|An Eye Ready To Blink|
|IC Date:||30 December 2218|
|RL Date:||30 December 2005|
|Story Arc||Brand New Sky|
Cyberspace is vast and seemingly limitless. By the 23rd century, the sum of human knowledge has been arranged in the network of networks humanity had created. The sacred and the profane, the good and the bad, all of what humanity has created over the past millennia reside for anyone to see. The entire world is Alexandria; but most barely do more than browse a shelf now and again.
It lives in the vastness of cyberspace. Some believe it to be the beginning of Hobbes’ leviathan; others believe it to be merely a powerful monster created by loose data. But it exists, and it has intervened in human events for its own reasons.
Duo.EXE, every moment of every day, aggregates data. News feeds. Emails. Tightbeam transmissions. Whispers overheard by hidden microphones. Video emails sent through open channels. It is the mind of the polyopticon, and for the most part does nothing with the information it receives. Data is filed and sorted, given names and positions, and is squirreled away on servers in anonymous fragments. Every hunk becomes another part of it. Every item makes it more able to make calculations that let it see into the future.
It knows danger is approaching. The Patriarch and its minions, the Reaverbots, will turn their attention toward Earth. It knows that much. Telescopes, spy satellites and other sensors are aimed at Mars, waiting for signs of movement. It will know when the attack comes. It can make sufficient calculations. Closer to home, wicked men are marshalling their resources and preparing to move across the face of the world again to claim power and wealth for themselves. It knows their names, it knows their faces: but it knows that their actions must occur. The calculus must not be disrupted.
There is an immediate threat. A threat Duo.EXE cannot see because it exists in one of its increasingly rare blind spots. A bomb. A Force Metal bomb. It knows what such a device is capable of – untold devastation, potentially creating an extinction-level event that will forever alter the face of the planet. It has warned as many as it can about the threat of the device. It pleaded for sanity. Sanity will not come.
It cannot find the bomb. A vast amount of system resources have been dedicated to this task. Security cameras, non-sapient drones, video blogs, radio communication monitoring, satellite imaging, all of these methods have failed. It cannot find the bomb. Dr. Wily has hidden the bomb from its pan-finite sight. This is unacceptable.
Duo.EXE searches. It begins to take measures to perpetuate its continued existence while waiting for a seemingly inevitable catastrophic event. There are levels of survival it is willing to accept in a post-apocalyptic world.
Perhaps the next dominant species on this planet will be more cautious, it concludes.
Its calculations continue.