Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chapter 13

Chapter 13

From the diary of the documentarian:

The weeks following the hostage situation at P LADS were chaos.  Not only did the world have to learn to live with unicorns and werewolves, but the religious gods, all of them, were back.  And they were pissed at having been suppressed for a millennium or so.  Alien worship (by humans or otherwise) was not tolerated.  

Those that would not renounce their faith in the space-faring, "gods," suffered a variety of fates.  The God of Abraham turned them into salt.  Hades put some down with Sisyphus.  And so on.  The Raeliens did not fare well.

The Watcher did not like learning that it was expendable, and joined forces with Earth.  Every Watcher in the universe soon came along.  It turns out that The Watchers also had abilities that had been suppressed.  They have a hive mind and a shared memory, both of which are instantaneous over any distance.  This is scientifically impossible, so the visitors replaced it with a slower, but understood, form of long-range communication.  Part of the shared memory was erased so that The Watchers didn't know what had happened.  

Of course, that changed when the suppression devices in our solar system were destroyed.  The Watchers remembered everything.  The Watchers had originally been a crab-like species.  As they entered into the Industrial Age, they were enslaved by a time-traveling civilization.  The Watchers were heavily modified to observe while using very little energy, and to stay dormant indefinitely after energy ran out.  When the time-travelers returned, The Watchers filled them in on what had been happening.  The time travelers left once and never returned.  The Watchers went dormant, and were later recovered by, "the gods," and used for essentially the same purpose.  After a review of letters and other information sent from the future,  it looks like one of The Watchers was behind the entire timeline shift. 

Other races had stories of magic and fairy tales, and came to visit Earth to see if their old stories had any truth to them.  Most of them stayed in our solar system.  A few races came in warships after hearing that the visitors wouldn't help us, but they surrendered quickly when actually gods tore their ships into shrapnel.  

Before the visitors came, Earth was a lonely planet full of bickering people believing in things for which there was no evidence.  The visitors opened our eyes to a multitude of living worlds, cured cancer, feed the hungry, and gave many something tangible to believe in.  Now the real gods are back, and Earth has suddenly become a multi-racial force in the galaxy.  

A lot has happened in the last couple of years.  It's going to take a long time to really absorb all of it.  Tomorrow, I'm interviewing an angel.  


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chapter 12

Chapter 12

From the diary of the documentarian:

I was in the right place at the right time.  I was waiting to speak with someone at PLADS, the Planetary Laser Asteroid Defense System, when a determined group of armed men and women forced their way into the facility, taking hostages, including myself.  They said they knew that I would be there, because they'd been getting letters too.

The gunmen led us into the control room, which they quickly seized.  PLADS is also a communication node for The Watcher, and a connection was established.

The gunmen knew I was doing a documentary on the visitors, and at that point had me start recording.  

"We have control of the laser and are entering targets.  Put us on with one of your gods.  Now."

"It will take a few moments to establish a connection.  Please wait."

After a minute an image of one of "the gods," appears.  It's floating, as they tend to do, with its atrophied muscles, cybernetic attachments, cloud of nanintes, and force-field bubble.  A visitor, in all of its grotesque glory.  

"No, not that mind talking- out loud.  This will be documented."

"If you fire on us or one of the Followers, we will destroy the facility you are in.  If you fire at The Watcher, we will not return to your planet."

"What, The Watcher is expendable?"

"We salvaged their race.  An individual is insignificant."

"Well, we're not aiming at anyone.  We're going to fire on the compression devices you placed in our solar system.  Both of them."

"Those are for safety.  Your planet was extremely dangerous before those were in place.  We recommend against doing that.  If you do so, we will not come back to help you again."

"It's time for people to see the truth.  Fire at the fire target."

The laser fires silently into the sky.  After about twenty minutes, target hit is confirmed.  The gunman doing the talking turns directly toward me.  

"This recording is going to be heard around the world.  Some of you might notice, just now, that you feel different.  ESP, magic, other abilities are innate to humankind.  The visitors have been suppressing these abilities in us for about a century.  Also, the world now has a larger population.  All those things that went bump in the night weren't just stories made up by ignorant peasants in the dark ages."

"It is impossible for you to detect that which you have just destroyed.  How are you doing this?"

"Once, there was a future.  Some of The Followers found out that you hadn't told us everything.  They sent messages back to us, knowing that it would eliminate the future in which they lived."

"This may not be a stable paradox.  Stop at once."

"Fire at the second target."

"We will maintain The Ten Thousand that travel with us, but otherwise we are terminating relations with your species.  If your kind approaches us we will be forced to defend ourselves.  Watcher, return to the Nexus for reassignment."

The image flickered off.  The phone call to moon traveled at the speed of light, but took several minutes to be received.  The laser had a more distant target.  We all watched the screen that showed the laser heading toward the target.

A SWAT team and negotiators were outside the building.  The gunmen promised that no one would be hurt and they would surrender as soon as the second target was hit.

Time passed.  The laser, finally, hit the target.

That was the day everything changed.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chapter 11

Chapter 11

From the diary of the documentarian:

I didn't say anything during the interview because my opinions are not the point of a documentary.  But, I thought Susanne was disturbing.  Bald, naked, with artificial parts on here head and in her arm.  Talking about nanites, little robots, racing through her body.  An opera singer fluent in several languages that no longer has a desire to sing, and finds speaking distasteful.

She was renowned enough that the public knew about her.  She gave the visitors a song and they cured her ovarian cancer, because she really wanted to have kids.  Now she has no desire to have children, or any, "relationship," or, "drama."

Did the visitors have some way to measure awe when the chose The Ten Thousand?  Did they gather the largest amount of genetic variation, or were they looking for the most obedient and the most zealous?

Susanne isn't the only one.  Reports of others among The Ten Thousand tell similar stories.  I might share a genome with them, but they don't seem human.  They appearance and behavior is so... alien.  They live forever and don't have pain.  

Is that our future?  While others might look forward to such radical changes, I'm a more old-fashioned.  I can't get the image of Susanne out of my head.  It gives me the creeps.

I got another letter today.  Same crackpot handwriting.  This one was short.  It read, "You are not the only one that has received letters.  The big change will happen soon.  Be ready, you will have something new to document."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chapter 10

Chapter 10

First, I would like to note some background on The Ten Thousand.  They were chosen from a much larger pool of volunteers.  We are told that the selection was entirely about genetic diversity.  Even before the ships left, The Ten Thousand had already started changing.  

The changes were minor on Earth.  They had, "maximized their genetic potential," so that they would not have to worry about cancer, or multiple sclerosis, or schizophrenia, or any number of other maladies.  In a few cases this led to changes in skin tone, more hair, less hair, weight loss, weight gain, and so on.  The Ten Thousand saw these as minor, certainly nothing of concern compared to cancer.  

Now follows the transcription for my talk with one of The Ten Thosand.  They are on a ship orbiting a distant planet.  This transcription has been edited for clarity, as the speech of the subject was difficult to understand.

Interview with Susanne Knopfler

"Sorry if I'm hard to understand.  I haven't talked since I left Earth."

"Not even singing?  You were a renowned opera singer."

"No, nothing.  Too many languages.  It's easier to just think and have the technology translate."

"Do you miss it?  Talking?  Singing?"

"No.  You might not understand, but physical vocalization seems clumsy.  Vulgar, almost.  Few races do so."

"You look a lot different.  Why are you naked?"

"Oh?  I didn't even think about that.  Clothes get in the way of our enhancements.  There's no need for them anyway.  Temperature is controlled."

"You're not embarrassed?"

"Things are different here.  There's no need for sex, The Gods have the human genome on file, they can produce perfect children whenever someone wants one.  It's much simpler without the relationships and the drama, don't you see?"

"It sounds like society is a lot different up there."

"It makes me a little sad that we lucky few have been lifted up, but the rest of you are left behind in your old ways, without The Gods."

"What are those... enhancements?"

"The neural head net provides shortcuts for synaptic pathways, as well as connecting us to the translation functions and so, so much knowledge."

"Did that hurt?"

"Nothing hurts here.  This on my hand, it's an IV port for nanites, among other things.  The nanites maintain us.  We might live forever."

"If you live forever, are there still going to be perfect babies being made?"

"I don't know.  I don't want children.  The Gods have lifted me up, blessed me, and I'm too busy spreading the joyful news of The Gods to be thinking about children."

"You've really changed a lot.  How long have you been gone, relatively?"

"I have lived ten years relative to the one you have lived since we left."

"Wow.  You look younger now than you did then.  If I didn't know you were about fifty, I'd guess about twenty."

"I have The Gods to thank for that."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

chapter 9

chapter 9

From the diary of the documentarian:

The Watcher mentioned dimensional compression, just like that crackpot letter that came a few weeks ago.  Coincidence or conspiracy?  

Anyway, off to the next interview.  This should be a colorful one.

Interview with Bud Spackle, found of The Guns and God Club

"I understand some of your members got arrested last year."

"Yeah, some of our boys did.  We weren't hurtin' nobody."

"There was a lot of gunfire, even a Howitzer."

"It didn't even scratch those demons.  We should have been supported, not arrested."


"Yeah.  Coming here, giving people whatever they want.  What's the price?  Calling themselves gods..."

"The Followers called them gods.  They never referred to themselves."

"I don't give a damn.  The Lord created us in His image.  Those demons are after our souls!"

"Your entire county agreed with you, as I recall."

"That's right.  We're good God-fearing folk down here.  The Devil can't come where he ain't welcome, and those demons never stepped a foot in out county."

"Places that were helped by the visitors do seem to be better off, as far as health, economy, and quality of life."

"I'd rather have my soul.  I saw a video of one of the actual so-called gods.  Beelzebub, Lord of Flies.  The bastard was surrounded by a cloud of flies!  It's clear as day they're evil."

"It was explained that those were nanintes, which work in tandem to maintain their bodies indefinitely."  

"You can't believe anything from the Father of Lies!  If they come back, we'll shoot at them some more!"

"Last question: what do you think about The Ten Thousand?"

"Fools.  They're not being taken, 'out among the stars.'  They're heading straight for Hell, pure and simple."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

chapter 8

Chapter 8

The Watcher is a satellite left by our visitors.  It monitors Earth as it orbits, and is capable of communicating directly with the visitors.  It also serves as a source of information and something of an ambassador, communicating with people at several communication nodes around the world.

Interview with The Watcher, communication node 7

"A lot of people have wondered: are you alive?"

"I am sentient."

"Is that the same thing?"

"I was not placed here to debate philosophy."

"Okay... are you a machine?"

"I am antonymous." 

"You can do whatever you want?"


"Why do you stay?"

"My purpose is to serve The Gods that repaired me.  In return they will take my consciousness into the next universe."

 "I thought The Gods made you.  We have heard there are Watchers orbiting other planets."

"The Gods did not create, they maintain.  We were dormant when found."

"What exactly is your, 'purpose?'"

"To watch.  To communicate if necessary."

"What would make it necessary?"

"A newly evolved sentient lifeform.  A scientific advancement that The Gods do not already possess."

"That doesn't sound like anything that will happen anytime soon.  Can you communicate with The Followers on the ships?"

"It requires more resources.  I am talking to many of your kind right now.  You would have to schedule an appointment."

"How many people are you talking to."


"It would be nice to see how The Ten Thousand are doing.  How do those ships work, anyway?"

"The ships are surrounded by a protective bubble of time and then compressed into a three-dimensional representation of this universe.  They travel and then return to four dimensions."

"Wow.  Can you talk to them when they're, uh, compressed?"

"No.  But during much of the time you perceive, they are performing missionary work."

"Thank you for your time.  Now, about that appointment..."

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Interview with Dominic, prime minister of Haiti

"So, tell me about la vigne."

"La vigne was my gift from the gods.  I sang them a lullaby and told them my family was hungry.  They gave me a seed to plant."

"Just one seed for this giant plant?"

"Yes, just one."

"How fast did it grow?"

"Very fast.  Within two years it was the only vegetation on our island."

"The only?  What about the island's ecosystem?"

"You think I give a shit?  The Dominicans on the other half of the island bitch about la vigne, but for us Haitians it was a blessing."

"Do you worry about having an alien plant covering your island?  Are there risks?"

"It's not dangerous, it's nutritious.  Everyone has enough to eat now.  My family, we didn't always have food.  Sometimes we would mix dirt with shortening and salt, fry it, and eat it.  Now we eat all we want, and have plenty to export."

"Do other countries allow the import of such an exotic food?"

"Some don't.  Many do.  Have you had it?  There's nothing else that tastes quite like it."

"Still, don't you ever miss the birds, the insects, and the other animals that used to live in Haiti?"  

"Do I miss the songbirds?  I guess.  But it doesn't matter.  The gods took samples of every living thing.  They could recreate Haiti, as it was, in a day if they wanted to.  Besides, they're carrying all of that DNA in their databases, into eternity."

"So, for you, there is no significant downside of having your island overrun with one species other than humans."

"Correct.  We are doing much better than we were before.  We are the richest nation in the Caribbean.  Your country has a saying, 'Don't look a gift horse int he mouth.'  Well, this is better than a horse.  It has much better flavor."