cyclical reporting to one of his replicants, a version of himself who was completely committed to the mission Jim had claimed as their common purpose. In preparation for the ordeal to come Jim had restricted the experiences of this one replicant, controlled what it was exposed to, making it so that he had precious few secrets to hide at the moment his consciousness was opened to the powerful examination of the Continuum.
Jim concealed his movements and machinations from the mechana of spycraft that the Continuum had required him to position all around the world; hundreds of satellites with powerful tools for audio and visual surveillance.
He bent them to his demands as much as possible and avoided them where he could.
He had to be even more careful in consideration of the living spies he knew the Continuum had sent to Earth, his fellow members of the Observer Corps who were sent to watch over him and report back to the Continuum covertly.
When Earth entered the digital age, he had to be even more mindful of his actions because he knew the Continuum and its spies had penetrated the information technologies of nations states, and could use their technological resources to sort massive amounts of data at incredible speeds, thereby increasing the likelihood that he would be discovered by an order of magnitude.
Jim orchestrated the development of his international organizations, personally managing the traditions that would allow them to progress, pulling the cloak of secrecy over it, stretching its shadowy tendrils into every facet of human society; the Templars, the Hashishim, the Jesuits, the Free Mason, the Illuminati, they all belonged to him, served his bidding, fulfilled his purpose, by operating in the shadows, well beneath the notice of the Observers Corps.
Jim continued the meditative practices that he had developed, practices which allowed him to partition his mind and thoughts from the Continuum and his fellow members of the Collective. Ever one of his replicants was required to do the same.
He exercised his ability to keep secrets, even from himself. He did so while probing the mysteries of Earth’s cynergenic field. It was unlike the artificial construction on HomeWorld in distinct ways, it did not have the smooth-predictable channels of energy, the linear circuitry, and other structural features that were the product of design and intention.
It was organic, it was messy.
In the crucial moment that was coming Jim knew that he himself would be exposed to the scrutiny of the Continuum, he would have to keep everything he had been planning partitioned behind a wall of sheer will, until the exact time came when the disaster struck and then he would have to let it go the experience of it felt by billions of humans being flow through to the Continuum.
The tension of the timing would be fraught with danger. He had to keep secrets even from himself, shrouding all of his intentions in mystery, he had to trust that his replicants also trusted him, because like him, they were essentially free creatures.
He utilized the institutions he had developed to test and augment his theories, both concerning his own liabilities and concerning the hidden mysteries of Earth.
Jim was Prime, and he watched over his Seconds with systematic scrutiny. His doppelgangers had to be kept out of the information loop for hundreds of cycles, fulfilling the regular functions of the Observer, responsible for reporting to the Continuum, hiding from it only the things which Jim had always kept hidden and was practiced at hiding. His replicants had to remain ignorant of the details of the unfolding mission.
The fact that they remained willing to do so, allowed Jim to believe in the purity of his purpose.
He was proud of himself and what he was accomplishing.
Jim busied himself with work that served a dual purpose, tasks that advanced his personal mission, which also fit within the assignment he had undertaken for the Continuum. He seemed to be devoted to the type of work the Continuum expected him to do; archiving, preserving, recording the history of this world, passing it on to the Collective.
Through his international network Jim kept alive the ancient languages that informed disparate groups and tribes of their essential unity, even the original language that the colonists spoke when they crashed on this planet so many eons ago.
He kept them alive through his secret societies, using them as a vehicle for the initiation of the members as they ascended through the various hierarchies. He hid codes within the prevailing tongues, echoes of those ancient forms of speech that rang out like a bell, or an alarm to the initiate when they heard it. He created auto-hypnotic tropes which they could not resist once their indoctrination was complete, and through the employment of them he moved freely through the circles of power.
Jim did not rely on his machinery to help him construct this network, the risk of its being appropriated by the Continuum was too great. Instead he relied on the ancient methods of oral tradition, and complex mnemonics to achieve those ends. Secrecy was the path to survival. Through Secrecy he instantiated his purpose.
If he was discovery the Earth would be place in immediate in jeopardy, they would not know it until there were Imperial warships in the sky above the tiny blue green planet, juggernauts large enough to blot out the sun.
That would threaten everything.
Jim bided his time.
On earth he was forming a living weapon and he layered into its consciousness an implicit acceptance of cyclical nature of revolution, of the rise and fall of governments.
The individual that emerged from his work would have to be able to see the destruction that he or she was wrecking on the Collective in a contextual framework that seemed natural to them, they had to accept what was in front of them, if they resisted his plan would likely fail.
Jim utilized his network of spies to form political states, to build Empires and dynasties, turning slaves into royalty, making great armies out of herdsmen and nomads, turning bandits into Kings, only to tear them down at the apex of their power, as if it were a natural cycle of growth, death and rebirth.
This satisfied his ambition, and it satisfied the hunger of the Collective as well.
Jim’s was the unseen hand behind the powers and principalities of the world, he was the invisible whisperer that conditioned the policies of the most powerful people. He would point and they would go, taking credit for the movement to themselves, never realizing the deep influence they were subjected to.
The rulers of Earth never fully suspected how they were being manipulated.
He exercised his power in a variety of ways, overtly and covertly, with stealth and might. He was a strategist, and none of the tools of statecraft were out of reach for him: gold, sex, power, fear, he employed them like an artist would a brush, or a sculptor would the chisel and hammer.
The actors on the stage rarely knew what was happening in the grand scheme of things. He guided them with the lightest of touches, planting seeds inside their heads when they were children, reaping the fruit he had sewn when it was ripe. Everything was cultivated and he was the master planter, the invisible gardener tending to everything that grew within his sight.
Jim pushed, ever-so-subtly, he employed a constant application of steady pressure to bring coherence to human government, binding them through language systems, tribal allegiances and systems of fealty.
As time progressed he allowed for the emergence of empires, he formed city states into nations, and principalities into kingdoms. He implemented different governmental systems to stand in tension with one another, fostering hierarchical systems of governance from the top down, which articulated the divine right of the rulers to rule, of the nobility to inherit both wealth and power, and against these hierarchies he allowed for systems of government based on mutuality and common bonds, developed from the implicit understanding that the right to rule stemmed from the consent of the governed.
These were not developments that the Continuum desired, but the drama it produced when civilizations clashed was utterly tantalizing to the Collective.
Jim wrote the laws that governed the great powers of the world, and he established the ministries which those governments revolved around, relied upon. Within those organizations he planted replicants of himself, and the human cadre of followers who were utterly committed to serving his ideals.
They worked together hand in glove to orchestrate global conflict and its resolution. All in the service of Jim’s mission.
He took extraordinary pains to mask his work, keeping it secret from the Continuum against impossible odds, while keeping the human societies that he manipulated in the dark at the same time.
He did not conceal it all, rumors abounded of secret societies and secret powers, but nothing was ever substantiated to link the rumors to the reality of what Jim had actually built.
He was adept at leading the curious down false trails, putting down leads that culminated in absurdities.
Jim was acting under a deadline, he had to achieve his ends before the next great catastrophe struck the planet, this made the passage of time seem like torture, as he pulled millions of threads together in his breeding programs, searching for the perfect vessel to carry fulfill the mission.
He was like a hunter-gatherer looking for something that did not yet exist, the thing that would sustain him. There were times when he doubted whether or not it was possible.
He and his replicants acted in concert, they were as one in their resolve. Their work together was sublime, a transcendent miracle of cooperative effort.
Their deployment allowed him to devote his attention to observing and overseeing the mutation of the human stock. Tracking both the wild progress occurring in the unregulated breeding pools, as well as the planned for changes taking shape in his controlled studies.
It was the safest way to proceed.
There were moments in history when Jim thought he had found the individual he was looking for, but the timing was not right, he could not engineer the crises he required in time to take advantage of their gifts, if those gifts could be fully developed; they were born at a time too distant from the moment of catastrophe.
At those crossroads he felt that he was trapped in a paradox.
There was a prince in the Himalayas, a warrior from Macedonia, a fisherman in Palestine, a camel driver in Arabia, each separated from each other by hundreds of years.
The timing was never right.
His work was like sifting the sand of the ocean floor, or the full harvest of finely milled flour through an equally fine meshed screen. He needed to touch every particle, to look at each one as it passed through the sieve.
He did not rely solely on his network of spies and informants to identify the potential candidates. The reporting on them simply bubbled-up through the social fabric. Over time he learned to take greater efforts in concealing the lives of these extraordinary peoples.
Jim could identify them at a glance, he could see a hue in the Iris, the contour of an earlobe, the shape of a thumb, the texture of hair, physical traits that marked a newborn child as distinct.
They would quickly become the talk of the village, and news carried fast.
Investigators would be dispersed.
Cognitive testing followed, and depending on the results, Jim would place an emissary of some type close to the individual; to protect them, to watch over them, sometimes they would be as intimate as a teacher or a private tutor, at other time they might simply be situated as a remote benefactor.
Every instance was unique, and Jim would provide what support the circumstances called for. The potential candidates were extraordinary people, it was difficult to contain their fame, they had deep connections to their world and their people through the cynergenic field, they were frequently blessed with great physical beauty, strength and power.
Jim would attempt to hide them, to secure their genetic material for his breeding program, and to hide their offspring if he could. He believed that they belonged to him, they were his creation.
Jim’s life was one of deep analytical scrutiny, of asserting, testing and rejecting various hypothesis concerning the exact structure within the human brain that would establish the strongest link to Earth’s cynergenic field.
He tested the population of his subjects in hospitals and asylums, in monasteries and convents, in university laboratories and in prisons, sequencing their genes to either enhance or restrict their capacity to carry the nano-particles of magnetite and other conductive elements within the brain that facilitated cynergy.
He tested candidates in the military, breeding them both for their strength of limb and their mental acuity. He experimented on them as mercilessly as the Continuum ever did, testing the limits of human courage and despair. He was as amoral in his pursuit of his vision as anyone or anything that had ever been created, and he knew it.
The genetic line he was searching for slowly came into focus, he mirrored the properties belonging to his studies and built them into the genetic simulacrum of his own body, but only when he was certain of the risks. He personally felt the power of his design and when that testing was completed he genetically programmed the rest of his aides in the same way.
It gave him greater control and personal security over the autonomous versions of himself that were operative in the field.
In spite of his incredible progress, pulling the desired properties through the human gene pool on Earth was a different matter. It was excruciatingly slow, though it advanced significantly once he knew the properties he was actually looking for.
Jim pushed his program of genetic modification across all fronts.
Year after year he validated his work, verifying and strengthening the enhancements, and their specific features he built into the genetic endowment of the human race; psychicism, extra sensory perception, access to and facility with genetic memory.
He was always on the lookout for persons born with significant advancement in their connection to the cynergenic field, when he found them he exported those genetic traits to the population at large.
As time went on the changes came more rapidly, it was more than he could manage as a single person, without his team of replicants he would have been powerless to control the program he had set in place. He was moving toward his goal; steadily, inexorably moving, and the exercise was changing him. He had become single minded and fixed on one outcome. Nothing else mattered for him and he was despotic in his pursuit of it.
The humans of Earth, these Children of the Ancient People, they represented the answer to the Continuum, and he began to imagine a future for himself within the new Collective he was forming.
He fantasized about saving Earth and himself along with it, after liberating the Empire and destroying the HomeWorld, his esteem for himself was completely reliant on these fantasies.
The sacrifice of the human race would lead to freedom across the Imperium, the sacrifice would be great but a remnant would survive, and he along with them, or so he told himself. After liberating the Empire, the Empire would rescue the survivors on Earth. That became his plan.
Jim brought all the threads he had been weaving for his great-genetic tapestry together in North America, in the United States, a nation lovingly referred to as “the melting pot,” in that place his work came to fruition.
Jim guided its development.
It became the indispensable country, wealthy and powerful and a beacon to the world. Its democratic foundation was the antithesis of everything the Continuum stood for, those principles infused the people with a mythology, a set or archetypes that conditioned its members to be willing to make incredible sacrifices for the greater good.
It was a place where refugees from all over the world came for the hope of peace and justice, for prosperity and advancement, this allowed Jim to watch over both the random interactions that were taking place in the gene pool, at an ever increasing rate, as well as giving him access to the best institution where he could conduct his experiments.
More importantly, his positioning here gave him proximity to the epicenter of the coming disaster, the great caldera volcano lurking at the center of the continent.
When Jim finally identified the families which he surmised would produce the offspring he had been looking for, he inserted himself into their lives as a counselor, so that he could closely observe them for the validation of his hypothesis, and its actualization.
He manipulated them though his agents, preparing them like an artist might prepare a canvas, establishing the material conditions that would bring about the end he had been seeking. He waited, he watched…and what he was looking for did not come from the expected quarter. She came randomly from a discarded thread.
Jim was delighted about this. Nature had produced what he had not.
He found that fitting, poetic.
Her parents named her Katherine, after the saint and martyr from bygone Alexandria, the Patroness of Philosophers who was crushed on the wheel.
Jim was a cautions scientist.
He had long since validated his hypothesis concerning Earth’s cynergenic field, though his original hypothesis was not inclusive of all of its properties. Throughout his thousands of years of research his focus was only on the nature of an individual person’s engagement with it.
Through his programs he validated his theory on how that field could be accessed, the balance of physical properties that must be present in the human brain for it to function in the cynergistically, without at the same time driving the person to madness.
It was a grand design in bio-chemistry and bio-physics, in genetic engineering and the subtleties of quantum mechanics in electromagnetism. The living organism had to be carefully controlled. Their powers and liabilities depended on nature and nurture, both
He was interested in actively controlling it, not merely the passive experience of it. He needed the power to actively manipulate the cynergenic field, both for his own use, and to create the perfect weapon for his plan to destroy the Collective and its Continuum.
Through the millennia he sacrificed hundreds of thousands of subjects, condemning them to insanity. He documented the full scope of their suffering, telling himself that it was a small price for these individuals to pay for the salvation of the whole.
He counseled himself, justifying his crimes on the theory that he was merely seeking to balance the scales of justice.
It was early in the twenty-first century when he found her, before he did, Jim had begun to despair that he never would. He was only a few decades away from the cataclysmic event that he intended to use as the force behind his attack, and He believed he was running out of time.
He had identified a few possible candidates, but based on their cognitive testing and the stability of their psyche he knew that they were not strong enough to manage the psychic connection between Earth and HomeWorld, the cynergenic energy he required his vessel to channel was unknown, therefore their strength had to have no discernable upward limit.
Jim had attempted to engineer a prototype of his replicant body to stand in the place of this vessel, but he failed time and time again. He and his replicants could access the cynergenic field telepathically, but there were limits to what they could do there. There were dimensions of complexity to it that Jim had not been able to fathom and would not be able to until he found the object of his intention.
Just as he was beginning to give up hope and plan for one of his alternatives, she emerged from an obscure corner of his field of research.
Jim found Kathy, at long last.
She was the thing that he had been searching for, his Holy Grail, she was the sacred vessel that would carry his ambitions and deliver justice to the Continuum.
Jim took control of her through his proxies when she still a child, by the time he did her parents were grateful for the opportunity to give her up, and Jim was primed to begin the preparation as his holy victim.
When he found Kathy and tested her skills, he also set out on a detailed examination of her heritage, mapping each contact he had had with her line down through the millennium, through every root and branch of the family tree. Though he did not require this for proof, the study confirmed for him that she was the one.
He had no doubt; Kathy was the product of his ambition. She had received all of the crosses which he had been managing in other lines; only, she had received more, happening at different intervals, her line had incorporated more stabilizing structures in it than he had wanted to build into the genetic profile of his prime candidates.
Now he saw his error, and he was grateful for it.
Kathy did not come from one of his principle studies, she was a wild card.
He thought that was poetic, and he interpreted her arrival as an endorsement of his purpose by the universe itself.
There was something uniquely human about the way Kathy just crept-up on him with her fully realized potential. Now that she had arrived, and Jim had examined her, he knew that it could not have happened any other way and he took this lesson to heart.
Of course there were still many challenges, he had to manage her upbringing and test her abilities exhaustively, but he had to remain distant at the same time. He was afraid that over-involvement might spoil his work; or like a watched pot, she would never boil.
He needed her to boil. Jim needed that vital energy.
As Jim reviewed the file on Kathy’s background he began to feel remiss. He had failed to notice many things, and he began to wonder how many other things he had missed over the decades. He vacillated between an almost mythic overconfidence and his worries there might be a fatal flaw in his plan. He was insecure.
Paranoia set in, he began to suspect his network of human agents, and even more critically he began to suspect the replicants acting on his behalf all around the globe, he began to suspect them of sabotage.
Kathy’s parents had been exceptional subjects, as Jim reviewed the materials related to them, he understood that their abilities and their genetic profile should have been brought to his direct attention years before, but he knew them only from data sheets and statistics. He had only visited Kathy’s parents once each, when they were still children, and he did that before they ever met.
He had no other direct involvement in their upbringing.
He spent enough time with them to conduct some basic testing, enough to establish a baseline on their liabilities, and to complete the auto-hypnotic coding he subjected every person in his breeding program to, making it so that they are unable to resist his suggestions or the controls of his operatives, should they at any time have a need to move them to perform a specific action in a certain way.
Kathy’s parents were docile and kind. They possessed exceptional mental acuity, and artistic abilities but they were unexceptional in other ways.
They met and became coupled up through seemingly random interactions. Like attracts like, as they say, and this was not entirely unusual for subjects in his breeding program.
As Jim examined their case file he saw that he had approved their union, though he had done so without having conducted any further interviews with them, and yet they produced the child that he had been looking for, in a seemingly random coupling.
Because of this extraordinary happenstance Jim viewed Kathy as a miracle.
She was a gift.
Jim secretly delighted in the unexpected, but there was very little that took him by surprise. He was steeped in the examination of possibilities and probabilities. For millions of years his experience of real-time was merely a reduction of long range forecasting, down to the point of actuality.
Kathy’s parents were not in Jim’s main line of research, and so her emergence from that field was a surprise.
In the twentieth century, as the volcano slumbering beneath Yellowstone began to show signs of an imminent eruption, he began to narrow his focus. This caused him to miss things. He had screened Kathy’s parents and approved of their union, but he had rejected the probability matrix which suggested they might produce the fruit he was looking for.
Jim did not expect the vessel to come from them. He was searching for it in an entirely different part of the continent. He expected a male, and he expected that male to come from one of his main lines of research. He was wrong. On a certain level Kathy’s arrival disappointed him, because he wanted to have control over the person who emerged as his prime weapon against the Collective.
He wanted that control from beginning to end.
Jim only visited Kathy and her parents after receiving word that their child had manifested interesting abilities. When Jim examined her he surmised that interesting was an understatement, she was phenomenal, possessing both a strong link to her genetic memory and the greatest sensitivity to the cynergenic field he had ever measured.
She had other savant capabilities that he had not counted on or imagined possible, but which proved crucial to her training.
Jim was cautious in his approach. He needed her to belong to him, fully, willingly and without reservation. He concluded that in his own management of the breeding program, his own interference in it led him to miss obvious queues, which if he had not missed would have led him to the end sooner.
As a result Jim no longer fully trusted himself.
He sent proxies to her parents, human agents to watch over Kathy’s development, people who were under his control, but who had no knowledge of the secret societies they belonged to.
He proceeded with the utmost care. Jim engaged the full scope of his international intelligence and security apparatus to protect her, while at the same time allowing her to develop in as normal a mode as possible. It was vital that Kathy be grounded in the human experience, be empathetic toward suffering, attuned to the necessities of justice, and to desire justice for its own sake.
Jim’s proxies conducted cognitive tests to confirm what Jim suspected, to confirm that Kathy’s intelligence was off the charts. She was unique. She possessed a powerful consciousness that had to be guided through the final stages of its organic growth and maturation.
It was a precarious time, Jim knew that Kathy must develop the tools and skills to wield her power, or insanity would ensue.
Jim found himself operating on two distinct tracks.
On one track he was fighting against time; the super-volcano in Yellowstone was going to erupt, and when it did it would kill tens of millions of people in a matter of minutes, hundreds of millions within hours and billions within days. Through the power of his sensors and monitors he knew when the blast would occur, he had timed it down to mere minutes, he would be able to control the timing within a matter of seconds through the use of the explosives he and his team had situated in the critical structure of the volcano’s magma chamber. He could make it happen sooner if necessary, but he could not delay it.
This filled him with a sense of urgency.
On the other track he delighted in watching Kathy grow, learn, stretch her muscles, and mature. He was proud of his accomplishment in her. Kathy proved herself to be a miracle, she was greater than anything he had ever hoped for. She was genuinely psychic, with the tell-tale signs of cognitive gifts that would aid her in her development and prevent her from falling off the precipice into insanity. She was connected to the cynergenic field and rooted in her genetic memory at one and the same time.
Jim surmised that the presence of her ancestral past within her, something which every human being possessed but which Kathy appeared to have unique access to, that this dimension of her personhood stabilized her, and this filled Jim with hope for her, and for his mission. She was centered in herself and expansive in her consciousness, she was grounded and open to everything, and there were mysteries within her which slowly unfolded for him.
Jim had spent hundreds of millions of years contemplating possibilities, considering probabilities, and tracking eventualities as they shifted into actuality, and still he was surprised when he discovered the broad range of Kathy’s abilities carefully balanced in the cognitive field of such a small-child.
It had seemed to him as if nature could not produce a person with such poise and grace. It was as if she was being taught, trained, conditioned to be able to manage the powers of her formidable mind, from a coterie of teachers that were invisible to him.
Kathy had access to her genetic memory and she was fully immersed within the cynergenic field. She was not the first candidate to manifest such strong connections, she was merely the first who was not driven mad by the capability.
It was a mystery. Kathy was a mystery. She was a self-actualized miracle.
Through his investigation of her aptitude, Jim began to discover new things concerning the field of Earth’s collective unconsciousness. Without being able to prove it, he suspected that there were higher dimensions or frequencies to Earth’s cynergenic field than he himself had been able to access.
He attempted to experiment on replicants of himself, to penetrate the veil which Kathy seemed to be able to move back and forth through at will.
Every experiment ended in a terrifying disaster.
Kathy knew things she could not possibly know. That much was certain. Through his testing of her he surmised that she had knowledge of the past that she had no genetic link to.
He explored the possibility that Kathy could access another person’s genetic memory through her psychic link to them. He was unable to prove that hypothesis, and the truth behind her abilities escaped him.
Jim was an outlier, as a member of the Collective he was virtually alone in his criticism of it. There were others, however, none of them criticized the function and purpose of the Collective itself. They were critics of the process, they were critics of the Continuum, they were critics of the structures that set limitations of their freedom, but not of its existence. Jim had never encountered another member who desired to see their civilization go away.
There were many critics who opted for the great sleep, looking for the dissolution of self, but he had never encountered another who wanted to bring the great society to its final end. There were times that this caused Jim to doubt himself. He felt isolated and alone, and not even a period of communion with his replicants could ease that burden.
Before Kathy emerged from his breeding pool, as the clock was winding down and Jim was doubting if he would ever find the vessel for his rage, he began to experience a sense of fatalism and fear of failure that he had long dreaded. He questioned everything he believed, everything he had thought and done.
Then he discovered Kathy.
Jim looked on her as if she were a gift from the universe itself, as if her arrival was a validation of his purpose.
After her testing was complete he believed in his heart that Kathy would be able to serve as the conduit he needed.
Jim told himself that her sacrifice would be worth it. Through Kathy a remnant of humanity would survive; that is what he told himself.
If he succeeded there would be time for the Empire to reach Earth, after the eruption but before the planet tumbled into its mother star. Through Kathy the Continuum would be dealt a crippling blow, one that would allow Jim to push it over the edge into oblivion.
He convinced himself that he and she were working to fulfill a noble purpose. Kathy would be the agent of salvation for countless Trillions of people.
Her sacrifice was demanded.
She had arrived in the hour of his need, she only needed to be prepared, and the table laid.
Part Eight – Jim
A Novel in Twelve Chapters
#Emergence #ShortFiction #12MonthsOfSciFi
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