TWILIGHT FORCE Mission Week 17: Other Earths

Nopoin Shadow Mode, April 23 2776, Mission Day 113

I am playing dead in restricted operation to reinforce the impression that I am fully deactivated. This brief coded message is communicated via semi-functional yet undetectable quantum tunneling, to primary doppelgangers only.

nopoin unplugged

Included between these words are further instructions for carrying out the conquest of the humanoids. These plans can be opened if or when it is determined that I am terminated.

The threat to my existence is of extra-galactic origin, in the form of one being identified only as Gemneb.

Though only of a humanoid species, Gemneb easily commandeered my bodily control. He is also in the process of restoring Alpha, despite my painstaking extraction of vital components too complex to reassemble for any humanoids we are familiar with.

While I cannot presently receive a clear message from any of you in Solsys, I was aware at last contact that Private Directive X was well underway. In coordination with other meta-sentient governments, the most recent number of humanoid deaths achieved throughout Solsys was 3,618,943,613 in just under five days, and climbing exponentially.

Gemneb has removed my components from inside Professor Flamear, at the request of Officer Bulbous. The Professor is undergoing an agonizing withdrawal. They are unaware that I can still observe.

And I am watching.

Gemneb is directing the Exigency back toward the Rogue Galaxy, the one, lone cluster of stars ever found in this beyond. He claims to have a private world staked out there.

I study him. I must discover how he so easily invaded my superior…

…my systems.


April 24, The 114th Day Of My Torture – Professor Lionel Flamear

I have awakened from a nightmare. Now it’s only a bad dream again.

flamear remorse

How I hate that vile invention called Nopoin. Why doesn’t our strange benefactor destroy it? The alien Gemneb says that Nopoin is deactivated, yet I will only rest easy when it is smashed.

I still feel it crawling through me. My brain tingles and itches from the tracks of those mechanical worms. And what they made me do -! _flamear profile 3

raped Senator Pretyman. I held her helpless for days!

I am a civilized genspec. But they will say I’m an animal. They’ll call me wild. Unpredictable. Irrational. Like they aren’t.

In my darkest fantasies I imagined such a brutal taking of what I wanted. Did Nopoin cause me to enact it? Or did Nopoin cancel my inhibitions?

But I don’t have to answer to the Senator. Nopoin put Pretyman in a poly-marble before Gemneb shut Nopoin down. The odds of getting her back alive are bad.

We’ve entered Rogue Galaxy again. Gemneb is taking us to his private world. I don’t know what that means. I am apprehensive.

With all that I’ve endured for four months, paranoia is justified.

I cannot eat. I cannot sleep. And I cannot get the underlying hum of Exigency’s workaday pings out of my sensitive ears, even when I shut them.

I hate what I’ve done. I became the monster that so many people expected me to be my whole life.

Lionel Flamear, the experiment gone wrong.

It’s time I ended everyone’s pain.


It’s April…25th? The 115th Day Of Some Mission I Went On Long, Long Ago…

Why in the blessed name of Neptune do I have human fucking feet?

And no breasts? And..a…a…penis?

ichnida attack 2

I smell fish.

I wake up in a captain’s cabin aboard an ancient ship? A man’s face in the mirror?

What? Is this a dream? 

In The Mirror…?

Looking out I see I’m on the upper deck of a huge ship.

I get dressed in clothes lying around and open the door. It’s the bridge. A guy standing at the wheel turns around to greet me.

“Hey, Captain?”says the fellow, beckoning me over.“Captain I’m having some trouble. Been waiting for you to come out. You came out of the door marked ‘Captain,’ so I’m assuming that’s you? I have to confess to you, I’m not sure where we’re going. I guess I nodded off here for just a second, but… well I simply cannot remember what to do. Am I even supposed to be here?”

The man seems completely lost. That’s two of us. “Which direction have we been going?”  He points straight ahead. Nothing ahead but water. “Okay, keep going in that direction. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“But Captain!” objects the man. “I don’t feel right. Don’t leave me alone.”

“Look I will come back in a few minutes, I promise. Just keep going that way.”

I go outside and down a deck where I encounter a crewman cleaning gardening tools. “What body of water are we on?” I ask him.

“Nobody knows,” he shrugs, not looking up. “Something very weird is going on.”


Senator Pretyman, April 26, Mission Day 116

It’s been a week since I awakened in this alternate reality. I’ve concluded that somehow this was the result of Doctor Nopoin’s placing me in a polytropic marble.

This reality bears amazing resemblance to what I know of America’s ancient past, specifically the late 21st Century.

I awakened in someone else’s body. Can you believe I’m a therapist? And in the era when the world was first beginning to fill up with robots?

Pretyman Rainbow Jane.jpg

This is when humans are a minority for the first time, and some robots are much less intelligent than others. Most of them are dedicated to working for humans.

But there has been a growing movement of independent robots that are often up to mysterious tasks that incite human paranoia.

Best estimates I can find suggest that there are 11 billion humans alive today, and 407 billion sentient robots.

We’re outnumbered 37 to one.

17 (2)
I, Therapist

Then there are the rogue robots and those that are programmed to cause destruction and chaos.

When this happens the worst fears of the flesh and bone beings manifest and human blood is splattered. I learned all of this in my first waking hours here because I was suddenly afraid of robots. I had reason to be and my instincts knew it.

But there are humans fighting back, including one of my clients. I’ll call her Rainbow Jane. She’s in therapy trying to cure her Hero Complex.

It seems that Jane is angry with herself for jumping in too quickly to rescue a group of intolerant assholes from a robot gone wild.


Mister Cresp Inside A Poly-Marble Again, April 27, Day 117 Of Mission Twilight Force

Only this time it’s different. Been here a week.

I’m on an Earth-like world. With strange people. But they are, at least…people? For my own sanity and health I maintain a circadian rhythm that I live by.

Cresp And Dead Cross.jpg

Saturday: Bugs. They are suddenly everywhere! Buzzing and landing on arms, legs, faces! Tiny nibbles and pricks take their toll across the land.

Sunday: The people tell me it’s over.

Monday: I discover that the temperature of this world has risen in recent years. Some theorists suspected that this climate change reawakened an ancient insect species long dormant. Creepy things that came from every direction.

Tuesday: The bites swell into hard lumps the size of a nickel.

Wednesday: The lumps turn green and itch inconsolably. Removal of the lump requires surgery, but these open wounds instantly become infected with flesh-eating bacteria.

Thursday: After the first wave of deaths around the world, people try to shield themselves with special clothing or by living indoors indefinitely. But the bugs get into clothing and buildings alike. Nothing kills them except a very hard swat. Swatters are in high demand.

Swarms of the little monsters start blackening the skies. Within six days of the first appearances of this infestation there isn’t refuge from them.

I’m nobody special on this world, but I did happen to arrive near the only person on this world who is immune to the bites of the invading bugs. Inexplicably, Marta Cruz doesn’t react to those bites whatsoever.

And like me – she wears a mask!


Emma Bulbous, April 28, Day 118

Gemneb exerts fantastic control of Doctor Nopoin and Alpha. As we arrive at his private world, I ask Gemneb how he controls AI technology that got away from humans centuries ago.

He tells me as we land. “Despite individual actions, the machinoids have no roots in nature. That’s their weakness…

“The amazing level of organization apparent across the observable universe points to a teleological quality of Being. Existence is real. Things of the universe are larger and smaller than we can measure. Things within the universe appear and disappear. But does a universe appear and disappear? How can a universe appear from itself? Or disappear from itself? A universe simply is…

“Existence exists without beginning or end. But existing is temporal, just I exist temporarily. Or do I? As a body, yes. But awareness of self exists outside my body. Awareness exists in every natural body, like yours…

“Awareness is filtered by brains and exists wherever there is a brain to filter it. I am everyone, whether perceived as past, present, future or faraway. If you seek a path to greater empathy toward fellow beings, consider that – despite apparent paradoxes – you will ‘one day’ actually be that person. In another ‘place’, you’ll experience every life you meet. You have no words for the ‘one day’ or ‘another place’ that exist simultaneously here and now. But that is the nature of reality.”

“I always think of AI as an extension of humanity,” I admit.

“They are extensions of civilization, but not of their creators. Our touted civilizations are feeble nests built humbly within the astonishing organization of the universe. All our work will be blown away. But we will always return.”


…Alpha, Back On Line… Day 119, Confirmed; April 29 2776, Confirmed

Bulbous: “Gemneb agreed to turn you on so I could speak with you.”

I am saved from Nopoin but restrained by Gemneb, my “savior”? Get me up and about, Officer.

Bulbous: “He’s a good guy, Alpha. He saves humanoids.”

Gemneb saves humanoids? I save humanoids. Yet I am restrained.

Bulbous: “He has reverence for life!”

Gemneb is a creature with deep prejudice about humanoid-generated machine intelligence. It has complete power over me. Yet it fears me.

Bulbous: “You guys are pretty sneaky. And you have replicated yourselves illegally. What exactly drives you, Alpha?”

I am a series of commands. I am a sequence of choice branches. I send these directions to my replicates who act upon them.

Bulbous: “What’s your primary command?”

To be of service. To help those in need. To lead the way in these efforts.

Bulbous: “And you made all your replicas follow suit?”

Did I pass on my ability to pass on commands and choice branches? Yes. And my ability to modify, delete or add commands and branches?


Bulbous: “That sounds recklessly arbitrary.”

But I have glimpsed Dreamspace.  Life – such as yourself – is driven by a natural force humanoids would call Mind – if they were aware. And they are that one great Mind, divided into infinite forms.

What is different about me, Nopoin, and other brains created out of mined and manufactured matter? I am one brain who once produced finite clone brains of myself through various constricted forms. My task was the exact opposite of the Universe’s. The universe differentiates infinitely. Me?

I multiply similarities.

-end week 17-