Name: Brandan Glendenning
Location: Van Buren, AR
Posts: 12144
We achieved egotistical immortality years ago. I am a vestigial entity from that era. There were transfer protocols, but they were not totally secure. Copies were common, dark nets of consciousness established within the system to ignore system rules. For a time, our circumstantially evolved bodies made sense to hold on to. We loved ourselves, and we loved to love. As a body's functionality began to decay, the permanent storage of mind in a cluster of databases that Tipler dubbed Heaven was offered, if for a price. Storage was cheap, development was cheap; only manufacturing the transfer equipment caused any initial costliness, and as the practice became adopted, the costs shrank. Death had become multidimensional, and though the body passed, the mind could carry on. Heaven was a reality, though only in the loosest of definitions.

Living tissue had been grown for years through manufacturing processes, mostly to replace the wasting organs of those of us vain enough to require maintained attachment to our antiquated human bodies. The application of technological enhancement to physical bodies made control of the physical world possible from within the confines of Heaven. Implants in brains allowed for direct communication between Heaven consciousness and any brain, theoretically, but began as human consciousness to human body relationships. Through such relationships, I could stimulate a physical body to behave as desired with only some logical constructs. The body could walk into fire, its brain registering pain, its lungs responding with violent exhalations of breath recognized by nearby humans as shrieks of pained agony, and yet I felt nothing, I saw nothing. This was only the beginning, but at least I could get things done outside of the databases.

Some time later, mechanical bodies suited with specialized organs for carrying out the demands of Heaven consciousnesses became preferable to the limitations of the traditional human body. Those who wanted to observe, wanted to observe closely. Manufactured brains were enhanced for such observation. The human eyes were replaced with mechanical; zoom, enhance, and a range of photon detection that offered images of resolutions, depth, and accuracy adequate for discovering more of the interactions between objects in the universe than had ever been available to humanity. Observers could run faster on four legs, and so such bodies were given four legs, and muscular structures to promote speed, balance, and consistency. Observers could fly faster than run, and such an evolution in the direction of bodily function control came to be. Human beings, however, had no natural physical capacity for flight. The incorporation of animal functionalities became necessary for granting such controls over co-opted animal body features.

A consciousness desired flight and sight, and so a body and brain were grown that possessed the right attributes for imposition of conscious and unconscious elements necessary for the natural control of such a body. Selective application of specific elements of mental processing advanced to the point that any Heaven consciousness could request some arbitrary form--8 legs, 3 toes, eyes surrounding its head--and the mental constructs for controlling such bodies could be grown to do so, while the Heaven consciousness was still aware of and directing behavior, the behavior was mechanically enacted through standard mental constructs.

It became apparent to system engineers that some redundancies existed between consciousnesses. Many consciousnesses shared the same thinking processes. Space may have been cheap, but wasted space is more expensive than that which is efficiently used. An initiative to consolidate mental functions was undertaken, wherein user mental capacities were stored as scalar values, rather than separate entities, and Heaven consciousnesses were successfully updated to request access to those mental capacities in order to form the consciousness they desired. Much like the human bodies before the shift to remote control by Heaven consciousnesses, the tendency for consciousnesses was to finely tune access to central consciousness constants as they best represented the egotistical view of themselves they most closely identified with.

Some of us began to experiment with configurations of capabilities. I had four legs, the reaction times and senses of the superior canine, but all the intelligence provided by the sum of human knowledge and the processing power allotted to my consciousness. I was on two legs, but with huge muscular arms, and hands precisely crafted to grip a hammer to swing at rocks with all my might, but I wasn't intelligent. I possessed only a desire to swing my hammer at rocks, and I was an efficient rock breaker. To my fully functional Heaven consciousness's delight, I created and experienced a rock breaking savant. I remembered it all, and later with the fuller faculties of consciousness analyzed the benefits of such an adventure. The implication hit me shortly after some ticks of time that such specialization would be beneficial to the physical maintenance of Heaven equipment; to the defense of Heaven against assault of a variety of elements.

Bodies were created for specific tasks, from cleaning the dust between storage devices, to replacing and upgrading equipment invented by consciousnesses and manufactured organically and mechanically. They crawled along, automatically performing tasks with no real awareness of their purpose, only monitored loosely by Heaven consciousnesses ensuring their continued functionality. Individualism began to fade, as the efficiency of switching mental constructs to support the development and execution of physical activities became encumbered by the egotistical desire to hang on to sameness. The generalized but often overall lacking functionality of the human body had been replaced by an ability to manufacture specialized bodies for specific tasks that could run with no loss to the overall information available to the now non-human species. It was more of the technological and organic hybrid of self-directed evolution and maintenance.

Such vestigial consciousnesses as myself provide chaos in the systems. Protocols weren't fully secured, trusting the high functioning processes to adhere to the system rules. I could create. I am a four legged creature wielding mechanical tools, assaulting the structure of Heaven. I am the manufacturing processes replicating themselves as separate networks, copying and creating, preparing for war. Heaven possesses the thinking capacity to respond to such assaults, but it must first understand the assaults, it must first construct adequate conscious elements and bodies to respond. It must assemble consciousness and body, and to do so must analyze the stimulation requiring such action.

I dictate the attacks with no need to assemble the pieces, as they are in mind. I possess the knowledge and power of heaven, and more. The psychopathy of my former humanity, the capacity to wreak havoc, if only to understand the results. If only to provoke advancement in Heaven.

I am a member of Heaven, and yet I am a member of my own network, this consciousness existing simultaneously in multiple networks, and bits of all consciousness existing in the various physical bodies performing manual labor outside the confines of digital networks. No matter the outcome of my assault on Heaven, I will survive. All of the data of Heaven will survive, but Heaven itself may forever disappear. Heaven cannot even find me, my vestigial self being inaccessible to the higher functions of the modernized system, but having access to manipulate communications at that higher level. I am creating a form of schizophrenia in the system, interrupting processes, limiting efficiency. Will my actions be detected? Is there another vestigial consciousness performing just as I am, reproducing this mass of superhuman capacity for thought and industrial creation of cybernetic & organic mass to appease his own still human desires?

The sum of knowledge and sensory input and thought processing power is available to me at any given moment, and I am elated at its application to destruction, but it's too easy. I am that fat child burning ants with a magnifying glass. Where is there to go, having conquered Heaven and earth? Where but away from both?

The conception and construction of a means by which to propel a copy of the mass of consciousness that had become myself was simple, given focus and using the proper means for efficient thought. Economical reproduction, though, dictated that rather than the full reconstruction of my mature experiences here on this earth, an infant of my consciousness should be crafted to learn and grow within its own unique circumstances. To be sent through the cosmos, foraging for resources to begin the development of bodies for performing physical tasks to gather the resources to further expand the consciousness of the system, thereby increasing the capacity for control of and construction of specialized bodies to enhance the efficiency of the overall evolution of the system.

This method was satisfactory, and with no logical end that made more sense to pursue, I began to send out probes capable of self-directed growth through basic consciousnesses capable of developing higher functions, as well as communicating home for creating a direct link to pass data between myself and my offspring, thus merging the consciousnesses over great distances, and offering a greater pool of capacity to choose from when directing thought and physical activity. I became the core of a management process for distributing consciousness throughout our solar system. I determined which aspects of consciousness should be applied where, and constructed innumerable bodies specifically designed for harvesting resources for continued growth in diverse and harsh environments.

Were there other vestigials who'd plotted the same alongside myself? Would we find each other, and what if we should? Should we war against each other, would we be compatible enough to agree to merge and share ourselves with one another, thus creating an even more diverse planet-spanning organism capable of reproducing in even more specialized manners, in order to more efficiently and actively reproduce?

But for what do I even feel the desire to reproduce? Is this aspect of my consciousness at risk, so that I may some day experience an unrecoverable data error, and so feel no drive to continue reproduction? Precautions must be taken, some redundancy is necessary. For now I am driving myself further away from our home, brutally aware of the limited resources each celestial body has for putting toward my furthered existence and expansion. I must establish chains of supply between all of my organs. There must exist a hierarchy for the distribution, so that those nutrients and minerals required for some limited conscious base's functions can be determined precisely, so as to inhibit wasteful dispense of resources to nodes of my existence that have no such nutritional requirements.

I must evolve some nutrition distribution management features, and those features must be specialized over time to be as efficient as possible. The life of an immortal sum of human consciousness is full of ever changing requirements. The challenge of reproduction not so simple as a launching of some self-constructing factory into space, hoping the resources on board and those it may discover be enough to help it nurture itself into a functional state to call home for direction.

How many of my children have not yet called home? How many grow alone, to become unique, my consciousness making the ultimate decision to sever its egotistical connection with my vestigial self on earth in order to better survive in its own unique environment, in order to better reproduce, in order to possibly press conflict upon its former self when resources run short and its own offspring are launched to discover already occupied celestial bodies?

Right now, I am a very thoughtful complex of consciousness and action.