Emergence: Section Two, The Continuum; Collected Parts, VIII – XIV

 

Emergence 2.0

Section Two, The Continuum

 

Part Eight, The Body

 

Collected Chapters

 

01 The Whole

02 Perception

03 The Parts

04 Personhood

05 Belonging

06 Freedom

07 Control

 

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Day 057, February 26th, 2017

 

Chapter One: The Whole

 

The Continuum had a place in time and space. It existed at a point (relative to the movement of the galaxy) the members called HomeWorld, the Central Planet, even though it was not their home, nor was it the center of the galaxy

 

Continuum itself was an electromagnetic field of consciousness. It was pure energy.

 

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Day 058, February 27th, 2017

 

Chapter Two: Perception

 

The Continuum constantly reaffirmed to itself the claim that it was a unique and singular consciousness, that no other being (if you could call it one) like itself, existed anywhere in the universe.

 

Jim knew that this was a lie. The Continuum was a construct, merely an algorithm, coordinating the thoughts of a trillion beings.

 

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Day 059, February 28th, 2017

 

Chapter Three: The Parts

 

A trillion beings formed the Continuum, or more. Each persona was a distinct entity carrying the whole compressed within itself.

 

As individuals they were utterly free, there were no limits to the types of experiences they could have, and share. They could live in realms of pure fantasy, or vicariously through the missions of Observers.

 

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Day 060, March 1st, 2017

 

Chapter Four: Personhood

 

The Continuum promised eternal life to its members, but there is more to being than having a distinct-identity.

 

A person must be free, must have autonomy, and purpose.

 

Having purpose is more than possessing a goal, or desire. It is a place of tension between what a person wants, and what they want to end.

 

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Day 061, March 2nd, 2017

 

Chapter Five: Belonging

 

Among the earliest of all personal struggles is that of belonging.

 

Belonging has many forms, belonging to a group by free association, or by the force of compulsion. Then there is metaphysical belonging, belonging according to the ontology of being, belonging simply because you are, because you have been, and as such, will always be.

 

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Day 062, March 3rd, 2017

 

Chapter Six: Freedom

 

In the Continuum there was no want. There were only desires, appetites, and cravings for experiences that the members wished to be fulfilled.

 

Pain and want were only understood vicariously, or recalled from the distant past when they were all organic beings.

 

The Continuum ruled over everything, every known inhabited world, or so it believed.

 

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Chapter Seven: Control

 

Of the one trillion persons whose consciousness was housed in the Collective, the great society that founded the Continuum, the majority never left HomeWorld. They had abandoned their bodies millions of millennia ago.

 

The bodily forms that made them unique, giving them a singular perspective, and defining existence in space-time, were forgotten, ephemeral, and illusionary.

 

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Section Two, The Continuum

 

Part Nine, The Ancients

 

Collected Chapters

 

01 History 1st

02 History 2nd

03 History 3rd

04 History 4th

05 History 5th

06 History 6th

07 History 7th

 

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Day 064, March 5th, 2017

 

Chapter One: History 1st

 

The Continuum is an evolutionary structure. It was the creation of animals, mammals, bipeds with hemispheric brains.

 

The Continuum was a computer construct, a complex algorithm, but it was not an artificial intelligence.

 

It was an amalgamation of hundreds of billions of intelligences; created by individuals who found immortality in the magic of the electron.

 

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Day 065, March 6th, 2017

 

Chapter Two: History 2nd

 

What became the Continuum evolved over the course of billions of years.

 

The people who created it emerged from the waters of their home world, now lost and forgotten.

 

They reached beyond it, and launched themselves into the starry field.

 

They traversed the galaxy without hope of return.

 

They were explorers, discoverers, scientists, and pioneers.

 

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Chapter Three: History 3rd

 

Long before creating the Continuum, the ancient people found a way to the heavens.

 

They colonized asteroids, comets, planetessimals, and planetoids, launching them as living vessels into the void between the stars. The brave people who piloted them, together with their families, set out on their epic journeys knowing well that they would never return.

 

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Chapter Four: History 4th

 

Over the course of billions of years, millions of worlds were populated by the Ancients. The speed at which star ships travel between systems became impossibly fast. They established the foundations of an Empire, and began to track all of the missions that had ever been launched by their forbears, bringing them into the fold.

 

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Day 068, March 9th, 2017

 

Chapter Five: History 5th

 

The children of the Ancients seeded civilizations among the stars.

 

Forgotten colonies grew, flourished, died, and disappeared, detached from their ancestral roots.

 

During those ages, at the center of everything, the Continuum emerged. It reached out to those worlds, connecting them, one to another.

 

It took millions of years for the galactic Empire to form.

 

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Day 069, March 10th, 2017

 

Chapter Six: History 6th

 

The Ancient people who formed the Continuum, they saw it as the undoing of Death, allowing a person to upload their consciousness into a field of perpetual being. In that respect they were right, but the claim was also false.

 

The disembodied consciousness was a type of being, but it was not a living being.

 

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Day 070, March 11th, 2017

 

Chapter Seven: History 7th

 

Death would not be cheated by the Collective.

 

As with everything, the Collective was subject to entropy, at the macro level, and in the quantum field.

 

The whole system was at risk.

 

None of its members talked of this. The Collective was a trap, a miasma. It was maya, an illusion, governed with mechanical tyranny.

 

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Section Two, The Continuum

 

Part Ten, The Hunger

 

Collected Chapters

 

01 Malaise

02 Fascination

03 Apathy

04 Control

05 Taboo

06 Domination

07 Addiction

 

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Day 071, March 12th, 2017

 

Chapter One: Malaise

 

There had been periods of time spanning eons wherein the continuum was silent. The membership was quiet, they were uncommunicative, and merely watching. The Continuum as a whole could become consumed by time’s passage. They waited for something significant to happen, for something to change in their lives, and the worlds that comprised their Empire.

 

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Chapter Two: Fascination

 

There is a pervasive curiosity in the Continuum.

 

The Continuum, and its membership individually, are endlessly curious about the myriad cultures of their offspring, a consumptive curiosity.

 

The Continuum had a morbid fascination with extreme emotions and sensations. Pleasure, fear, pain, hope, it fed on these as if there was no other source of sustenance.

 

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Chapter Three: Apathy

 

The Collective had no sense of time, or its place among the stars, spending as much in the past as the present, or in realms of fantasy.

 

Time’s passage was represented by markers. A moment was only a location on a map.

 

The Collective was the center of everything, believing that nothing could harm it.

 

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Day 074, March 15th, 2017

 

Chapter Four: Control

 

The Continuum governed every aspect of the empire, leaving nothing to chance, cultivating language, and rituals, in an oppressive drama.

 

It ruled the people absolutely, and pitted them against each other at every opportunity.

 

It filled the galaxy like a hungry God, devouring their experiences, passing it to the Collective, who starved for something new.

 

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Day 075, March 16th, 2017

 

Chapter Five: Taboo

 

For the Continuum, the lived experiences of all people, of every world in the galactic empire, were fodder for consumption. They fulfilled its need to feel, and to be something. They gave substance to the imaginative fantasies of the members.

 

Intervention in the development of the worlds was the only taboo; it was frequently broken.

 

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Chapter Six: Domination

 

The Continuum feared that its progeny would find a path to their own immortality, that they would no longer rely on the hope that the religious structures the Continuum had built for them provided.

 

This potential was always crushed, the technology always denied them.

 

There could never be a Collective mind apart from its own.

 

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Chapter Seven: Addiction

 

The Continuum was a psychic vampire, living vicariously, feeding off the lives and experiences of trillions of people.

 

The Collective, both as individuals, and as the Continuum, consumed the delights and the tragedies of millions of worlds, without which it had no substance, no meaning, and no purpose.

 

The collective was a society of ghosts.

 

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Section Two, The Continuum

 

Part Eleven, The Observers

 

Collected Chapters

 

01 Identification

02 Assignment

03 Mission

04 Incorporation

05 Watching

06 Indifference

07 Reporting

 

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Day 029, January 29th, 2017

 

Chapter One: Journey

 

A wormhole is not a tunnel in space/time, linking one place to another. A wormhole is a shortcut through subspace, not a passageway at all. It is a transposition. It is trillions of atoms turning on point the point of pin.

 

A wormhole is to quantum entanglement, the solution Alexander provided for the Gordian knot.

 

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Day 078, March 19th, 2017

 

Chapter One: Identification

 

The Continuum almost exclusively selected the Observers from among its members who had returned to consciousness, after falling into deep silence.

 

Those members disturbed the collective, questioning the purpose and meaning of the Continuum itself.

 

It was considered a benefit to them and to everyone, to send them back into the living fields of experience.

 

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Day 079, March 20th, 2017

 

Chapter Two: Assignment

 

When the Continuum decided to send a member out to the Observer Corp, it effectively removed the influence of that person from the Collective.

 

This provided relief for the suffering of the individual, and relieved the Collective of a weight that brought down the whole.

 

The Continuum kept a copy of the member in stasis.

 

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Chapter Three: Mission

 

The Observers left the Continuum to live ordinary lives with the people of the Empire, returning every one-hundred solar cycles to re-enter the collective consciousness, and feed both the triumphs and tragedies they had witnessed to the Continuum. This was the most intimate way by which the Collective took in what transpired throughout the galaxy.

 

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Day 081, March 22nd, 2017

 

Chapter Four: Incorporation

 

To become an Observer meant returning to a corporeal form, to having a body. It meant living again as an organic life form on the observed world. It also meant having a mechanoid form when on the Central Planet, on returning to HomeWorld. It was a life apart from the insidious pressures of the Collective.

 

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Day 082, March 23rd, 2017

 

Chapter Five: Watching

 

There are many forms of observation; satellite imaging, and measurements, audio and video recordings. These tools, among others, were utilized by the Observer Corps. However, the primary method used by the Observers themselves, was to live with people.

 

Direct observation conveyed the emotional realities themselves directly to the Collective.

 

This is what the Continuum craved.

 

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Chapter Six: Indifference

 

The Observers were not entirely free agents, they were sent by the Continuum and represented its will. They were on a mission. As such, as a means of control, emotional capacities were engineered out of the Observer’s bodies. This complicated the work that they did; but spared the Continuum from being exposed to volatile disruptions.

 

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Section Two, The Continuum

 

Part Twelve, The Empire

 

Collected Chapters

 

01 The Lost

02 The Search

03 The Homecoming

04 The Magisterium

05 The Missions

06 The Billion Worlds

07 The Emperor

 

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Day 085, March 26th, 2017

 

Chapter One: The Lost

 

Ages before the technological advent of collective consciousness, before the invention of the Continuum, the Ancient people were adventurers.

 

They explored their solar system, colonizing every world, exo-planet and satellite.

 

They launched themselves into the galaxy, on ships, and planetoids crossing the dark and empty chasms between the stars, never to return.

 

They were spacefarers.

 

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Day 086, March 27th, 2017

 

Chapter Two: The Search

 

In time, a curiosity arose within the Continuum.

 

A search began.

 

The Collective desired to discover what happened to those ancient explorers, the adventurers who gave everything to the quest for knowledge, the colonists of asteroids and comets.

 

The Continuum launched probes into space to follow their trail, and find the records of their passing.

 

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Day 087, March 28th, 2017

 

Chapter Three: The Homecoming

 

In time, all of the lost colonies were found, both the living, and the dead.

 

Very few of them remembered anything of their origins, or the long dead, cold, star system from which their progenitors hailed.

 

It was easy to coax them into worshipping the Continuum and its promise, to forge them into an empire.

 

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Day 088, March 29th, 2017

 

Chapter Four: The Magisterium

 

A Priesthood emerged from the civilizations founded by the Ancients, by those in greatest proximity to Home World, and nearest in time to the birth of the Continuum.

 

It was guided by the agenda of the Observer Corps.

 

It created the doctrine, and dogma, the binding rituals that structured the spiritual devotions of the Empire.

 

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Day 089, March 30th, 2017

 

Chapter Five: The Missions

 

Star system by star system, and planet by planet, the Imperial missionaries recovered the lost peoples, and brought them all together.

 

They founded the Empire from those remnants of the Ancient people that had given birth to all of them, even though each group had changed in significant ways.

 

They offered this to the Continuum.

 

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Day 090, March 31st, 2017

 

Chapter Six: The Billion Worlds

 

The children of the ancient race, the first people, they evolved into many different life forms; varying cultures, alternate ways of being.

 

The Empire collected them all, gathered them into a cohesive body through ritual, by dogma, doctrine, and with the promise of eternal life.

 

The Empire was the threshold of the Continuum, the gatekeeper.

 

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Day 091, April 1st, 2017

 

Chapter Seven: The Emperor

 

The Empire was organized hierarchically, like a great pyramid, with the Imperator at the top.

The Imperator was the focal point, the sword tip, the apex of the vast galactic civilization, which imagined ruling the lives of countless people.

 

The Imperator was actually an Observer. He was the bridge to the Continuum, the Pontifex Rex.

 

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Section Two, The Continuum

 

Part Thirteen, The Revolutionary

 

Collected Chapters

 

01 Ordinary

02 Eruption

03 Family

04 Tribes

05 Love

06 Music

07 Purpose

 

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Day 092, April 2nd, 2017

 

Chapter One: Ordinary

 

Jim wanted to be as far from the Continuum as possible. He spent ages in the Imperial fleet tracking down the lost colonies, subtly guiding the investigations, most of which led to graveyards.

 

Planet Earth was the end. He settled in, and watched a new culture emerge from the lost children of the Ancient explorers.

 

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Day 093, April 3rd, 2017

 

Chapter Two: Eruption

 

The colonists on Earth had fallen from spacefarer to hunter.

 

The Continuum was fascinated by their devolution, and then the volcano in Indonesia wiped everything out.

 

All the people were left with was a vague memory of their former glory, captured in the snipits of myths, and the maps that were passed on through stargazing.

 

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Day 094, April 4th, 2017

 

Chapter Three: Family

 

It was standard operating procedure for the Observer to bond with a family, Jim followed it.

 

He led them in the dark time, when the sun was not visible for years, leading them to sources of food, and water, and shelter.

 

He protected them.

 

He gave them a virus that changed them in subtle ways.

 

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Day 095, April 5th, 2017

 

Chapter Four: Tribes

 

Strong-new tribes formed after the cataclysm. Jim mingled with different groups in each generation, differentiating them from one another with subtle alterations in their breeding.

 

He guided them across the continents to key places, where they could evolve independently.

 

This kind of intervention was forbidden, but he discovered a way to hide his clandestine activity.

 

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Day 096, April 6th, 2017

 

Chapter Five: Love

 

Love, altruism, on a certain level these are chemical process, the capacity for which depends on a sequence of amino acids, proteins, and enzymes. These building blocks were augmented in humans with a retro-virus, a parasite, blending its genetic code with its host. It fomented a utilitarian blending of compassion, and desire.

 

It was art.

 

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Day 097, April 7th, 2018

 

Chapter Six: Music

 

The collective memory began with rhythm, and became a code fixed in the genes. It united all of the human tribes. It was the drum beat, and that was the back bone of the story through which they all narrated their shared history.

 

The universal archetypes flowed from there.

 

The Collective was obsessed their music.

 

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Chapter Seven: Purpose

 

Jim knew that it was only a matter of time before the next cataclysmic event.

 

Every planet with a molten core experienced them.

 

No one knew how the Ancients dealt with these, before they reached the stars.

 

For the technologically advanced the science was not a problem. He deeply desired to save humanity from it.

 

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Section Two, The Continuum

 

Part Fourteen, The Collapse

 

Collected Chapters

 

01 Shock

02 Pain

03 Shame

04 Sympatico

05 Paralysis

06 Corruption

07 Fuge

 

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Day 099, April 9th, 2017

 

Chapter One: Shock

 

There was nothing that the Continuum, had ever experienced, contemplated or foresaw, in all of its time, that could have prepared it for the dying anguish of an entire world.

 

Until that moment the emotions of its subjects had merely been data. It experienced the lives of its people vicariously, and through well buffered systems.

 

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Day 100, April 10th, 2017

 

Chapter Two: Pain

 

When the catastrophe struck the Collective, fear followed shock.

 

It was as if a chasm had opened beneath the Continuum, followed quickly by a white hot pulse of agony, pushing it over the edge.

 

It was chaos. There was panic. The attack threatened oblivion.

 

Jim had prepared everything precisely, had prepared to assume the control.

 

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Day 101, April 11th, 2017

 

Chapter Three: Shame

 

Human emotion, alien emotion, forgotten feelings long buried, flooded into the Collective.

 

Regret, hopelessness and loss saturated the membership.

 

The Continuum had no frame of reference or context by which to process the tsunami of raw feelings that overwhelmed the Collective, even as it sought to calm the group mind, it was being washed away.

 

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Day 102, April 12th, 2017

 

Chapter Four: Sympatico

 

In the aftermath of the assault, shock and confusion awoke the Collective to its new identity.

 

The incorporation of humanity was experienced as alien invasion.

 

For thousands of years Jim had been preparing them to receive it, through human music, human art, and culture.

 

The collective wanted it, they were hungry for it, and helpless.

 

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Day 103, April 13th, 2017

 

Chapter Five: Paralysis

 

The Continuum was helpless as the human Collective merged with the Collective consciousness of the Ancients in its artificial noosphere.

 

Change defined the human experience, the Continuum dreaded it, feared it, never imagined the scope and rapid pace at which it could take place.

 

Humanity ascended according to their aspirational nature, and the Continuum recoiled.

 

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Day 104, April 14th, 2017

 

Chapter Six: Corruption

 

A plurality of the membership of the Collective fled the wave of human consciousness that breached its cynergenic field.

 

They went dark, retreating to the place of the great sleep.

 

Jim activated the measures that secured them in isolation. He intended to keep them bound forever silence, as a permanent sub-consciousness for the new Continuum.

 

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Chapter Seven: Fuge

 

As human consciousness penetrated the Collective, the Continuum attempted to build defenses against it.

 

Time dilated around the event, a fuge occurred within the group mind.

 

In a quantum blink the convergence was complete.

 

While the Continuum was trying to defend itself in the world, the balance of power shifted in no-time.

 

Humanity emerged ascendant.

 

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

 

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