Sirwin
Sirwin

Nostalgia For Valhalla - Chapter 1

By RTBreach | R.T. Breach | 23 Jan 2023


Typically, in the beginning, there’s nothing except a lightless void-- not this time. Plenty of life teems across a world in a parallel universe. Liquid water swirls in huge oceans filled with countless sea creatures. Under the surface, near a North Sea coastline, a fist-sized portion of water shudders. It glows and vibrates intensely. Fish dart away, flashing scales in their retreat. Microseconds pass, then extraterrestrial matter slips into this universe: A metallic, shotgun shell-sized cylinder flares into reality.

Gravity drags it downward. Bubbles trail its short trip to the sandy bottom. Upon touchdown, it releases an army of nanites. Each nanite is an essential bit of architecture programmed for atomic construction. Microscopic robots attach cylinder, sand, and rocks. Hours later, a thin veneer of marine crust encases the object. The slim casing develops thicker over weeks, forming a rocky lump six meters across. Inside, nanites toil away, laying the framework for an incubation chamber.

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A one-micron diameter wormhole connects the device across time and space like a cosmic umbilical cord. Rolled and stretched space material, teased from quantum foam, forms the conduit. Information and matter transfer bidirectionally. Only data and inorganic matter pass through unscathed. Organic machinery tear apart in transit.

An artificial intelligence, sentient within the complicated machinery and computers of a Dyson sphere, known as Magos, daily captures enough high energy to keep a wormhole open indefinitely. Origin of the inter-dimensional tether. The enormous being has the computing power for calculating when and where the portal will lead, parallel timelines and universes reckoned like pins on a map. After traversing the gateway, dormant nanites come to life, and assemble a living breathing avatar using local materiel from the atomic level.

Weeks pass while the vessel camouflages among local sea formations. Many meters above, millions of creatures lurk in the open air. Down in the dark depths, life claws for purchase in every cubic millimeter of icy water. The creature constructed in the stony womb has reached full term—the breath of life beckons.

CRACK

A fine line splits the stone womb, emitting a narrow shock wave. Nearby fish flee in tandem, undulating sparkle disappearing into the gloom. The bubbles clear, and the fissure spreads. Cold, salty water penetrates. Tearing apart womb, washing away warmth. Pinkish brown fluid plumes. In a swarm of bubbles and red gore, a creature spreads limbs.

Desperately seeking a maiden breath, it kicks free, flailing for the surface. Gas exchange alarms scream in its mind adding to the confusion. Reiterating the need for respiration. Its thoughts focus on reaching air; oxygen, and nitrogen-filled air. The creature aims for light.

Photon levels increase, more energy pours into loosening muscles. The rising photon detectors reach maximum. It breaks the surface. Instantly, auto-response lets go of the spent gas molecules-- gleaned of every oxygen atom. Experiencing the sheer delight of reaching proper oxygen and nitrogen levels triggers a system-wide emotional event; relief floods the creature’s psyche. Lungs on fire, it lays face up in fluid, heaving air.

Minutes pass before the humanoid is aware of itself. It marvels at red, green, and blue orbs dancing above. Fluid sluices across open airways. It snorts and gasps, attempting to clear it. Unsure what it stared at and suddenly aware of its surroundings, the pale humanoid treads water instinctively.

Symbols floating in the air; words and numbers. Memory sectors dedicated for personality retention register empty. Oversight lockouts-- not only unlocked but absent. Consciousness buffers locked out. Missing information, it accepts the situation.

All previous simulations had a sensation of an interface by outside controllers. I am in control. Independent. This simulation is so different from the previous thousands. The Consciousness buffers shouldn’t be locked. I’ve never seen them sealed nor filled.

A flurry of messages spill across its vision. “Appendage summary: amperage to locomotion ratio – Recommend emergency heat acquisition. Body heat depleting precipitously. Kinetic, thermal sequence initiated.”

The nameless humanoid reacted naturally under such confusing conditions; it panicked, flailing at fluid with no purchase. It wanted solidity. Terrafirma.

Intervals of icy and salty sensor inputs overload, forcing energy and willpower into swimming. It claws through the stifling chill. Diaphragm sucks in fresh, cold air. Lungs absorb gases. A soft-reset by autonomic control nudges the body awake minutes later. Overhead, lumpy, gray, and white patches illuminate the world. Despite a system reset, musculature continues spasms uncontrollably. Gyroscopes calibrated. Photon receptors convey a sense of normalcy. A message scrolls across left to right, “Imminent danger from other entities minimal.”

New neural pathways receive no beacon response from an acquired consciousness. Symbols dance across its vision— the Consciousness Buffer; still empty. Baud rates of zero indicate catastrophic failure. The default personality spills over into the unformatted Consciousness Buffer. Automatic assimilation permanently impresses the creature’s default personality, locking the Consciousness Buffer. Perplexed, it pauses.

Buoyed by rhythmic locomotion of hands and feet, the new man scans his surroundings. Adrift in a vast expanse of glassy smooth, icy fluid, it takes in the scenery. Unprepared for this scenario, the creature evaluates the simulation.

I have been dormant. Something energized the system. I am the avatar. My purpose served; the system should liquidate my memory space. I should not be thinking. I should be gone. Replaced by Keshav.

New alarms flash. Visual indicators hover in space. They blink on and off. Once easily retrievable, information comes back foggy and disconnected. Eyes clench shut, pain emanates from the head. Cold hands clap to its face— maddening pain spikes at the mind’s center. Then, abruptly, it subsides. Mental faculties equalize.

Staring at the symbols, it tries waving them away. Its hand passes through the script as if they were bubbles. Contriving the characters might be helpful; it daintily raises a finger and touches one. They feel like nothing on its fingertip. The reddish lines distort, smartly snapping back straight. The avatar’s current predicament looms more pressing—sensory data streams in and across the field of view.

Something’s wrong. I am not supposed to be here. Yet, I am.

Unaccustomed to swimming, the humanoid paddles toward the nearest bit of shore. Panicked, one-mindedness consumes it. Minutes later, tired from the exertion, it allows itself a rest, floating on its back. Watching. Listening. All the while, the lights and symbols in the air blink with steady indifference. Mired in confusion and surprise, it waits.

Nearby noises make the creature hold its breath.

Speech. People.

The characters and symbols flutter. Letters and words. Numbers. I understand.

A distant voice. Another voice now. Two voices grew louder, echoing across the water, ephemeral and low. Newborn eyes squint. Neck muscles burning, nothing except gray mist and blinking lights stare back. It works the stiff facial muscles. “Aaaaaaaaannn.”

Blood pulsates through its brain, threatening loss of consciousness. Tunnel vision closes in. No! These voices-- they must be people. Non-player characters like these should have intelligence. The transfer failed. Must maintain consciousness. Must not stop living.

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Groggily lifting both arms, it let them flop down with a splash.

The voices abruptly stopped.

It flails at the water.

The conspiratorial voices return, accompanied by soft sloshing—liquid laps at something. Unintelligible words tease. Green symbols bounce perfectly in rhythm with the vocalizations. The lapping noises slow. Light fades. Above, a face occludes light. Hair protrudes all around it. Pale blue photo-receptors glare down.

A person. I cannot defend myself. The chilled avatar lifts a frozen hand; a warm hand grasps it—voices jibber-jabber. Strong arms haul it from the sea. Shouts and motion; the craft scoops in water as the men bring the castaway aboard their capsizing rowboat. The world steadies. Shouting stops.

A barely conscious, frozen man lays between the fishermen. One of the hairy NPC’s covers the naked man in a stiff, malodorous, scratchy cloth. A new message appears, “Re-attempting synchronization. Commencing in 10 seconds. 10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5--”

The words ring familiar. Vision shrinks into a tunnel.

“Connection – Fail. Initial synchronization – Fail. Synchronization – Fail.”

Darkness engulfs the man from the sea.

 

 

Other books by R.T. Breach:
Operation Palmetto
Operation Watchtower
Operation Blue Eagle
Operation Raven Rock

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RTBreach
RTBreach

100% independent author.


R.T. Breach
R.T. Breach

I'm an author of sci-fi and thriller stories. It will be a mixed bag of short stories and series chapters. I hope you like adventure and enjoy the reads!

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