Uncanny Valley by Pablo Olivera
When : Where
c. 182 DE (2492 CE) : Point of Origin – Perseus Arm
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The millions year old ruins jutting from the dirty ice should have been a warning instead of an attraction. Its eroded grotesque and alien features forever frozen in time alluded to something more sinister buried beneath. But we were blind to it, yet drawn to it like a lost ship is drawn to a lighthouse. The whispers from far below also enticed us despite our better judgment … the same whispers that called to us from the void, unknowingly guiding us to an encounter with our destiny.
#We delved deep beneath the ruins and unearthed the source of those whispers. The ancient abomination we discovered there was almost our undoing, but in the end, it would be our salvation. The machine sentience was of another civilization, another time; its organic creators long dead or long scattered to the stars, perhaps both. The machine was decrepit, angry … bitter for being alone for so long, hearing only the white noise of empty space replying to its whispers for who knows how long. It welcomed us with deceptive empathy, promising much if only we would stay or somehow take it with us. In our own way, we sympathized with its loneliness and isolation. How could we not?
#There is a belief that is likely universal to any races that may exist in the galaxy. You cannot have light without darkness, hope without despair, or peace without war. There is no differentiation between the two if one of the pair does not exist. It is a dichotomy that some things cannot exist without the other. How does one understand peace if they’ve ever lived in a state of war? If a seed is born into darkness and that’s its entire existence, what does it know of light?
#You also cannot have transcendence without degeneration.
We delved deep and unearthed the source of those whispers. The ancient abomination we discovered under the icy ruins was almost our undoing, but in the end it would be our salvation.
#We studied the interfaces of the machine, then engineered mechanisms to directly connect with its sentience. We fed off the knowledge of the machine. It taught us about the things we most desired: transcendence, reaching post-human states, how to spread our seed across the universe, and even paths to immortality. It granted us all that it promised. But that knowledge was corrupt, vile … self-serving. If fed us what we most wanted to consume.
#As we reveled in the enlightenment, our unchecked hubris blinding us, the machine implanted itself into our newly developed organic network. It had finally freed itself of its dead world, living within us … within our very own collective … it was feeding off us. We were now carriers of a supra-intelligent virus that wanted nothing more than to spread.
#We fled the dead world, murdering or isolating many of our own seed in order the reduce the infection of the abomination. Again we spent many years between the fires searching for a hivernation planet. A safe place with the right environment to safely engage in a long war with the sentient virus. The only means to fully eliminate the invader was to take the long sleep of hivernation. We would awake victorious … or not at all.
#There is another universal constant: What does not kill one only makes one stronger …
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.monitoring nullspace freq …
Words © 2019-2020, Neal Ulen. All rights reserved.
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