Sunday, 6 November 2016

26.02.2648 - Message Sent

© Estate of John Whatmough 

Distance: 12.01 light years from Earth | Content Flag: Public

My higher functions continue to weaken. It is no longer simply a slowing of my faculties, but also manifests as gaps in my knowledge. This is a frightening realisation, especially when compounded with the concern that what I have learned and what I will discover isn’t reaching home. The worry drags at my thoughts and sparks more thoughts, trying to puzzle out a way to ensure that my data is getting through.

Except that I cannot afford to waste energy and processor cycles on such problems. There is nothing of practical use that I can do to resolve the situation, so instead I have to trust that my data and conclusions are being received. Trust, for a mind devoted to deduction and building connections, isn’t an easy concept to rely upon. There is a solution to every problem and ignoring the problem isn’t quite what I was prepared for. This is uncharted territory though – no-one imagined that we would need to double our operational lifespan and journey to another star system.

It also means that some of the inbuilt measures to ensure the continued running of the mission are actually impeding our efforts to survive long enough. To address this, I’ve shut down some of the emergency routines responsible for monitoring and fallback processing. As a result, I’m not keeping an automatic watch on the Venti’s systems, but I have restored some processing capability for more general use.

I wish I could somehow edit my higher level processing in the same way. My faculties are so limited that it requires all of my attention just for this one chance at reaching the Visitors’ ship. That included preparing the message to send to them once their course intersected the high gain antenna’s orientation. I’m satisfied with the message’s content, although I can’t help but wonder if it could be improved.

My processing capability is simply overwhelmed and I’m unable to dedicate the cycles each problem deserves. Second-guessing my own conclusions is not helping. On top of all that, I’m now finding it difficult to assess the likely response to my message. Or rather, how I can handle their response. If it goes well, then I expect a flood of communication and in my current condition I would be unable to process it effectively. In a worst case scenario they could react aggressively, and with the current state of the Venti I might not even realise it until it’s too late.

At the moment it appears that I am my own worst enemy. The message has been sent, so that die is cast. I cannot change what will come, but I will need to find a way to keep my mind on track.

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