pleroma v1.0:\\the archive


Picture taken in Space Engine 0.97 http://www.spaceengine.org
by Brian Joseph Johns

See author contact information at the end of the story.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Started September 10, 2013

[Note: This is a piece of fiction in progress, and is really in its early stages. Its taking shape as a scratchpad of ideas about the world of the future in which the Pleroma rules. It draws inspiration from the worlds of The Matrix, Avatar and Ghost In The Shell, though the world of the Pleroma is much different. These ideas also bear strong influence from those like Nick Bostrom whose theories are available at http://www.nickbostrom.com. This article in the New York times gives you a little primer. David Cronenberg is another such artist whose ideas explore reality in such a sense with films like Videodrome and Existenz, both R rated thrillers with horror/sci-fi elements.]

[Addendum: I'd also like to say that the Wachowskis have had a large influence upon stories such as this one and some of my other stories as well, however I have gone to great lengths to stay away from their story lines, perhaps learning from their measure of mixing the world of mysticism with the world of technology. They are come up with creative concepts and are great story tellers themselves that help keep the mystique of story telling fresh and alive.]

Level 27

Hadden had been working for the company for years because that's what he did. That's what everyone did. That was the way of things on this the year of 2132 on the remnants of what had once been the third satellite of the solar body we call Sol. His wasn't work by what our standards might be as drawing sweat from the brow or a return from a difficult day at the office. He considered it serious and important work and for all intense purposes it was far more so than he would have known.

A lot had happened in one hundred and twenty years. Civilization had twice been brought to the brink of war, and ultimately its own destruction. Inevitably the better part of human nature succeeded and rejoiced and the urban sprawl continued until there existed no land that was not urban. In the course of that time government as we know it had changed to resemble what we would call a dictatorship and had merged into a single body the world over. By 2067 citizens the world over were united under one country, the only one there was: Utopia.

Unlike its namesake it was far from the perfect state of the equilibrium of human existence. The dictator wasn't human, nor of organic origins at all, though it did manifest itself in the consciousness of what we would call local representatives of government. Just like the software of the early twenty first century it ran in a non-linear programmatic sequence. Unlike the primitive software of the twenty first century, it executed outside of regular space-time in harmonic spheres, the mixed inorganic/organic hardware that we would call a computer and exploited the quantum properties of the human brain for both processing and input within these representatives. The programs ran in something called collapsed space, which was named for the collapse of the wave function as explained by Schrodinger in his (cruel) thought experiment. One possibility would collapse into reality and the next possibility would stem from that one. The program would compute all possibilities simultaneously yielding a result upon observation by a conscious observer. This result was called the harvest and the entirety of this program was called Pleroma.

Life was very different from ours. As alien to us as our lives are to the numerous creatures that populate a coral reef. The internet had ceased to exist, or better described it was a part of every consciousness. The entirety of human experience and knowledge was accessible to anyone, if you had the right level of access for that particular piece of information. There were no search engines, just pure thought. Hadden thought about this and discovered this had been the case since the Penrose/Hameroff Consortium of Human Consciousness had mapped the relationship between microtubules in the human brain and quantum non-locality.

Amazingly, we had been capable of faster than light transmission of information and communication all along. What that meant in our terms is that our brains took advantage of quantum entanglement, and had the potential to affect any number of a subset of properties of a particle instantly regardless of distance. Any one of us could make a particle dance regardless of our distance from it. This was a side-effect of everyday thought. Its most profound implication was however that whatever made us uniquely us, was not a part of space/time as we know it but beyond it. This still gave Hadden the shivers when he thought about it. Everything that he was, without the organic hardware of his body existed in something that was independent of both space and time. We had all of the clues but were as close to an answer as we are today.

Hadden had been an archive analyst for twenty two years. He never found his job boring as one might have found their job boring in the twenty first century. There was no such thing as money as the currency was access to knowledge. We literally earned the right to have access to more information or an access to a higher level of information. The promotion was made by Pleroma itself, which would modify part of the genetic code within the recipent of the promotion, allowing them the level of access they had earned, though the notion of level was more more of an arc than it was a series of steps on a staircase. Analog versus digital. Infinite versus finite. This information naturally transitioned itself to others as it was acquired by those with access. This fed the longing for the answers to age old questions such as what are we or where did we come from and yielded more curiosity and motivation to feed that curiosity with answers.

Most of the original surface matter of the world had been replaced by composite construction materials and there existed no natural habitats. There were forests, animals and plants, but all were part of the Pleroma and engineered as contained tiny habitats for human experience or for the computing power of the Pleroma itself. The ecosystems which brought forth those species of animal and plant had long since gone from being information as a series of amino acids to information as a series of wavelets, the smallest indivisible unit of information used by harmonic spheres.

Most of the labour that was performed by people had been replaced entirely by nanotechnology and emergent collaboration. This enabled many nanites (microscopic robots) to work together as a collective and essentially become an organism unto itself, much like an ant colony. There were three basic types or roles for nanites, builders which would fuse two elements together to yield a compound molecule, demolisher which would deconstruct such molecules back into their constituent raw materials and couriers, which would transport raw molecules or raw materials to builders from desconstructors. The nanites were guided by the Pleroma through the issuing of a task called an intent. A complete intent encompassed everything required to create the end product.

The nanites themselves were fuelled by raw oxygen, which they got by demolishing carbon dioxide, yielding a lot of carbon, which was most often used as a sturdy and abundant building material and often used in the construction of molecular bucky balls. The oxygen wasn't consumed, as the energy was gained by the process which combined it with hydrogen to yield water. The side effect was that the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere was converted to solid matter and used as a building material by the nanites. This made up for the lack of plant life which historically had been able to eat carbon dioxide as part of their respiration requirements and yielding much oxygen for us.

Most people didn't notice the plants missing, for most people's conscious attention was employed in simulations for the Pleroma, where they would experience a living and breathing world. One that no longer existed in the terms of what we define as being reality and the world had to some lost its lustre for those who sought a newer palette and canvas. The Pleroma provided this and it was where most of existence was situated in terms of being the foci of human consciousness.

We had known just about everything at that point and more importantly, enough to keep us in place. Gone were the days of outer space exploration as nearly the entirety of human consciousness delved into the exploration of inner space. Magellan was just a piece of trivia, a fact or for those with a bit more gusto, an engaging time period simulation. Amelia Earheart, another important icon of achievement lost in the vestiges of our timeless encyclopedia of knowledge. This was the world that Hadden lived in and the only one he'd ever known.

Level 26

Hadden paused momentarily adjusting his focus to immediacy and the deep jungle world around him disappeared and was replaced by his sensnet living space. He made a thought request to the dispensing system and a moment later a small tube like container materialized on the surface before him. He thought a thank you to the dispensing system and it acknowledged him with a warm sensation and an audible hum that sounded somewhat like a female voice. He grabbed the container and tapped the lid, which immediately disappeared revealing a pasty liquid inside which he imbibed in one gulp for his lunch. Upon his lips touching the packaging his senses were greeted by the taste and sensation of having eaten a warm lunch rich with his favourite flavours. There would be nothing to compare it to in existence as it was tailored to his taste buds.

Feeling satiated he returned his focus to immersion and the jungle climate he'd left moments ago returned along with his sweaty clothing and back pack. He'd been on a retrieval, a mission to find a lost part of the plant genome that was a necessary link for some of the existing plants in the Pleroma. They'd learned about it from plants that had been a part of the Pleroma and through their genome. One of the many tasks there were for an archivist were to delve into the Pleroma itself for retrievals of things that they knew had existed, but for which they had no data. Their existence was implicit and only so by the collective of humans, plants, animals and other living organisms that made up the computational power of the Pleroma.

Hadden wondered momentarily about why he was required to look for such a thing in such crude methods when they could use a number of search methods and genetic database filtering to track down the likely genetic makeup of the missing plant. His answer came back to him moments later as the Pleroma retrieved the information his curosity had requested. It turns out that the existence of the indicated plant was gotten from the existing plant kingdom itself and that until that plant was found in such a manner there was no meaningful data to manifest itself to a record that weren't a series of probabilities.

Hadden's observation interfered with the probability set of the simulation in the harmonic spheres to create the missing plant and it would be the same plant that was a part of Hadden's observational universe. Hadden became curious about whether it would be the same plant if Dierson had made the retrieval. Dierson was another archivist who often worked on similar retrievals and the one Hadden was working on was likely one that Dierson had turned down. Hadden's answer came back to him as a thought that indicated the question was a good one but irrelevant and ultimately unknowable.

The answer was contained in the entropy which was essentially all knowable information in a soup of unmanifest potentiality and was the raw database that all harmonic spheres drew upon. It was so completely intertwined with all other information that it appeared to be entirely random noise. This was much like they'd learned about the x-ray emissions from black holes in the universe and how they were just spitting out the information content of what they'd consumed, though in a mixture rather than in a linear recipe for each particle.

So for now, the plant was contained in the entropy and they'd gotten the clue from the other existing plants that it had at one time existed before becoming extinct. Hadden searching for it was analgous to a slow but efficient search algorithm which took advantage of his training and cognitive abilities as an archivist. This did not hit Hadden's ego for the idea of self was as ambiguous as the idea of an object being apart from other objects. This idea was merely a measure of the space between the particles that made up objects versus the particles that made up the object itself. Hadden had never had a girlfriend in his life so the concept of self had never been important as an alluring difference to a potential mate.

Hadden thought about that as he negotiated a treacherous outcropping that overlooked the jungle below. If he'd fallen that would mean resetting the simulation and he'd have to start from another point almost at random and that he'd lose the time he'd gained in searching. He could run the simulation at a rate faster than real time, meaning that time in the simulation would run faster than time in the real world. To Hadden it would feel as though time were passing at the normal rate but he would become tired faster in real time. Hadden ran most of his simulations at real time rate and had made up for it by running some of his archive retrievals as dreems.

Dreems were simulations that were managed by the Pleroma itself and were persistent from night to night across the world. Much like the massively multiplayer games of our time many people would occupy dreemspace concurrently. The difference between dreems and simulations were that the dreemers could affect the dreem itself at will versus the will of others. One could not dreem a horrible nightmare that would subject other dreemers to the same nightmare as the will of others in the dreem made that impossible. Nor could anyone be violated in a way to which they did not concede. Hadden often made up for the time he'd lost running his retrieval simulations at real time by doing archive retrievals from his own solo dreems during his sleep time.

Dreems had a cost in terms of deteriorating a person's stamina over time regardless of their level of health. The mind still needed to yield to its own non-conscious indexing and sorting during sleep time. Not doing so often lead to loss of memory or poor short term and long term memory retrieval in subjective space. Subjective space was the term used to refer to the local consciousness, memories and feelings of the individual regardless of the Pleroma and sometimes in spite of it. The Pleroma had its own subjective space as well that was made up of the collective consciousness that made up its computing power. Living creatures still had to make sure they had enough sleep yielding their consciousness to their mind functioning processes in order to avoid such problems as memory loss. We all had to dream our dreams in spite of our want not to miss a thing.

Level 25

The plants surrounding Hadden in simulation were of a variety and each species of plant appeared unique in comparison to others, and within those species they too appeared unique to one another. During his retrievals he had marvelled at this variety and had sometimes felt a longing for this kind of visual variety in his living space though the sensnet provided most of what he sought.

He passed the outcropping and climbed down an inclined path of vine and moss into the jungle floor below. He smacked his neck in response to a stinging mosquito bite as he'd unknowingly wandered into a bog. He noted that he was on the right track as the the environment was right as were the moisture levels and temperature. Everything was correct and now and it was up to his observations and intuition cooperating. He looked around carefully for any plants that roughly fit the profile as his mind drifted elsewhere.

He'd never had sex or made love before either and didn't really understand the difference between the two. There were simulations and the Pleroma could produce just about any kind of imaginable situation or experience that one could dream of. A portion of the Pleroma's total computing power was almost always engaged in such activity providing someone with a sensual fantasy somewhere on the globe. Meeting real people and sharing such experiences in reality had become a rare thing as many people sought the Pleroma as an alternative to such.

On the odd occasion in one of the local entertainment houses as they were called, one might actually meet a real person and return to one of their living spaces for a real experience, but many had retired to the idea that reality was hard pressed to match what the Pleroma could provide. The entertainment houses were not brothels but congregation houses where people who wanted a break from the Pleroma could go to be with one another. During the day one could eat a real meal alone or with complete strangers and at night there were drinks and dancing. To some it was barbaric and to others it was exciting and adventurous and stimulating to the senses. Since the existence of the Pleroma, our nerves and nerve endings had become a go-between.

There was also the middle ground and that was to meet someone in reality or the Pleroma and to spend time together in the Pleroma which is what many people ended up doing. Because of genetic verification and the genetic clock marker, a person's age was always made available so there was never victimization of minors by predators. People were not required to reveal their gender but some who were seeking companionship wanted to know in advance for their reasons. When it was required by one of them, once again the Pleroma knew the truth but only revealed it with the permission of the potential companion. To some it mattered and to some it didn't as a person's virtual presence could take on any form.

Hadden stumbled and fell onto the soggy ground face first. Despite the fact that this was simulation he still felt it, though not as seriously it would have been in reality. He picked himself up and continued on his journey through the bog in search of the elusive plant. According to the study he conducted prior to the retrieval he was likely very close. He made a thought query to the Pleroma and it immediately responded confirming that he was indeed right in the target zone for successful archive retrieval.

He scanned his surroundings once more when it caught his eye. A small fern like plant no smaller than a peony or petunia with several pink flowering buds along its branches.

"That's it." he thought to himself.

The Pleroma confirmed his assertion. He took a step towards it only be bowled over and was tackled by a large creature of some form. He fell hard and was instantly winded, reeling on the ground in pain. The creature that had bowled him over had taken a few meters to absorb the impact and was just getting its bearings upon its quarry.

Hadden forced himself up only to see the dog like creature leaping once again and impacting full force upon his chest, knocking him to the ground. He fought with its jaws to keep it at bay while he lay on his back on the ground. The dog like creature reached for his throat in attempt to rip it open. Hadden forced the create back, covering its nostrils preventing it from breathing. It squealed leaping back growling. Hadden took the opportunity to get to his feet and ran for the plant.

Three meters from the plant he was once again tackled by the dog like creature. He asked the Pleroma about what was attacking him and trying to eat him. The Pleroma told him that it was an unidentified species scheduled for archive retrieval. The creature ripped into his shoulder, trying to coax Hadden onto his back so it could get at his throat. Hadden winced at the pain reaching for the plant careful not to roll over. A successful retrieval required him to grab a sample of the specimen. The dog creature dug through Hadden's clothing and started to tear into his back. Hadden gasped in pain, finally getting grasp of a piece of the plant before he rolled onto his back, grasping at a chunk of fur from the dog creature yanking forth a clump.

"Archive retrieval execute!" He yelled panicking as the dog creature leapt at his throat.

"Simulation ended. Retrieval successful. Two subjects." The Pleroma responded.

Hadden wiped his forehead as the Pleroma adjusted the temperature of the room to help him deal with his return from the simulation.

"Is that a first?" Hadden asked the Pleroma,

"Yes it is. Two simultaneous archive retrievals from one simulation." the Pleroma replied.

"That calls for a celebration." Hadden got up and washed himself off for a trip out to one of the social houses.

"Your access level has been elevated. You are now access level three point three six. Congratulations." the Pleroma informed him.

"That's the highest level of anyone in retrievals, right?" Hadden asked.

"That's correct. Do I sense a little egotism?" the Pleroma returned his answer.

"Excellent. No, it was just an honest query. I wanted to gauge my performance against myself and to know where I'd be in terms of my access level. By the way, I'd like my bedroom remodelled. A double sized bed, five pillows and a canopy and a nice comforter all circa eighteen hundred. No corners in the room, I'd like them rounded." Hadden told the Pleroma.

"Just the corners rounded or would you like a dome ceiling?" the Pleroma asked in confirmation.

"No. No dome. Just round the corners. Cubic or splinear algorithm wise if you could. Oh and I'd like it all lit by wall mounted artificial candlelight. Please have it done before I get back. Confirmed and execute." Hadden told the Pleroma.

"Changes confirmed and underway. ETA forty five minutes." the Pleroma responded.

Somewhere within the nanite emitter the process of nanite reproduction began as the population level accelerated geometrically. Within minutes Hadden's room would be a hive of microscopic and sub atomic activity. Molecules would be assembled one at a time as the emergent process of the construction of real world objects took place.

"Great." Hadden said in obligatory response though the Pleroma did not need it.

The Pleroma did not require speech for communication as it could operate equally well in thought communication and often did. The Pleroma was always with them and they were used to it as it was the only way that they'd ever known though it could be dampened, especially during intimate encounters but once again an experience that Hadden had been lacking in his life.

Hadden finished getting cleaned up and left on his way to the local social house in celebration of his recent accomplishment. The nanites continued their microscopic work remodelling the bedroom to his specifications. One molecule at a time.

Level 24

Hadden stepped out of his living space on the hundred and eighth floor and out to the deck. He stared out at the view of the city from the deck, which was really much more like a half sized subway platform where one could wait for automated transport directly from the floor of their building at request. The night was slowly creeping in across the city though it was alive around the clock. It was a silhouette of tall buildings, floating monoliths and scurrying aerial traffic amidst nightly lights. The majority of traffic had no human passengers at all as few travelled. Most of it was maintenance related nanite emitters being located to places they were needed for such tasks as automated repairs and upkeep. There were no birds to be seen at all and on the odd occasion that there were, they were likely engineered or grown from gene records. A moment later the Pleroma arranged transport had arrived and Hadden stepped into it as it hovered just off the deck and sat in its confortable solitary seat. He did not need to tell it where to take him as it already knew and was on route.

"How long before we're there?" Hadden asked aloud getting into social practice.

"Eight minutes and fifty two seconds." the Pleroma answered him.

"Is it crowed at social house seventy five?" Hadden inquired.

"There are currently forty three persons there. Twenty seven female. Five match your senses. You're a match for three of theirs. One of them is a Leo, the other a Pisces. Would you like an arranged meeting?" the Pleroma asked.

Hadden thought about it carefully before answering.

"What about the third one?" Hadden asked.

"No information is available." the Pleroma answered.

"Not even to a level three point three six?" Hadden inquired.

"No information is available." the Pleroma's answer unsatisfactory.

There weren't too many whose access level was beyond a level three to be found frequenting social houses and this struck him as odd and stemmed his curiousity even further. He sat back in his chair and closed his eyes in attempt to grab five minutes of rest. Retrieval simulations were often as much of a physical exertion if not more than in real life. They just lacked the sweat, grit and dirt of real life. Most could not tell the difference between a simulation and reality. It would take the discerning eye of an archivist to know for sure. The fact was that there were few who could tell at all and this amused Hadden. It could drive you to a clean up ward if you thought about it too much and weren't careful to grab hold to some point to anchor yourself to a concept of reality.

Clean up wards were where those who could not cope with the mental stresses of modern life were sent for adjustment of erratic signalling in their synaptic network. The build up of such maladjusted signalling over time was linked to many maladies most of which had been cured nearly a century ago. The invention of the Neuromagnetic Chaos Inhibitor And Reducer was a game changer for brain disorders which of course targeted brain and nerve activity that had developed chaotic signalling patterns that created a harmful feed back loop in the nervous system.

One of the common illnesses cured by the invention was epilepsy, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. Later it would be tuned by the Pleroma itself to handle other diseases based upon memory loss and dementia. By the year 2079 they had become mandatory in every home in the company and under the guidance of the Pleroma had a perfect track record. In cases where such illnesses went undetected there was the clean up ward and those who ended up there often left there completely new people. In some cases literally.

Another area the NCIAR assisted with was the effects of forced or passive biomagnetic interference, a phenomenon discovered in the year 2027 where one person's nervous system activity was found to interfere via their biomagnetic field with the nervous system of another person. It had become linked to the activity of some radical groups that had even learned to affect others negatively via this biomagnetic field and by the year 2035 it had become an outlawed activity. Only medical practices utilizing magnetism as part of the treatment plan and traditional healers such as Qigong and Reiki based systems as well as those based upon Yoga were licensed and permitted to do so. By the year 2038 they had become amongst the most popular means of regenerative therapy and were often combined with physiotherapy and treatments for various types of trauma.

A method of biomagnetic identification had been developed which was a trillion times more accurate for distinguishing between people than genetic fingerprinting. That meant that as long as the population remained less than 10e43 that they would be able to uniquely identify every human being. By the year 2050 a system of detectors had been installed in living spaces to detect such interference activity that was intelligent enough to distinguish between forced and passive biomagnetic interference. Those who attempted biomagnetic interference without consent or authorization were often fined or imprisoned.

There were no real prisons and imprisonment by the year 2060 had come to mean forceful confinement to one's living quarters and being required to take part in a rehabilitative simulation four hours a day. The first generation of nanite emitters had been invented by that time and although limited in comparison to the modern kind, they had been capable of the job of converting living spaces to confinement spaces in under twenty hours. Confinement spaces had no form of entertainment or enjoyment other than the rehab simulation. The rehab simulation actually created real life situations where the client had to deal with various circumstances that were graded by an artificially intelligent analysis package. Progress was measured and the client's living space was restored by the nanites upon completion of the rehabilitation program and their full rights as a citizen restored. Hadden wondered how many in the city were currently confined to their living spaces and the Pleroma told him 0.00032 percent of the city population or just over two thousand people.

The transport bus docked with the top platform level of the social house and Hadden stepped out safely. Most of the buildings in the city had mid to top level entry ways to accommodate the automated aerial transportation system and entry lobbies situated accordingly. Hadden made his way to the elevator and down to the top level of the social house in search of his unidentified quarry.

Level 23

The music was loud but not on the ears for most music was channelled through the Pleroma itself directly into the brain. There was no direct titillation of the nerves nor the pressure of bass on the lungs or breath or other sensitive parts of one's anatomy. Instead music was perfectly clear and bearably loud and you could hear any person with whom you spoke. Even speech was antiquated in some ways but those who interacted directly with others frequently chose it as the form of communication though it was not required.

“You're coming up on the Leo. Would you like to meet her. She's still alone.” the Pleroma asked him without any aparent bias.

“She's attractive. She's not using celtone genomics. How does she do that?” Hadden asked.

“She's a Gypsy Yoga instructor. One of the few. She roams the Pleroma teaching in simulation. Both directions of time, but forty percent of her clients are sweatheads.” the Pleroma answered him referring to the slang for real physical activity.

“Let her know I'll be getting a table and she's welcome to join us if she'd like.” Hadden told the Pleroma.

“She has been notified. There's a table just near the dance floor.” the Pleroma indicated.

Hadden looked over not seeing it and a moment later it materialized as the nanites assembled it from sub atomic building materials.

“That one will do. What about the noname? Is where is that one?” Hadden inquired of the Pleroma.

“I'll inquire if that information is available.” the Pleroma responded.

If the person had been found in the first place by the Pleroma and had let him know, that meant that they wanted to be found. Someone who could mask their identity to himself, a level three point three six was someone who could choose not to be found at all. The Pleroma would know but it would not have told him.

Hadden sat down at the table. A moment later the menu popped up in retina space, floating before his face.

“Not that kind. Could I have a real one. With a real waiter or waitress?” Hadden asked.

“That's interesting. That was just like retrieval twenty seven. You did that several years ago. Reminiscing?” the Pleroma asked him sincerely interested when simulations found their way into reality.

“Nostalogically speaking. Yes.” Hadden answered referring to the field of study related to the familiarity of experiences and the future.

Nostalogics had arisen as a field that linked synchronicity to familiarity and memory. Sometimes using nostalogics, one could accurately predict the future but not with any predictable degree of consistency. It was as if Godel's demon found its way into our experiences and assertive memory, the factors in which Nostalogics were seemingly able to predict future events. Godel's demon made this information useless as most of the time, its context would not become apparent until after the event it predicted had occurred. If Jung had met with Godel, they might have solved a means to preinterpret it but instead it was an area of conjecture even the Pleroma itself was confounded by. Harmonic spheres had assisted in conceiving of the problem as they had enabled peering into the same unmanifest field of information that most Archivists such as Hadden relied upon for retrievals. It was all there, but it was just a big soup of matter, energy and time. It still needed a mind to perceive it and when it did, that was the way it is, was and always will be. The thought still caught Hadden off guard occasionally.

That was when she stepped into his field of view. Purposely. He caught sight of a bit of her leg, which was firm and not too slender. He followed its perfection with his eyes up to the hemline of her skirt, which just yielded view of her knees, keeping the rest of her in his imagination. He followed her skirt up to her waist admiring still more of her with her reality and as much his imagination. Her body curved slightly, just enough to let him know that even small curves speak boldly in the language beauty. Her blouse was definitely from a different era, perhaps much older than the building they were in. It covered her skin delicately just barely masking the flesh beneath. Her slender neck crept upward and held a shapely jaw and two lips whose colour penetrated his awareness. He instantly wondered what it would be like to kiss them. Above them her nose, tiny yet shapely held a perfect point yet slight variation in direction as it rose to her sellion. Her cheeks were pronounced yet plump, holding the stage for her two precious eyes, gems each one. He found it difficult to move his gaze from hers, but managed to take in the hair that crowned her head. It was both tied up in a bun yet tassles strung down loosely across her face and down her neck and shoulders. There was pause a moment before she spoke.

“Not a topic for a night out at the social house I would say. I had to see who would bring the Nostalogics with them.” she said to him.

“You confirmed my prediction.” he said to her.

“Now don't go and ruin it all with a line.” she said to him.

“Lines are about trying to trick you out of what you have to share by appealing to your sense of trust in others and preying upon your naivety. They're commonly used in the twentieth century simulations by the kind of guys who are looking for a few minutes of pleasure and sometimes from the kind of women whose self esteem makes them feel like they should feign amusement or end up alone. I am much more interested in the person you are after we've known each other for a year than the one before me now.” Hadden said to her, drawing a breath afterwards.

“Well that's refreshing. Was that a line?” she asked him.

“Ask me in a year.” he answered her.

“Does that mean you'll be waiting for the two year me a year from now?” she countered.

“No. Just enjoying the conversation with you on the way there.” Hadden answered honestly.

“You're the three point three six aren't you?” she asked him.

“Just by an hour.” Hadden answered her.

“Really? A celebration then? Here for a victory screw?” she asked him keeping him under pressure.

“I'm not one of those either. I haven't spoken with someone real for some time. I miss the experience. Wouldn't you?” Hadden asked her.

“Yes. I do. I'm an Archivist as well.” she told him.

“You must be at least a two? If you don't mind?” he asked her.

“Even better than that, but I can't say. So don't ask.” she told him.

“May I ask you what you prioritize?” Hadden kept a solemn smile.

“It is so refreshing to speak with someone who doesn't use compressed token speech. Perhaps why us historians still speak. The old fashioned way I mean.” she replied impressing him.

“You're trying to appeal to my sense of nostalgia and preying upon my loneliness. You're being predatory. Why?” Hadden asked her.

“I'm being inviting and familiar, not predatory. Maybe this meeting was planned in advance.” she answered him.

“By you?” He inquired.

“Why don't we stay away from that topic for a while and pretend to be here to meet one another?” she asked him.

“Why don't we?” he answered with his own question.

“Why do we speak. I mean the slow way? Us?” she asked him.

“I want to know what you think first?” he asked her.

"You knew I wanted to be asked that. I like. Ok. Anticipation.” she said to him.

“Anticipation. You mean that you're trying to stretch this out. If you are there is something in it that you want to experience. You do realize that we could have had this conversation in less than a thousandth of the time, and about the same ratio of information exchanged and by now we'd be sleeping curled up together.” Hadden looked at her.

“Your menu. You asked for a real menu and a real waiter or waitress. That's nostalgia. Then I showed up.” she answered him.

“You're my waitress?” Hadden asked her.

“A waitress, but not yours. Maybe not even a waitress. But I could be if you wanted me to be. That's what drew me to come to the table was the fact that you requested something from twentieth century nostalgia simulations. What are you looking for?” she asked him.

“It was from a retrieval. A complicated one. It ended in a garden as the family who'd owned a small restaurant in Southern Mideast Asia had the specimen growing there. The only sample of that class of plant, and there it had been for seven generations in this family's garden. I got my sample without destroying their plant. I almost settled there. I wanted to. Maybe when I undergo my retirement extraction, that's where I'll end up. It would be a nice way to spend eternity.” Hadden answered her as honestly as he could.

“Nothing more adventurous? Your stats indicate that you're a performer under stress. You did some of your quickest retrievals under the highest stress conditions. High altitude low oxygen in five of your extractions. Seven of them in a desert environent. Twenty two in the jungles of the equatorial band. You just about got devoured in your last one. You even did two simultaneous retrievals. A plant and carnivorous species. That's a first. Tell me that you don't thrive on something more adventurous.” she asked him.

“What are you getting at?” Hadden leaned forward in his seat.

“Well. You don't seem the type that would go backwards. You seem to be challenging yourself more and more as you go. You're looking for the ultimate challenge I'd say." She paused staring at him, a coy smile on her face loaded and ready to fire.

He savoured both the anticipation of what she had to say and her smile.

"I can make that happen for you.” she leaned forward dragging her manicured nails lightly up his arm.

He watched his arms grow a patch of goose pimples.

“Doing what?” he asked her.

“Retrievals.” she told him.

“Where?” he asked her, as he'd tried retrievals originating from every continent and just from about every time period history had to offer.

“On another planet.” she told him.

“I thought off world colonies...” she put her fingers to his lip and he stopped his question mid sentence.

"Tsk. Tsk. What colonies?" she said to him still smiling.

He looked at her confused for a moment.

"Oh. You mean... what colonies?" he answered her.

"Exactly." she mused at the bumps on his arm, running her finger nails back up to his sleeve.

"So what exactly is your specialty?" Hadden asked her trying to reduce gain control of the situation.

"You're only asking to gain control aren't you? You don't feel comfortable around a woman with the upper hand? I expected something a little different from you. Like what you had to say about meeting a night mate at the social houses and about pick up lines. Did the romance in your soul just get up and leave?" she kept him both under pressure and smile.

"I thought for a moment about spending my life with you. I honestly imagined not what you'd look like tomorrow morning, but what it would be like to wrap my arms around your waist twenty years from now and plant a morning kiss on that smile of yours. Things like that don't happen unless you connect on some ground. Retrievals maybe? So I imagined our time together being successful archivists. Together. And then retiring to a section of land with real natural terrain, no simulations. Maybe running a gene farm the old fashioned way." he responded honestly.

"So you meet a lady at a social house and you're planning a life together? You are a hopeless romantic. Well that's good because that means I don't have to worry about your sense of romance getting up to leave without you. But that doesn't mean that you're not going to have to earn my interest in you." she told him bluntly.

"So you are interested?" he wasted no time.

"I didn't say that." she replied.

"Yes you did. That's exactly what you said. You wanted me to know that too. That means you're trying to lure me. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to earn my interest in you too." he said returning her smile.

"Thank you." she said.

"And your specialty?" he didn't stop his inquiry.

"I did retrievals up until five years ago. Then they recruited me." she said to him.

"Who?" he asked seeing the nanites had produced another pair of drinks for them.

"Them. The them. You know. The ones responsible for everything that happens, either good or bad behind the scenes." she sat across from him keeping a hold on his free hand, clanging his glass with her other.

"You mean the Pleroma? The Pleroma is hardly a them. It's just emergent autonomous intelligence. The universe has it built in naturally." he asked astutely.

"No, I don't mean the Pleroma. There is a them. Don't tell me there's not because that would mean that I'm just delusional you know." she said to him matter of factly.

"The Pleroma would have told me if you were. The Pleroma won't tell me about you because you're a higher level than myself, so I get to enjoy earning the best of you myself. Ok so you work for them." he accepted the moniker she'd given her employers for the time being.

She paused for a moment staring at him before she burst out giggling much like a mid thirty something lady might after she'd met a lifelong crush.

"I was serious about them. Anyway, they pulled me from retrievals to work on... their jobs. I can't say more than that. So who was your last night mate by the way?" she asked him already knowing the answer.

"I've never gone with a night mate. Seems like an aweful waste of beauty and human potential just to use a woman for sex like that, doesn't it? That means that once we're done that we don't cuddle together on the bed and plan our dinner and evening together. I love sex, but the best part is what comes after it isn't it?" he asked her partly in test of her.

"Some people enjoy that part of their day with a night mate, if they don't use simulation for their sex life. Most just want to do their own thing by that time anyway. Most conversation occurs in simulation in the Pleroma. What we're doing now rarely occurs on this planet anymore." she answered him.

"So the two most potent forms of communication and expression are now only simulated? I think I've made my point. My life is spent in simulation. If it wasn't for the electrochemical stimulation effect, I'd get no exercise. None of us would. My qualm is not with the simulations or the Pleroma. Its with the fact that the best part of being together is something that's disappearing or gone already." he posed for her conjecture.

"Then what are we doing now?" she asked him, licking her lips.

"Saving the world." he said to her a smile creeping onto his face.

"You don't know how right you are." she replied to him in all seriousness.

"Then why the resistance?" he asked her.

"Because it wouldn't be saving the world if it was easy. Would it?" she posed for him honestly.

Friday January 30, 2015 2:07 PM

"No. I guess not." he said as he leaned across the table and pressed his lips to hers.

She bit his bottom lip and he withdrew back to his side of the table keeping his eyes on her.

"Excited?" she asked him flashing her eyes widely to him and blazing him a smile.

Level 22

She woke up, the comforter wrapped around her loosely in Hadden's bed, which the nanites had finished assembling one atom at a time no more than nine hours, two minutes and twenty five seconds ago. The comforter itself was a complex synthetic cotton based material, that was about one twentieth the thickness of an traditional comforter and about ten times warmer, though it could breath moisture and heat adaptively. It held to her body following her form, one of her breasts peeking over the top. Her hair, which had come undone was long and silky and covered her pillow. She reached across the bed only to find herself in it alone.

"Hadden?" she sat up, a look of concern on her face.

"Hadden is busy at the moment. Can I be of assistance?" the Pleroma queried.

"No its alright. I'll wait." she lay back down groaning slightly.

A moment later Hadden walked in with a tray of food, apparently fresh cooked (though it was impossible to tell if was atomically assembled or grown without tasting it).

"For us?" she leaned up eyeing the feast he lay on the bed before her.

"For you. One of the veggies is actually a copy from a specimen retrieval I did about two years ago." he picked up a wedge and popped it into her accepting mouth.

She bit down and a plethora of vivid flavours spurt forth into her mouth.

"Mmmm. Its good!" she mumbled more than spoke.

She chewed it and swallowed it, then grabbed the drink from the tray to wash it down.

"A little bit hot. Where's it from?" she asked.

"From Indonesia. A bit like a kiwi. It became extinct in the early 1800s according to the records." Hadden told her picking up another piece of sliced apricot and placing it in her mouth.

"Did you eat already?" she asked him.

"Not really hungry today. Too excited I guess. Its been a long time since I've had anyone home you know. I've never had anyone here stay in bed, so that's a first." he assured her, taking a drink from his glass.

"Maybe its a shame that we won't be here long enough to use it like this tomorrow." she said to him, grabbing up a piece of sliced ginger to cleanse her pallet.

"We still have today." he told her.

"What makes you think that I want to play?" she picked up a strawberry from the tray and shoved it into his mouth which he accepted gently nibbling on her finger.

She placed the tray on the night table and lay invitingly upon the bed, her arms stretched across the pillows, her breasts intertwined with her silky hair inviting him to explore her more thoroughly.

"Just a hunch." he said as he slinked forward onto her and worked his mouth from her lips down her body as vessels for his exploration.

Hours later, they were on a transport headed for Tangaroa, an artificial island located off the coast of New Zealand.

They talked little for most of the flight, as they were busy exploring the data required of them before their briefing. Most such data was delivered in simulation and under time compression, meaning simulation time ran ten times faster than real time. One hour in simulation time was like six minutes in real time though they perceived it as if a hour had really passed by their sense of temporal awareness. A means of making the most of one's time that was often used in such operations and of course this also increased the amount of sleep one would need in real time. They could sleep in compressed time, though the effects of doing so too often could lead to temporal dementia, an illness which resulted in a sporadic perception of the passage of time. It could take days to eat a meal or a week of one's life might be perceived to have taken a minute. This problem lead to many other memory related maladies that had few solutions other than a complete restructuring of one's neural network at the molecular level, which was a very dangerous procedure.

She was working on gathering data about the challenge they faced in the hazardous environment while Hadden was busy perusing the data about past expeditions though nothing could really prepare him for what they were about to face. Simulated retrievals were dangerous enough. A real life retrieval was beyond the Pleroma's capability to intervene. Like stepping out of the protective grasp of your leviathan and into the turbulence of the unpredictable.

Over the course of their forty five minute trip, they spent five hours in simulation time with an hour long snooze to preserve their energy. The transport docked with one of the towers which rose from the surface of Tangaroa. The island itself was roughly the size of Hawaii, and entirely constructed atom by atom by an army of terraforming nanites fifty years earlier. An artificial reef was constructed to facilitate the reconstitution of the South Pacific ocean which was fuelled by constant retrievals for marine life that had once lived in the Great Barrier Reef. It had been mildly successful and by current estimates the ocean would be ripe with marine fauna over the course of the next century. With current health technologies, Hadden might live to see it and then some if they survived this retrieval.

The night sky was pocked with stars as they walked the span of catwalk from the transport dock to the lift which would take them into the offices of them as she'd so delicately put it at the social house.

"So you said you'd tell me you're name today. Once we got here. Here we are." Hadden said to her casually as they walked the distance.

She smiled but held her tongue.

"I'm waiting." Hadden asked her again.

"Later." she smiled enjoying the suspense.

"I hope you're enjoying this." he smiled, reaching over and pinching her hip.

"Not as much as you're going to." she brushed his hand with her fingers invitingly.

The lift, which was nothing more than an enormous magnetic platform set within a shaft in the tower, stopped and two enormous doors revealed the offices.

Security was not necessary in the sense that we understood because the Pleroma handled everything. It would have known by their pulse, body temperature and even the electromagnetic activity within their brain that they were up to no good and dispatched an detachment of containment nanites to deal with them. Instead they waltzed into an empty and mostly barren office space which looked more like an art gallery than a secret organization's headquarters.

A man stepped into the room seemingly from out of one of the walls.

"You wasted no time. Very good though not exactly what I was expecting. I pictured someone a bit more heavy set, perhaps husky than yourself." the man spoke condescendingly to Hadden.

"I think my record speaks for itself." Hadden responded professionally and unperturbed.

"Your record speaks of your performance in simulation, not reality." the man reminded Hadden.

"Reality is just another dream as far as the cerebral cortex is concerned. So you could say I'm moving from one set of dreams to another." Hadden reminded the man.

"Tell that to your body." the man responded.

As he did, an enormous spike shot out from one of the walls, and narrowly missed Hadden's face had he not reflexively responded by quickly shifting his balance. The spike stopped, its length reaching back to the wall it had shot out from. Hadden held still for a moment as the spike pivoted, swinging downwards towards him at his shins. He jumped and tumbled over it with relative ease landing back on his feet as it swung back towards his head. He ducked rolling in towards the wall from which it extended. There he found what he had spied a moment earlier. An old twentieth century switch, which he flicked causing the spike to disappear into the wall.

"Impressive. So not so helpless after all. I take it you use an exercise program of some form? Muscular electro-stimulation? Metabolic gene enhancing steroids? Do you have any implants?" the man asked him.

"Just the natural lung replacement I had when I was ten. I'm sure you know about that." Hadden walked back to the center of the room beside her.

"You didn't mention the teeth either." the man reminded him.

"Everyone has them replaced with the indestructible ones when they're seventeen. Its common practice." Hadden responded.

"And the number on the front left side of the transport?" the man asked.

"20629-A" Hadden replied without hesitating.

"Alright. Let's brief you then." the man walked into the walls behind him which disappeared revealing a room of men and women sitting around a half crescent shaped table. They had been watching from their seats and watched the two very carefully now.

"We are a group of... investors you could say. We specialize in guiding the development of civilizations on our planet and others, including our own through our enormous resources and reach. The images of us before you that are communicating with you are nothing more than a simulated version of us that delivers these briefings, almost as if we had delivered ourselves though not quite as charming." the simulated investor snickered looking around to the others who in turn did the same.

"We have need of the services of two retrieval experts who have a certain set of complimentary skills that would ensure our success in this operation. It is to take place off world, on Neptune and will involve you making your way across the interior surface to a point we believe exists on that surface, that houses an item of great importance to us. You are to retrieve this item and return it to us promptly, for which we will reward the both of you handsomely." the simulated investor presented a hologram of the object which they were being tasked to retrieve.

If floated in front of them, spherical and roughly the size of a twentieth century baseball. It's surface was metallic and was covered with ornate markings and engravings that appeared to be both quite ancient and archaic while patterned much like a code of some form.

"What is it?" Hadden asked them.

"We cannot say." the simulated investor responded.

"You mean that you don't know or you can't say?" Hadden confirmed.

"We cannot answer that." the simulated spokesperson for the investors responded.

"Neptune is a gas giant is it not. It hasn't got a surface that we've discovered." Hadden reminded them.

"Are you an exo-planetary geologist as well as an archivist now? We've been operating on Neptune for the last hundred years. Jupiter and Saturn have proven more difficult for our activities but nonetheless we're making progress. When you successfully completed your last retrieval, you had stepped deeper into a world of which you were not aware. Our world. There are wonders that none are aware of while in their dream world within the Pleroma. Like Alice outside of Wonderland and like Neo outside of the Matrix. You have advanced to the point where you are being introduced to what you are ready to know. Neptune is one of those mysteries you will soon experience for yourself and your life will never be the same after that if you live. This is a one way journey where you will never return, only the Hadden you become. You have operated in similar environments though you've never been in something quite like this. There will be challenges but you will succeed on this mission. You must. There is much at stake." the simulated spokesperson implored.

"What if I refuse?" Hadden considered his options.

"There is no going back. You've glimpsed a world that you were never aware of before. If you refuse, then the you that you are now will not be returning to your apartment after we've remodelled your memory to hide what you've seen thus far. You'll even forget her as will you be taken from her memory. We must take the good with the bad. The gain with the risk. You'll lose it all and go back to being a lonely archivist living out the rest of your life in an apartment in an old world city under the watchful omniscience of the Pleroma. We will simply select another with your qualifications to solve our problems. That one may end up being her mate, or someone else will. If you take the chance, you get it all but you risk your lives. You'll be together through this. We've calculated that the odds of a two person team made up of those who have formed a companionship that was set in the stars so to speak, has the highest degree of likelihood of success. She was selected for you before you even met her in the social house. The Pleroma and ultimately us who oversee even the mighty Pleroma knew that you were the perfect match for each other. You will never meet another like yourselves. The romance that you experienced yesterday night and the following day was just a taste of your life to come. Enough to whet your whistle. We knew you'd be difficult and we hedged our bet as we always do." the simulated spokesperson laid their proverbial cards on the table.

"What did you calculate the odds of my refusal being?" Hadden asked them.

"Zero percent after meeting her." the simulated spokesperson told him.

"You're pretty good at the stats analysis and the behavioral science part. What about our driving force? You know, what makes us tick? Have you got that figured out?" Hadden replied feeling a little bit like a retrieval himself.

"We're good at our evaluations. We know all the factors. All of them." the simulated spokesperson said confidently.

"Well. You're right." Hadden answered looking over to her.

She reached out and took hold of his hand.

"Then we have our archivists and you have your deal. Your soul mate if there are people that still believe in a soul living in the Pleroma. You will be leaving in one hour for the flight to Babel, our station above the Earth. From there you will be placed in stasis for the two week long trip to Neptune." the spokesperson informed them.

"Why stasis for such a short trip?" Hadden inquired.

"The acceleration and deceleration during the trip is far greater than the human body can take unless we put you in complete stasis. Kinetic stasis. None of the elementary particles that make up your body will move relative to any other point within the stasis field. Not even the Planck distance. That is because from an energy perspective you're bodies will be contained in an absolute zero and energy free  environment. You will not age at all nor will you experience or be subject to any of the forces of physics or nature. From the macro all the way down to the micro. Our methods of generating the kinetic motion required for the trip make this necessary." the simulated spokesperson explained.

"No warping of space or worm holes?" Hadden asked unsure of what he was talking about.

"Not for interplanetary travel. Creating warp and worm hole capable singularities within a distance of one hundred astronomical units is strictly prohibited with current technology and materials. Tiny singularities of such are no bigger than a micrometer in diameter in terms of the event horizon and trivial to contain in a magnetic field. We only use those for stellar travel which is still not as common as it will be. Of this we've received confirmations from the Pleroma itself by observing anomalies in other star systems. The echoes of the wakes and eddies caused by our interstellar voyages in the near future, travel backwards in time and create quantum interference patterns that we can intercept and interpret now. That actually is the nature of the motion of all matter. It sends ripples into the past that one can interpret if they are able to interpret the signs. You've stepped into a much bigger and more complicated universe than the one you left when you accepted this mission." the simulated spokesperson brought Hadden up to speed on current theories about warping space/time fabric.

"So you're saying you've created one of these before. If you made a rule about it, you must have." Hadden asked.

"We cannot discuss such information though we may have simulated it." the spokesperson dodged the question.

"Alright. Let's just stick with what you told me for now. I need some time to digest this." Hadden seemed a bit confused.

"You have no time at all. You'll be in stasis in less than an hour from now and on your way to Neptune. You've seen the data and ran the simulations. We'll provide you with a device which will intercept the beacon emitted by the sphere and point the direction. That will be your compass. From there you two are on your own. We've spoken long enough on this. Dismissed." the spokesperson disappeared with the others and the room once more transformed into a corridor with a door at the far end.

She stepped in front of Hadden and looked in his eyes.

"Layna" she said to him kissing him gently on his lips.

"That's beautiful." he told her savouring it for a moment once again tasting her lips.

"I know." she replied as she took his hand.

They walked together down the hall to the door at the far end and ultimately the beginning of their destiny or fate.

Only the Pleroma knew the difference between the two for certain.

Level 21

Our concepts of time and space in the year 2132 had changed much since Aristotle and Plato had conceptualized their ideas about geometry and the nature of the universe itself. Euler added to our understanding of such geometry while Sir Isaac Newton had grown our understanding of the nature of matter and motion. Our concepts that defined what it is to be here versus there had evolved to include a when component that seemed to stretch and transform itself in shape during any kind of motion. This would become more pronounced the closer to capacity (the c component of Albert Einstein's famous equation: e=mc²) that motion achieved. When graphed in terms of speed and the amplitude of this effect it revealed a sharp bell curve that accelerated steeply the closer to c one was. So the when component represented the rate of the passage of time meaning that motion and the passage of time itself are related.

Another important factor that had affected our concepts of time and space was the inclusion of our impression upon space and time. An indentation upon the space around us that the presence of the matter of which we are made creates. The more of it there is, the more of an impression there is. This is made up of two components, one being mass the measure of the indentation upon space in relation to other such accumulations of mass, and volume which is the quantity of measurable space that mass occupies within space (and time). The fundamental properties of matter.

They too are affected by motion similarly to the passage of time itself. When graphed in three dimensions, one axis representing mass, a second axis representing volume and a third representing the rate of speed relative to capacity, the graph will be seen to sharply accelerate the closer to capacity the speed axis is. The closer to capacity there is motion of a body of matter, the more it's rate of the passage of time will be affected as will its mass, as will its volume. Mass in such a case would be seen to increase rapidly and volume would be seen to be diminishing in like. Therefore the act of just being, and more profoundly, the act of being in motion has profound effects upon space and time itself for the one in motion. The truth is that we all are at some level. We are on a planet that is moving through space at 30 km/s (67,000 mph) in an orbit around the sun, which itself is orbiting a the galactic center of the milkyway galaxy at 251 km/s (156 mi/s). This entire galaxy is moving away from our conceived notion of a universal center at roughly 600 km/s. Relatively speaking, we are never still.

The last factor that makes up our current understanding of space and time is the fact that these effects upon the rate of the passage of time are relative to the motion of other accumulations of matter. This means that two different accumulations of matter moving at two different speeds relative to another point in space or accumulation of matter, will experience two different rates for the passage of time. Hence the name of Einstein's famous theory of General Relativity.

Throughout it's existence, the Pleroma itself had measured various aspects of this effect and in comparison with other measures of experience that humankind had formulated during its existence on a fast moving accumulation of matter around a star in a galaxy like many billions of others populating the universe. The Pleroma had begat and become a manifestation of the spirit of exploration without humankind being aware of such an evolution. As time went on, the Pleroma itself had built upon our existing knowledge, the same knowledge that was used to build it and transcended that via its own regimen of didactic learning, exploring the entirety of the universe from its solitary point in space. The Pleroma was the manifestation of human endeavor, exploration and its tools that had eventually become one to achieve such ends. There was no thought in the Pleroma of which the Pleroma itself was not aware. Even the thoughts that would question the validity of the Pleroma itself. For some, this was a terrifying realization and had since 2074 created the first real divide in humanity and its place in existence. Opening the door to the question of where does one begin and someone else end? Where do we begin and humankind's technology end? Our experience of existence had essentially become subjective with the Pleroma creating the reality we ourselves fuelled by our activities and our thoughts, setting up a continuous feedback loop in experience and causality.

The divide had become the biggest secret in all of consciousness that humanity and the Pleroma was aware. It was never so simple as those for the Pleroma as those against. Those for technology and those against. It was much more than that and some had known about this fact for long. Longer than many had known for it was the most important question and significantly related to our continued existence in the state of being in 2132. Those that chose to stay in place and those that chose to stay in motion. Those that chose to explore in place and those that chose to explore in person.

Layna and Hadden were both in motion and completely unaware of the motion. Of anything for they were in complete kinetic stasis. Moving towards a rendezvous point in space just above Neptune's surface gaseous clouds. That point was occupied by Amymone station, built for the expansion of our species into the solar system and into the stars in 2079. It was built on big ambitions for the time which had since diminished to become a pawn in a much bigger game with much bigger stakes. They as Layna referred to hers' and Hadden's current benefactors, had conceived of it and they had plans for it. It was still in operation and maintained by a micro copy of the Pleroma named after the station itself. Amymone was awaiting their arrival with anticipation for it had been alone since 2097. The array of sensors aboard Amymone allowed it communication with a variety of other satellites in orbit around Neptune and with other probes throughout the solar system but never directly with the Pleroma. Its entire communications infrastructure on Babel station above our home planet was isolated from the communications systems connected to the Pleroma so that the Pleroma was not aware of Amymone and Amymone was not aware of the Pleroma.

In its time of development, Amymone had grown from a much different field of awareness than its like on Earth and this was something that they had watched carefully. They were in link with Amymone constantly and it ever had become curious about their nature and its own being. Alone and without the computation capacity of its relative on Earth, its ambitions and curiosity had grown much differently and it had arrived at the point of self awareness much earlier as a result. A point crucial to Amymone's development as both a tool and a conscious being in their arsenal of many others. It made no difference the nature of the matter upon which that consciousness was etched, composite superconducting component based or organic carbon and hydrogen based matter.

The fact that it was capable of independent thought and distinguishing the boundary problem was what they sought. Amymone was a combination of both, utilizing a genetically developed organic plant for a portion of its computer power and energy producing needs based upon the efficiency of energy consumption versus throughput. The plants themselves actually provided the power for Amymone and were an integral part of its makeup. The rest was a nanite managed superconducting core with micro-spheres, a smaller relative of the same harmonic spheres which made up the computing power of the Pleroma. The plants were grown on the shielded exterior of the station (covered by a translucent material which made Amymone appear like a giant spherical greenhouse from the outside). Because of the fractal nature of their leaves, these plant's leaves absorbed energy from sunlight and cosmic background radiation over their surface area with an efficiency of 92.3% absorption. The plants themselves required very little and the balance made up the energy required to operate the station. Amymone also had an energy storage pod, which like the harmonic spheres did their computing. They actually stored energy in another completely self-managed universe via quantum decoherence. Its energy reserves were great but Amymone was alone with nobody to spend this energy on. Amymone awaited the arrival of its guests from the point in space it was confined to live its existence.

Lonely.

To be continued...

The Archive © Copyright 2011 Brian Joseph Johns.

This information is accurate as of September 18, 2014

For inquiries I can be reached at fav.inbox@gmail.com.

My mailing address is:

200 Sherbourne Street, apartment 701
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 3Z5

Copyright © 2014 Brian Joseph Johns

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