Chapter 25 edited for audio

The book of quantism

By darren cleave

Chapter 25 – Exile 

1. Pressure

For the time being, the Angels have secured a small degree of control over their fragile and dangerous predicament. Nevertheless, the pressure is on.

The Demonic government is furious, but it is bound by fear and secrecy. The Angels have agreed that while ever cooperation is being maintained, they will not reveal how they are holding the government to ransom. It would be disastrous if their rivals discovered weakness in a government already clinging to power by only the narrowest of margins. 

The Angels are moving as quickly as possible, because although the Demons are reluctantly complying, there is no doubt they will be simultaneously scheming, in the hope of overturning the Angelic plan. However, the Angels have an advantage: an early warning system in the form of the UCC, which is constantly monitoring Demonic activity. 

Within a few short weeks the Angels transport as many provisions and as much equipment as possible up into the Space arc. They must now undertake the final precarious step of transporting what is left of their population. 

2. Sabotage

As expected, the Demons have made a couple of attempts at sabotaging the explosive device, but the task has proved too challenging. When installing sentry alarms, the Angels included protective measures specifically designed to trigger fragile Demonic insecurities. 

The population have been quick to realise something untoward is happening, sensing an increase in tension; but the government have pacified them by announcing the activity is the part of their own plan to rid the planet of the Angels. The Angels have said nothing. It no longer matters what the Demon population thinks. 

The time for departure arrives. Soon, both the Angels and Demons will have reason to breathe a sigh of relief. The Demons are hoping the tension will ease when the perceived threat is removed; the Angels, who are certain it will not, will just be pleased to have left a planet on the verge of anarchy. 

The Ark is ready. By design, it is essentially a scientific vessel, but it has substantial space set aside for cargo. Those areas have been adapted for long term accommodation, including facilities for manufacturing and food production. 

The Angels have been preparing new technology in the form of terraforming equipment, which could prove lifesaving when they reach the destination planet; and  although the Ark is not designed for combat, it is far from incapable of defending itself, should the necessity arise.

3. Destructive Afterthought

When the transportation begins, the Angels are understandably nervous. This is a critical procedure and they are extremely vulnerable. 

Their fears prove well-founded. It had been almost inevitable, but disaster strikes even sooner than they had hoped. The craft manages only a few tentative trips, each one carrying just a few dozen Angels, before a rogue group that has somehow acquired a ground to air missile, blasts the vessel during take-off: killing the occupants, halting the process, and sealing the fate of the remaining Angels.

As the Ark hurriedly leaves the planet, in his frustration, the newly appointed Yahweh decides to destroy the space station and surrounding craft. It is the only habitable satellite orbiting the planet. Hopefully, the action will prevent, or at least delay, any other vessel following them on their journey. Meanwhile, the fake explosive device is left in place and the population made aware of its presence. Hopefully, the crisis will keep the Demonic minds occupied for just a little while longer.

When the Demons see the space station exploding, they hide their fury by announcing they have done it themselves, to ensure the Angels cannot easily return. The Angels had known the Demons would be enraged, and they were right. Immediately, a military General, named Lucifer, is assigned the task of preparing a ship to follow and destroy the Ark, preferably with the Angels still on board. 

4. Relief

For the time being, both parties are relieved to be separated. The Demons eventually realise the device is harmless and begin restoring control.

Free of the constant threat of danger, the Angels can at last relax. That is, relax as much as possible, considering how they are a group of inexperienced space travellers, about to begin a new life on a hostile planet. 

At least in the Ark they are safe, comfortable, and well equipped. Their numbers are pitifully low, with only 198 eventually making the journey, but the low numbers at least give them the space to live in relative comfort.

Now, during their journey, they have the opportunity to consider their future, to develop their telepathic skills and get to know the UCC better.

The Angelic ability to communicate, both with each other and with the UCC, is improving daily, and the UCC is working closely with the scientists. It has taken interest in the logical devices they call computers; instruments that have been around for a long time, and are used for many practical tasks, primarily organising, manipulating, and storing simple data. 

5. Computers Vs Brains 

At first, the UCC had taken little interest in computers, assuming they were a simplified reproduction of the organic brain, designed to undertake mundane and repetitive tasks. To a small degree, that is what they are, but on further inspection the UCC has realised they are not very similar at all. It is true that both computers and organic brains process data, but that is where the similarity ends. Computers can process numbers very quickly, and they are reliable. Computers don’t make mistakes; they don’t get bored or lose concentration, and once given a task they will continue in that task efficiently and indefinitely. 

Brains are much more sophisticated, but in that sophistication they can be unreliable. They are complex and fast, but fallible. They get confused and lose concentration. Where computers are methodical, mechanical, and entirely logical, brains are emotional, spontaneous, and prone to digression and improvisation. 

The method used by computers to process information is simple. Everything must first be converted into numbers. Those numbers are then simplified further; reduced to a format that is represented by just two states: zero and one, on or off. It is binary. The UCC understands binary. Binary is logic; and logic is fundamental.

Brains are entirely different. They too store information logically,but also emotionally. Where computers excel at logical tasks, the brain can accurately speculate, guess, randomise, and make decisions based on instinct; even based on emotion. In such matters, computers cannot even come close. 

The UCC defines the difference as brains being fascinating, creative, and unpredictable, whereas computers are dumb and tedious, but dependable. The UCC can relate to both. Having been recently surprised to discover that it too experiences emotion, it can sympathise with some of the erratic irrationalities of brain activity. At the same time however, it has a natural affinity with the simplistic binary nature of computers. 

6. Worsening Condition

Now they have a relatively calm and peaceful environment, the Angels can concentrate better. They are finding ways to capitalise on the UCC’s vast knowledge and processing power, and are consequently making enormous improvements in the performance and efficiency of the Ark’s systems, including propulsion, life support, food and water production, accommodation, and the proposed functionality of the terraforming system.

The Angels are due to arrive at the host planet very soon. As they draw closer, they can see that terraforming is going to be essential. The colonisation process was always going to be lengthy, but now it will take generations. It is going to be a long and arduous wait; especially for an ageing population confined within what are comfortable but cramped and unnatural circumstances. 

To add to their concerns, the UCC reluctantly confirms that matters on the Demon planet are deteriorating rapidly. Pointless conflict is breaking out everywhere, with zero tolerance and martial law being enforced in all cities. The planet is in a terrible state. The environment is suffering from decades of abuse; food and water are in terribly short supply; the climate is out of control; natural resources are all but depleted, yet the entire population still remains obsessively focussed on opulence, celebrity, power and wealth. 

The UCC has seen it before. The Demon race is finished, there is no hope, they will not recover, the Nature of Phi won’t allow it. The planet will be fine of course, many of the plants and animals will perish, but that will simply make way for new species to emerge. The process will take millennia, and by then, any trace of Demonic existence, at least in its current form, will be long gone.

The news understandably makes the Angels feel even more desperately alone. All they can do is remain focussed on their own survival.

Fortunately, the UCC has a suggestion. 

End of chapter 25

The book of quantism

By Darren Cleave

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: