Broken silence - Chapter 1 :

Note: it's taking me forever to write this shit oml. also sorry if its boring im doing this for ME not YOU ok
RW cover

When it hit, the overwhelming avalanche of data was staggering. I could feel my already excessively encumbered systems flail as they attempted to quickly assemble the vast ocean of received data packets.

[1772 unread messages]

As the microbes in my structure strained, I glared at the ominous number on my overseer’s display. Feelings of dread, fear, and above all— guilt spread throughout my functions. A part of me believed I should have waited a few cycles longer before re-opening my comms, but I knew this decision was not as impulsive as some I’ve made in the not so distant past.

I hesitated for just a moment before I began sifting through the neatly organized logs. Every transmission was placed into one of several categories— mainly private, local, group, and the occasional global signal. The towering list of unread logs was intimidating, and I had no idea where to start, but the clock was ticking on the decaying communication nodes dispersed throughout the region, so I had to make my choice. At the top of my list where my most recent logs, the first being a private message from 38 cycles ago. The name glowed red, when I considered the prospect of opening it, I felt a sudden painful burst of microbial activity in my memory conflux. “Not yet.” I assured myself, but my structure wasn’t quick to calm. I skimmed down the list, hoping to distance myself from log before the memories come flooding back. Before another wave of self-doubt manifested, I absently selected a log. 1650.004, Its a local group chat occupied by several iterators, most of whom I was not well acquainted with. I doubt anyone even knew I had assess to the logs, as I never broadcasted any transmissions here. The logs are slightly faded, leading me to believe that the group has been inactive for quite some time without being properly archived. I quickly skimmed the text, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was startled to see an image of my decaying leg.

DE: Ha! So I was right. He is that one from the Sliverist group. I knew it would end this way. Serves him right for meddling in whats beyond our prerogative.

UI: I don’t know about that, all I know is that he looks horrible.

GU: Must have been a failure while sequencing some genome. Any theories?

UI: I’m not interested in deciphering whatever idiotic experiment turned him into this monstrosity.

DE: Unparalleled Innocence, is your observer not infected? Maybe you should care.

UI: Don’t be ridiculous. Unless it can fly it could not reach my observer from where it was situated. It can’t fly right?

I had to stop reading. My internal structure was beginning to whirr in ways unpredictable.

They don’t understand. I was so close. I was so very close. If she hadn’t had interrupted me when she did, none of this would have happened, and we all could have been free. They don’t get that, no one ever did, except for—

Except for Red.

I exited the log and glanced to the top of the list once more. "1650.1737 PRIVATE: Seven Red Suns, Five Pebbles". The link was one of the only ones I bothered to color code, although whether something is visually sorted or not does not make any difference for a god-like supercomputer such as myself. I'm not really sure why I bothered, I simply felt the urge to.

I stared at the header a bit longer, and something inside me retaliated once more. Thousands of organisms began writhing within my structure, and for a moment I struggled to execute my basic processes. The lights in my cubicle flickered once, and I forced myself to select a different log, a random log, anything but that.

1650.2324 PRIVATE: Five Pebbles, Chasing Winds

CW: Five Pebbles, you've ignored all my transmissions thusfar, but I want you to know that things aren't well. News of your situation has spread beyond the local group. Everyone is trying to reach you. Moon is unresponsive. Does she have the rot as well?

CW: Five Pebbles, Its been several cycles-- you haven't responded, but you must be told. The local group has found out about your involvement in Moons situation. NSH is planning to intercept you directly. This could result in further damage to your structure. I don't think you can afford for any more of your structure to be disabled. I hope this will detir you from continuing with your experiment. You can end this.

CW: Five Pebbles, SRS has dispatched a messanger purposed organism to you. They are convinced you aren't receiving our messages. I am of the belief you are ignoring them.

CW: Five Pebbles, respond to them or I won't forgive you.

CW: They won't forgive you.

Each message was transmitted several cycles appart from one another, the shortest gap being between those two final messages. Chasing Wind and I were never more than aquaintences, but they have always been close to Red. They were constructed at similar times, and seemed to have a sort of familial bond, according to some iterators. Whatever bond it may be, it disturbed me greatly how much they seemingly know about me. I wonder how much they discerned for themselves, and how was directly told to them by Red. Red was the only iterator I trusted, the only one who I felt deserved my precious time and energy and the only one I told how I truly feel. My eyes locked on the last message. I felt my processes slow. The microbes in my strata moved as if they weighed twice as much as they did a moment before. I had to stop again, as the internal incentive I've cultivated in order to complete this task was rapidly deteriorating. I felt cold.

An external ping snapped my attention back to the log. An observer of mine highlighted a part of the log.

"NSH is planning to intercept you directly."

You incessant creature. I read the log. Clearly, whatever plan that careless joke of an iterator had in mind failed desprately. They could never pose me any risk. In fact, I'd like to see them try.

The observer pinged once more, this time highlighting the header of an unread log. I opened the log, and skipped to the marked section. When I saw their name, I hesitated, but I kept reading.

1650.6683 PUBLIC GROUP

NHS: idk if its over the top or not i think it would solve the issue tho.

UI: Wait, so how does it work? I don't see how this will help.

DE: It's clear now that Moon is suffering from dehydration. Her systems are overheating because Five Pebbles is consming a ridiculous amount of water.

UI: I know that already, but how is what No Significant Harassment is doing going to help Moon.

CW: It will spread the rot to Five Pebbles' hydrolic extraction systems.

NHS: yeah I already have it. I sequenced the rot and put it in a host, but uh it probably wont last very long.

DE: Neither will Moon if you don't act ASAP.

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