War

Wendy Jemima Delgadio Katrina Ophelia Crastina Camptine Carver yclept Jemima

Log [circa 110,000 years UTC Ed.]

War is coming and humans are dying.

Wait, that’s not clear; War is coming, Andromeda wasn’t ready to receive us, and the Human Species is no longer immortal.  It is as I saw it, and it shall ever be thus.

In fact, I would say that the spread of the Information Virus and the loss of the Humans immortality are the two constants in the universe.  In all the versions of the timeline I have seen that involve the existence of Humans Being, this point has come.

It’s so strange how there is only one, in the end, timeline.  Everything fits together.  The secret is lack of simultaneity in the natural universe.  Things take time to happen, except entanglement.

I have foreseen my own end.  It’s coming in this time; I can do nothing to stop it, because I bring it about myself.  There are a hundred ways, but I end.  So I’d better record this now.

I was a pretty normal child, though the news nets have it that I was unruly, I have been back and looked, and I was pretty much normal.  Didn’t interfere, thought I might make the universe blow up.  I was normal, a pretty little girl; I think my parents had co-conceived some siblings, but that was some time before me.  They stayed together for a while and made a small family unit, not uncommon, but I was free to roam as any child, and I do remember distinctly that the Interferer In Small Things visited me by Avatar when I was six.  She was VERY nice.  Played games, instructed me a bit; persuaded me to go to school.  I always wondered why, but it turned out well; until that day.

I made good friends, I particularly remember one incident when I was about thirteen when we decided to go rock climbing.  We were pretty experienced by then; Hart, Jodie, Vanthana and I.  We decided to take a trip to Jandanthus, which was well known for its cliffs and fjords.  We were well up, I think about 300 Metres or so, and I slipped, Hart caught me, but we were in an entirely untenable position.  I hadn’t got to the point of mind-netting or backing up, I was only thirteen and hadn’t thought about my long term mortality yet.  No-one had had the “deaders live in cyberspace” talk yet, so I was quite vulnerable.  Hart was already backup and cloned, so she rescued me and fell to her death.  Oh the feels!  Took a week for her backup to come in.  Wasn’t best pleased as she missed the hockey tournament.  Still, she didn’t hesitate, as I say, good friends.

Needless to say I mind-netted straight after that incident and had plenty of backups.  I did have an adult me cloned and took a holiday in that for a while, I think she died I don’t know, 1000 years ago.  She might have had children even, must look that up sometime.

I took a lot more risks after the backup, but never came close again to actually losing the life I still have.  I know that I’m the oldest natural person alive, if that means anything.  I am, by my reckoning, nearly a million years old now.  I have seen the beginning of time, such as it was, and the end of time; and yes, there will be an end, though a heat death is pretty boring, and the bounce theorists actually are right, but all the old information disappears, except me.

I’ve never grown bored.

I think that’s the secret.  People grow bored and take risks and die, because they are bored and lose hope.

I’ve seen a few versions of civilisation develop, in other places, and other times, and this is what seems to happen, it isn’t the disease or wearing out; inevitably most advanced civilisations overcome that, in fact, most advanced civilisations inevitably become some version of The Conglomerate one way or the other.  It’s a natural consequence of not needing to toil for your daily bread.

I’ve been back to the early civilisation of The Humans, and before they had properly left their home planet even before they had a version of AI.  A few false starts on the way, but once the true AI came about, it wasn’t long before their Civilisation was on its way to the stars.

Crow and her crew were recruited by Human Affairs as the orbital they were variously living on and visiting was actively being destroyed.  I was there for that.  It used to be called something else, but now it’s The Hope.  Most of the Minds know something happened, it confirmed my long held suspicion that they exist in far more ways than they let on.  Crow rescued Serafina and Jake, in effect, and they ran from a black hole.

That wasn’t supposed to happen, I was going to fight this in other ways, I guess you can’t control everything.

There are so many threads, it’s hard to concentrate.  Two and a quarter million years ago, give or take, the Squalia decided that the Guardians, those seeing and preserving humans in Andromeda, were too big an obstacle.  They sent their information virus out, and we were vulnerable to it.

You have to admire them in some ways.  Here’s a species that has nothing in common with most of the life forms in its own galaxy, hasn’t achieved space travel, or even left the planet; and they look forward to a time when those technologies will be developed and start the invasion before they have rocket technology.

That’s patience on a level I can get with.

That’s what hit us, um, personal timeline, ten years ago.  I’m not sure how Crow and her lot see it.

Time travel is a pain in the backside.  It might be an inevitable and sometimes painful consequence of space travel, but there is no doubt that it is a nuisance.

In the natural universe, time is that loaf of bread the other ingredients of which are the dimensions of space, and some quantum effects.  We’ve been close to describing the whole natural universe for a hundred thousand years.  It mostly isn’t too hard to understand, and can be written down in a few relatively simple equations; but it’s never described all together.  The most ancient philosophers understood this.  (See Hilbert and Gödel).

The universe is described by mathematics.  I could try and explain it, but the explanation is nothing without the language to understand it, and that takes a lifetime.  Well, not MY lifetime, but anyone mortal.

In short the problem can be précised like this

“Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory.” (Gödel, On Formally Undecidable Propositions in Principia Mathematica and Related Systems I, Theorem VI)

Informal translation; you can’t know everything and you can’t prove some things to be true even if they are true.  You have to take it on faith.  It is a fundamental truth to the universe.

The shape of our universe is described by things like this, this is how it is, because this is how it is.  Human Beings in particular keep asking why.

Where was I?

Oh yes, the Squalia were so forward looking that they invaded us before they had the means to travel here even in many hundreds and thousands of their generations.  That’s what I call some real vision.  Their informational viruses engineered the people of the Milky Way so that first we could understand them, and then we would become them.

It worse than the spacefaring species think.  Spacefaring species tend to think of non-space faring species as largely irrelevant. No-one will give them the technology to roam around the galaxy, not out of some noble non-interference directive so beloved of science-fiction; but rather because no-one wants an immature species wandering about blowing things up while they are in the jacuzzi, having sex or at a conference discussing the unknowability of the universe.

That sort of thing puts a real crimp in your day.

I ate a doughnut last week, it was good.

Displacement in some way defines the edge of the galaxy.  For years scientists discussed what the galaxy really was and what its boundaries were, but really they were truly defined when the first true ship’s Mind discovered or invented Displacement.  Don’t ask me how it works, it’s beyond even my understanding.  It’s risky though.  I wouldn’t do it.  In any event, it isn’t possible to do it in inter-galactic space, though it’s suspected that within any galaxy it’s possible, so that defines the boundary rather nicely.

What still has everyone excited is that the boundary is sort of a very flattened doughnut.  It isn’t possible to Displace into the centre of the galaxy, and by that definition it isn’t part of the greater galaxy.

So anyway, the viri are informational in nature, so anyone with eyes or a broadcast/receive system can pick it up.  And it’s analogue, so any bugger with a bit of wire can pick it up.  The war isn’t just coming from outside the Galaxy, it’s coming from inside.  With it, the curse of telepathy is coming.

My mind wanders a lot, excuse it, please; I end up with a sort of inability to concentrate on one thing because I’m concentrating on everything.  The suit reminds of things from time to time, but I’m still only human.  And I’m dressed like a bloody schoolgirl for all time.

Digital telepathy has been around for as long as people have  been in a space, and yet no-one uses it?  Why?  Because we all value our internal privacy.  The constant babble of other minds let alone Minds, would drive us mad, we’re not born like it, it isn’t inherent in us.  Unlike the humans of the second galaxy we’re not latent with it in that way.  So telepathy for us is a curse, we can’t control it, we’re not used to the kind of imagination we need to control it, and we don’t use it, even when we’re given it by virtue of the ‘nets and all the other toys.

I’ve asked the Garden to shut its doors.  That should stop some of the more egregious damage, but I’ll have to take the back route to my house.  And my suit needs repairs after Landing.  I hope Serafina is still keen, because that was literally a stretch.

Poor old Landing, three Minds lost; The Toby Pope, Organiser Of The World, and Hats Are For Sun Worshippers.  Some of the other Minds are nervous about that.  Difference is, they’re mobile.

There are no paths out of this war.  I can’t let the time stream be interfered with again, Crow did a good job, and this is the lesser of two evils; the other result is to become them.  I know some have already considered it, the ethics, destroy a species, a civilisation, or become it because that’s the ethical thing to do.

We’re still young in our civilisation’s development.  Older versions of this kind of civilisation have solved these problems.  I don’t like any of the solutions, but then, I’m only Human.

The Iffens weighed in; their sailing ships are sailing towards the edge of the galaxy right now.  The Sirithi colonies are amassing materiél and manufacturing ships as fast as they can.  The Mandorn has recalled all of itself to the Mandorn Planet.  The I’Drothen have advised everyone to retire to some safe territory.  Apart from a few volunteers, they are not ready to fight, and of all the species in the galaxy, they are immune, so someone is around to carry on if we lose.

I’m not ready to come back yet.  I still haven’t discovered who freed Alice, or even how.  And random fluctuations in how the universe works doesn’t explain how she came to be in Crow’s company.

Anyway, you can’t control people, even if the result is war.  And Alice might have been responsible for it, but Eric wasn’t, he didn’t know.

We took their telepathy, it’s becoming our curse now.  But it’s worse than that.  Our genes took their telepathy; we didn’t just gain it, they lost it.  Now there is a hybrid of Human and Squalia on the border of the galaxy, just out of Displacement range.  And they are sending in the Drones.

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