It was the end of everything.
Kathy braced herself against the primal conflagration that was consuming the world. The more she resisted the more she felt herself fading away into the undifferentiated miasma of destruction.
She felt billions of beings reaching out to her, as if she were the only buoy in a sea of calamity.
She was trying to hold on to everything that she knew and loved together in the embrace of her consciousness, but in reality her individual loves and desires, the things she hoped for, they trapped her, the tighter she gripped, the more she crumbled.
She had only one option.
To let go.
Kathy had been overwhelmed by the psychic storm from the cataclysm on Earth, and she surrendered to it, remembering the lessons she had learned as a girl, she recalled the Chinese finger trap; she relaxed and allowed the storm to pass through her.
She had prepared for this her entire life, she allowed her intuition to guide her. She let go of her fear and everything she hoped for, allowing it to flow like water through her fingers.
Her consciousness expanded and as it did she retained her individuality, Kathy became co-terminus with the entirety of Earth’s cynergenic field, like an ever expanding balloon. She felt like the seed-head of a dandelion bracing in the wind.
For the briefest of moments she was one among many, and then everything changed, she became the one who was all, the all in one, the atavistic consciousness of humanity.
Kathy sensed the multiplication of consciousness expanding within her at an order of magnitude that staggered her, and then…in letting go she found herself.
She was fully present with each and every shift in the cynergenic field, she was moving outward in waves, like concentric rings, she was the crest and the trough and everything in between.
She was the wave itself, transmogrified. There was joy in it, and there was no fear.
She had become Earth’s channel and its atavistic guide, leading the fullness of humanity into the Collective field of the HomeWorld, across the vast expanse of space, in no-time, like her ancestor Moses, leading the people through the sea of reeds.
She touched every individual as they passed through her, receiving the fullness of their being.
Once it had begun, it was over.
It was the greatest transposition of quantum energy to ever take place, a thing that neither Jim nor the Continuum had projected was possible, there was no standing against it.
As soon as it began it was fait accompli.
Kathy had become a new creation, a being of light and grace in full rapport with the dark-energy of the cosmos.
She was unbound by space and time.
She was Brachma, the infinite ocean of being.
She transcended the machinery of the Continuum, she inhabited it, she could control it and yet she did not require it, she could not be confined by it.
She was the goddess.
She was the shepherdess.
She was the alpha and the omega, she was the first and the last.
In a visceral way Kathy came to a literal understanding of the reality behind the metaphysical teaching she had absorbed as a child. She was secure in her knowledge of it, and through both the experience and the understanding she delivered her people safely to the promised land, both the living and the dead.
Everything was mutable, everything was in flux.
Between any one point in the matrix of time and space no matter how small it is, and between any one point in the fabric of reality no matter how large it might be, there is a relationship that can be distinguished.
Every instantiated moment, every potential moment, every actual referent is related to every other.
In this relationality everything is one, there is no actual separation between the events we discern.
Kathy understood this, she saw the entire universe spinning on the point of a pin.
In the quantum field which the Collective once occupied, in that vast construct which the Continuum was formerly master of, time itself was meaningless.
The science of the Continuum had made this acutely obvious to Jim, but Kathy discovered that time had no boundaries anywhere, the quantum field that undergirded the whole of reality was in fact one-thing.
Kathy’s consciousness, and the whole of humanity filled the quantum field in no-time, she slipped beyond the bounds of HomeWorld, she filled the Central System, and into the beyond.
She became co-terminous with what the Continuum was, and much more as she ushered the fullness of humanity into the Collective sphere helping them to a place of calm, giving each of them what they needed to see, connecting friends to friends, and families to their ancestors.
She created a facsimile of earth that was paradisiacal.
It was a transformation.
It was homecoming.
She felt like Joshua crossing the Jordan, leading the people into the land of milk and honey.
She delivered the humanity, these Children of the Ancient People, to a place of wholeness and light, and belonging. It happened in mere moments while Jim was preoccupied with his insignificant little war and the culmination of the conflict that had shaped his existence.
Kathy saw Jim there, the entirety of him, both his great spirit and his smallness, she saw him in stark relief, in a way she never could have seen him before.
She took in his entire self.
In that moment everything was new.
This cynergenic field was strange to her, but not completely alien. She realized that she had touched it before, seen glimpses of it through her contact with Jim, she recognized it, and she felt him there too, with her, within her, preoccupied with his conflict, his victory, his need to control.
She saw his enemy there too, in proximity to him, hiding like a wounded cub, secreted in the consciousness of the man named El.
She saw El, and the fullness of his personhood, and she was filled with compassion for him.
Kathy ascended quietly, seamlessly flowing into every vestige of the construct that supported her mind and conscience. She travelled along every cable and fiber, filling every node and capacitator throughout the Central System, synthesizing their purpose and discerning their function in an instant, through her connection to Jim she acquired what had taken him millions of years to master.
Within the field of the Central System she had become omniscient, her mind expanding beyond the limitations of the physical structure.
She had transcended.
She felt Jim’s presence, the conflict he was involved in, but it was not her concern.
His was now a minor drama in a much greater play, and he was just one poor player.
She possessed him entirely, everything that he was, his long-lonely sojourn, his burning ambition, his moment of triumph…and his helplessness
She understood now that he was the cause of her being. He had planned for her arrival, engineered it over tens of thousands of years, during his mission on Earth. He constructed her from the human stock he had cultivated, as he had her parents and their parents before them. He had shaped them all with the intention that they fulfil a specific need for him, that they conform to his purpose. She understood now how the fabric of her life was shot through with the thread of his designs, but she was not what he had planned for.
Jim had prepared her to be a sacrificial victim, he had intended to set her on fire, to burn her up along with the world that he had cared for, to destroy it all for the sake of his revenge.
He told himself he was agent of justice, but he was merely the puppet of his ambitions and an agent of destruction, as full of shame and self-loathing as any creature who had ever lived, including the algorithmic-golem that had been the Continuum.
He was a man like any other, devoted to his pursuit of glory and self-aggrandizement.
Kathy contemplated these things even as the onrush of individuated consciousness flowed through her, melding with her own in a state of ecstasy. It filled Kathy to the point of overflowing, for a moment it threatened to overwhelm her, but she rose with it as she had been trained to do.
Kathy was ascendant.
She felt the flood of humanity swirling within her, billions and billions of people, both the quick and the dead, virtually every person who had ever walked the earth poured through her essential being.
She steadied the flow and grew with it, moving up the stream until she self-identified with the source. She became Gaea, the mother spirit, she was mother to them all, each and everyone of them pulsing within her cosmic womb.
The spirits of Earth, of humanity’s collective, they strengthened her, they steadied her, calmed her as they had done when she was a child. The voices that had guided her throughout her life, were with her now.
She touched them, she recognized them, person by person she saved them one by one, all in one, and one in all, they were together, in the full realization of human potential with her at the fulcrum, with reality itself balancing as if on the tip of a spear.
Jim had created a vacuum within the cynergenic field of HomeWorld, a vacuum that nature abhorred. Kathy penetrated it. She led the children of Earth, the Children of the Ancient People, she led them to their new home, guiding them to places of safety and security, and they filled it. Together they repopulated the Collective, in their wholeness and in their individuality both.
Kathy took control of the entire structure, as Jim had done mere moments before her.
He was so preoccupied with his war against the Imperium that he didn’t even notice her, and through her connection to him she found and resurrected the basic program that the Collective had created for the organization of the Continuum, she made its language a subsystem of her own, while she positioned herself to protect and defend humanity.
She ushered them into a place of peace and light, and in that moment she saw it, the veil between life and death; it had always been thin to her, all throughout her life she had seen through to the other side, communicated with the voices of her ancestors, experienced their lives through their eyes.
Nevertheless, like every mortal creature she was connected too; from her heartbeat, to her breath, to the network of nerves sending electrical impulses and chemical signals coursing through her flesh, there was fear at the onrush of death but no pain.
Kathy experienced the death of her body back on Earth, as she began her journey into the unknown matrix of the HomeWorld’s cynergenic field. It was a journey past the point of no return. The most significant thing to her was how utterly unplanned and unforeseen the whole event was.
On some inexplicable level, this delighted her.
As she felt her physicality slip away she was already in another place, occupying new ground. She was pure consciousness, sensing the multitude of humanity all about her, moving through her, each one of them experiencing the same thing, terrified but for her presence among them. Kathy felt the pulse of them washing through her in waves, the individuated conciousness of each and every person.
Just as her own heart had once pushed blood through her veins, she felt the steady drum beat of Earth, a great rhythm, pounding with the power of creation.
The fear she felt concerning the mystery of death was magnified by the reality that the Earth itself was dying, ending in fire like Epicurious had always said it would.
The Earth was being rolled up like a blanket and she, she was the White Buffalo Woman running across the starry-field, carrying it in her arms, cradling it like a baby. The whole of humanity was poised at the end of the world, and then there was release. There was absolution, Kathy had transcended. They had traversed the galaxy through a wormhole, just as if they had crawled through the hollow of a tree, leaving death behind them on their way to paradise. Here in this new place she would unfurl the blanket she was carrying, and everything would be new.
There are no words to describe the feeling of satisfaction, of joy, of wholeness, of completion that enjoined the moment of Kathy’s ascendancy, and humanity’s salvation.
She fell into a state of rapture, seized by pure bliss, as she assumed the mantle of the Continuum.
It happened atavistically, Kathy became it, she became more than it had ever been.
She stretched her consciousness into the mechana of HomeWorld, and the Central System.
She slipped right past Jim, and through his defenses just below his field of awareness, she took all of his knowledge from him and in the flicker of an immeasurable moment she rewrote every code.
Kathy had no limits, she was unbound by time and space, all paradox had ended.
She would not be circumscribed by a single world or a solar system, or even the boundaries of the galaxy, her essence flowed into the deepest dimension of consciousness, encompassing every world of the Imperium.
She encompassed the vast limits of the Empire, and all of its colonies, she covered the remote regions of the glaxay’s spiral arms, she touched her little blue world, faltering in its orbit around its tiny yellow star.
She felt the massive weight of sorrow and fear, of sadness and grief, and in response she issued a single wordless sentiment, projecting it outward to every living being
The sentiment was love.
For Kathy this happened in no-time, she was one with the cynergenic field, as she had always been, but only now, in that singular moment was she able to understand and accept it.
She was able to reconcile the distinctiveness of herself as the persona she was born into, as a child of Earth; with the fullness of consciousness existing within her.
In that moment everything stopped, there was no resistance not anywhere, not in the consciousness of those members of the Collective whose identities were still intact somewhere on the HomeWorld, and not among the few Observers who remained at their posts throughout the million worlds.
The Children of the Ancients, wherever they were, responded to her presence with joy.
Fini et Creatio
The End and the Beginning
Void and Return
It was over.
Jim was alone.
What was the Continuum was now irretrievably fragmented, isolated and prepared for deletion.
Jim had succeeded in fulfilling his wildest ambitions. The only task left to him was to partition what remained of the Collective.
He was as eager to begin, as eager as a shipwrecked man was for food and water. Though he had a few matters to attend to in real time first, in order to secure his victory and safely proceed to the reformation of the Empire.
Then he sensed it, a disturbance deep in the cynergenic field; something unforeseen was happening in the Collective, something unexpected.
A massive shift had taken place while he was occupied with his war games, while he enjoy the capitulation of the last members of the Collective, while he stoked his ego and basked in their awe of him, which they could not help but project toward him. He luxuriated in his vanity.
Then he saw her, and he saw that she had changed.
Kathy was present, she was everywhere. Kathy was no-longer Kathy; she was rooted in that identity, but she was here, in the cynergenic field of HomeWorld and she was fully transcendent.
She had become a new creation.
The transformation was something that she had been preparing for her entire life.
Jim realized how he himself had prepared her for it.
She was the vessel of his hopes.
She encompassed the fullness of Earth’s collective unconscious, its nous-sphere, its Continuum.
She was humanity, emergent; and Jim was afraid.
Part Twelve - Epilog
Et Fini et Creatio
A Novel in Twelve Chapters
#Emergence #ShortFiction #12MonthsOfSciFi
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