I had apparently saved humanity. Eric would have eventually solved the problem and unwittingly destroyed everyone whilst trying to save them. All I wanted to know was whether death meant death in Stasis, but had stumbled upon something with far greater impact. All I had wanted to do was design a weapon that did not kill as such but removed an enemy combatant’s energy signature from this plane of existence and displaced it somewhere. It would also be important for defensive equipment as a fail safe could be built in to transfer the signature should the equipment not be able to save the user.
Right now, I was none the wiser as to whether this was something I would be able to achieve.
I called the Tech team so that would could think of ideas as a collective. Now that I was fully unlocked I could join in their networked minds.
“You all should know that things have changed slightly. I realised that we cannot destroy Stasis without destroying Earth. I also do not know if death occurs here or not. I have ideas for energy signature displacement weapons and defensive equipment but these will have to be put on hold until we know for sure what death actually means here.
“I need ideas and I need to think with you as part of your team.”
“Okay. I’ll just hook you in,” said Scott, “When you first join our network, you will feel an odd sensation for a couple of minutes and then everything will phase in. Anything you do not want to share with us should be suppressed before we start. Are you ready?”
I paused whilst I hid personal feelings and memories that I shared with Eric that I doubt he would want to be known by others.
“Yes,” I finally replied and braced myself.
Odd was an understatement. The instant that I joined the network I felt like I was experiencing a thousand yard stare and standing on the edge of sheer drop slightly off balance at exactly the same time. Thoughts rushed into my head and my thoughts rushed out the other way. Connections were made, almost like a line of best fit between every idea or thought that we had all had that shared common themes and features. It was a highly evolved piece of coding that was rushing through my head de-constructing and analysing every single facet of imagination. It was building a tapestry inside of me and at the same time redesigning those inside in heads of the others.
I was now in the desert counting grains of sand. Next, I was in a blizzard comparing snowflakes. Flashforward. I was now in the centre of a galaxy flying from star to star and flirting with intertwining orbits. I dived. I was now in the belly of a star watching fusion happen in front of my very eyes. It collapsed. I was now being dragged into a black hole and was in the process of being torn apart.
I was connected.
“Woah! That was very strange, but I’m in. Where do we start?” I asked.
“We already have,” said Dan, “We have been processing your thoughts since they first started flooding into us.”
“You need to relax,” said Sally, “You’re not accepting our thoughts back into your mind. You’re a one way street at the moment.”
I relaxed as Sally had said and felt a milder sensation this time. A calmer and more refined flow of information came through this time. The loop was fully operational now and data was flowing in all directions.
Don’t speak. We are one now. We are think-tanking Join in.
Now that was scary. I felt the thought as if it were part of me, and in a sense it was. I was both aware and unaware of the origin of the words. They had come through me and come from me at the same instant. This was certainly going to take some getting used to.
Mountains. Small weapons. Traps. Good. Loop the tunnels. Disorientate. Yes. Perception changes. Altitude, depth. Dizziness. Sickness. Ambush. Weak spots.
And so it continued. Single synapses being triggered and fired one after the other. I was not even aware when or if I was responsible for an idea. We had been in a free-form idea pooling session, thinking of threads to stitch together. Single strands bounced around inside of the collective building a map of ideas with routes to be explored in another session later on.
For me, that session would not come. We were under attack from above.
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