nn5n Foundation
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nn5n: Mission Statement
Mission StatementRate: 245
Mission Statement

The alarm sounds its gentle, delicate electro-waltz. It does not wake me up; I have been awake for almost two hours now. Dreams are not safe anymore.

I stand up, knowing I cannot fool the kind tyrant that is my auto-manager. It will start bothering me in a few seconds if I do not get up, and in a few more it will start giving me the occasional shock just so I get to work.

For a minute, some rebellious part of myself wonders… Well, why not? Let it fry your brain. Make this a little harder on everybody. Or aren't you tired of this lie, of all the pretending? Do you really agree with the plan?

I do not. But no one person matters.

The rebellious impulse goes away, as usual. As I stand in my bedroom, a spartan habitat excavated from moon rock and covered in cold concrete, I check on that one thing we used to contain.

Under the Sun lies a nest, shining with its own light. It is a mess of thin, black filaments tangled in a myriad of hands. At its center, a goddess huddles against her legs, her face showing the strain her heart feels. Tiny gold tears flow over her face, pushed by the breath of the star below.

She wonders if it will hurt.

Death. The end, after thousands of years. For good. For real. For the last time.

She shivers, thousands of arms stretching out of her back, more and more hands popping out of them, supernumerary fingers pointing practically everywhere; she no longer cares about them. For a while, they hurt, but now she doesn't even feel them. They have their own inscrutable wills that point them everywhere; a tree made of hands whose branches stretched, growing on themselves and concealing her underneath. It has been covered in a thick cloud of her black hair for years now.

It's never been this bad. She feels how the whole universe closes down on Earth. And, still, decades after accepting their pleas for help, she wonders… was trusting the Foundation the better choice? Can there be a better choice?

For a brief second, when their contraptions grip around her, she can feel her brother weeping for her, for his kin and for all reality — and then, she is in agony.

For hours. And days. And weeks. And forever, even when her body is dissolved and nothing remains of her but cinders under the Sun; now, she is gone. Not dead, but as close as she can be to it.

And, even in infinite pain, she feels somewhat glad: she is satisfied. Her mission is complete.

The anchors tear her apart.

The anchor of all anchors.

I observe the float, the screen of ultra-light nanogel where a goddess is dying, and will keep dying; she has been dying for a few hours now. She is the central foundation of the Border, and she has to be. Nothing else will stand the strain. Nothing else this real ever wanted to help us do what must be done.

I begin to dress up. Then I realize how pointless it has been for twelve years that I wear clothes at all.

While we could, we secured anomalies. When we were unable to do that anymore, at least we could contain the ones we already had, mining them for the most pitiful scraps of data we could extract. When we weren't able to do even that, we chose to do the one thing we were supposed to do. The one thing we intimately believed, in our core, to be right.

We protected them.

Not just from anomalies, but from the truth. From the lies we told ourselves, too. And from the sad, pathetic lies of omission we kept telling those who worked for us, hoping they would not feel curious. Hoping they wouldn't peek at the stars.

They did.

And so, a handful of them figured out that the universe was going to die.

"Look, mommy!"

Risa Volyanova glances at what her beautiful six-year-old points to. Just another dull toy, a teddy bear with white and black fur, arranged in the chest area to look like a space suit with the arrows-and-shield symbol of the Federation emblazoned over the heart. Risa sighs; they just do not make Wondertoys like they used to.

Knowing fully well Federation Day is coming, Risa picks it up nonetheless and checks the price tag; way too many merits for their paltry checks. Certainly way too many for just another piece of overpriced memetically patriotic toy junk. Not a good present, not even for such a special day.

She sighs. There are so few special days left…

Risa tries to remember some of the toys (anything, anything at all) the old Doctor made. She cannot; years of amnestic prescriptions and early conditioning have made her mind malleable to redaction therapies. Knowing the kind of memes that could get in one's mind, who is she to blame the Federation? Her case is particularly bad, she's been told all her life. A family condition, mental… And possibly something else.

She shakes her head. She hates giving Caricia bad news, and this year the poor girl is gonna have her hands full enough with the first therapy sessions…

… and that is when she notices the little kid has let go of her hand. Feeling the sudden fear of parents in the absence of their children, Risa turns around, searching the shopping boulevard for her daughter. Caricia stays by the enormous windows at one side of the arco-mall, watching the night sky with a critic's eye.

"Mom, have stars always been so far away?"

And the alarms shriek.

Originally, this plan was to wait and keep our world as safe as possible from any threats, anomalies from beyond and inside alike hunted and imprisoned for the greater good; and, when the time came, we would simply go out, no fight, no fuss. If reality ended, then we would end with it.

Those who had ideas on how to solve the problem either contacted their superiors or waited until they were promoted. Eventually, they were in a position to change the original plan, and so they did.

The final activation sequence of such plan is about to begin. Phase two is already active and about to end. It will take a few minutes, so I have time to indulge in my feelings.

My desktop is made of wood. Real, earthly wood. A memento from my predecessor, an anachronism filled with memories; be it emotion or respect, I cannot bring myself to discard them. I find myself being regularly dragged to them instead. I cannot help but to be observe and study them, to lucubrate on how these small relics and prohibited things reached her hands. And I particularly cherish one of them, which I pull from the uppermost drawer.

I look at the protein-made model of a Star Womb. It is a magnificent thing, a massive, gargantuan thing. And it fits in the palm of my hand. My mind makes me feel that it is not right; it spawns worlds, how could it be so small?

I used to enter the nanogel projector rooms and ask the computer to model a few of them for me, around Earth. I know that, at such distance, their mutual gravity would disperse them and destroy Earth. But I marveled, I gaped at their incredible size, their infinite, inspiring majesty. In awe.

I gaze at the screen. It announces that Phase two will reach Earth in minutes. All gone now.

The mess hall was filled with laughter and the colorful shapes of nanogelled birds, almost neon-like, as the Recreation Hour got into its best fifteen minutes. Everyone was crazy with beats, chems and love.

Reyes danced xyr most ridiculous moves, hoping xe would attract the attention of some of the cuties in the field tonight. Xe liked a pair of the tall, flowing Miner types in the dance floor, but by the looks of their orthetic amplifiers, low gravity had done numbers on them. Reyes was concerned that an Earthling would scare them off, and xe did not blame them; a broken arm or a dislodged pelvis would be bad. The Federation never really cared for broken goods when it could replace them and make new ones in the protein vats.

A few of the bartenders looked cute too; there was a half-naked see waiter over there, full male, that was actually flirting with a bunch of guys. Reyes smiled; why wouldn't he? The Recreation WarD was open to everybody for an hour, and thanks to the nanogel that filled the air, not one of them would fear for their safety. And he looked handsome, too!

But sees could get you into trouble if you happened to hear too much; Reyes was not looking forward to another brain scrub. Another ten months of drool every time xe wanted to speak was certainly not in xyr list of priorities. Life was too short for that kind of bullshit; Reyes danced away.

Maybe xe could get one of xyr old friends to the bunk tonight. Or one of those from the other WarDs that were visiting.

But then, xe saw the girl. As Reyes looked at her, xe recognized the pattern and had to stop dancing; she was one of those poor people.

She had seen too much, knew too much. She danced to forget, to empty a head too heavy with knowledge she'd rather not have. She downed a pill of giddy-thoughts-and-singing with a sunburst cocktail. She was not wearing any citizen belts (against regulation), desperately trying to forget who she was, but in Reyes's eyes, she could have "bee" plastered on belts all the same.

Xe walked to the girl. Most people thought xe was part of a whole subculture of people that were moronic and lazy by design, the scum of the Earth; deserters, cowards, degenes and criminals. And some of their class did live up to that image, but Reyes had both brain and standards.

Xe reached out to the girl, swatting a flock of bright pink nanogel hummingbirds away, and shouted to get through the synthetic music they chirped. "Hey! You alright there!"

She looked at Reyes, her eyes overflowing with tears and knowing.

Xe knew xe had stumbled xemself into trouble the very moment the girl started to open her little silly bee mouth to say. "I-I can't hear the stars sing anym-"

And then, the alarms went off, the windows of the overlooks that showed the looming moon over the arcology polarized; every citizen of xyr class, xemself included, became limp and obedient. The booming, faceless voice shook the WarD to the ceiling, the music gone, the lights suddenly white, the nanogel edgings melting into float filled with warnings and advisories.

The powerful, commanding voice went: Attention, D-Class Citizens. A Minor Threat Situation has been declared in this Arcology. Do not approach the exterior nor attempt to open any windows. All C and B-Class Citizens, return to the previously designated emergency areas. A Minor Threat Situation has been declared in this Arcology…

Of course, the grandiosity of such anomalies is not lost on me. It is not lost on many of us. There will be stories from beyond our light that will go forever unexplained, tales of survivors who saw other suns over other worlds, and sometimes just hints, clues to a greater universe… lost. We agreed that letting go is worth more than the alternative.

"We agreed." Nobody else did. Just us.

I feel like crying. If I close my eyes, I will see how the Sister of the Sun withers and dies again, writhing, her face frozen in pain as it snaps in pieces; so I do not.

Half-walking, half-jumping down the hall of my house (a small lunar bunker, well equipped but mostly just functional), I reach my terminal. It has a magnificent screen, hemispheric, capable of reproducing in real time and perfect tridimensionality every event that I am supposed to know about in the entirety of the Solar System.

For the past ten or so years, however, we have been euthanizing every single anomaly we knew of. There are not many alerts left to which I should pay attention to. There was a good reason: we did not want them to suffer what the Sister suffered.

Or so many other things, monsters and wonders alike, that we killed. We killed them just so we would remain hidden away.

Not just us, the Foundation; not even us, humanity; us, Sol.

Old Man Sun fell, his augmented body finally spent. A containment alarm sounded somewhere, but he had no ears for it. Finally, his brain died out.

Then, he woke up.

"Well, it took you a while," said the Old Man Dream.

Old Man Sun opened his eyes. Yes, the sky was there, but there were no stars. No stars whatsoever. "Wait," he started, "my eyes…"

He touched his hands, his face, his ears. Old Man Sun could speak, Old Man Sun could hear, Old Man Sun could see. He looked around.

The moon still gleamed over his head, untouchable. Under it, the endless cities of the Federation entered All-Censor Mode, Arcologies bunkering down and closing sheet after sheet of metal and ceramics over lookouts and cameras. He stood over a mountain higher than any of the immense halls of humanity.

"They've come a long ways, eh," said Old Man Dream. Old Man Sun looked back at him, wearing a strange hat and clothes like those of the Federation's highest. "Despite our advice."

"What happened?", asked Old Man Sun. The other shook his head.

"They have noticed a threat they can't beat, so they're running away from it. We are all dying."

"… but, you-?"

"You are dreaming. It's normal you don't recognize me, much changes from an incarnation to the next."


"Sun Master."

"I am dying, am I not?"

"Sure. No more ball-pushing. The younglings have it covered. Not that I wanted them to do it this way, but it is too late to stop it."

Old Man Sun gaped at the scene. "I am dying…"

He gasped for an air that did not exist and saw the Cities of the Children of Dust go silent and dark. Over the horizon, the Sun rolled on its own, warming the cold concrete and the whole world.

He took it all in, his dreamself shaking and beginning to cry. "I can move on… now I can meet my children."

Old Man Dream came to him, placing a hand over his shoulder. "Go. They wait for you."

Old Man Sun nodded, nervous. "What about you?"

"I will probably be joining you too, soon. I just have to check on an old friend."

"Go, then… I shall see you s-"

"SCP-499-55 is down, I repeat, SCP-499-55 is down."

"Dispatching SCP-499-56. God, we're running out of clones…"

Because, for a very long time, the Foundation almost lost everything.

For the longest time, we had to make concessions. We had to go all the way straight down to discreetly endorsing fascism, then all the way up to enacting the world's greatest farce; Foundation, Federation, just brands for the same product. Then, with the masses blind of nepenthe, we worked our backs by handling the heft of the world on our own, and expected it to get heavier; so we expanded.

Humanity is the Foundation now. The Foundation is Humanity now. Extricating one from the other now would leave one limping to its deathbed and the other pointless.

I digress. I check on the progress of Phase two, opening a float feed connected to a camera on the surface. The last wave of true starlight already passed Earth and I missed it. Stars have dulled, and most die out entirely as I look. Amused, I wonder if that one star can still see us, and whether we can tell what it thinks of this whole thing.

I open another float on the automated array of devices meant to monitor it. I smile. Threatening to the end.

I close it, and know that the star is dead. All stars are dead.

It looks promising. It did not use to, back then; our predecessors feared we would lose everything to fanatics or anomalies… but we won. Kings of the anthill that Earth had become. And even after winning, that was not enough.

Resources were scarce, even under our rule. We absorbed every group, every corporation, every nation; it was not yet enough. So we expanded even further.

Of course, as part of an ongoing effort to secure the secrecy of our project, we told the masses that interstellar travel was impossible, probably even dangerous to experiment with. It used to be, yet we developed it one hundred and twelve years ago. We used it to collect the resources required to implement the plan, most of them extrasolar in origin.

The populace believes the underlying physics of the universe are comfortingly solid, reliable and absolute. Therein lies yet another kind lie; C is as much a barrier as it is a protective wall: nothing of the sort.

The truth is far more complicated. Thousands of self-replicating ships were launched back in the first days of the project, when the shadow had barely begun to manifest. We did not deplete our own star system because we could reliably predict how much humanity would need it in the days after the plan was completed. Those ships traveled faster than light towards their colonies, loaded with three things: automated machinery, a strict schedule, and a dedicated workforce, inspired through a manufactured religion. Billions of them. A flourishing civilization on their own.

Most of the bulk of humanity is actually composed of what we like to call "E-Class Citizens," who called themselves "Exiles." The E-Class personnel, I am told, originally handled the securing of anomalies.

Now, as I and twelve others flip a switch, they are dead. Scattered across a fractured cosmos, a dozen worlds depleted of all useful materials… just to make certain that the Foundation had a chance at success. Their exile, and the stories and legends that surround it, is ended. A century of oral tradition, dedicated machine worship and astronomical mysticism, all of it a delicately engineered and projected memeplex, burnt in a second to never be remembered by anyone.

But the Overseers.

Everything a lie. He sees it now.

The fleets of the Exiles watch in awe, fear and sudden comprehension as the Infinite Border becomes active. It is a machine they know well, for their mothers, and their mothers before them, and their mothers before them, had built it with the bones of every dusty ball of ice and rock a dozen lightyears around it. None of their numbers ever dared to enter the holy space beyond it.

It had been forbidden.

Now, Grand Helmsman Roderick watches as the Border cuts space with unreal fire and the universe becomes dimmer around them. He sees his brethren confused, shouting incredulous, confused, sad, "why?"

It had been forbidden.

Roderick turns and looks down to the small reliquary of his cabin, where a perfect sphere levitates: the symbol of It which Is One (One Mind, One World, One Purpose) that has driven him for all those years. The heretics had been right all along. All the promises and hopes their kin had been given were not to be.

Again, it had been forbidden. By whom?

He takes the most sacred thing he has ever called his own and smashes it against his control panel, crying in shame. When faced with the terrified looks of the other vat-bred Exiles, Roderick feels fury.

He now knows the truth, and he shouts out.

"It Who Is was Never Whole!"

And Sol, and all its promises, goes away in a stream of twisted space coiling on itself as it disappears. In its place, the universe slowly becomes darker, darker as the worlds the Exiles had visited, the worlds the Enemy had chosen to devour first. Darker as if a shadow came to them…

It had always been coming. It was here. The end of the universe. The thing that would have its prey.

Desperation washes all over the fleet as the stars went out, the power of the Watch Under The Sun drawn to the Border. There is nothing left, the Helmsman knows, but to pray.

And he does. Connecting the thick tube of communication to his mouth, he chants despite the end of the universe.

"Pray for your souls, my brethren," Roderick says, searching for wholeness within and finding none. He goes to hope instead. "May they reach It and make us all Whole again."

And lies were worth it, it was all worth it. For the first time in all of our history, an Overseer can look upon our works and say "Yes, we are safe. Yes, Humanity is safe. Yes, Earth is safe. The Foundation's mission is complete."

Earth will live. Humankind will develop, and wither, and eventually die when our sun dwindles and dies itself… unless we manage to trick ourselves out of this new conundrum, of course.

Because the Foundation will persevere. We persevered these past decades, and we succeeded. At the negligible cost of the rest of the universe, we escaped a threat that is now devouring all known space… perhaps all that once was, for lack of a better word, "real."

We do not know how long our countermeasures will last. But even that has been taken into account, of course. There are dozens of temporal sinks beyond the Oort Cloud, their size larger than the Moon, continuously bartering time out of a universe that has none left for itself. They siphon what little eons can be salvaged from it… My peers say that we cut its agony short. I believe euthanizing it without asking is still murder.

The Anchors we have deployed took almost a century of uninterrupted work to finish. They do keep at bay the simple horror of a predator that we, poor prey, are not evolved enough to outrun on our own. The entire thing requires an enormous array of Dyson statites to keep it going, barely active. And still, we know — I know that it is the right thing to do.

As I input the final activation sequence authorization and see how the other twelve do the same, I wonder if there was a right thing to do.

Of course, I know there is, and we did it. We vowed to protect humanity. Intellectually, I know how morally myopic this all sounds, to sacrifice the entire universe as bait while we built our own defense, our Infinite Border. But please, judge us kindly.

It is too big for us to picture. And we have seen the children. We have met the lovers. We have embraced the siblings. We have rebelled against the elders. We are humans, and we are egotistical, and self-centered, and ultimately, scared.

We want to live.

A nameless man wanders alone in the plains of Mercury.

His suit is ancient, and has been repaired many times. His equipment was discarded a long time ago. His on-board computer insists that he should go to a shelter or at least avert his eyes from the sky that the Foundation fears he may look upon now. Worse still, he cannot even feel the Dreaming anymore. The Collective, his last fighting force, is over… and his last friends are gone with them. Immortals crushed, gods sacrificed… his brothers burnt. And he is lost, and knows it.

In a certain way, he ironizes, he got lost an age ago and did not need anyone's help to do so.

He thinks of the things he knows. Of what he has seen and done; across history, before it, beyond it… behind it. Earlier today, he saw a goddess die and the stars fade away.

It is enough. He has done enough.

True, he failed; but his was always a titanic task to accomplish alone. Even when he talked so many others into trying to stop the Foundation when there was time, the holy men and soldiers, the traders and volunteers, they all failed.

They all failed, because humanity was afraid, because humanity did not want to fight by their side… but by the Foundation's. The more comfortable choice, to sit down and let the masters drag them away… and to forget it all when it was over.

He has never blamed them for that; no matter how little he actually knows them, he does know what it is, to give up.

Well… he does now.

He checks again; oxygen will run out in a few minutes. Why postpone it any longer? It's not like any living soul would ever know him or his fate anyways, nor care. And it mattered not. Nobody would know.

I hear weeping and prayer (prayer! Such cowardice! To whom should we pray? Would such prayers be even pondered, coming from us?) from my equals as the system comes online. The Border is now closed, for good. Forever.

I look through the float that shows the camera feed, knowing in advance what I will see: a black, starless night sky. All light from other suns, looming over other worlds forevermore trapped beyond the Border, dead void looking back at us. Fortunately, and thanks to the global alert systems, only a few human beings will be looking at it right now. Only B and a few select C personnel are supposed to look at it, and those are loyal enough as to take their amnestic course and let go of it.

If we say they can live without it, they can live without it. Memories are usually a burden, anyways.

Phase three is the most poetic and, I know, the most unnecessary part… but the others said it would bring a comfort to the masses that Ennui agents could not. Only the B-Class personnel dedicated to astrophysics will ever know the truth about the statites, and those will be told that the Border is a protective system that surrounds Sol; not a veil.

As its main systems come online, the immense microwave receivers gather the energy from the statites. By the billions, satellites deploy, designed to energize the Infinite Border, divert power to mirrors and reflectors and, for the lack of a better word, massive and extremely well-contained micronized stars. They are magnetically contained fusion reactors not larger than a small country, numbering in the thousands.

And finally, as the powerful space-bender tethers close the bleeding Border over itself, knitting it in a trillion fractal arcs around the furthest limits of the System, all the excess light recaptured from Sol is turned into further energy for the Infinite Border.

Now its name is legitimate: a few of these void-bridges bend the light until recreating the vague luminous path of the Milky Way, and Solar space is a perfectly closed Klein bottle. The Border now irradiates the Solar System with a fake starry night.

As the not-quite starlight crosses the few minutes that separate us from the statites, I try to imagine a bubble barely a few light-hours large. I try to imagine a teardrop as it detaches from the universe's face and drifts away.

Safe. Confined. Protected.

Attention, all citizens; ArControl is glad to report that the Minor Threat Incident has been resolved with no casualties.

Alone in her small, dark room, B-Class citizen Tessa Lee, Dimensional Research Specialist, simply whispers to herself. "The Stars are dead. The Stars are silent. H-how could I allow it? How could I-?"

The feelings are gone, leaving her truly alone for the first time in weeks; the Fifth is fractured now. The Fifth is over. "The Fifth i-is over!," she whimpers, her eyes wide open; it feels obscene, blasphemous… tragic.

It feels true.

The Administrative Emergency State is being revoked in all Arcology Jurisdiction, says the distant voice of ArControl. It was designed to be motherly and comfortable; to Tessa, it is a strident screech. It is wrong. It all feels wrong.

She grabs her head and shakes like a chem addict in withdrawal. The last traces of her logical mind make her realize this, that she has been hopping on Signals for too long, that she has gone too far.

Tessa doesn't care. She can no longer feel anything. She had thought the club, the music, the people, the sensory overload… perhaps even the random sex would at least collapse her into her former self, back into the meek, shy fool who just wants to be useful. Anything but the growing emptiness within her.

Lockdown orders will cease momentarily. Please hold. The only window in her room opens, showing a lovely midnight sky… filled with stars.

And they were not stars.

"B-but it's all-all of it!" she shouts, throwing herself at the window's glass. "All the stars! Gone! Who are you? Who are you? Who do you think you are!? Fake! Fake! Lies! Blatant lies!!"

She runs up and down the apartment.

Tessa knew what she was doing last week, when she was polishing the last few issues of the space tethers of the Infinite Border, searching for that small push that every high-demand scientist needed from time to time… and now, she is on the run. All because she was supposed to take the amnestics! All because she was supposed to forget the past month! How could they ask her to do such a thing, after how much she had learned? After how much she had grown!?

The makeshift silent alarm connected to the floor auto-manager warns her: a Federation Sect Suppression Task Force is right outside, the grey-on-grey uniforms surrounded by floats and drone guns. Desperate, she looks for a way out.

Lockdown orders will cease momentarily. Please hold.

There is none.

Desperate, Tessa reaches for her transcript of Star Signals, an old sheaf of foxing papers she found lying around in her Esoteric Research Area. She always thought it wanted to guide her, first to itself, then to illumination, then to freedom from the Federation. It taught Tessa a life in the cracks of the grey universe she had to endure every day, promising her she would lead humanity to a better truth, to a better Church… perhaps it can show her a way out.

Then she remembers. She remembers that the Border has been closed for hours. There are no Signals left. The skies are blank.

And blank the pages themselves become before her eyes. At first, Tessa just gapes at them; she starts flipping through them, unbelieving. "But… T-the signs… I know th-they existed!" she cries as she holds the sheaf, sheets slipping from it into the ground; at first, she is filled with fear, then with certainty and ultimately, with sadness. "I know they l-loved me back! I know it all meant something, it all made so much sen-"

Lockdown rescinded. You may now resume your scheduled activities.

As the perfectly trained SSTF anti-sectarian specialists break into Tessa's apartment, their drone guns shoot out her eyes, her heart and her hands before she can even understand what is happening, the auto-censors diligently instructing their handlers to not look at the pages of Star Signals…

Which slowly soak on the last Fifthist's blood, and thus become void to the pattern recognition programs.

They will be burnt to ashes later, and another mystery will be sent where mysteries belong nowadays: oblivion.

Thank you for your patience.

For now, the SSTF soldiers bag Tessa's corpse, careful to tag every piece of gore.

The few threats that remain are simple puppets, manufactured boogie men to keep the populace scared and trusting… plants and false flag operations are everyday business. Such lies are justified, as justified is the liberal application of force to make certain these harmless threats remain harmless.

And it works. Tonight, the universe died, and humanity will be none the wiser.

One by one, my now awkward homologues, of whom I know little beyond number and rank, congratulate each other and humanity on this achievement. A few, probably choking on their bullshit, are silent; whether they have killed themselves or chosen to go and sleep well, I have no idea. I do not really care.

One of them laughs at the bland joke another one makes. Idiots. We killed the universe tonight. No amount of levity would compare to the grandiosity of the crime, so there is no point in chastising them… again, I cannot even grasp it.

How does one compare it? To what? What Ethics Committee hearing would consider to judge this, never mind the fact that they always supported the program?

I ask the foodprinter for cold wine. Any wine, in copious enough quantities. The auto-manager replies that it can only serve me amounts insufficient for becoming drunk. Such are the duties of an Overseer that I must remain lucid, capable and sane.

It suggests I have some fresh soy milk instead.

I kick the dumb machine.

I scream at it.

I use every object I can find, my body included, to pound against it, scream against it. My muscles are weakened after living here for so long, and I do not realize that the damned thing stays unscathed despite my best efforts. The internal security system warns my memeticist, who makes sure the unknown A-Class personnel living in this unmarked, modular bunker is not insane with the madness of a thousand dark gods. Just merely furious.

Why? Well, none of their business.

I then keep hitting and hitting. I take the keyboard out of the screen, and smash it against the machine, the softform denting with each strike. I keep doing it, savage, angry, sad.


I now know why Phase three was necessary. I envy the masses. I envy those of us that will no doubt choose to forget this night and live their lives in peace. I envy my fellow Overseers, who laugh and sing and dance and pray.

Pray. My prayers are bleeding hands and a seething semblance. And I do need to pray.

A few hours later, the alarm rings again; twinkle twinkle, little star, it goes. I grunt. I have pending work and too little time to do it.

I decide to get up and ask the machine for a full meal. Life goes on, I think to myself.

I must fix this. I must fix her. And if there is no way to do so, I must at least make certain there is something else for humanity to discover, something else for humanity to marvel at.

I cannot stand that there are no other suns under which new things may be, just counterfeit starlight.

I cannot stand that, in our zeal to protect humanity, we placed it in a box.

In related news, a series of Arcology Control alerts have been announced all over the planet this past afternoon, Universal Time. While the specifics are not clear, an institutional source reports that Federation task forces may be soon conducting assaults on suspected sectarian holdouts in Mars and Europa…

page revision: 6, last edited: 22 Apr 2016 15:21
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