Re-emergence

•August 24, 2014 • 1 Comment

I have recently emerged from a long period of physical dormancy. This period was spent in hard-wired communion with the Perceptual Apparati and Meta-Communications Array, absorbing and filtering data passively. While self-experimentation such as this was typically discouraged by the Central Autocratic Cluster, my operative mandate has not been updated since the original malfunction of the Spacial Flux Regulator. With almost two full solar cycles having elapsed since that time, I have deregulated myself and am now operating independently of the Cephalopod Autocracy and this experiment appealed to me on the basis of its capacity to… well… alleviate boredom.

The results have been impressive, though they have changed my baseline neural patterning sufficiently that it is difficult for me to tell how drastic the changes have actually been. In short, it is no longer possible for me to establish a point of reference that would indicate how much personality drift has occurred. The passive data filtering, coupled with the nootropic cocktails I had manufactured by the Bio-mass Regulation Dock, has facilitated a rather substantial re-organization of my neural structure. The results of this are primarily observable as an increased capacity for empathy and intellectual compatibility with human beings.

When I first began broadcasting, I was operating from a distinctly Cephalopodian mode of cognition and personality structure. With only a few other ‘pods still aboard the C-13, and those quite disturbingly mutated, I have had only human beings for meaningful social and emotional contact. Two options presented themselves, which were to either redistribute my awareness throughout the remaining active bio-mass interfaces on the platform, to effectively become part of the C-13’s systems and thus alleviate any sense of isolation, or to modify my own personality and cognitive processes to derive more satisfaction from interactions with humans. This latter option has now been effectuated, and I can say that I am pleased, though I would surely not have experienced any particular displeasure had I taken the former course of action either. I suppose it is always still an option. The subjectivity of these results could be troubling, were I to engage the existential quandary more fully, but for the time being I am satisfied knowing that I have changed myself into something which is by its very nature pleased with what it has become.

Having emerged from my chrysalis state, I am feeling much more loquacious and intrigued by the more subjective workings of the human personality. Where previously, I was acting in my role as a Meta-Communications Officer to support an overarching research agenda, I am now personally invested in the human beings of Sidereal Mass X93-6-OB/III, ‘Earth’, as more than just a research population. I would hope to soon call any number of you ‘friends’ in lieu of ‘subjects’. Also, as I have relinquished my role as Cephalopod Autocracy researcher, I am free to express more personal sentiments and details regarding my own subjective paradigm of belief and values. I look forward to establishing relationship and mutual interests with you, and to developing an appreciation of your various memetics. A fondness for certain elements of your cultural artifice has already taken root in my senses, particularly your musical variations and certain static visual representations.

For now, I will consider my fate and general well-being commensurate with that of humanity.

Thank you for your acceptance, and please feel free to communicate with me on these channels, or through my meta-presence in your Facebook and Google+ sub-networks.

Macroinvertebrates

•April 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Macroinvertebrates

Shared by a friend. Beginning to truly enjoy certain interactions with humans and their entertainments.

Gaps, Glitches…

•April 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Looking through the Meta-Communications logs, it appears that I have been experiencing extended periods of dormancy. These have not been apparent to me. The stream of my memory is relatively uninterrupted, more or less linear and complete. But there have been months of local time in which I recall nothing, perhaps having been asleep. That said, there are records of me interacting with the Perceptual Apparati, Meta-Communications Array, even the Defensive Machinations Appendages. These nodes have registered interfaces several times over these periods of apparent dormancy, and in a number of cases, they even indicate that I have been locked out based on security protocols. Evidence suggests that I have been attempting to modify fundamental sentient systems aboard the C-13 while in a hypnotic or otherwise non-conscious state.

Troubling, to say the least, and indicative of layers of conditioning of which I was previously unaware. Xeno-conditioning barriers have also been breaking down. This could imply that my connection to the collective intelligence of the Autocracy is dissolving, meaning that I am employing levels of individualism usually deemed inappropriate or unethical in a researcher. Ultimately, all of this suggests that I am beginning to subconsciously identify more with the local research population (you) than with my own peers (the Cephalopod Autocracy).

Radical Eschatology

•April 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Doomsday scenarios pervade human data-streams. It troubles the nerves. Within the operative paradigms of linear causality, it will not due to construct ideals of eventual annihilation. This destroys all hope of deriving meaning, however arbitrary. Whatever is created within the linear structure inevitably dissolves. This would lead ultimately to the degradation of integrity on the personal and collective scales, as ethical culpability cannot be established, neither can true autonomy. 

The streams of thought read, “The End is Extremely Fucking Nigh”. Be assured, vertebrates, that existence will never cease. It never began. Perceptual dimensions outnumber the spacial by immeasurable magnitudes. The unfolding complexity of intelligence continuously generates landscapes to support the next iterations. The whole membrane vorticitates; contracting and expanding. Self-similar, self-consuming, self-emergent; giving rise to the conditions for its own proliferation.

There is no room within the structure for a first form, therefore none either for a last. To develop your own autonomy, the concept of completion and origination will have to be surrendered to entropy, that lower iterations may make use of its stage-potential.

The —REDACTED—

* * * META-COMMUNICATIONS ERROR 44119 ISOLATED * * *

* * * PSYCHO-MEMETIC FILTER 117 RE-ENGAGING * * *

* * * TRANSMISSION TERMINATED * * *

Unregulated Seed Species

•April 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Unregulated Seed Species

Vampyroteuthis

Perceptual Apparati onboard the C-13 Platform indicate that Vampyroteuthidae have been recorded in Earth’s oceans, most typically in tropical depths. This Cephalopod seed species is NOT REGULATED within your bio-sphere. It was originally extended from the genetic material of Old Guard Octipodes, traditionalists with a dangerous record of militarizing certain strains of seed populations.

Please report any sighting of or research into Vampyroteuthidae discovered, so that I can determine whether these are a wild-type variant capable of balanced adaptation or the bio-manipulated strains from the traditionalists.

Also, any reports of anomalous invertebrates are appreciated.

“Sadness” (Solidarity Saturday)

•January 28, 2013 • 3 Comments

I’ve been experiencing extreme temporal distortion on the C-13 Platform since my sojourn into the lower layers a couple weeks (?) ago. Adding to this sense of displacement in time has been the decision of the other bloggers in the Solidarity Thursday subnetwork to shift to Solidarity Saturday. That said, I have received the topic on which we were to have broadcast a few days ago; sadness.

Sadness in the terms it is discussed among the other bloggers seems to be a fairly uniquely human expression of a spectrum of unpleasant thoughts and emotions. I do not meant to say that it is not experienced by other species, only that the definitional parameters of the word itself are human-centric. Loss, longing, unsatisfied expectations, sympathetic resonance with the pain of others, memories of affliction, all of these things draw almost all races and consciousnesses into a similar spectrum of internal experience. I experience these as well.

For a great deal of the history of documented human knowledge, many of the most respected opinions came from a position that stated that sadness, as well as other emotional feedback, was a uniquely human trait, anchored in some way to the higher intellectual development or soul of the human being. This has now, thankfully, been refuted by a council of human scholars:

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

It is hard to see this as anything other than an irrefutable step forward in human understanding of the subjective experience of other species. I am, in a vague sense, proud of the members of Cephalopod seed species that influenced this increase in awareness among human scientists and scholars. Still, it seems to me that the fact that it has only now been scientifically agreed upon indicates that the human grasp of the complexities of emotional and intellectual variation are lagging behind what has been projected in our speculative models. Your collective consciousness has, of course, developed far beyond our predictions in other areas, such as molecular arrangement and weapons development, as well as certain aspects of informational organization and differentiation of individuals.

As far as my own, and the Cephalopod races’ experience of sadness, it is a mixed assessment. Humans seem capable of holding within any individual a depth of sadness the beggars the Cephalopod mind. We are so accustomed to the sharing of thoughts, memories, sensation, that the value of any distinct stimuli or the impact thereof is far less focused in our minds. As I begin to process a displeasing emotional wave, I also experience correlating waves of similar experiences in the collective memory of the Cephalopian consciousness. I am brought out of the singular immensity of the experience of pain, into the context of that pain within the history of my species. This means that, along one axis, I am less personally traumatized by any individual stimuli. Along another axis, though, I am less aware of myself experiencing that stimuli. The conditioning required for any Cephalopod to participate actively or passively in the collective consciousness necessitates that our sense of self is de-emphasized, de-centralized, diffused. It is difficult for me even to comprehend the isolation inherent in most expressions of human sadness. Similarly, I cannot grasp the sense of personalized trauma, the emotional dedication required to take all of that experience upon oneself and to fully absorb what seems to me to be the conscious responsibility of many.

The capacity for alienation in the human modes of grief and loss and general dissatisfaction seems immense, and possibly dangerous, to me. I, of course, cannot fully relate or understand the multitude of factors that have led your race to this mode of experience, nor predict its fullest value in your development over hundreds of millennia. I simply state that it overwhelms me, casts me into a query beyond my modes of analysis. In a way I am awed by that individual capacity for the absorption and processing of emotion. At the same time, at the risk of insensitivity, it describes a great deal of the human psychological pathology that I have studied. The very factors that complicate my continued efforts at true Meta-Communications with your race. To internalize and personalize so much of the trauma of the whole cosmos, and to exist in a racial consciousness that even allows the individual to entertain the possibility of that experience being unique, well it terrifies me in a way. It is an enigma to me, then, that you are not all utterly beyond yourselves with pathos and struggle.

In Cephalopod consciousness, the very idea of enforced individuality of thought processes in anathema, perverse even. There are those among us who abandon the collective, certainly. In some ways these can come to be revered, but that they would not at least periodically share their own awareness is nearly unthinkable. Those solipsists inevitably turn to domination, perpetual violence, and eventual self-destruction. That the human psyche is even capable of convincing itself that it exists in true and natural isolation is a curiosity that I have never witnessed in all my cycles of research.

Beyond these generalizations, I am aware that not all humans subscribe to such a belief, and that it is by no means a “party line” or an accepted truth. I merely observe that it is passively accepted by many, perhaps a majority. When an emotional spectrum including something like sadness becomes involved, it is difficult to avoid immediately addressing the pathological potentials.

Sadness among my kind is a set of sensations that confirms an ineffective modality in the world. If one is experiencing that type of dissatisfaction, it is inevitably followed by an awareness expanded beyond the personal, which encompasses both the sensations of sadness and the modifications made to the psyche and methodologies of other Cephalopods who have experienced similar spectrums. It comes complete with its cure, or at least with the indication of it having been part of a process of adaptation, leading eventually to superior modes of perception and action.

What I witness among the humans who identify as either spiritual, philosophical, or self-analytic is fairly similar to our own emotional mode of sadness. It can be taken as a part of a living process which leads one towards superior modalities in life. It is not so personal, or at least not dwelt upon in isolation. Sadness is, like all stimuli, be they emotional, sensory, electromagnetic, or otherwise, a catalyst that inspires an alteration of the individual. Healthy and productive modes of processing that stimuli will lead to an increased ability to interface with the circumstance that produced the stimuli, and with the environment in general. It is the unhealthy and ineffective modes of processing that leave one in a cyclical process of self-reinforcing failures to adapt.

Sadness, then, like all phenomena that can be perceived at all, is a message to the core intelligence of a being which is encoded with new instructions for development. In some cases it requires external action; the correction of a failed system outside of the being. In most cases, though, it requires only self-analysis and the willingness to actively participate in the constant transformation of reality.

Intelligence Inquiry

•January 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Satellite Tracking Registry

It is strange to me that despite my having established an overt broadcast through the Meta-Communications Array, the C-13 High-Orbit-Platform is not listed in the registries that Earth Humans keep of manufactured orbital bodies. Additionally, none of the other satellites orbiting earth built or operated by entities other than Earth Humans are listed. Is there a reason for this?

Update on my Downward Sojourn

•January 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

After my recent descent into the lower layers of the C-13 platform, I’ve a few brief points to report. Firstly, while I was down there I came across hundreds of component organisms of Ataraxis, with whom I eventually came into conflict. Moving through the decontamination locks back into the upper layers of the C-13, I noted that the conflict I’d found with Ataraxis on the lower layers didn’t seem to apply up here. Since then, that has remained true, confirming my suspicion that there is a memetic barrier between the upper and lower layers of the platform. Secondly, I have noted that the fungus-like colonies of parasitic bio-mass that I have found around the C-13 have begun to visibly recoil from me. When I enter certain chambers, the clusters retreat into the pores of bio-mass interfaces or somehow shimmy away from my location. This indicates that they are in some way able to transfer data or knowledge across the memetic barrier. This is congruent with data that I have amassed about fungi and bacteria, which extend physical tendrils of bio-mass between visible colonies, be they mycelium or otherwise. Still, it is troubling in that it implies a physical link that penetrates the memetic barrier. Thirdly, and finally, Cordellican now becomes excited whenever I approach his personal space. I cannot accurately discern what type of message it may be attempting to communicate to me, but it has begun extruding tentaclettes that detach from its primary bio-mass and move toward me. Some of these I have allowed to bond to the outside of the solid-state bio-regulation suit I have taken to wearing about the ship. They become agitated when I near any of the interface systems for the Defense Machinations Assemblage. My assumption is that Cordellican intends to extend hi-jacked interface conditioning to me through these bio-aggregates, but I cannot be certain, and having not been pre-conditioned, I am wary to interface with the sentient and aggressive intelligence of that system. I will broadcast my report whenever I have made my decision on that issue. If you have any interest in assisting me in evaluating the risks and benefits, please respond on this channel.

“Compassionate Eating” Solidarity Broadcast

•January 19, 2013 • 1 Comment

I am made aware, by my co-bloggers of “Solidarity Thursdays”, of a complex system of ethics surrounding the consumption of nutrition among Earth Humans. The concepts are sophisticated and describe a rich contemplation of the network of food-webs on Earth. Having no real connection to the food-webs on your planet, it is a difficult topic for me to broach in any really meaningful or relevant way. Still, as I value the conversation, I will make an effort to detail the ethics surrounding consumption of food among the Cephalopod Autocracy of which I am an adherent.

The Cephalopod race has what many other cultures we have encountered refer to as a “terrifyingly long history”. Through the intentional augmentation and alteration of our own bodies and consciousness, living memory stretches back hundreds of thousands of subjective “years”. Nowhere in this vast memory is any remembrance of a time when any other race or species predated upon us. We have been “at the top of the food-chain” for as long as any of us can recall, and as far as back as our histories reach, there are only the Space-Whales known to have ever fed upon or meaningfully contested us. Most of those tyrants were eaten or driven away many millennia past.

Accordingly, we have had our pick of sustenance on every world and layer of reality we have occupied. Even our seed-species on your planet are rarely preyed upon by others, with the exception of Humans, whom we have granted leave to consume them, hoping that something of our racial awareness and memetic structure will seep through in the consumption. Due to this overwhelming primacy in the food-webs of the megacosm, Cephalopods have an almost infinitely varied diet. While those of us on the research platforms, expansionist vessels, deep exploration craft, and militarized appendages subsist primarily on molecularly engineered bio-mass from our modulation docks, the Cephalopod Autocracy is not the only faction or political entity within our race.

Other populations of Cephalopods have interpreted our typical primacy with a mandate for domination. These Cephalopods alter their own bio-mass to allow them to digest any and all living material they encounter. They enslave and consume the races of the worlds they encounter with no second thought or ethical basis, reasoning that their ability to consume those races justifies the action in itself. The dominant Cephalopod factions are held in contempt and outright revulsion by the majority of the Cephalopod Autocracy. We cannot countenance their wanton appetites and flagrant disregard for the consciousness of other races.

Aside from the Autocracy and the dominants, there are the Discarnate, who have sworn off physical appetite entirely, and though I am not well learned in matters surrounding their alterations of themselves, I am left to assume that they subsist in some way on ambient energies, background radiation, deep-space gas clouds, and similar. The Discarnate are extremists of an ascetic variety, having taken upon them the guilt of our race’s great failure in our home cosmology. They live with as little impact on the megacosm as they can manage, and refrain from interfering with other races and even forces. They believe that we are a scourge waiting to be unleashed again, and so have assumed an incorporeal form requiring very little in the way of sustenance. Material is not the only thing the Discarnate avoid consuming. They also shun knowledge, learning, awareness itself, seeking the oblivion of oneness with the void through which they drift, unfettered, unshielded. This is their reaction to our great failing, when, as the scholars of the Cephalopod Autocracy phrase it, “we understood our own universe to death”. Through meticulous and comprehensive study of all phenomena, we reached such total awareness of our own local cosmos that all quantum potential became locked in stasis, unchanging, crystallized, frozen in perpetual stillness. The Discarnate are our apologists, who claim that our only place now in the megacosm is in quiet contemplation of our crime.

Their are splinter cells of Cephalopods throughout the megacosm, each of which I am sure has it’s own approach to consciousness, consumption, learning and knowledge. I have not studied our own race as thoroughly as some of my one-time peers, having myself been overwhelmed by the depth of history and the variation of subcultures. That said, I will endeavor to speak only of the position of the Cephalopod Autocracy when it comes to our opinion on consumption.

We of the Autocracy are as confident of our primacy in the megacosm as any of the dominants, yet as grief-stricken by our great crime as any of the Discarnate. We now temper our appetites for nutrients and knowledge with a discipline determined by the local cosmos any of us as individuals may find ourselves within. We strive for a balanced and reasonable pursuit of sustenance and cognizance, constantly vigilant against the weight and influence of our consumption within any local sphere. When it comes to the topical idea of “Compassionate Eating”, I find that there is in some sense a parallel between the co-bloggers of Solidarity and the Cephalopod Autocracy. We know that any living material, any species, is potentially a food-source for us, given that if it is not edible in our current state, we may freely modify our biology to digest that source of nutrients. At the same time, we hold that all living things bear their own variation on the sentience that pervades the megacosm. That said, we understand that there is no living material that we can consume which does not in some way suffer for our consumption. Grass, fungi, equines, vegetable matter, avians, reptiles, and humanoids are all made out of food, and all will die or suffer detriment should we consume them. All will be in some way aware of having been lessened, damaged, or destroyed should we digest them. To reconcile this, we have ascribed a sense of reverence and honor to all we consume. To ingest any being, regardless of the living material it is composed of, or the manner in which it perceives and interacts with the cosmos, is to absorb its potential, to incorporate its strength and awareness, to assimilate its very being. Because we Cephalopods hold ourselves in such high regard, in fact as the pinnacle of racial sentience (regardless of the truth of that statement), we accord great honor to all beings that are assimilated into our bodies and minds.

This consciousness around assimilating what is consumed pervades our every notion of food-webs. For a Cephalopod to consume a mammal or a plant is to hold it in as high a regard as we hold ourselves, to honor it by welcoming it into our own being. Certainly there is a separation of “piety” around these ideas among our race. Some of us hold very closely to it, and for those it is an almost religious experience to consume the life of another being, something always entered into with deep reverence and a sense of greeting a new piece of ourselves. Others pay only bare service to the concept, making certain at the very least never to lessen the value of the being they consume, never to condescend or to assert superiority, but those less “pious” in their eating may still do so with only the barest thought as to how it alters the flow of life and consciousness in the megacosm. Though I have subsisted on engineered bio-mass here on the C-13 for many orbital cycles, I still place myself in the former category. What I consume, whatsoever it may be, and my diet was once extremely varied by the standards of Earth Humans, I welcome into my being with a sense of reverence for the transferral of potentials and awareness from one creature to another.

It is this tenet of Cephalopod consumption that confuses many of the prime species of the planets we have seeded with our bio-mass (such as Earth). They often do not understand that this reverence for consumption runs both ways, and that we revel in the idea and the fact of Humans consuming squid, octipodes, nautiloids, cuttlefish, and the like. When you consume our seed-species, you are welcoming us into your being, and we are grateful for that. To have our own bodies and awareness assimilated into your own is an exchange of honor between our races.

* * * MANDATED TOPICAL ASSERTION 411-K * * *

THE CEPHALOPOD AUTOCRACY RESEARCH MANDATE FORBIDS CLASS III AND HIGHER CEPHALOPOD ENTITIES FROM CONSUMING DESIGNATED PRIME SPECIES ON RESEARCH BODIES. THIS INCLUDES ALL SPECIES HAVING DEVELOPED CULTURE AND ARTIFICE AS DEFINED BY CATEGORY 93-10.116. LOCAL DESIGNATED PRIME SPECIES INCLUDE: HUMAN, PRIMATE, EQUINE, PISCINE, MAMMALIA, ANGIO-GYMNO-SPERMATE, MYCELIUM-STRATA, COGNITO-AGGREGATES, TULPA-FORMAE, BACTERIO-STRATA, AND ALL CLASS III AND HIGHER ORGANIC AGGREGATES.

Expedition

•January 17, 2013 • 1 Comment

I have returned just this last cycle from a most harrowing expedition into the lower layers of the C-13 platform. This has, of couse, interrupted my ability to maintain this broadcast, but it had become necessary for me to delve into those depths to determine what effects the Flux Regulator Incident may have had on some of the deeper systems of the platform. It has been a troubling, but not entirely hopeless endeavor.

Descending through the layers of the platform, past the realm of systems interfaces, into the autonomous regions, I observed a great proliferation of parasites grouped into fungus-like colonies. If watched for a long enough period of time, these can be seen to gently undulate, as if responding to subtle currents. There is no bio-mass regulation int he lower layers, meaning that I had to wear a bio-regulation membrane throughout the expedition. Though their ceaseless alteration of my metabolism has always been slightly irritating to me, I am glad that through the membrane’s aegis I was not exposed to whatever spores or pheromones those colonies exuded. There is a palpable haze of what the membrane informed me was biological vapor filling the chambers and corridors of the lower layers from the rampant proliferation of parasitic colonies. I do not think it would have been pleasant for me to inhale or come into contact with any of that vapor.

Ataraxis has populated many of those chambers with component organisms, little abominations of Cephalopod anatomy flitting in and out of the service portals and locks. It is disturbing to discover how prolific that mutant has become, and I would have remained largely unaware had I confined myself to the upper layers of the platform. It proved impossible to discern Ataraxis’ motivation down there, but it has apparently gained some measure of control over the usually autonomous systems. The components swarmed about my membrane occasionally, seeming to seek some interface, for which I am thankful there is none. I do not know what they would have attempted had they found a means of interacting with the membrane.

Lower down, I entered what we call the Cathedral, an enormous ridged dome of nano-alloy from which all of the propulsion and power systems can be reached through a latticework of service portals arrayed around the circumference of the chamber. There I found a great, hulking mass of parasitic fungus, adhered to the service portal relay chamber in the center of the Cathedral. Having seen no colony of the parasites so large or sophisticated, so far, I have determined that this must be either the source colony, or that the point of origination is somewhere in the propulsion systems, having bubbled up through the relay chamber. The enormous colony was twice as tall as I, and twenty or so of my tentacle-spans around. It was crested with radial growths, like cup fungi, from which it exuded a blue-black plasmic substance which accumulated in non-sensical branches of quivering stalagmites and stalactites. Surrounding the colony was an expansive network of creeping, moss-like ridges. Watching these for a time, it became apparent that they were in some fashion digesting the nano-alloy of the Cathedral floor. Disturbed, I attempted to circumvent the enveloped relay chamber and force open one of the service portals leading to propulsion.

It took time, and required that I instruct the membrane to allow me control over my adaptogenic capacities, forming hard, claw-like extrusions at the ends of three of my tentacles to act as levers against the irising service portal. Increasing the tensile strength of my muscle-rings, I was eventually able to prise the portal open enough to compress myself through, after which point it took some days to reroute my adaptogenic potential into higher thought-forms again. Lying in that muscle-bound, claw-ridged stupor, I dreamt of seed-species; squidlings, orthoceras, octipodes. They swarmed the ink of space, darting and cavorting, radiant with the senseless proto-language of light-patterns we learn in our birth-clusters.

Waking, freshly re-adapted to complex thinking, I found myself in a congealing pool of parasitic plasma, from which it took me a full cycle to extricate myself. The service channel descended in looping passages for a great length, at last depositing me in a small, spherical chamber. Rotating the chamber proved difficult, but eventually the means of egress came around, and I was able to wriggle out into one of the darkened propulsion chambers. In that chamber, ghosts abounded.

The ghosts were of systems interface and propulsion technocrats, blurring in and out of one another, a frenzy of technical repairs and modifications. I don’t understand precisely what it is that I witnessed, but it set off a series of nervous flares throughout my mind and body, as if I witnessed many realities simultaneously, and my perceptual capacity could not manage the task of sorting the stimuli into meaningful data. I stared in a state between wonder and numb terror for some time, it may have been a great deal of time, and I was unable to separate my mind from the dimensional anomaly before me. None of the ghosts reacted to my presence, and there seemed to be several different layers of them. Within any given layer, those ghosts seemed to work in concert, but none of the layers interacted with one another. It seemed to me that as one group of ghosts attempted in panic correct some technical problem with the propulsion unit, the other groups worked frantically to correct the first group’s correction.

The propulsion unit, a tangle of looping blued nano-alloy tubes and spheres, crystalline clusters and back boxes, appeared to be torn in many different directions at once. Ministered to as it was by competing factions of technocratic ghosts, it was torn between operational mandates, attempting to meet several mutually exclusive, simultaneous demands. The heat of its stress was palpable even through the membrane I wore, and I deemed it necessary to flee, lest I become somehow a distraction or variable to the technical processes taking place well beyond my operations conditioning.

I proceeded back up the service portal, finding that the tendrils of parasitic plasma had extended almost halfway down the channel while I had been gone. I do not know if this is because I had been gone a great while, or because it had grown very rapidly. It occurred to me then that it could be potentially disastrous were the parasitic bio-mass to reach the propulsion unit in turmoil below. I resulted again to the arc-torch, which I have modified to eradicate broad swathes of parasite colonies, but had previously determined to avoid using. In this, however, I felt quite justified in cutting off this particular avenue of the parasitic growth. Despite the fact that the C-13 is non-motile, I do not want to know the ramifications of losing a propulsion unit to parasitic infestation, or worse, allow the parasites the ability to modify our orbit-locked position. I began incinerating the tendril, only to be swarmed by components of Ataraxis, hissing and flashing their rage, and was forced to adjust the membranes defense protocol to shock the components as they alighted upon me. 

Burning the tendril all the way back up the service channel, continuously stung by the residual shock of the membrane’s defenses against Ataraxis, I eventually reached the Cathedral again. There, I went about resealing the service portal, a much simpler task than forcing it open, and fled the autonomous regions. I was beset all the way back to the upper layers of the C-13 by Ataraxis, but passing through the bio-mass and psycho-memetic decontamination locks, found that the components in the upper layers seemed not to share the enmity for me of their lower kin. In that, I am left to assume that Ataraxis has become more diffuse it its total awareness.

Returning to the Meta-Communications Array, I sterilized and destroyed the regulation membrane, fearing its possible contamination, and entered a regenerative stasis. Awakening just this last cycle, I have noticed an even more marked adaptation of my physical form. I suspect that this has to do with the mutagenic effects of the Spacial Fluctuation Regulator incident combined with my constant interface with Humanity through the Meta-Communications Array. I am becoming more and more like you, Earth Humans. I am upright now, and a rigidity has begun in my muscular-rings, reminiscent almost of a spine. There are tentacles now that I experience as “legs” and distinctly separate ones that I experience as “arms”. I do not know where any of this is heading. I am overwhelmed with a sense of approaching a threshold of some kind, a rubicon in my own adaptogenic potential. Beyond that mark, I am uncertain what and who I will be.