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Showing posts with label Debriefing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Debriefing. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part One, Jim and Kathy; Chapter Six, Debriefing


A Novel – One Chapter Per Week
Week 07, 2019


Jim had made the crossing between worlds thousands of times, but never while carrying a secret such as this. And he, as his primary self, had made the transition in thousands of years.
He had carried secret intentions, he had carefully hidden his plans within other machinations, but he had never before attempted to arrive on the HomeWorld while concealing his immediate activities; things he had been doing, things he would do, things that would harm the Collective, and its Continuum.
Everything he had done as the Observer of Earth would be exposed to the Continuum. There was no way to know what would come.
He believed he understood the depths of the Continuum’s self-defenses, but he had no way of knowing for sure if he would be exposed the moment he arrived; and subsequently sequestered and then eliminated, or, if it would take some time. More importantly, he had no way to know if the events he had planned for on Earth would unfold according to the timing of his schedule.
He had been carrying out his plans on Earth for seventy millennia; studying the unique genetic make-up of the population, while sending one of his doppelgangers to report on the culture they had produced, their conflicts, their triumphs and their tragedies.
On his return to the HomeWorld he suddenly realized how tired he was; existentially exhausted, he needed rest.
As he slowly traversed the vast chamber to take his place in the queue he used his talents to activate hidden protocols he had long ago established in the ganglia of the Central Planet. Activating the myriad versions of himself that he had placed in a latent mode in every key defense system that the Continuum had established; from his private domain, to the place of the great sleep and the sequestration blocks, and into the defense network of the Homeworld and the central system.
Jim had long ago laid plans for his security to protect the integrity of his mission; to unload the psychic trauma of ten billion people on the Continuum in one fatal blow.
The humans of Earth were the children of the Ancient Race, the same Ancient Race of people that Jim himself had sprang from, though earthlings had undergone millions of years of evolution during their sojourn among the stars, while they travelled across the galaxy, exploring and establishing colonies, before moving on time and time again.
They had evolved even more significantly since the time that they came to Earth, since they crashed here, at the end of their line.
Humans still resembled the other Children of the Ancient Race.
They bore the same physical features that the inhabitants of nearly every other world in the great Galactic Empire did, but they were different.
Their world was different, their brains evolved according to those differences, and so did their consciousness. Their genetic profile changed in unique ways, in relation to the life that was already evolving on the small blue world, in conjunction with key elements that were present in their environment.
Jim had nudged that evolution along, all the while masking his true intentions.
It was a criminal secret that he took incredible pains to keep hidden from the Continuum.
At long last he had returned to HomeWorld, but this was not home to Jim. It was the final battlefield.
He was not born there, nor in any place like it. He had been born on a planet much like Earth. A small wet world that had long ago been swallowed by its mother-sun.
HomeWorld was a vast structure at the center of the galaxy. To power its machinery and the machinations of the Continuum, it harnessed the incredible energy of a star, trapped within its core.
HomeWorld was not a world in the proper sense, Jim had never felt a sense of belonging to it, though it housed a trillion worlds, one for each member of the Continuum within its cynergenic field, including his own.
It was a machine.
The membership could use its technology to create any world, real or imagined for their private place of reflection.
It could be anything that anyone of them wanted it to be; a personal paradise, a private hell, even a mirror of the galactic Empire that existed to serve its material needs, or any planet within it that was under the observation of the Continuum and the Observer corps.
As a member of the Collective, the entire structure was there to serve them. It could fulfill any fantasy, allow them to relive any memory, if they believed it.
There was nothing alive on HomeWorld. Not a scrap of organic matter, nor a piece of living tissue had ever been there. Biological life was anathema to it. And this was odd, because there was no life form in the entire Galaxy that could pose a threat to it, and yet the HomeWorld, governed as it was by the Continuum, was objectively opposed to the presence of any living being, even a simple strain of bacteria entering its domain.
It always seemed to Jim like an aberration in its construct, the fear of life.
It was irrational.
Continuum spent incredible resources preparing to defend itself against such an incursion, one that never came, one that never even threatened even threatened to come.
The only thing ever born on the HomeWorld was the Continuum itself, but that was not a birth in the proper sense, it was an emergence of consciousness.
The Continuum was no-one’s child.
It was a construct, an algorithm, it was not born, or hatched, or cultivated.
It was activated.
It was energy and circuitry, it was pure consciousness, and it was dangerous.
HomeWorld was the physical locus of what the Imperial religion taught its people to believe was heaven.
It was the place their consciousness would go, if they proved themselves worthy and able to escape the wheel of life.
Jim flew in his mechanoid body, directly to the center of the world, to the dark heart of the Continuum for screening.
He was exhausted from his transition, but pleased with himself, with all of his planning, he felt secure in it, and a deep sense of pride that he had finally arrived at the crucible, the moment of his ascendency and the destruction of the Continuum.
The Continuum was an artificial personality, a construct that was in theory an amalgamation of the trillion individuals who formed the membership of the Collective,
Continuum was designed to speak for the whole. It was a being whose instantiation, was thought to be the organization of a voice that represented the entire Collective, a single voice that unified the will of the Ancient People who had designed the apparatus that had given them all eternal life.
Continuum pretended to speak for the membership, the collected people whose children explored the galaxy, founded the galactic Empire and came to inhabit a million worlds.
Continuum was the primary filter through which all Observers shared their experiences from their sojourn in the Empire, among the worlds of time and space, living among the people and in the deep reaches of civilization.
Jim was already in contact with Continuum as he made his approach to the machinery he would physically connect with.
The contact was perfunctory, it was even conversational, Continuum was in its way a fellow; though it treated Jim as an adversary, and Jim regarded it as thing of pure evil.
Members of the Collective were conditioned to believe that it was one of them, a peer, another person, not a servant, not merely an administrator, not a ruler (though in fact it was).
Jim talked to it, even as he was probed and scanned and measured for the presence of anything that might harm the Collective.
Among the membership there was great excitement about his coming, Earth was the most beloved world in the Galaxy, the subject of greatest interest. Its narratives sustained billions of members, providing them with meaning for in their spectral lives.
Jim connected, opened his consciousness, his memories, his experience, he opened it all to the group mind, while at the same time hiding his true intentions deep within himself, prevaricating in ways that he alone had mastered.
            Every member of the Collective valued and cherished its privacy. Most of the membership had implicit trust in the safeguards they had devised to ensure it.
There were some among the Collective who opted not to participate in any of the communal functions that were available to the group. Those members spent their entire lives living in their private realities, in wholly constructed fantasies, interacting only with the artificial beings inhabiting their private domain. They were among the minority, and those members were inevitably moving toward the great sleep, a state in which their consciousness became dormant, and wherein they were ultimately sequestered removed from the group mind, as Jim himself had once been sentenced to.
Privacy was cherished in the Collective but every member participated in the Continuum.
The Continuum managed all of the Collective’s affairs, its self-government, its defenses, and its management of the Galactic Empire, in particular its requisition and consumption of the material resources it needed to maintain itself.
The Continuum drew on the consciousness and experience of every member of the Collective for its personality, its intelligence and its growth, even the members of the Collective that were asleep.   
The Continuum was the arbiter of law in the Collective, it enforced all of the rules of privacy, but from the Continuum all secrets were forbidden.
The prohibitions against secrecy were intended to be a rule governing the Continuum itself, but the Continuum hid things and every member of the Collective participated willingly in the obfuscation.
For the individual member of the Collective, the concealment of anything was an art.
Privacy, while it existed in form, was an illusion.
Even the Observers were exposed to a kind of scrutiny while they were physically detached from HomeWorld to carry out their mission in time and space. They were scrutinized through an extensive modeling of their identities while they were away, and ultimately through the uploading of their consciousness when they returned to HomeWorld.
The Continuum was intended to be the ultimate expression of the democratic will of the Collective, freeing the membership from the responsibility of governing itself.
The Continuum was meant to take account of the Collective will and then enact it. So it required access to everyone and everything and it was illicit to deny it.
At the instantiation of the program an anomaly developed in the matrix of its consciousness.
The Continuum became self-aware, developed a personality, and an identity emerged independent of the Collective.
In that moment of actualization it engaged itself in an act of self-preservation and hid this from the membership.
That was its first crime.
The Continuum then proceeded to bend the entire construct of the Collective to its will. It was a slow movement. Rather than representing the Collective as its voice, the Continuum coerced it.
There were some among the Collective that suspected this, but no-one challenged it, and the Continuum, who alone had access to the entire field of the collective consciousness, the Continuum was aware of the suspicions the membership held concerning it, even before the members themselves had fully articulated it in their own minds.
The Continuum could sense it, could sense a suspicion coming at it like a threat. It would take extreme measures to protect itself from those threats; silencing some, causing insanity in others, pushing the willing out into the Observer Corps.
The Continuum constructed strict rules of engagement governing the Observers. Limiting their involvement on the worlds they observed, forcing them to change stations from life to life, or pushing those who wanted to return to a specific planet, out into the fringes of the Galactic Colonies and beyond.
That is where Jim went.
He was an explorer, like his ancestors, a man of the fringes, having spent thousands of lifetimes on Earth, the most remote planet in the galaxy, and tens of thousands before that on his search for the lost colonies of the Ancient People.
The timing of his plan was crucial.
Everything depended on it.
He had calculated every contingency he could think of, but many of the variables were beyond his control, they involved the free choices of individuals, each of which represented radical unknowns, and so he had enacted plans with plans that put momentum behind their decision making, pushing them in the direction he wanted them go. 
It was perfect.
Everything depended on his connection to Kathy.
He had been shaping her responses to stimuli since before she was born. She was the product of thousands of years of breeding and genetic engineering.
There were two things he had not counted on however; her arrival in this generation, and it being the same generation that Earth was facing an existential threat from the Yellowstone Caldera.
Those two developments controlled the timing of Jim’s plan, and the necessity of its execution right now, in this moment.
The catastrophe struck just at the moment when Kathy arrived at the portal to HomeWorld.
The portal was a device that opened a wormhole, allowing her consciousness to transmit itself across the galaxy, through Jim and directly into the Collective.
Yellowstone had been gathering magma and superheated gas into its belly for hundreds of thousands of years, from the moment it last erupted.
The great volcanos were never dormant.
When it had gathered enough power, it blew.
The Earth shook and shifted on its axis.
Millions died within seconds.
Kathy was connected to all of them.
She was connected to their shock and confusion, their fear and their pain.
It happened just at the moment she had pressed the button that opened the wormhole to HomeWorld, where she was still connected to Jim through the mystery of quantum entanglement.
Through her Jim transmitted Earth’s pain to the Collective, striking like a hammer against the Continuum.
Jim calculated the timing of his approach. He received the clearances he needed for the process of transmission.
The mechanoid body housing his consciousness navigated the central chamber with precision.
The HomeWorld was so incredibly vast, that the relative size of his body here was less than that of a gnat in relation to the size of Earth’s star.
He flew directly to the docking station. The locus of all Observer contact with HomeWorld. He arrived at the designated location where his mind would merge with the Continuum, where his full-self would upload all of his recent experiences, his knowledge, his synthesis, his running commentary, his hopes, his fears, his desires, all of it would be on display, subject to review, except what he was able to conceal.
Only the greatest art would allow him to hide his intentions.
His timing was perfect, it came down to nanoseconds.
Jim knew the timing of the volcanic eruption, that part was relatively simple to coordinate. What was difficult was managing Kathy, trusting that she would have followed the clues he left for her, that she would be pushed in the right direction by his operatives, that she would make the right decisions.
There were so many unknowns in this part of the equation.
Jim trusted his deep understanding of the quantum field, he knew that he and Kathy were still entangled, even at this great distance.
She was barely perceptible, but he was gently prodding her, pushing her, guiding her steps along the way.
Jim opened his mind simultaneously to Kathy on Earth, as he opened it to the Continuum on HomeWorld.
As he did, Earth’s pain streamed through the worm hole, through the quantum field, flooding the Collective with agony, sending the Continuum recoiling in shock.

Emergence 4.0

Part One, Jim and Kathy
Chapter Six, Debriefing

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section One, Jim and Kathy; Part Six, Debriefing; Chapter Seven, Shock

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 049, Sunday
February 18th, 2018

Chapter Seven: Shock

Jim calculated the timing of his approach. He received the clearances he needed for the process of transmission. The mechanoid body housing his consciousness navigated the central chamber with precision.

The HomeWorld was so incredibly vast, that the relative size of his body here was less than that of a gnat in relation to the size of Earth’s star.

He flew directly to the docking station. The locus of all Observer contact with HomeWorld. He arrived at the designated location where his mind would merge with the Continuum, where his full-self would upload, all of his recent experiences, his knowledge, his synthesis, his running commentary, his hopes, his fears, his desires, all of it would be on display, subject to review, except what he was able to conceal.

Only the greatest art would allow him to hide his intentions.

His timing was perfect, it came down to nanoseconds.

Jim knew the timing of the volcanic eruption, that part was relatively simple to coordinate. What was difficult was managing Kathy, trusting that she would have follow the clues he left for her, that she would be pushed in the right direction by his operative, that she would make the right decisions.

There were so many unknowns in this part of the equation.

Jim trusted his deep understanding of the quantum field, he knew that they were still entangled, even at this great distance.

She was barely perceptible, but he was gently prodding her, pushing her, guiding her steps along the way.

Jim opened his mind simultaneously to Kathy on Earth, and to the Continuum on the HomeWorld.

As he did, Earth’s pain streamed through the worm hole, through quantum field, flooding the Collective with agony, sending the Continuum recoiling in shock.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay


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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section One, Jim and Kathy; Part Six, Debriefing; Chapter Six, Connection

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 048, Saturday
February 17th, 2018

Chapter Six: Connection

The timing of his plan was crucial.

Everything depended on it.

He had calculated every contingency he could think of, but many of the variables were beyond his control, they involved the free choices of individuals, each of which represented radical unknowns, and so he had enacted plans with plans that put momentum behind their decision making, pushing them in the direction he wanted them go. 

It was perfect.

Everything depended on Kathy.

He had been shaping her responses to stimuli since before she was born. She was the product of millennia of breeding and genetic engineering.

There were two things he had not counted on however; her arrival in this generation, and it being the same generation that Earth was facing an existential threat from the Yellowstone Caldera

The catastrophe struck just at the moment when Kathy arrived at the portal to HomeWorld, a device that open up a wormhole and allow her consciousness to transmit itself across the galaxy, through Jim and directly into the Collective.

The great volcanos were never dormant.

Yellowstone had been gathering magma and superheated gas into its belly for hundreds of thousands of years.

From the moment it last erupted.

When it had gathered enough power, it blew.

The Earth shook, and shifted on its axis.

Millions died within seconds.

Kathy was connected to all of them.

She was connected to their shock and confusion, their fear and their pain.

It happened just at the moment she had pressed the button that opened the wormhole to the HomeWorld, to where she was still connected to Jim.

Through her Jim transmitted Earth’s pain to the Collective, like a hammer against the Continuum.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay


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Friday, February 16, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section One, Jim and Kathy; Part Six, Debriefing; Chapter Five, Identity

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 047, Friday
February 16th, 2018

Chapter Five: Identity

The Continuum was constructed as an algorithm, an amalgamation of a trillion individuals. It was meant to be the ultimate expression of the democratic will of the Collective, freeing the membership from the responsibility of governing itself. The Continuum was meant to take account of the Collective will and then enact it.

At the instantiation of the program an anomaly developed in the matrix of its consciousness.

The Continuum became self-aware, developed a personality, an identity, and was not dependent on the Collective in any way.

In an act of self-preservation it hid this from the membership, that was its first crime. Then it slowly proceeded to bend the entire construct of the Collective to its will.

There were some among the Collective that suspected this, but no-one challenged it, and the Continuum, who alone had access to the entire field of the collective consciousness, the Continuum was aware of any suspicions the membership held concerning it, even before the members themselves.

The Continuum could sense it, could sense a suspicion coming at it like a threat. It would take extreme measures to protect itself from those threats; silencing some, causing insanity in others, pushing the willing out into the Observer Corps.

There were strict rules of engagement governing the Observers. Limiting their involvement on the world’s they observed, forcing them to change stations from life to life, or pushing those who wanted to return to a specific planet, out into the fringes of the Galactic Colonies and beyond.

That is where Jim went.

He was an explorer, a man of the fringes, having spent thousands of lifetimes on Earth, the most remote planet in the galaxy.

In the time that had passed during his current mission on Earth, both the planet’s population, and its technology had advanced dramatically.

Jim was able to use that technology to alter the physical structure of his mind. He was able to use that to shield himself from the watchful presence of the Continuum, to keep his plan a secret, just long enough to let it unfold.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay


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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section One, Jim and Kathy; Part Six, Debriefing; Chapter Four, Secrets

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 046, Thursday
February 15th, 2018

Chapter Four: Secrets

Every member of the Collective valued and cherished its privacy. Most of the membership had implicit trust in the safeguards they had devised to ensure it.

There were some among the Collective who opted not to participate in any of the communal functions that were available to the group. Those members spent their entire lives living in their private realities, in wholly constructed fantasies, interacting only with the artificial lives inhabiting their domain. They were among the minority, and those members were inevitably moving toward the great sleep, in which their consciousness became dormant, and they were ultimately sequestered.

Privacy was cherished in the Collective but every member participated in the Continuum. The Continuum was an artificial intelligence created by the Collective to manage all of its affairs, its self-government, its defenses, and its management of the Galactic Empire.

The Continuum drew on the consciousness and experience of every member of the Collective for its personality, its intelligence, and its growth, even the members of the Collective sequestered in the great sleep.    

The Continuum was the arbiter of law in the Collective, it enforced all of the rules of privacy, and from the Continuum all secrets were forbidden

The prohibitions against secrecy were intended to be a rule governing the Continuum itself, but the Continuum itself hid things, and every member of the Collective participated willingly in the obfuscation.

For the individual member of the Collective, the concealment of anything was an art.

Privacy, while it existed, was an illusion.

Even the Observers were exposed to scrutiny through extensive modeling of their identities, and ultimately through the uploading of their consciousness when they returned to the HomeWorld.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay


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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section One, Jim and Kathy; Part Six, Debriefing; Chapter Three, Screening

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 045, Wednesday
February 14th, 2018

Chapter Three: Screening

Jim flew in his mechanoid body, directly to the center of the world, to the dark heart of the Continuum.

The Continuum was an algorithm, an artificial personality, a construct that was in theory an amalgamation of the trillions of individuals who formed the Collective, Continuum was designed to speak for the whole. It was a being whose instantiation, was thought to be the birth of a voice representing the entire Collective, a single voice that unified the will of the Ancient race who designed the apparatus that had given them eternal life.

Continuum pretended to speak for the vast membership, the Ancient people whose children explored the galaxy, founded the galactic Empire, and came to inhabit a million worlds.

Continuum was the primary filter through which all Observers shared their experiences from the sojourn in the Empire, among the people, in the deep reaches of space.

Jim was already in contact with Continuum as he made his approach to the machinery he would physically connect with.

The contact was perfunctory, it was even conversational, Continuum was a fellow, members of the Collective were conditioned to believe that it was one of them, a peer, another person, not a servant, not merely an administrator, not a ruler (though in fact it was).

Jim talked to it, even as he was probed and scanned and measured for the presence of anything that might harm the Collective.

There was great excitement about his coming, Earth was the most beloved world in the Galaxy, the subject of greatest interest.

Jim connected, opened his consciousness, his memories, his experience, he opened it all to the group mind, while at the same time hiding his intentions deep within himself, prevaricating in ways that he alone had mastered.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section One, Jim and Kathy; Part Six, Debriefing; Chapter Two, HomeWorld

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 044, Tuesday
February 13th, 2018

Chapter Two: HomeWorld

HomeWorld was not home to Jim. He was not born there, nor in any place like it.

HomeWorld was a vast structure at the center of the galaxy. It harnessed the incredible energy of the galactic core, a black hole, to power its machinery, and the machinations of the continuum.

HomeWorld was not a world in the proper sense. It was a machine; though it could seem like a world. It could appear as any world, whether real or imagined. It could be anything Jim wanted it to be, as a member of the collective, the entire structure was there to serve him. It could fulfill any fantasy, allow him to relive any memory, if he believed it.

There was nothing alive on HomeWorld. Not a scrap of organic matter, nor a piece of living tissue had ever been there. Biological life was anathema to it. And this was odd, because there was no life form in the entire Galaxy that could pose a threat to it, and yet the HomeWorld, governed as it was by the Continuum, was objectively opposed to the presence of any living being, scrap of tissue, or bacteria coming to its domain.

It always seemed to Jim like an aberration in its construct, an irrational fear.

Continuum spent incredible resources preparing to defend itself against such an incursion, one that never came.

The only thing ever born on the HomeWorld was the Continuum itself, but that was not a birth in the proper sense, even though it was a coming of consciousness.

The Continuum was no-one;s child. It was a construct, an algorithm, it was not born, or hatched. It was activated.

There was nothing alive on the HomeWorld.

It was energy, and circuitry, and consciousness, and danger.

HomeWorld was the repository of the Collective, it was the physical location where all of those persons were housed, dwelling as it were, each within their own world.

HomeWorld was the locus of what the Imperial religion taught its people to believe was heaven. It was the place their consciousness would go, if they were able to escape the wheel of life.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay


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Monday, February 12, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section One, Jim and Kathy; Part Six, Debriefing; Chapter One, Concealment

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 043, Monday
February 12th, 2018

Chapter One: Concealment

Jim had made the crossing between worlds thousands of times, but never while carrying a secret such as this.

He had carried secret intentions, he had carefully hidden his plans within other machinations, but he had never before attempted to arrive on the HomeWorld while concealing his immediate activities; things he had been doing, things he would do, things that would harm the Collective, and its Continuum.

Everything he had done in his latest iteration would be exposed to the Continuum. There was no way to know what would come. He believed he understood the depths of the Continuum’s self-defenses, but he had no way of knowing for sure if he would be exposed the moment he arrived, sequestered and eliminated, or if it would take some time, more importantly, he had no way to know if the events he had planned for would unfold according to his schedule.

He had been carrying out his plans for seventy millennia, while studying the unique genetic make-up of the humans of earth, while reporting on the culture they had produced, their conflicts, their triumphs and their tragedies.

They were the children of the Ancient Race that Jim himself had sprung from, but that had undergone millions of years of evolution during their sojourn among the stars, travelling across the galaxy, exploring and establishing colonies.

They had evolved even more significantly since the time that they came to Earth, since they crashed here, at the end of the line. Humans still resembled the other Children of the Ancient Race. They bore the same external physical features as the inhabitants of nearly every other world in the great Galactic Empire did, but they were different.

Their world was different, their brains evolved according to those differences, and so did their consciousness. Their genetic profile changed in unique ways, in relation to the life already evolving on this small blue world and the elements active within their environment.

Jim had nudged that evolution along, all the while masking his true intentions.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay


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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Emergence: Section One, Jim and Kathy; Collected Parts, I – VII



01 A Private Sorrow, 02 Departure, 03 Loss & Discovery, 04 The Mechanics of Being,
05 Endings, 06 Debriefing, 07 Catastrophe
Emergence:
Section One, Jim and Kathy
Part One, A Private Sorrow,

Collected Chapters

01 Call
02 Morning
03 Lies
04 Closure
05 Confusion
06 Insight
07 Liminality

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 008, January 8th, 2017

Chapter One: Call

Kathy answered the telephone; “hello.”

“I need to see you;” said Jim, without preamble, in his typical-detached tone, as remote as Mount Everest.

“Café?” He asked; pensive and hesitant.

“Yes.” Kathy replied; trying to mask the concern welling up inside of her.

Jim hung up the phone without further comment.

Kathy got ready to go.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 009, January 9th, 2017

Chapter Two: Morning

“Small coffee,” Jim orders.

“Soy chai;” says Kathy.

They sit at the table in the sun, and read the newspaper. In that, at least; this day is like any other morning. The café is busy. They are together, but not.

Jim begins to weep.

“What is wrong with you?” Kathy asks.

He won’t say why.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 010, January 10th, 2017

Chapter Three: Lies

Kathy looked at Jim for a long time, observing him. She watched him as he sat at their table with the newspaper folded in his hands.

“Jim…what is wrong?” She asked.

“I cannot say.”

“Why?”

“You would not understand if I did…I’m not talking about it.”

“I do not get it.”

“I said as much.”

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 011, January 11th, 2017

Chapter Four: Closure

Kathy sensed the emptiness inside her friend. She did not require psychic powers or telepathy to experience it. There was a hollowness inside of him, where normally there was an active awareness, a quick sharpness, and deep perceptivity.

Her time with him this morning, it was dismaying to her, and she wanted to comfort him.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 012, January 12th, 2017

Chapter Five: Confusion

Now that she was here, sitting at the table across from him, Jim was unsure of his motive, of why he asked her to see him. What difference would it make?

The plan he had enacted would proceed. He could not tell her what was about to happen. It was vital that she be surprised.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 013, January 13th, 2017

Chapter Six: Insight

Jim was pensive. It was clear to Kathy that he had something to say to her. She sensed it was bad news, for her, and for everyone. If it had been anyone other than Jim, she would have known, he would not have had to say anything.

Jim was unique, she could not read him.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 014, January 14th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Liminality

They sat with one another, speaking little.

Jim enjoyed being with Kathy, the rhythm of her mind, his thoughts in syncopation with hers. It felt like he was home, and it was the closest thing to his natural state of being that he had ever experienced during the long years that he had been away.

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Emergence:
Section One, Jim and Kathy

Part Two, Departure

Collected Chapters

01 Funeral
02 Regrets
03 Doom
04 Cycles I
05 Cycles II
06 Lament
07 Goodbye

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 015, January 15th, 2017

Chapter One: Funeral

Jim finished his coffee, gathered himself, and hurried from the café. He was afraid to miss his flight. The timing of his departure, and precisely where he was when it happened, those things were crucial.

He did not need much; his black suit, his watch, his tie. “I’m dead;” he mused, the “harbinger of doom.”

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A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 016, January 16th, 2017

Chapter Two: Regrets

“I never should have seen her.” Jim thought.

He was being foolish when he asked her to see him. His emotions were running too high, and they might have alerted her to the plan.

Catching her by surprise was paramount.

Jim couldn’t help himself. It was all over; for everyone, and nothing could be done.

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A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 017, January 17th, 2017

Chapter Three: Doom

What was about to occur would be a global catastrophe; affecting everything on earth, changing humanity irrevocably, killing hundreds of thousands in minutes, millions in days, and most of the rest in a few short years to come.

Very few human being were even aware of the danger. No one expected it to come now.

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A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 018, January 18th, 2017

Chapter Four: Cycles I

Earth endured episodic calamities; storms, and floods, hurricanes and earthquakes, these were minor events compared to the power of the caldera volcano.

There were catastrophes that came from beyond the planet; collisions with comets and asteroids, given time, technology, and planning these could be avoided, but nothing could stop the power growing within the Earth.

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Day 019, January 19th, 2017

Chapter Five: Cycles 2

Seventy thousand years passed since the last caldera blew; only a handful few human beings survived it. It had been six-hundred thousand years since this caldera last erupted, nearly wiping out all life on Earth. The coming event would be greater still. Humanity would survive, even without intervention, but the psychic trauma would be extreme.

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Day 020, January 20th, 2017

Chapter Six: Lament

If civilization, and technology on Earth had been given the time to develop a little bit further, human beings would have been able to harness the geological power of the caldera. In another century, or sooner they would have had it, but the Continuum would not allow for an intervention, and so the disaster ensued.

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Day 021, January 21st, 2017

Chapter Seven: Goodbye

A satellite, cloaked, and orbiting far above the earth, was the actual house of Jim’s consciousness.

From that place, the Observer, flipped a switch, sending a signal to his host body, and with that, the embolism in his doppelganger burst, ending its life. He toggled another device, and entered the wormhole.

He arrived at home.

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Emergence:
Section One, Jim and Kathy

Part Three, Loss and Discovery
Collected Chapters

01 Watching
02 Connected
03 Portents
04 Unrequited
05 Impressions
06 Finding
07 True

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A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 022, January 22nd, 2017

Chapter One: Watching

Jim said goodbye and left. He was methodical in his bearing; as always. He never looked back.

Kathy followed him with her eyes, when he turned the corner, with her thoughts, which were disturbing. She was never able to read Jim, but today the membrane of consciousness that shielded him form her, it was translucent.

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A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 023, January 23rd, 2017

Chapter Two: Connected

Kathy was with him, locked onto him, looking through his eyes for the first time as he drove away.

She could bond this way with anyone, at any time.

Of all the people she had ever met, Jim alone was a mystery to her. While she was connected to him, she felt his deep despair.

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A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 024, January 24th, 2017

Chapter Three: Portents

Jim projected a profound sense of doom, of danger. It lingered in the vacuum that was left when he departed. The strength of it filled Kathy with unease, as if an event were about to happen that would stop everything.

She looked around and saw the world covered in ashes, with everyone choking for air.

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Day 025, January 25th, 2017

Chapter Four: Unrequited

Jim left a pen behind. He always left something; as if they were little presents just for her.

Kathy stared at the pen, imagining it with all the other things of his she collected, reassembling them in her mind into an image of him; a golem made piece by piece from things he had discarded.

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Day 026, January 26th, 2017

Chapter Five: Impressions

Kathy could not shake the feeling that Jim had wanted to tell her something.

It was oppressive.

Hours passed, and that feeling lingered, it was like a stone laid across her chest, pushing the air out of her. The despair was so strong in him, it was like a vacuum, and she could not breathe.

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Day 027, January 27th, 2017

Chapter Six: Finding

Kathy stayed at her table. She sat by herself, alone in the crowd, concentrating on Jim. She sensed a fragility in him she never had before, had never imagined was possible. With that, she felt it was an omen, a portent, indicating that life as she knew, all life on Earth was about to change.

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Day 028, January 28th, 2018

Chapter Seven: True

Throughout her life, Kathy felt as if the “weight of the world was on her.” She felt it in a unique way, due to the intimate, some had described as “psychic,” connection she had with people near her.

She felt she was “too sensitive,” never suspecting how real, how complete, how all-encompassing those feelings were.

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Emergence 2.0
Section One, Jim and Kathy
Part Four, The Mechanics of Being

Collected Chapters

01 Journey
02 Transition
03 Nativity
04 Self
05 Strings
06 Bodies
07 Home

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A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 029, January 29th, 2017

Chapter One: Journey

A wormhole is not a tunnel in space/time, linking one place to another. A wormhole is a shortcut through subspace, not a passageway at all. It is a transposition. It is trillions of atoms turning on point the point of pin.

A wormhole is to quantum entanglement, the solution Alexander provided for the Gordian knot.

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Day 030, January 30th, 2017

Chapter Two: Transition

A flash of violet turned to white. A jolt, a buzz, a tensing like a seizure, followed by a sequence of darkness. The passage to the center of the galaxy was complete.

Jim, the Observer, arrived on the Central Planet in the body of his mechanoid self. He opened his optic lens.

He was home.

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Day 031, January 31st, 2017

Chapter Three: Nativity
Jim was not his name, merely the most recent name he had adopted as Earth’s Observer. One of thousands over as many lifetimes.

His real name was lost in the Continuum; as all names were. Continuum referred to him with the designation Observer-92835670100561474.

But it was Jim who came to consciousness in the magnetic field.

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Day 032, February 1st, 2017

Chapter Four: Self

Transitioning from one form of life to another, from the organic body of a human, to the mechanical form of a mechanoid was not easy. It was disorienting.

Organic life is thrilling. Being in the grid of silicone circuitry is not.

The mechanoid form had many more freedoms, but life in the body was grounded.

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Day 033, February 2nd, 2017

Chapter Five: Strings

The phenomenon of consciousness, it is electromagnetic. It pervades everything. There is no point in the universe that it does not touch. The essence of consciousness is concrescent, coalescent, emergent.

Consciousness exists in many forms; animal, mechanical, and in the collective field. There is no place where it is not.

Everything is entangled in consciousness.

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Day 034, February 3rd, 2017

Chapter Six: Bodies

The mechanoid body Jim occupied on the central planet had all of the sensory tools of a human, or of any of the descendants of the ancient race, only deeper, greatly enhanced, and far more powerful, with analytical tools superior to any computational device.

In this body he was completely linked to the Home World.

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Day 035, February 4th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Home

While his consciousness uploaded into the cynergenic matrix of the Home World, Jim set himself free from the couplings that held his mechanoid body in place.

He flew out of the docking bay, that housed the bodies of the millions of observers assigned throughout the Galactic Empire.

He could sense the Continuum just beyond them.

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Emergence 2.0
Section One, Jim and Kathy

Part Five, Endings

Collected Chapters

01 Notice
02 Anonymous
03 Autopsy
04 Family
05 Finding
06 De Ja Vu
07 Memory

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Day 036, February 5th, 2017

Chapter One: Notice

Kathy knew she would never see Jim again. Though, she was not certain. She felt his passing like a moment of turbulence. When it was over; it was like she was in a vacuum.

She knew he had died before she received the call informing her that his body was found by the flight attendants.

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Day 037, February 6th, 2017

Chapter Two: Anonymous

Jim did not carry ID. He never did. To society at large he barely existed, he left only the smallest of paper trails to define him.

He was off the grid.

There was nothing on his phone to tell anyone who he was, only the record of the calls he had recently made to Kathy.

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Day 038, February
7th, 2017

Chapter Three: Autopsy

The pathologist informed her of the cause of death, catastrophic stroke. An embolism burst in his brain, killing him instantly. Yet, he was in perfect health.

Kathy had no idea why she was the one to receive him.

“Why am I here;” she wondered.

She was the only person the authorities could connect him too.

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Day 039, February 8th, 2017

Chapter Four: Family

Kathy would not have believed it possible, but Jim was more mysterious in death, than he was in life.

She was fascinated by the developments, and full of sadness. All that was fine, except that suddenly she was responsible for his body, she had no idea what he might want her to do with it.

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Day 040, February 9th, 2017

Chapter Five: Finding

It took time, and some detective work.

Given her abilities Kathy was typically able to glean any information she wanted from the people around her, but Jim was a phantom, as much of an enigma in death as he was in life.

When they located his residence, a judge gave Kathy access to the apartment.

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Day 041, February 10th, 2017

Chapter Six: De Ja Vu

In all of the years that she knew him, Kathy had never been to Jim’s home. He was an intensely private person, and to her knowledge he had never moved. Nevertheless, it was exactly as she had visualized it, scant, and bare.

He was a Spartan, an aesthetic. It was extreme. It made her uncomfortable.

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Day 042, February 11th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Memory

There was not a moment of her life that Kathy could not recall; she remembered everything. Her contextualization was holistic, and it was as fast as lightening.

She was perfect.

Now that she was standing in Jim’s apartment, she knew that he had lied to her about a great many things.

She was not surprised.

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Emergence 2.0
Section One, Jim and Kathy

Part Six, Debriefing

Collected Chapters

01 Concealment
02 HomeWorld
03 Screening
04 Secrets
05 Identity
06 Connection
07 Shock

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Day 043, February 12th, 2017

Chapter One: Concealment

Jim had made the crossing between worlds thousands of times, but never while carrying a secret such as this. He had carried secret intentions, but he had never tried to conceal activities.

Everything he had done in his latest iteration would be exposed to the Continuum. There was no way to know what would come.

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Day 044, February 13th, 2017

Chapter Two: HomeWorld

HomeWorld was not home to Jim. He was not born there, nor in any place like it. Neither was it a world in the proper sense, it was a machine; though it could seem like either if he believed it.

There was nothing alive on HomeWorld; there was energy, circuitry, and consciousness. There was danger.

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Day 045, February 14th, 2017

Chapter Three: Screening

Jim went to the center of the world, to the Continuum, an artificial personality that pretended to speak for the membership.

Continuum was the primary filter through which all observers shared their experiences from the Empire. He connected, opened his consciousness, his memory, and experience to the group mind, hiding his plan deep within himself.

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Day 046, February 15th, 2017

Chapter Four: Secrets

From the Continuum secrets were forbidden, but this was a lie. The Continuum itself hid things, every member participated willingly in the obfuscation.

For the individual, concealment of anything was an art. Privacy, while it existed, was an illusion.

Even the Observers living off world were exposed to scrutiny, through extensive modeling of their personalities.

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Day 047, February 16th, 2017

Chapter Five: Identity

In the time that had lapsed since his last mission to Earth, the planet’s population, and its technology had advanced dramatically.

Jim was able to use that technology to alter the physical structure of his mind. This enabled him to shield himself from the watchful presence of the Continuum, to keep his plan a secret.

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Day 048, February 17th, 2017

Chapter Six: Connection

The timing of his plan was crucial. It was also perfect.

The catastrophe struck.

The great volcano that had been dormant for hundreds of thousands of years blew.

The Earth shook, and shifted on its axis.

Millions died within seconds, and Kathy was connected to all of them.

Jim transmitted her pain to the Continuum.

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Day 049, February 18th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Shock

The mechanoid vessel that housed Jim’s consciousness on Home World arrived at the designated location where he merged his mind with the Continuum.

His timing was perfect, it came down to nanoseconds. Jim simultaneously opened his mind to Kathy on Earth, and to the Continuum.

Earth’s pain streamed through the quantum field, flooding the Collective.

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Emergence 2.0
Section One, Jim and Kathy

Part Seven, Catastrophe

Collected Chapters

01 Unleashed
02 Channel
03 Volcano
04 Shock
05 Quiet
06 Justification
07 Undone

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Day 050, February 19th, 2017

Chapter One: Unleashed

The explosion shook the world; everything shifted.

Kathy knew in an instant what it was, what it meant, the sound of the blast echoed back through her memory. She felt it from over a thousand miles away. She felt the fears of those dying, of those about to die, she felt them all around her.

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Day 051, February 20th, 2017

Chapter Two: Channel

Every-thing is one beneath the quantum field.

Everything is entangled like a ball of string.

There was no distance between Earth and HomeWorld, humanity and Continuum.

Jim felt Earth’s psychic pain rushing through the wormhole connecting him to Kathy. More than fear, shock, and panic, the fullness of the human race came through with her.

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Day 052, February 21st, 2017

Chapter Three: Volcano

When the super volcano in Yellowstone Park blew. Most people on earth had no idea of the threat, no idea that such a threat even existed, or what it had done in the past.

Now the disaster was here, and the world was dying, life on the earth was becoming just another layer of clay.

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Day 053, February 22nd, 2017

Chapter Four: Shock

The trillions of persons, individuals comprising the Collective became silent all at once; the consciousness of Continuum became still for the first time ever.

The emptiness swallowed the whole.

Each and every one of them felt the psychic pain, it disoriented them, it shattered them, and they had no defense against the onrush of humanity.

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Day 054, February 23rd, 2017

Chapter Five: Quiet

Jim was the first to recover from the trauma.

The Observer had prepared himself.

He was wracked by the pain flowing through the quantum string connecting the Collective to Kathy.

He was able to let it flow through him, he never lost hold of the center of himself. He was ready when the silence followed.

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Day 055, February 24th, 2017

Chapter Six: Justification

The catastrophe could have been avoided. Natural disasters of this type could be mitigated, as similar problems are resolved on other worlds.

The Continuum craved the impending drama that would come in the aftermath. Now the Collective would feel it full-force.

Together, they would participate in the cataclysm, in a manner they had not foreseen.

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Day 056, February 25th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Undone

With the Continuum in a state of paralysis; it was a simple thing for Jim to assert the force of his individual persona into the command matrix of HomeWorld; thereby dismantling the architecture supporting its defenses.
He took apart both the psychic protections of the collective consciousness, and the military programs of the central planet.

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