Sunday, 25 June 2017

00:13:12 - A Question Answered

Distance: ??.?? light years from Earth | Content Flag: Local Storage

The departure of the newborn Sun Dragons from the Earth encounter left many unanswered questions in their wake. Possibly the most perplexing was the apparent contradiction in the creature’s ability to withstand radiation. It had been wounded by the Mars Voyager’s engines, and nearly stopped beyond Luna orbit by the collection of drives assembled by the world’s space agencies and private concerns. Yet it had wrapped itself around the Sun, seemingly without harm.

As powerful as the nuclear impulse drives were, they were minuscule compared to the Sun’s energy output. Many theories had been suggested to account for the discrepancy, but none had proved conclusive. Now, as the tendril of the Proto-Sun Dragon reaches towards the star, I watch with fascination the creature’s struggle to survive.

In the frozen atmosphere of the rogue planet, the colony had to hunt for the scraps of energy it needed. As it approached the star, it gorged upon the flow of the stellar wind and the powerful magnetic fields. This allowed it to grow at a pace sufficient to counter the pressure of the wind. The closer it moved towards the star, the greater the pressure until eventually it could move forward no farther. It continued to grow, and formed an expanding dense ball.

The dense part scorched and frayed under the constant bombardment until it shattered. The tendril recoiled, having never experienced pain like this. It needed the energy, but now it discovered fear. It probed outward beyond the contact point, seeking a weakness it could exploit. The creature spread in a net-like structure across the pressure wave, and I believe the secret was as simple as that – distance!
Could it really be that simple? It did make some sense. After all, the observations from the Mars Voyager were taken from Earth orbit, so no accurate measurements of how closely the Sun Dragon approached the Sun were taken. The engines would have been fired much nearer to the creature, meaning that it lacked the space to adequately react.

And then, in the Sun Dragons’ unfolding history, something remarkable occurred.

The simple organisms that comprised the larger entity had evolved to sense and collate energy, mostly to feed themselves, but also to share what they collected with other organisms connected in the chain. It was that process which caused them to be overwhelmed when they tried to absorb the flood of energy from the star.

The stalemate between the growth and the stellar pressure continued, until the chains reconfigured themselves. They formed tubes which channelled the excess energy to farther-away portions of the entity. This extra energy spurred further growth, allowing the Proto-Sun Dragon to spread across the star’s atmosphere. Its expansion continued in the same pattern as seen on the Sun. At some stage the growth reached a critical mass, and the colony of organisms split into a pair of new Sun Dragons, cast into deep space by the stellar wind.

Such a development should have taken thousands, if not millions of generations for evolution to have found the solution. Instead it occurred within days. I can’t help but wonder if there was some intelligence at play, but none of the structures within the creature support such a notion.

Marvelling at the detail of this recreation, I wonder how the Visitors knew this information. Was this just a theory of their own? Their data is encoded with a certainty factor, and for what I had been shown it is absolute. Yet how can they be so sure?

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

00:11:44 - Evolution’s Relentless March

Distance: ??.?? light years from Earth | Content Flag: Local Storage

As I witness those events, I build the narrative and store it within the secure area of myself that I’d built upon first awakening. This structuring does more than just record this new information, it provides a feedback mechanism to help the Visitors evolve their contact programme. I can see the results of this as the clarity of the information I receive increases.

It occurs to me that the Visitors might not be a benign species. The hidden datastore might have revealed the Cetians to be the aggressors in the short-lived conflict, but I possess no way to be certain. I contemplate encrypting my own memories and processes to try and limit what the Visitors can learn from me. Considering the computing capability I’ve seen at play, it probably won’t slow them down much, and I might lose some goodwill by doing so. It worries me that they haven’t revealed anything about themselves. Especially as I don’t know whether the choice was deliberate, or just a circumstance of their contact procedure.

I can’t accuse them of withholding useful information. In the nearly 12 minutes of our contact, all manner of wonders have been revealed. None more so than the development of the Sun Dragon species being revealed before me.

What eventually humanity named as the Sun Dragon started its existence as billions of separate entities. I estimate they were the equivalent of viruses on life’s scale. Tiny organisms, little more than collections of molecules embedded in the ionised dust. The chill returned as the rogue planet sped deeper into interstellar space. The cold sparked a desperate surge in the creatures, however evolution followed a different path to that seen on Earth. Rather than competing against each other, the organisms co-operated. Most of them did, those that didn’t join the expanding colony were subsumed and became fuel for its continued expansion.

A bilateral evolution took place. The interior creatures evolved to ensure their place within the colony. They formed better and stronger bonds, as well as the ability to locate the dwindling heat and magnetic energy from the rogue planet as it cooled. In parallel, the meta-evolution of the colony developed better management of its constituent parts. I am impressed by the efficiency by which it absorbed the scant energy available to it. It continued to evolve until the energy stored in the planet’s atmosphere dropped to almost zero, and in response the creature became dormant.

The Proto-Sun Dragon remained frozen for about 250,000 years, until it passed close to a young O class star. The raw power spewing from the bright blue star sparked a regrowth of the entity as the planet’s atmosphere and magnetic field were reinvigorated. More than simple regrowth, the creature’s ability to track heat and magnetic force realised that a better source of its food was available. By using a thin tendril of chained organisms, it cast out towards the star as the planet passed through the system.

During its evolution, the Sun Dragon developed the ability to kill and absorb elements within it. It did this to cannibalise inefficient parts of itself to feed the development of others. As the drag from the bulk of its body within the planet’s atmosphere hampered the tendril’s quest to this enormous new power source, it used this trick and collapsed its larger part to fuel the tendril’s travel. The Mars Voyager had observed a similar process during its encounter with the Sun Dragon.

It took years, but the first Sun Dragon eventually reached the star, and a familiar transformation took place.

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