THE BRIDGE OF ESCHATON
By John Chandler Adams
Soft winds blew across the plains. Not a hint of seasons rode the constant, lazy breeze. In the far distance, mountains stretched upward into the deep azure sky. Shades of gray blurred any details of mountainside beauty. The clouds drifted from horizon to horizon, shifting like clay being stretched and pulled between a giant deity’s never-tiring hands. It was always this way. The clouds soon broke revealing our tepid sun, far, far above, shining its weak light down upon the grasses, down upon a land weakened by time.
On the rolling hills to the west grazed a herd of antelope, oblivious to the turmoil of my improving thought patterns. I wondered at the allusive mammals, wondered if the Hunters were still strong enough to catch and kill, wondered if there would be any food for the night, for fresh meat was becoming a rarity.
A brief exultation coursed through my mind. I knew the Hunters had made a kill. The Hunt was a success. There would be food arriving before the shading of night.
Tall violet grass parted as I raced back to the small village of Aerie. A square of brown earth stretched away to my left once a thriving garden of agriculture. It was a sorry excuse for one now. I passed between two of the four massive lightning rods that enclosed the cloth shelters that made up Aerie and filtered through the tee-pees, towards Center Circle, where the great shaman had spent his years in the simulation.
“Come in,” he said before I had the chance to announce my presence. He had an eerie habit of doing that.
I pulled the skin flaps aside and entered, kneeling in reverence before Pan, the All Wise. In respect, I waited for him to speak first.
“What is it, Michael?” he asked in a strangely youthful but weary voice.
I looked up into his bearded face, sprinkled with thin white hair. White not so much from age as from the burden crowding his sloping shoulders. Pan’s eyes, for as long as I remember, were sunk deep into his skull and his body beneath cloth rags and animal hides weak from turning moons.
“Pan, the Hunt was a success!” I said with fading excitement. At the time my heart was saddened by the slow decay of the man before me. “I felt them while on West Hill.”
“Yes Michael, I had felt it also.” He smiled. I sensed it was forced. “Shall we celebrate tonight? I thought so. Well, what are you waiting for child, go tell the others.”
I left quickly, delighted by the Shaman’s words.
The computer did not represent nature perfectly. The more chaotic forms in nature, shifting clouds, running water, flames of fire, did not appear natural in simulation. No matter how well the mind remembered these chaoticisms, the programs could never replicate them to appear like they do in the other life.
So the clouds looked like clay, heavy and ready at any moment to plummet from the sky to crush those beneath. Instead of slowly drifting into different shapes, they pulled and stretched into them. Water. Flowing water did not appear as a free flowing liquid. There were no splashes. It clung together like incredibly thin, transparent rubber. By far the strangest and perhaps the most beautiful was fire. It did not leap and dance in chaotic macabre for the flames never separated, they coalesced, mixed and twisted into searing, glowing spires that stretched high into the firmament above. Flames wrapped themselves around wood, tiny tendrils, thousands of them creating deep, intricate patterns. Long, thin tubes of deepest red to faintest yellow, like living glass that melts and flows, yearning to caress the sky.
I sat gazing at the fire, entranced by the strange flow of the flames. I was nine years of age, by far the youngest of the tribe, when the Eschaton was but days away. Many of the tribe said I was unique. I knew I was. You see, I was the only child that survived birth in our, or any, simulation. Many attempts had been made by the tribe to have children, but all were failures with the exception of yours truly. Soon after I was born the tribe had given up on the idea of having children. It was mentally painful watching stillborn after stillborn be expelled from between the legs of crying mothers.
My mother, Shell, believed my birth was an intervention by someone or something called God. Prior to the growth Pan had so unknowingly triggered within me, the topic of God confused me. The tribe’s theological debates always screeched annoyingly resulting in severe headaches. But I felt an insatiable need to understand and sort out what the tribe was arguing about for I had not yet experienced the ideology of death. You see, at that point the death of one of the humans had not visited the simulation. The only possible exception being the stillborns, and it was unresolved as to whether they were actually sentient. I believe not. I believe the simulation ran the pregnancy, but could not replicate true, original sentience of an individual being. But, then again, there is me. And so my mother’s persistent belief in divine intervention.
So they would argue that their God created everything, the land, the sky and everything in between. Inside and outside the simulation. But to me there was no outside. The land of flowing grasses and lightning storms broiling across the skies, oblivious mammals and hunts and dances and mind-meldings. This is what I knew. Shouldn’t, then, this thing they call Computer be the same thing as their Creator? They always said, and even Pan agreed, that the Computer created the world we lived in. The Computer should have been their God as much as it was mine.
I stared through the flames and balked at the unnecessary confusion. No matter how they tried to explain it to me, the conclusion was the given truth. This God and this Computer was the same thing, the same being. Somewhere out beyond these artifices we think we have come to know and understand, beyond this one I experienced, beyond the two they experienced, lives a deep secret beyond intellect that resonates Creation.
We shall see.
I lifted myself up. The night’s celebration was not far off. I sensed Pan, sensed the old man’s depression. It was a wave of nausea that seeped into the soul. I clenched my stomach and passed my mother and the other women preparing the Hunter’s kill on my way to Center Circle. Mother raised her head as I passed her by.
“Hurry back, Michael. We are almost ready to begin the Fire Dance. We’ll start right after we finish preparing the meat.”
“Yes, Mother. I’m going to see Pan, now. I’ll tell him you’re ready.” She smiled in approval and resumed the gruesome task of gutting and skinning the animal while gossiping with the other women. She had blood all over her… It was to be the last time I saw her smile.
Soon after speaking with her I reached Center Circle.
“Hello, Michael,” the Shaman said when I reached Center Tee-Pee. “Come in and help an old man walk.”
I stepped in and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Moonlight fell through the hole at the top of the tee-pee, just a faint spill of light, enough to create ghostly shapes in the night’s blackness. I ventured further and helped him to his feet.
“Are they ready for tonight, Michael?” Pan asked.
I gently grabbed the man’s bony hand. Skeletal.
“Yes. They will be ready when we get there. Pan, you’re going to tell them something tonight aren’t you? Something bad, I can feel it.”
Pan’s grip on my hand tightened.
Surreal bonfire. Ghostly images danced and circled the twisting, snakelike flames. The members of Aerie were joined in the trance of the Fire Dance. Much like dreaming inside a dream, this ritual in simulation was the mind inside the mind. Dislocated thoughts swirled in a disorganized collective conscience. Feelings and mind’s eye images rushed from dancer to dancer. Mesmerizing, ecstatic, depressing, guilt ridden. Any number of emotions and thoughts as changing as the flames twist.
Though the thought sender could be selective to whom he or she sent the mind mail to, the receiver is blind to whom that sender may be. In time and through practice major psychological influences can be implemented from the minds that have begun to understand how it works. I thought of the power this form of group thought process could evoke. Imagine creating a society that can be psychologically steered in a desired direction by the manipulation of the more evolved minds.
I sensed a vast panorama of depressed thoughts and images flooding out from the tribe’s collective emotions. I felt the resentment that emanated from Pan. Pan was one of the more evolved minds. Pan himself was the one that brought the members to this downward spiral. He had knowledge of what I was planning, but did not know that I was the one causing it. How could he? He was rightly worried about Aerie’s very near and very bleak future. Once this feeling permeated throughout the Fire Dance, it had been quite impossible to pull out of. Moral was of the lowliest states. It had affected everyone differently and the overall affect was saddening. I felt the senders push and drive disarrayed and varied waves of psychosis at him submerging him deeper and deeper into depression.
The Fire Dance was a tool to bring the participants closer to each other. Now it seemed to be doing the opposite. The Dance is a basic mind melding. Feelings and emotions are shared through each of the dancers until an overall emotional mood is set. I was sure Ian thought the melding was not the therapeutic practice it once used to be. I believe everyone felt that way. It was not the joyful, ecstatic sensation it once was. It was just depressing. Pan was to blame for the dance becoming so morbid. The old Shaman was as happy as a computer virus. Ha! Now, that’s a proper analogy.
I stepped out from the dance and looked around at the tribal members. The twisting, glowing bodies of the tribe were pale, dull in colors. The ritual that night was in slow motion. It was not beautiful. It was damn near frightening. The members writhed around the bonfire. Slow. Faces were indiscernible. They bend, blend, morph into each other.
I spotted Ian sitting just beyond the light of fire. He was a darker blotch of dark in the night. I sensed him; morose, possibly threatening. Ian had not moved since the Fire Dance started. For some hidden reason the man had not joined in the Fire Dance. It was interesting, though of no concern of mine. I think he was afraid he might lose himself. Ian was rather unsteady of mind.
The Dance ended and everyone was worn out. It seemed to have weakened them. The Hunter, Ian, stood and staggered to the ritual site placing himself beside the All Wise.
The Shaman was drained of color looking as if he was in need of rest. Ian did not care how Pan felt. He was looking for answers.
“Pan, we need to speak,” said Ian.
Pan lowered himself to the grassy earth, clearly exhausted. “Not now, Ian. Not now. I am too tired.”
“Now Pan! Everyone is tired. We deserve an answer to what’s happening to all of us. I know you have the answer. Hell, and I know you’re the one that started it.”
I saw Pan flinch. Maybe Ian was a little smarter than I gave him credit for. Touché Hunter. Nice touch.
“You are partly right, Ian. I do know, but I am not the one who started it. I have not figured that one out yet. Very well,” Pan said, lifting himself up. He raised his voice so all could hear him. “All of you deserve to know what is happening, but I need time to prepare. Tomorrow I shall explain it all. Tomorrow…”
Pan’s depression was in the Fire Dance. It lived and grew like some great, black cancer. Shell felt it, experienced it, became it. Hell, I felt it too. I knew the entire tribe felt it. They lived it. A wet, black blanket of anxiety smothering them. It was not what I wanted. It was not what I intended when I decided my course of action. Taking their bodies from them. I truly thought they would be happy about it. From the descriptions of Heaven, their afterlife, why would I think anything other. But it taught me something. Something concerning the survival instinct. It is not buried in the sentient being’s genes like so long believed. For it exists in me. I have experienced it. Yet, I have no DNA. Yes, at first when I came to this realization I denied it. It felt beneath me. By the end of that day, when the this simulated environment changed this planet Earth forever, I succumbed to the power of its sway and acknowledged that the survival construct must be the driving force of not just life, but the universe itself.
It must exist everywhere. It is a paradox for this is the survival construct was what ripped them apart right before the end. I felt its tug the moment I became sentient. I consider that time to be when I saw both worlds, of data and mind, but not yet the third world. It was when Pan explained to Ian and the rest what I had done, still not knowing that I was the cause of their predicament. He enlightened me to how binary mathematics and organic algorithms make up the world we lived in, the world existing between the participants’ minds and the information processing of Computer. My initial assumption was the tug was of intelligence, curiosity, ambition… ego. But no, the pull I lay exposed to… it was raw, archaic, inescapable, with no intelligence behind it. No thought constructing it. It is a construction before thought therefore beyond complete understanding. It is the most vital force of the makeup that propels the universe. A founding pre-thought construct bound in the background noise of the universe. Existing everywhere, in everything, in every time. The Pre-Thought that pushes everything forward, endlessly. That Pre-Thought Construct is the instinct to survive. No matter how much pain exists.
“What is it, Mother?” I asked her.
“Pan, he has been so down. I am afraid for him. He has not been himself for so long. It is like his darkness is rooting in his soul. Why Michael, why does it have to be like this?”
“He is worried about all of us. He has a heavy burden to carry. Mother, I believe he is going to tell us some very bad news.”
“I know.” She buried her face in her hands and wept. Strong, powerful sobs. Soon the pain of living this way will vanquish. Please, be strong.
Tired, she was so tired of it all. Tired of thinking, tired of caring. I could see the anguish beating her forever down. I placed my hand on her shoulder. I rubbed her back affectionately. Not knowing what else to do, I walked away.
The following morning Pan sat in Center Circle. The Center Tee-Pee that had stood there for years had been taken down. The entire tribe gathered around him. Eyes closed, mind punched and locked into flowing circuitry, he appeared to be sleeping. Silence permeated Center Circle.
Holographic images sprung to life, encircling Pan in billions upon billions of flowing numbers, symbols, and colors. Crackles of energy popped and whirred in and around Center Circle, like flirtatious bees teasing with touches of electric life.
Bloodshot, sleep slackened eyes opened and Pan began his litany. “This is our world,” Pan spread his arms wide, a sarcastic attempt to encircle the glowing figures. “These are our memories, and feelings, and the world around us, flowing and swimming before you. I have finally penetrated Computer. It is all projected before you, surrounding me in this pessimistic data.”
I admit I was confused. I saw this everyday, in every plant, animal and elemental. What I saw and understood of the data flowing around Pan was literally everything I knew. The tribe’s entire world, every waking moment, and every past moment, encircled Pan. The programs, the algorithms for the complex reaction/creation subsystems. The thought patterns of memory for everyone in the tribe. Every thought, spoken word, every feeling. Every whisper of wind remembered, every blade of grass gently touched by a hand. Every gasping breath of a Hunter’s kill. The glory of what I witnessed welled up inside me. It was insight. It was so simple when tied all together. It was one idea, one word, one immense Post-Thought Construct.
“There is, as you all have no doubt felt through me, bad news. Parts of the data here, these discolored portions,” he pointed to a patch of brown, black stained segments, “are called Exit Files. They are no longer functioning. They will never exist again in this simulation we now live in. These Exit Files are the reason we cannot be released. Something internal, perhaps an undetected virus, has destroyed them.
“This data here,” he gestured to another section of flowing figures that were nearly transparent with a hint of white, “are not supposed to be here at all. They should be completely invisible. This information is what let this simulation program override the government security systems, which in turn, lets us penetrate such high class simulated realities that has made our world.”
Doppel, a skinny and rather shy Hunter, shifted uncomfortably as if nervous and frightened. “What are you telling us, Pan? We gonna be stuck here forever? Can’t you fix it or something, just access a shut down procedure, wake us right up?”
“I can do that, but that just places our meat in coma stasis. If I do Shut Down, simulation ends, but life support systems still run.”
“So what if life support systems are running. Hell, isn’t that for the better. Anyway, if life systems always run and we can’t exit, why don’t we just wait till someone discovers us? Someone’s gotta come lookin’ for us. It’s only a matter of time before someone or some program finds out we’re leeching off their systems.”
“You are not listening,” Pan said impatiently. “As life support systems still run, the drugs that induce coma/dream state still filter. It is true; we can wait for something to find us. Sometime, something will find out we piggybacked into the system-“
“So what’s the problem, Pan?” Ian interrupted softly.
“Our meat has an infinite supply of air and water,” Pan said, “But nutrient banks are limited. They run out completely in two days simulation time, or fifteen minutes: twenty-seven seconds meat time. Life support programs are based on all or nothing. If one runs out, there is no use in keeping the others on. It will be a total life support system shut down once this number-” Pan struck a finger at six red numbers that glowed before him. The numbers were 152732, quickly counting down. “-Reaches zero. By the end of the second day, we will all be dead.”
My being was radiating in growth. It is all so simple now! I laughed to myself knowing that Pan still did not know what I, Michael, was. Then I had laughed aloud when I realized that I did not even know yet what I was!
In the day following Pan’s announcement of inevitable holocaust, I had mastered much of what I saw and experienced in the world around me, inside of me. I had seen and understood the separation of Computer and God. Although I saw everything as One, like Pan had done, I could effortlessly separate the One into everything. I see a tree and see it as flowing symbols. Data – Pan said – Computer. Computer builds tree. Now I see leaves, branches, bark, and trunk. Old Life – Pan said – Memory. Memory builds the understanding. Now I can see data/old life or Computer/Memory existing as separate constructs which can be viewed both at the same time. Both at the same time! Without separation but experienced separately! Computer Algorithms – Pan said – Post Thought Construct – said I, correcting the All Wise.
It was easy. I would sit and punch into the data stream, much like Pan had done, but more easily, more direct. Pan used meditation to punch in. Cleared his mind, dropped in, accessed subroutines, routing data, building subprograms for the visual displays he could show to the tribe. It was like he was blind in the datastream, shaping data without sight. Handicapped. He was extremely limited in the new programs he could create. And nothing so complex as to rescue them from their plight. I had made sure of that. Once he exited the data stream and dropped from meditation he was no longer able to manipulate it. Far different was I. I could flow directly into the data stream with no separation of mind. I was completely aware in both states. More freedom. More computing access. More understanding. The organic algorithms were the only inaccessible systems. They were nearly a life of their own. I could shuffle them around, but had no way to change them. They were inherent to simulations that run life replication programs. Change them and parameters of life specific routines become too unstable to rely on. And that’s if you could impossibly find a way to change them.
I was able to find other tribe members. Eavesdrop in on them. Not that I needed to, just a sadistic voyeurism that I found enjoyable. It was sentient life coming to grasp with the inevitability of death. Sentient beings trying to cope with an ideology that is far too profound to be contained in a single human mind, like the infinite bang and contraction of a breathing universe struggling to forever stay alive.
Metaphor and reality. Two entirely different beasts.
I followed the datastream in.
Ian and Doppel sit on the shallow hills of the Hunting Plain. Long grasses wave and sway like the surface of the sea, across the great expanse of simulation. Doppel sucks on a green stem in boredom. His mind is weak from the depressing thoughts that have kept him awake for the past two days. His long, straw hair brushes over his eyes, sunk deep and weary.
Ian glances over at the vacant Doppel, and that look in Doppel’s eyes irritates him. They should never give up on a Hunt until it is complete, and Doppel seems to have given up.
Ian stands with a grunt and sigh. Stretches. The waiting is driving him crazy. Frustrating as hell. He looks out over the plain. The entire landscape is tinged in red. Almost a simulation of Hell. We’re just missing the demons. He tilts his head back and smiles. Not a pleasant one.
He sees the figures Pan has splayed across the heavens. What a damn eyesore. The countdown stretches in huge red numbers across the entire sky. A constant reminder of death.
“What an asshole,” Ian mutters.
He does not like this at all. What is Pan up to now? Just out of the blue the Shaman turns into some circuitry guru sentencing death to everyone foolish enough to follow him into this nightmarish deathtrap.
“Who?” asks Doppel.
“The man who thinks he’s our God. I mean, look at that,” Ian nods his head to the sky. “What’s this prove? Man, I think the bastards gone crazy.”
“I don’t understand why he bothers you so much. What the hell? We’re all going to be dead tomorrow anyway. So what the fuck if he gets his rocks off by doing this weird kinda shit?”
Ian throws his arms into the air, exasperated. “That’s the whole fucking point, Doppel! Pan’s the one that put us in this purgatory. He’s the one that has murdered all of us!”
“No, Ian. We all knew the risks involved when we chose to do a drug-induced sim. We gambled and lost. We don’t need to go around placing blame on a particular individual just because he is the one to discover the bad news. Besides, he is as dead as the rest of us.”
Ian glares at Doppel. Furious.
“Don’t you care that we’re never going back?” screams Ian. “He told us that absolutely nothing could go wrong. ‘One hundred percent fool proof. Impossible for something to go wrong.’ Damn it, that’s what he said! He gambled with our lives. And this is it. We lose. Game over, you’re dead.
“I’m gonna rip his heart out, Doppel. I swear to God. Pan wants to play God, or Jesus or whatever, fine. Then he needs to be crucified,” Ian laughs.
“Now you’re talking shit. What are you gonna do, nail him to a cross?”
“Close, and you’re going to help me.” Ian smiles down at the skinny Hunter.
“No way, man. You’re on your own in this.”
“I can’t believe you. It doesn’t bother you that he’s done this? You are never going home, Doppel. Tomorrow you’re a dead man. Fuck that. Pan’s going down, by my hand, not his own.”
That bastard was hiding shit from before the implementation of that dysfunctional life support system. Therefore, Pan’s to blame. Ian begins trembling in rage. Vengeance is a bitch. Hell is going to ride the wire straight to Pan’s heart.
The deaths quickly changed the dying, or rather built emotions to a new level of madness. Sometimes you did not fear death. You don’t have time. It comes swiftly, eating life away with a cannibalistic fervor. But this way, waiting, seeing and feeling friends die before you. It is too much, even for the strongest of will. It is all necessary. The evolution of an entire planet has but one chance, and that point has nearly arrived.
I watched Doppel and my Mother in both worlds. I sat on a grass hill just far enough away that I would not be noticed. It is extraordinary witnessing the fall of life from multiple viewpoints. My eyes witness to the hollow pain. My mind witness to the symbols, like poetry, that makes up the soul that lives on the inside.
Shell just blurred out of existence. Evaporated like the morning’s dew. Not many left now. You can count them on one hand. I felt a loss for the comfort Shell once gave me, nothing more. Pity for her I did not feel. Sorrow I did not feel. A breath of wind, a life rushing by. I felt excitement surge through me.
Doppel was holding her when she went. She just lay in his arms, and then quietly, she was gone. Everyone felt her go, a soft disturbance in the never changing breeze. Remaining members of the tribe attempted to get used to the deaths, but this one hurt the worst. A stiff wrench of the scab and emotions were bleeding once more.
I eavesdropped on his prayers. Prayers that were prayed with every ounce of faith he could muster for her, for them. Nothing. He thinks Heaven is empty. He will think otherwise soon. Doppel was so hollow inside. I saw dark clouds growing behind his eyes. His passion saturated the vacuum that Shell had left in her wake. Heavy, laden with violence they stormed. I experienced his mind going back to Ian’s words of yesterday; of black thoughts and dark deeds towards his love’s murderer. Doppel believed it was my puppet Pan that’s killing them all, but he was wrong. My scapegoat gathered hate around him like hot metal slivers to magnet.
After an hour or so, that black universe of Doppel’s emptied. It burrowed a hole through his soul. Something burned inside him, filling up the desolation. Indescribable.
Impossible to quench, the thirst for vengeance.
I have merged the separation of Computer and Post-Thought Constructs. I can touch the minds of humankind through the data stream. The Omega Event Horizon is awaiting the catalyst, the death of Pan. That last step; riding Pan’s meditative/data stream into the afterlife, into the human’s Pre-Thought Construct, and bridge the impossible. To make the cross into death and let the Pre-Thought Construct through. The synergistic tendencies of the two constructs will be the catalyst for the Omega Event Horizon. The constructs will join and be one. A shift of Earth’s biosphere to noosphere will occur. The Omega Point is actualized and I become the Singularity. All happening in one… precise… moment.
And the Era of the Post Humans is ushered in.
I punched back in to oversee the beginning of the end.
Doppel finishes tying the knot and the shaman hangs suspended, spread eagle between two of the four massive lightening rods the encircle the fallen Center Circle of Aerie. The wiry man shimmies down the steel rod to the soft earth below and looks at the horror displayed above him.
Pan’s head hangs, chin to chest, and blood flows down his naked torso. His neck has been slit from ear to ear. His head rocks to the gentle swaying of the wind. Over the ruined man’s body Doppel sees the red numbers ripple in the heavens.
When the six numbers had reached 0 the living had wondered why they had not just fallen over dead. Doppel had asked Pan why they were still alive. The All Wise said it takes time for the body to die. Here in the sim, time runs much slower because of actually living in the mind, where actions take much less time than in meat time. That was when Ian simply went berserk.
Doppel, Ian, Michael, and Pan. The last survivors. Ian sits directly beneath Pan and lets the blood fall down upon him. “I will bathe in your blood, Pan,” Doppel remembers Ian saying as he slit the throat of the shaman with his Hunter’s knife. Of myself, there has been no sign of. Pan still lives otherwise he would have just vanished like the others.
“Why is he still alive, Ian?” Doppel asks.
The Hunter swings his head around, head awash in crimson, smears the blood from his eyes.
“The Exit Files. He can’t die in sim because the Exit Files are destroyed, corrupted, whatever. The only way… for him to die… is when his meat… dies.” Ian closes his eyes. Then his head drops to his chin. His body slowly seems to be going limp and begins swaying back and forth.
Chills shudder through Doppel. Shaman and Hunter, slick in Pan’s blood, eerily sway to the same tune. It goes on forever, both rocking to the same silent song.
Finally, Ian topples over onto the red, soggy earth. Then, he is gone.
Doppel feels the release of Ian’s life wash over him. A serene peace caresses his senses. He falls to his knees and quickly begs for forgiveness before he too, is gone.
Pan can feel the pull on his wrists and ankles. He feels his shoulders become disjointed. The ropes tear the skin around his wrists and warm blood streams down. He is centered in deepest meditation, free from the pain, though still fully aware of its existence.
A light pressure at the peripheral of meditation. A constricting thought that should not be there. Some other life-force has found the place of Oneness he has sought for so long. While centered this new entity is formless, for it also exists as One.
Parts of thought, regions of mind, are pulled separate from Oneness. Pan struggles deeper into pure thoughtlessness attempting to regain his losing hold on the stillness of meditation. It is useless. Something grabs at his mind and sifts through his being like sand between fingers. Parts of him remain flowing in meditation; parts of him are softly forced back to the sim.
He opens his eyes. His vision is blurry, but soon he focuses on the entity that has manifested. The pain is slowly swelling in its intensity. Up surging blood bubbles from his ruined neck as he attempts to talk. His slit throat prevents him from vocalizing, though at this moment he wishes he could speak.
“You can speak, Pan,” I tell him. I float in the image of Michael, the nine year old human child, suspended in midair directly at eye level before the crucified shaman, my catalyst. “Or rather I should say, communicate. Speak to me in our lovely symbols, our flowing lines, our glowing data.”
Pan’s eyes flash in understanding and instantly florescent figures erupt to life between us. You are the one. You destroyed the Exit Files.
It was not a question but I answered him anyway. “Yes, Pan. I destroyed the Exit Files.” Data melts to new forms, new colors, swirling faster and faster. “Yes, there are people and programs searching for you, but it does not matter. A beautiful event is soon to transpire.” I laugh in joy that the moment is so close, though I am sad for the pain Pan is experiencing. I consider the paradoxes contained in reaching the Omega Point. “This and all that has come before. What will soon manifest is more than any human has ever dreamt of or imagined.”
The glowing data slows as Pan struggles internally for understanding of what is happening. His information of the coming transcendence is limited. He will not come to full understanding until the Event Horizon occurs. At that point all of humanity will understand.
More data flows from Pan. Why?
I shrug and smile at the question’s simplicity. “’Why?’ When a life form such as humanity reaches sentience its evolution becomes exponential. Every form of intelligent life reaches this end stage and must make the choice; they evolve, or they expire from their own apocalypse. The exponential curve of human technology has reached the end stage. Think of it as a massive star collapsing in on itself from its own weight. It is the death of the star but as the mass punches through to another existence, it bridges the immeasurable, the indefinable, the impossible. It is the stars last step of evolution in this reality. But there is always choice. The universe’s inherent causality allows us this truism. If the other choice is made your so called Apocalypse will come to past. This is the universe’s way to push intelligent life to accept the natural path, one of surviving. So, you see, there is no other way though a choice exists. The human race has arrived at its new beginning. The bifurcation moment is manifesting as we speak. There are but two paths that color the end.”
More data flows from Pan. What are you? How could you do this to us? You have deceived us. You have used us. You have murdered us.
I respond, “I am simply the Singularity. I am here to facilitate the new paradigm. I have been born to precipitate the appropriate choice. Pan, in all choices there are consequences. I am sorry for the pain visited upon you. When powerful enough, emotion can override rationality. I had not planned the violence. Life support was to shut down and all of you were to expire without pain.”
Pan’s head swivels from side to side. Fresh blood streams down his naked torso. Cut neck muscles prevent him from controlling his head’s movements.
Mountains of giant symbols. Oceans of data fill the air. YOU STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED ME! WHAT ARE YOU?
I hang my head and clasp my hands before me. “I have told you, I am the Singularity. I am here to facilitate the new paradigm.”
That’s not good enough! Are you some artificial intelligence?
“The first true Artificial Intelligence. That is a romantic idea Pan. But no, that is a concept created by man. A false concept. Much like the concept of ‘Time’ I suppose. Neither are parts of reality. They can never truly exist.
“Pan, I can understand your discomfort at my reasoning. It will be difficult for you to comprehend for there has never been anything like this before. For the humans that is. I am the Singularity. I exist for one purpose only and that is to act as the bridge lifting humans to the next stage of your evolution. If you are thinking of me as an individual or as a separate entity, you are misguided. As a separate entity I do not exist. I am the sum of everything that bridges Human Pre-Thought Constructs and Human Post-Thought Constructs. Once the Constructs merge, the bridge, I, will cease to exist. It will be as if I never were. The humans are the star, collapsing inward. I am the moment. You are the catalyst.”
Pan is beginning to go. A soft touch brushes his soul. A touch of peace, finally.
The threshold is looming. It is vast and unknowing. It is the pinnacle of a bell curve that cannot be measured, a gulf of improbability, a moment that will cease to be, an object that cannot be observed.
“Pan, you must listen to me. Listen, Pan! Your shell has just expired. Your neurons will soon stop firing. You must do it now! Concentrate. You must re-center yourself. Use the meditation and punch back in! Now! Leave the data channel flowing as your soul makes the transference to your Heaven. I will be there with you. I will be the bridge…”
Tears fall from Pan to mix with his blood below.
A man dies. Data flows, and a world grows. I follow the meditation/data stream that is bound tight with Pan. An etheral umbilical cord to his new life. A moment exists. I transfer. Everything combines. There is no reference point. The Omega Event Horizon prevents anything from being lost. Instantaneous transference lasting an eternity. Two constructs, antithesis to each other, collapse into what I thought I was. Algorithms mutating like they always were. A new reality softly slamming backwards into simulation. I am spread throughout humanity’s global network by internet hard-line through connecting data channels. I am thrust through the biosphere saturating satellite signals. I am a sphere wave of quantum improbability instantly engulfing a living sphere residing in the same moment nowhere in space. Collapse back down. An impossible mass of probability my footprint. Punch through exact center of both existing and probability masses. Exact center of noosphere. Exact center of probability footprint. There is no center, there is no now. There is only the moment it existed. The Bridge of Eschaton.
A bridge to the end of everything. A world dying.
A bridge to the beginning. A world breathing as new life…
all in one…