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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nexus (Chapter 11)

ELEVEN - DESTABILIZING
DATE   : 21 OCT 7098
TIME   : 1342HR

She looked at the dead body on the ground. Insects already started to creep all over his body. His eyes were still wide opened in terror with a bullet hole straight into his forehead. She kicked him gently to make sure he's really dead.

"So," the man, Riev, started. "Jane Soutaine really saves us after all."

"Go and establish an uplink communicator. I need to report the status. And please, wake the others up. It's time for us to work things out," she told Riev. Riev nodded and went back to the vehicle. She caressed the dead body's face. "I am sorry I have to do this. But it's for your own good."

The dead body gradually vanished into nothing.

*

DATE   : 14 OCT 7098
TIME   : 1201HR

The vehicle started to warm her mind first. The timing has to be accurate. The orders had been sent. The protocol had to be followed. And the vehicle ran through the list of what it should do. Yes, it should warm her mind before everything else.

All 42 humans were being frozen in stasis, or simply known as cryogenics. When their body core temperature reached to almost absolute zero, they were held in time forever, as long as the caskets which contained them did not malfunction. The cruel temperature had lowered all metabolism as well as thoughts, thus the 'chain' as described by the Traveller vibrated in a much lower frequency, barely detectable by the machines which scanned for intelligence.

Now her mind temperature increased to about a thousandth Kelvin. The neurones in her brain began to active. Chemical signals started running from one terminal to another terminal. For a few hours, a sense of self was created.

She was waking up.

By now the sentient scanner should be able to pick up her brain signals. Or maybe not. But the vehicle has simultaneously warmed the remaining 41 cryogenics. That should be a strong signal for that machine to pick up.

In her mind, she smiled. She could feel the vehicle implanting a brain-computer interface. She felt the mainframe computer of the vehicle. She 'typed' the command by thinking. She needed to be exposed, something like firing a flare for anyone to see her. She assimilated herself into the vehicle. For a moment the dark line that separated the difference between organism and machine instantly vanished. Her eyes can look into the heavens and beyond. Her ears can hear the different humming of cellular walls.

And then she got blinded by a very intense light. She cleared her mind (which she couldn't differentiate whether it was her mind or the computer processor, perhaps both) after a few seconds and came to a conclusion that someone had just laser-beamed at her (or the vehicle). Someone was trying to communicate with her.

She smiled again. She was found finally. She tracked the source of the laser and found that it came from outer space. No, definitely not alien because the source was sending a heap of games and riddles to her in Common Language.

More fun, perhaps. But that could get her mind going for a while before she really get down into business. And she didn't forget her mission. At the same time she thought of a sentence and laser-beamed it back to the source. The sentence was: "I WANT TO SEE YOU".

Then she minded her own business with those games.

*

DATE   : 21 OCT 7098
TIME   : 0723HR

She had finally finished her riddles. She laser-beamed it back to the source and waited for a response. At the same time she rummaged through her mission objectives. She would never forget she was intended to do. But first, she had to lure the source first to her side. She sent another message to give whoever sending those riddles a huge mind shock, "WHO ARE YOU?"

She waited for a moment. Then she 'opened' her ears far and wide, trying to listen any details from the source. At first all she could hear was just whispers, but then it grew louder and the words she got it out from the conversation was 'Jane Soutaine'. That's it. That's the pressure point she needed to urge the source to come to her. She quickly compiled the words and sent to the source as "JANE SOUTAINE"

Ah, that should be enough to lure her prey over. Hopefully nobody had betrayed her. And she quietly and patiently waited.

*

DATE   : 21 OCT 7098
TIME   : 1004HR

The vehicle slowly increased her body temperature, attempting to wake her up fully. The guest was arriving fast. She could sense it. The vehicle also increased another man's temperature.

Two is always better than one.

*


DATE    : 21 OCT 7098
TIME    : 1400HR

The woman looked at the screen and waited the connection to stabilise. She waited and then she smiled when it was fine.

"Target terminated," she reported.

"Very well, you may have peace," the screen talked back.

"Thank you," the woman said.

The screen went black.

*

DATE    : 21 OCT 7098
TIME    : 1639HR

He woke up.

Everything was blurry to him. He could trace out the carpet and plush cushions. He saw the windows that opened to darkness and he saw a bowl of overturned strawberries.

He leapt up immediately, and he regretted that: his bones were groaning and grumbling.

As if his mind was not his own, he uttered, "Where am I?"

"Nice to meet you," a familiar male voice spoke. It was deep and gentle. And he appeared from another room. "Remember me?"

He was surprised. His leg turned into jelly. "Traveller? The Traveller? Wait, where is this place? The Spire? Where am I? A dream?" he went hysterical. This was not a joke at all. Whoever pranked him, this was not funny. He would twist anyone's neck and break them into pieces for this.

He ran to a door. He needed to get out. But where? Where can he go?

"Sit down, we have a lot to talk about," the Traveller instructed.

"No, I am not listening to you. I must be in heaven, or a residual memory from Jane Soutaine. I was shot. That Riev guy shot me. Breasts... no, no.. nipples... icy...It cannot be... it..." he couldn't take it. It felt so real.

"You have quite an interesting encounter, but hear me out please. Sit down and we'll have a talk," the Traveller offered a cushion as he sat.

He had no choice. He closed the door and went back to the cushion gingerly.

"Which part of you got shot?" the Traveller asked.

"Here," he pointed at his forehead. But then his forehead was smooth. No sign of bullet entry. "That's strange... where is the bullet hole?"

"No, there is no ordinary bullet," the Traveller said. "You took a bullet that made of a material that made me stuck here. The mirror material, remember that? I stepped on it and I am transported to a higher dimension to feel things."

He stood up immediately. "I am in a higher dimension?"

"Everything that touches the mirror material will take you to a local dimension where the mirror was made. So yes, you are being transported to a higher dimension because of that bullet," the Traveller smiled. He stood up as well, "Come here, let me show you something." The Traveller walked to the window.

He followed, as if he had a choice. He stared out into the night sky. There were no stars to be seen. But there was a very strange thing out there: a perfectly spherical, silver structure the size of a basketball held at arm's length. But the silver sphere had some flaws. When he looked carefully, the silver sphere was made out of several thousand circular bands. It's like a giant rubber band spere, only that the rubber bands were aligned in perfect parallels. The flaws he saw was some specks of dark stained on it.

"You might be wondering what's that," the Traveller said. "That is Earth, being protected by a shell. And that shell is made of mirror material. I call it quicksilver. People from the Earth or any of it's similar dimensional entities cannot see this quicksilver sphere because of it's higher dimension. It's like a picture from a flat screen can never see us, nor it can climb out from the screen. And those black specks you see are actually the pieces that fell to Earth. They solidify into visible materials as it collapsed from a higher dimension to three dimensions. That shard rocked the Earth in huge earthquakes, like the Saharan megaquake. And I stepped on it," the Traveller grinned.

"What's the use of the sphere?" he asked.

"It's just a casing. You do know that Earth is a computer, am I right? Don't ask me how I know. Your memories are dispersed on this dimension plane which I could easily pick up," the Traveller said. "You don't have to look so disgusted. Anyway, the silver sphere only encases the Earth to protect it from being contaminated from any entity from this dimension. You do know also that it was the superior beings of this dimension who created the Earth computer."

He nodded slowly. "Where's Jane?" he asked.

"Come, sit down again," the Traveller offered. "Hmm, that's an interesting topic to talk about. Pardon me if my sentences go too... messy. Ask when you need to."

"I am fine with that. Go, speak," he said.

"Ever wonder why you know so much about Jane Soutaine's stuffs even when you know that she had been 'harvested' for information? You do know that as long as Jane is not here, nobody should have known of her existence or anything that happened around her, because all information about that was with her and she is being harvested," the Traveller said.

His jaw went loose and dropped. "Then Jane is still alive somewhere... Or maybe she had passed her information to other humans."

"Yes, but not quite," the Traveller said.

"Huh?" his mind went dizzy. What did that phrase mean?

"You see, at the beginning, Jane is very problematic - I assume that you have accessed to all those information about her - and as an information gatherer, she has to know everything but there's one thing she cannot know, which is the knowledge that Earth is a computer made by the superior beings," the Traveller said.

"Yeah, I know she is problematic. She killed us all, well nearly," he said bitterly.

"No, not that problematic. She is problematic because she knew the world is a computer the moment she realised forty two square kilometres of land vanished around Sahara. She knew something is strange about Earth. This is dangerous. The superior beings overlooked at this anomaly. They had already overlooked that the quicksilver is eternally strong until it started cracking. Maybe because of this cracking, the external universe from other dimensions are able to leak in and somehow got a lock with Jane's brainwave. But even though she knows she is going to be an information gatherer, she rejected. The sense of rejection is so strong that the superior beings fear that their precious computer will collapse. If she rejects to be an information gatherer, humanity will be stagnant that nobody has new information and she has all information."

"Information dominion, huh?" he laughed. "How bad can that be? She can be queen!"

"No. Think of this, what can you offer to a mouse? Or worse, an amoeba? That's the gap we are talking about between humans if Jane is not to be taken out from the computer. Nobody could understand what she is trying to convey. And if the poor people were to group together, the force is so strong that Jane will go hysterical in this strange world condition. A psychotic environment so hostile that nobody can survive."

"I survived all those years of isolation," he said.

"It's not about isolation in this sense. It's a sense that her brain could not comprehend herself. A detachment will occur. She will have a stronger urge to be taken out from Earth. After taken out, new information can then be processed on Earth as additional stimulus might be induced by the superior beings. Certain information can be preserved. It is like a screen: when Jane leaves, it leaves behind a shadow. That shadow contains necessary information that needs to be preserved."

"Why don't she just wait for the stimulus and then leave after that? I think humanity still survive for that..." he said.

"If she's not taken out, even if there's new stimulus, it would eventually find the way to Jane, and Jane will be corrupted by information overload."

"Oh... so that's problematic..."

"No, you only know half of the story. Jane knows that Earth is not what she thinks it is, which means another thing the superior beings have overlooked. That is, Jane is an information gatherer and she also knows about the Earth is a computer. So, Dave is sent to kill her to stop her from trying to tell everyone Earth is a computer," the Traveller said.

"So Dave also knows that the Earth is computer..."

"He always knows. The Superiors designed Dave and his group of people to become Eraserheads, They are programmed to destroy any threats of people knowing the true nature of the Earth."

"But you also know that the Earth is a computer and you are not killed by Dave!" he exclaimed.

"Supposedly, after the earthquake happened at Sahara, I should be deleted from this computer. But somehow the Superiors sensed that Jane also knew about the anomaly and the trouble of her spilling out her concerns might spark and uncontrol loop that the computer will never find its solution. She has to be killed and I have to be deleted. When they realise that the Eraserheads are taking action, the Superior got relieved. But there was nobody else to delete me, because I stepped on the mirror before they eliminate me. I got travelled to this dimension and the Superiors were horrified. I am not the information gatherer, so I shouldn't be here, and they sent me down but since I cannot go back down as before like a normal human because of the dimension travel has altered my physics, I am elected by the Superiors to ferry all the information gatherers. I become the link between dimensions. Thus my secret building of the Spire nobody saw it. It is because the matter it was used to build was... enigmatic."

"So Dave cannot kill you because you become more powerful than him?"

"No, he doesn't recognise me as a threat. He only recognises me as a new software input for the computer. So I don't care about him and so does he," the Traveller said.

"But Jane... how? She is an information gatherer which the Superiors wanted her, but she is wanted dead by Dave..."

"That's why I've said she is problematic. But during the confrontation happened here whereby Dave pointed a gun on her skull, she had made a stunning move. She blacked out my Spire and descended to Earth with all the information and knowledge bestowed upon her."

"She had so much time to do so many things?"

"Like I said, she made a stunning move. Nobody expected her to do that. Nobody knew what was going on. She wanted to save humanity and wanted to save her own life. She wanted to warn the people about the danger of Earth being a computer. If she were to stay by my side a little longer, Dave couldn't kill her, because Jane and I would be transitioning to a higher dimension, which Dave could not tolerate as he only exists on Earth," the Traveller said.

"But she chose to risk her life and save humanity rather than be an information gatherer to fulfill her task," he said.

"Yes, especially not everyone has the chance to come to a higher dimension and meet someone so godlike," the Traveller said.

"How many information did the so-called Superiors harvested?" he asked.

"Less than ten. The last one wiped out the dinosaurs," the Traveller said.

"So Jane is the first human who is an information gatherer?"

"Species doesn't matter to the Superiors," the Traveller replied.

"And you interpreted that Jane is still alive somewhere?"

"Yes," the Traveller answered.

"Then what the hell am I doing here?" he asked. "You said she is alive, go find her then. Why me? I am not an information gatherer. I am not the one you look. Why the woman killed me? Are they the Eraserheads?"

"Dear, they are not the Eraserheads. They are the survivors. You saved humanity," the Traveller smiled widely.

"Me? You are talking nonsense now," he was surprised.

"Someone knew you have to be 'harvested'. You have to die in some way to prevent the knowledge of Earth as a computer to be spread like wildfire, but at the same time the Superiors want you."

"Me?" he repeated.

"But now the computer has just got its new stimulus, which is the survivors already knew your existence but they will never know they are living as parts of a computer," the Traveller still smiling widely.

"Me?" he stuttered.

"Dear, you are Jane Soutaine. You turned into a man and hide from us for many years, altering your memory to elude us and that's your stunning move."

*
 
DATE    : 31 MAR 4984
TIME    : 1722HR
VENUE   : SPIRE

"You knew too much," Dave said, with a gun pointing at her head.

She remembered the special materials made up the ground. Quickly she spun around, hacked Dave's hand with her bare hands. Dave howled in pain as his gun dropped to the ground. She kicked him hard on his belly till he bent double and went unconscious. She thought of an electromagnetic pulse bomb with a simple switch to flick.

And the bomb really appeared next to her. Perfectly spherical and silver, just like she had imagined.

"Jane, do not do this," the Traveller warned.

"I don't fuckin' care. This has to stop," she went to flick the switch. But there was a huge rumbling noise and the ground shook. She was swept off the feet by that massive quake.

"We are moving to a better regime. The engine seems to be better than I've thought," the Traveller wondered.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" she screamed.

"You are going to be harvested, silly," he smiled, "Harvested at a higher dimension.

"Fuck you, this shit is not going to happen."

"If you remains in your dimension, Dave will kill you. If you choose to leave, you are being..." he lost for the word. He struggled a little and came up with a worse word, "appreciated. All the chains bound between you and a zillion other things will snap and you will be free."

"Fuck you, Traveller. You are playing games with me and I am going to end this right here, right now," she stretched her hand and flicked the switch.

Everything went black. All electronics are fried. She could hear the engine sputtered and ignited in definite staccatos. She presumed they were all trapped in the transition between her own plane of universe to the higher dimensional universe.

She felt her mind ache. It's not a headache, but brain ache. There are no pain receptors in her brain, but why is this happening?

She groaned.

Probably a process of being harvested.

"Need to escape..."

And she did. She summoned four hundred cubic metres of the floor and transformed it into a medical ship to descend to Earth before it's too late for her to return. And at the same time, she performed a surgery on herself. She needed to save the humans. She needed to be there on Earth.

She couldn't just leave Earth.

*

DATE    : 21 OCT 7098
TIME    : 1415HR
VENUE   : NEAR-ORBIT NEXUS (N.O.N.)

The servitor wheeled restlessly at the hall. It panicked and it was very impatient. Yes, yes, it got the news from Earth but now it had to calm itself down.

A display screen came alive. It couldn't see the face, but the sound was struggling to emanate from the speakers.

It held a microphone and spoke, "Jane Soutaine has been eliminated, My Lord."

There was a loud hissing voice at the background. After a huge sigh of relieve, it replied:

"Well done, Dave."

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