It was a brisk morning, just the sort Timothy liked. But today it was not the cool steady wind, nor the flawlessly clear azure sky that hung over his high altitude sleep and recreation unit that caused him to rise from his slumber with enthusiasm. Today would be the apotheosis of many years, almost as many as Timothy knew. The almost silent hum of the rejuvenation pump, a sound that would be audible only to Timothy’s proficient ears, managed to evoke a reaction amongst the relay neurones of his brain releasing a bittersweet mixture of frustrated anticipation and unrelenting exhilaration. A feeling that had seldom occurred in Timothy’s life, but Timothy felt that the occasion sanctioned it.
The day’s first stage of preparation went without even the smallest of hitches, but the expectancy of such was complete paranoia, a fault that Timothy noted to avoid for the rest of the day. The statistics materialized as if they had just rolled of the end of his nose: 1.2 times 10 to the power of minus 25 percent chance of failure. It seemed ironic to Timothy that paranoia itself was most likely to multiply this number. His body was perfectly ready, although the part it played in events was strictly minor; it had to be accounted for when the stakes were this high. His muscles had been stimulated, his organs primed, every organic part was tested and retested hundreds of times within the space of a few seconds.
With a mental farewell to the surrounding of his dormitorium, Timothy’s body was gently lowered to the central laboratory. At all times the sharp blue-green horizon was visible. To the ignorant observer this might have seemed an unnecessary waste of resources and a distraction. But, as Timothy well knew, It had been scientifically proved beyond doubt that earth’s stratosphere was the ideal location for Timothy to be removed from stasis:
Symbolically because it had been the birthplace of the human race; aesthetically as it provided just the right spectrum of colours to stimulate optic pathways and scientifically because it had an almost faultless atmospheric make up which would need only minimal correction before it was given to Timothy. Now the real preparation could begin.
All the work would be done by robots. Timothy realised it always had been done by robots. A soon smothered feeling of emptiness passed, he had never actually met another human being. Connection Complete This indicated to Timothy that his brain had successfully connected with the lab computer. It was a small and feeble computer in Timothy’s experience, only capable of a few billion calculations per second, but its limited functions played an important role. It was like a mental version of Timothy’s auto-gymnasium, carefully rousing each pathway while simultaneously massaging every one. His colossal memory banks came to life behind his eyes.
So much knowledge and wisdom, all together in one place. But this was not like the knowledge that could be gained from a common Direct-teach interface nor was it artificial wisdom of the more recently invented, perceivement-enhancers. It was optimum memory, filled with all the extraneous experience that would accompany Naturally acquired data, with Timothy’s extended recall he could handle it, and they predicted it would be vital in the final stages. As Timothy remembered he felt the pieces of understanding that would prove most useful come to the forefront of his mind, and remembered how they had come to be. Some were obtained through years of practice, some through years of hard work, yet others seemed to appear out of a ferocious incident of pain or fear or hope. Yet it was all his, the finest quality experiences of collectors who had lived their lives many years ago, and for whom today would have their ‘work’ put to its final purpose.
Mental excitation complete They had questioned the need for constant proclamation of successful procedures, as their presence seemed almost to oppose the certainty of what they described, however they remained, a small remnant of what they called ‘tradition’. Timothy was placed in his transport casket and this was then placed in the high speed Inert Gas conveyor, but was allowed a view of his surroundings through fibre-optic image transition. At first Timothy saw the main facility as only a dot on the horizon, but within a number of seconds its doors had engulfed him. That speed created only a tiny time flexing effect, but Timothy noted it all the same, 1.1second change per hour (positive), he knew the stronger effects would come later.
As Time went on in the facility Timothy noticed how processes started becoming more imperative, with risk levels starting to expontentialise, although this was all taken into account his blood adrenaline levels still began to increase, of course this had been taken into account in addition. They were happy at this moment, but Timothy wondered why, hundreds had gone before him, every process successful on them to the millionth decimal point of accuracy. But Timothy supposed that this was ‘It’ as they liked to call it after all, and he supposed that may have accounted for this. It was out of their power now anyway, at least directly, for human error had no place at this stage of events.
Timothy’s body was unrecognisable now, as he began integration with the capsule. Every piece of flesh had been spliced and amalgamated with electronic interfaces. 1000 years ago he would have been medically dead, he no longer required air to breathe or blood to travel round his body, the capsule provided all the energy that was required. Perhaps the only part that would have been recognisable to an ancient doctor was his mind. It was the only thing the evolutionary soup had created of any importance; however it was in fact of central importance. Timothy momentarily saw the humour in that all this precise mechanism centred around the random process of nature producing a minute speck of impossibility, which served as the final piece of the jigsaw. The entirety of the technology of an intergalactic race, and one soul.
Here we are Timothy appreciated in the final moments. Timothy was no longer aware of anything, but knew the final process so intimately, he may as well have been watching with every eye in the universe. His last sensation, passed by with an effect on timothy far out of proportion with its actual magnitude. The launch constituted of but a heavily damped inertial G-force followed by slight feeling of time distortion dizziness. Of course Adrenaline was no longer a problem with his adrenal gland dissected and inhibited, because it probably would have poisoned his cortex by now.
At this moment Timothy would have know that he was approaching half light-speed and was in the space some where between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. But all he experienced was blackness, a complete emptiness of feeling or thought, yet he knew he still was. And then it came, a glowing sensation, filling him absolutely. This is it! His mind described elatedly Fusion with very fabric of existence. Power to control with all the wisdom of humanity’s history. Thousands of years of man’s dream’s all fulfilled!
His thoughts were answered with a sparkling, intensely promising silence.
And then, with startling ferocity, the glowing ripped across Timothy instantaneously. Although he realised any physical pain would be purely illusionary, he felt like his very transience was being garrotted. Piece by piece he felt himself being dematerialised. Then a glutinous blackness flowed forth from every corner. He was ended.
* * *
Three men stood behind an auburn light filter, as they looked over the shimmering light show that had just occurred about seventy thousand kilometres from their satellite observatory. One began to document on his electronic pad, while stating his analysis to the others.
“Timothy 5.7: Failed. Cause: Unknown. Recommended investigation: Energy-gravity balance recorded in final moments.”
“Is Timothy 5.8 ready?”
“We start again at fifteen hundred hours”