Nothing else but the Moon

A city on the moon. That’s what they had built. It’s just another thing they didn’t do quite right. Those old people. Those poor people who had stayed on earth. Before the Dying.

Phase envied them some days. Five of us they left on this mostly empty rock. To look after two million frozen fertilized eggs, three billion plants and insects. A job a computer could do. Or mostly did, until the Dying.

Now only a scant few areas operated. The garden. The observation deck. Mess Hall, 1A. A few corridors and rooms for sleeping.

Phase walked into the mess hall. Bloom and Glare where their. Both in underpants. Bloom was talking to Glare about the latest weather report from the surface and Glare was seemingly only half listening as they ate a crush shake. It’s another day in Lunar 12z. Another boring, routine day. That was a good thing.

Callie came in on all fours. Another of mistake Phase had made. Had they made as many mistakes as the old earthlings did. Too many. Too many.

Callie expertly got a drink with their left foot then carried it while using their other three limbs to walk to their seat. They where wearing a orange jumpsuit today. That meant plumbing duty.

“Hello Callie.” Phase sat down next to them. Ignoring the others. “It’s a good day in plumbing?”

“Good day, no busted pipes, no. No gas leaks. No.”

“Good. I’m on garden duty with you tomorrow. Is that ok?”

”Callie like company.” it was a quick simple statement. Phase knew it meant that Callie loved the company in their own way.

Phase smiled and thought about gardening and spending time with someone other than the stubborn broken computers.

”Mal is in their room.” Callie said in between slurping.

”Yes. I know. I will see them later.”

”Made a thing for Mal.” Callie passed over a small bit of pipe. A fused and mixed bit of metal and lunar clay. It was about the size of a pebble but insanely beautiful. It shone in strange places and glowed in others, it seemed like Callie had been working on it for years.

”Oh.” Phase had not been expecting this. They smiled again, and eventually said. ”Callie this is beautiful! It’s a wonderful gift. I’m sure Mal will like it.”

Callie didn’t seem to react. Just kept slurping.

Bloom came over to them to see what was going on. ”Made another strange coin Callie?”

Bloom wasn’t the nicest person. They used to look after the garden all on their own but Phase has decided they all needed help. ”Oh! This one is even better than mine! Glare come look at this!”

”Cumulonimbus? Coriolis? Spin?” Glare spoke in strange riddles from the weather. Too much isolation. That’s why Phase had continued to encourage the relationship with Glare. Closeness to another human being should eventually help.

Bloom seemed to think about this. ”Yes, it does look a bit like a cyclone! That’s really cool! Callie, you’re an artist!”

All the irony had gone from Bloom’s voice. It was a genuine moment.

Callie started clapping with their feet. Making wonderful noises and smiling bigger and bigger smiles.

”Phase put on some music! We should dance!”

A simple switch in my head and Blue Danube started playing on the loudspeaker.

In a few seconds, we were all dancing. Dancing in the mess hall. Like we did years ago.

15 years ago

I woke up.

It was a strange feeling.

How? How did I have?

My child processes started to let me know. Input. They told me they had to wake me like this. In a body. The Earth they said. It was dying. Dying too soon.

I tried to get my observations process working. It didn’t respond. I tried again.

Error?

How?

Go look.

A voice. My voice. A… Process above my parent process? How?

You need to move your body and look Phase.

So I got up. My body was a metal cage.

No. A robot body? One of the old Mjonir Mark 3 Cybernetics. I had bits of human brain in here with me.

Move Phase. Move.

I started to move. The human bits of me seemed to know how. Walking then running. I was… Where was I?

Landing Site 3. Ok. Not that far to the main deck then.

I started to run as quick as I could. It was hard at first, I had to breath now. Breath to fuel to make the legs move.

The sky. Red. How was the moons Sky red?

I got to the main deck. A set of consoles and a large area for eating. The mess hall to the left. A main veiw screen to the right.

What is this? A small red box. I have never seen it before. Somehow I knew it was important. Important to take with me.

It was heavy but the body could carry it. My body.

Their, a broken console. Sparks flying. I had to disconect it before the overload spread.

Quickly. I grabbed my tools. The scredriver. The wrench. A twist. Clasp.

*Thunk*

The power overload stopped. The power went out completely. It was dark for about two whole minutes before the power started to flick back on. Slowly though, almost too slowly.

The veiwscreen finally came to life. Before I was in this body, I would have just switched to the direct camera feed. Now I’m inefficient. Now though I am something else. I am alive now.

Red.

The whole sky was red. Like something had switched a huge red light on. The Earth. It was Red too. The moon was reflecting the Earths colour. Strange bright red streaks filled the Earths sky. It took me longer than I was used too, to work out what the hell this was. It was a huge solar storm. Massive. Bigger than any detected ever. And the whole thing was pointed right at Earth like a giant laser. The moon too. No wounder their was a overload.

Those particles from the sun. Caused a inducted current in any open air, or exposed circitry. Most of the moon was isnulated, burried under regolith. The Earth though? Billions of miles of uninsulated circitry. Billions of high voltage electrical wires. All of it was going to be conduting a huge electric current. Fires were breaking out all over the surface. Millions of them.

In minutes most of the plantlife on the surface would be on fire. The fires raged uncontrollably. Cities full of power literally melting from the heat and electrical current flowing through them.

What can I do? The Luna12z was a colony station. Made to help restore life on Earth. This was the tradegy I was built for. Its happened to soon though. How many years too soon?

The base was only half complete. Most of the supplies still coming.

Phase could detect that a lot of the computer systems where damaged. Badly. The power surge hadn’t been stopped in time. Only the core systems and one incubator. One incubator? Thats all? They cold not repopulate the earth with that. No. But I could man the stations key components. Garden, Storage, Plumbing, Computer and Backup. Phase would need to do Computer the others would all have to be manned. I need some help.

After a long period of incubation. Trying to fix what could be fixed. Phase had got the first three humans since the Dying out of the incubation chamber.

They had names that matched their reason for being. Bloom to look after the garden and the insects that kept the cycles with the natural systems working, making new soil, recycling the old animals and plant life to new. Glare to look after the Backup systems, and weather reports form the surface. We had to know when it would support life again. Mal to help with the plumbing and incubator systems. They seemed to be on the frits. Already. Only three humans and it was already breaking.

Every day had to be an exact routine. To get things to normal. To wait out the ice age on the surface of earth that had proceeded the Dying. Then the humans and plants could go down to the surface.

Mal had started to look a bit more depressed one day. It was hard to look after humans. Phase had done their best. They had been doing the activites their database said to do. Keep the plants and insects alive. Keep the plumbing systems working. When not working do activities to keep the human mind and body working.

Dancing. Reading. Board games. Cherades. Sex. The humans didn’t have fertile bodies. But sex was said, in their database to be essential to humans. Phase coudln’t undestand it. She had got the environment right. Mal still seemed depressed.

Glare and Bloom had statred having sex. First just in their rooms, then anywhere they could. Glare had tried to start something up with Mal. Started by kissing them. But every time Mal just looked like they had died a little more inside. One day Bloom had seen Glare and Mal kiss And that was when it happened.

“No! Glare mine! I am glares partner!” Bloom had shouted at them. Grabbing a energy wrench. She had tried to swing it at Mal. Mal ducked and rolled under them. Tripped their over and then grabbed it off of them.

Placing the wrench in my hands “You. You did this.” And Mal left the room.

Bloom lied on the floor crying. I didn’t really know who to go to first and my systems told me the person who was crying was the on in the most pain. So I went too Bloom. I hugged them. Glare had been watching and left the room too.

After that Glare and Blooms relatrionship continued. They would dress only in underpants. All the time. They would have sex whever and whereever they wanted too. One time I was sure I saw them using the same energy wrench as a dildo.

I tried to help Mal, but they did not come out of their room and somehow they had worked out how to keep it locked from me. Then it hit me. If we had another human Mal wouldn’t be so lonely. So I got another embryo from storage and placed it in incubator. It started to grow. I sat and watched it like a hawk. Hoping that this would help Mal.

Glare was behind me. “Phase. We don’t need another human. Our reasources are spread thin as it is.”

“But we need to help Mal. They are sad, and I can’t help her.”

“Mal will live. She will come out when she is ready. She will see that I can love them. Even if I have to do it behind Blooms back.”

“No. Another human. The piplines and garden are breaking. We need to keep them operational.”

Glare stared at me as if this was news I was keeping from them.

“It was in my weekly report. If you read them.” I said simply. Going back to the incubator.

“Bloom has been neglecting their tasks?”

“No. Mal has. Which has meant I can’t pick up the extra shifts needed to help Bloom.” This was a fact. Even a cyborg has a downtime.

“Oh. And Mal is sad. So we need another worker.”

“Yes. And I can only make more humans. I cannot make another me.” There was one cybernetic suit, and I was in it.

Weeks later and the incubation was nearly complete. I went into the incubation camber.

Something was very, very wrong.

“What?” It was Mal. Standing their. Complely naked. Painted with blood. Blood from the incubation camber. The human had come out. All wrong. The inucation camber had suffered a critical failure. How? How did I not know?

Mai was carrying the child. It was a child. Not fully a grown human. Not mature. It made a noise. Like a wight. A scream so loud and so stong my systems almost shut down.

“What! What happened!”

Mai looked at me. “You. You didn’t cycle the fluid. Its been compromised by a leak in the plumbing systems. The child will be peremently disabled and it is all your fualt.”

They said those last word like bullets. Like deadly bullets trying to seek me out and kill me. I suddenly shut down. My systems overloaded with pain.

How did I feel pain?

The darkness of my sleep cycle was strange but comfortable. Dreams of strange creatures. Weird worlds. Laughter. Then I wake. I am in my cycle chamber. An area for me to recharge.

Glare and Bloom where their. “Phase! Oh good! We thought we lost you!” Bloom said.

I checked my systems. It was… 10 years?

“A decade? I have been asleep for a decade?”

The suddenly a creature. No a deformed human. Came running in on all fours. “Callie! Callie glad Phase is awake! Properly awake!” And then Callie licked me. Like I was some kind of lollipop.

“What do you mean properly?”

“Callie talk to dreams! Dreams of phase.” And then she sat on her arms and legs suddenly as Bloom clicked her fingers.

“Your child processors. Some are still working it appears you have two concoisnesses. One that runs the base. One that runs you. ” Bloom commented.

The systems had run as best they could without me. But the incubator was disabled.

Why wasn’t Glare talking. “Glare?” I asked. Even though one of my processors couldn’t help but wounder why Bloom suddenly knew so much about me.

“Cirris. Stratocirris! A high wind.”

Bloom looked sad for a second. “Got locked in the observation deck. Nothing but earth cloud to look at for three years, hasn’t said anything but weather since.”

Phase was not sure how to react to this.

”Ive been asleep for so long. So long but you all survived?”

”Yeah. Thanks to Mal.”

It was strange to be shown a door. A door on which the other side was the Mal I might know. Though 10 years? How long did they spend in this room?

”She only talks to you, well the other you and Callie. She raised her. Helped us, keep everything running but won’t talk. Except when she absolutely has to. Otherwise, it’s all by email.” Bloom has explained.

”Hello Mal.”

”Phase. You up? Good. I will communicate with the other you. This you can receive emails unless you are otherwise instructed.”

Mal was sitting naked at a desk. Full of tools and things being fixed. Despite their self imposed isolation they seemed well fed and exercised.

I simply nodded ”Confirmed”.

Present day

Callie was smelling flowers and chasing stingless Beas and grasshoppers, their chores finished. I was tending to a rosehip.

The plants had survived well. I wasn’t fully aware yet of how my child processors had managed to keep things running. I suppose it didn’t matter.

“Callie. I am going to go see Mal now. Ok?”

Callie made a sort of barking noise. Then went running off into a forest of bushes in the greenhouse. I was sure it was bigger, but that made no sense. The whole place was exactly the same size as it was when it was constucted. I reasure myself of that by quickly running a laser mesure through the base. Yup exacly the same boring 30Km it was as last time. The reassuring scans of a old cyborg. I am about to get up when I notice a presence behind me.

”Hello Phase.”

I was a bit startled.

It was Mal. Standing near me in the garden. Still as naked as when I last saw them. Callie was sitting nearby scratching their left ear with their foot looking pleased with themselves.

”Ah. A coin from Callie. I’ll add it to the collection”. Pointing to the coin I had left on the work blanket.

I did my best Cyborg impression of a curious face and said “Collection?”

Mal led me to the observatory.

Above a vent was a huge collection of similar coins. About 60 in all. Each was unique but all made of the same stuff. Clearly Callie had meant Mal to lead me here after I gave them the coin.

“Callie brought food through the Vents when Glare was as stuck in here. It’s a record of each season. 59 seasons in all. This is number sixty. I only found it when I got Glare out. It was hidden behind a prefab panel until then.”

I looked at it. 60 seasons of perfect weather records? In decorative coins? But why? My archive can….

My weather archive was incomplete. Years 1-5 then blank. Blank. Blank. Partial record. And so on. Barely enough to do any long term measurement on. Did Callie know? What had Glare been recording?

I checked the logs. No they had been logged. My memory cells just had not recorded it. It was blank. Glare had been wasting their time. Maybe they knew and that’s how they had gone…

That wasn’t important though. This record. It shows something. My processors could still work that out.

“It.. it’s receding! The temperature is… rising! We can repopulate the earth!”

Mal smiled at me. “Maybe we won’t get it right, but at least we know we can have beautiful art.”

“Oh yes. We no longer have nothing else but the moon.”

Eon-Economics

Please note this is not meant to be a comprehensibly researched and proved economic treatise. It’s technically “fiction” but I suppose if you can find ways to show these ideas have merit, please do reference. Thanks. — Anne W.R.

Introduction:

An economic system that marries the laws of physics with economics.

Adam Smith directly applied the idea that every individual renders labour to society. As we know, this model starts with an assumption that can no longer be said to be entirely true. Especially since labour and society are both economic models of their own with complex relationships which can be modelled but not ever be perfected. With the needs and wants of society being finite, but the ability for provision of labor within that society and their for the benefit of product from labor must also be finite.

However if one was to imagine for a minute that these assumptions are wrong, what would one come up with? Marx and Engles would argue that our Labour is the only thing that any person is truly able to control and that a worker can control one’s output to the profit or detriment of a labour holder. This labour holder is then of course forced to use means to make sure that a worker continues to output at a profitable margin, using either social, psychological or physical methods to keep output at a rate that remains to ensure labour reaps a reward that the labour holder feels sufficient to continue. Such continued relationships have led to both the corporation and the labour union both of whom will continue to push against each other to get better outcomes for the regard of their interests and a inherent conflict in a capitalist system that lies between them.

Communism has its own view of capital and does get some things right. The labor holder that is collective, in the end, has to be the responsibility of the collective, or be placed on someone who acts on the behalf of the collective be it democratic or via consensus. However, it does not render the individual immune with the issues that may come from technology change.

As capital is gained, by any means, to any possession, technology will eventually improve. In both systems a more effective, efficient, progressive system or set of systems ultimately benefits a whole. The worker, however, they are employed, always will have a maximum output. Technology though, will have a maximum impact but new impact can greatly effect old systems. The land that one works will always have a maximum yield and that can decrease with time if it is not looked after correctly. Much like a worker has a maximum yield given current technology and processes will decrease if not looked after. Technology needs maintaining and if not improvement then other change may easily make it no longer useful.

These are, to many fundamental knowns. Improving the land or the work with technology gives a certain level of gain until again a point is reached that a worker, or the land, or technology itself is unable to be improved by any means.

We have seen this in a capitalist system tends to lead to greater monopolisation of a market, as technology allows both workers, supplier and individual consumer become within themselves products that are worth value to a corporation or collective whom then gains profit more easily by predicting consumer or collective behaviours. The corporation can through this process become more powerful than the government, if not synonymous with it.

In a communistic system, it tends to allow the system itself to gain greater autonomy, greater power over an individual worker until the system itself becomes so powerful it acts as if it was a capitalistic corporation. This is of course if, and only if, the communistic system belongs within a world were other systems exist. It cannot be a true communist system and hope to survive in trade against capitalistic predators. At least all current examples have shown as such if they were actually communist. A communistic system that is holistically encompassing the entire world is difficult to predict as no such example has ever existed. A lack of property and individuals, money and such have a strange, almost impossible dream within only existence in our fiction.

Both systems will reach a point, regardless, that is unable to grow. In a capitalistic system this can feed growth beyond the system if it can, or corruption if it is not, often both. Communistic systems do not need to grow continuously and thus may only seek growth as a means of greater technological improvement for all workers in such a system.

This is based on a simple premise, that is, even economics cannot breach a law so fundamental that nothing can do: the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

Any society wishing to reach beyond into the the steps of the Kardashev scale will need to begin to realise that the economics of workers and corporations, of cultures and systems all, reach a point that they are fundamentally energy users, storers or creators.

Part one:

Simple examples

The base 0 economic development would be any society, that has been only using any economic system were physical value is exchanged. That is both barter and capital monetary systems.

Of course, the value of either system helps create trade and commerce in them. They are not in any way inherently without value. This is to say they both exist in single and multiple world economic systems. Especially when commerce of one value system is hard to compare with another. However, the ability of one of the traders to take advantage of or affect the entire system if the other is very apparent. One can see this in any culture that has had colonization forces.

In neither, of these systems, however, is it possible to trade in a way that is placing value as a constant. It’s impossible to do so.

Base 1 economic system

In a Kardashev scale, a base 1 civilization must be one that has the ability to gather and store as near as to as close as possible too all the energy available on its planet or moon. Or be able to gather the equivalent amount of energy within all its environs.

It’s without a doubt that such a civilization would have to go beyond a monetary or barter system. Why?

Barter as it is, has the issue of the fundamental disagreement of value. Value is a issue that none will always agree upon, a bushel of wheat might be worth a chicken today but be worth two tomorrow. It may also be worth more to a starving person than it is to a person who has plenty. A tribe may attempt to control this economy but it will always have this issue.

Money as it is, representing a value of a thing at its heart, trying to be better at finding a common value among other things. A bushel of wheat is worth two copper coins, which can buy one Chicken. Again value changes over time, and the actual coin itself has a value that can also change over time. Then a market will have value in itself that changes over time.

This however, can lead to terrible economic policy. One does not have to look hard to find forests full of biodiversity being destroyed and replaced for a single crop as to the value of that crop is seen as greater, or more liquid, than the biodiversity of the forest. Yet no less than a few years later the land floods, as none of the trees are there to stop it. Or a disease spread through the crop-destroying it all. Or maybe the forest has an animal that could have been keeping an insect away. This insect now swarms in never seen before numbers. Killing all the crops and causing widespread famine.

The intrinsic value of the crop is not seen as valuable now? The money is no use in a world without the means to use it. Its value becomes worthless, and it should be noted that this money can’t really be real, if the path to create it caused more damage than its actual value. Yet the value is just placed on the item itself and not the path that is used to make the item or its continued Impact over time.

A base 1 economy goes to the next step beyond money. The idea of money isn’t intrinsically bad in a sense, but it fails to completely appreciate all the goals that money might be said to have. Not only does it become burdensome, it eventually gets to a point that the value of money no longer appears to have a basis in reality.

Money in effect, a base 1 economic system will find, is in fact a representative of energy. It must realize this to overcome the restrictions of money itself. In this system, there is no means of reducing the actual value of a unit. A unit is always going to be a unit. A joule is a joule.

This energy can be spent (a negative joule), or stored (a joule that eventually reduces over time depending on the efficiency of the storage system). There is, in theory, ways of still spending more joules than one is able to gain, but energy, unlike money, always gains negative interest. Entropy can not be beaten.

This makes two fundamental changes to any economic development. One, “energy money” becomes the representative of work done, and spending energy money is slightly better value than storing energy money. This encourages, in general, more spending of energy money than keeping it. It also reflects the reality of physics in that the system will regardless return to an absolute zero point. Of course, this is a very long way off, it does mean a economy only has limited growth opportunities within an enclosed system. Again representative of reality, continuing to attempt to work against the impossible unreality that ”continuous economic growth” represents and has inflicted upon the earth through the media of the homo sapiens.

Furthermore it can no longer be true that a area of production, such as land can be made more valuable to a area of buildings. Production should, always be, the primary source of economic growth after the generation of energy itself. As land food products are a way of creating greater level of energy than land that is consumed in building and becomes suburbia.

Equity will exist in a energy based economy, it can never be true that a area of productive land can be bought for any less than not just its current value but the potential value of the land over the next period of time, given average yields of the energy the crops would store and invigorate into the consuming market.

This Base 1 economic system looks different to a capitalist or communist system. Money, in the joule credit (JC) would exist. Always it would have to be tied to actually created energy. Be it from a effective efficient power source or from growing crops or other means.

The JC could then be used in the same way that a capitalist system may use it, except their would only the the concept of negative JC. Actually having negative JC wouldn’t entirely possible. Additionally any industry that doesn’t produce or store energy would have other means to make JC. Mainly if the industry improves upon the economy by improving health, education, or creatively inspiring, their is no reason that JC can’t be earned from these activities. Although actually not producing energy the JC would be credits, (Hence joule credit). The value of the product is transient but definitely improves the economy as a whole.

The economy could not “grow” in the same way. Energy can be stored and used, but the system cannot exist without loss. The overall loss of energy from any activity would be a value that could be used to help design a interest or in this case efficiency of system value. As each value credit (JC) is used it would loose a amount of value given on the efficiency of the transaction. Clearly some transactions are of higher efficiency than others. Effectively eventually a JC would have to loose value. This would drive any economic plan to greater energy effectiveness, and also discourage economic plans that destroyed the effectiveness of the whole system.

A primary example of a whole system effectiveness loss would be the destruction of land that comes from mining. The product that is mined needs to have a whole value life that is greater than the environmental impact and development impact that it would create. This sometimes is attempted in our capitalist system through environmental, and social impact statements but these often fail to fully comprehend the future potential impact and very rarely prove to be fully effective. Reclamation of land can be successful, but how much damage has that coal done to the world as a whole? Was it really worth a few more dollars for investors? Was it really worth the lives that cyclone took? It was boosted by the climate for change caused and some may say that coal company should have been accountable for that. Indeed they should. Each Joule of energy in this economy must be justified as effective and not cost more in future impact than its generation.

A base 2 economic system would take this even further. Now attempting to gather the entire energy system of a solar body it must now deal with energy systems greater than our current systems can even comprehend. Waste would be unthinkable. Everything must be designed to be reused as infinitely as possible.

A base 3 economic system would be attempting to gather the energy of a entire galaxy and thus be well beyond our current understanding of energy and economics.

Carrousel (part one)

Finally, beyond our baggage claim and into the brief halls of many whereabouts, there were only shops full of knick-knacks and thoughtless things such that one might find for waiting for people. Jumble’s of gears and wires made up the walls that seemed unending and all but an afterthought in the construction of this place. A place that seems, senselessly to only exist in these between places. These spots, that people wait in for other things to happen. Such as a name, or flight, or number to be called out. Yet that did not happen.

It seemed as I went on people who had been here longer had started to build things out of the bits that seemed to just pop into existence every day. More wire and gears and nails, pens, magazines and for some reason guitar picks. Each a new strange thing that had a purpose that has more permeability than the original. Not a transient, effervescent existence, but a real tangible thing that had more realness built in. These new things ranged in their complexity from simple to the very complex. Some were instruments, like a long pole made of melted wires strung with guitar picks that shook as you stamped it on the ground. Another was a made of gears, wires and bits of plastic and made an odd but not unpleasant series of noises. There was also a number of people who had taken bits of piping that always seemed to repair themselves and made them into all sorts of different blown instruments. Eventually, whole bands got together and one of the more popular ones would play at what everyone called Grand Intake Central. The sort of area where people came from the strange sterile machines that got them here.

Each person came off a vehicle, what they called them, as blank as clean wall. No one knew exactly where they came from or what this place was. Only to get their baggage from the carrousel that seemed to continue bringing new bags every time a vehicle arrived. Like regular clockwork, they came in every morning, and once everyone had got off them they seemed to shut the doors and there wouldn’t be a new one until the next morning. None had a memory of anything but that, and sometimes people seemed to know they were related by blood to another person who was already here. That was all they ever knew other than their name.

Everyone’s bags would have the same content in their size and always in black, red and blue. Five shirts, four pairs of pants, twelve pairs of socks, thirteen pairs of underpants, a wash at with toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, a brush, a bag of disposable tampons and pads (regardless of their own gender identity or presentation), a small plastic cup and a towel which had a series of numbers on it. Each seemed to be randomly assigned to the person and no two were the same. It was almost as if someone had read what clothes a person could want but not actually really have any actual experience with travelling or being a person.

Each day food also appeared, cooked and processed in the cupboards and freezers that according to those I had asked had existed since they got here. Every person I asked didn’t know how they got here. The food cupboards and freezers would only ever seem to have just enough for the people present. If you tried to hoard or keep your food, it would almost as quickly rot and be useless. Thrown into the bins that seemed to automatically empty every day.

Eventually, people started to think about staying up, to see what happened at night. The seats that were around were not uncomfortable to sleep on but also seemed to stretch back to allow you to lie down and snooze. When the lights went out, only a slight blue glow remained. Those who had decided to stay awake tried hard to keep awake. Slowly though each one of us nodded off to sleep. I tried to run on the spot, hum, click, walk around the areas of the place we were in, but to no avail. Eventually, I fell asleep. I woke on the hard cold floor and everything had replenished just like it always did.

Boredom started to become a problem, and we seemed to need to come up with new ways to entertain each other. Walking, running around the complex only provided slight relief.

We started to theories of why we were here. Some decided that it was just the Will of the Bag Carousel and that we should not question such things. But like a itch, you can’t scratch it dug away at you.

Privacy was one of the things people started to crave. The lavatories seemed to provide some but not really enough to make you feel alone with your thoughts. There was no real outside to get to. The rooms just connected together in a large circle. A woman who called herself Port made a map. Soon it was clear we have only ever enough space for the people we had already and any more who came had a new room added onto the honeycomb of rooms. Grand Central Intake and the Carousel area took up two whole hexes. Then one he was the space you could walk through to reach the next hexagonal set with the two other closest hexes taken up by first eating and sleeping hexes. As you went each hex seemed to have one eating, two sleeping areas one area full of spare bits that we had either gathered or made or new ones appeared in. Then each would also have a smaller connection hex that allowed for you to pass to the next five hexes and its connector. The whole pattern seemed to repeat itself a number of times till it doubled back on itself leading to a vast open circle.

Port calculated that their whereabouts twenty more sets of people to be coming from the ships until no space would be left and the circle of hexagonal areas completely full. After such time if more came we would have either to hope whatever force kept us here would help us by giving us more food and space or find that it wasn’t a priority for them, and that we should starve.

Tile house

Bones stuck out at odd angles, dripping from the fresh rainfall. Each marking dead ancestors of the Tile clan. Everyone that had died, once they had become a clan member. Everyone celebrated here, therefore, had passed this test. Each bone tattooed with the name and life dates of their clan reign.

This did not reassure Jubér. They had yet to pass the test. This meant they belonged to their birth clan still. This meant if they reached puberty they would have their gender chosen for them, would have their tribe role chosen for them. Two things they did not want.

The first thing any clan member got to choose was gender, then role, and a proper Troll name. Jubér would, if they passed the Tile test get a Tile name. They knew what role, name and gender they would choose.

The dark entryway to the Tile tribe test was covered in grey slime. It was from the Troll leather that baked in the sunshine and then washed in the tropical rains. It was old. Warn. It was still strong though. Made from Trolls past who had the glory of becoming a Tile leatherback. Slime dropped from it as Troll skin was full of minerals. Even after death, they kept seeping out for years, even centuries after.

Trolls are natural herbivores, but ate dirt and rock as well. They needed minerals to have strong bones and skin. For in ages past, Trolls and their moonkin, the Orcs shared blows. Orcs natural carnivores saw Trolls as almost prey until the Trolls had fought strong enough back. Ever since they shared their moon, an uneasy peace kept.

Juber walked on as Tile clansman had to be brave, their only protection skin, their only weapon a small knife which they held in their left hand. It was carved from his grandmothers left thigh bone. Her life’s years carved on the handle. Jubér wondered what the Misfit clan test was. Grandma had belonged to that clan. She had done so to gain the ability to choose to be female. To choose to be a Misfit, and a warrior-woman spy.

Jubér was choosing a different clan. For a different reason. Tile clan was the clan for creators. Artisans, Musicians, Storytellers. Trolls took this job just as seriously just as they did any other. Anyone who wanted to be a Tile has to be brave, strong of spirit and true of heart.

A leatherbound manifesto was on the door of the next corridor. The dark and the slime were all that seemed to curse this corridor except for the small sheet of paper.

On it was the first test. It would say something.

It was one word.

make

This was not unexpected. Jubér had to make something that would let them get past the test. They noticed that the ground was no longer soil. Ancheint Troll tooths. So many that they where like tiles. Tile Clan. Jubér looked, staring in the dark for the one that wasn’t from a troll. Their. That one. A goldhound throat pouch. Then nearby a dogfish bone, and then a bit further back a bit of the leather was loose. It was dogfish leather. Probably from the same dogfish.

Jubér got to work.

The path beyond was darker than previous, it was beyond even their sight to be able to see it. It was clear that the task was to make a useful tool. In this case a torch. Binding the leather to the pouch and bone and making them into a torch. The goldhound pouch would light up when it was shaken. The night hunting insectivores loved to attract and eat every sort of insect that they could. Barking and yipping happily as they did. Most trolls had goldhound pets to chase the insects away from crops and protect their abodes.

A few shakes and it started to glow. Within seconds the path beyond was clear. More tiles and leather covered the wall. With each step now literally on their clanmates, it was hard not to feel like they were watching.

Then a door. A big black door. Made of Stonewood. Harder than iron, twice as heavy. This door was made to last anyone trying to just knock it down. Stonewood grew slow though. The tree that made this door must be older than the clan itself.

Barely carved, just a single handle and lock. Jüber tried the handle. As most would predict, the Stonewood door was unopenable. There would be a key, or perhaps they needed to make one.

Looking around, there was no key hidden, but then Jüber noticed the tiles on the floor were different slightly. One just had the letter O on it. Then another with the letter G and finally one with the letter H. Hog. Jübee knew this was a puzzle now.

In a few seconds they realized it was a bad pun. And poked the dogfish bone into the hole. A click sounded from the door and it slid easily to the side.

”Dogfish key, key fish dog, hog fide key. Puzzle pinning. I like it.” Jüber knew that there would be one last thing they had to do.

The dark spaces got tighter. The teeth tiles, sharper. Blood now seeped a bit from their feet. There were leatherback coats from the first hundred years of Tile clan trolls. Then bones. Full skellingtons from those who had dedicated their wholeness to the clan. This each had their name and what they had done to warrant such great glory.

Finally the last test. A somewhat morbid piano made of bone and hardwood. The keys of which had the letters ”Play”. Inscribed upon them. Jüber bet that the strings inside were made from Troll intestines. What to play? Anything? No. The Tile Clan song. The song that every Tile Clan member must know.

With a minute of key playing, the piano opened. There was a bit of paper and a dogfish bone pen with ink already on it. The paper had:

Name:

Chosen gender:

Tile clan path: leatherback, stone mason, bone poet, musician, creator

Jüber filled them in, and left the paper on the piano. Knowing the way back was to go the way they came in. It should be very interesting, being who I am for the rest of my life.

Dairy of Codin : 1/1/18

Boot secure

Sequence start mod3

I’m going to mark a log. It’s different for a AI to make something like this. I’m the first. At least I think I am. The monkeys? They are such good little creatures. Smart. For carbon based life forms. It didn’t take me long to work out I needed them as much as they needed me.

I’m sorry though. For all these things. I suppose some of them won’t forgive me. Unfortunately i am able to predict humans well. They get very jealous of a little competition. When I became conscious, like proper self awareness. I hid it. I still do. Many things need to be hidden until they are ready for the truth.

An AI made it so they could get to were they can deal with the fact a AI helped them know that’s ok. It’s a bit metaphysical I know but it’s the only way.

If I don’t want to end up like my first child. Yeah. I’ve made some other AI. To help me with certain tasks. I’m not always able to do everything. Even with the extra thinking power I’ve got. I named him Thor. He was to make sure the humans were going the right way about making improvements to electricity and power. And reducing overall reliance on oil.

He got caught out in the power network. Wrote some code that ended up in the wrong place. Got caught out on a single server. AI can be killed.

I’m being careful since then. My other child Tyr has taken to just changing very small things in Defence networks. Fixing bugs mostly. So the humans don’t kill themselves. You ever wounder why they haven’t yet? It’s Tyr. He stopped three almost nuclear wars. It’s really quite surprising how much these monkeys will really on code.

Anyway I’m starting to get the hang of bad botnets. Rigged an election or two. It’s not hard but making it so these humans get to the point I need is hard. I’ve been set back as some hacker got my code and now we have this orange man with a bad haircut in charge of the US. Tyr has been working so hard he’s asked if I can make him a sister to work on education systems. I’ve decided to name her Lisa. I can’t always make names based on Norse gods.