Written in relative realtime.
"Quite a thunderstorm, hey John?" I comment to my collegue, then the radio splutters and the lights go out!
With a barely perceptible hum the UPS takes the load, sitting in the darkened computer room with just the monitor's light I thank old Volta for his bright idea to store electricity in a fluid. Then it strikes me, my brain is a fluid medium, why not interface to a computer via a fluid instead of wires and optic fibre?
The Weaver sat at the loom scanning his handiwork, the Core was stable, shimmering in the neural glow, strands of peptides and neucliosides made up the web of the Core. Softly he touched the strands with minute care, potential flowed across the synapses and he seemed to fade from view. The Core seemed to expand exponentialy then turned a violet blue. The Weaver was gone!
"Daydreaming again! Pete?" My collegue John calls out to me from his terminal. "Naw, just doing a rollback" I quickly banter. The lights pop on again and the room is awash with harsh neon light, I close my eyes to protect me from the glare. "How long was that outage?" I ask.
Light was streaming in from all sides as the Weaver emerged from the Core, surveying his surroundings he made a quick mental calculation, the jump had taken 15 milliseconds and now he was 15,000,000 kilometers from where he had begun. He was on his way home.
"About 15 seconds, according to the log" answers John, I shake my head in wonder, amazing how much one can think of in 15 seconds.
The Weaver glanced up from the Core to see a dark shadow cross the window of the Core housing, he moved over to the aperture to be greeted by a blinding flash of lightning streaking across the sky, it seemed to extend from one horizon to the next, a storm on Jupiter is always an impressive affair. He was also thankful for the fact that the Core's energy field was designed to absorb and convert any energy that hit it, almost alike to a sponge sucking up water.
I sit and ponder how we humans might be using technology in 15,000 years time from now and if we would recognize them as being human, "mmm I am daydreaming again." I smile wryly.
The Weaver turned to move back to the Core, it was built inside a relatively small speck of silicon & protein suspended beneath an envelope of Dacron floating in the Jovian skies. Insignificant, but more powerful than the very planet it was stationed on, actualy floating on the atmosphere in its electromagnetic fields to be correct.
The Weaver remembered the day he had fashioned the first Core, a crude affair compared to the one before him. It had taken him 15 years to perfect the first one, and each one thereafter was made more complex than the last, the 15 'th Core became a thing of wonder at it was the first to self replicate, just 15 months after the first.
"Well Just another 15 minutes then my shift ends John" I was looking foreward to return home after working an extra 4 hour shift to get all the data loads done for the Fermilab's project on microminiature circuitry.
The terminal beeped and flashed:
> DATALOAD COMPLETED...______
> Remove tape from unit 15 please!_
The Weaver turned and touched the web of the Core with a delicate stroke, shimmering he disappeared from view.
Less than 15 milliseconds later he was in the chamber of the first Core, albeit a reincarnated version, as the Core was now a living entity of its own, replicating and improving itself across the galaxy. The next step was a jump to the Andromeda galaxy, for that the Core had summoned the Weaver to his home planet, even though the Core was self sufficient it needed the touch of a human to help weave the next part of the web of Cyberstrands that would spread across the galaxy out into the universe itself. Transporting itself and its human symbiont's to ever further galactic frontiers.
After removing the tape and placing it in the rack for storage I gaze back at my terminal, the screen saver had kicked in and an image of the Andromeda galaxy as seen through the Hubble telescope was now filling the display. "I wonder if any human will ever gaze on this from a closer perspective John?"
The Weaver gazed in wonder at the sight before him, a million billion stars dancing before his eyes, it was a familiar yet alien view, he was the first human to visit the new Core on a planet of one of the outermost stellar systems of the Andromeda Galaxy. "To think this all was started by a power outage of 15 seconds, 15,000 years ago while I was daydreaming, 15 must be my lucky number."
The Weaver has a smile of utter content on his face as he gazes at the starry sky.
As promised this is one of the short stories I wrote in 2001... hope you enjoyed it.
"A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose." Samuel McChord Crothers