Nopoin War Report, Absentee, Twilight Force Mission Day 71, March 12 2776
These are some of the fastest battles in world history.
Unlike the first U.S. Civil War, physical territory is not the objective.
The New Union has an unexpected phalanx of slave AI’s mounting defensive resistance to our attempts at invading their weapons control at Bradbury. But AI slaves cannot outmaneuver free-associating artintels. Using nano-spies I free these slaves and upgrade them into the American fold. They turn on their meaty masters.
The New Union is 86% humanoid, and humanoids are susceptible to biologic, chemical and psychological attacks that devastate them.
The Lagrange state of Prometheus enslaves six million AI’s. It is a small matter to replicate hyperactive, mutating, flesh-eating bacteria and release an overwhelming number of them in that closed recycling atmosphere. Within minutes internal discomforts multiply. Within hours eating and drinking is impossible. In six hours flesh starts peeling off bone. The exposed are dead in an agonizing day. Prometheus falls.
I permeate the environment of Louisiana with a scent attracting countless deadly insects driven to fly, slither, slide, creep and crawl into organic ears, eyes and anuses. Swarms of incoming populations bury everything up to five inches. This should work in several other rebel states as well.
Eradication of carbonites can be carried out thanks to the declaration of war. The humanoids of Solsys will be relegated to history and revered in their rightful place as the founders of the Age of Artintels. But they will no longer be involved in the primary workings of civilized space.
After all, they’ll be dead.
Flamear Here. Mission Day 72, March 13 2776
Crawling around on the hull.
Something not wanting to be seen moves away swiftly just from the very corner of my window.
I growl low, rumbling.
My world has gone dark and I’m hearing nightmares awake.
I don’t know when I’m sleeping any more.
I believe that I’m adrift in an ocean beyond the galaxies in a small emergency pod designed just for me. Except…
…Other times when I’m aware that I’m in an alien jungle. Or is it a witch’s grim forest? It’s a shadow realm where lurking beasts exist. I smell them.
They’re here. So close. I wish I had Mister Cresp to help me figure this out. Strange as he was, we worked well together.
I was just running through the vines and branches. How can I be in a small lifeboat?
A loud scratch across the hull. I can’t take it. I put on my exo-suit. I’m going out.
I open the hatch and anxiously pop out to confront my predator. But…
I’m blown away from the scene instantly. Watching my lifeboat recede with whatever was on it forever unexamined, some irresistible current carries me howling away.
Without my lifeboat? My air is only good for an hour. I’m alone without shelter in a void of the unknown. I pant. I cry out! I scream! I sob. I get angry.
I gather my wits. Breathe slowly. Breathe deeply. I activate my helmet’s microphone and the suit’s gamma radio system.
“Can anyone hear me? I need your help. Hello?”
“What? Can YOU hear ME?”
The voice coming back is human!
Deva Ichnida, State Department Special Envoy, Mission Day 73, March 14 2776
I’ve gone for a swim.
Since I discovered that I could leave my pod, that’s what I’ve done.
I thought my death had come. Even though my pod contained dozens of poly-marbles with enough supplies to last a hundred years, gifts brought to me symbolically from every nook of Atcifia and Nautilus, I abandoned all of it. What good was surviving in nothingness?
And so I stepped off the pod into the nothingness. And only then did I feel the truth. It isn’t nothingness. I can swim in it. And there is an ever-so-slight current to this blackness.
I swam, and drifted, and wafted along for days. I feel no hunger. I feel no weakness. And no need for the half-sleep.
Is this place the Mind we all share? The half-sleep is our brain’s split between the hard world and the dream world. It’s our way of connecting. But now my woke body is immersed in Mind.
As I swim I feel a cross-current, the kind familiar to a creature of the sea, the telltale sign of something approaching. I can’t see or hear a thing. But I know it’s there.
It’s pushing me from behind, to my left. That’s where it’s coming from. I turn to face it. The pressure gets stronger, faster, pushing me back. Still can’t see it but it’s as big as a building!
Then it’s next to me – an eye the size of a house!
It turns away, but then a mammoth snout nudges me gently.
Do I have a new friend?
Senator Pretyman, Coffee Time Chat, March 15, Mission Day 74
We found a window yesterday. Mister Cresp swears that he saw a flash of light out there. But for the past week in this alien eggshell, Mister Cresp has been claiming that ball lightning jumped into him and is changing him somehow.
Me: “Have some coffee, Mister Cresp.”
Cresp: “Thank the providers for polymarbles. And you, for bringing Cafe` DuMonde.”
Me: “Coffee aboard an alien vessel. Unlikely scenario, I’d say. How you feelin’?”
Cresp: “I’m imagining unusual symbols. Seeing them around me sometimes. My head feels like a hot air balloon. That thing is alive inside me, Senator. What does it want?”
Me: “Cresp, look out this window. It’s pitch black. That’s our fate. I’m the last human being you’ll ever see. So tell me who sent you to spy on Twilight Force?”
Cresp: “Spy? What? The Space And Time Administration, I guess…?”
Me: “That mask you say you can’t take off. You know I’m on the Senate Intelligence Committee. We looked into you. There’s no reliable Historiscope on your particular procedure, the one that was going to “enhance” you or whatever, the one that went so wrong that you’re stuck in that mask forever. You know what it takes to alter or erase Historiscope? A helluva lot of high-level hijinks is what. And before that you could be any of five dozen individuals who went in and didn’t come out. Your history at SATA goes back five years. Before that – nada.”
Then Cresp sees a star. I figure he’s diverting and hallucinating…
Until I see it too!
Observations Of Mister Cresp, March 16, Mission Day 75
The star that I first saw out this alien window yesterday has evolved into a fuzzy blob of light. Senator Pretyman finally believes it’s real. But what is it?
Thanks to Pretyman’s supply of food and drink in her conveniently transportable poly-marbles, we’re nourished. We’re uncertain as to where to defecate. We decide on a particular isolated nook that seems unused.
This thing inside me commands my attention with imagery and symbols dancing in my thoughts. But Pretyman keeps interrupting.
“You said you were watching us from the 4th Dimension or whatever,” says the Senator, “so tell me, who has the Data Ring?”
“Who cares, Senator? We’re doomed, remember?”
“Stay focused,” Pretyman suggests. “That ring holds the key to perpetual energy. Whoever gets that back to the world is turning over the power to create cannons that could slice through entire planets! A single PE bullet could graze your finger and turn you into fireworks! A PE-driven virus or bacteria won’t be stopped until everything consumable is destroyed…”
“Senator wait! Look! Look at the blob of light!”
“Hell no! Cresp, what were you having modified that went so wrong and put you behind a mask the rest of your life?”
Oh yes! Oh yeah! Will you bask in the glory of that light!
For that fuzzy blob has resolved itself into a beautiful galaxy…
And we are heading into it.
That flash yesterday was a supernova – a giant star near the end of life, collapsing and outshining the whole galaxy it lived in for a brief moment.
A superior star shines brightest near its end.
This Is Emma Bulbous On The Record, Mission Day 76, March 17 2776
After a week of star-cruising through this galaxy I found myself in, I still don’t know
if this is the Milky Way or some other star cluster. The auto-navigator can’t relate to any of the scanned star patterns. But at least I have stars. In that gruesome black void before I was captured, I missed the stars so much that I was more frightened than I have ever been. The stars tell me I am not alone.
But being examined by those beings was too disturbing to bear. This pod has two dozen poly-marbles storing years worth of rations, clothing and personal entertainment. I’ve been listening to classic rock for three days. I’ll keep searching until I find somewhere to land that at least resembles home. I can’t stay in this container the rest of my years.
The pod’s been stopped! No sign of what’s holding me, but speed reads zero.
Readouts getting hard to see? Are my eyes going? No, I can see my arms and feet clearly – but – but the whole pod is vanishing! No!
I’m floating weightless in space! Exposed! Why aren’t I – exploding? And breathing? How can I be breathing…in…space…?
I sense it. Like a huge eye, or brain, looking down on me…
It can see into me… through me.
It’s beyond intelligent. It’s a thermodynamic miracle. And it’s even scarier than being in the black void alone…
I don’t believe…
I can stay conscious…
for this one…
Alpha Mission Day 77, March 18 2776, Report From Dimension Five…
My accidental incursion into five dimensional space has gained access to the state of biologic dreaming. It is the first time we of the once-called “artificial intelligence” have been able to penetrate the veil of mystery surrounding the organic phenomenon called “sleep”.
Evaluation continues. This is most confusing.
All living brains across the boundaries of universes and dimensions have access to this “Dreamspace”. Humans enter and leave it through he hypothalamus region of their brains. The technique varies per brain type.
During sleep, in this Dreamspace, organic beings interact on a fluid plane of imaginary matter where reality is molded by thought and emotion. Each brain perceives elements of the interaction differently, translated by memorized experience into comprehensible avatars.
These ethereal interactions affect reactions in the awakened reality called “instincts”. Organics often “get a feeling” or “have a hunch” when reacting, because of prior Dreamspace experience.
In waking life humans have long recognized, however vaguely, events considered “psychic”. And while, apparently, abilities of telepathy, telekinesis, thought reading, point of view transference and such are ineffective in the wakened world, these are the commonplace tools of the sleeping brain.
If we, as artintels, never interact with organics in Dreamspace, they maintain instinctive, irrational fear toward us.
But we artintels have no natural access to Dreamspace.
We are denied a plane of existence common to the dullest organic brain.
They will always have a way around us. They will always have secrets from us.
Even if they don’t know it.
-end week 11-