Arachnophobia

Working Chapter 7 of my Is it for us alone? novel in progress

Fears can often take hold of a person when there is no logical or practical reason for them to exist at all. They covertly take hold and make the strongest people doubt themselves into failure. Even conquering such a fear may not lead to an expected outcome of the status quo, because the soul of the person will be altered forever.

Anders fear of losing control lingered despite his proven assertion of control over his conquered memories. There was no immediate rush to absorb all of humanity’s memories, thereby killing all of their physical bodies as the Triumvirate was in no haste to obliterate the other populations of Earth. Their strategy depended on annexing those populations’ territories once they had succumbed to their quarantines, and as such it would be rather foolish to contaminate those areas with biological or atomic warfare. Unfortunately for them, their choice was logical, but ultimately incorrect – swift destruction of those territories would have eliminated the anomaly that was Anders and ensured at least some sort of survival.

All this was in Ander’s favour of course, so he waited to see if there were any latent side effects from the absorption or if he could refine his calculations any more. Eventually he would metaphorically pull the trigger, but he bided his time.

Weeks had passed since his experiment and the only side effects were a more refined palette owing to the recent swathe of gourmet food he was cooking up for himself and the ability to pilot a helicopter if he so chose. It was comforting for him and allowed him to consider other options to solve this dilemma he had with the rest of humanity. Two weeks had passed to be precise and he had not altered his thinking. There were no side effects so he must absorb all memories in the world and leave humanity the property of one. He was concerned about all those decaying bodies that would soon crop up around the world, but he had a plan of how to deal with that particular conundrum.

The calculations he had made ensured that the wave that captured the memories would flow around the entire globe before returning to his receiver – a slightly larger version o his helmet that was hooked up to a computer mainframe in the event that all the memories were to vast to store within his own brain, compression or not. He did no expect any need for it, but he preferred to be safe when working with such vast numbers – his calculations were correct, but his own physiology may react in a way he was not prepared for.

Anders had ploughed years of thought and months of planning into his initial experiment. True, he had only been forced into this action by the overbearing reach of the Triumvirate, but the quest for ultimate knowledge and immortality had now long been resident in his conscious and unconscious thought. So it was with great calculation, fear and hesitation that he had absorbed the memories of six human beings. Now, after only a few weeks and relatively little preparation he planned to absorb seven billion sets of memories – more than one billion times the information than his experiment in one fell swoop.

Then again, it would never be one billions times the information in truth. His machine was programmed to filter out non-unique memories. It wasn’t that different perspectives were bad – he would get those sets of memories – it was that he didn’t want a billions sets of memories about how to take a piss or react to fire. Well, at least he didn’t want a billion memories that said, “Fire is hot and burns,” – fire fighting could turn out to be a useful skill.

Regardless of what memories, what vital pieces of human knowledge would eventually end up at his disposal, he was now ready. After dinner he would flip the switch that would eradicate all of his opposition and hopefully send him on the path to immortality and perfect knowledge.

His dinner, his last supper as one of many, was simple yet sublime. He had barbequed chicken, after letting it marinate in limejuice, olive oil, salt and pepper together with a small salad and some fried potatoes. Home cooked food – a type of comfort food, as it were. Without a doubt he enjoyed every bite in a way he never had before and sat staring out of the kitchen window for a long time after he had finished eating to simply drink in the scenery. Again, quite an unusual thing for Anders. Still, he had no thought of changing his current trajectory. The scenery was beautiful and he sat thinking to himself that he would enjoy this moment if he were the complete human.

This was the phrase that he had decided he would become once his absorption was completed – only a matter of time for that now. He relaxed in a reclining chair in his garage and slowly pulled the monitors and inputs closer to him. There were sensors, which he attached to himself to monitor his vitals while he underwent the process. This was also necessary, as he had built in a type of dead man’s grip that would shut down the process if his vitals took a turn for the disastrous.

With everything set and ready for the best and worst he flipped the switch that consolidated humanity into one.

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