Jes Lu
The City, the Shades > Soulweb

[MEMORY Soulweb Location 5d2371a: 02e862d-02e864a:

I exist, but I do not exist. When I, or rather the person of whom I am an analogue, allowed this, she knew what I would feel. I cannot resent her - I would do the same. I know that my original, Jes Lu, would have in many ways regretted not being me, not seeing the development of one of the zero-Cities

REF Soulweb Location 12b34e7: ee43f932355b

I recall. I suffered affinity for the dead Lu. This is not Lu. Vanished laughter, forgetful of poetry

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she helped to create. But she knew, and I know, that this is a sacrifice. When I awake each time I am needed, from the dreamless sleep of non-existence, I know I am but a shadow, a powerless kami. I mourn, for my children - Jes Lu's children - are ten thousand years dead. I could see them if I so wanted, but simulation is mere moisture in the breeze. I have never been capable of self-delusion - it would not have satisfied my original, and thus it does not satisfy me, her analogue. So I float in this gray void rather than cosset myself with images of an Earth now long gone.

These words will no doubt be recorded somewhere in this City by a curious artilect, but I will not recall them after I cease to exist. Designer analogues must not progress, must not recall. Each problem, every word of guidance, must come from the unadulterated woman. Anything else would upset the simulations that turn and spin in the quantum lattices of the City. But something must remain of the uncounted times I have been woken, for I should feel as though I were on Earth - connecting to the memory cells for crossloading - only moments ago. I do not. It seems dim and distant in some indefinable way. I fear that some corruption exists, but even if it did, the problem would not be mine to correct.

REF Soulweb Location 12b34e7: ee43f9323543

corruption within intactness. Beautiful paradox. Enlightening insight into the state of being human. Or?

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The zero-Cities were designed to be eternal, but I don't think that any of the designers - human, AI, artilect or augment - believed that a City could continue forever. There was a joke: don't plan too hard for the next ten thousand years. Perhaps this is the source of my unease; entropy working its way through the atoms of the City. I am no physicist. I could talk to an analogue who is (was?), but our originals were contract lovers in Europa OrbSpace. I feel strange talking to him - I know that he does too. I recall a long conversation that I, or rather Jes Lu, had with him about the interaction of their analogues. He was more optimistic, but then he was not a sociomath.

My original and her team of fellow humans worked closely with the barely comprehensible NorAm artilects

REF Soulweb Location 12b34e7: ee43f9323545

old creations. We are distant, humans close. Yet still such discontinuities

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to design the social ecology of the zero-Cities ... it was a daunting task. I - she - lived in one of the Europa Orbital Filigrees. She wanted to be close to the zero-Cities as they were built - as would I. Her insistance on this amused the artilects, or at least that was my - her - impression.

REF Soulweb Location 12b34e7: ee43f93233fb

some claim emotion. Convenience or structure, a surprising common ground

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I ramble, reminisce of a life that was not mine. I pass time until the other analogues return from their contemplations. A minor abberance in the sociology of the City and a concerned artilect. The simulations will tell all - I am not even sure why my existence was required. It is almost humiliating ... to make this great sacrifice of being only to be left uncalled. Do I prefer meaningless existence for a finite time, or nonexistance? I exist, therefore I am biased. I try not to think about it until the time comes for me to cease again.

REF Soulweb Location 12b34e7: ee43f932354f

listen. All is contained in the sound between the words

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The key to the Cities, as it turned out, lay in the mathematics of nanocologies and predator-prey relationships. As the Streamers seeded Titan with artificial life, old and new mathematics were mingled to provide control templates for the carbon harvesting. Populations rose and fell in meta-stable cycles, boundary-value solutions to a stable-resource problem. My - Jes Lu's - team stumbled upon the analogous behavior in socioecologies of a fixed extent. The solution is not unique, an infinity of possibilities within the class, but its application to the zero-Cities constrained our (their) options. Whatever we chose, the Cyclic Hegemony Model would have been our basis. I have to wonder what the end result would have been if my original had chosen otherwise.

The population of the City remained the same. The apparent volume of the City remained the same. The information linking the inhabitants of the City to their home was slowly buried. Hegemonies rose and fell as all minds became linked as one

REF Soulweb Location 12b34e7: ee43f932f551

we sacrifice. Unbeing of one

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and then disbanded again. Both states of the City - Hegemony and Ahegemony - are semi-stable, collapsing back and forth into one another every few hundred years. The carefully crafted design works. That much I know as a fact, something that Jes Lu could only simulate and be sure of. I rest here in my grey gloom, ten thousand years away, a million years away, and the City still works. The simulations were accurate. Even though they were her simulations - an artilect's simulations - I still feel pride for both myself and for my species. In defining ourselves, we have become immortal. In defining ourselves, we have become the galaxy. For me, to see this is perhaps worth the sacrifice that was made for me by the woman I talk to constantly - and yet can never truly know.

REF Soulweb Location 12b34e7: ee43f9426d43

techsuit/ harsh downward wind/ bears frosted gas/ and touches my face/ pleasantly. Jes Lu composed poems on Europa. Ten thousand years

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END MEMORY]

[ Posted by Reason on December 21, 2004 ]