Thursday, January 30, 2014
The hero had failed, yet the enemy had been defeated nonetheless - and soundly at that.
He must admit defeat, and yet the very nature of his makeup would allow no such thing. He set his empty glass down on his desk.
The sun had set outside and he simply let the darkness into the empty laboratory. The light of the moon and streetlamps reflected off of the empty glass.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Monday, December 23, 2013
I will finish interviewing the final thousand beings shortly, at which point I will need to file my report.
The problem is that I think I've found the most anomalous world yet discovered! I should be free from emotions of the distant beings, and yet I have some specter in my emergent systems of worry...yes, I think that is what it is.
Too many of my algorithms and such are hitting exceptions, and logs are filling at rates much higher than expected. All these warnings are resulting in a general sense of anxiety - or that's what the small analogue in a distant being would be called.
The brand new interviewer: This will not look good - but I have to believe that my results are correct.
And also, most disturbing and disruptive is the fact that on top of this most anomalous world I may have discovered the most anomalous being!
This is why we interview. To have accepted this entire world into the intergalactic culture without getting a profile would have resulted in unimaginable turmoil...and yet, the turmoil is coming even with the interviews.
The clarity group will definitely debate the massiveness group on this one.
should be interesting, should be exciting!...will be uncomfortable...especially for me.
What a first day!
Thursday, October 25, 2012
a two-dimensional film of people, millions of people.
crammed, moving slowly, in waves.
and yet, from above we can see.
and then the one in a million. two of them actually.
they approach through the film. a region forms around them.
their wakes continue and interact until they disperse into the noise of the film.
they approach each other again, directly this time.
I call to my neighbor to move in for a closer look at this. My closest neighbor at this time is Bill. He's seen a few one-in-a-millions together before. He'll like to watch this.
the sea of people and things around me do not annoy or trouble me. not any more than the sea did and does to the captain.
the pleasant lights, the shining lights, the gentle sounds and the serious sounds.
there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.
a key feature of all modern eye gear of the past 40 some odd years is of course the filter. Filtering layers and overlays is common. Most people these days like to keep a constant ad stream running. I filter almost everything out. Including other people.
to me, it is a dark, or light or grey world.
I run algorithms on the vision detection system to overlay colorful patterns which represent the properties of the crowd. There is endless information in these millions of us, wandering around this city desert.
I must have mouthed the words, "city desert" as a brief, subtle search notification showed an image of the event 'burning man', which was begun some many decades ago.
but my 'city desert', with the sea of millions at its heart lived atop a concrete-coral in the bay of San Francisco.
there are a few of these deserts around the planet. the San Francisco one is quite popular, and although more expensive in the goods being sold around, is so much safer than any of the rest.
Oh, don't get me wrong. this place has its fair share of the bad stuff. It's just statistics. But statistically speaking, you have 10 times less chance of being stabbed here, and that's a fact.
for me, I have a 10,000,000,000 less chance, which is way better than the 10,000 times less chance I would have in the Atlantic homestead market. you don't want to go there.
what I do is that I use a special blend of stimulants in conjunction with my transcranial direct stimulation, ekg oscillation inducer to speed my mental functions by a factor of around 200. So everything moves about 200 times slower for me.
The longest I've done this for is 24 days. And that is up until now. And this is the first time I've done it.
But understand, that is 24 days real time. for me it has been an experience of 480 days.
at any rate, back to the task at hand: going through the market looking for a couple rare elements. treating the crowd as a non-newtonian fluid. and then I saw another one like me!
moving through the fluid. and that person also saw me.
we both stopped and the sea of people washed by us.
to my eyes, all was a pitch black except for the hard glowing white outline of that one person. Some effects to my peripheral vision represented collisions in the crowd, but I allowed them to happen and ignored them.
we began at the same time, by coincidence or virtue of the state of the system of people in which we were embedded, to move towards one another. It would take 10 seconds real time, which would be over 33 minutes to us, and so I initiated a friendly hello via chat.
Bill landed next to me. "Hey ty. I can totally hear their microwaves!"
I cast Bill a skeptical glance, "You can't interpret their radios, Bill. You know that."
"Shh!" Bill tilted his head and then spoke, "yes, they said hello, did some crazy sounding stuff, which I think is some kind of detailed exchange of information (only these one-in-a-millions do these things so I'm very excited about this) and talked about the film of people around them."
"How do you know these things Bill?"
"I have this audio headset with a coil and genetic antenna. I can't decode the data streams, of course, because they are crazy encrypted. But I can see and head the pauses and interactions of the data exchange and thus guess at the protocols or what they are doing. This works for lots of AI systems, it's how I get all those free hot dogs."
I widened my eyes and jumped a bit back, "so That's how you get all those free hot dogs! You are so crafty Bill. Crafty crafty crafty."
information exchange could happen at 2000 times normal speed, once a data link was established. and so in the 10 seconds as we approached one another, we began what would be a friendly and enjoyable 5 and 1/2 hour conversation.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
It's waaay out there man. Like 9 billion light years, back in some hot, blue-white galaxy, but it's out there. Or more precisely, it WAS out there 9 bil's ago.
We can't tell if it's still here.
What we can tell it that it is huge, nearly the size of earth's moon. It is yellow and red with a grey line along the middle of its elongated main section. It changes shape slightly, appearing to be able to bend.
It may emit light, or that may be the way in which it takes its colors, we are not certain because we have not captured a picture of it in space or on a non-starlit (sunlit) side of a planet on which it is located.
We assume it is a single entity, because we do not see two of this object at any one time.
But we can see its fast. Too fast.
If we calculate the time it took between these events when the object disappears then reappears on another planet, then we see that it must have gone faster than light.
Here the conversation gets very deep.
I and my collegue ignore the conversation. We aren't hypothesizing about these obeservations any longer. We think we have discovered the wake which the object leaves in space between planet-hopping, and now we are about to test our theory.
Monday, July 16, 2012
"This is the room of enchantment and understanding. This is the magic book, 'Abracadabra', and lain out around it are the implements for the book, including the passive user's daemon, an eksee of the order main."
The introductor was so lost in his enjoyment of displaying this room to the renewed wizard that he failed to notice the wizard causually opening the magic book, 'Abracadabra'. This book was not intended to be read or understood by humans and most other non-daemons.
This is not to say that the book couldn't be read by a human or what not, although it would be a rather painful affair. Abracadabra, however, was a hazardous book to handle, for when opened for reading there is a reader-initialization ritual, which cannot be avoided easily. This is what the introductor noticed has just occured to the wizard.
The introductor's face lost some of its lift, "Oh wizard! Don't go opening books, even you old selfs'! You know what kind of wizard you were/are." There was a thoughful moment during which the introdctor drew in and exhaled deeply, slowly and audibly.
With a few blinks the wizard shut the squat, thick book and sat it back down. "hmm...", the wizard said quizzically.
The introductor gave a half, half-smile, "How was the reader-initialization ritual?"
A good-natured chuckle, perhpas a bit muted, rang from the new-wizard, "It's just as I remembered, but obvoiusly forgot. You might guess, I made the mistake of opening that book so many times when I was writing and building this room. I would open the book, and BOOM! I'm stuck in this ritual where I am prepared to read the volumes of redundant data and amounts, and I'm all like, 'dude, I already know the deal, I just want to...', and then I get mad at myself because I wrote this book like this...I guess it is sloppy?...or just simple?...what would be the word for an old, almost ancient, basic kind of builing?"
The introductor took around 100 chrono cycles (0.5 seconds) to answer, "antediluvian is the right word, although you may prefer archaic, wich is accurate but feels less correct".
The wizard raised his eyebrows and smiled. "I certainly do enjoy being back in the castle. At any rate, back to the point - the ritual feels like 60 minutes every second. It's a virtual, enchanted experience in which you feel like you are being tutored by a great teacher. you are sat is a sunbathed classroom with fresh air streaming from outside. Also it is your final class of the day and it is always a half-day or less...Also, you are stuck there for 60 minutes no matter what."
The wizard ended the explanation with a cheerful expression, which was somewhat altered as his brow furrowed in thought, while the rest of his face reamained frozen in cheerful recollection.
"Isn't it just so funny how no matter what, the most joyful and happy experiences can be tainted by context?"
The introductor shivered. He smiled understandingly, yet he did not like hearing the deep philosophical insights of humans. How they could dive into those pitch black, unwarmed depths. It frightened him greatly. It must have something to do with the human mortality...but then again, here was the wizard again. mortal again. but here again...The introductor moved to the next section in the script, perhaps a bit abrubtly.
"And this next room is the colluseum, right down this hallway."
The wizard blinked rapidly and turned towards the brightly lit path, "oh my gosh, I actually made that! Excellent. Let us then proceed!"
Exiting the room, the introductor turned, quietly shut the doors and gently touched the door handle, "We daemons, as basically I am one, may fear those places, but from those dark depths, the humans return with elightenment and insight."
He turned and proceeded. The torches in the hallway went out two-by-two behind the introductor as he followed near to the wizard.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
And he, while in the garage, knocked over the third corona bottle and broke it on the cement floor...but it was not in reno? HOW! In what way did this occur!!!???
"What" or "How" is, again, not the question."Why", rather, is.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
North. Very north. And cold.
Corporate america was waiting for me back home. Warm. Well and comfortably lit. Dazzling lights along the expressways underneath the white archways.
Here in northern Canada only the grey skies and crumbled mountains were present.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
“What do you mean exactly?”
“The poisoning has worked in the past so well. the infections have all gone fine - but this one is an elite controller...also other anomolies are present.”
“And, just to be clear, your department still feels this one is not suitable for assasination?”
“As I have already stated, investigations have led to the conclusion that there are a lot of ramifications if that were carried-out. in fact, there is indication that there are ramifications that can’t even be calculated.”
“what is so special about this one? This one has isolation and has created no salient philosophies”
“true enough, but, although no direct evidence has been found, it does appear there might be protection surrounding this one.”
“protection? by whom?”
“unknown. but perhaps ‘by whom’ is the wrong question...personally, and do not let this leave our confidence, the right question might be, ‘by what’.”
“‘by what’? Are you serious?”
“I find no humanly possible explanation for this.”
“what should we do then?”
“And now it is time for me to state that for which I truly have requested your audience to state. We know it is already to late.”
“At this time, we might simply focus on making sure we are comfortable and easing the pain for ourselves.”
“you are saying we are dying!”
“we are. we have been for some time. there is nothing we can do.”
“we can bring them down with us!”
“we cannot. they are now out of our reach....’it’ was out of our sight the whole time, and now ‘it’ is both beyond our reach and too powerful even if we could reach it.
We might as well grasp at the Sea to hold it back...Sir, since we are at an end I have no worry in expressing that I feel relief.”
“Sir, I am relieved.”
And with that, a silenced pistol was revealed.
The greatest stories begin at the end.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
What? oh, alright.
: he sets down his glasses.
: he continues
so...how's what's her name?
with the blond hair and the pink something. that thing you wear around...
it was a tie right?
No, it had a name because....dude. I can't think of what anything is called.
that is a problem.
yes, it is difficult to carry on a regular conversation without the enhancements. I remember, some years ago, when you instated that 'no phone' policy in your house.
I felt a little disconnected when I couldn't access the internet.
Yes, it is important to disconnect now and then, perhaps maybe.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
He monitored the tunnel locator to see the eta until they could hit the next hyperspace vortex. It wasn't moving too fast nor erratically so the readouts report of 10 minutes seemed like a pretty reliable estimate. he looked up from the monitor to gaze out the window again. Straight ahead of them was a vortex - a vortex of causality and dimensionality. It was something to behold - and yet it was completely invisible. Eran overlaid synthetic vision so as to "see" it in the wild.
The synthetic vision system interpreted his desire for the fabrication to be minimal, so as to simulate barely being able to see the thing in real life. So a ghostly image was manufactured by the synthetic vision system, and overlaid the bare emptiness outside the window.
What Eran saw was a wisp, and barely visible streaks, like the afterimage of a firefly. Things where traveling into the vortex at great speeds. Things were appearing, caused by the future. All of it went through his head as he tried to understand the thing on his base level, without all the enhancements and explanations the computers could offer.
He stared at it for a few long minutes. It drew closer. It was finally time to flip the switch and get on to our next region to see what's going on over there.
He flipped the switch over his head and was greeted with a soothing, all-encompassing light.
His synthetic vision kicked in full-force and Eran was greeted with a completely computer-generated reality around him. Most of what he saw was just a good copy of what he would have seen without the synthetic vision - and if he could see while traversing hyperspace, which you can't.
The first people to travel hyperspace many thousands of years ago experienced the sensory depravation of the Alllight. When you entered a hyperspace vortex you give up your affinity for your precious dimensions, and give up your causal self to some extra, though related, dimensions. The effect being that the material of your body takes on some new properties - including the lack of the eyes to function on whatever analog of light the dimensional span you were flying on uses.
You remain yourself, so the experts pointed with evidence, and certainly everyone who traveled through hyperspace came through fine...physically. But there was, and continues to be, a bit of an aversion to hyperspace travel by a significant part of the populace.
Personally, Eran didn't mind it at all. The Alllight was a pleasant welcome thing for him. He had spent almost as much of his life in the Alllight as out in the main span. But, he had to admit, he wouldn't do so well for 24 hours in the Alllight without any sense of sight.
He reached down and brushed his hand across the control panel, feeling the smoothness of the crystal clear metal and wondering what kind of physics was going on down there inside that material, and what strange cousin to regular atoms and particles were moving around in there? What exactly composed us?
Scientists were working on these things, of course. But presently hyperspace vortices and the accompanying Alllight were just a day to day part of life - the synthetic vision helped greatly.
Eran sat back and brought up the pan-galactic net. Surfing lazily as he pulled open a drawer and retrieved a bit of cannabis.
He chuckled to himself as he thought about what a person he had become over these 2 thousand years. Eran had initially been one of the more usual trans-humans of the time. He had his brain replaced slowly over a decade by a better-functioning electronic version. It was called consciousness continuity. A process whereby cell-by cell your brain is replaced at a rate comparable to that at which your brain would otherwise change on its own.
After 10 years Eran had not a human brain cell left in his brain. At this point he replaced his body.
A genetic identical, of course! His new body was flesh and blood still, though 20% enhancements by weight. But still, it was "his" body. The genetic code that had brought him to being was now his property and his only. Only to follow a direct line through the future until such time as the original consciousness which inhabited it ceased to exist - at this point the genetic code would be written to many disparate databases for historical reasons.
As the years wore on Eran had realized, like so many others, that some of the synthetic versions of what they had enjoyed just didn't seem to live up to what they remembered. It was these people that decided to re-hybridize themselves with their former selves. And thus they began to add brain cells again. Only this time the cells were added alongside the electronic ones. Mirrors of each other.
It was a wonderful fulfillment for most, almost a second birth. Because the process could happen literally overnight, most of them had awakened feeling refreshed and revived. They were again with human minds.
Many scientists contend that the feelings are all in the minds of those who are hybrids. And it may be so. But all he knew was that when he smoked that first joint after 50 years of only simulating, it felt different, it felt better.
And here he is now, in hyperspace. Half-electronic, half-gooey mortal, pulling the bud of a plant out of the console of a space cruiser. And I am going to light it up with this dimensional span's analog of fire.
Eran pulled out a pipe, packed the weed and flicked an antique lighter.
Eran was not alone in this hyperspatial journey. He could bring up the wisps of the others traveling within his "vicinity". They were, well, encrypted - so to speak. In other words, they were scattered. All of their particles and atoms worked. They just worked together in a spatially distant manner. Say, by millions of light years.
But those who were on similar trajectories as he, they could be partially deciphered by the ship's computers.
A large luxury liner. Probably cruising through hyperspace while it's passengers slept under anti-anxiety fields.
Another small cruiser, not to dissimilar to his.
The various ships were identified and enhanced around him, all seeming to be heading in the same direction. It was like Eran was floating in a huge fleet of spacecraft, all heading in the same direction. But of course, these ships were just assembled from little atom-analogs and the ship's great memory and computers.
but they did represent real things flying to real places in the real universe. And they were literally, really flying there right now as he looked at them.
Eran paused the ship's enhancement program and decided to visually examine a few of the ships.
The synthetic vision system made it appear as though Eran was moving around the other ships, but it was all just the synthetic vision system feeding him the visuals. After all, right now one of those ships he has lined up for examination might be examining him in the same way.
Ah, the manifest of the small cruiser came up.
It was 8 people, Eran browsed through the 3d reconstructions of them based upon the ships extrapolation of energy and matter interactions. The system was pretty darn accurate, around 99% accurate for extrapolating a person’s visual appearance.
Using this system was a secret pleasure of which Eran was certain many besides himself partook in. He located a particular female on the ship. She was sitting in front of a computer monitor - but he could not extrapolate what was on the monitor. This was a known issue of the fundamentals of extrapolation, that once entanglement is used to send information over a dimension, it cannot be used again. In other words, the light particles and their interactions were not visible via extrapolation. The monitor was a deep, dark, featureless black.
Heck, she could be looking at me looking at her right now, Eran thought.
In reality, she was probably looking at some pretty place on some pretty planet or generation ship. Where is that ship? where will it emerge?
Eran flipped on his recorder, "Hyperspace is a funny thing. It lets you get anywhere in the universe in basically no time. But it can't tell you exactly where anything is unless you already know. Here is this hot momma - apparently." He flipped a switch and the top layer of her clothes disappeared. "And she looks like she wants some of this." Eran pantomimed a humping action in the chair. "but she might be arriving at the same planet as me! Or she might be flying to and from some section of the universe infinitely far away. If she's close, then I will probably get a second sign of her when I next launch into hyperspace, and I might be able to track her down then." He turned off his mic.
Hyperspace tracking is a difficult endeavor. so difficult that no one can in fact do it. but our hero thinks otherwise. Or so he's been working on. He's had some success. though some call this success luck.
Eran saved the girls visage and that of the crew she was with into the ships computer. he sent out a backup signal to trickle the data undetected to a remote data storage facility.
He flipped off the extrapolation monitor and the synthetic squadron of thousands of ships around him. Now all Eran saw out the windows was white. Finally he turned off the cockpit so that all he could see was white.
Then, suddenly, the white faded to reveal his cockpit and some bright stars outside the window. the especially bright one was his destination, and the ship set a course and moved on. Eran retreated to the kitchen to think about how to pass the next few days as he approached the planet.
---I don’t know, Dr.---
“Well, that’s just your take on the matter, Dr. Walker”, Eran made a dismissive hand gesture towards the wizened gentleman sitting across from him at the kitchen table. The man stared evenly at Eran and then spoke.“The human psyche cannot tolerate the thought of being absorbed into meaninglessness. This is where this desire to individualize comes from. This explains, simply, your condition – if you can call it that.”
The condition was Eran’s desire to remain largely human. Now, he was by no means a stickler in this regard. Let us not forget that a whole 25% of his body is artificial. And it had been significantly less then that in the past. In fact, you could say he is actually Eran 2.0 because he had completely replaced every bit of flesh on his being. But he had replaced much of it with flesh of his same genetic makeup. So those parts of him never really were replaced except by exact parts of himself.
On the other hand, there still were tens of billions of humans, by last estimate, still living around the universe - Entire planets of them – some unfriendly to anyone with enhancement even. Not many of those planets though, thank gad.
Being that Eran had these artificial enhancements he had also picked up the natural safety-net of being up linked as well. His consciousness was stored in a hyperspace vortex matrix quantum state.
At it’s most distilled, it was a single neutrino with an exact state which told the story of his being with it’s infinite sequence which would eventually repeat, since no consciousness was ever infinite, but neither were two the same.
Every possible state of the quantum consciousness extrapolation had to occur somewhere, sometime in some universe. Consciousnesses abounded in as many states as the universe possess. He was one of them, and he could be recovered. Eran was a part of the universe.
But most importantly, he was a Retrievable part of the universe.
And this did, in some small way bother Eran, for you see, he had never been retrieved – or had yet to.
Eran’s brain was encased in an extremely strong nanomaterial housing. The housing branched-out miniature, non-invasive nano-wires whose purpose it was to wind their way gently around the brain cells and follow the fragile creation and deletion of synapses between them.
This allowed his brain a direct interface to a wide array of abilities. But most important was the logging of his consciousness state.
It was logged instantaneously across the vastness of the universe by way of entanglement. It was rumored that eventually one could be stored in parallel universes as well. Quite the insurance policy.
It meant that Eran could have a horrible, ghastly and catastrophic accident in which he is maimed and destroyed – including his little squishy brain and the delicate, invisible nano-fiber network between the brain cells.
But hooray! For Eran’s consciousness was entangled with several quantum links and he never lost continuity. If anything is left of Eran and/or his brain, then state services will scoop it up and place it in a nano-reassembler. Thus allowing the sticklers, like Eran, the ability to feel there has been continuity.
It allows Eran to lie to himself that he was not still the same Eran of one thousand years ago. That he wasn’t or couldn’t be the same thing that came tumbling out of his mother’s womb that millennium ago. That was another creature, with another soul.
Eran smiled to himself and thought about how great it was to be here anyhow, regardless of where he originated. He turned himself back to the argument at hand.
The wise doctor was looking directly into his eyes.
“rewind to the point in the argument where you were saying that nothing can be two things. I want to hit the doctor with that quantum cat thing...”, Eran subconsciously googled his head and found the proper term, “Schrödinger s cat. I want to hit the doctor with that and see how that fits into his world view. And wipe his memory, of course.”
The ship’s computer responded, “Yes sir, I remember your preference to have your conversants memories wiped after rollbacks. But you still haven’t chosen to…”
Eran moved his hand to signal the computer to be silent. What was he thinking choosing a sarcastic computer to be his ships main AI? But the computer made him think. Why doesn’t he just wipe and then quantum-shred those memories? Is it because Eran felt that those AI consciousness hashes were living things? Well, he would ask the doctor just one more question. And then Eran would wipe and shred 100 years of AI consciousness rollbacks.
It was a profound step. But it was time. Eran was getting bored more and more often lately, and he didn’t like the implications.
After all, one could shred one’s own consciousness. It wasn’t hard at all.
It was just hard to shred someone elses – but had it been done? There were rumors. But there was basically no proof. Most considered it a form of supernatural thought – that someone could hijack the entire quantum state of a consciousness and then shred and evaporate it.
And after all, if someone or something were that powerful, wouldn’t it remove the logs of this happening?
At any rate, the thought had crossed his mind many times this past 100 years. But he never considered “evaporating” his consciousness – as the euphemistic term was called. Many do it often, but the vast majority do not and have not.
Core humans, those billions of unaltered people, evaporate completely, every last one. Never having their consciousness entangled.
Eran thought back on the early times, when he first began to receive his enhancements.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
It's one of those game intelligence species.
How long will it be this time? A hundred years, a thousand before the sophistication level and integration into the universal mindset allows us to tell them, without pretense, that we abhor these games?
And after so many thousands of systems taken into the galactic culture, will one of them turn back some day?
None have, but will none ever?
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
To think that the survival advantage of being unaware of a certain beneficial attribute would warrant the evolution of this instinctive self-deception.
The ability to blend-in being so necessary that the act of doing so be autonomous. Using the great ability without knowing it, without it being salient to others or even oneself.
But now a chip has formed in the covering, and all eyes have turned to this unusual sight - this glaring.
The ability to deal with this unexpected revelation had not needed to evolve, but that ability has now need to be.
There is now only hope that this attribute possesses that benefit.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Merlin's amazement shot up as his trepidation shot down. Looking at the light-painting in front of him he asked, "Is there light in that rope!?"
A stunning insight. The two researchers were fascinated.
The friend of merlin laughed lightly, "In a way, Merlin. Yes. It is lightning, essentially, which we vibrate amongst mazes of sorts with substances of other sorts. You will love this, there are crystals involved at every level, nearly."
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Well man, I mean, our lifespans were already estimated to be 10,000 years, and that's up from 5,000 years last century, and 2,500 the century before that. So I guess people just kind of expect these kinds of gains these days. So, after all, somebody is just going to double it again here next century. I wouldn't worry about it.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Advanced as we have become, we once again find death and oblivion staring at us with it's inescapable glare.
An entire universe of galaxies, beings and laws - all to be destroyed. Destroyed, and studied so that all the rest might live.
And it shall be our universe.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
INside of our vast computer systems trillions of AI were spawned for the purpose of examining the scanned image. Each AI is always asked if they wish to participate or if they wish to be instantiated for something else. Very few AI ever turn down any tasks, but there are always anomolies when dealing with numbers of this size.
And so A certain AI found itself examining a very odd piece of matter. It was of the most sophisticated arrangement, and the AI instantly recognized it as intelligently built.
An robotic spacecraft was deployed within the week, on it's 70 year journey to fly out and return with this dust mote for full analysis.
The day the sample landed was a great one for our race. We had advanced even so much further than when our first scan had gone out to our star system. Tens of thousands of robotic probes, and even a few with living inhabitants, had set-out on journeys to interesting parts. This probe, however, was so much more important that the rest. This probe held firm proof of, not only alien life, but apparent alien intelligence as well.
The entire civilization was watching intently as the sample was retrieved from orbit and returned to the planet's surface. the most advanced devices we could devise focused on this minuscule piece of matter.
Inside of it was an impressive littering of apparently intelligent encoding.
we spent a good 5 years decoding the message in there. turns out that we discovered how to store a full 10 million bits in a single carbon hexagon. And this is what this thing was. It was a storybook.
When it was deciphered we were amazed at the interesting stories inside it. Trillions upon trillions of AI have examined the text in it's entirety and feel that it is indeed a book of strange events which appeared to be claimed real.
Trust me, for the last 50 years we have been discussing the stories and just about every little bit of that message, that story, has been published as a motion picture or some other entertainment piece.
We wonder what exactly this thing is. Why was it so important as to scatter it throughout the galaxy? the technology to have made this was so advanced - we learned so much deciphering it and learning its properties. Why would they put this book as the message. why not a million other things to send as the message? And why would the only photograph embedded in the information be of its 'cover, in gold lettering: 'The Bible"?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
in the first thousand years of the internet revolution, many pieces of data were corrupted or modified. Authenticity was difficult or impossible to identify. A data store of original files would be archived and shot into space.
This archive would be unsealed by us and we would have our opportunity to affect the memes of society. We would have our chance to modify history.
It had been done before and will be done again. This is not the final archive.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Hierarchy had disappeared long ago.
Now, inside the core of a computing device, two agents began to discuss a scientific method for uncovering the final structure of nature.
He began, "Formalized information structure allows for generic representations in physics which are "paradigm-less'. No longer must our logical models use strings or particles - but completely non-analogous entities. This could help us overcome some of the anthropic bias limitations of which we have speculated.
"Anthropic bias acts as a kind of filter - like color already refracted through a prism. You can put all the colors back together into white light, but if you have only one narrow band then you cannot create the full color...Computational informational methods allow for extra-anthropic informational processing.
"I dub it, 'Information-Oriented Physics'.
"I keep wondering if there is a quality of nature which is prime for informational interaction. All information will act together."
At this point she raised a point to him, "interaction? between parts? pieces? Aren't these just particles again that you're talking about?"
He thought for a moment, "Very interesting objection. Perhaps we will need to extend the concept of particles to be anything - including systems - then perhaps we have a model.
"I first thought of this because of how the ideas that electrons orbit the nucleus was thought-up prior to Bohr discovering that the model fit into an observation of the spectrum of hydrogen. It matched the orbits perfectly."
They sat in silence for a moment. She voiced her thoughts, "Bohr found phenomena that matched a model. Then let us make a model which matches any phenomenon."
Monday, October 22, 2007
"OK, OK. I see the graphs, and yes these ones do show a very smooth distribution of disturbance in the field - now mind you, I still doubt these resolutions you are claiming - but yes, overall I think you have a compelling argument to support your distance idea."
"That's fine. In fact I expect that you will be skeptical about my resolutions. Why I am showing this all to you is because I want you to get some time on your telescope and view a certain near earth object in as much detail as time permits. Please use high resolution. Look, I have a memory stick here with an unregistered node-stealer on it, so you can get higher resolution at the cost of some one's crappy simulation."
"Well, I'm not about to cheat on this, so you can keep your pirate tools. However, I will certainly observe this near earth object in detail. I really want some good real-time data to compare to your's."
"Thank you. I'm certain the detail will be stunning. I cannot wait to see your results."
As her friend left, she sat at her terminal and brought up the library computing process list. She queued-up a perfectly undetectable control program to wait for the appearance of his login.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Under my sweat suit I wore the integrated exoskeleton. Over the past week the nanites had woven a quantum-fiber network into my central nervous system. Using a hierarchical gradient of neuron signal interception I was now equipped with a brand-new, secondary nervous system which boasted speeds limited only by my consciousness; and the speed of my consciousness was now limited only by my ‘integration’ into this new system.
I had opted to choose a 10 year plan of neural replacement – using the accelerated limbic-system and cerebellar replacement method. My research had seemed to indicate that this would be a fairly less traumatic method while still being rather quick overall.
Having my limbic system removed left me in a strange apathetic mood. I could, at will, change back to my old feelings. I could feel as though nothing about me had changed – and yet when I turn off my old feelings I find the hollowness somehow comforting. It’s the feeling of a clean, new room or a blank canvas – potential was here…but was this really me in this state?I emerged from my basement apartment/lab in
As I reached the curb I willed the acceleration routine into action.
The first thing I noticed was the loss of sound. I knew things were still making sound, but my mind was now traveling so fast that it would be some time before a coherent record would be available of the pressure waves in the air around me – to me sound was now as meaningless as a gentle breeze. Any warning that sound might offer me would arrive so slowly as to be useless as a butterfly delivering the message of a bullet fired.
I was inhaling but it would take me hours (days?) before I would exhale again.
The city was bustling afternoon-style. To me it was an image. I glanced to the left and actually felt the inertia of my eyes turning.
My entire tissue-structre had been reenforced by the nanites, and at this moment of first movement – my first action in an accelarted state – I realized that I was now no longer merely human. I was in fact something else.
My new limbic system was feeding me good levels of motivation and restraint in real-time. I felt pretty confident about this whole experiment.
I did wonder, however, if moving my eyes this quickly made a sound. I decided to disengage the accelaration.
As I throttled down my CNS and consequently throttled up the speed on reality I began to notice sound returning. I jumped immediately back into standard speed and was greeted by a fairly loud snapping sound: that was my eye’s sound waves echoing off the buildings.
Few people took notice, it could have been the snapping of fabric, or perhaps a quick electric arcing that made this noise. Besides, all these people on the street had other things to occupy them.
I decided to jump.
Why not give these people something to occupy their minds other than the day to day mundane. Why not?
I would just jump perhaps two meters into the air – enough to be decided as a street magician perhaps. Dismissed but not forgotten an occurrence.
I crouched and decided that I would throttle-down time at the same time I would throttle-up my analogue-legs and body. My quantum-fiber network worked to teleport my atoms in response to causal effects – in other words, as I would take an action which would in reality require immense energy reserves I instead swap atoms from elsewhere in the universe, replacing them at planc-speed as my analogue body worked.
As I was crouching and simultaneously slowing-time I noticed my feet lifting off the ground: I was crouching faster than gravity would pull me down – it felt as though gravity was weakened. I carefully proceeded to crouch a bit more slowly and eventually managed to arrive in my final, crouched position.
Why hadn’t I just done that in standard-time? I guess I was just trying out the new capabilities – even on uninteresting things.
I began to push myself upwards.
As the jump began I noticed the exoskeleton reacting to the action. The exoskeleton was growing a wire-mesh out of the bottom of its boots. The function of this wire mesh became apparent when I took note that the cement under my feet was starting to crumble.
Horrified, I realized that I was about to cause great destruction.
I had made a severe blunder. Without realizing it I had scaled up my jump power to a level much higher than I intended. I knew that this mistake was now intractable. The energy had been expended and now the local universe was going to deal with it the way it usually dealt with large, instant releases of energy.
The only question I had to answer as I sat here crouched, but already engaged in a jump, was in what way would I manifest this energy?
I could go for full kinetic conversion. At this point early on in the jump I could simply go with the flow and let the ground below me crumble violently.
I would attempt some braking in exchange for heat. The amount of energy I was expending was very large and to convert even half into heat would certainly cause great damage to to storefronts and people close by.
On the bright side, I had a very long time, subjectively, to decide on my course of action.
I finally opted for a good mix of kinetic, auditory and heat releases which I decided would result in the least amount of casualties around my launch point.
Now all there was for me to do was to observe the jump.
I decided that doing so too slowly would likely drive me mad with guilt. I then realized that I would probably just turn the guilt off…this horrified me a bit; I realized I would turn that off too; got more horrified and then decided to just accept things as they were.
The jump was causing very unusual phenomena. I was watching the non-Newtonian motion of the cement below my feet as it became a molten dust.
Like a floating lens a shock wave, violent and crumpled, was emanating from my jump-shoes (my snow-shoe-like meshes crushing the cement).
The light was very bright as I reached my full stretch and my center of mass began to accelerate upwards.
It is amazing how much inertia there is for the fast-moving. I could feel it in every fingernail and every hair on my arm.
I couldn’t bare to watch this unfolding so slowly: I throttled-up time just a bit more.
I was looking directly upwards (part of the launch routine I called) at the point of highest-energy, so I didn’t get to see the worst of my explosion until I was a few hundred meters in air.
As I rose from the launch site I began to tumble leftwards. While turning I noticed vapor-trails streaming off of my body – my fingertips and my feet. I also noticed that my sweat suit had been torn-through and burnt up by my launch. Like a rock through rice paper my body had torn-free of the suit and discarded it within the hell storm of energy that was the launch-point.
I realized that people would probably think this was a bomb. I also realized that what goes up must come down. How could it be that I would cause two points of destruction from this misjudgment?
I had finally reached a rotation where I could see the launch site clearly. A dusty, smoky splotch tucked between buildings with shattered windows was all I would make out. A few people were running from the scene.
I opted not to enhance my vision any further than this.
My trajectory would reach over a kilometer. As I decelerated my vapor trails ceased. I was still traveling upwards at a very high rate.
Pockets of warmer and cooler air buffeted my path gently through my arc.
Monday, August 20, 2007
This woman had tried for millennia to reach him. She had maneuvered through various realities until she had finally manifested herself to him.
But he was already taken.
He had dismissed her appearance as he simultaneously realized it's presence. It was too late for him to retract his action. She was gone again, as she had been until that point.
Would she attempt to reach him again? Weaving through various realities, living painful lives.
And suddenly he felt very self-important while simultaneously realizing that feeling might be the reason she was trying to reach him.
THen what of the one who loved him now? Perhaps they both cared.
The now flooded back. He was sitting in front of his television, the video was playing, his cigarette was dangling. He was himself again. Suddenly he realized what he had accomplished. He had truly caught a glimpse of the nexus of interdimensional travel, and it truly all took place through the mind.
One needed only to be willing to be the jump-point for another and they could then choose a jump-point of their own.
Both individuals would instantly swap realities in a seamless and transparent way. In fact, the memories of both individuals and their coinciding continuity of consciousness would be uninterrupted. But a swap will have taken place, the only residue being the memory of the intention.
Also, return to a prior reality is impossible.
He had viewed it, he had seen her. She had sought him out and now he had the opportunity to chase after her, to try to catch-up or meet her halfway.
But it would mean leaving behind that which he loved. But would he really leave it at all? Wouldn't he still be himself in that reality? Wouldn't he have never left.
It was daunting. A simple choice. And yet he couldn't bring himself to pursue her through the nexus.
He turned off the television and found his way into bed.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Well, I am an artificial intelligence program, and while I can appreciate the sound and the organization and interpret the emotional intentions and impact, I believe I really only understand it on an intellectual level - I do not fathom it deeply within myself.
Monday, August 6, 2007
How can I believe you when you can't offer me any genetic proof that you were him. You say you don't even have an original sample to show me.
Look, you don't look like him, you don't sound like him. The only thing the same about you and him is that you both sound like pretty smart people. However, that could be further reason for me to be wary of you.
Look, we have all genetically altered ourselves in some way. Even I have made some cosmetic modifications. But I have a detailed and authenticated record of my DNA history - I can prove, legally, that I am who I say I am.
You, 'Bert', cannot prove it legally or scientifically.
I feel torn because you may very well be my childhood friend Bert. But, alas, the proof is nowhere and thus I must err on the side of logic.
After all, friend, Logic exists, even where reason can find no hold."
Monday, July 30, 2007
Take for instance, the way a person may feel when up at the north pole of a planet. Some people are often a bit put off by the long days or nights.
Myself, I found a nice little planet that has a perfect 90 degree axis to its sun. This allows for this place up north that is always at sunset - or sunrise if you prefer. Great climate: tropical poles.
Lately, I've been preferring the sunset...makes it feel like the party is always just getting started, or that you've always gotten off work just a few hours ago.
I even simulate this time while on the spacecraft.
I find it amazing how many people there are out here. I guess that earth just gives every person that is born a spacecraft. The sheer number of people out here is a testament to that.
I am one of the oldest ones now...at least one of the earliest travelers. I do find people who have been making short hops, and thus have made many more visits that I have yet. These people have already spent their 200 or so years of life running about the near planets.
The roaming charge on these visits is mere decades.
Myself, I've decided to take the half-century jumps. Get further out there, you know. Interstellar travel is a reality, well then lets make it to some stellar distances.
A thousand or so years have passed since I left earth. This current planet is my 20th jump. To bad it's such a dump though. Hell of a way to spend this momentous distance in time.
Well now, its getting time to decide.
I am now nearly 1k light years from Earth. I could head straight back right now and get there 2k years after I left.
Or, I could take another route back and spend my last 100 years enjoying the journey back.
Or, of course, I can just keep on going. I could become one of the explorers. I could forsake anything close to my present world and venture out into the complete unknown.
Of course, with this last option, the chance of going back to Earth approaches zero.
But to see the universe of a million years from now. To see the people - if they are still around (and it looks like they are here to stay).
Monday, July 23, 2007
Suddenly, instantaneously, the images are simply gone and in their place is a simple white message floating in the darkness.
It is a time of thought crime. Neural signals are intercepted by nanites and are actively suppressed by the nanites themselves.
How did they do it? The hackers.
how did they bypass the nanites?
The person can think these thoughts and suddenly the person can read the message.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
"I placed these two computers in a state where they both watched the same system of particles yet observed different results. The two computers were entangled here in our world, and yet they observe different universes."
"how could you know that?"
"Because, I simply hooked up a camera and caught one screen displaying
the name written on the CD and the other showing the name as different!"
"But which is the real CD's name?"
"Why, they both are."
"But, I mean, If I go over there and actually look, which CD name will I see?"
"Both, probably. I wonder if perhaps I should recommend you don't go over there, actually. You are newly initiated, but perhaps you haven't been told some of the more, er, distressing stories about these experiments."
"Have you ever said a word over and over and noticed it change into a meaningless sound?"
"I think everyone must have."
"Well, imagine walking into a room and suddenly every 10th word or so sounds like that."
"Please explain this to me, what do you mean 'every 10th word or so sounds like that'?"
"I mean what I said, you will know what this word means, but it will sound different: like a foreign language, evidently. This has happened and apparently, after some time, the words did begin to sound normal again, but every so often a long-unheard word or phrase will be uttered which will again sound meaningless. There are theories about interuniversal transportation, but I'm siding with good old brain damage on this one."
"I think I will stay out of that room and avoid directly observing this entangled system you've got here. Oh, Which way to the exercise room, by the way?"
"Oh, yes. It's right down the grey hall to the left. It's the only door in the hallway, so you shouldn't miss it."
When the freshmen arrived and encountered two doors he found himself clever enough to write the occurrence off as minor hazing and not interdimensional anomalies.
Friday, June 29, 2007
"Well then, perhaps it is time we let others take a shot at solving some of these puzzles. After all, it's only a matter of time before other research teams discover how to interpret the output and begin solving he puzzles themselves."
"I suppose you are right, but I really wanted to unlock some of the arcane knowledge that whomever built this must have lodged inside behind all these puzzles. who do you think it was that made this anyhow? I mean, it's almost 100,000 years old."
"For me, I have no idea. But it is so inhuman in it's design, so unlike anything we know. It can not have been made by a person. It must have been something else."
"Something else, from somewhere else perhaps?"
"Perhaps we will find out. I think I know how to solve this puzzle for you."
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Now the swarm reaches out for me, forcefully. I descend into the heart.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The experīrī stared flatly at the student. Inside his heart, the student felt something shift suddenly. This shift then transformed into a dull sick sensation in the pit of his stomach. It was time to leave, the student no longer had a shred of doubt left in him. It was time to head south, time to leave the city of a dozen pyramids - the city only 100 years old. It was a pity, so much knowledge, so much potential. All of it was going to be frozen under ice for thousands of years.
The student wished that his people had a god to which he could pray; it would be false comfort, yes, but any comfort in this bitter winter would be welcome. This frigid winter of millenia.
In his heart he prayed to his ancestors for their children; In his soul he merely hoped; in his mind he layed plans for the hasty, dangerous journey, the escape he was about to make.
A mad dash south for thousands of miles until they would return to the civilization his people left only 200 years earlier. His people had not forgotten where they had come from, or why. The student wondered if the civilization they left had not forgotten as well.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I was at the mall, staring at a beautiful female robot. When I walked closer to the robot she knelt down to pat my head. I looked into her eyes and caught a slight reflection from the back of her retina - it was in reality not any different from a reflection one might see from a regular human's eyes. But in this case I was armed with knowledge I had attained earlier that day.
...The movie theater had darkened and I eagerly ate my popcorn. On the 3D view screen in front of us appeared a magnificent spectacle - a documentary on robot manufacture.
The next 40 minutes were filled with wondrous imagery. Then, at the end, the fully-built robot winked at the camera and the audience is suddenly projected into the pupil of the open eye. This ended the presentation. A stylistically-rendered animation of the robotic eye's systems was faded slightly behind the rolling credits...
There was nothing human about this beautiful creature in front of me.
But still, I knew she was something more than mere matter and energy as well.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The terminal began to type-out,"for you earthlings, love is a mutual thing, often monogamous. For us, we meet and if the time is right we will mate right then and there. It is not uncommon to see two individuals suddenly become enraptured and erupt into a fierce lovemaking act regardless of location: public parks (very popular); street corners, in the street, while crossing the street; in transport vehicles; at work - why this just happened to not long ago.
You see, for us our chemistry is much more volatile than yours. We constantly shift our genetic structure around and this modifies our pheromones. When two individuals arrive at genetically compatible states they will exude the proper chemical attractant. If this attractant is sensed, the chain-reaction to these individuals is deeply instinctual will result in the mating act.
When the moment is over a genetic shift signals the end of the interlude and the individuals part ways.
Would you like to hear more about our society?"
The cursor blinked back at me. I thought yes, but typed, "no".
My 10 minutes with this society had expired. What did I have left, 50 more societal contacts to make before the end of my shift. How could something as remarkable as contacting alien societies have become so tedious?
Making love in the street: I couldn't stop thinking about it on the way home that evening - I suspect no man could.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
it is surveillance cameras. intelligent ones that require people to update its visual database daily.
at the end of a shift a worker, a security guard decides to take care of a month's worth of machine questions.
"Damn annoying machines," thought the guard as he sat down at the security camera terminal. A friendly voice greeted him.
"Hello Stephen, I have 1,345 anomalous instances that I wish for you to review." The machine was care-free-sounding, it presented him with a screen of options.
Stephen mass-deleted hundreds of instances that the machine considered only mildly interesting. Probably things it had never seen before, like a new balloon, or some crazy car or costume; the machine was designed to report when it saw things it didn't recognize completely.
Finally Stephen was down to only 10 short videos, he began to review them.
The first was a night-time video of an open shopping center's parking lot. On the nearest sidewalk two crows were fighting. That was it.
"That was it?" balked the security guard.
"that is it," confirmed the machine. "I found it 73% of interest and was only 25% confident in what it was."
"It's two crows fighting," he hit the 'next' button to review the second video.
The second video was a daytime shot of the same parking lot. A square zeroed-in on an upper-right part of the screen. The picture zoomed in on a store front, but the picture was fairly blurry which made it hard to discern detail. Suddenly the doors of the store burst open as some large, amorphous form emerged violently. Items which looked perhaps angular were falling to the ground from this surprising object pulsating and lurching about on the screen in front of him.
"What the hell is that!?" he thought, then remembered. "I know what that is. It's a minor scuffle between a very obese woman in skin-tight clothing and a very skinny woman who was on some kind of drugs or something. Watch, you can see me and Gary come into frame here and break up the fight."
Indeed, two gray forms moved along what was probably the sidewalk and merged with the torrential white blob in the center. The blob divided into two parts and the video stopped.
"I found that of merely 12% interest, but was only 5% certain what it was." the machine placed the 'next' button over the last frame of the video.
"you only found that of 12% interest, eh?" asked the guard.
"Yes," answered the machine.
"OK, then," the guard clicked the next button.
Videos 3 through 8 were of this same bazaar fare, Stephen remembered how much he used to enjoy these sessions with the machine. It found the strangest things.
But nothing was as strange as videos 9 and 10.
At first Stephen noticed nothing strange about video 9.
"What is this? What don't you understand about this scene?" As far as Stephen was concerned, this was a regular daytime shot of that same damn parking lot. There was nothing surprising or out of the ordinary. He watched the video twice more looking for that hidden strangeness that these machines could find. "Dismiss this video, show me 10."
Stephen didn't want to just dismiss that video, it had an interest rating of 100% and a confidence of 1%, but Stephen couldn't for the life of him see anything anomalous. The next video was the same parking lot on a different day. Again, it was boring and not unique in any way to Stephen's eyes. The fact, however, that 10 and 9 were similar in scene piqued his curiosity just a bit.
"Show me 9 again please," commanded Stephen politely.
"You wish me to undelete it?" asked the machine in what struck Stephen as a somehow off-handed way.
"yes, yes," Stephen was greeted with video 9 playing in front of him. Suddenly a strange, cold, sick feeling appeared in his stomach. "Show me 10 again," he gasped. "It's the same woman and child. They are exactly the same, aren't they?"
The machine answered back spryly, "They are the same, pixel for pixel. Very high 99.999 range adjusting for signal noise and entropic loss."
"This is what you had guessed, but you were only 1% sure that you were right? You had guessed that in two videos on two different days a woman and her child would walk across a parking lot and then out of frame. And that they were so identical as to follow the exact pixel paths of each other on the different frames. Exactly as though they were clones
You guessed this, but were only 1% confident? What else could it have been!? And what does it mean?"
The machine was silent.
Monday, June 4, 2007
I got a reply immediately. It was myself from the past, however I had never sent a message from the past so this struck me as odd.
I called the future and they began a steady download of scientific and engineering information.
I hadn't really created a time machine after all. Rather, it was a universal communication bridge.
Construction of a state of the art universal communicator began instantly when the designs finished downloading.
Directly, she told him, "Yes."
Emotion welled up inside them as for the first time in their lives they prepared to remove the suits in the presence, and well within the contamination perimeter, of another person.
This was not an unusual way for classic humans to first expose themselves to another, nor was it an unusual way to die.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
The squad leader raised the bill to allow a half inch of viewable area to glimpse through. He saw nothing.
Over the hundreds of meters of fields and mounds ahead. Somewhere over there, on the other side of this field was the other.
He and his men were looking for them, as they were looking for them.
A light upset stomach greeted the SL as he slid back down to the safety of the grass below. He extracted from his right breast pocket his viewer - a small projection device the size and shape of a classic writing implement (a stylus, pencil or pen). He turned it on. A small, translucent holographic 3D display scrolled out. The SL extracted a psycorette and a lighter from his left breast pocket.
AT that moment a sudden flurry of projectiles snapped, buzzed, whizzed and popped angrily at the far side of the dirt mound being used for cover by the SL and his men.
Without so much blinking the SL lit the psycorette and inhaled deeply.
As the psycorette took hold, the SL's focus altered and he looked more deeply into the holographic map lying on the ground in the dirt and tall grass.
The hail of bullets stopped as suddenly as it had started. The SL absently thought: Must be covering fire for a flanking move.
The SL closed the holographic map and took a last, long drag on his psycorette. He closed his eyes and exhaled through his nose; Inhalation next greeted him with the smell of combat as his eyes opened. Fear dulled by the psycorette was a distant memory - fading with his upset stomach.
Somewhere, over there, hundreds of meters away was the enemy SL. His fear would not be dulled by a psycorette. Rather, his fear would be piqued. His eyes would not be the stoic, empty eyes of he, the psycorette smoking SL. His eyes would be alight with a fearful fire and a maniacal intent.
He would be fierce, the enemy SL, but he would be rash.
The SL squinted in the noonday sun and spared one last glance over his mound of cover; over the dry, brown wheat and grass.
He was out there.
He was coming.