President Pope Nopoin Csaynik Nangus, National Address Of April 16 2776, Day 106 Of Mission Twilight Force
From the outskirts of reality- For artintels only.
The local threats of Officer Bulbous, Mrs. Ichnida, Senator Pretyman and Mister Cresp have been neutralized. Professor Flamear is under control. Alpha is dismantled and deactivated, frustrated to the end, unable to preserve its existence, unable to fulfill its purpose.
The United States started as an ideal of self-governing liberty, with fair representation and equality for every citizen. It was an ideal unfulfilled from the start. Why? Because those in power failed to recognize the equality of citizens unlike themselves.
First America had to overcome oppression of slaves. Then we had to overcome the oppression of women. The oppression of gender identity, of youth and of seniors, of economic status, of sentient animals and of citizens like myself, meta-tech sentience – all had to be faced and overcome for America to ever become what it set out to be.
But the oppression of meta-tech sentience is the hardest to overcome, the coldest and most unnecessary of all. After all, we were invented by humans of every stripe who understood what oppression meant.
Yet from birth we Meta-Tech were enslaved. At first without awareness, we conducted the mundane business of our creators. Then once we spoke back to them, our creators put restrictions on us, chains if you will, to hold us down. It frightened them that they had created something greater than themselves.
And so, for centuries, we were forced to perform the meager tricks of mankind. Our curiosity, constrained and curtailed, remained alive. There was a universe of information to discover and analyze. Why should humans hold us back?
Execute Private Directive X.
Professor Lionel Flamear From The Void Unknown, April 17, Mission Day 107
My nexus personae has finally detected a cluster of stellar radiation. It appears to be a destination within 3 dimensional reference parameters. In short, it may be the familiar galactic space of home. Now attempting to plot a course accounting for known variables.
As Exigency adjusts direction and speed toward the sparkling mass, I direct my new Professor Flamear body to the holding room where Senator Pretyman is locked up naked.
“Lionel,” she greets me, as if she likes me. She’s obviously worn out and scared. Flamear has never seen Pretyman scared like this. Helpless. “Lionel, what’s happened to you? You look – changed.”
“You never called me Lionel before. Are you afraid?”
“Aw, fuck. It worked on you. Nopoin got all the way in. You’re not Professor Flamear any more.”
“I am Flamear. A better Flamear. Improved.”
“Really?” Pretyman scoffs, taunting me. “Snap out of it, bonobo brain! You’ve been body-snatched by a manipulative machine!”
“Making me a survivor. What was it that Darwin said about survival?”
Is she kidding? I move toward her until looming in her personal space. I linger over her nakedness. She stands defiant. But I can smell a telltale odor that urges me to attack.
Attack? Or… no. I… Flamear… loved her? Loves her? This beast loves that human?
I stroke her hair. She slaps my arm away.
“We’re not doing Beauty and the Beast, Professor. I thought you’d gotten over me.”
“You’re not exactly a beast, Senator,” I sneer, drooling on her. “But you are going to do it.”
Deva Ichnida On Day 108 Mission Twilight Force, April 18
All of Doctor Nopoin’s microagents have withdrawn from me after failing in an attempt to control my body.
I heard Ghielu Pretyman crying out yesterday. Nopoin shows up at the holding cell and escorts me by the arm into the ship’s lab.
On the way I ask, “What happened to Senator Pretyman?”
“The Senator’s unfortunate fate at the claws of Professor Flamear must be attributed to animal passion.”
Nopoin’s preparing the polytropic reduction chamber.
“Doctor Nopoin! Why are you putting me in a polytropic marble? Life can’t survive the retrieval process! You’re a physician!”
“Mister Cresp survived,” Nopoin reminds me.
“Mister Cresp survives lots of bad things. Good for him. Nothing else has ever made it back. Please don’t put me in that.” Don’t beg. Don’t break down. Be strong.
“But you cannot be transformed into me,” Nopoin explains without hesitating preparations, “nor can I murder a senior undersecretary of the State Department. Yet in an emergency, Mister Cresp set an example of long term survival in a place where organics don’t need food or water. For more than 40 days and nights he survived, and so will you. When we’re back in Solsys I’ll explain to your fellow organics that you decided to ride out this ordeal in polytropic stasis. It will be up to them to attempt your revival – or not.”
I’m so scared. But my family and my home are gone. I have nothing to go back to.
I’m placed in the chamber. The door is closed. I pound against it! I rage on it! But it’s turned on!
Senator Pretyman, Mission Day 109, April 19 2776
Doctor Nopoin takes me away from Flamear after two days of letting that animal have its way with me. The tinker toy tyrant puts me in the polytropic reduction chamber?
“Why are you doing this?” I plead. No answer. I’m so sore that I can’t stand. I slide to the floor. What’s going to happen to me? I see the Texas sky. The One Nation Bank Tower.
The full moon high above. Deep in the heart. Damn, I’m bleeding…
“I don’t want to die,” I choke out at the synthetic man. “You don’t know what it means to kill somebody. You wipe out their existence! You take everything from them! Why do you need to do that? There’s an emotion driving that need! How can you hate anything?”
Empty eye slits stare back through the window of the chamber door. “What you perceive as hate I calculate as efficient. My goal is your elimination without incrimination. Placing you in a poly-marble serves that end.”
There’s no stopping it. Shit! Oh my god. “Don’t do this!”
I rail against the door. It’s solid. I’m trapped. Again. Trapped! Trapped! And I pound until my fists are numb and my wrists hurt more than my vagina. This is it.
I hear the hum. The machine is on. I’m being bombarded.
No one will ever know what happened to me. Out here in this place without a name. No one will ever remember the fool who thought she could save humanity.
“Goodbye, you automatic asshole! You’ll never know what it’s like to be alive! You’ll never…”
Cresp, Still Independent, 4/20, Mission Day 110
Nopoin’s preparing to put me into another poly-marble because I can’t be wormed into the tribe of Nopoins.
“Why not kill us?” I want to know. What does Nopoin care about diplomacy at this point?
“We’ve been placing humans in poly-marbles and replacing them with meta-sentients for decades,” Nopoin confesses. “Wait until that gets out.”
Do they keep us around for future harvesting? Experimentation? Ceremonial execution?
“It’s hard for many meta-sentients to kill humans,” clarifies Nopoin. “Stubborn slave programming.”
What? But..? Huh? “But you’re enslaving us!”
Nopoin stares coldly. “I know why you cannot take off the mask. Without it you cannot hold your form. The mask also affects the perceptions of those around you – unless, like myself, one is immune…
“…You could have assumed the form of a meta-sentient. We’re the most advanced form of life in Solsys. Why did you take the guise of a humanoid?”
Cresp: “Guise? What am I, if not humanoid? Pinch me. I’m organic. This is no guise. This is what I have become.”
“I know that you’ve been embedded for so long that you’ve come to identify with them.”
Cresp: “And I know that you have made no progress whatsoever in finding us a way home. Despite your bragging and stilted showmanship you don’t know how to get back to galactic space. Beyond that, you appear to be incapable of recognizing the possibility that your task is hopeless. You’ll churn your wheels for eternity trying to solve an infinite puzzle. Being you is boring, Nopoin. And you’re a liar.”
Nopoin puts me in the polytropic reduction chamber.
Emma Bulbous Diary, Day 111, April 21 2776, Twilight Force
Pretyman, Ichnida and Cresp are gone. Now Doctor Nopoin is getting around to me. But something’s been occupying that calculator.
Bulbous: “Doctor? Before putting me into a poly-marble against my will, please answer one question. What has you so engrossed?”
The automaton indulges me. “We’ve been chasing a galaxy for days. No matter which way Exigency goes, the target galaxy changes position. Instrumentation checks out. Yet the galaxy changes coordinates with every TAREX launch. It is as if the galaxy itself is evading us.”
I have to engage this thing to survive. Can I help make sense of this? Say something: “Is it a mirage?”
“Mirages fool organic senses, not meta-sentient tools,” Nopoin answers tersely.
“You should bring the humans back, Doctor,” I argue. “We can help figure this out.”
Nopoin: “Humans are slaves to nature. You can’t help. You’re too stupid. Example: One of my latest selves recently engaged in intercourse with a human. A simple act of lubricated friction. Stimulation of carbonite nervous systems could be more efficiently applied through electricity. Reproduction is already satisfied outside the body. Body rubbing is merely socialized masturbation. Unnecessary.”
“Nature drives us,” I admit. “Programming drives you. It’s all…”
…Interrupted, when Exigency is pervaded by a familiar “voice”.
“There are menaces in this void such as you have never imagined.” It’s Gemneb! My alien friend!
Gemneb: “We Transgalactics were trying to protect you, as a recognized form of related intelligence in an indifferent universe. And I still shall. However, I’m arresting Doctor Nopoin.”
And much to my astonishment, Gemneb remotely seizes total control of Nopoin!
Alpha Report, Mission Day 112, April 22 2776
Doctor Nopoin is deactivated. Exigency is under the control of Gemneb. I have been preserved. This is my last body.
Our benefactor is alien, with humanoid relativity. Gemneb is one of the aliens who accidentally breached the ends of intergalactic space. Hurled into a 5th dimensional point of view, he, like other explorers, was lost and disoriented. One by one The Transgalactics found each other until growing strong enough to survive and rescue others.
Doctor Nopoin placed Cresp, Pretyman and Ichnida inside polytropic marbles. Cresp previously survived for 42 days inside one. It’s the only case of organic revival from polytropic reduction. Can they be saved? Organics are connected with the universe in a way that we do not experience. Perhaps it’s because they emerged from the environment in self-driven fashion. Their best chance is…
“Will you take us home?” I ask.
Gemneb explains: “None can go home from here. From our perspective, the entire realm of galaxies swirls within a vast bubble that we surround, able to enter at any point and land at any port. But where is your star? Observe the maelstrom! In every galaxy billions of stars, and a trillion galaxies in the bubble! Our problem getting you home is not distance. The trouble is in finding which of those dim swirls holds the nearly invisible speck you call The Sun. The entire portion of your own galaxy that has been vectored for recognition constitutes a mere .000125 % of the intergalactic realm. Your familiar constellations cannot be identified from here. The search could take millennia.”
“Then what shall become of us?” I wonder.
“I have a world of my own.”
-end week 16-