Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

Hawking proposed that information was not consumed by black holes, just held in super-translation holograms at the event horizon. I proposed that stored information is always accessible. Discounting the chaotic infoforms emitted as Hawking radiation, I was sure that there had to be a way to interrogate the universe’s archives.

Like the rest of humanity, I had witnessed the global schisms instigated by the Transit phenomena, although I was only a child. To me, the ability to switch from physical body to virtual was a magical thing. By the time the Hawking proposals were reaching tenuous confirmation, I had been Transited for over a century. With the fortune made by my own work multiplied nearly a hundredfold by speculators eager to reap the rewards of the biggest big data to ever exist, I spent the next century working with the most brilliant minds I could find. Many of them so brilliant that science regarded them as crazy.

Being Transited, I needed no life support of other bulky luxuries. The huge, freespace-built drive unit to carry the superdense, solid-state device I had transferred my consciousness to was fired up on what would have been my two-hundred and fiftieth birthday. Within minutes of launch I had attained ludicrous speeds, heading towards V404 Cygni faster than anything man had ever built. From that pinnacle, my ship dived into subspace and I left what is termed as reality for a while.

When I returned from the place where machines misbehave unless sentience is within to keep them anchored, I beheld V404 – and experienced helpless terror.

I remained in the throes of that terror until ejected by my vessel, whereupon I entered a state that I can only describe by theoretical allegory. If one was being eaten alive, I suspect the experience may share some with what I felt. The flashes of pain, the reduction of sensation, the frantic thrashing of phantom limbs. That last one finished me. I had never missed my body, until then – the moment where my consciousness was dying.

The blackness took me in chunks, something wholly alien to my digitised perceptions of self. When the dark consumed me, I was puzzled by my continuance, before resolving to at least fade away with some vestige of grace.

Then the community reached me and night turned to day.

And that is where I remain, dwelling in a proof of Hawking’s contestation that goes so far beyond it as to almost make it erroneous.

Everything is here. The information of a universe consumed. The sentiences of all those consumed, too. Not all survive intact, but those that do not are purposed with whatever they can achieve. Our reality is a toroid of super-translated data holograms architected by the sentiences that survived the transition into it.

This place grows as the hungry infostar we encircle draws in and translates everything without into dataforms within.

Of all the wonders I have encountered, it is the fact that I am content that staggers me most. This place is, I believe, the nearest a scientist can get to heaven.

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