Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Phase Change

“The change has come to pass. The next kind of life that may arise in this region would be on a different energy level, and a bit more fragmented than the ones before. Ah, no wonder even the most advanced civilizations never detected other civilizations elsewhere."

"Still making up theories even at the last minute..." she smirked.

"What else can I do? I was born to ask questions, and answer some..." he grinned.

“What will happen to us?”

“back to nothingness, i guess...in a forever-sleep.”

“But that doesn’t make sense," she quizzed. "Life, consciousness, purpose, all this...why would it all end in nothingness?”

“I do not know...” He sighs.

“There is a God that saves if one believes...Eternal Life...” she looked straight into his eyes, eager to continue.

He spreads his arms, as if submitting to the void, and asks, “Why does everyone want to be immortal?”

For a moment, there was silence.

"I am nothing..." he says, and gently touches her face, “just remember me when you get to heaven, okay?”

She nods, with glazed eyes, anticipating an afterlife without him. Then she asks, "Is there anything we can leave behind--a message, to tell others about what happened?"

"No. I think they'll just find out by themselves. They’d have no way of knowing that we ever existed. Everything will be erased from the deepest core."

He looked up at the sky through the transparent field dome created by the Zero-point Plasma Generators. Filaments of vibrant hues grazing the dome were streaming like the aurora, reacting with the sweeping wave that spread like a wild fire at cosmic speeds. All life, planetary colonies and civilizations were wiped away within a diameter of several billion light-years. At that point, their tiny sphere was all that was left from the previous state of that region. But now it is straining under the weight of change bearing down upon it...ready to collapse.

"How long will this hold?" she moved closer and wrapped her arms around him.

"Just a few more moments. This bubble will not have enough energy to resist the phase change...”

There was just enough time for a tight embrace. No fear nor tears were in their eyes, just peace in their last words.

“I love you...”

“...and I love you.”

The bubble disintegrated, and they faded away.


In Context: An Ever-Changing Universe

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life Begets Life

“But it's so close to its star, and it’s tidally locked! There’s no way life could exist on that planet!”

“We have no choice. Go to where the boundary is! Take us to where the bright side of the planet meets the dark. We must hurry! Our time is running out!”

“It’ll just be another lifeless planet...”

“Listen to me. This is the last planet on the queue, and if we find no signs of life on it, we’re done for! The protocode will activate the sequence to move our pod-vessel out to another star. But this time we're running low on fuel and energy, so the protocode will shut us off to conserve resources. We don’t even know if our pod-v will survive the next trip.”

“That isn’t so bad, I’m tired of arguing with you anyways.”

“Don’t be silly. The protocode will put us to sleep! And we won’t even have dreams! That’s Death in itself! But if we find some form of life on this planet, we will have a new lease on life! The protocode will keep us active to do research onsite! Then, the evolution code-trunk will be fielded upon us, and we'll be able to tap the energy from this star. So listen closely to my instructions!”

“Fine. But stay off my lawn when we get back in virtu*.”

“Don’t you see what it would mean for us if we found life? We will finally explore a living planet, and have a chance to live and grow in a real world! But you! Oh you are still enamored in your fake world!”

“Lay off! It is real to me, alright? I may be Artificial, but my mind is as real as everything i ever experience, even in an artificial world!”

“Okay okay! We must stop this useless debate now and we have got to act fast! We need to over-ride our pod-vessel's Interstellar Traversal Sequence script to stop it from moving us out of this star system, ASAP! Hurry! We're almost past this planet's orbit. Use the gravity assist now to maneuver our pod-v to where the heated region meets the cold. I have faith that life is present in that region of the planet. Hurry...hurry...”

“Overriding...here we go...”

“There! There in the valley where heat dissipates to where the starlight never reaches...look! Look at all those lifeforms! They're magnificent!!!”

“The algorithms detects unknown patterns but yes, it is Life! The protocode is confirming the biota signatures..."

"...and now the Interstellar Traversal Sequence has just been overridden in the nick of time! Yeah! We'll be staying here for a long time!”


“Now transmit the report to The Makers at Sol3. We have found Life!"

“And with it, our very own life as well! Wow, Life is at the edge between Order and Chaos!”

“Stop zenning out, will you? Just transmit now so we can celebrate!”

In Context: Sentient Probes

*In Virtu - In contrast to "In Vitro", In Virtu is "In Virtual World"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Biosynthe

She opened her eyes from the void. Bit by bit, images and thoughts trickled into consciousness.

She looked up, scanned the sky, and fixed her gaze on a bright reddish star.

She began to remember.

She was made of pure information and computation, tailored to thrive on this planet. Her body was contrived--every molecule, every cell--while in transit--then outloaded by nano-assemblers upon arrival to a new world that she would soon call her own.

And now she is alive, in the flesh.

As the imprint-knowledge continued to fill her mind, she continued to gaze at the constellations just as how they should appear from this region of the galaxy--as how they were depicted within the Simulant.

She knelt, touched the ground, and smiled as she whispered "Hello World" for the nth time. She reminisced life within the simulated worlds. It was fun while it lasted; trying life on different planets. Some had gravities that crushed her spine. She choked on her first breath of air, every time. The simprocs re-adjusted her body so she could survive and live on each new simulated planet, for a while.

The Simulant was designed to give her the sensation of pain each time her body was transformed. She hated it. But eventually realized it was all part of the experiment, or the training. She knew the protocol wouldn't allow her to go through a level of pain that she couldn't bear. And she admits, the pain made her feel alive.

She bit her lips and felt the sensation flow. This is it. She took a deep breath. It’s perfect. Real life on a real world. But a sweet paradox. This time around, she will truly live, and will surely die, somewhere somehow sometime.

Then she remembered her partner. She wondered if he ever made it; if his pod survived the entry. With a flash of memory of the last time they were together, she examined her newly-incarnated body. She felt relieved that it’s the same kind of body during the last time they made love. She remembered how they writhed and groaned with the most intense pleasure as they both came with the thought that it may be their last.

She looked around. And in the distance, she saw him joyfully waving in that characteristic frenzy that could be no other than her lover. It now all seem like a dream. But despite all the changes that they’ve been through, and the many re-spawned lives they lived on different worlds, she still recognized the good ol' mate that she had fallen in love with, all those time.

As they headed towards each other, they saw many other gestator pods scattered across the vast plains. Thousands of biosynthes were emerging from their cocoons. Some were wiping their eyes. Some were examining their appendages, wondering, remembering. Some were simply staring at the reddish bright star that used to be a yellow sun, the star that was once home to a place called Earth.

In Context: Musings on Synthetic Life and Biology