Working Chapter 8 of my Is it for us alone? novel in progress

Nothing happened at first. This was to be expected of course – after all, the Earth is large and it even takes a wave of energy some time to circumnavigate it, but the delay wouldn’t be too long. Eventually, or rather within a minute, it would hit him like a wall.

What it would feel like, Anders had no idea. Still there was some recollection of this exact feeling in the back of his mind. He knew there would be something, but for now there was nothing. It was the anticipation that Dan had felt the first time he tried ecstasy. The memory was fuzzy, but he was certain this moment was comparable – the anticipation mixed with fear of something going horribly wrong – it sent adrenaline rushing through his veins in a way he had never felt before. It was beautiful and then it hit.

There was no physical sensation. His heart rate was elevated because of the adrenaline. Otherwise there was nothing. His mind was packed and overactive – like the only bunker left in town that everyone knows about right before a nuclear bomb is about to explode. Clumsily the memories swam around his brain while he tried to get to grips with it all. After a few moments of consciousness, he passed out and his brain set about sorting through the memories and adjusting itself to the new influx. Luckily Anders had remembered this side effect from his experiment and was hooked up with nutrients to ensure he didn’t die there in his garage before his solo-rule of Earth began.


Anders estimated that he had been out cold for a couple of days. There was no doubt that he felt weak, but he also knew beyond a doubt that he would be fine. Besides a bit of disorientation and dehydration, he didn’t really feel anything adverse. There were, however, many urges – the most powerful of which was for a cup of coffee. Many types came to mind, but a nice big cup of black coffee would do nicely – besides it was all he had in the house.

He knew there was an espresso machine in number 15 Longsten Gatan, but his current physical state made convincing arguments over any walking further than his kitchen. Groggily he made his way there and put the coffee machine on. He was on a well-practiced routine of millions so there was no thought involved at all, simply action. He sat in an armchair and stared out the window at the rising dawn. Everything in him, physically and mentally felt more content then he could have ever imagined. Of course there was the rush of triumph. The pure elation at completing a feat that had never been done before and that by its very nature can only be done once and never again. It was a singular achievement in the history of man. You may discover penicillin, but guess what, someone else can as well. But not this. Not Anders’ accomplishment.

There was also another feeling swimming around in his head. Something he had never truly appreciated. There was silence. Not simply the lack of noise, but the lack of frustrations and stresses – a weight lifted off the shoulders of mankind itself. It was incredibly calming. A truly beautiful peacefulness that had never existed before. There was no fighting, no plays for power and no destruction. Instead there was unison, collaboration – no, not collaboration – but perfect knowledge. All the human computers in the world were no slaves to one. Their knowledge would work together to understand the mysteries of the universe. It was, Anders felt in that moment, glorious.


Where to start really? Anders urged to do so many things all at once. He was in control – have no qualms about that – but there was so much that he wanted to do. Skydiving, for instance. He remembered the rush and wanted the adrenaline to coarse through his own veins – the memories were fantastic, but he wanted more. Many other urges bubbled to the surface. All were for experiences that he had memories of being the best that Earth and humanity could offer.

He is in control though and so brings his mind around to the task at hand – immortality. Finally, with of the pooled knowledge of humanity, he was sure he could discover the secret.

Despite contol, there are now more distractions – urges to the things part of normal lives of so many. Focus is difficult, but progress continues – immortality? Not yet, but steps are being made.[ Consider removing]

Two weeks passed without significant progress. It was not a lack of knowledge that stifled hi creativity or a lack of vision that hindered his momentum. It was a lack of focus. Billions of competing desires would flout to the surface of his consciousness and devote the energies of the population of Ander’s mind to solving some ancillary problem of the universe or fighting an urge that couldn’t be accomplished in that moment. At times he would feel pangs of loss or sorrow. They would hit him like a wave against the rocks, with great intensity and then receding back in to the ocean of his infinite subconscious.

He sat in the garden contemplating all of this, in particular his control over it. In his hand he held a cold beer, which he swigged from now and again to break the stillness of his present position and equally to enhance its tranquillity. There was something familiar and comforting about these actions. It made him feel content with his place in the universe and free from all his cares. Immortality, or rather achieving immortality, was far from his mind. Now he only wanted to fully control this onslaught from his subconscious. This moment was calm, but it was because he had reached a somewhat meditative state. As soon as he tried to focus on one thing it would cease to be.

It may now only be possible for him to focus on things that benefited this new whole, he reflected, and that personal desires could no longer take command of the resources his body had to offer. Surely there was some desire for immortality, but not that of one man. Now that only one human existed in the known universe it was difficult to discover exactly what could rank as being worth the interest of all humankind. Overpopulation, poverty, death to an extent and most of the problems with disease had been wiped out in one brutal masterstroke orchestrated by Anders and along with them war had been put to peace. He tried not to think too seriously of what he should do next and resolved to sit with his cold beer and contemplated his solitary confinement on this rock juxtaposed with the riotous prison of his subconscious.

The sun began to set behind the rocky island in the distance and into the calm and teeming ocean beyond and Anders sat and watched feeling that time had jerked itself to a halt that was uncertain. It desired to edge forward, but was uncertain how to proceed with only one human chasing it forward.


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.


Working Chapter 6 of my Is it for us alone? novel in progress

“I am speaking to myself father,” Anders had once hissed, “I have no interest in conversation – it is droll and exhausting to listen to the opinions of others and the mindless episodes of their lives.”

It was many years ago when Ander’s father had walked into the garage where Anders was studying to give him his lunch.  Anders had muttered something about the book he was reading being wrong and his father had advised him that, “Perhaps it is wrong son, but that is how our human race evolves – by constantly learning from and reviewing previous observations to form new ideas.”

Anders had taken offence on this occasion where his loving father had tried idle conversation with him.  His father had never really tried again and Anders was left in the peace and quiet of his own mind and studious solitude that he so very much enjoyed.

It is this that was his greatest fear surrounding his impending experiment.  The world around him was intent on falling apart and not allowing him to live out his life – this did not sit well with him.  It had only been since he saw the channel four news piece on the impending apocalypse that he decided on his current course of action.

You see, for the years after his father’s death, Anders had gained a vast interest in extending the life of his physical body, or failing that just his mind in some artificial body.  He was deep into his research by the time he heard of this apocalypse that had the potential to blow him off the face of the planet, and so he changed his tact slightly.  For those many years he had only focussed on extending his own life, but now he had to ensure that no one else was around to interfere with him.

At first, he even admitted to himself that he was unimaginative.  How to destroy was all he thought of – this only wasted time.  He spent a whole month considering chemical, biological and explosive destruction.  Even if he had the resources to build any of those types of weapons, he most certainly knew they would not work at destroying the entire population of the planet and still keep him alive.  Besides that they all posed a problem with the destruction of his food sources and all.

Unimaginative.  He detested that he was being overcome by something as base and irritating as a lack of imagination.  Surely his logical brain, with all of his vast intellect could devise some way to destroy his perceived enemies and extend his precious life without any consequences.  While he knew this was a problem he put it aside to refocus on extending his life – without that piece of the puzzle the other was useless to him.

So he set about experimenting, postulating and unknowingly plotting a worse fate for humanity than the Triumvirate could ever have done.  This was no thievery of ultimate power Anders was hurtling towards, but rather a consolidation that would both exemplify and destroy the single greatest facet of humanity – individuality.  He desired to live forever in deep solitude – further the goals of the self while destroying every other self.  Arguably, the very root word could cease to exist.

For worse, Anders devoted brain was able to devise a method for absorbing all of the knowledge within a person’s brain – essentially downloading the unique bits into his and discarding the rest – leaving the subject deceased.  This solved his first problem – namely destroying humanity but not himself.  Of course, his quest for immortality was unfulfilled, like so many other’s quests of the same nature, but he believed the combined knowledge of the entire world under his direction could in fact uncover an ingenious method to keep a body alive forever.

He had run many simulations by this point, but he needed to test it on a small sample.  He was certain that he could isolate their memories from his if he was unable to remain in control, but so as not to be overwhelmed he would start with a small sample rather than the entire human race.  This is where his great fear came into play – he was unsure if he would be able to handle the memories of others within his own brain.  What if, he thought, it was as if someone else was constantly speaking to you?

In the end he wrote this off as frail nonsense – they would merely be memories in his head, like pieces of information in a computer.  If he so desired he could access them, but otherwise he would simply store them.  He, Anders, was in charge and not the information.

With doubts duly destroyed, he began his experiment.  For whatever reason, he thought it best to try it on a group of sea dwellers and therefore set off to the nearby peninsula to await the sailors of the dusk.  His intention was to quickly absorb the rest of humanity if his experiment was successful.  It was vital that this worked lest he face death the way ordinary people were forced to – it was an altogether unappealing vision.

The equipment to affect the memory transfer was relatively lightweight and simple for its most complex of tasks.  A dish sent out a wave of energy which collected the memories from the targets and then found their way back to the helmet that Anders wore in order to store the collected memories in his brain.  One thing that worried him was whether his brain could hold the memories of six billion, but he believed the helmet would compensate for that by compressing the memories prior to absorption – that was how he had designed it.

Anders began his stakeout for a lone boat off the peninsula into the late hours – there was always some lone boat tugging along out to sea or into port.  Some were simple lost sailors glad to see a safe harbour and others alcohol fuelled friends on a quest they hoped would lead safely to a comfortable bed with no spinning and no vomiting.  As we all know too well, this was unlikely for them and doubly so for the drunken friends.

Sweet was the thought of sleep, for Anders, but he endured through the night into the early morning not seeing any sign of a lone boat or even a pair.  One more hour he decided to wait and then he would try again the next day.  The world was about to end, but at least there was still some time to spare – there was yet a real rush.  As will happen from time to time, when a person is desperate for a particular set of events to occur, they do just that.

With a heavy heart Anders was about to abandon his experiment for that day, and then a sailboat approached on the horizon.  More accurately, its lights were turned on.  The red for larboard, the green for starboard and the solitary white at the top mast.  On went Ander’s machine with the flick of a switch and in a few short seconds when the wave hit the boat, Dan and Karin, Erik and Emilie, Linnea and Filip all collapsed – there bodies but empty shells like those hunted by tourists across the beaches of the world.


Inevitably, there was no immediate reaction following the absorption as his body rebooted to deal with the new memories.  He sat on the peninsula for some time, slumped over sitting on a small rock whilst his brain sorted through the new information.  It began to rain lightly, but Anders was not quite conscious of anything at this moment – he knew full well that it was raining, but had no idea how he was to react as the brain was sending out neither innate or learned responses to the body.  Some birds flew by and stopped on his shoulders, chirping their sweet song into his ears, but again no response from Anders – simply stillness.  Then with a quick jerk he was back.  It was still raining so he collected his gear and quickly ran back home.

Luckily the light rain had not disrupted the machine.  It was not that he couldn’t repair it or even rebuild it – he just was happy not to have to.  After he had stored the machine in the garage he went into the living room to sit down – I’ll conduct experiments on my memories after a short nap, he thought.  And odd thing for someone who had just been in a trance, nap like state for several hours.  A queer thing for Anders to do.  Perhaps an expected thing for someone who has taken on a new burden of memories that tire the brain.  Definitely something that someone with a hangover would do.


He woke with the kind of violent start one has when they’re late for the first day of a new job or an important morning only to remember that it’s not that day today.  Quickly he reasserted his mind and remembered what he had done.  There was no immediately obvious evidence that the absorption of the memories had been complete.  Perhaps, Anders thought, there had been some meshing of memories in a fashion he had not anticipated.  That is, perhaps he thought some of the new memories were his own.  Tests would have to be done, but only after food.

Greedily he gobbled giant tins of various ready meals until he was quite satisfied – a good ten in all.  Satisfied he trudged out the side door and out to his garage workshop where the necessary equipment for his tests were all set out.  There were some medical devices to measure brain waves and heart rate and all that you would expect (of course, much that you wouldn’t unless you were a neuroscientist).  In addition he had recorded several lists of skills and memories as well as video logs of the past several days.  His key concern was that he would be unable to distinguish between his actual memories and those absorbed, despite the work he put into preventing such an occurrence.  That the memories would become micro personalities within his own brain was still his greatest fear even though none had surfaced as yet.

Hours and hours he sat in his garage studying himself and feeling positive.  He could so far not tell that he had absorbed any memories at all.  It was entirely possible that the test had been unsuccessful, but he wanted to allow some more time as he was not altogether certain about the realm he was dealing with.

The test he had now moved onto consisted of several images flashing on a screen in an attempt to elicit a reaction that had no previously been there.  You see, he had prepared meticulously.  He had been through this test before the absorption and had no reactions in particular to some images.  Then in quick succession, there was a picture of a black standard schnauzer and a helicopter – both eliciting incredibly strong recognition.  Finally, he had unlocked it.

In a short moment he discovered how to access the memories hidden away in his brain.  There were six distinct sets of memories.  It was of little interest to Anders, but their names were Dan, Karin, Erik, Emilie, Linnea and Filip – a group of acquaintances from the next island over.  Many of the memories were fracture or incomplete due to the vast extent to which these people had poisoned themselves throughout their lives.  Anders quickly sifted through the available information, discarding bits that were of no interest to him, leaving only two skills intact – the ability to fly a helicopter and a very refined expertise in cooking.  After absorbing the latter and understanding the finer points of food, Anders decided it would simply no do to return to canned foods.

The memories were completely separate from his own and as far as he could tell there were no adverse medical effects nor had his worst fears come true.  He was still the same Anders – no blending had occurred.  This probably wouldn’t have been so troublesome as he wouldn’t have really known, but it was nice nonetheless.  Above all, he was happy the he was in complete control.


Working Chapter 5 of my Is it for us alone? novel in progress

Foreword to this one as it’s one that I definitely am going to expand on and even make into a couple of chapters.  Essentially, I had an idea in my mind for a woman giving birth 

Linn awoke to her husband’s ear resting on her pregnant bump, listening to the movement of his soon to be born son inside his beloved wife. She could not help but be utterly touched by her husband’s tenderness and love, so she lay in silence watching him, hoping to just enjoy the beautiful scene of a budding family. It was perfectly serene, but then it was also impossible. These days with the constant gloom hanging over the world, scenes such as this one no longer existed. So Linn sighed, knowing she was lost in her own dream and only hoping she would not awake for a while longer.

As soon as she had realised the dream, her brain betrayed her and sent a signal to move her out of that beautiful twilight world. That world where her husband was alive to share the joy of their soon to be born son and that son would be allowed to grow old and flourish in a world that wasn’t perfect, but full of hope and opportunity. They had found out they were with child seven days before the earth shattering news disseminated across Scandinavia and the rest of the globe. By that time they had already decided they would keep the baby and they had no intention of turning back, even though many told them they were crazy for bringing a child into a doomed world.

They had considered all of this and in the end had decided that it may be fairer to destroy the egg before it becomes a human being, but there was something in them that selfishly wanted to raise a child. Whenever asked why, they responded that the Scandinavian Alliance had the resources to survive for decades, possibly, and that young people would be required to bring some hope to a seemingly doomed world. “Just because there isn’t a solution now doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the future.”

Their voices were never so confident at this statement and those they told it to only laughed, but they stuck with it. It is something about repeating this statement that eventually led them both to actually believe it in the end. From timid excuse, to staunch belief they found something worth living for. In the hour of wretched doom for their society they had found that elusive raison d’être that we all search for at some point.

Having found their raison d’être, Linn and her husband discovered that you are often faced with decisions that a less determined person could easily deal with in a more selfish fashion. It is not that regretted their newfound path in life or that they resented the child that brought it all about – not at all – but rather that they understood some level of discomfort was required in order to fulfil what they now considered their destiny.

With a heavy heart it came that Linn’s husband joined the Scandinavian Alliance assault force – the so-called SAAF that would attempt some action to prevent the planned genocide by the Triumvirate. The idea was not that they would stop it themselves, but that they could give their lives in order to give those at home the time they needed to find some way of combating this the looming menace.

Linn and her husband were now part of this minority group that actually believed there was some future and that it was worth sacrificing what little they had left of their youth to fight for this. This group contained many parents who wanted a true future for their children, but also those who simply would not give up their society, their lives, without a fight. Those who stayed in the city stuck together to support those who were fight however they could.

It was discovered that not all of the Triumvirates shields were as yet active. The SAAF found holes I the shield in the arctic regions of North America and the plan was to lead an incursion team to fight a guerrilla battle against the Triumvirate, including destroying as many shield generators as they could.

After a short farewell, Linn’s husband ventured off on this mission and she knew deep down that he would not return. With any stroke of luck his son would live to see a world rebuilt.

Linn went about her daily life helping the SAAF in whatever way she could and waiting for her son to be born. It was an odd life, wandering about living a steady existence while those around you simply slipped into a series of pre-apocalyptic hedonistic acts designed to celebrate life, but that only brought out the worst in all mankind. With no word from her husband and those nine months gone by, Linn lay in the hospital with those few who still cared, but without her love.

After a short labour a baby girl was born, but no scream was heard. Linn avoided believing the worst and then the world went dark.