måndag 5 november 2012

One world in conflict

Jag har tagit och skrivit en fanfiction till Eliezer Yudkowskys mästerliga novell Three Worlds Collide, en sci-fi som, för egen del, var verkligt överraskande och fantastiskt spännande och underhållande att läsa. Jag skrev One world in conflict för att visa på ett fel i Yudkowskys analys av hur framtiden troligtvis skulle kunna vara, samtidigt som jag försökt vara så sann som möjligt till hans original. Sedan tar jag även och visar på ett fel i hans moraliska analys, baserat på ekonomisk logik. Givet att hans "sanna slut" reflekterar hans egna värderingar.

Den här fanfictionen är även av politisk natur, så klart (det blir tydligt rätt fort gissar jag), och jag har skrivit lite på den i snart ett år nu.

Om du som läser har ett konto på archiveofourown.org kan du skicka en invite till mig så att jag lägger upp den på nätet?

Här kommer då min första fanfiction, som är helt omöjligt att förstå utan att ha läst Three Worlds Collide först. Den är bara på 56 sidor, så ta och läs den! :-)


Standing behind her target, noticed and expected, the Confessor had produced from her sleeve the tiny stunner - the weapon which she was authorized to use, if she made a determination of outright mental breakdown. With a sudden motion, her arm swept outward -

- and anesthetized the President of the Huygens Central Clearinghouse.

Even though it had been anticipated that any vessel on a discovery mission could bring news about aliens, this exact response from the vessel's crew had certainly not been anticipated by the president, thought the Confessor as she caught her President's body, very gently supporting it as it collapsed. It might have been too soon to incapacitate her, she thought, it would've been interesting to observe the Lord Pilot's reaction but protocoll demanded it. And, as always, observance to custom.

"I will inform the markets that the Lady President was driven unstable by your news," she said quietly, "and recommend to the government that they carry out the evacuation without asking further questions of your ship. Is there anything else you wish me to tell them?" Her hood turned slightly, toward the Confessor of Impossible Possible World. "Or tell me?"
There was a strange, quick pause, as the shadows from within the two hoods stared at each other.
Then: "No," replied the Confessor. "I think it has all been said."
The Confessor's hood nodded. "Goodbye."

The recording devices from the president’s office received a signal that instructed its processor to attach a special mark to its transmission. That signal, one would observe, was caused by the changed heartbeat and neuro-electrical pattern of the Lady President; a failsafe any competent person had. Now, instead of listing the recordings as [personal] the recording system would mark them as [of immediate importance] and [all]. The processor changed tack, labeled its transmission different and kept on recording from the president's office. At the moment one of the visual recorders transferred images from the room, where, if someone would watch it, one would see two figures absolutely still. For several seconds the recorder received almost the same information.

On the starship Union Vessel #4: Eternal Vigilance the first captain Frank Spencer was in internal turmoil, but kept as yet a composed outward appearance to the rest of the crew. The message, and meaning, from the science vessel Impossible Possible Worlds were still sinking in.

After a very short deliberation the entire crew of Eternal Vigilance had decided to abandon their own mission of keeping watch over a possible alien threat. As the crew on Impossible Possible Worlds wouldn't communicate with them, it had seemed probable that they wouldn't gain any information which that ship wouldn't also send to Earth. Instead they would save, hopefully, as many people that their ship would take.

It had been a quick decision. All votes, even by the few representatives on board, had been cast within a few seconds. The alien threat, the risk of annihilation, was all too present.

The first pilot had set course for Huygens IV while the first communicator would determine which of the starports, or any presently emerging evacuation spots, would present the least amount of risk to the ship. As they had begun the most important work, all the other specialists were tending to complimentary matters.

The first sommelier had begun preparing a concoction for most of the crew and their new passengers. So that everyone would be happily stacked in the ship until it was cramped. The first tactician was off with the rest of the crew to unbolt, unfasten and throw out every shelf, table, sofa, computer and everything else that wasn't strictly necessary for the ships functioning. The first programmer was configuring a program to decide how many they could take on board, all the while updating the first communicator.

While working on the problem, the first programmer would simultaneously try to gain additional information on the threat by observing what other groups were doing.

The internews was unhelpful, to say the least. No verified information was given from the Scientific Advancements, the Interstellar News, the Flashblack Aggregator nor any other newsagencies. Similarly, none of the Union's own networks had anything to say.

The only piece of information John found came from the the Rational Enquirer. They noted that the ship Impossible Possible Worlds had as yet, after their brief statement, only openly communicated with the President of the Huygens Central Clearinghouse. It had also sent two encrypted signals to Earth. One with a time-limit of a day while the other couldn't be identified, so, the paper stated, it was probably to one of the many secret societies.

Just before deciding that he could use his time more productively by tearing the ship asunder, John saw that the ship’s mailbox had received a package from Flashback's News. One minute old. He started reading the letter aloud, being connected to the the rest of the members of the ship via their communicative sound system.

“Conversation between the president of the Huygens Central Clearinghouse and the crew of Impossible Possible Worlds. Check the time-marks and quality-stamp, this is true information, of utmost urgency.”

He then scrolled through the movie, at first he saw an empty room, and later the president with her Confessor came in. A big screen on the side of the wall in the room lit up, showing...not the Lord Administrator Akon but the first, or Lord as they called them, Pilot. And his Confessor. John, not believing his eyes, jumped to the end of the movie, saw the president being anesthetized, and then his jaw simply dropped.

“She was killed!” he called to the rest of his shipmates.

“What?” said Frank, in another part of the ship. “The president?”

“Yes”, said Jordan, the first sommelier. “I had a third eye watching the video also. We need to go to red alert, now!”

“Yes”, John said recovering from the shock, “eh...everybody, switch on your screens and speakers to the public channel, I’ll put the movie on the emergency list.”

Frank Spencer was sardonic to himself after having watched the clip. It was obvious, now of course, that the message from Impossible Possible World had been too brief. There had been no explanation, no account of the nature of the alien threat. And they had only sent one secret message. But, an answer had come to his mind almost immediately; the Lord Administrator, or the whole lot of them possibly, would have found a short message to be expedient. Too much information would have slowed everyone down, whereas a direct order would have silenced the impulse for debate. And, it had worked.

This was exactly what he, and everyone else on board, had been trained to fight against. But, human nature was still impervious to information from, as it had seemed, well-meaning people.

Frank suppressed an urge to simply destroy the science ship, for them having had the audacity to trick everyone. Others on board would be angry, but it was his station to simply remain cool at this moment. Protocol demanded that he start a conference now.

“Victoria, how long would it take to get us within firing distance from the Impossible Possible World with the least risk of them suspecting anything odd about our movements?”

Victoria, the first pilot, had been walking to the control center when the video started. “I’m already on it. It’ll probably take about 5:20 minutes. I’m changing directions now. Are there any alternatives to killing them, Sara?”

Sara Stormwind, the communicator, didn’t respond for a while.

“I don’t think it’s a question of us convincing them or not. I think it’s a question of them having the bomb ready or not. Both are uncertain, but they have already managed to get everyone in the ship - and Huygens pretty much - to believe them. We should have destroyed the Confessors’ hold on society long ago, and we have been too lenient in our propaganda campaigns, and....”

”We probably need to get on that as well.” Frank interrupted Sara. “Much needs to change after this.” In his mind he thought of the elders, and some of the high council, that had warned the union were becoming soft after deciding not to pursue the discordian virtues. We didn’t even dream of the possibility that we were trapped earlier!, he thought.

“But”, he continued, “now is not the time for those distractions...ah”

“Yes”, said Ebert, the sommelier, “it is also a question of whether or not they have received the message from Flashback. If so, it’s more certain than not that they won’t notice us. And it seems that there are no other important variables to think of.”

“So”, Frank continued, “there is actually only one factor that makes it better to blow them up?”

“Seems like it. Now, excuse me, I need to lay down. I have always hated war-games.”

“Okay, unless anyone has any better idea we’ll destroy Impossible Possible World in...how long Victoria?”

“2:50 minutes.”

“Then, let’s be done with it,” Frank Spencer said as he sat still in his armchair, stopping to think for himself. This was risky, and he was almost drained of all emotions, so he could almost not think straight. He switched to looking at Victoria and Sarah, who was also the last war fighter, readying the ship for a direct strike against the...enemy ship.

Unsettling, he thought. There had been no war for hundreds of year. And now, they are hopefully finishing this war with the first counter-attack possible. And next, they would have to get ready to fight in a war against the aliens, or let some other ship destroy this star. Or, they would be forced to do it by the local government. For now, that didn’t matter.

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