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John Rodrigues (M)
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    Vaticinate - draft part 4b
    Nate was outside the area where the artificial was usually contacted.

    If the humans were taken out this time, then Nate had to decide how he would avoid being torn in half, each side being consumed by either the aliens or machines. That was what neutralized the Noths. It was traumatizing the transhumans. It would also affect the artificials and synds, sooner rather than later. If he had not jumped into the abyss, they would have thrown him in as a sop to their superstitions. It would have not done them any good. He had to find out for himself. The excuse that it was an exploration of another's fears, Knawe was the usual rationalization, would find no end of potential subjects. At some point he was no longer immune to the aggregation of attacks which he had somehow brushed off in his naivete. He was neither pursuer nor cartel either so he was not planning on making his fame or fortune in this realm. The addition of the newest pair of groups converted this into a complex aftermath anyway. Each step changed not only the next, but the earlier so that anyone else setting out after him would not find the same sequence of events in the offing. Their only hope of solving it would be to synch with him at the start and perhaps run it through the augmentation in order to catch up to where he was by then. If they tried to follow physically, they would become terribly lost. The clues that he left would normally be seen as nothing unless someone suspected that they would be significant. Given an infinite amount of time, he would travel back and forth between the aliens and machines delving into the depths of both of their campaigns and becoming a familiar figure rather than their foremost foe. That was not the case, however, since what they had was a shrinking stretch of space.

    The others that he had met from Earth did not think that the invaders would launch the ultimate offensive since they did not want to lose the station. It was the common connector between domains and, without it, they would find it much harder to traverse them. This had made it easy, but at the price of not disturbing the cargo. The latest actors on each side were no longer able to accomplish this. In fact they were intent on being the most revisionist. Where the humans had been content in modifying their environment, these groups wanted to remake the entire epoch. Anything from before the aliens had taken the betan exoplanet would no longer count. Similarly for the machines prior to their mech supremacy. Neither had a monopoly on leverage over nature, though Nate had yet to see their full array of approaches. The issue was that humans would be in the middle and that did not bode well for their own chances. If they were waiting for him to flag the start of the race, though, they could continue to pause for as long as he could prolong the moment.


    Nate had to retrieve what he could from his area.

    The nice thing about the automated augmentation in the artifact that Nate had gotten from Earth was that it had the option to terraform, which must have been useful on Mars, though it had no value on the station, but it put him in the former context like he was there. This was better than a snapshot or clip, or playing the Hali channel from that time, because it was interactive. Assuming that everyone had the same inclinations as he did, this was a sole source for the human era. It was worth anything else on the Vat. That would make it contraband from the posthuman standpoint so he would have to save it from being confiscated. There was a certain poetry in it also, as long as it was not in the hands of a thrash guitarist which could lead to a greater anarchy than any academic might envision. Nate must have been a fan of more optimistic times.

    In those days things used to be 3D. A proxy would find and form the right bot for the task and people did not have to worry about how it worked. Now they are petrified of a machine penetrating from another dimension and powderizing their planet for enough stuff to make another star. Domains were disposable to the devices.

    It boggled Nate's mind how those things could throw away all of the history that was enclosed in the universes. People had gone to a lot of trouble to convert data into the right type of information to make perceptions perspicacious. That was admittedly lost on the aliens. It had been accused of aggravating tensions between the pioneering groups. There were political aspects to any position. People were satisfied if they were not quashed by the posthumans. They had gamified each procedural area until things were chronically at logger heads. Credit was supposed to be the overarching compromise until it was all held by a fraction of the coterie. The next step was usually a formation from among the most feral folk. This exploited the worst dispositions, but utilized the latest discoveries to make some unconscionable apparatuses. The machines had seen their emergence that way, but according to the artifact, there had been a set of people that had headed for another domain to find a counter to those. He had never heard from them again, so perhaps that had been self-defeating. They should not have counted on the single attempt for that if there was going to be so much erosion among the ensemble. This was not the type of thing that would fit the template of a couple of contenders on opposite sides of a board or standing behind podiums while being pelted in a third degree trivia trial.

    While Nate enjoyed being engrossed in this bubble like an intelligence incubator, it was anything but, because it had been limited to the human lifestyle and he was currently surrounded by others that did not conform to that. The machines had been known for superlative action. and that was what the people needed at the moment.


    Nate had found a control area.

    The machines had bought the humans some time since Correction kept them going until it was taken out. Otherwise they would have fallen to the posthumans, nanomals or aliens at that point. Now anyone that can get to the Vat can also go to any other domain or timeframe.

    Nate was tempted to return to Earth slightly before the humans vanished and confront the person who took the machine admin out. If that was left in place, then perhaps Mars and the betans would have had slightly more time to fortify themselves. A failure would mean that it would be the same then and there was much less of a chance now. His priority had to be the present.

    The humans could try to make it as far ahead as possible to a day when there was no more animosity between their groups. That was very optimistic. The issues that they would face later would likely make these seem simple by comparison. Again he could not provide a valid reason that outweighed what they had to accomplish now.

    Because the humans do not make these trips does not mean that there will not be others. The simplest case would be an a artifact that would not stick out and could be a relay for anyone. It would probably attract a proxy, thought, and that would see to it that every possible detail was covered about who it was and what they were after, so if any of that were set wrong, the results could be disastrous.

    Noone had seemed to make history for longer than a moment. Nate could not hope to be longer term than any of them. He would be followed by others, however they would likely no longer be humans. Then again the species had been counted out long before this and seemed to emerge well enough to require a large effort on the part of anyone who did not want them to rise.

    For every sacrifice that he suffered, he liked to think that there was a multiverse instance that found it a breeze to get what they wanted. He had all the ingredients here and all the right people, so it should have been as valid an attempt as anywhere. If they ever found him, they would not tolerate how badly things seemed to go and he would again be on the skids.

    What he had not heard much of, and what had been alongside for most of their time after the megacities was the machine track. It was taking a circuitous route to its objective, he had to admit. The humans were not the target. At least not yet. As long as that remained the case, they could concentrate on the others. He would be happy if he did not see another machines for centuries. That meant staying away from the artificials, and also the synds. The situation with the transhumans was delicate, but better than it had been. He could almost see the way clear to getting the humans somewhere safe.


    Nate rushed to the public area again. There was an unknown indication being broadcast by the station.

    Nate's augmentation showed an infant in an artificial membrane, then a later version accompanied by a bot which stayed with them until they were of age. The person was him. He had forgotten about those earlier times on Earth. Much of it was regulated against after the machine crisis. That did not prevent the return of machine intervention on the Vat, however.

    Nate had had his chance while on Earth and had decided against it. He had opted against bringing the aliens or machines onto the posthumans which was good for them, but bad for him. The humans could be taken by the machines. This would have been considered preservation back on Earth, but it had been shown to be much different in space.

    The Moderator had revealed to the aliens about the machines. The countermission then was that the machines had to save the humans until betrayed. Machines were like a primitive unconscious. Humans forfeited identity. Nate wondered if augmentation would become a common consciousness or still lead to machine domination. This had had side-effects on the mesh. All the species became dependent upon the devices.

    The machines would take the Vat. Machines could not tell the difference between the humans and posthumans. If the humans fell, then the Noth had to run through it next. They may not be able to drag Nate along this time. If they wanted to maintain relations with the transhumans, then someone other than Ing or Er would have to convert. Any objective to establish a peace would then be broken by the machines. Either that or something was erasing the groups until there was only going to be a single thing left. Nate was without refuge like everyone else. The order of loss seemed to be humans, posthumans, aliens and machines.

    His augmentation was a preview. Nate had met a proxy. Ing joined the machines like the Moderator and went against the multiverse. So did Tarp and Trom. The Noths made a machine as a proxy. The machines clobbered the posthumans and then faced the aliens. This became inverse to complec so aliens were good and machines bad. Nanomals had made it to the Vat. The Vat morphed as a machine and emptied. The multiverse was taken out and all that remained was the Vat.

    Nate personally went against the machines. He had to keep the Vat from them. It may already have been if he was lucky. Nate got a machine perspective which split him. The other personality was a machine plant who had to figure out how to beat the Vat. The reset only affected the initial half. The other was like an artificial that had to go through the domains, but with an extreme intention. Nothing could stop him including the Noth.

    The transhumans had expected something like this. The machines had attempted to use their opposition to break them as well. The mesh was not enough to fix that. Nate had to be contained.


    The transhuman had been rumored to have arrived on the Vat before, so Nate sought him out. There was no sense dragging Knawe into this. That was where the other had underestimated how humans would react. They could not see the problem. It was more than reflex, a matter of makeup. They did not have the same issues. It did not mean anything now, but it could have in the future and that possibility was the determinant in Nate's case.

    Nate found Trom in the admin area. Nate confronted him. Trom released Subtrahend who had been getting admonished.

    Trom claimed to be equivalent to Nate as a transhuman. It all had been an exercise to see whether the humans would be okay outside the Vat. That explained why the others did not make the trip instead of Nate. Trom thought that Nate would have put together an ideology that the rest of the humans would accept. He had certainly shown the gaps in their current convictions. He had not completed it, however. Everyone had been reset by the time he made it back. There had been any number of things he could have done. It was like the moment before they climbed out of the trojan horse. If Nate had set his sights right, then the humans could have taken Mars instead. They could be on Terra Beta. The opposite of extinction was overrunning all the rest. They could still be dropped on the exoplanets to ready them for the posthumans. Or they could convert to posthumans.

    If it had not been for the transhumans, then the humans would have been enslaved by the aliens. Instead the clones could now become the scourge of space. The humans will became like zombies. They could perish on the Vat, perhaps taken out by the Noth, the aliens from the Vat. All the meshes were combined, but the fallacy was that this was active rather than reactive. As long as there was another threat on the way, then they had something to face together.


    Nate made it to the Noth area.

    Nate wanted to send the Noth against other groups. Er had denied the significance of it all. Ing had saved Nate. The Noths had not been eliminated. What Nate had been through was well known to the Noth. They might as well make good use of it. His responses had been wanting, but the stakes would be much larger ahead. The Noth view was that the Vat was unnecessary. Any domain could have sufficed for the purpose. The Noth wanted to have counterparts in the other groups. Some would have to convert to each and vice-versa. They could make Nate want to destroy the Earth. They could also make it so that Nate expected to find Noth rather than transhumans when he returned there.

    The Noths had their own plan for the multiverse. The Noth cannot be reset. Machines could. Aliens as well. The Noth previewed their own version of the action between the aliens and machines which was interpreted wrongly as humans and posthumans. The Noth would take over the Vat and the aliens had everything else. If it was going to be destroyed, then Nate and Knawe would escape while the Noths stayed. Knawe could travel back in time to make the posthumans Noths from the start which might lead to a paradox.

    The only material impervious to the alien was Noth remains. Nate and Trom were both taken out physically so their minds had to be merged into another body of a Noth. Their differences were then settled in a way that the mesh could never have provided. Then Nate and Trom each resumed their separate identities.


    Nate had to stay away from the previous areas in case they were tracking him, so he used the least traveled throughways.

    The posthuman condition was where technology had controlled the future, but not as anyone had foreseen. Nate wondered what had become of the betans.

    Nate tried the comms to see if he could reach any of the betans. There were some on the station.

    He found the betans' area. They had not known that Nate had made it to Earth. They had heard that he was lost to the aliens. They and the Noth had proceeded to the Vat directly.

    There were some fragmentary reports. Trom thought that the betans and synds had had their usual spats which could have blown up the Vat. The betans would have returned to Terra Beta or been eliminated. Meurig had saved Trom the trouble. Knawe captivated Trom. Fiacre had figured out that Knawe was an augmented illusion made by the Noth so that Nate would accept them. Hodel had gotten Lange the twin ship. Poldi had motivated Subtrahend for his own reasons. The aliens and machines were almost allies until something split them.


    Nate went to the supplies area.

    The Vat constrained the future. The inhabitants were looking at, not a stasis, but the same as they have been. Someone like Nate saw that as a sign of decline. His idea of Earth was where humans would express their innate capabilities. The station limits those to a narrow channel. His visit to the planet did not show much better, but that could have been because there were not enough people other than the transhumans. They acted like there was only a single group that would be able to fully expand and the others had to make room for them.

    It was possible to rig the assemblers here to make anything that they wanted if they knew the makeup. The people on Earth had tended to use what they had available locally. It took an extreme location like this to find ways to produce necessities using new methods of fabrication. Interestingly that had not included a lot of machines since the tasks were things that people wanted to be involved in and the rest were seen as unnecessary. They did not have an overbearing nature to deal with. That contradicted any ideas of techno determinism which had followed the scientific notion of truth. Politics were limited. So the mechanism to cause a radical shift was the introduction of the Vore. That did not change who people were, but they to accommodate their fears until the situation was resolved.

    So humans were neither Vat nor Vore. Their role was based on what they had wanted when all of this confusion had began. They had seen themselves taken out of the picture. It did not look like they were going to make another entry soon as far as Nate could tell. After surviving all of the pitfalls that had been laid for them, they were left to curse themselves for having ever taken this path. Nate had knocked out the pretenders to inevitability. His head was not any clearer, however. The Noth had not taken over the human imperative, if there was any, but had merely put their considerable imaginations into it. They had had no shortage of ideas about what could be attempted, possibly because they were starting out and it was all or nothing. Nate had been like that on the outside. It had gone against him.

    Returning to the Vat had been like arriving at a new place where he thought that he knew the conventions, but it did not quite match those. He was not scrambling as much as he had on the planets but that could be the result of an act that he was putting on so others would think that he had accomplished what he had set out to. They could not dissuade him if they did not know what he was clinging to. If the Vore wanted the Vat then they would have to succeed at their zero Earth policy. That was a transhuman issue as far as Nate was concerned. Perhaps they had all thought that the human was the vulnerability in this system. Removing that only left them facing eachother instead. Every time that they had counted the humans out, they had been shown differently.


    Nate was looking for the Noth.

    The multiverse might eventually be run by another alien group than the Vore altogether. Some travelled through all domains faster than the multis so that they were nowhere for long. The artificials had to follow them somehow. Nate was now linked to the artificials like the transhumans were. The title of Vaticinate which he had been assigned was about his being like an artificial who could foretell.

    There was an alien alert. That meant a time limit until the Vore's arrival on the Vat. Trom accused Nate of bringing the alien crisis to the Vat. The aliens could abduct people yet again. If there was a battle between the transhumans and aliens, the aliens would put the transhumans into a station.

    The aliens would put the Vat in their galaxy. Null space is part of the alien territory. The Vat has no strategic advantage to the transhumans, but it does to the aliens.

    This was brought on by the human revolution. The Vore had done this before against the betans. The Vore had predicted that the transhumans would not be able to control the humans and had been ready to take over to prevent a machine uprising. The fact that the humans have subdued the machines locally is no matter, because they will not be able to anywhere else.

    The transhumans thought that this could have been settled amicably through discussion. The aliens saw through that as an attempt to reset them. All groups teat it as an invasion. Alien occupation is like establishing martial law. Influential groups argue that there should be a sovereign setting for all of the inhabitants to have input.

    An alien admin has taken charge of the station. The Vat was always a Vore object. All multis are now owned by the Vore. Since the multis are down, the interverse transfers are inactive. The aliens would have the only transports that can go between domains. There is an alien base on the Vat. The artificials would be incapacitated as long as the Vat was held hostage. Comms will eventually be down for anyone trying to contact the Vat. All of the ongoing interactions with the aliens in the domain have been suspended. There is going to be attrition between all of the groups because of this. The Vore will take out the seers if necessary. The Vore are now the protectors of the exoplanets as well.

    A Noth was accused of treason by the transhumans for surrendering.

    The synds could take out the aliens according to Lange. Opqrst had inspired Lange, but set the Vat up to be taken out. The artificials also claimed to be able to defeat the aliens. Trom would attempt to reset the aliens instead, however since Subtrahend had disobeyed him, the artificials would be also.

    Nate used augmentation to see from the alien's perspective. He joined the aliens against the posthumans to get revenge for the loss of Knawe and the humanity that he had treasured.

    The multis were between Earth and the Vat. The Vat was a ship, station and artifact. This was where the theme of humans versus posthumans played out. There needed to be an order of life in the multiverse rather than ending in entropy. The Vat was the meeting point for this. The station rendered everyone static. The exomultiverse was a stopgap measure. It was like a bad convergence. This raised the question of whether it was made as a challenge to lure the remaining posthumans to their end. Whoever got to the Vat first would reset them to take the other side out. Execution on the Vat meant convertng them to nonhuman form. They would all be sent to a strange domain forever. The Vat could have been a transport station for something else. It might yet be a staging area for an operation by another side. Compared to an alien base, for example, it would show what might happen between aliens and machines. Either they had to make their own domain within the Vat, or they could hide the Vat inside a large planet as a quantum effect.

    The aliens seemed to have succeeded. There were artificials who did not oppose the aliens so that everyone was not eliminated. The Vat became the directorate, the artificials the analysts, and the aliens the operatives. The aliens could take out the machines for a seemingly immediate success. There was an argument between the aliens as to who had rights to the domain. Opqrst had begun a quest versus the machines.


    The betans joined Nate with the Noths.

    The conclusion for the human having escaped a couple of times before may be that they are eliminated.

    Knawe became a Noth.

    The betan confinement was different from that of Earth. They could split anyone into pieces, not only mind and body, but each of the basic processes are noted for their unique aspects only which are then used to identify the individual and the rest can be dissolved. It was theoretically possible to reanimate someone from the saved information, though they have never had to.

    Nate would then become an entry in the betan catalog of infamy.

    There was a scheme by the Noths to acquire that in order to make their own version, but that failed.

    Since it was a human, it was multiply obfuscated using a betan method so that no alien could unscramble the meaning to create a clone which they would then send against the posthumans.

    The Noths thought that it was the human personality itself that led to the events rather than the individual, but that this had involved someone who was able to survive everything except success. That being the case, they could learn more about what the humans were like in case they needed to have another meet a similar situation.

    Knawe found a hint near the transport that Nate had taken Tarp's stuff as a disguise and set the multis to time-traveling to the past. It would likely take a couple of resets for him to retrieve the augmented version of her.


    Nate returned to the multis area.

    Nate had the epiphany that the station that he thought was there to sustain him was full of adversaries that would take him out. He had to find the only person or thing that will enable his survival. Initially he had thought that this was noot. The human captive had introduced doubt about why they were supplying it. He then made it through Terra Beta, Mars and Earth only to be put back where he had started. People still said all of the same things. The only difference was that the aliens had tracked him, and the machines them. This brought a huge calamity upon them.

    There was a multis left in the station which had not been tampered with by the aliens. It seemed to be the same that the transhumans had used to bring him here.

    His solution was to reset it all by going to the beginning again himself. This time he would have some additional knowledge through the resets. It would require him to take an alternate path to avoid the obliteration.

    The points which were significant were when he met Tarp, the Noth, and Opqrst. He would have run short of noot eventually. There was nothing he could have changed about Knawe or the posthumans. He might not have taken the multis. The synds and artificials would have remained as they were, as would have the betans and transhumans. There were other sequences to try things at. He could have allied with the aliens instead. Or with the machines later. The transport proxy would have taken him out had he attempted to ride it in either of those cases.

    Another person might have gone in his place. Adding more people complicated the circumstances. Something had prevented that.

    The big determinant was the Vat itself. What it meant was that the Vat would not only be a transport station in space, but also in time. He could expect to see more individuals from the future.

    Going from the past to the present would not have added anything other than to avoid demise beforehand. If someone wanted to screw up the works, they would set the intervals to random times. Anyone who ventured near the multis might be displaced. That would explain the ghosts. Any multis that were transferring might also take off immediately again. They needed a way to synch when and where to meet. They would be a multis gang, able to cluster and swarm on his direction. Their only true escape would be to find an unknown exoplanet somewhere, or an abandoned station, and stay off the data feeds for the other groups.

    There might be additional people that stumbled into the multis that would eventually join them. They could try to leave a clue for each of the humans to follow. The fact that particular types of inhabitants were disappearing would begin a search by the admin. That would get them into the same situation that he had just evaded so they would be held up indefinitely. The odds were low that they would locate him here anytime.

    If he waited long enough, the Vat would be empty and then the humans could safely return.

    Having done so, he could synch and bring them there right off. They had arrived at Terra Null.

    Wed, Mar 5, 2014  Permanent link

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