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GOTM1804.zip
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* * *
Sinder Roze awoke to the beeping on her nightstand.  Sitting up in bed, saw it was 5:36a.m.

Putting the headset on, she slapped the earpiece to activate.  "This better be good."

"Pwned, Datajack." Katt's voice began, "You wanted to know immediately - Tinker Junction reports the radiometric telltales.  The Gaians have initiated the Ascent To Transcendence."

God; this, finally.  "Where?"

"Seems to triangulate on Gaia's Landing, Datajack.  Recon tried a few system probes already, but they'd sewed up the interlocks and the firewalls look tight.  They were ready for us."

Roze pushed up her visor to rub her eyes, thinking.  "Have they tried the reactor control systems?  That's going to suck a lot of juice, to power the link with Planet, or at least at the last stage they --- crap; I can't think straight yet."

"No vulnerabilities found yet.  -It's my regular duty shift tonight if you need to get back to sleep, ma'am, and our people are on the job probing.  Watching won't help.  I'll ping you again if anything happens."

Roze considered, still groggy, "Yeah."  She'd only been offline two hours, and tomorrow would need her sharp, organizing the countermeasures and making arrangements with any allies she could get.  "Look in Contingencies folder of Protocols and open the Louis Armstrong file and review, okay?  Password forthelulz.

"But first, Katt, screen Free Drone Central now, make sure Domai knows - and that I'll definitely be talking to him tomorrow.  Logout." Roze put the headset down and flopped back onto the bed.

'The Group Mind,' she thought, looking up at nothing.  'All my life has been a war for freedom against groupthink and the human mob, dancing and scatting against something so vast and slow and oh, how it hates the independent mind, punishes style, and now that stupid, stupid Deirdre thinks she can suck us all into an alien plant making a Group Mind.  Over my dead body, she will.'

Mobs were vicious and stupid, to even call it mob psychology gave it too much credit for any thinking going on.  The human herding instinct had been the bane of Roze's existence, social cues a self-contained girl hadn't caught, making it feel like everywhere she ever went there'd been a meeting held that she hadn't been invited to.  Social rules and holoshows and fashions and turns of phrase and customs that didn't make sense and no one ever explained.

She'd never been interested in any of that; she had her machines and her jazzy, elegant code.  But an outsider noticed things insiders didn't - how on every systems analyst gig, every organization was full of people dressing alike, talking alike, telling her the same jokes, thinking alike, if you call that thought; how quickly and completely an outsider could become a pariah after a single quarrel with an incompetent IT worker or sysop.

Mindless mobs and humans herding, everywhere.  No original thought, no diversity in groupthink; no rhythm nor style, no jazz to it, just an empty white-noise hum.  Group minds, bad enough how people graze together in a herd by instinct, not-thinking together in lockstep.  Bad enough the natural way people always form group minds.

And the Gaians thought it was a good idea to drive the human race extinct making the biggest group mind of all.  A single life.  One mind; one thought, a dull carrier hum the soundtrack of Hell Forever trapped in the alien Group Mind.

'No, just NO,' she closed her sleepy eyes to get some rest, 'Never.  Domai will accompany my trumpet playing, and Deirdre, have I ever got some free blowing that will blow your group mind...'


* * *

With a hard version for the contest, and an easy version for fun, included in the .zip
See the thread here: http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=20906.0 for instructions.
Posted by: Buster's Uncle April 02, 2018, 02:55:58 PM

Rating: This download has not been rated yet.
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