Tales of Tadeusz

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tennessee Writer: Monkey Singularity Short Story


Monkey Singularity
By Eric R. Ashley
Dedicated to the wacky people at Dean’s College for the Logics
I stepped through ripples, and dapples, and whipples in the space-time continuum, traversing lightyears like a lollipop being licked with grace and good cheer. There’s nothing quite like a walk on a Monday morning to set the Universe to rights. It threatened rain as I rounded Vega, gamma radiation from an unstable star, but I had my solar sail slinking along softly behind me, all of me, the mass of small simply ignored moon of Mars, Phoebes or Deimos trekked in an out of the vacuum slush of quantum reality, with the sail ready to be snapped to, put in place, and there it would shield me from the inconvenience of small energetic particles flipping electrons in my city-sized brain.
But the rain did not come, and indeed the day stayed brisk and blustery with a flux in the gravimetric fields that made you sway on your feet, so that at first I did not notice the new building being put up across the street. A fine large thing, but with an odd irregularity about the edges of its mass that corresponded to no recognized principle of pattern that I recognized, and if I did not recognize it, a brain with more data in it than elementary particles in the Universe, and an intelligence that dwarfed what I had when I was merely human, before the epochal change, before the event, the explosion of enlightenment when Humanity became Superhuman, and then went Beyond that limited conception to something altogether more to the place where we could choose what we wanted to be, change our natures and desires, and then fulfill them all.
It turned out that most of us wanted to be English villagers strolling in a green and pleasant land with frequent rain showers. Odd that. Perhaps it was because the megalomaniacs tended to kill themselves off. One still sees the occasional explosion of distant galaxies, after all. But here in the Pleiades galaxy far from the decimated and disintegrated and decayed deliberately and now permanently dim as only five percent of its stars still function Home Galaxy, Milky Way Candy Bar Galaxy, we prefer a peaceful civilized life, as does most of the Universe.
Does make one wonder though. Perhaps we had all we needed back on, hmm, dredge the data files, dust off the digital-ness, and in picoseconds present a name, Earth, yes, Earth it was, and thus so say some. Others say we have all we need in deep space, which is true, for what we need, the descendants and daughters of Mother Earth is lots of room to roam, and stars to sling around like beads on a Mardi Gras string. Since no other indigenous intelligent sapient species have been found in this, that, or any of the nearby galloping galactic clusters, it makes one wonder, it does. Perhaps this was all made for Humanity and for Us.
Approaching the rising edifice, I mused upon such things which is the proper preoccupation of a walk by oneself. If one is with another, one may catch up on gossip, or share such portentous and perilous thoughts. I was of a mind to be social, and so I was glad to see another of my kind in orbit of this vast new structure.
He was yelling at the general contractors, the nanogods whose minds were nearly as ours, but without sentience. They could understand, but it meant nothing to them. Corrupted, debased things, I rather did not like them. But it was hard to convince others that they were an insult to our greatness, a glare, a flaw in our grandeur, rather than simply a useful tool. It did make it easier than running the computations necessary to directly alter space-time in one’s subconscious, but I also worried that one day our technology might fail, and then here we would be, moons of mind, without the ability to directly control the universe because we had left such to our servants.
Pathetic paranoia, I’m quite sure, but still it quizzes me at nights when I visit cousins carousing in far galaxies, in the depths of intergalactic space one can come upon some very strange thoughts indeed. Perhaps this is why I limit my perambulations mostly to just the local village of Pleiades.
I sent a message, faster-than-light, far faster than faster-than-light, instantaneous interruption of the field of fair reality to cause another irruption else when before I sent the message if I were in a hurry, but I wasn’t, so I didn’t.
The query of my neighbour Mike was what type of shed was he building. So he sketched in a reply, and showed me around the property. It was a vast Dyson Sphere, large enough to hold several star systems inside, with a central red super giant as a space heater, and a dozen miniature black holes as combination vents, and disposal units, drains that is. Inside it was a structure, a scaffolding, a primitive structure so simple, so inelegant that I first appreciated it only as art, for otherwise it seemed totally useless to any sensible system of reality rearrangement.
Mike eerily and airily informed me that it was about a higher level of continuum control. Deeply he desired to find out the true nature of reality. He had his highest level processors focused on it, indeed he seemed distracted I re-miked, and he was since most of his brain was watching effort. As each layer of hundreds of lightyears long scaffolding grew toward the central space heater, by the rather simple and mechanistic means of pico-technology, an organic figure was birthed from each bar as well.
A dip into the data, and up swam a picture of a monkey. A small one, but I was uncertain of the type. Perhaps because Mike had made his own version, or perhaps because I had not downloaded all available Earth data when I was young and goo-goolishly trusting in Humanity, and some Supers had gotten into a squabble over a game and disseminated the Earth to the four corners of the Universe by engaging a rapid particle decay function, and thus made all knowledge on Earth gone, and passe’. So despite being smarter than all the humans who had ever lived, I could not tell if it was an orangutang, or a chimpanzee. It was monkeyish.
The vagueness bothered me since I was used to knowing everything, but still, unless I wished to go to the bother of constructing another time machine, I would have to let it be for now. You see, I had no limits, but my own limits which I had chosen, and fundamentally, I chose to be lazy. I was like the God of the Humans. Omnipotent, but I would not be untrue to myself, so there were things I would not do.
So saying, let me return from my divine digression to Mike the Monkeymaker. Each of his monkeys was typing on a keyboard which for some reason, I found hilarious. Ah, yes, there were 57 to the 14th monkeys per lightyear level. Very amusing indeed. Hmm, don’t you get it? Ah, well when you master the math for Tran-dimensional Irregular Vortices, you’ll realize it’s a very funny joke. I slapped Mike metaphorically on the shoulder, or in actuality pumped a small nuclear bomb into normal space near his left side.
He told me that he had to have some jokes to keep the tedium away. For he intended to stay here until the monkeys wrote the whole of Shakespeare.
I was aghast at this worrisome weirdness, apopletic at being dragged up for something so stupid, annoyed that my good friend was succumbing to our one flaw…insanity. If he did not pull out, he would have to be put down. A deranged godling was just too gruesomely dangerous.
No, he said, he intended to put an end to the disputes that still plagued space/time. Were we created? Were we accidental? Were we seemingly accidental, but actually the accidents part of a Divine plan? I paused, and then nodded. It was a good idea. Whole galactic clusters of dozens of nice galaxies, including one small fixer-up galaxy I had been thinking about buying as an investment, had been laid waste by the arguments between the Creationists and the Evolutionists. Now most of the Evolutionists of the hard-line type had already gotten themselves dismagadgerated very painfully, or decayed very quickly, but that still left hundreds of billions of beings like my friend Mike who wasn’t keen to force anyone to his views, but had his views, and wouldn’t mind some peace and quiet from the incessant bickering. Most of the hard-line Creationists had built in moral boundaries against blowing up galaxies so they still showed up holding seminars occasionally, and they contributed mightily to this state of chatter. In fact, some beings suggested that such arguments plus gossip was the true source of the background chatter of the Universe, and that this was evidence of aliens. Hope never dies despite having some of us traveled to over ten thousand galaxies looking (a terribly obsessive and rather dull witted bore in my opinion the fellow is) and finding nothing.
Me, I was a quiet Creationist. But I was willing to be convinced by logic, and Mike’s experiment seemed promising. So we waited a billion years, and nothing happened. By this time, he was having significant problems messing with the local gravity gradient to avoid the creation of a Monkey Singularity, a black hole of monkey ness, and the poop factor was something that I had totally managed to forget about when dealing with primitive biological creatures. So I spent the latter part of the day studying my memories of being human, and all the little petty annoyances that I had to put up with. It made me feel better about being a god.
Since the day was passing, I decided to head back home. Mike was sunk into either intense study or deep gloom. Probably both since we Beyond the Biological Beings are able to have more than just one emotion at one time. His experiment seemed a failure. Creationists Universe-wide would use his garage puttering to buttress their case so that it would seem they were flying high. We do so hate to be shown up. I felt bad for Mike, and then I noticed him pounding the substrata of reality with a terra-tonnage fist.
Its not working right, he told me. I knew that terrible trifle already, and then I looked. Every monkey was typing in a message. Over and over again.
You’re wrong, buster boy.
Mike ranted and raved about how his experiment had been perfect, and should have worked. I waited to see if he saw that it had worked. Just not in the way he thought it should. He did not see it. And then I realized Mike was not a reasonable person at all. He was a hardliner. He reached for his weapons, for the substrata base of the gravimetric fields, and tapped into the black hole at the center of the galaxy.
Shocked, I realized he was going to burn down the village to cover up his shame. So I deftly added two more monkeys to the nascent monkey singularity, and when it went to a black hole, I tipped him into it. Of course, this wiped out the proof, but then the whole sad experience made me wonder warily.
Just how many of my seemingly reasonable friends were actually reasonable? I mean, I would have accepted it if it went the other way. Oh well, it hadn‘t, and the sheer pleasure of being right in one of my guesses got me quickly over the grief of executing a friend for being a mad pschyopath.
But more good things do come of this event in my life. A new neighbour moved in on Tuesday, and began cleaning up the mess Mike left of his property. She has a very nice pair of moons orbiting her, and I think I will visit her for High Tea, sometime this billenia. Perhaps we can become special friends, and then we could grow old together as the Universe slowly cools. But I run ahead of myself; have to play this cool…

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