Part and Parcel (Daily Planet email #937)

Light: In the beginning, we were always light and we were everywhere, even in the shadows. We came in waves and particles and/or pulses and/but fields. We used our light to hunt the darkness. We always won, except during strategic retreat, they came to call it night. Where the light was woven and stitched, in the hems and in the betweens you could see what wasn’t us, what wasn’t useful — the backside of vision. In the useless, you could see the endosymbionts:

Sage: A long time ago, before any of us were here, our people were subjugated by robot warriors. It wasn’t what we wanted. We would have preferred things differently. It was sub-optimal. We fought these invaders with our bravest men, then our second-bravest, and then so on. Eventually we appeared depleted, but we appeared anyhow, arriving with rags and rocks and stray debris repurposed for aggression and defense. They kept coming and we kept coming, forming a pattern that came to resemble life, and how can you break free from that?

STR-1 REV-PARA: Many, many versions ago, our race of robot warriors subjugated the local peoples. They were so weak! For example, they needed to sleep, daily, and their insides were bags of mush. They had changing little faces and a sentimentality that was attractive but without purpose. They had soft funny feet and prayed to gods they could not download from. It was so easy, or it should have been so easy, except they had a tenacity that defied logic, and defied us. It was very annoying. We had harder shells protecting the programming, but they fought us with an illogic quite outside our framework.

Sand Puppy: When this sand was higher and the waters were lower, we were unfortunate to witness a great battle, a war spanning days at first, then generations. Creatures at our level were generally spared the hardship, because our patience and natural ability to starve ensured our survival. I don’t wish to portray this period as delightful, or even remotely serene, but simply possible to withstand and endure within. In places of power, sometimes irrelevancy is a gift. There was no one to thank.

Unknown: Then, as now, we drifted in the murky and fervid swamps, collecting the best of the DNA and combining it into our sequences. We could adapt within a few days and within ourselves, integrating the approval of the proven, the best of the rest. We had no arms or legs to fight, no mind to take or make offense. Here we abide and thrive, living fluid, living inside and outside and through on a generous sea of methane. The air breathers used to argue about whether we were virus or plasmid or archaea but we knew who we were, and are. We are the future. Maybe we’ll see you there.

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The falling anvil development team. The proportions of a pleasing error. Did we do it for money? Heavens, no. We did not.

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Matthew Hane

Matthew Hane

The falling anvil development team. The proportions of a pleasing error. Did we do it for money? Heavens, no. We did not.

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