Thursday, July 12, 2018

7/12/18

Knowledge Cube
By David K Scholes


It was a long lonely trip. Being the only living physical being on a robotic ship of artificial intelligences. I’m not even really in charge except nominally. Just more of an observer and moral conscience. In theory I can “pull the plug” on everything if things go really bad. In theory at least but I don’t believe the AI’s would let me do that.

All of my kind recognised the once in a lifetime moral duty. Shared among us all. The time given up being insignificant against our near immortal lives.

* * *

The world came into view moments before it was to be “transformed.” Strange it didn’t look like the sort of world that would be scheduled for that path.

Our job? It’s not to carry out the judgement or to prevent it. Not really just to observe it either. No our job is the initial preservation of all of the knowledge of the world existing prior to its transformation.. I do mean all of the knowledge. Every single drop of it since this world was formed.

Once our work is done – others more elevated in the cosmic hierarchy will decide what’s to be done with it.

I mean a total world knowledge cube can be consigned to the cosmic trash can or it can be revered and placed with the knowledge cubes gathered at the anchor point of reality. Or anything in between. Sometimes, bizarrely, left near the world that was transformed.

The whole thing is quite an art really – you have to affect the total knowledge transfer only moments before the world is purified. It’s illegal to do it any sooner and after the event it’s just too late to capture everything.

I thought, not without some sadness, of the billions of beings below totally unaware of us.

* * *

Afterwards the world didn’t even look the same at all. The beautiful blue green planet replaced by something darker, more sinister. Ready now though for the presumably more worthy alternative life forms that would soon occupy it.

* * *

Then I turned my attention to that which lay not more than a few ship’s lengths in front of us. The brand new Knowledge Cube. Vibrant, pulsating, quite unlike the new world that lay below.

* * *

Did I say I was just an observer? Well maybe a little more than that.

As a level 9 advanced psi my job includes a preliminary examination of the integrity of the new knowledge cube. Those who come after us might or might not be influenced by my initial report.

My protected physical body skirted the edge of the knowledge cube first, before my supported mind entered it shallowly. Long experience had taught us this was the best way. As an initial approach this was vastly superior to anything involving intrusive high technology. Though that could come later. Usually this was just routine. Though not this time.

Fractional time periods seemed like eternity as I delved through the surface layers of the knowledge cube before the realisation came to me. An unprecedented first order mistake had been made. This had been a world in the ascendency rather than in decline. My mind was flooded with a richness of culture, a diversity at odds with the observed attained level of technology. Which was to say that they were capable of so much more. If they had but been given a chance.

The question was – what could I do about this without overstepping the mark? What report might I leave for the higher order cosmic entities that would come here after us? That they might take some note off.

Certainly I would recommend that the assessments for all future world transformations be on a much broader basis.

Yet even so – this knowledge cube for the world that was - might still be consigned to the cosmic trash can.

So, against all laws, I added something to the knowledge cube that would ensure it a better placement. Not too much but enough to tip the balance in its favour. The beautiful thing was the AI’s aboard my ship would have no way of knowing what I had done.

No one could go back now and re-make this world as it was but I had quietly secured its place in cosmic history.

And who knows if – in an attempt to try to set matters right - this knowledge cube might ultimately be placed among those most revered at the anchor point of reality.

At the All Place.


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The author is a science fiction writer who has written more than 200 short stories. He has written eight collections of short stories and two novellas (all on Amazon). He has been published on the Antipodean SF, Beam Me Up Pod Cast, Farther Stars Than These, 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles sites and the former Golden Visions magazine. He is currently about half way through a new collection of science fiction short stories.


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