Archive for March, 2014

March 30, 2014: 1:58 am: Pilot X, writing

Pilot X dropped put of transit on the day after he had left for Tiel as Ambassador and about a day’s travel through space. He knew his failure with the Progons was several months in the future and he wanted to prepare the Diplomatic Department for what was to come.

He was about to give Verity commands to take a medium speed and swing by the gas giants for some sightseeing on the way when proximity alarms blared out of every speaker and the ship shuddered in the grip of some outside force.

It sounded like rain.

“What is that?” he asked.

Verity displayed a visual of a fine mist of particulate matter. There were no known debris fields this far out of the systems. They were even outside Allenda’s home system’s Oort Cloud. So what was that.

He zoomed in and analyzed and a very disturbing result told him it was micro cellular sentient pods of life.

“Sensaurions,” he said aloud.

A Sensaurion battleship loomed into view off Verity’s starboard bow and hailed him.

“So damned dramatic,” muttered Pilot X. Then answered the hail. “This is the Allendra ship Verity on a return diplomatic mission. Kindly stop raining on me with pieces of yourself and let me go about my business.”

The ship answerd. “Ambassador X. I am aware of your business with the machine people. I have learnt it from the future. You cannot be allowed to continue. This path will lead to destruction for all. You must be killed for the greater good.”

This was standard patter for the Sensaurions. They were a unified mega organism that could split up into smaller bits down to the cells they used to send communications like they were now. They could also send thoughts back in time to themselves. Well to itself, strictly speaking there was only one mind.

“Yes, yes. If you didn’t threaten the destruction of any organism that wasn’t you for the greater good, I might be flattered. And I’m not an Ambassador anymore, so I guess future you garbled the message. Perhaps it’s best to leg me finish what’s left of my diplomatic mission while you get that sorted with your son.”

“I am not my son I am me forever,” the Sensaurion battleship said pompously. “You must be destroyed not because of your threat to my mind, but because of your threat to all.”

Well that did seem to be a new twist. Sensaurions generally didn’t care about anyone not Sensaurion. Also they didn’t work well with plurals, so “all” was a heady and unusual concept for them.

“What do you mean by all?” Pilot X tried, hoping to confuse the Sensaurion with its own words.

“I cannot be confused by this. All is everything. And you will destroy everything if let on this timeline. I have seen it happen.”

“You mean you will have seen it happen, ” he countered.

“Yes. Tenses are malleable. Destruction imminent.”

“Oh stop you’ll start a war.”

“No, you will. And this will stop it.”

The battleship was charging a massive forward burst of fire targeted at Verity.

“Verity skip–” but the ship had already anticipated this and skipped forward one hour. Moving through such a small amount of space time was tricky and difficult to do precisely. The hour turned out to be three days. And a half day closer to Allendra.

“Or that,” said Pilot X. “Where’s the battleship?”

Allendra showed it on course to Sensauria. It had believed Pilot X destroyed.

“The bigger the hive mind, the dumber they fall.” Pilot X chuckled. “Set course to–”

But Verity had already plotted a medium course to Allendra swinging by the gas giants on the way.

“Well done, Verity. Well done.”

March 1, 2014: 8:34 pm: Pilot X, writing

Ambassador X looked at the chessboard. The robot had played well and would likely checkmate him within a dozen moves or so. The Ambassador had learned a lot from the play. The progons had never played chess but learned it quickly. Neither one of those things was a surprise. The real reason X had asked to play was to determine who controlled the robot. The style of play shifted just enough, especially in the early moves, that he was fairly certain the robot was occasionally inhabited by a Progon, maybe two different ones.

That was not usual. Progons almost never inhabited machines in front of non-Progons, and when they did, they occupied massive ceremonial machines designed to intimidate and insure their security.

The idea that they would build a humanoid machine and then inhabit it to spy on X was extraordinary.

That’s why he was walking. At least that’s what he told himself. He acted like a typical diplomat going a little insane in the isolation the Progons enforced on all visiting ambassadors. It was their gambit and security. No diplomat could meet with another to exchange information. No diplomat was made to feel comfortable enough that they would want to stay, insuring frequent turnover.

Ambassador X was chosen for his resistance to this. He would stay until he discovered the truth of the Progons secret war. The Progons seemed to encourage this by providing himself more familiarity and entertainment than any other diplomat he had ever heard of. So he decided to push it. He would act like he was succumbing to the pressures of isolation anyway. He would wander off his allowed walk, and if confronted rant about needing to see something new. He told himsefl it wasn’t true. But the act seemed very easy to pull off.

The insanity was closer to the surface than Ambassador X would like to allow.

The surface of Tiel was an endless march of square metal buildings. His plan was to get lost. That was easy too. Enforcer drones would fly to intercept him but they would not harm him. The Progons respcted diplomatic immunity that much at least. They would only use force if he tried to do something damaging or threatening. Wandering off the prescribed path was against the rules but not cause for use of force. It was only grounds for immediate expulsion. So this better pay off.

Getting lost was just as easy as acting insane. He really was lost. He could bee two feet from his own metal box or several clicks from it. The drones followed at a polite distance repeating their broadcast to turn around and return to quarters. That implied that he was headed away from his quarters anyway. So he trudged on ranting.

“Sky! You know,” he screamed. “I need sky! You don’t understand my needs. This place is a deathlake A treason. Why did they put me here? Why did I agree?!?”

“Ambassador X. PLease calm down, turn around, and return to quarters. You are off the prescribed path and in violation of the terms of your acceptance.”

The humanoid robot appeared from behind and began a new tactic, interrupting the Ambassador’s ranting with a gentle hand on his shoulder.

“Please don’t do this. We don’t wish any ill towards you. We must do what is best.”

The chess game had not only taught him when a different mind controlled the machine, but how that machine’s communication changed. It was controlled by a Progon now. It was uncharacteristically pleading.

The Ambassador stumbled on. As he reached another intersection, a change in the pattern occurred. A metal building blocked his path out of the pattern. He began to walk around it. The robot blocked him. The drones stopped their announcements.

“No,” it said.

“Why?!?” the Ambassador screamed still in his ranting voice, but meaning it.

“We thought you would cooperate. We meant to bring some peace through you.”

The Ambassador stopped his rant. “Some?”

“The war must happen. Must stay happened. It cannot be subverted. It must not. But through you we can limit the damage. Prevent the total destruction your people would otherwise bring.”

The Ambassador walked around the building anyway.


On the other side of the metal box were trees and a stream and green.

The Ambassador turned to look at the robot.

“What is this?”

“It would have been your home.”

“My home?”

“After your mission. To save the universe.”

“You presume so much.”

“Because we know it is you that will end this. And we know you will decide if the Progons continue We must continue.”

The robot engaged a weapon.

“If I’m your only chance of salvation, you’d best not eliminate me.”

“We cannot, but we must expel you. We will try again in an earlier time.”

“Good luck with that,’ Ambassador X said. The Verity hovered above and landed on automatic.

“You have disappointed us greatly. But remember, for you we may have mercy, for the Alendans none.”

“Worth remembering,” said the Ambassador. Then he climbed in his small box of a ship and took off.

He fed coordinates in spacetime to Verity. The ship informed him it was a conjunction point. A coordinate in which events were locked and could not be experienced in alternate threads or have mainlines diverted.

“I’m counting on it,” the Ambassador said. “Also tender my resignation with the Allendan council. I’m going back to being a simple PIlot for awhile.”

The Verity complied submitting the request from Pilot X.