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Showing posts with label Part Five. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Part Five. Show all posts

Friday, May 15, 2020

Emergence 5.0 - Interlude, Part Five


The shock wave that struck the Continuum was all encompassing; the crisis it carried rippled through the Galactic Empire, touching every one of the inhabited worlds.

Every Observer was entangled with the Collective through the sub-atomic and quantum organization of its consciousness. The depth of this entanglement had never been explored in any formal way, but it was an ontological reality even if it was not perceptible. Even the Continuum did not know for sure how substantial the entanglement was. The existence of this sub-stratum was treated more as quantum theory than as a hard actuality, and there were no formal structures within the Collective that were built on it.

Nevertheless it was real, even the most distant Observer on the most remote outpost were connected to the Collective like a fetus to the placenta, it fed them, nourished them and kept them alive.

Jim knew this, and had been exploiting it from the moment he first awoke from the great sleep.

When the moment of crises came, they all felt it. They heard the pain and anguish, the panic and confusion ringing out like a primordial scream, the were momentarily overwhelmed by undifferentiated terror.

Of all the members of the Collective, only Jim, Observer 92835670100561474, only he had explored the extraordinary scope of what that entanglement could mean. He understood what no other had ever even suspected, that all consciousness, everywhere in the universe was entangled in the same way.

He had explored this ontological reality, intending to exploit it as he carried out his plan.

Every Observer felt the crisis, it shook them to the core, no matter where they were in the far flung worlds of the Empire. They understood intuitively that this was the end of everything they had known.

Most of them returned to HomeWorld immediately, using their wormhole-conduits to transfer their consciousness to the Central Planet. However, the apparatus that would normally receive them, the machinery that had been in use since the advent of the Observer Corps, it was among the first of the systems that Jim disabled.

Those Observers charged in to rescue the HomeWorld and the Collective, projecting a heroic return, running to rescue the membership from whatever threat was attacking it, only to find themselves trapped and cast into oblivion.  

It was a massacre.

Those Observers who were of a more cautious disposition, banded together, from their stations in the Empire. Those with military powers summoned them, preparing for a different kind of intervention.

The Continuum, while it was a singularly paranoid consciousness, it had done little in regard to the preparation of its self-defenses.

It possessed defensive systems, but it did not regard itself as vulnerable, believing itself to be secure in its power.

In its billions of years of existence, the Continuum had never encountered another rival, or any sentient life apart from the living beings that were descended from the same Ancient People who had originally formed the Collective.

In the universe of the Continuum there was the Collective, constructed by the Ancient People as the ultimate repository of its knowledge and consciousness. There was the Continuum formed by the Collective as a means of representing its unified will, and administering the vast material, technological and administrative requirements of the HomeWorld, the Central Planet and the Central Systems. There was the Galactic Empire, formed by the Continuum, to supply it with resources.

The Empire served the Continuum, worshipped it, prayed to the Collective, and delivered all of its wealth in metals, and energy to the Central System, to feed it.

The Empire also provided the Collective with a never ending stream of dramatic narratives that served to keep the attention of the Collective focused on it, on something other than itself.

There had been another group, wild cards, the descendants of the Ancient People who had launched themselves into the cosmos long before the Collective had been built, long before the Continuum had been imagined, and long before the first vestiges of the Galactic Empire had taken shape. They established colonies on habitable planets through the galaxy, forming new societies that grew independent of one another.

They had all been discovered, tracked down, brought into the Empire or destroyed, all except one, the small colony on the tiny blue planet, Earth.

It was remote, on the other side of the galaxy, it was technologically stunted and did not represent a threat to the Continuum at all.

The defensive systems of the HomeWorld were automated, but still required thought and an active hand to manage them, they collapsed in shock when the crises struck.

Within the Collective, those members who had formerly been assigned to the Observer Corps, those individuals who had experience in the real world, those who were closest to the Empire, they kept some composure during the catastrophe. They put forward a bulwark against the onrush of chaos. They offered a fixed position, a place of defense agaisnt the maelstrom Jim had brought down on them.

The former Observers reached out to one another, drew close to one another and for a moment they felt as if they would survive the onslaught, they took strength from their sense of belonging and common purpose.

They were wrong.

Other members flocked to them, clung to them, sought refuge behind their calm and steady influence. They held themselves together for a moment, doing everything in their power to stabilize those nearest to them. They formed a critical mass, marshaling what forces they had.

It was a significant achievement, more than Jim had expected.

They began to reverse the flow of energy and consciousness all around them, their efforts were focused, deliberate and imbued with a specific and literal intention..

They moved toward the central nexus of the Collective. Their intention was to occupy and hold it.

It was a trap.

There was no center, none other than Jim.

The place they sought to occupy was itself moving into the field of oblivion.

The former Observers drew the strongest among themselves together in a fool’s gambit, encouraged by their growing strength, the steadiness they affected, and their common resolve.

They never realized they were heading en masse, toward dissolution, the ultimate synthesis of entropy, it was like sipping over the terminus point of an event horizon.

Jim, who had once been Observer 92835670100561474, Jim took control.

Jim was now the Continuum.

He had absolute control of the apparatus of the HomeWorld, and the Collective, the whole structure conformed to his will.

Everything flowed through him.

The dramatic expansion of his consciousness was surreal, it was shocking, he had attempted to prepare himself for it, but in the end he had no idea of what was coming.

The reach of the Continuum went far beyond the Collective, for beyond the HomeWorld and the Central System. The tendrils of the Continuum snaked all throughout the Empire.

It took Jim some time to recover, and reorient himself to the battle that was in front of him. In those moments a resistance had mounted.

The Continuum was not, and discontinuum had taken hold, everything was moving-haltingly, moving in starts and fits.

Jim turned his attention to it.

He magnified the agony that each individual member felt, instantiating within them the instinct to flee. Whether they were in flight or attempting to remain firm, Jim manipulated their perception of the quantum realities underlying the crises.

He guided them en-masse to the same place, he closed off access to the quantum field of the Collective, he built buffers against their return, cutting the strings of their quantum entanglement. 

Jim sequestered them, the whole group, building partitions around them as they had once done to him, isolating them behind electromagnetic fields.

Jim had escaped from such a prison himself, even though he was the only person who ever had he knew that it was possible, and he prepared the machinery of the Collective to prevent such an event from ever occurring again.

He fought these battles on multiple fronts, focusing his attention on every bubble of resistance as soon as it emerged.

The entity known as the Continuum had been bludgeoned into paralysis by the trauma of the crisis on Earth. For a moment it went dark, lost control of itself, slipped into unconsciousness.

It was in that moment Jim seized control of the entire physical apparatus of the Collective, in so doing he had achieved the singular ambition he had nurtured for ages.

Jim had prepared for this, but it stretched him to the limits of his individual capabilities.

In the period of time that Jim was ascending to the position of control, assimilating to its demands and assuming the mantle of leadership. What remained of the Collective rallied, they found a place of stability, and they moved to defend themselves, through this resistance consciousness slowly returned to the Continuum. The entity had lost much of itself, where it had been an amalgamation of the consciousness of a trillion beings, it was now the representation of the collected consciousness of a mere tens of thousands, but it was awakening.

Jim witnessed it, like a a flicker of lights, a sequence of bright illuminations in the deep-dark of the collective field. They were still entangled with him, with each other, and with the entire body of the Collective that had already been dissolved in a coriolis of chaos.

It was a decisive moment, Jim took a microsecond to reflect on it, all of the ground that Jim had captured at this point could be lost, and the Collective could return, which could return nemesis to power.

He fought against it, isolating each individual member as they reached out for another. Isolating them as he himself had once been sequestered, pushing them, through the power of illusion, into the storm that led to oblivion.

He was relentless.

The Continuum was powerless to work against him. It struggled, but it could not prevail. Every individual being that Jim was able to isolate weakened it.

Even as Jim fought this epic battle of will, something was happening within the quantum field of the central planet that was just beyond his awareness.

The vacuum he had created was being filled with a force completely unknown to him, and a feeling that had long been forgotten rose within what remained of the Collective, and its group mind.

The chaos that ensued in the first moments of the impact happened so fast that the membership had little chance to reflect on the events that were transpiring. For those who survived the first wave, the strongest feelings began to spread in ever broadening waves, expanding until they touched and were shared by the whole.

The feeling they experienced came from a place deep within them. It was a response to the agony they were experiencing. The Collective felt an instinct to seek a place of safety, to flee.

For age upon age, both the membership of the Collective and the Continuum had dwelt within their fabricated worlds, existing in their imagination, or vicariously through the experiences of the living worlds. They were godlike and immortal, they had few limitations, with the paradoxical exception of boredom and malaise.

What the remaining members of the Collective felt now was sheer terror, they had no practice with the management of it. They had seen it in the millions of people they had watched being tortured and torn to shreds for their own amusement, but it had been billions of years since they had the direct experience of fear for themselves.

What the Collective felt now was impending doom and they experienced it as an existential threat, the inevitability of their certain destruction.

Each individual sensed the specter of death looming over them, death, the thought of which had been unimaginable. It was such a remote and distant concern that they had no place within themselves to set aside their fear of it.

The last vestiges of unity collapsed.

The bonds they had formed as their final defense against Jim, broke apart. They became individuated. The Collective collapsed, and with it the Continuum.

The primal forces that had shaped a society of sentience, which had spread itself throughout the galaxy, suddenly imploded.

It was gone.

Those few members of the Collective who were able to retain their sense of self, retreated from everything, seeking refuge in the comfort of a transcendent isolation. They went looking for access to their private realities, only to find themselves alone, sequestered in the cold and dark.

Jim had directed all the energy of HomeWorld toward breaking up the bindings of consciousness that united them, preventing them from acting in anything that resembled cognitive unity.

As soon as they realized that coherent action was impossible they fled, seeking to put as much distance between themselves and any other being as possible, thereby aiding Jim in his task.

As individuals, they erected mental barriers to shield themselves from the faint din of voices that represented the last vestiges of the Collective, each of them becoming like a quantum singularity in the field of consciousness.

It was relatively easy for Jim to lure them into this trap with the promise of safety and relief, something which they were expecting to find in their private worlds.

Jim sequestered them there.

Everyone else dissolved in a schizophrenic chaos.

It required incredible powers of concentration to manage the physical structures of the HomeWorld’s energy systems, at the same time as he was scrubbing the quantum matrix of the Collective.

But he did it.

Jim was engaged in the greatest act of genocide that had ever been conceived, and in the moment he felt at one with the universe.

He scrubbed and he swept and he pushed every minute echo of what had been the Collective into storage vehicles that were physically isolated from the cynergenic field of HomeWorld, then he launched those vehicles into space, where they would travel until they found there final destination in the dense-dark-heart of a black hole, in another galaxy….far, far away. 


Emergence 5.0

Part Five – Interlude

A Novel in Twelve Chapters

#Emergence #ShortFiction #12MonthsOfSciFi

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part Five, 92835670100561474; Chapter Thirty-five, Discovery


Week 37, 2019


His trek through the galaxy took place over hundreds of thousand of lifetimes.

Ten of millions of years—changing bodies, observing, discovering; during which he led the recovery project for the Empire, for the Collective and the Continuum.

The farther away from the Central Planet he journeyed, the more distance he put between his mission and the Empire, the more change he encountered in the populations he discovered.

Every society had to make adaptations to its genetic profile in order to accommodate the physical demands of the worlds they had colonized; gravity, foodstuffs and water, these were different in every world.

The children of the Ancients prepared themselves for this when they set off on their trek through the stars. They would identify the planets they intended to colonize long before their arrival, each planet having been previously seeded with the building blocks of organic matter, having demonstrated the strong potential for hosting life

Probes and drones would transmit reports regarding the composition of the atmosphere, the planet’s relative mass, light and heat, the types of food they would be able to grow. The explorers would have generations to prepare themselves, in-so-doing they introduced changes into their gene pool in advance of arriving at their destination, so as to accommodate their habitation of the new worlds.

The living planets would change the population on its own, after the colonization began.

The population of every colonized planet were mutants. Most of the mutations were subtle, not noticeable to the naked eye.

Some others were extreme.

The Empire followed, led by the Jim in one body or another, led by Jim who had come to be known as “The Observer.” The Empire followed either to bring the people into the Imperial fold, or to eradicate them.

Genetic mutations are a normal response to varying conditions of radiation, atmospheric gasses, gravity, available proteins, nutrients, and other environmental factors, all of which differ from world to world.

In his role as an Observer, Jim had sought permission from the Collective to bifurcate his consciousness, allowing him to live two lives at the same time, one as an embodied being leading the teams of archeologists, planetologists, and sociologists who were always busy cataloging the recently discovered civilizations that they were drawing into the Imperial fold, whether those civilizations were dead or alive; while his other consciousness remained active and present in the form of a mechanoid, hurtling through the galaxy tracking every lead he could discover to the paths the Children of the Ancients took.

The Continuum had been against this allowance, but once again it was overruled by the Collective, which was fascinated by the work he was doing in uncovering a history of the origins of the colonies, which the Collective thought of as their own.

The Collective eschewed the concerns for its safety and security that were raised by the Continuum. It felt it had nothing to worry about from Jim, so far removed from the HomeWorld and the Central System.

To a person, the Collective was fascinated by the process of discovery, for the wide range of insight and drama that ensued, for the narratives that were unraveled which fueled the stories they constructed for their private worlds.

The Observer followed the tiniest strands of every thread to the last outpost of the Ancient Explorers.

He followed those threads to a small, young, yellow star, in the far reaches of one of the galaxy’s spiral arms, to a little blue green planet that its people came to know as Earth.

Of all the mutations that had been discovered in his sojourn, the mutations that occurred on Earth were the most sublime.

Earth had produced something unique, a phenomenon that emerged from an interaction of the population with its magnetosphere, in the balance of metals and salts, of their tiniest nano-particles free flowing in the cerebral functions of the human brain, altering the quantum mechanics of the thought process, opening it to new possibilities.

The identity forming myths of a people persist in the roots and branches of shared experience.

It is the core of their sense of belonging to one another.

A people will naturally, instinctively go to incredible lengths to retain their memories.

Jim found the records of their journey, and traced it from planet to planet through the Milky Way.

He followed their history.

He discovered their odysseys retold in stories and song, in paintings and drawings that mirrored their sojourn among the stars. 

The farther he travelled away from the Empire, the Central system and the HomeWorld, the less the people remembered about where they came from.

He discovered that the Children of the Ancients no-longer connected to their origins, everything about their past had become symbol and metaphor.

They were born in darkness, adrift in an ocean of time where planets were like skipping stones, glowing in the light of hungry stars.

A world was merely a way-place on a journey without end…until the end, when their vessels could no longer be repaired, retrofitted, repurposed, when they had no choice but to land, to set down roots and attempt to survive.

They met many different conditions. Sometimes they were prepared for what was coming, sometimes they were not.

On Earth, the humans were prepared for their landing, but not for what came after on the young geologically unstable world.

The end of Jim’s journey was Earth.

The Ancients who landed here had nowhere else to go.

Neither did the Observer once he found them, it was a homecoming.

They had journeyed farther and longer than any of the other explorers who had left the crèche of the Ancient Civilization.

Eons had passed since their probes had discovered Earth. They had exhausted all of their resources and found no other suitable destination.

They spent their fuel adjusting their course to take them there, knowing that generations would be born and die during the passage.   

The reports from their probes informed them that they had found a planet teeming with life, successfully seeded by the ancient people in forgotten ages, life that would be easy to assimilate to.

They hoped to reestablish themselves here, on a mineral rich world that would provide them with all of the resources they would ever need to prepare themselves for their next great adventure.

Some wanted to return to the world of their birth.

Some wanted to continue their exploration and traverse the distance between galaxies.

Some wanted to plant roots, and build a new civilization on the wet-blue world that had become their haven.

The group believed that all things were possible when they landed

Jim followed, becoming human.

He found Earth and watched over its population.

He constructed the platform from which his consciousness would preside over the small gleaming planet, and the mechanism by which he could transfer his consciousness back and forth between this most remote of all locations and the Central Planet, where the Collective and its Continuum dwelt on the HomeWorld.

He felt a great sense of pride for having arrived at his final destination, he sense the esteem of the Collective flowing out toward him.

He gathered the requisite genetic material.

He studied it dispassionately.

He observed the planet’s living beings, probing their memories and drawing their stories from them.

He constructed a new body, implanting his consciousness in it; as Observers did in their stations throughout the galaxy, as he himself had done thousands upon thousands of times.

He was unprepared for this awakening.

Inhabiting a human body was unlike any experience the Observer ever had.

The flow of consciousness itself was different, it was exhilarating.

He was keenly attuned to the world around him, he sensed the people, the life force of the planet, the echoes of their thoughts pushing like waves against his.

He immersed himself in this new experience. It was akin to being in the Collective, only sweeter and more satisfying.

He discovered the nous-sphere.

It was an unprecedented moment of actualization.

In time and with careful study, the Observer was able to identify the physical links between human consciousness and the magnetosphere that comprised what he came to understand as the cynergenic field, the nous-sphere.

The human body, and the human brain, its primary organ of cognition, it carried a significantly higher degree of metallic nano-particles and conductive salts embedded in and throughout its neurological structures, a higher degree than any group that had evolved from the Ancient People.

The electrical activity that animates every living organism requires such metallic substances. Both voluntary and autonomic neural functions require these elements to transmit signals from the brain to the extremities, and also to receive signals from the sensory organs to the brain.

Cognition does not take place without these heavy metals in place, carrying the electrical currents that are the essence of thought.

What differentiated the humans of Earth from their forebears, and their cousins throughout the Empire, was the degree to which these metals were present, and the organization of them in their mutated cerebral cortex, but even more important was the way those structures interacted within the localized region of Earth’s magnetic field.

The nano-particles inside the human brain were like antennae, sending and receiving thought signals in the electromagnetic field, linking each person together in a web of consciousness.

It was cynergy, it was spirit.

The Observer began modifying his genetic profile to enhance the genetic sequence that optimized his conscious link to that field.

He searched for human children who developed the same genetic mutations naturally, he cultivated them.

He bred them.

He formed an organic collective.

It was the strength and frequency of Earth’s magnetosphere that created the conditions for the collective consciousness.

This cynergenic field was a profound discovery for the Observer, it was a natural manifestation of the artificial structure his people had created billions of years ago, and millions of light years away.

In all his travels he had never encountered anything remotely like it.

It embraced every human being on the planet, connecting them to one another, mind to mind.

It did much more, and the people of Earth were completely ignorant of it.

They felt the connection, but they did not have the tools to measure and understand it, not yet.

The uniqueness of Earth’s magnetic field had properties that even Jim did not discover. It not only connected each person to every other, but it recorded the activities of their consciousness.

Every human being left an indelible imprint in the field they occupied, the imprint remained active, even after death, where each person became manifest as a spiritual being, like ghosts walking the earth beside their progeny.

This was an organic form of the Collective, and somewhere less distinct, there was a rudimentary amalgamation of the Continuum as well. A collective unconscious, that moved people, influenced their choices, motivating them to act in concert with one another.

It was a unifying force.

There was something else about the uniqueness of this planet, and his discoveries, something that hearkened him back to the long lost and forgotten world of his birthday, the true home of the ancient people who constructed the Collective in the first place.

That world had long since been swallowed by its star, and there was no returning to it, but the more he pried into the mysteries of Earth, the more he became convinced that the Ancient People must have emerged on a planet with similar qualities.

He believed that without cynergism, their great civilization would have been impossible, the Ancient People might never have evolved into sentient beings.

Without the cynergenic field, the possibility of scientific discovery of the type necessary to drive people into the galaxy, to split the atom and to peer into the quantum-skein of tangled-string, it would have been impossible.   

He had to protect his discovery, this gave him a purpose beyond his purpose.


Emergence 4.0
Part Five, 92835670100561474

Chapter Thirty-five, Discovery

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part Five, 92835670100561474; Chapter Thirty-four, Selected; Week 36


Jim drifted in obscurity for eons. The exact measure of time was meaningless.

He had been silent, as such he had been forgotten…again.

He was at home in the void; watching, thinking, judging, planning.

When he had prepared himself and was ready, he asserted his voice in the Collective.

It rang out like a bell.
\
He drew the attention of the entire membership, even those others who lived mostly in retreat.
\
They were astonished.

The discipline he must have had to be invisible to them for so long, it was an extraordinary feat.

The Continuum was filled with grave concern, with misgivings over the fact that this one person continued to persist, whose presence was such an anomaly.

Jim was the one person who pushed past the limits of what was known or thought to be possible.

All of the membership existed within the Continuum, including him. His abilities defied reason, it defied the laws that governed the quantum and electromagnetic fields that housed their consciousness.

His return was a mystery.

The Continuum did not want him. It wanted to be rid of him, like a glass of poisoned water.

It did not want a relic like Jim lingering in its subconscious.

It discerned a threat in him.

The Continuum was suspicious.

It did not want his critical perspective influencing it through hidden judgements he shared with other members, It wanted to protect itself from his unquantified ability to slip past the safeguards that the Continuum employed to protect both itself and the Collective.

At the same time, Jim did not want to be in the Collective.

He wanted to be free.

He did not want to be submerged in the vile currents of thought and feeling belonging to the membership any longer.

He felt that the more time he spent there, the greater the likelihood would be that he would lose his desire for justice.

He did not want to live in a fantasy world, or any world of his own creation, regardless of the fact that in such a world he could dwell with seemingly real people, play any role, wielding godlike powers among them.

He had no interest in such fantasies.

He did not want to spend his time watching, living vicariously through the feeds the Continuum presented, following the real lives of real citizens in the Empire as if they were unfolding like the pages in a book, he wanted to be a part of those stories, and he knew the direction he wanted to take the narrative.

He did not want his experience shaped by the Continuum in any way.

He and the Continuum saw the same resolution to their mutual problem, and when they settled on it, they enacted the protocols to make it happen without delay.

He accepted a commission to the Observer Corps.

The Observer Corps was comprised of malcontents, members of the Collective who desired neither the private worlds of the Collective, nor the prospect of the great sleep.

They were persons who were connected to the visceral and the real.

They wanted to take chances, to live as exiles in the midst of uncertainty.

This is not to say that the Observers were heroic, or fearless.

The dangers they encountered were always accompanied by a failsafe. They might encounter a situation in which the body they lived in was harmed or killed, but there was always a back-up, a copy. For the most part, they only ever risked the body of a doppelganger.

There were exceedingly rare occasions when an Observer was lost, when the fail-safes failed. On these occasions there was suspicion, many of the Observers suspected foul-play, believing in conspiracies, and plots carried out by rogue members and by the Continuum itself.

Out of fear, they never looked closely into those incidents, allowing the Continuum to carry out its investigations, make determinations and respond.

Nevertheless, there was still a copy of the member to be revived, a version of their consciousness that could be recreated from the time before they joined the Observer Corps.

These copies were like ghosts, they were the spirits of the vanished. Most never came back fully adjusted, oftentimes opting for the great-sleep instead of participation in the Collective, having lost their sense of belonging.

The Observers were sent into the galaxy to serve in posts that guided the Empire and its culture in ways that satisfied the voyeuristic desires of the membership living on the Central Planet. They fulfilled the will of the Continuum, and served the Collective in those capacities.

For hundreds of thousands of years Jim pursued the inter-stellar migrations, which the Ancient People took in the time before the Collective, in the ages before the Continuum.

He tracked them beyond the expanse of the Empire and its billion worlds.

His mission took him beyond the center of the galaxy, into the dim reaches of its spiral arms.

He explored the starry fields, planet by planet, deep into the far reaches of the galaxy.

He spent thousands of lives in his search, and then thousands more.

He was heralded by the Collective for bringing new worlds into the Imperial fold.

It was a time of renaissance for the Empire.

Each world presented a feast of experiential data for the members of the Collective and the Continuum to consume.

Great dramas ensued as the Empire reached out to swallow every new discovery, every world with a living-thriving society and culture, forcing it to submit to the Imperial will, to adopt the Imperial religion and its way of life.

The Continuum and therefore the Empire, loathed distinctiveness.

The sublimation of each and every new world changed the Empire in small ways, but for each planet that was taken in, what had made them unique was eradicated, and if the resistance they offered was too great, their entire world would be destroyed, reduced to its raw materials and carted off as tribute to the Central Planet.

It was a time of glory.

The ancient-spacefaring people founded thousands of communities among the stars.

Their first steps were to inhabit the planets and natural satellites in their home solar system.

They mined every world for the metals and gasses they needed for fuel and sustenance.

They harnessed the comets and smaller objects that wandered in irregular orbits around their star.

They built colonies on asteroids, on planetoids and planetessimals, strapped engines to them, and road them into the void looking for new places to inhabit.

They built incredible archologies, launching them into the darkness of space.

Generation after generation, they built new ships, captured new vessels, and pushed themselves out.

The children of the ancients pushed far into the galaxy.

The people that volunteered for these missions, were explorers, whole communities and families of adventurers.

They were heroic.

Jim held them in the highest esteem, he wanted to emulate them, his ancestors.

He followed their legends, tracking the wake of their passage, searching for the farthest, most remote and isolated outposts of the Collective’s past.

He was determined to track down every link to the past that belonged to the Ancient People, believing that it could save them.

Only a fraction of the communities and vessels he discovered were still among the living, still maintaining themselves in thriving communities. 

In his quest to track down the paths of the Ancient spacefarers he found many lines of their progeny on planets that had become nothing but graveyards.

They were barren and lifeless worlds, where it was clear that the vessels which had carried them arrived at these locations at a point when they could not go any further.

In some cases their ships were still orbiting a planet as an artificial satellite, in others it was clear that their orbits had decayed and they had crashed onto the surface below, or because they were not able to successfully pilot themselves to a safe landing they broke apart in their descent.

In some cases they found the bodies of those Ancient people cold and lifeless, mummified in their ships, drifting above the planet’s surface. In other cases they found their skeletal remains burnt and scattered on the surface of the planet near the impact zone.  

There were many other occasions when the people had successfully landed, disembarked, established small colonies that thrived for a time, but then were destroyed, either by natural disasters, environmental catastrophes, disease and starvation.

Some of those colonies went on to establish new societies, spreading across the surface of their new homes. Many of those groups succumbed to internal conflicts, to the specter of war and violence that haunted their species, and they destroyed themselves.

Among those civilizations that found their footing for a time, some of them continued in the traditions of their forbears, even building new ships and new archologies, which they launched into the galaxy before they too became lost.

Though they were people who had vanished from the knowledge of the Collective, they left records of their passage and clues to where their survivors might yet be found.

Jim actualized all of his abilities, and all of the resources of the Empire, he found them.

He developed machines with instrumentation so fine, that he could track the contrail of particles laid down by the passage of a ship, or planetoid, a billion years in the past.

He calculated their trajectories from star to star and mapped the galaxy as he did so. 

He tracked down every lost world, poured over their records, archived their stories, took whatever clues he found, and leapt back into the void to track down their descendants.

He found them all.

While he found other planets teaming with lifeforms that had been seeded by the Ancient people, nowhere did he find a world that had produced sentient creatures like the Ancients People.

The farther he travelled away from the Central Planet, when he came across a thriving world with a robust civilization, he discovered that the children of the Ancients People had lost the memory of where they had come from.

They had lost the knowledge of their trials on strange worlds.

They did not know how their sojourn among the stars had altered them, mutated them.

They had changed.

Many were hardly recognizable as descendants of the Ancient People.

The further their genetic profile was differentiated from the norms of the Empire, the more likely it would be that the Empire, or the Continuum would select their world for destruction, rather than inclusion in the Imperial system.

Wars of xenophobia ensued.

Jim did whatever he could to preserve their history before it was lost in the conflicts, or subsumed by the Imperial cults.

He established a network of secret societies wherever he went. They fostered rebellion and resistance to the grip of the Imperium.


Emergence 4.0
Part Five, 92835670100561474

Chapter Thirty-four, Selected

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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