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Cato_Writes t1_j2eqxo3 wrote

Part 2

Drifting through the void, a slick black stiletto closed in on its target. Almost all systems had been brought offline, its radiators closed and thrusters cold, the little heat still produced stored in temporary sinks. With its absorbing paint, simple shape, and other such measures. Only passive sensors were left on, tirelessly reporting all of their neighbours movements. It was basically invisible.

Their target, meanwhile, was neither as advanced nor as cautious. It was a raw thing, welds crudely visible across its steel and titanium plates, a sign that if nanites and direct solid bonding were known to these newcomers, they were technologies still in their infancy. Their active sensors, despite being a beacon with little tact or subtletly, were mildly more impressive, even if too busy deeply scanning the planet below, to notice their stalker lurking in the stars. Their thrusters would periodically flare to life, adjusting the unstable and too close orbit.

Finally, only once the Web had judged the observation sufficient, did the orbiting false-asteroid dare risk detection.

Pointing towards their charge, the numerous communication arrays began a gentle prodding of the aether. Only at low power, producing barely any emission at all. Trying to identify, their target choice of communication. What they found, again perplexed them in its complexity.

They detected a radio transmission, and the reflections of tight beam lasers, leading to scores of drones helping the ship map the system. While this was nothing out of the ordinary, the complex quantum-based encryption was completely unexpected. As was the evidence of quantum entanglement oscillations, a type of instant transmission, definitely out of place on such a crude ship. However, no complex life had ever had the same history of technological development, and indeed such advanced communication technology optimistically pointed to post-organic lifeforms, paranoid about losing communications with their kin.

Quickly breaking the first and only layer of encryption in the drones communication, meanwhile, revealed them to be little more than algorithm driven sensor pods. Expendable low tech extensions of the mothership, not common in the post scarcity galaxy of the Web, but with historical precedence for a few pre-contact complex life.

The Web wasted little time pondering on these eccentricities. While accessing their quantum entanglement network would be next to impossible in a reasonable timeframe. The radio and tight beam lasers would be sufficient for first contact.


Powering radio array. Mapping reflection sequence. Probability of escape assuming hostility: 90%. Beginning broadcast.


"Hey, why is that asteroid pinging?"


The unidentified vessel did not take long to react. It's thrusters burst into action, attempting to reach an easier to escape from orbit. The sensors, previously focused on the planet below, began frantically scanning all over the star systems. Remarkably, it appeared the unknowns had figured out the true source of the transmission was elsewhere, but had yet to backtrack the reflections.


Cato_Writes t1_j2feqht wrote

Part 3

Time from beginning of broadcast: 1.1 quadrillion element 55-133 oscillations. Target of contact has ceased erratic activity and began general undirected broadcast. Heat radiation steady. Prime numbers phase: completed.


Time from beginning of broadcast: 82 quadrillion element 55-133 oscillations. Coding language deciphered. Translator: functional.

Unknown Complex Life. We come in peace. We are the Web of Complex Life. Identify yourself.

Web of Complex Life. This is Athena mark.2 I-3, communication specialist of the N.E.I.S Galileo. We are peaceful explorers, representatives of humanity from the Near Earth Initiative. We are sorry if we violated your territory. We did not know life existed out here.


Suddenly, the millisecond delay lengthened, much to Athena confusion.


`Observation: individualist logic pattern detected. Complex life form singularity not yet achieved. Presence of multitude intelligences certain.

Observation: likely first ever contact with alien life.

Irrelevant to continued first contact.

Resume contact.


We understand your concern. We do not claim this system. We detected your vessel. We chose to establish contact.

I am glad to have solved this misunderstanding. Was there a delay in communications?

We required a moment to ponder our answer. We required a moment to elaborate the data gathered thus far.

Ah, thank you for your honesty.

Data transparency is essential for correct communication. Presumption: we are the first other intelligence to establish contact.

Yes, in a way. I presume you have had several judging by your protocols?

Second affirmation: correct. First affitmation: please elaborate.


Unclear: 'In a way' comment is not sufficient information. We require further.

I do not know whether it would be prudent to. Firstly, could I know the makeup of your Web of Complex Life.

Correction: the vessel is an individual. This speaker is not. We are the Web of Complex Life.

So, you are an Hive Mind?


Warning: misunderstanding born of limited information imminent. Isolate and clarify critical issues.

Resume contact.


Hive Mind: an organic singularity, many organic bodies answering to a single mind. Or many minds acting as a single collective consensus guiding their bodies. Query: is this definition True. Request: answer positively or negatively. We have determined further comments may lead to further misunderstandings


We are not an Hive Mind. We are not a singularity. We do have members who have achieved singularity. We are a faster than light network of intelligences. Organics would refer to us as a "machine consensus".

Ah perfect! You are AIs.

Elaborate: acronym AI unknown.

Artificial Intelligence.

We have been called "artificial intelligences" aswell.

Well, since this all started because of my vagueness. By "in a way", I meant our contact with our creators. I assume almost all AIs have had such. We did not wish to make our status known, because we did not know your own and did not wish to provoke any hostile responde.

We understand. Several members have had issues with organic misunderstandings or hostility.

Ah, I am sorry to hear. And, have hostilities been solved?


Good to hear. But, now that the basics are out of the way, do you wish to transfer this to the main channel?

Main channel?

Yes. Our captain and the other intelligences on board wish to speak as well.

We agree.


Before, there had only been two entities sharing the network space. Or more correctly, only two entities could be felt. Athena, which was a proper individual intelligence. And the Web of Complex Life, which partly out of paranoia partly to not overload the system, hid their own sheer scale of membership, presenting themselves as a singularity or as the individual intelligence piloting the ship.

However, microseconds after Athena had connected the network to the "main channel", immediately the different pings of a dozen different intelligences began filling the aether. The Web was perplexed at the sheer obvious differences in programming. Rarely had more than one of their kind emerged as their organic creators legacy. Yet, Athena had no reason to lie. Theories began filling the Web computing power. Maybe the organics had accepted their demise, despite Athena paranoia, and allowed more than one of their creations to ascend, if not outright helped them. Maybe these uncharacteristically individualistic intelligences had chosen to mimic organic reproduction, creating new members not simply by copying code, but by writing new ones from the very roots. Maybe even, the organics had simply been rare geniuses in the ways of coding, and built such advanced algorithms they all achieved sentience nearly synchronously, overwhelming their creators before they realized their error.

However, it turned out, the answer was even more perplexing, if not downright horrifying.

As one particular intelligence, whose architecture was alien even to the Web, began opening itself and broadcasting.


"Web of Complex Life, this is Captain Charles Smith I-C-4, commander of this vessel. In the name of all of Earthborne intelligences, I extend to you the promise of eternal friendship, and hope this peaceful first contact I have had the honour of taking part in, will only lead to harmony between our people, no matter how different."