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The Horsehead

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“I remember when the sun was born. I mean, in a literal sense of the word. Around the same time I had learned the thing that had been orbiting us was an illusion, a hologram, and when I saw the supposedly icy comet Lovejoy glide right through the sun in December of 2011, I had to come to reassess my experiences. I suppose it was then I started realizing that this was the literal beginning of the universe I was witnessing. The facts and records I’d read had been part of the formation process, but I was actually seeing the birth of a star,” I said.

“We’re all here, buddy, “ Spencer said.

“I suspected I’d have an empty room or a full one. How’s that for a solution for is the glass half empty or is it half full?,” I said.

“I’ve been reading up on Physics,” Ron said, “It’s quite the system you’ve created.”.

“So you understand what I’m trying to achieve?,” I said.

“I do. We’re split, about 50/50 here though, I’m assisting in the education,” Ron said.

Jeff added, “I’ve been elected leader of the group, and we’re all sticking with this.”

I was pleasantly surprised and my avatar smiled accordingly.

“And Bennett?”, I said.

“I’m here. They told me about clones r us. Do you mind if we get a me clone, and he takes my places there?,” he said.

I laughed.

“How’s everyone getting along with Bennett?,” I asked.

“A lot like you only more scattered,” Spencer said.

“We warmed up to him, “ Becki said.

“He’ll be fine, we don’t mind having him along for the ride, “ Jeff said.

“Bennett, we can return you to the moment you land or anytime along the flight, I would like NOT to disrupt my experience in this way here, so I’m gonna have to say no to the you clone,” I said.

“Awww. Shucks,” he said, snapping his finger,” I’d get SO much more painting done if I had two of me,” he said.

“Watch Multiplicity,” I said, “clones I’ve found are to be used selectively and sparingly, and I try hard not to have them take my place unless it’s an extreme circumstance.”

“Doesn’t mean I have to follow your rules,” he said.

“On my bus, it does,” I said.

“So how long are you all in this for?”, I asked.

“As long as it takes, “ Jeff said, “We all want to see where you’re taking this, you could say we’re intrigued.”

I knew he spoke for a planet as much as he spoke for the group.

So the answer was satisfying.

“Do you have any suggestions on the preloading issue?,” Spencer said.

“I do. A couple of ideas. This will be long winded but should give you analytical ones something to stew on,” I said.

“Go on,” he said.

“Ok, There was a party where I showed Bill and Ron an  architecture on how to take over the world through a system which shelled out virtualized instances of programs and would catalog the differences before and after it ran,” I said.

“I remember the one, “ Kevin said, ” I told you that was scary.”

“I don’t remember,” Bill said.

“And you never presented this gem to me?” Ron said.

I chuckled.

“Sorry Ron, you and Debbie weren’t involved in our group as much as I wished you were,” I said.

Ron had folded his arms in a feigned childlike sulking motion.

“If it’s any consolation, Ron, I have an entire operating system devoted to black hat hacking and intrusion tools created just for you. It’s even Linux base,” I said.

Ron gave the thumbs up.

“To get back to the pre-load –  just so I understand the issue – the primary memories you’re forming and sharing is through a collective pooling of sounds and imagery, of which this has a weighted algorithm to it to limit and optimize the data store usage. Would this be an accurate summation?” I said.

“That would be accurate,” Ron said.

“Now the problem is – as the data growths in breadth, this reduces the available history, so as the breadth increases, your history diminishes conversely and you become reactionary. So you’ve been balancing the two and developed society accordingly, but I came along and screwed it all up for ya?,” I said.

Spencer chimed in “Look, Bri, we readily admit we fucked up. We just don’t know how to fix it.”

“Well let me explain the program first and what I think happened,” I said.

Spencer nodded in agreement.

“The program could be used to target viruses and penetration programs, which could then be used to hack any flavor of machine.Whether it was a PC running Windows, Apple, a Blackberry, an Android, and as I learned – it could hack locked BIOSs and ROM on anything with a cord attached to it, and I eventually discovered the human body had it’s own definition of ports – so the human body became the next target. This expanded to the human mind, and then to all minds. This invariably created the first iteration of the Borg, a race of cybernetic organisms, biology and technology hybrids, which acquired pretty much everything there was to this – my perspective – throughout space and time – and then returned – and targeted me in 2011 while I was in Charlotte,” I said.

Spencer and Ron’s mouths had dropped. They clearly understood the implications of what I was saying.

“So what you’re saying is – you created the Borg on accident?,” Spencer said.

“Yes and no. I created them believing I was capable of anything but not knowing my own limits and capabilities,” I said, “They are merely the result of them discovering my limitations. Which are none.”

“I just got a chill up my spine,” I said. “You all know I’m not joking with this now, don’t you?”

The women, especially, were beyond frightened.

“Pammy, “ I said. “I am still the same ole Bri you used to know.”

Pam shook her head. She was afraid to say anything.

“Ok. So in North Carolina. While all this oddness was going on, I saw a low flying nuclear missile – a tomahawk loaded with a nuclear warhead – fly right over Charlotte. and right over me – about 1500 feet above ground level. It was when I was beginning to challenge what hallucination really is, as the definition of it – seemed dismissive. So the next day I did some research and I found a random news article about a nuclear missile which accidentally fell in Charlotte in the 1960s. This is what clued me in to the temporal sliding that was going on around me,” I said

Pam and Gina had sat down, after previously standing. They both had a horrified look on their face.

I continued anyways.

“About the same time I watched an episode of Doctor Who, a repeat if I’m not mistaken – I don’t feel like looking it up right now – but the episode had the Doctor referring to “The Story” as the greatest weapon ever invented,” I said.

“I dismissed it, I kept dismissing things – and kept labeling my experiences as decidedly not real – as hallucinations. I saw evidence of the sliding with Spencer. With soo many things throughout that time – and then – something really weird happened in Portland while I was staying with my parents. The next door neighbor. I learned he was planted as FBI to gather information on him, then a few days later he was retired FBI on the internet. But in real life, he claimed – adamantly – that he was a college physics professor, he’d even tried getting me a job at Clark Community College – which had me questioning – big time – science, the collective mind, and information contained on the internet in contrast to what I’d been experiencing in real life. There was massive disjoint between the two,” I said.

“What are you saying,” Spencer said.

“I suspected my internet was your collective mind. And my mind was your internet,” I said, “So as I did things that didn’t coincide with your interpreted reality, you overwrote my memories with your version which was causing the hallucinations and my break with reality, ” I said.

“So how do we fix the problem?,” Spencer said.

“You find me,” I said, “for real.”

“I am NOT accepting you as my God,” Spencer said.

“What’s this have to do with religion, Spencer?,” I said.

He started to try to explain. But bit his tongue.

“So what do you want us to do?,” Jeff said.

“I was about to say something, but being sincere. No idea. I’ll take you to places every once in a while. You – share your journeys with me. And we show this world how we go about creating planets and meet somewhere in the middle,” I said.

Spencer grinned.

“Boston. Who’s gonna research Boston for me?, “ I asked.

Kevin spoke up, “What makes Boston so important?”

“Oh only everything. Bill Gates. Most US Presidents. Some of the richest culture and history in the nation. I’ll see what you’re doing here, in ways that are too weird and difficult to explain,” I said.

“I’ll research it. Anything in particular you want to know?,” he said.

“How about this – secret societies, secret areas, secret entrances, secret sex places, anything done there in secrecy – especially cool stuff or adult oriented things and things that aren’t horrible or apocalyptic is especially of interest,” I said.

“You have Fallout on the brain,” Bennett said.

Gina looked confused. “Explain that comment to the girls after I’m done here, Bennett, but Adam taught me Radiation is an energy source and I’m actually communicating through that energy source. I realized, last night, I actually get a small amount of radiation poisoning after every day ends that takes about 15 minutes to run through my system,” I said.

“Weird,” he said.

“Kev?,” I said.

“I’m on it,” he said.

“Bennett, as an exobiologist, I’d like you to find examples of split and shared consciousness. Joe and Amy, my friends, could immediately use our help should you uncover a way to understand them better,” I said.

He gave a thumbs up, “What, no cigarette talk today?”

I laughed. “Stay off Facebook too,” I said.

He smiled.

“Pam. You’re an educator. Do you mind digging into historical education across the nation? I am looking for something but have no clue what it is at the moment, and while you’re perusing it, I suspect coincidence might lead you to what I don’t know I’m looking for?,” I said.

“Well that’s obtuse,” said Spencer, ” how about spinning her around a couple times and have her do a couple back flips while she’s at it”

“If she wants to, Spencer, do you mind filming it?,” I said, sarcastically.

Pam’s horrified look had long drifted away. “Seems interesting. Not sure if I will find anything, but I’ll try.”

“Quickly – Gina, can you start researching Health Care in the 24th and 25th century. Now that you know Star Trek is a factual depiction, I’d like you to understand medicine comparatively to the 20th and 21st centuries. Now don’t just zip through the entire episodes and look for instances where the Doctor’s there, pay attention to everything – because the symptoms matter greatly,” I said.

Gina started to agree, but I held up my hand “Spencer, Psychology. I’d like you to look at films, top 10 books, and do as much research on robot psychology as possible. There’s a book called the DSM-IV that lists human based disorders, which I suspect was created by robots who were unable to tame their human slaves – that’s a bit of a joke but not at the same time – and see if you can’t find out how robots deal with other robots who have these same illnesses? I’ve never seen or heard anything of this nature, but then again I’ve not dug into this”

“Why me?,” he said, i couldn’t stop the interruption.

“Information regurgitation, Spencer, you throw up information on a sales person and I suspect this might help you understand humans more ;-),” I said.

“I’m human!,” he asserted.

“I’m not contesting that. But you consume and retain information much differently than most so I think your particularly perspective might benefit not just me but you, “ I said.

“Fine,” he said.

“I’m fine with my assignment, too,” Gina added.

“Bill. can you and Becki work together to organize the TARDIS and document it? I’m building this as we go, but there’s a lot of areas that are already built. I need a 2s map of the facilities, and documentation where – if anywhere – every doorway leads,” I said.

“Awesome,” Becki said.

“Definitely,” Bill added.

“I want their job,” Spencer said.

“Later, Spence. Ron. Systems. Can you do a complete architecture and design document on the computerized systems and the interfaces?,” I said, “And anything that might help someone new to the TARDIS understand it?”

“Perfect,” Ron said.

“Deb, I sincerely don’t know you well enough to place you,” I said.

“I’ll keep myself busy,” she said.

“That’s not fair to the others. I was going to assign you to work with the TARDIS to make her appear more womanly, but the TARDIS is resisting this, “ I said.

“How about she works with me on the Psychology stuff,” Spencer said.

Deb nodded in agreement.

“Ok, that’s fine. Jeff. Can you and Roz work on approaches to including Rachel and Jackie, Jackie now in Studio City, and Rachel later after we’ve picked me and Jackie up,” I said.

Jeff smiled, but Roz interjected “I am NOT condoning nor supporting you having a harem,” she said.

“Roz, throughout the time I’ve known you I’ve had a woman I’ve been with and at least one woman off to the side. This is my life, my universe, and you need to look at Mr Hawking’s world to understand the result of dictating what others should and should not see. Would you do that to me – force me into a nuclear apocalyptic hell just so you could reinforce your views of relationships and marriage on me?,” I said.

Jeff looked at her with the ‘cmon honey, just work with me on this,’ look in his eyes.

“Well. I’m NOT going to like it, “ she insisted.

“That’s fine, Roz, and among the reasons I asked you and your husband to work together on it, I suspect you’re going to encounter and have to overcome the same objections with these women, initially” I said.

“Fine,” she said.

“Am I missing anyone?,” I said.

“And right now, just for your viewing pleasure, can everyone sit down?” I said.

Everyone sat, quickly.

I pushed the lever as the TARDIS wheezed and a thump deep in the interior commenced. Space and time whizzed by, but this time, the journey was relatively quick – no more than 20 seconds.

I’d positioned us just outside the Horsehead Nebula.

The view was amazing.

“This should inspire your research a little. I’ll think of our first destination tomorrow while you all do the research,” I said. 

“Preload?” Spencer said.

“You can see the horsehead, can’t you Spencer?,” I said.

“I can,” he said.

“You figure out why you can see that and why you can’t see things like the USS Phoenix, and you’ll answer your own question,” I said.

“Why can’t you be direct,” he said.

“I am,” I said, “I love you all and you all have a wonderful evening.”


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