Mere Anarchy: Part 32

Though I didn’t lose the feeling of my connection to Daniel, I couldn’t connect to him. In much the same way, I couldn’t contact my implant.

At the same time, I could feel presences in the darkness, and, as my senses adjusted, I could see stars. At least I assumed they were stars. If I were to stick to pure description without assigning meaning, I saw pinpricks of light in the darkness.

They seemed likely to be stars but it all depended on where I was. If this were some kind of afterlife, it might be souls, but I felt more certain by the moment that it wasn’t an afterlife.

The feeling of bigness reminded me of the in-between space where the Cosmic Ghosts had shown me how to control energy. I’d sensed the Cosmic Ghosts themselves there as well as Rachel, Lee, and Kee.

Finding Lee and Kee there made sense given that the Cosmic Ghosts were in some way related to the Artificers—which gave me an obvious candidate for where I was. If the Cosmic Ghosts had a place that was outside of reality where they communicated across interstellar space instantaneously, the Artificers might too.

In fact, it might even be another location in the same place.

That was great because if I was correct, it explained everything. It was not all that great because the most powerful faction of Artificers would destroy Earth and everything on it if it would help them destroy Lee. Also, they had a history of destroying younger races out of fear that those races would someday equal or surpass them.

If you thought that through, you might guess that their paranoia could bring about their own destruction by causing the younger races to join together.

It seemed that way to me, anyway, but they’d never asked my advice on the matter.

If I was correct, though, I was now in an excellent position to critique the flaws in their logic directly to their disembodied consciousnesses.

There were issues with that idea. First among them being the fact that they were capable of casually destroying planets or worse. The second issue was that I wouldn’t be able to do a thing to stop them.

If I was now on some kind of Artificer-exclusive cosmic internet, I needed to leave before they realized that I was here in the first place. Concentrating, I tried to connect to that part of me that pulled in energy and turn it off. In theory, that could pop me back into our universe.

Like all too many good theoretical ideas, it didn’t change anything. Maybe connecting my consciousness to this place cost energy, but to leave I had to do something else?

I tried imagining that I was back in the room I’d left and reached outward with my mind to “pull” myself there.

That worked as well as it would have before Cosmic Ghosts taught me how to feel my extradimensional muscles—which is to say not at all. I floated in a sea of darkness, wracking my brain for a hint of what to try next.

Remembering what it felt like to transition from reality into this space, I tried to recreate the feeling of making the change. If I could reproduce that while trying to transfer over, maybe I could reverse engineer it.

It didn’t work, but as I tried, I felt a presence. I couldn’t tell exactly where it was, but it was moving closer. It asked, “Who’s there? What are you doing here? Identify yourself.”

Knowing that there were two factions of the Artificers and that the Live faction was small and hidden, but wouldn’t hurt me, while the Destroy faction had seized control of their society, and had a more ominous name, I didn’t reply.

“I felt you before,” it said. “Hiding doesn’t get you anything. I will find you.”

I didn’t know for sure, but going by that, my gut instinct said it was a member of Destroy, the group that left technology scattered around the universe in the hopes that it would destroy the species that found it.

Even though the birthing chambers only came indirectly from the Artificers, it certainly put the True in perspective.

Another presence came closer. This one felt smaller than the first, but as with people, I couldn’t assume that meant it was less powerful.

“What’s going on?” It stopped moving, but I could feel that it was doing something. Sending out feelers? Using a kind of radar?

“There’s something here,” said the first, larger presence. “I’ve felt it before. It passed the battlefield. The one where Lee used the Galaxy Core weapon. I told you about it.”

“You said you sensed Lee.” The smaller presence said in a harsh whisper.

“I sensed Lee and something else. I thought it might be a child.”

The smaller presence stopped moving. “That’s ridiculous. We’ve lost the ability to reproduce.”

“It appears that the Live faction hasn’t.”

16 thoughts on “Mere Anarchy: Part 32”

  1. Well it seems that while both have the ability to communicate through where ever Nick is, the Articifers are as connected with each other. And I am wonder why they can’t have kids anymore?

    1. Abuse of cloning technology? Small gene pool? Or something Lee did intentionally as sabotage? There’s also the weirdness of they don’t experience time linearly

  2. :hands dollar bill to self : My usual bet. I was honestly expecting to lose that one!

  3. So this is Lee’s game plan, make more Artificers. He mentioned at one point that he saw someone who looked like Nick in the future, it’s seeming likely Nick is a full blown Artificer and therefore immortal.

    The Destroy faction is also likely the unknown danger hanging over the teams’ heads, or at least related?

    1. “Unless certain things are done most of you don’t survive to reach twenty-one.” That has been a few end life events and they are in the middle of another.

    2. If Nick is indeed an artificer, If one that had a weird start, then are nicks from different realities also artificers? And If yes, are they all parts of a greater Nick that Nick from this universe is becoming or are they individual and separate nicks? I never thought i would have to grapple with the concept of ultimate self out of homestuck but here we are.

      1. That is an interesting question. Based on how Lee has been seen working. I think he can tap the parallels but is not ‘them’ all the time. I say this only in that he does not have the information on things that could be coming sooner. And why would beings capable of being in multiple dimensions make a servant only capable of being in one?

  4. This payoff was sooooo long in the making, I’m getting why there was such anticipation to start writing the space arc & the following ones. I remember reading an old discussion about Nick & powers in early chaps & hahaahaaa, your response was akin to… as far as everyone is concerned, at the moment Nick is a human & it will.stay that way, maybe forever, maybe not.

    Years later, (for me about a month & some lmao)… we get this tease. Ooooh this was well worth it. Thanks so much

    1. You may be farther from catching up than you think. The next few chapters might be longer than they appear.

      But thanks. Doing the space arc opened up access to parts of Nick’s background that I couldn’t tackle directly otherwise.

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