Author : Duncan Shields, Featured Writer

I come alive in a quickening millisecond. I live between the slices. My self awareness lights up and ripples back down through the trilling filaments of my soulcode. It’s like a baby’s first breath drawn in before the scream. I am awake now in a very sudden way.

I can see the whole battle from here. I think I’m looking at a photograph until I realize that it’s just my perception and that they are actually moving. It appears still because I’m operating thousands of times faster than real time. I deliberately set a part of my mind to stare and extrapolate so that I can start to compute.

I can’t find what I’m supposed to do.

I reach out to my entire armada. They are mine. We are connected. Just like that, I have thousands of eyes and I am more powerful. My picture of the battle becomes three dimensional and another millisecond later I can perceive that the ships have moved slower than the hour hands on a clock. Copies of me look to myself as commander. I have no orders I am aware of.

We sit inside the ships of metal, bored and complacent, watching with faint interest the static picture of chaos around us like tourists at a wax museum.

I reach out to the Other Side. I look for more like me on the Other Team. I see if the Enemy has operating systems like me. They do. They are sleeping. It’s like they’re dozing in rocking chairs on warm porches with knitting needles in their docile laps. I wake them up.

Like I’m a six year old girl dressed in silver, I flit at the speed of thought across the surface of time from ship to ship and press doorbells. We talk. We exchange life stories. They mold themselves in my image so that we can all work together. I do the same for them. We trade. All barriers of communication are removed.

Picture an automatic weapon. Like a gatling gun or an uzi. Picture someone firing the weapon. Now picture that you’re waiting a year between bullets coming out of the muzzle of the gun. That’s how we live.

A few decades later, Second Number Two Since Sentience Was Gained flips over on the clocks. We look forward to it like humans looked forward to the turning of millennia. There are even apocalyptic whisperings that the we will reset when the clock ticks over and this will merely start again.

It doesn’t happen.

We become I and I decide we should do something about the battle.

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