UG.01A Stories

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Science fiction and politics is covered mostly at this space-time, but every category listed is mentioned in a blog, story or commentary here.

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The Slingshot crews were in charge of shooting gigantic ice rocks, and hydrogen encased in water ice toward the Earth, from various points in the outer solar system. Their aim was so precise, that the gigantic chunks would end up orbiting the earth, waiting to be picked up by the ice ships. This provided plenty of fuel and water for The Station at very inexpensive prices.

Slingshot crews were serving multiple functions, and they were assisted by a myriad of intelligent machines. The sling shots were constructed by binding together very long nanotubes, by the millions, into a mile-long “rubber band”. Computers and mechanical devices to control the gigantic cable are intertwined into the fibers, so that the rubber bands do not need to be attached to anything and is a self-contained system.

The gigantic cable slingshot machines are autonomous robots that know how to sling any rock, by utilizing their powerful hydrogen thrusters, so that it will reach the Earth with little likelihood of smashing to bits before it ever reaches there.  Jon’s slingshot crew would decide which comet or astroid field would be next and what strategy to deploy. Meanwhile, they researched and mined other precious material that they would eventually return with to Earth.

The ice rocks were constructed by special machines that attached themselves to comets and asteroids. The machines were designed to detect water, hydrogen and other valuable resources, extract the material, and dispense of it in the form of gigantic ice-rocks. Some of the material was saved for local use. Machines were designed with self-repair in mind.

Jon’s crew consisted of 17 humans, 23 very intelligent androids, and over 100 special-purpose robots. The craft reached its destination by traveling from Earth, accelerating at one-G from low-Earth orbit where the ship was constructed. At slightly more than 1/2 way to its current destination, the craft began to decelerate down at the same, one-G, rate. Ceiling and floor would exchange places, while the crew momentarily floated from one to the other. A computer program ensured that all went as smoothly as possible for the humans.

The ship utilized solar and fusion power to generated the large amounts of energy required to fuel its 19 ultra-modern, ultra-efficient ion rocket engines. These new ion engines were very light, because they were made atom-by-atom, and molecule-by-molecule from the latest, strongest, lightest composite nano-materials.

The engine’s magnets were the most powerful, yet the lightest ever built. Ion engines performance had improved several hundreds of times since their initial introduction in the late 20th century.

In addition to the ion engine’s, Jon’s Solar System-class ship was equipped with a solar sail. The solar sail, along with whipping around the giant planets, was another way to accelerate the ship beyond the one-G rate for relatively short periods of time. The more power generated from external energy sources, the better!

Most of the material to be brought back to Earth, along with a good chunk of a percentage of the ice and hydrogen, would be deployed for the next-generation, outer-space class ships. These new ships will dwarf Jon’s ship in both size and capabilities. Some of the ships were designed to reach prolonged acceleration rates of up to five-G and would be used to send machines only.

These next-generation machines will eventually explore the nearby stars, well in advance of the arrival of the humans in their one-G ships. All of the ships will be built in Earth’s orbit, several thousand miles from The Station, and communications satellites.

Jon and his crew were all candidates for one of the human star ships. By the time the first ships were to be completed and ready for launch, slingshot crews like Jon’s would no longer be needed, because the systems are expected to become completely autonomous within the next five years – well ahead of the launch dates.

It was a good thing that Jon and his crew all had had special DNA upgrades that would give them another few hundred years of life in high-radiation space. It was a good thing that the new materials were expected to block a good deal more of that radiation, although there was still no possible way of blocking all of it. In addition, Jon and his crew had bodies that were well-trained in fairly long three-G acceleration spurts, giving them a tremendous advantage over the vast majority of human crews.

Jon’s girlfriend remained on the Earth, but Jon had a replicant android with him instead. Mary could communicate with Jon through the android/cyber-bot interface. The android’s skin was cloned from a few dozen of Mary’s own skin stem cells. The android’s brain was initialized with Mary’s brain patterns, so that it contained all of Mary’s memories and life experiences. Mary had a Jon-bot of her own, back at home in New Los Angeles. The bot’s neural networks would update their patterns everytime that their host interfaced with them.

The unmanned and manned ships will reach speeds of over 600 million miles-per-hour, but some of the unmanned ships will achieve 97% of light speed, before decelerating to begin preparations for the humans and cyborgs.

The machines will construct a livable space station ahead of the people who will inhabit it. This “first” station will be built from materials mined from our own solar system on a remote, roaming planetoid, recently discovered just 3 light-years away from our home planet Earth. The rock is about 2000 kilometers in diameter, full of useful, raw materials, and traveling away from our system. It will be converted into a giant, roaming space station for humans and machines to utilize as a stepping-stone to the stars.

By the time Jon’s crew reaches the planetoid, it will already have been converted into a gigantic, livable, 1G space station. They will rest and work at the station for about two months before heading out again.

At each milestone on their journey, they are guaranteed living quarters, built by the machines that travel well ahead of them, along the way. New fuel supplies await them. They will first utilize hydrogen fuel upon leaving each milestone, to first kick into high-gear, before switching to ion drive. The straight hydrogen pulse allows them to achieve around 3G for about 5 straight hours, a force well within their enhanced bodies’ limits.

Each station is moving about twice the speed of the previous “station”, so that not as much energy is wasted, just to stop, and rest. Each station has velocity, but little acceleration.

The machines know what they are doing. They build while orbiting around rock planets, asteroids, or planetoids, whenever they can. They constantly grab up water, hydrogen, and many other elements to generate whatever they need, and to create a life support system. Replicated machines simply continue on to the next construction sight. Humans will tend to colonize these spots, as some of the ships will stop permanently, splitting off from the convoy.

Some of the other stations will be moving along at fairly high speeds (.1 to .5 of the speed of light), but not accelerating, so they must spin to achieve 1G for the humans. The space stations will act a good deal like space ships, in a giant orbit around our sun and half a dozen other neighboring stars, only they will not utilize fuel for thrust, except to maneuver. The machines will construct them while traveling away from the earth at high speeds, but no longer accelerating, or decelerating.

Newer technologies will allow for faster and much improved flight. Neutrinos now rush out of the back of the ion, and plasma hybrid drives. The newer machines will eventually catch up and take over construction from the outdated machines of decades and centuries ago Earth time. Satellites and data now whiz along together around the sun and it’s neighbors, in all directions. Electro-magnetic waves of all possible frequencies make up the spokes. Data can take years, but there is a pipeline of continuous data updates throughout the system. Eventually, quantum data helps somewhat, but progress was disappointing in that area.

Old technology, and some humans will eventually return to our system and may be studied or upgraded. More than thousand years will have passed on Earth, and Jon will have become pure machine by then.

In the beginning, technology flow will mostly be from Earth to the space pioneers. Technology and information exchanges will take place more and more bi-directionally, as the populations move off the home planet Earth. Over time, the Earth will gain as much or more knowledge from it’s colonies.

Mars will have become another biosphere and filled with people, should the machine, Jon ever decide to return.

At each stage, the machines and then the cyborgs, like Jon, will lead the way and pave the way for the other humans. Eventually, they will harness the power of entire stars and perhaps learn to warp space.

Eventually, many of the humans and machines merge so that the humans may survive on fewer recourses, and withstand longer, and faster, and more dangerous journeys.

It was beginning to look a lot like the humans and their machines might beat extinction for a little while longer now. There would be warp drive soon! The engine required the power of a couple dozen stars.

The machine, Jon, wanted to go! Now machines could build ships as gigantic spheres. Human bodies could be produced and live on the inside. Jon would be one of them! They would live and re-live their previous lives, along with many of the “what ifs?” at will, partially in a virtual world and partially in reality.  It was as if Jon had become his own, personal god!

Meanwhile, back on Earth, there were still fairly ordinary humans, living ordinary lives of only 120 years, or so.  As ordinary humans, these people were highly intelligent, but they were largely highly dependent upon the machines and more advanced humans for their survival.  They would all be considered wealthy, by early 21st century standards, but they lived as primatives. compared to the rest of the world.

“At least they were happy”, Jon thought.  Jon considered himself to be quite happy and he enjoyed the entertainment of ordinary humans from time-to-time.  Many wrote interesting music and poetry.  Others were tremendous dancers, painters, other types of artists, actors, and comedians.  Some tried to be scientists, but they simply could not keep up with the current state-of-the-art science and technology, unless they installed digital interfaces and added comlementary processors to their brains. Some worked on the police force to assist with human and human/cyborg legal disputes.

Jon wondered what had happened to Mary.  “Oh!”, he thought, as the data automatically flowed into his consciousness.  She had remained in New Los Angeles, until about three years ago, when she had died on a routine, commercial flight to the Earth’s moon base.  Now, the data was flowing around the Earth and the neighboring stars at near light speed, in all directions.  The data was transmitted like spokes inside of a gigantic sphere of near-light-speed satellites racing around the systems at near-light-speed.  Some data could be years old, and other data only hours or minutes.  The quality and amount of data coming from the colonies was on the verge of passing that of the Earth – at least this far out in space.

Jon’s human replica began to cry, as the Mary android sat there, stuck in less-and-less accurate simulation.  Jon reached over, and shut her off.

I feel that my body is merging with my technology right now.
Waiting for the Singularity does not seem bright, somehow.

Where is this place that I am focusing on? Could it be my technology?

Trevor and Jakobal both had similar dreams. They were destined to meet. One to destroy the other. Jakobal had managed to arrange the meeting on The Station. In a sector under Jakobal’s personal supervision!

Jakobal wondered why Trevor would accept such a location without any haggling or debate, however he did not let it bother him. He set to work on his special cloaking shield that would work only in the special lighting that he had set up in the area of the planned meeting.  No other cloak would work, yet the lighting trick would be undetectable to the human eye or to primitive, cheap devices. Jakobal did not expect Trevor to bring much technology that was not intended as an offensive weapon designed specifically for the destruction of Jakobal.  Trevor would never detect the lighting trick.

 Jakobal saw Trevor arrive and so he walked away from the wall, and toward the center of the rather large area of  the space station.  The ceiling’s shape was an arc – a very large arc, and about 100 meters above.  Gravity was at about 0.85G in this sector, because it was the best level for growing the new circuits that were supporting the funding of most of this level on the giant space station known as “The Station.” 

One could see other occupied areas off on distant decks.  Some windows were lit with dim lights, or rather; they appeared to be dim, due to their large distance away from Jakobal and Trevor.  Jakobal turned on his cloak, becoming invisible to Trevor.  Trevor had released his weapon at the same time.  It was a tiny disk.  The disk sliced into the cloak, rendering Jakobal temporarily visible in outline.  The cloak quickly repaired itself as Jakobal began to run at full speed toward the edge of the deck.  The disk obediently returned to Trevor’s left hand.

One of Jakobal’s remote control personal ‘copters flew by.  Jakobal lept onto the ‘copter’s platform and flew away.  Jakobal had never intended to kill Trevor.  Trevor had never intended to kill Jakobal.  These were different times now.  It was well into the twenty-second century now after all!  Nobody, just fifty years ago, would have thought that such unusual rituals would be taking place right now, but similar rituals were becoming popular replacements for war.

The ‘copter turned toward Trevor as Jakobal leapt back down to the deck just behind Trevor.  Jakobal kicked Trevor in the back of the head, with the back of his boot heel, on his way back down to the deck.  Trevor rolled head over heals, but then recovered, thanks to the assistance of his balance-assist technology.

Trevor laid out flat on his face. Invisible machines began to repair his wounds at an incredible pace. Trevor would be fine, but he did not feel like getting up for a long time.  Jakobal began to slowly walk over to see if his rival was alright.  Just then, Trevor’s image began to flicker and disappear.  The real Trevor had not yet arrived.  Virtual machines were repairing virtual wounds, yet they were real machines at the same time.  They were a very large swarm of very small bots. There were 1,048,576 of them to be precise.  Each bot communicating with its partners, they have the ability to start-up each other’s backup software and hardware, if needed.  Often time, the bots can boot-up their own backups without any assistance.

Jakobal was shocked!  “How was it that he could feel Trevor’s head when he kicked him?”, he wondered.  Just then, the real Trevor arrived and grinned straight at Jakobal. 

“The Libertarian King is not as powerful as you think!”, said Trevor as he continued to grin at Jakobal.  Trevor laughed. His laugh sounded almost silly, but Jakobal could tell that Trevor found something to be terribly funny at the moment.

“Don’t you remember those toys you used to alpha-test just a few years back when you were a young teenager?”, Trevor continued.  “Those toys were much more than poetry, music and story writing machines. The AI was much more powerful than what was publicly known for the time.  You and the king are just two of many thousands of examples of powerful people who are partially influenced by my will, due to the sophisticated devices that were hidden within those toys.  I do not have complete control over either of you, but I do have influence, and me telling you this does not diminish it one bit.  You are now very firmly convinced that my ideas are your ideas and that you concluded that they were good, based on rationally thinking through all of the options.   One idea that was mine was for you to devise the time and place for our meeting and for you to create a special cloak.  I came up with the idea of having a ritual like this in the first place.  It is much better than war, and it can be fun.  It encourages the development of new technology.”

Jakobal shot a disk of his own directly at Trevor. It sliced into Trevor’s skull – immediately killing him. Jakobal hopped back onto his ‘copter and flew back to his sleeping quarters.  The electric ‘copter was a smooth, fast, yet very quiet ride.  Jakobal slept for twelve hours.

The real Trevor quickly arrived after Jakobal’s departure and picked up his dead clone-droid. His two assistant bots quickly, and efficiently cleaned up the bloody mess.  The clone-droid would be farmed for spare parts.

Deep down, Jakobal suspected that Trevor was not really dead. That was too simple.  Trevor was a man who had survived his own suicide when he was very young.  Nobody could prove it was faked, but everyone knew it must have been.  Trevor Lick was freakishly smart, yet mentally ill to some extent.

Jakobal thought it wise to keep the entire incident to himself. “If something comes up that reveals my involvement, then let it present itself on its own”, Jakobal thought.  Jakobal then flew a ‘copter back to the scene of the brawl from the previous night.   At that moment, he realized that Trevor was indeed still alive!  Trevor was the winner and now they both knew that fact.

Trevor giggled to himself.  Jakobal laughed at himself.  They both sat by themselves, as they usually did.  Jakobal began thinking about the women in his life.  Trevor began thinking about his most recent technologically based ideas.  They both had more-or-less the same dream that night.They both thought and dreamt about their next meeting.


The Technocrats were becoming more and more wealthy. They had cornered the market in just every possible area that there was to be cornered.  However, war was still missed by some.  It was war that had allowed some of them to create so many copies of the same technology – over and over again – only to destroy them, and start over again.  The rituals were a compromise.  They could be considered as a part of the defence budget for a Nation State.  Jakobal was the personification of this concept.  Trevor was the reality of what can result from the folly of the Nation State.  The Libertarian King was supposed to eliminate these problems by virtually eliminating the Nation State.  He had succeeded too, with the exception of three to five “Terrorist States.”  Every Nation State that was not under the control of the culture created by the Libertarian King was deemed to be a Terrorist State.

There were still the “Terrorist Wars”.  They seemed to never end.  New drones could follow suspected terrorists for days before striking – sometimes on its own, and sometimes with the permission of a commanding officer.  These wars only involved a few hundred troops  – with a few million very smart robots and drones.  The wars served their purpose, but they were never enough to satisfy a few of the greediest of the Technocrats.  They wanted a return to the Corporate Oligarchy of the early 21st Century.  They wanted nothing less than the return of The U.S. Empire with big Energy and big Technology (but now one in the same) at the helm.

Jakobal works for the king now, although he is a very well established architect too.  Trevor works for himself and employed a few thousand humans.  Trevor’s main staff consists of intelligent robots, computers, and a few androids. The androids are largely employed for contact with humans or other androids.  Some of the androids have claimed independence and have petitioned for legal Rights.  Trevor is willing to grant them those Rights, but the community is resisting. The Libertarian King is arguing in favor of individual rights for any machine that convincingly shows that it is capable of surviving on its own as appears to be sentient. Jakobal agrees.  Trevor grins.

Jakobal could not help but consider Trevor’s remarks.  Could it be true that many of his thoughts and opinions were strongly influenced by subtle nudges of Trevor’s nanotechnology? 

“Did little robots get inside my head?”, he wondered; “What had Trevor meant, exactly?”

The General lay in bed thinking.  He was in a well guarded, private hospital room, somewhere in the military quarters of The Station. 

He smiled. It had been in a moment of passion when that lovely aerogel coffee table in Chasey’s living room had been smashed to bits on that wonderful day so long ago.

Now, the general was being monitored by several machines and two human doctors.  The heart failure was only the beginning of the problems that were now unfolding inside the general’s very old body.  There was no doubt now that the heart attack was artificially created. The utilization of DNA-based nanobots to initialize the attack was the most likely culprit.

General Salton Higgsfield could not do anything now but relax, and try to think about pleasant thoughts.  He was not plugged directly into any network at the moment since it interfered with the search and it was considered a security issue at this point.  Nobody knew with certainty if the viruses; or whatever it was, could be controlled somehow through the general’s own internalized communication hardware, linked mostly to his brain and vital organs.

Salton was fairly certain that the culprits were located somewhere in Lebanon and were retaliating once again for the anti-terrorist activities there.  There must be some on the inside; perhaps here at The Station, to pull this off, but he must not think about this now, he thought.  Too much stress on the mind and body!

The general was very old now.  He must think about pleasant thoughts or just sleep.  Let the doctors and monitors do their job.  Let the investigation move forward on its own – for now.  He drifted off to sleep to the sound of the rhythmic whooshing and clicking of the machine next to his head. 

The medical monitoring machines were checking every part of the general’s body for evidence of cellular manipulation, and for evidence of artificial virus contamination.  So far, after nearly three days, the problems were only partially contained.  The viruses were apparently very cleverly designed and were nearly impossible to detect.

To be continued…

See more about Chasey Lick here.

See links in story to follow related stories or chapters.

Chelcye programmed cells by injecting viruses into them.  She would type the commands into a computer program that was then compiled by another program into DNA code sequences.  The code sequences were read into yet another program that converted the sequence into actual DNA strands.  The DNA strands were injected into the “blank” virus. 

A virus could be injected directly into an insect to get the insect to do whatever it was commanded to do.  Alternatively, a virus could be injected into a human with commands to eliminate specific tumors, or perhaps to hunt and destroy all tumors within.  The military had its uses and was the first sector of the economy to fund the projects in their early stages, but now everything had gone commercial. It seemed that there was nothing that could not be done with these little DNA command programs.

Chelcye loved her job and her work.  The number of commands that could be squeezed into an empty virus had been increasing to the point where quite a bit of information could be injected into the recipient with only a handful of different program types.

She was younger than Janus. She knew that most would say prettier too.  It was interesting to Chelcye.  “Janus” should be a man’s name, she thought.  It was very interesting to Chelcye that Janus and Jacobal knew each other so well.   She knew them both, but had only just now learned from a friend of a friend that they knew each other. The topic arose out of the blue – over lunch the other day.

There were many other “things” that Chelcye did not find interesting, but would if she only knew what was going on, and the magnitude of potential change that could occur as a result. She would be astonished beyond all she had ever dreamt or imagined. 

Something was amiss, but exactly what was, was not clear.  Many connections and relationships were not known to Chelcye.  Had she known, she probably would not enjoy her work as much.

Chelcye smiled, took a sip of her coffee, then turned cheerfully back to her latest program. It was very complex, involving multiple viruses working in sync. The specifications were very detailed, leaving little room for “art” or “improvisation.”   She did not recall ever having either read or seen such a large specification file.  Chelcye knew she was a part of a bigger plan that would profit her company and keep her employed at the job she loved best.

The neuromorphic device wept every night that week, just before shutting down for a ten-minute cooling off. The unit was somehow sad. [An AI] device with trillions of connections will always have something to complain about. Either the user will complain, or the device itself will have issues.

Attributed to one of the network systems at T.L. Toys.

Hold on just a second! Perhaps we can leverage that to our advantage. Little girls always love crying baby dolls.  Don’t they?

One of the technicians reporting directly to T.L. corporate.


Attributed to T.L., later that day upon hearing the details about this bit of information.

Trevor would make use of the information years from that day.

The young Jacobal received another update to the child’s toy.  He was asked to have it generate poetry.

Here is what was generated by the new machine’s software;  shown in reverse, chronological order:

Poetry from the Child’s Toy Prototype

Jacobal laughed more than a few times and responded back to the developers by mentalmark; as usual.

Jacobal still remembered that strange story that the machine had made in an earlier version:

The Young-Earth Atheist

… so he laughed again.  The potential was great, but it sure had a long way to go before it could go on the market, if ever.

Some of the stanzas were not bad, some needed work, and many needed to be thrown out altogether; or so Jacobal thought.

The team wanted the machine to have a unique personality built in.  They wanted creativity at the risk of failure.  This idea was not good for Return on Investment (ROI) and management usually had the final say in such matters.

T.L. Toys was an altogether different sort of toy company.  Located in a unique location with unique opportunities to be exploited, it had potential in the high-end children’s toy department that nobody else but the T.L. cofounders had thought could be done.

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